Search Results for: Ricardas Cekutis + Genocide Center
O P I N I O N
by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis
Authorized translation from the Lithuanian original that appeared on Balsas.lt on 5 April 2012.
Yesterday, April 4, my colleague Petras Auštrevičius sent me a fragment of some internet correspondence between you, Ričardas Čekutis, and Morta Vidūnaitė. You, commenting upon the conversation, expressed this thought:
“But a nationalist [or “ethnic”] state, Morta, is one where government, i.e., sovereignty, belongs to the [ethnic] nation, which is what is written in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. Not to some sort of ‘citizens’ but to the [ethnic] Lithuanian people. This is also the principle of the supremacy of national law over all transnational formations, such as the EU, into which we were shoved through deceit and forgeries.
“In a nationalist [ethnic] state, for example, characters such as Auštrevičius, Andriukaitis and Karosas would be shot without hesitation, and that would be right, for treason. Well, you’ll see, very soon…”
I wouldn’t want to argue with your thought that they would shoot us, because an opinion is an opinion. But this sentence that “well, you will see, very soon,” understood rather clearly from the context that we will see some shootings has a very different meaning. But more about that a bit later.
OPINION | VILNIUS GENOCIDE CENTER | VILNIUS GENOCIDE MUSEUM | GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS | ACADEMIC BACKGROUND
Defending History was there. See Background and DH’s take on the trial.
THE PLAINTIFFS’ TABLE: Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas, longtime contributing writer at DH (left) represented absent American plaintiff Grant Gochin at the hearing on state honors for Holocaust collaborator J. Noreika, whose case was first brought to the English speaking world in 2012 by Evaldas Balčiūnas, who was also in attendance. At right is attorney Rokas Rudzinskas. PHOTO © Defending History 2019.
VILNIUS—As the long-awaited trial opened this morning, the Genocide Center’s official and two lawyers explained to the three-judge panel that they need a lot of time to study so many documents, including some less-than-perfect printouts, hence an adjournment would be required. The next hearing was set for 5 March. In fact, the Genocide Center has for many years been familiar with the documents demonstrating Jonas Noreika’s brutal Holocaust collaboration (and has for years tried to say that they prove “only” ethnic cleansing, expulsion, isolation and ghettoization, humiliation, and plunder of all the region’s citizens who were Jewish).
Just seven people came to observe (three of them from DH’s team, nobody from abroad). There was no local media coverage as of now. US, UK, Israeli embassies sent no observers. Efforts to “muzzle the whole thing” seem to have been effective.
Update of 19 Jan: media blackout at the national and local level here has continued unbroken as of today (except for “Putin-propagandist” pseudo-media)
VILNIUS MARCHES | KAUNAS MARCHES | REGIONAL PRO-NAZI MARCHES | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | ANTISEMITISM | EVENTS | OPINION
By Defending History Staff
Photos by Julius Norwilla, Ruta Ostrovskaya, and Dovid Katz
VILNIUS—For the 11th year running, the center of Lithuania’s beautiful capital, Vilnius, was gifted in the high afternoon hours this past Sunday, Match 11th, to far-righters and neo-Nazis on the annual holiday cherished by the free world for its historic importance, in 1990, in the series of events that toppled the Soviet Union’s hated misrule. The Defending History community, all resolute admirers of Lithuania who celebrate its success, has monitored this event annually. The international outcry after the 2008 event, which featured “Juden raus” and a throng of swastikas had led to curious “compromises” each year between organizers and the municipality on what will and will not be done. But no sign yet of the mayor’s office, municipality or government finding the moral backbone to just say, “No, not in the center of our capital on our independence day.”
[Last media link update: 26 Feb. 2017]
Defending History Monitors Kaunas Neo-Nazi March on Lithuania’s Feb. 16th Independence Day
Media coverage of the march: JTA; History News Network; Times of Israel (French edition); BNS / Delfi.lt; Bernardinai.lt; Alkas.lt; Diena.lt; Kaunaskasvyksta.lt; Kauno.diena.lt; 15min.lt; tv3.lt; Novaya Gazeta; Antisemitism.org.il; Izrus.co.il; EinNews.com; CBS8.com; WFMJ.com; Fox8Live; TodayInTheNews.com; Official Lithuanian Jewish Community response; TelAvivTimes.com
The five-person Defending History team was the only human rights monitor this year. “We came to remember the 30,000 murdered Jews of Kaunas on the independence day that they too patriotically marked with love every year. It is shocking that yet again the mayor and city council have gifted the center of the city, including Liberty Boulevard and the plaza of the historic presidential palace, on the cherished independence day, to the neo-nazis who so damage the name of modern, tolerant, democratic Lithuania.”
O P I N I O N / E Y E W I T N E S S R E P O R T
by Dovid Katz
Lithuania’s March 11th independence day is celebrated by the free world, not least by those who remember the incredible news that spread around the globe in March 1990, when Lithuania’s parliament (Seimas) voted 124 to zero to break away from the Soviet Union. The courage of the parliamentarians from a broad spectrum of parties and movements was stark; the country was still occupied by ominous Soviet forces (and blood would be spilled by Soviet forces’ violence less than a year later, in January 1991). The March 11th celebration has been anchored over the years by a record of achievement that includes the transition to democracy, the joining of the European Union and NATO, and the rapid integration with Western society, economy and mores.
by Dovid Katz
The unfortunate and wasteful campaign of Holocaust obfuscation waged by certain East European state institutions continues apace. The level of investment continues to strike outsiders as puzzling, given current economic and cultural issues and the younger population’s clear focus on the future and a better life for all in the new and multicultural European Union. Here in Lithuania, the first victims of the government’s (rather Soviet-style) “genocide industry” are the hard-working people of the country who deserve more judicious disbursement of their nation’s resources. The state-sponsored Genocide Center has just released three simultaneous editions (English, Lithuanian and Russian) of a new book on the Vilna Ghetto by historian Arūnas Bubnys, its own “director of the Genocide and Resistance Research Department.”
Dr. Bubnys is also a member of the state-sponsored “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” (known for short as the “red-brown commission”). He was one of a minority of members of the Commission who refused to sign the (in the opinion of some, inadequate) letter of 14 October 2013 to Dr. Yitzhak Arad.
O P I N I O N
by Evaldas Balčiūnas
When I wrote about three glorified Lithuanian Freedom Army colonels who had in fact been implicated in the Holocaust, I did not realize quite how deep-rooted the shameful worship of Nazi-era war criminals has become here in Lithuania. I used to think that a few mistakes had been made due to patriotic excesses. A year has passed since that article, and I no longer feel that this is just some irksome problem “still encountered now and then”…
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
Can history be bought up by even a small state’s nationalist government that has talked itself into the idea that revision of history and wide acceptance of that revision is somehow a national cause? It becomes a serious issue when that state is willing to invest heavily in the enterprise, at a time when the targeted influential foreigners are far from the issues at hand and easily manipulated.
On 1 April 2012, three members of the Lithuanian Parliament — Petras Auštrevičius, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis and Justinas Karosas — submitted a formal letter to prosecutors asking for an investigation into the threats made by a “chief specialist” (PDF here) at the state-sponsored Genocide Research Center, who has also published antisemitic, racist and homophobic statements and participated in the organization of neo-Nazi marches (see e.g. here, here, here, here and here).
[Two of the three targeted parliamentarians are signatories to the Seventy Years Declaration, and were recently attacked by the foreign minister; see here and here; see also MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis’s response here.]
The Lithuanian original of the three parliamentarians’ 1 April letter to prosecutors is here. A full English translation follows below.
To the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Lithuania
1 April 2012 No. 04-11/2012
Lithuania’s major daily newspaper, Lietuvos rytas — Lrytas.lt — made some local journalistic history today with an extensive article by Dovilė Tuskenytė on the dangerous mainstreaming of neo-Nazism in the country that succeeded in its principal interview in eliciting the unvarnished tone of the movement. The article’s title in translation: ‘Lithuanian Neo-Nazis, who use paganism for cover, work in state institutions and claim the swastika is only a historical symbol’. There was general agreement in the human rights community that the article represented an important advance and that its author is to be congratulated. An English translation is available here.
The article is accompanied by a series of 23 photographs making very clear the nature of ‘national patriots’ involved in neo-Nazi activity, as well as the intent of the ‘recycled pagan symbols’ used nowadays by neo-Nazi groups. It follows the recent Delfi.lt article exposing government financial support for such groups.
Ms. Tuskenytė’s article contains an interview with the state-sponsored Genocide Center’s Ričardas Čekutis, who continues to be listed as a ‘chief specialist’ by the Center, some five months after serving as one of the organizers and leaders of a neo-Nazi march through the center of the nation’s capital, Vilnius on 11 March. His statements to Ms. Tuskenytė include the following:
“Čekutis says that the world visions of the EU and Adolf Hitler are identical. Čekutis agrees with neo-Nazis on another issue: that there was no Holocaust. The Lithuanian Nationalist Center chairman says that the victims from all countries in World War II need to be counted, and that most of them lost the same amount of people as the Jews who were murdered. He also explains that the figure of victims in the millions is nothing more than a myth created for contemporary Jews to receive different kinds of compensation from different countries.”
A far right organization in Lithuania today published a list of enemies, comprising liberals, tolerance-advocating authors, gay rights activists and a poet who is an official advisor to the Jewish Community of Lithuania (English translation here).
One of the organization’s leaders is a ‘chief specialist’ at the state-sponsored Genocide Research Center which is one of the engines of Holocaust Obfuscation and the Double Genocide movement in the European Parliament. He was one of the leaders of last March’s state-authorized neo-Nazi parade through central Vilnius.
Ričardas Čekutis, the ‘chief specialist’ at the state-sponsored Genocide Research Center who was one of the leaders of last March’s neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius, and is also a leader of the ultranationalist ‘Lithuanian National Center’, denied that any of the LNC’s members who were arrested on 22 July had any involvement in the hoisting of Nazi flags on a hill overlooking central Vilnius on Hitler’s birthday on 20 April.
Speaking to Baltic News Service, Mr Čekutis confirmed that initially two of the Lithuanian National Center’s members were detained by police on Friday morning 22 July on suspicion of involvement in the April incident.
Lithuania’s mainstream news portal, Delfi.lt, today published an article (English here) by Ričardas Čekutis, a ‘chief specialist’ at the state-sponsored Genocide Center in central Vilnius. Mr Čekutis was one of the leaders of the neo-Nazi march held on the Lithuanian capital’s main boulevard on March 11th, with a permit from city authorities and the participation of a member of parliament. Eyewitness report here. Afterwards, he embarked on a public antisemitic campaign, in addition to defending the neo-Nazi march in an earlier Delfi.lt article. He proudly displayed a homophobic symbol when he ran for office in municipal elections.
Ričardas Čekutis, the Chief Public Relations Specialist at the state-funded Genocide Research Center who was a leader of the March 11th 2011 neo-Nazi march on the main boulevard of the Lithuanian capital, and was formerly a top parliamentary aide to a Liberal (!) MP, gave a further ‘charming interview’ on April 24th to Diena.lt.
A high official of the Genocide Research Center, Ričardas Čekutis, today published an article defending the recent neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius. Lithuania’s major daily, Lietuvos rytas, had identified him ten days ago as one of the key participants and organizers of the 1000-strong March 11th 2011 neo-Nazi march that proceeded through the center of Vilnius on the country’s Independence Day, with the participation of a member of parliament, and a permit from the municipality of Vilnius. The Jewish Community of Lithuania has protested the march on its own website (English translation here).
“Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania”
13 August 2010
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
Images by Richard Schofield (© R. Schofield)
A ‘chief specialist’ of the Genocide Center participated in the March 2011 (and 2012 and 2013) neo-Nazi parades, and then went on to make antisemitic statements to the press. His July 2011 article in the mainstream media. As of Summer 2012, he is still a ‘chief specialist’ at the Center.
A revelatory gem from the Genocide Center’s website:
“Remembering the parallel with homicide, it could be said, that one may cut off all four of a person’s limbs and he or she will still be alive, but it is enough to cut off the one and only head to send him or her to another dimension. The Jewish example clearly indicates that this is also true about genocide. Although an impressive percentage of the Jews were killed by the Nazis, their ethnic group survived, established its own extremely national state and continuously grew stronger. Therefore, although a huge percentage of killed group members may indicate the cruelty of the oppressor, more complicated methods are needed to estimate the real results of genocide for the group as the entity.”
Individual pages of DefendingHistory.com are dedicated to unraveling various aspects of the revisionist history campaign now underway in Europe. It is not always easy to disentangle the interlocking components. They include: trying to replace the history of the Holocaust with a new model of ‘Two Equal Genocides’ (Soviet and Nazi) in resolutions before the European parliament; the establishment of state-sponsored commissions to carry out the campaigns to get this done, even while convincing western organizations that the ‘new’ Holocaust studies incorporated within this paradigm are legitimate.
The Genocide Center is responsible for the historical misrepresentations and antisemitic exhibits at the Genocide Museum (and its new “Holocaust room”) in central Vilnius, and at Gruto Parkas near Druskininkai.
But there is also the disturbing issue of discrepancy between the ‘for export’ versions and what is on offer domestically on the ground. At major institutions in certain East European capitals, the impression is given that there was in fact only one genocide in Eastern Europe, and that it was the Soviet one, a notion frequently accompanied by antisemitic mischaracterizations of Soviet crimes as largely or primarily Jewish.
This is particularly evident at the Museum of Genocide Victims on the main boulevard of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, and at the Gruto Parkas (Lenin Statue Park) tourist complex near Druskininkai. Features common to both include (a) diminution or elimination of the Holocaust from the history formally presented to the public and tourists; (b) open antisemitism and disdain for Holocaust victims, survivors and anti-Nazi resistance fighters, and (c) a pro-fascist ambiance that extends, unbelievably, to glorification of perpetrators of genocide as long as they were in someone’s sense ‘anti-Soviet’. On this last point, see now the valiant July 2010 essay by Lithuanian author and humanist Tomas Venclova, and the courageous statement issued in September 2010 by the Jewish Community of Lithuania.
Two further distressing aspects have come into play in recent years, in a way wholly unanticipated. First, the efforts to criminalize and prosecute Holocaust Survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance. Second, the introduction of new laws to criminalize opinions that differ from the new ‘Truth’ about history that states in the region (not only Lithuania!) are attempting to legislate. It has taken time for news of these sometimes opaque developments to adequately filter through, but at last, there is growing awareness and opposition in Western democratic and Jewish circles to the targeting of survivors, to the state commissions, and to the European Parliament campaign to ‘equalize’ Nazi and Soviet crimes. None of these Western responses try to diminish the genuine need to educate the West about the horrendous Soviet crimes and occupation from which the nations of Eastern Europe suffered so much.
The vexed issue of motives is sometimes linked to contemporary regional antisemitism (which in 2010 included judicial decisions in favor of swastika displays). Sometimes, it is seen to be an ultranationalist attempt to obfuscate and relativize the huge voluntary participation by ‘anti-Soviet patriots’ in the actual murder of virtually the entire Jewish population in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Some (certainly not all) of the revisionist efforts here in Lithuania have been coordinated from one control center in central Vilnius: the state-sponsored Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania. Housed in a handsome building in Vilnius’s prestigious Old Town (website here), it is the provider of historic information and texts for display to both the Genocide Museum and Gruto Parkas (where its texts stand as state’s historic fact despite the park’s privatization). It has its own ‘Special Investigations Department‘ and works closely with prosecutors and with parliament. Various politicians have held high positions in the Genocide Center.
Question of the Month:
The Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania reports on its website on the work of its Special Investigations Department.
Question: Does this department have any connection to the ongoing and shameful ‘investigations’ of Jewish Holocaust Survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance and are heroes of the free world?
History has its ironies, and an old building its secrets. It so happens that the Genocide Center’s headquarters stands at the site of one of the gates of the (‘small’) Vilna Ghetto, located in the medieval Jewish Quarter area, moments from the Gaon of Vilna’s place of residence. These winding streelets constituted an epicenter of East European Jewish civilization for centuries. But inside this ghetto gate, set up in September 1941, thousands of the city’s Jewish citizens were incarcerated in preparation for genocide in a matter of weeks (distinct from the ‘large’ ghetto that was liquidated two years later, in 1943).
We are at the corner of Didžioji (Yiddish Breyte gas; ‘Broad Street’) and the narrow winding Stiklių Street (Yiddish Glezer gesl; ‘Glazier Street’). In fact, the gate to the ghetto was affixed right to this building’s wall. The angle in the wall marks the spot. The people outside the gate were free. Those on the inside were slated for genocide because they were Jewish. But this ‘detail’ is not mentioned on the building of this research center dedicated to — genocide in Lithuania. The precise spot is visible on the Yiddish map from Vilna Ghetto times, where the thick black line is the ghetto boundary. Most of the building (lower right hand corner of the map) borders the last yards of free Vilna at this gate, with the final portion, from the kink in the wall to the end, flush against the start of the Vilna Ghetto area. Below it, a zoom-in of the building itself.
The kink in the wall marks the spot. The ghetto gate was affixed to the wall of this building (it is thought) right at or very near the angled meeting of the two sections. Incarceration for genocide to one side. Freedom of the ‘superior’ races on the other. A spot that seems, very sadly, not to be deemed worthy of historic marking by the building’s present occupants: the Genocide and Resistance Research Center.
The plot thickens. The building now housing the Genocide Center is pivotal in the historic narrative of the Vilna Ghetto. It is where the Nazis staged the ‘Great Provocation’ of 31 August 1941 — the alleged shooting of a German soldier — that was used as the pretext for the immediate murder of around eight thousand Jewish citizens, followed within a week by the herding of all the city’s Jews into the two ghettos in early September. It is the building from which an alleged shooter was dragged and beaten. Herman Kruk wrote in his diary:
‘On the corner of [Wielka = Didžioji, Breyte gas] and Glezer Streets, a shot was heard. They say a German was wounded. Soon there was a commotion, and someone pointed to a Jew from a house on that corner of Glezer and Wielka Streets, as the one who must have shot the German. People soon appeared there; the Jew was beaten horribly, everything was thrown out of his house, and a pogrom against Jewish property spread over Glezer and Jatkowa Streets. This did not finish the game. At night, they started driving the tenants out of their apartments. This goes on today, too.’ [excerpt of entry for Tuesday, 2 September 1941]
from: Herman Kruk, The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Edited and introduced by Benjamin Harshav. Translated by Barbara Harshav. Yivo and Yale University Press: New Haven & London 2002, p. 83.
Immediately following the alleged shooting of a German soldier on Glezer Street on Sunday 31 August 1941, and the accusation against a Jewish resident of the building that is today the Genocide Center, some eight thousand Jews were arrested, taken to Lukishki Prison and from there to Ponar (Paneriai) and murdered. Within a week the ‘retaliatory measures’ included the incarceration of all the city’s Jews in the first (large) and second (small) ghettos. This trilingual notice (German, Lithuanian, Polish) released by the Gestapo on Monday 1 September 1941 announced collective responsibility of the Jewish people for the shooting. Genocide of Vilna’s Jewry was underway. Image from Leyzer Ran, Jerusalem of Lithuania, NY 1974, vol. II, p. 432). By permission of Professor Faye Ran (NY).
The abrupt murder of eight thousand citizens leads to stacks of ownerless property in town. The Gestapo rapidly followed up with this public order (Nr. 4 on 1 Sept. 1941), this time in German and Lithuanian, ordering the ‘registration’ of the abandoned Jewish property in Vilna. Image from Leyzer Ran, Jerusalem of Lithuania, NY 1974, vol. II, p. 432). By permission of Professor Faye Ran (NY).
What then is today’s message of the Genocide Center to the outside world? After many protests, a single title containing the word Holocaust (a booklet by a local historian) was finally added to the pantheon of weighty tomes, nearly all of them on Soviet crimes. The horrific crimes of the communist regime obviously need to be exposed and studied, but not as a ruse for distorting or deleting the Holocaust, and not under the spurious title of Genocide in an establishment dedicated to that very topic, here at ground zero of the East European Holocaust. Bizarrely, this is an establishment that seems to want to downgrade the genocide that actually took place in the country. Below, the publications on display in the center’s windows.
An image of this corner (start of Glezer gesl) from before the war, from Leyzer Ran’s Jerusalem of Lithuania (NY 1974, vol. I, p. 68). By permission of Professor Faye Ran (New York City).
Then and now: Juxtaposition of the prewar image with the same spot today (© R. Schofield).
Some Simple and Constructive Solutions to the Irksome “Jewish Issues” that Continue to Haunt the Lithuanian Government and Its Agencies
NOTE: The original (2009) version of this document was constructed in close cooperation with the late Dr. Shimon Alperovich (1928-2014), elected head of the Jewish Community of Lithuania for many years. Revisions were discussed with him in detail until several days before his death in 2014. Naturally, he does not bear responsibility for the document’s annual updates since that time but his intellectual imprint on its spirit should not go uncredited.
Abandonment of the state’s financing of the campaign to obfuscate the Holocaust by means of its Double Genocide campaign, including “cooked” international events, conferences, film screenings and panel discussions; withdrawal of formal state support for the Prague Declaration and similar projects, closing down of the “red-brown commission” and the inauguration of an atmosphere of full freedom for citizens and organizations to support alternatives including the Seventy Years Declaration. Holocaust history to be included in historically accurate proportionality in the Genocide Museum and all relevant tourist locations that deal with genocide. Abandonment of the extensive state sponsored program to glorify the local Holocaust perpetrators of 1941, including the “Lithuanian Activist Front” (LAF), whose leaflets indicated desire to murder the country’s Jewish citizens even before arrival of Nazi forces. Rapid correction of the mischaracterization of the early local perpetrators as supposedly heroic rebels in the new basement room on the Holocaust in the Genocide Museum.
VILNIUS—Today’s neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius had fewer participants than in earlier years, with most estimates putting a cap of 500 on the number. Many were supporters of far-right presidential candidate Arvydas Juozaitis, and made use of his associated symbol and slogan translating “Lithuania is here.” But the black skull-and-crossbones flag with the “Lithuanian swastika” (with added lines) at the top corner was at the front or center of the proceedings from their start at Cathedral Square to their conclusion with some speeches at Lukiskes Square. Former Genocide Center official Ricardas Cekutis was on hand. There were some organized shouts of “Lietuva Lietuviams” (‘Lithuania for Lithuanians’). The following are some images of the event, which was monitored by Defending History’s correspondent Julius Norwilla and editor Dovid Katz. See Mr. Norwilla’s photo gallery for more photos.
29 December 2015
INCLUDING REDEFINITION OF GENOCIDE; GLORIFICATION OF HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS AS “FREEDOM FIGHTERS”; AND CAMPAIGN OF REPUTATION DESTRUCTION AGAINST HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS WHO JOINED THE ANTI-NAZI RESISTANCE
And will Israel ask, howsoever gently, for public apologies for the three Israeli citizens defamed for history by Lithuania’s prosecutors? All three are heroes of the anti-Nazi resistance in the forests of Lithuania, and two are heroes of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Yitzhak Arad (who has spoken out in Defending History) is still defamed on prosecutors’ website [as PDF] and by a “Human Rights [!] Association”. Hopes rising for 2016 that the Israeli Embassy in Vilnius will rapidly obtain public apologies to the Israeli citizens Yitzhak Arad, Rachel Margolis (1921-2015) and Joseph Melamed.
Suspense growing on whether Vilnius’s Israeli Embassy will provide cover for the renewed international meeting of the long-dormant “Red Brown Commission” that is scheduled for 17-19 March 2016. Will Yad Vashem legitimize the event? Israeli Holocaust survivors begged Yad Vashem to keep its distance. Commission members include the Genocide Center veteran who launched the campaign of defamation against Yitzhak Arad. Dr. Arad’s analysis of the commission and its policies. The commission’s concept of Holocaust studies…
2009 speech of the late Ambassador of Israel to Lithuania & Latvia HE Chen Ivri Apter. Back then it was clear that Israel could build terrific relations without betraying Israeli citizens, Holocaust survivors, history of the Holocaust, or the integrity of Jewish cemeteries in post-Holocaust Europe.
In September 2015, during his trip to Israel, the Lithuanian prime minister reported back home with triumph that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quite happy with plans for a $25,000,000 national conference center in the middle of the old (15th century origin) Piramónt (Šnipiškės) Jewish cemetery in Vilnius. But did the Israeli PM really reject out-of-hand the growing international Jewish (and non-Jewish) chorus of condemnation for a plan to have convention revelers clap, cheer, sing, drink in bars and use toilets surrounded by thousands of Jewish graves including some of the foremost Jewish scholars of the last millennium? Where his own ancestors are buried? Perhaps there has been some misunderstanding. Background on the cemetery’s history and implications of the case for all Europe, and on the current project.
24 December 2015
18 December 2015
Most Lithuanian Citizens Not Aware that State-Sponsored “Genocide Center” (GC) is the only (?) Gov. Body in the EU in the Business of Glorifying Holocaust Collaborators
Defending History led the way in 2010 with page and section exposing the GC (which runs the city-center “Genocide Museum”)
NEW: ANDRIUS KULIKAUSKAS REPLIES TO GENOCIDE CENTER’S NEW ATTEMPT TO “FIX” HOLOCAUST RECORD OF KAZYS ŠKIRPA
GRANT ARTHUR GOCHIN, SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER, JEWISH STUDENT UNION, AND JEWISH COMMUNITY LEADER RESPOND TO GC’S RECENT EFFORTS TO “FIX” HOLOCAUST RECORD OF JONAS NOREIKA.
VILNIUS STILL BOASTS STREET NAMES AND SHRINES HONORING HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS. WILL THE NEW MAYOR CHANGE THINGS?
Genocide Center veteran who launched the campaign against Holocaust survivors is now a member of the state’s “Red-Brown Commission”
DEFENDING HISTORY WRITER EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS (WHO ALERTED ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD TO NOREIKA MONUMENTS IN 2012) IS REPEATEDLY LUGGED INTO COURT FOR HIS ARTICLES PROTESTING GLORIFICATION OF HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS AND NEO-NAZI MARCHES. COME SUPPORT HIM AT THE NEXT HEARING: THURSDAY 21 JANUARY 2016 AT VILNIUS COUNTY COURT (LAISVĖS PROSPEKTAS 79A, ROOM 019) AT 1:30 PM (13:30)
Defending Holocaust History Against the New Revisionism:
Reviews of Timothy Snyder’s Black Earth by
9 December 2015
Neo-Nazis Target Defending History Authors who Attended Private Vilnius Hanukkah Party; Will Police Investigate?
Assault follows publication of Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė’s new critique of the Genocide Center, published in DH; Neo-Nazi blogger “Zeppelinus”, Lithuania’s top online purveyor of racism, misogyny, homophobia and antisemitism, is alleged to be a high official in the Economy Ministry
Meanwhile, “Genocide Center” Turns to Antisemitic Slurs in Reply to Critics of its Sanitization of Holocaust Perpetrators
Grant Arthur Gochin in VilNews.com ◊ Defending History section on the Genocide Center (plus page) ◊ 2015 debate over J. Noreika ◊ One of many perpetrators glorified by state agencies (plus section) ◊ Hopes rising that Yad Vashem will finally sever ties with “Red-Brown Commission” where its presence legitimizes the G-Center ◊ Lithuania issues facing Israel today (Israel page) ◊ Last Litvak Holocaust survivors begged Yad Vashem not to renew the legitimizing alliance…
Defending History’s Evaldas Balčiūnas (who in 2012 launched the international discussion on the state honors for Noreika) continues to be lugged into court on a regular basis in malicious time-wasting actions apparently intended to deter other dissenters on the policy of glorifying collaborators. More below. Section on free speech and democracy. Indirect consequences of the 2010 “double genocide” law.
ALSO: A SECOND CASE PURSUED OVER “DEFAMATION” OF ANOTHER ALLEGED COLLABORATOR; KRISTINA SULIKIENE COMMENTS.
COME AND SUPPORT EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS THURSDAY 21 JANUARY 2016 AT VILNIUS COUNTY COURT (LAISVĖS PROSPEKTAS 79A, ROOM 019) AT 1:30 PM (13:30)
Left to right: Evaldas Balčiūnas, Milan Chersonski and Darius Pocevičius on Monday 30 Nov. 2015 after another “totally time-wasting” hearing in the case against Balčiūnas and Pocevičius for their articles condemning fascism and the adulation of Holocaust collaborators. A more substantial hearing is now promised for Thursday 10 December, 3:30 PM (15:30), as ever at Vilnius District Court at Laisves prospektas 79a. Hopefully at long last human rights and free speech advocates, and opponents of Holocaust falsification will come to monitor. They are still looking for a pro bono human rights lawyer. For background (for English readers) please see Evaldas’s articles (and the legal harassment he has been enduring) by scrolling to the end and surveying chronologically (upwards) his articles exposing the glorification of Holocaust collaborators.
16 November 2015
LIVING YIDDISH CULTURE IN VILNIUS
The Vilna Yiddish Literary Reading Circle, in its 17th year, meets weekly in termtime at the Jewish Cultural and Information Center on Mėsinių Street (Yátkever gas) in the Old Town. Everybody welcome! Admission free.
2 November 2015
Vytautas Landsbergis, Hero of Lithuanian Independence, Shocks Many with “Defense” of Holocaust Perpetrator Jonas Noreika
Icon of freedom struggle now attacks journalist Rimvydas Valatka (who supported a petition last summer for removal of a Vilnius shrine to the Nazi collaborator) and Defending History regular Evaldas Balčiūnas (for asking why Lithuania honors such Nazist figures). Balčiūnas’s rapid reply. Earlier DH appraisal of Landsbergis’s 21st century positions.
IN DRAMATIC REVERSAL ON GENOCIDE CENTER, LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY CHAIRPERSON FAINA KUKLIANSKY BLASTS CENTER FOR WHITEWASHING THE HOLOCAUST COLLABORATOR. IN A HISTORIC STATEMENT (BRINGING HER INTO BROAD AGREEMENT WITH DH’S LONGSTANDING CRITIQUE) SHE ASKS WHAT KIND OF “HOLOCAUST EDUCATION” CAN PROCEED IN SUCH A CONTEXT. JEWISH STUDENT LEADER AMIT BELAITĖ SPEAKS OUT WITH SINGULAR COURAGE.
NEW IN NOVEMBER 2015:
21 October 2015
Defending the History Brings Results
LEGAL JUDGMENT, OVERTURNING LITHUANIAN CONVICTION OF A POSTWAR SOVIET CRIMINAL OF “GENOCIDE” IS MAJOR BLOW TO EAST EUROPEAN FAR-RIGHT “PRAGUE DECLARATION” PRINCIPLE OF “EQUALITY” OF NAZI AND SOVIET CRIMES.
DOUBLE GENOCIDE MOVEMENT’S “HIGHER PURPOSES” IN MUCH OF EASTERN EUROPE INCLUDE DOWNGRADE OF THE HOLOCAUST AND GLORIFICATION OF LOCAL HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS (SAMPLE STREET NAMES / PUBLIC SHRINES).
ABUSE OF HOLOCAUST EDUCATION BY DOUBLE GENOCIDE PRACTITIONERS REMAINS A CONCERN IN EASTERN EUROPE. REPORT IN THE JERUSALEM POST.
European Union Says NO to Support for “Convention Center in the Jewish Cemetery”
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission:
“Contrary to reports in some Lithuanian newspapers and international media, the planned renovation project at the Vilnius Snipisek cemetery is not supported by European Union funds”
Vilnius Municipality Inaugurates Ona Shimaite Street, Named for Famed Holocaust Rescuer, in the Old City
DEFENDING HISTORY WAS THERE SO YOU CAN READ EYEWITNESS REPORTS AND OPINIONS RIGHT HERE
Reports from: Butrimánts (Butrimonys); Rákishok (Rokiškis); Shádov (Šeduva); Šiauliai (Shavl); and Svintsyán (Švenčionys); in Kaunas for Chiune Sugihara; remembering Lietukis Garage
And in Vilnius: Ponár memorial ceremony; launch of the new Ona Shimaite Street; Yivo 90th anniversary conference; conference on antisemitism (plus: reply to neo-Nazis’ reaction to our report); Ruta Vanagaite’s conference on Holocaust issues; Rothschild Conference on Jewish Cemeteries: preview and postview (but no eyewitness report — DH not allowed in to “sealed” event)
29 October 2015
Triumphant Press Release on Conclusion of Rothschild’s Jewish Cemeteries Conference Whitewashes Lithuanian Gov. Plan to Desecrate Old Jewish Cemetery with $25,000,000 Convention Center
UPDATE: ROTHSCHILD FOUNDATION ASPECTS (DH SECTION)
One-Sided Conference had Nobody to Represent Second Opinion; Massive International Opposition Remained Terra Incognita to Delegates
Conference press release invokes summaries of views of major foreign heritage specialists who took part in the conference. But their own statements awaited. Click here for a directory of opponents, including Holocaust survivors, heritage specialists and others in Vilnius whom delegates would have enjoyed hearing out.
The official conference summary wholly omits what is actually planned for the site: a $25,000,000 convention center where tens of thousands will cheer, clap, drink at bars and use toilets surrounded by thousands of Jewish graves spanning half a millennium (not the treatment given to Lithuanian Christian cemeteries where thousands of great scholars are buried). It is potentially the worst state-sponsored cemetery desecration in recent history. Observations of chief rabbi, EU president, protestant pastor, Vilna Holocaust survivor, Jewish resident, Kaunas synagogue, Litvak rabbis’ groups, and groups representing thousands of others.
What the chief rabbi said, and why he was recently dismissed. Why did the conference not hear from him too (even by skype)? Old Vilna humor returns with a vengeance as authorities look for a new chief rabbi who needs to have a most unusual qualification for the job. More here.
22 October 2015
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė Completes Official Visit to Israel
Hopes Dashed She Would Announce Cancellation of “Vilnius Convention Center in the Old Jewish Cemetery” and Promise to Remove Public Memorials for Holocaust Collaborators
Leading international NGO dedicated to Jewish cemetery preservation appealed directly to Lithuania’s president after her moving visit to Yad Vashem (in Matzav.com)
President intimated to questioner that neo-Nazi marches in major cities don’t use Nazi symbols. Is the swastika (legalized in Lithuania in 2010) a Nazi symbol? See eyewitness reports and photos of recent years’ marches. But does the president sing a different tune to local journalists?
ISRAELI HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS AND THEIR FAMILIES HOPED ISRAEL WOULD POLITELY BRING UP THE URGENT NEED FOR APOLOGIES TO DEFAMED SURVIVORS AND PARTISAN HEROES, INCLUDING THREE OF ITS OWN CITIZENS: YITZHAK ARAD; JOSEPH MELAMED; AND RACHEL MARGOLIS (1921-2015)
SHE BROUGHT ALONG ECONOMY MINISTER: DID ANY JOURNALIST ASK HIM IF COUNTRY’S TOP ANTISEMITIC, RACIST, HOMOPHOBIC BLOG-ARTIST IS STILL HIGH OFFICIAL AT THE MINISTRY? (SAMPLES)
FALLOUT CONTINUES FROM 30 SEPTEMBER ANTISEMITISM CONFERENCE IN VILNIUS
Jerusalem Post. Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson. Defending History’s preview and eyewitness report / op-ed (Russian translation). Vilma Fiokla Kiurė’s op-ed.
Neo-Nazi Blogger “Zeppelinus” reacts to DH report. Who is he? Seems he hasn’t liked our editor for a while now. But is the nation’s major purveyor of racist, antisemitic, misogynist, and homophobic hate really a high official at the Ministry of the Economy?
Chaim Bargman, Noted Jewish History Guide from Kaunas, is Prevented by Police from Attending Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony
INCIDENT OCCURRED AT UKMERGĖ (VÍLKOMIR), WHERE BARGMAN AND COMPANION WERE HEADING FOR COMMEMORATION AT FOREST MASS GRAVE FOR UP TO TEN THOUSAND JEWS OF THE REGION SLAUGHTERED IN 1941. DISTURBINGLY, THE TOWN CONTINUES TO DEDICATE A SQUARE TO THE MEMORY OF A NOTORIOUS HOLOCAUST PERPETRATOR.
2 October 2015
Litvaks Everywhere Mark the Gaon of Vilna’s 218th Yórtsayt
Eylióhu ben Shlèyme-Zálmen (Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman, 1720−1797)
19 Tíshrey 5776 / 2 October 2015; Some background reading
1 October 2015
Vilnius Conference on “Antisemitism, Radicalization and Violent Extremism” Includes Nothing on Current Issues of Antisemitism in Lithuania or Discussion of Solutions
YET ANOTHER EEA SPONSORED “JEWISH LITHUANIA” EVENT WITHOUT A SINGLE LITHUANIAN BORN JEW IN ATTENDANCE
Defending History’s Preview and Eyewitness Report; Vilma Fiokla Kiurė’s Report
Neo-Nazi Blogger “Zeppelinus” reacts to DH report. Who is he? Seems he hasn’t liked our editor for quite some time… DH’s reply
One of the keynote morning speakers (amateur video) at the 30 Sept. conference, known for his documentary films that ignore the alleged Holocaust atrocities of “heroes” as well as for his incessant Israel-baiting (and of late association with far-right antisemitic Ukrainian nationalists), proposes solving Mideast issues and local antisemitism at once by “bringing the Palestinians to Vilnius, Jerusalem of the North” [!]. Israeli ambassador boldly calls him out (see from timecode 13:17) for “rewriting history” of Israel’s struggles. The organizer, the “Human Rights Monitoring Institute” has record of ignoring antisemitism and failing to even mildly protest neo-Nazi marches in city centers on independence days or the abuse of prosecutorial power to harass Lithuanian truth-tellers about the Holocaust and local antisemitism.
CONFERENCE FEATURED EXCELLENT PRESENTATIONS ON HISTORY OF THE HOLOCAUST IN GENERAL, ANTISEMITISM IN GENERAL, AND ISSUES OF ISLAMIST RADICALIZATION IN WESTERN EUROPE. DANGERS OF THE FAR RIGHT DISCUSSED BY SPEAKERS FROM HUNGARY AND NORWAY, IGNORED OR PLASTERED OVER FOR LITHUANIA.
22 September 2015
22 September 2015
Ponár (Paneriai) Commemoration on Lithuania’s Annual Holocaust Day is Dejudaicized Even More in “Nationalist Takeover of Litvak Heritage”: No Rabbi, No Cantor, No Kaddish
But ethnic Lithuanian costume and song are featured at the mass grave of Vilna Jewry. Honor guard with bayoneted rifles was a questionable touch.
There were well-received speeches by (among others) Jewish community chairperson Faina Kukliansky; MP Emanuelis Zingeris; survivor and partisan hero Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky; and president of Beit Vilna in Tel Aviv, Mickey Kantor. There was a well-organized laying of stones by schoolchildren at the main monument.
The Israeli ambassador’s speech was considered a disappointment by some survivors in attendance. There was no mention of the recent death of Dr. Rachel Margolis (1921-2015), an Israeli-Lithuanian citizen, and Vilna Ghetto and anti-Nazi partisan hero. She discovered and published Kazimierz Sakowicz’s long lost eyewitness diary revealing the gruesome truth about Ponár. She dreamt of one last trip to her native Vilna but was intimidated by the prosecutors’ campaign of defamation against her and other Jewish partisan heroes. It was a sharp and painful contrast with the stirring and unforgettable words of the late Israeli ambassador to the Baltics, Chen Ivri Apter. Margolis’s life was considered worthy of note by, among many others, Lithuania’s late president, Algirdas Brazauskas, former UK prime minister Gordon Brown, the ADL’s Abraham Foxman, the late Sir Martin Gilbert, a British House of Lords member, and five members of the US Congress.
20 September 2015
The Old Jewish Cemetery Gets Pretty Lively in Vilnius
Prime Minister, Assuring that Convention-Center-on-the-Jewish-Cemetery Will Feature “Conventions, Not Concerts” Wants Project to Mark Centennial of Nation’s Independence
RECENT REPORTS IN JERUSALEM POST, JTA, TIMES OF ISRAEL, i24
INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION COMES FROM TOP LITVAK RABBIS, JEWISH LEADERS AND VILNIUS RESIDENTS AND SCIONS, INCLUDING HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, ORTHODOX KASHRUTH SPECIALIST, URBAN PLANNING PROFESSOR, VILNA GAON SPECIALIST, CHIEF RABBI (THEREAFTER SACKED FOR HIS VIEWS) AND PROTESTANT PASTOR
PAPER TRAIL ♦ OPPOSITION TO DATE ♦ HIGH INTRIGUE ♦ DH SECTION ♦ WIKILEAKS ON EARLIER PAYMENTS TO THE ONE GROUP OF “AGREEABLE” HASIDIC RABBIS IN LONDON, THEMSELVES ROUNDLY OVERRULED BY THE CHIEF SATMAR COURT IN NEW YORK CITY AND THE CRC
IS THE COMMITTEE CHOOSING THE NEW CHIEF RABBI REALLY BOUND TO ENSURE HE WILL BE “GOVERNMENT MAN” AND SUPPORT A $25,000,000 CONVENTION CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY’S OLD JEWISH CEMETERY? DE-LEGITIMIZED FROM DAY ONE?
INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION ♦ PAPER TRAIL ♦ HIGH INTRIGUE ♦ RECENT REPORTS IN THE JERUSALEM POST, JTA AND TIMES OF ISRAEL
Professor Sid Leiman explains Jewish law on cemeteries and gives sweeping history of Vilna’s Old Jewish Cemetery and the repeated attempts to abuse its land. He is author of the classic study on who is buried in the Gaon of Vina’s mausoleum and is a world expert on Vilna’s Jewish heritage who has generously assisted projects in Lithuania’s Jewish community for decades.
15 September 2015
Israel Faced Some Delicate Post-Holocaust Issues During Lithuanian PM’s September Visit
Efraim Zuroff asked in the Jerusalem Post that the Baltic state’s campaign to revise Holocaust history — and its plans to plonk a convention center in the middle of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery — be on the table; Zuroff’s post-visit article in i24
AFTER MEETING NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER BUTKEVICIUS GLOATS TO MEDIA THAT ISRAEL DOESN’T OBJECT TO THE “GRAVEYARD CONVENTION CENTER” DESPITE INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION; JTA REPORT; IN THE JERUSALEM POST
CAMPAIGN AGAINST JEWISH PARTISANS NOT EVEN MENTIONED? Does Israel betray its own citizens by not asking apologies for the World War II heroes Yitzhak Arad, (the late) Rachel Margolis and Joseph Melamed? Arad and Melamed are heroes of Israel’s 1948 war of independence. Will there now be a public apology on the prosecutors’ page that still defames him [as PDF] and from the “Human Rights Association”? Apologies to Israeli citizens Rachel Margolis and Joseph Melamed? The 2009 Leivick House (Tel Aviv) speech of the late Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter. What does Dr. Arad think?
BUT PM DECRIED “DOUBLE GENOCIDE” IN PUBLIC (JP REPORT). HE WILL HOPEFULLY FOLLOW UP AT HOME ON STREET NAMES AND PUBLIC HONORS FOR HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS [CURRENT DEBATE]; OVERDUE APOLOGIES TO JEWISH PARTISANS; RAPID REFORM OR ABOLITION OF GENOCIDE CENTER AND RED-BROWN COMMISSION — AND REPUDIATION OF THE PRAGUE DECLARATION. NEO-NAZI PARADES ON INDEPENDENCE DAYS?
RECENT MEDIA: Slate. The Forward. Jerusalem Post. JTA. Times of Israel.
6 September 2015
At Long Last, Rokiškis (Yiddish: Rákishok; Rákeshik), Town in Northeastern Lithuania, Erects Memorial to Aspect of Its Jewish Past
Mayor unveils trilingual plaque for three (destroyed) synagogues. Before the war, they were painted in the colors of the Lithuanian flag to express civic loyalty
4 September 2015
1 September 2015
Latest in JTA: in the Jerusalem Post: first, second, third article; in Defending History; Everywhere; A Tale of High Intrigue. But anonymous editorial on Jewish community [!?] website makes fun of those who believe cemetery’s sanctity is violated by a $25,000,000 convention center with further plans for circuses and hotels, claiming that a “garbage dump”, “drugs” and “graffiti” [?!] are the only alternatives… Why was chief rabbi fired? Are the names Soloveitchik, Kotler, Feinstein, Kamenetzkty still dear to Litvaks? Motke Chabad on criteria for new chief rabbi…
“It’s because of the Holocaust that the thousands of deceased — spanning 500 years of Vilna Jewish history — who lie in the old Jewish cemetery at Piramónt (Šnipiškės) in today’s Vilnius have no descendants to stand up for the integrity of their final resting place. The cheers, hoorahs, drinks and washrooms at conventions — all surrounded by graves — would be a blister on the city’s reputation for the next century. It sure wouldn’t happen at a Christian cemetery. Is this what the mayor wants to be remembered for? Fight this one for our beautiful city Vilnius!”
BUT GROUP OF NON-LITVAK ULTRA-ORTHODOX LONDON RABBIS issues a 1 Sept. Hebrew proclamation supporting CPJCE, signed by Rabbis E. Schlesinger; A.D. Dunner; Z. Feldman; J. Padwa; B. Bloom; E. Shechter; S. Lew; J.B. Wosner; M.C.E. Padwa. Did they understand what they were signing? Have they seen the unanimous judgments of rabbis internationally? Do they really feel comfortable blessing a convention center surrounded by thousands of Vilna Jewish graves in the face of the judgments issued by top Litvak Rabbis Feinstein, Kotler, Kamenetsky and Soloveitchik (and remarkably, by the highest Satmar hasidic court too)? Would they wish to know about a Vilna Holocaust survivor’s view, or that of an Orthodox woman, both lifetime members of the Jewish community in Vilnius?
DEMANDS FOR TRANSPARENCY: In 2009, the CPJCE demanded US $100,000 (in supervision fees) for some “beautification” and “exploratory digging” on the old Vilna cemetery. What are their fees this time around, for supervising a $25,000,000 convention center?
A TALE OF HIGH INTRIGUE. CHRONOLOGY OF MISADVENTURES.
APPEALS TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
“US COMMISSION FOR PRESERVATION OF AMERICA’S HERITAGE ABROAD” MAINTAINS A DISCONCERTING SILENCE (AFTER DOCUMENTED CONFLICTS OF INTEREST) AS LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT’S STALWARTS CLAIM TO AGAIN MANIPULATE IT (WITH DISINFORMATION?). ONE COMMISSION MEMBER JOINS DELEGATION TO NY CONSULATE TO “THANK” GOV. FOR “SAVING THE CEMETERY”. MEANWHILE, JERUSALEM POST EXPOSES PAYMENTS TO RABBIS WHO APPROVE BUILDING ON VILNA’S OLD JEWISH CEMETERY. FOLLOWED BY EXPOSURE OF “MONEY FOR GRAVES” BY JTA.
WHAT ARE THE VIEWS OF THE NEW “HERITAGE COMMISSION”? (ENG); WHAT ARE THE VIEWS OF “THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION”?
Litvak Rabbis Visit Vilnius to Plea for Cancellation of Plan to Put New Convention Center in City’s Old Jewish Cemetery
They are received by deputy chancellor, mayor of Vilnius, head of Jewish Community
MEDIA: BNS’S “MISLEADING” REPORT ON THE RABBIS’ ACTUAL MESSAGE (BNS’S CORRECTED VERSION); THE RABBIS’ OWN PRESS RELEASE; REPORT IN HAPÉLES; JERUSALEM POST; THE YESHIVA WORLD.
Litvak-Hasidic Solidarity: Judgment by Satmar Rabbinical Court in Brooklyn (with Rebbe’s Signature) is Released for Publication after Top Litvak Rabbis in the United States (including Feinstein and Kotler) and in Israel (with Soloveitchik and Landa) Issue their Own Condemnation of Lithuanian Government’s Plan for $25,000,000 Convention Center Surrounded by Thousands of Vilna Jewish Graves
Chief Rabbi of Lithuania Chaim Burshtein is Dismissed Following Opposition to Government’s Convention-Center Plans for Old Jewish Cemetery
NEO-NAZI ACTIVIST “ZEPPELINUS” URGES HEAD OF JEWISH COMMUNITY TO FOLLOW SUIT WITH EXPULSION OF DH EDITOR; HIS EARLIER PRODUCTIONS; IDENTITY; RACIST HATE CAMPAIGN; EARLIER IN 2015
THE EU DIMENSION:
European Union Spokesperson Explains that Millions in EU “Structural Funds” for “Convention Center in the Jewish Cemetery” may be Decided by Lithuania’s Finance Ministry
Grant Arthur Gochin in the Jerusalem Post on Memorials for Holocaust Perpetrator J. Noreika in Central Vilnius
Liberal Lithuanian intellectuals petitioning city’s mayor for removal of shrines. But nationalist media considers the very discussion to be “a Russian plot”. Focus of debate is an obscure plaque but main Noreika shrine in the capital is towering engraved stone (above) on the “Genocide Museum” on Gedimino Boulevard, a stone’s throw from parliament.
Meanwhile, Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė reports on her efforts with mayor of Kaunas on street names for another killer. See also the Evaldas Balčiūnas section.
6 July 2015
Vilna, 28 October 1921 — Rehovot, 6 July 2015
≡≡ NEWS ≡≡
Daniel Brook in Slate on “Double Genocide: Lithuania Wants to Erase History of Nazi Collaboration — by Accusing Jewish Partisans who Fought the Germans of War Crimes” [PS: State Red-Brown Commission’s Stand on the Holocaust Recently Reaffirmed]
Defending History Calls for Removal of Street Names and Public Shrines to Nazi Collaborators in the Baltics
Also: Vilna Holocaust Survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg in The Times of Israel; Ken Slade’s Poem: The “Former” Grave-Place
Some “Jewish Decisions” Face Vilnius’s New Mayor:
♦ Will he remove street names, plaques and memorials for Nazi collaborators and Holocaust perpetrators? BACKGROUND
♦ What does he think of some parliamentarians’ efforts to make the former “Jerusalem of Lithuania” host to June 23rd 2016 75th anniversary celebrations of the effective onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust?
♦ Is the middle of the old Jewish cemetery really the right place for the new $25,000,000 convention center? BACKGROUND
Why did Lithuania’s Prime Minister Entertain Non-Litvak (“Galitsyáner”) Rabbis from London to “Permit” a $25,000,000 Convention Center Project in the Heart of the old Vilna Jewish Cemetery?
All three Vilnius rabbis were excluded from the conversation. And — an international (secular) “Heritage Commission” was set up to save Jewish cemeteries…
“In my view, it is a bad idea for our old cemetery to be the foundation for a convention center where people will be cheering, dancing, jumping, singing, and drinking in the convention center’s bars.”
— Professor Pinchos Fridberg (Vilnius Holocaust Survivor)
“Would these building projects be pursued if the cemeteries in question were the resting places of Catholics, Protestant Christians, or other non-Jewish people?”
— Pastor Michael Maass (Director of the Lithuanian Branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem)
Inspiring Voices of Courage from Lithuania
Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis ♦ Evaldas Balčiūnas ♦ Saulius Beržinis ♦ Milan Chersonski ♦ Algis Davidavičius ♦ Leonidas Donskis ♦ Pinchos Fridberg ♦ Vilma Fiokla Kiurė ♦ Rachel Kostanian ♦ Faina Kukliansky ♦ Andrius Kulikauskas ♦ Michael & Fausta Maass ♦ Julius Norwilla ♦ Rūta Vanagaitė ♦ Geoff Vasil ♦ Tomas Venclova ♦ Lina Žigelytė
Do EU/NATO Countries in Eastern Europe Really Want to Celebrate Anniversaries of Outbreak of the Holocaust?
23 June 2016: Lithuanian Parliament Publishes MP’s Proposal for Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust as Supposed Glorious Uprising against the Soviets (who were running from the Nazis’ Barbarossa invasion, not from the Jew-killers)
♦ Last time around (70th anniversary in 2011) ♦ Jewish community’s reaction ♦ Leonidas Donskis’s reaction ♦ Reburial of the “hero” in 2012 ♦ Revival of the old Liekis proposals? ♦ All to be covered by PR Judaic-Yiddish jamborees? ♦ This year’s official initiative comes from the Homeland Union Conservatives
רחל מאַרגאָליס (מַרְגָלִית) ז″ל
Vilna, 28 October 1921 — Rehovot, 6 July 2015
About Rachel Margolis: Shimon Alperovich, Algirdas Brazauskas, Gordon Brown, Abraham Foxman, Steinar Gil, Martin Gilbert, Chen Ivri Apter, Dovid Katz (Y), Francois Laumonier, NCSJ, Geoff Vasil. UK House of Lords, 5 US Congressmen, 9 Western ambassadors in Vilnius.
Left her safe haven with righteous Christians to join her family in the Vilna Ghetto. Joined the Jewish underground anti-Nazi resistance. Witness to creation of the Yiddish partisan hymn.
Escaped to join the partisans and fought valiantly against the Nazis in the forests of Lithuania. The only one in her family to survive the Holocaust.
Volunteered for the short-lived Jewish museum after the war.
Dedicated half a century to Biology, as PhD and professor, at Vilnius University.
Helped establish the Green House Holocaust museum in Vilnius. Rediscovered, deciphered and published Kazimierz Sakowicz’s diary of Ponár. Author of a remarkable memoir. Beloved guide, lecturer and teacher on Jewish Vilna and the Holocaust. A beloved lecturer at the Vilnius Summer Program in Yiddish untl prosecutors’ threats prevented her coming in 2008 and beyond. Will there be a session honoring her at this summer’s program? Will students be told about her accomplishments?
Target of a campaign of defamation by Vilnius prosecutors, the “Lithuanian Human Rights Association” and other far-right Holocaust-revisionist elites. In 2009, she was excluded from the Jerusalem Book Fair, and betrayed by Indiana University’s Bloomington-Borns Yiddish program at a Jerusalem conference exposed as sham by Prof. Dov Levin. In 2011, Yivo shunned her at its Vilna Ghetto memorial events, preferring to honor the then antisemitic foreign minister of Lithuania.
At 90, she was afraid to return to her beloved Vilna for one last visit she yearned for. The Lithuanian government refused to reach out to her, its ambassadors in Israel would not acknowledge her, while prosecutors repeated threats of kangaroo “war crimes investigation” (most recently for the record in the 2012 documentary “Rewriting History“).
The government of Lithuania forfeited a precious chance to cap the 700 year Jewish history in the country on a more noble note than police coming to look for Dr. Rachel Margolis in Vilnius…
MORE INFORMATION AND TRIBUTES:
RACHEL MARGOLIS FACT SHEET ♦ FORMER UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN ♦ 5 MEMBERS OF THE US CONGRESS ♦ ACADEMIC STUDIES PRESS ♦ KEENE STATE COLLEGE ♦ SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE ♦ LORD JANNER OF BRAUNSTONE ♦ LATE LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER ALGIRDAS BRAZAUSKAS ♦ ISRAELI AMBASSADOR CHEN IVRI APTER ♦ ADL DIRECTOR ABRAHAM FOXMAN ♦ NCSJ ♦ METRO WEST HOLOCAUST COUNCIL ♦ LEIVICK HOUSE TEL AVIV ♦ JEWISH CHRONICLE ♦ ALGEMEINER JOURNAL (& 2) ♦ RACHEL MARGOLIS.COM
Coverage in Defending History:
OVERVIEWS HERE & HERE; 7 MAY 2008; 19 JUNE 2009; 28 OCTOBER 2009; 27 JANUARY 2010; 28 OCTOBER 2010; 3 JANUARY 2011; 5 MAY 2011; 28 AUGUST 2011; 23 SEPTEMBER 2011.
Protests Mount over $25,000,000 Convention Center Project in Heart of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery
Protestant Pastor Asks if Such a Fate Would be In Store for a Christian Cemetery? Second Pastor Calls on Vilnius Mayor to Act
Discrimination Also Noted by Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada
ONE YEAR AGO THE U.S. CONGRESS PASSED LEGISLATION PROTECTING FOREIGN CEMETERIES OF MINORITIES UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT
BUT HAS THE U.S. COMMISSION TO PROTECT HERITAGE ABROAD NOW BEEN COMPROMISED IN THE VILNIUS CEMETERY FRACAS?
Jewish Protests Mount: Chief Rabbi of Lithuania; Holocaust Survivor in Vilnius; Vilna Gaon Synagogue in Tel Aviv; Litvak Heads of Yeshivas in Israel; Dr. Bernard Fryshman (CAPJC); Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Rabbi Shmuel Jacob Feffer, President of World HaGró (Gaon of Vilna) Center, Coeditor of 70 Gaon Books, Issues Rabbinic Judgment on Convention Center Plans
Vilnius Holocaust Survivor and Protestant Pastor Speak Out
Ukrainian Ultranationalists’ Poster with Swastikas & Other Hitlerist Icons in Weston-on-Trent in Derbyshire, England
SEE ALSO: UKRAINE UPDATES BELOW; MEDIA TRACKER; DH SECTION
Why is the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Afraid to Tell its Audience About the Nazi Career of its Featured Composer?
Vilnius: Right-Wing Parliamentarians Try Again to Make June 23rd — Onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust by Local “Patriots” — Into National Day of Celebration
June 23rd 2016 will mark the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Holocaust in dozens of Lithuanian towns. The Soviet army was fleeing Hitler’s invasion of 22 June 1941 (the largest invasion in human history), not the LAF murderers, but some nationalists, antisemites, Double Genociders and far-right revisionists want to turn Holocaust perpetrators into “anti-Soviet rebels.” See details from the last time around, the 70th anniversary of 2011. Defending History was there to cover it all: The events, the LAF’s intentions, the Jewish Community’s response, the government attempts to play double games. See also Brandišauskas’s classic critique of an earlier attempt by Liekis to turn the reign of Hitlerist terror into a glorious chapter of modern history.
Some East European Elites Seem to Need to Honor Holocaust Collaborators (while wooing the West as well)
8 May 2015
Lithuania’s President and Entourage Lay Wreaths at Ponár on May 8th…
“Equally” at Monuments for Jewish, Lithuanian and Polish Victims, but Skipping the Stone Commemorating the 7,514 Red Army Prisoners of Various Nationalities Starved and Murdered at the Site.
The Lithuanian monument bewreathed on May 8th is not for Lithuanian civilians or anti-Nazis, but for a group of volunteers for pro-Nazi service who were then shot for alleged desertion. The one Jewish MP paid tribute there as well.
May 8th (Western Europe) and May 9th (Eastern Europe) Commemorate the Allied Victory over Hitler in Europe. But the government’s commemoration activities offered zero mention of the sacrifices of the forces that defeated Hitler and brought an end to the genocide at Ponár.
ANOTHER SHOCK FOR VETERANS AND SURVIVORS, AND FOR OBSERVERS OF THE CAMPAIGN TO USURP THE MASS MURDER SITE OF VILNA JEWRY — AND THE HOLOCAUST — FOR CURRENT POLITICAL ENDS
But no government officials turned up at the later event commemorating Jewish partisans and war veterans at the Jewish cemetery
Lithuanian Government’s New Jewish Heritage Commission Completes First Meeting
Sincere Efforts on Preserving Cemeteries and Mass Graves Reported; Real Progress Seen in Central Government Efforts to Overcome Local Resistance
But Painful Issues Ignored Include the Sinking Last Jewish Partisan Fort where Vilna Ghetto Survivors Defied the Nazis and their Collaborators; Humiliated Gravestones in Church Steps and School’s Garden Walls; State’s Memorials for Holocaust Collaborators
In Response to Several Commissioners’ Requests, Defending History Published List of Twelve Urgent Material Heritage Issues
Rumors in Vilnius on “PR Commission Replacement”: Defending History Campaign Challenging Red-Brown Commission Resulted in New, Commission “Replacing It” as Public Face of Gov.-Jewish Affairs; Red-Brown Commission’s Website Dark Since April 17th, as Latest Slur on Holocaust Survivors Appears on Youtube
Press Release Mentions Politically Explosive Foreigners’ Demands for Changes in Citizenship and Private Property Restitution Laws
4 May 2015
On Eve of Commission Meeting, Protestant Clergyman Called for Rapid and Dignified Removal of Church Steps Made of Looted Jewish Gravestones at Central Vilnius Church (Pylimo St. 18); Commission Silent on Issue
3 May 2015
Rūta Vanagaitė, Lithuanian Author and Cultural Icon, Publishes Bold Article on History Education and Popular Antisemitism
Article followed her April 17 conference; Then, Vanagaitė teamed up with Jewish community’s Simon Gurevich to debate opponents on Lithuanian TV’s “The Naked Truth” on May 4. One of them was J. Panka, leader of annual neo-Nazi march in Kaunas that flaunts banner of a major Nazi collaborator.
22 April 2015
Moment of Truth at Ponár
German Film Makers Release Clip from New Documentary:
Vilnius “Red-Brown Commission” Boss on Beloved Vilna Ghetto Survivor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, in Interview at Mass Murder Site Ponár (Paneriai)
ALSO MENTIONS IN BRIEF SOME CORE PRINCIPLES OF “DOUBLE GENOCIDE” AND HIS SEARCH FOR “ALL KINDS OF PERPETRATORS”
Commission — officially “The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes” — is a Lithuanian government sponsored unit with a record of irksome conflict.
Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja), who turns 93 next month, lost her entire family in the Holocaust. She is one of a number of Jewish partisan heroes publicly defamed by Lithuanian prosecutors for years. No charges were ever filed against any, and “investigations” were dropped in the face of international reaction. But in the absence of written apologies, defamation continues apace into the history books.
Other Holocaust survivors defamed include: Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Professor Pinchos Fridberg, Dr. Rachel Margolis, Attorney Joseph Melamed.
BUT IN SHOCK TO YIDDISH AND HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR CIRCLES, DIRECTOR OF N.Y. YIVO, FOUNDED IN VILNA 90 YEARS AGO, REMAINS A MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION, AND DEFENDS IT IN JEWISH MEDIA. OTHER FOREIGN JEWISH MEMBERS JOINED UP, AT TIMES UNDER POLITICAL PRESSURE. SOME HAVE RECEIVED PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS. A VILNA HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR APPEALED TO YIVO’S DIRECTOR IN VILNA YIDDISH (AUDIO).
9 April 2015
20 March 2015
Attempts to “Fix” Holocaust History with Far Right’s “Double Genocide” Politics?
Vilnius Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg dares challenge the state-sponsored “red-brown commission” that supports the Prague Declaration. His audio recording in Vilna Yiddish of an open letter to director of Yivo in NY. Text of full correspondence in English [DH] (+reprint [OLC]), Russian [Mi Zdes] (+ reprints in Shofar & Obzor), Yiddish [Forverts].
European taxpayers’ money squandered by traveling exhibits to downgrade the Holocaust by mix-n-match with Soviet crimes? Geoff Vasil reviews exhibit.
While a real Holocaust exhibit in Paris, for UNESCO, is vetoed by Latvia? Latest from Paris.
Free thought in East European academia: Dissenters to “Double Genocide” dismissed, then accused of being non-academics? Coming soon: Prof. Michael Shafir’s “Deflection and Obfuscation.” Also: Times of Israel report.
16 March 2015
In the East of EU-NATO-Land: Again, Latvian Authorities Grant Riga Old Town and its “Liberty Monument” on March 16th to 1500 Worshippers of Hitler’s Waffen SS Latvian Divisions
All Waffen SS members swore an oath to Adolf Hitler, some were recycled Holocaust killers. Lithuania’s far-right leaders J. Panka and R. Čekutis, fresh from neo-Nazi march in Vilnius, were on hand as honored guests; British neo-Nazis came for the event. For the second year in a row, the prime minister forbade ministers from attending. The antisemite who went around seeking Jewish observers to “enlighten” them (video).
Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Efraim Zuroff leads a silent, peaceful protest of Just 2 (SWC and Defending History)
But his words at event are reported around the globe (including ABC News, Arutz Sheva, London Daily Mail, Der Spiegel, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Yahoo News). SWC’s statement. Photo gallery by Delfi.lv.
Dr. Zuroff’s one-month odyssey took him to all four far-right or pro-Nazi events in the Baltics: Kaunas Feb 16, Tallinn Feb 24, Vilnius March 11, and Riga March 16.
Separate protest by “Latvia Without Nazism” was allowed after event’s conclusion, with members carrying symbolic fumigation gear to Liberty Monument after Waffen SS admirers’ departure. Monica Lowenberg’s international petition reaches 6700 mark.
12 March 2015
Latest Poster from “Zeppelinus” Who is Alleged to be High Official at Lithuania’s Economy Ministry
NEWEST EFFORT MOCKS LOVE OF COUNTRY BY ROMA, LEFTISTS, JEWS, BLACKS, POLES AND LGBT. SELECTION OF EARLIER PRODUCTIONS HERE. “FULL DISCLOSURE” — HE HAS ALSO DEDICATED MONTAGES TO DH EDITOR.
Will the “Human Rights Monitoring Institute” maintain its usual silence? Where are The Bagels?
The poster’s theme, mocking the inclusivist “Lithuania for Everybody [visiems]” (the common reply to the neo-Nazis’ “Lithuania for Lithuanians” [Lietuviams]) is taken from the courageous anti-Nazi demonstration by the head of the Union of Jewish Students in Lithuania at the city-center neo-Nazi event allowed by authorities on the nation’s independence day. See next story.
11 March 2015
1,500 Neo-Nazis and Far-Right Extremists Again Given Vilnius’s Main Boulevard on Nation’s March 11th Independence Day; They Parade from Cathedral Square to Nation’s Parliament with Fascist Symbols and Chants of “Lietuva Lietuviams” (Lithuania for [Pure] Lithuanians)
STATEMENTS FROM PRECEDING DAYS; FOLLOWING THE EVENT: JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LITHUANIA’S STATEMENT AND REPORT; SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER; GEOFF VASIL IN DH
Flag with Swastika Hoisted Outside Nation’s Parliament for Over an Hour
For First Time, Leaders of Jewish Community, Including Chairperson Faina Kukliansky, and Jewish Student Union Come Out to Monitor and Protest the Vilnius March; Community Issues Statement; But No Sign of “Human Rights Monitoring Institute” or Bagels.
Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Efraim Zuroff Leads Group of Seven Protesters in Partnership with Defending History; Part of Zuroff’s One Month Odyssey to All Four Baltic Neo-Nazi Events; SWC Statement; Photo galleries by Julius Norwilla and by Bill Pahl.
Three Down, One to Go, in Efraim Zuroff’s Odyssey to the Baltic Month of Neo-Nazi Marches: (1) Kaunas, 16 February: MONITORED; (2) Tallinn, 24 February: MONITORED; (3) Vilnius, 11 March: THE MAYOR? HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORS? (4) Riga, 16 March: PETITION.
Scenes from the day….
From the monitors…
16 February 2015
Wiesenthal Center – Defending History Team of 12 Monitors & Protests Kaunas Independence Day Neo-Nazi March
MARCH FEATURED LONG SERIES OF FASCIST-STYLE TAUNTS OF LIETUVA LIETUVIAMS (“LITHUANIA FOR [ETHNIC] LITHUANIANS”) ALONG WITH SWASTIKAS, OTHERFASCIST SYMBOLS AND A HUGE BANNER OF THE 1941 NAZI PUPPET PM WHO COLLABORATEDIN THE DESTRUCTION OF HIS CITY’S CITIZENS WHO WERE JEWISH. MAYOR’S OFFICE GAVE PERMITS FOR CITY CENTER TRAVESTY ON NATION’S INDEPENDENCE DAY.
ZERO PUBLIC REACTION FROM GOV. OFFICIALS OR DOMESTIC HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS. THE WIESENTHAL CENTER, DEFENDING HISTORY AND THE COUNTRY’S JEWISH COMMUNITY TO DATE THE ONLY PUBLIC VOICES.
Monitoring team was a project of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office in partnership with the Vilnius-based Defending History team.
Dozen protesters (vs. a march of up to 500) included five members of Lithuanian Jewish community (in private capacity), but no sign of any Bagels or other funded antisemitism (or human rights) monitors.
AFTER THE EVENT: JTA; Newsru.com; 15min.lt; Alfa.lt; Balsas.lt; Delfi.lt; Enlacejudío.com; EuropaUniversal; Faktai.lt; FB; Forward; ICEJ; Info.smi; Interfax; International Business Times; Israel Nachrichten; Jerusalem Post; JP (2); Jewish Community of Lithuania; Kauno diena; Lrt.lt; Lrytas.lt; Obzor; Newsru.co.il; News02elf; Radiojai.com.ar; RT; Shalom Life; Simon Wiesenthal Center; Strategic Culture Foundation; Times of Israel (French edition); Vilniaus diena; Ztis.cz.
RUN-UP TO THE EVENT: i24; Defending History (+ DH correspondence with mayor’s office; + SWC’s letter to the mayor).
PHOTO COLLECTIONS: Julius Norwilla; 15min.lt; Delfi.lt; Facebook; Kauno diena; Lrytas.lt; Vilniaus diena.
NEO-NAZI & FAR-RIGHT REACTION: DavidDuke.com; Daily Slave.com; LDiena.lt; LtNacionalistas; Nationalist Youth Union; J. Panka; Stormfront; Vyrud.livejournal; Zeppelinus 1 + Zeppelinus 2 + Zeppelinus 3. But who is Zeppelinus?
10 February 2015
Baltic Nazi-Glorifying Marching Season Underway
COME JOIN US IN KAUNAS, MONDAY 16 FEB. at 1 PM (1300), AT RAMYBĖS PARK, TO MONITOR, SILENTLY PROTEST, & REMEMBER THE CITY’S MORE THAN 30,000 MURDERED JEWISH CITIZENS.
WIESENTHAL CENTER’S EFRAIM ZUROFF FLYING IN TO MONITOR EVENT AND LEAD PEACEFUL PROTEST; HIS LETTER TO KAUNAS MAYOR; OBZOR; DELFI.LT; KAUNO DIENA; ALKAS.LT
DH’S CORRESPONDENCE WITH KAUNAS MAYOR’S OFFICE. FOR THE RECORD:ISRAELI HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS’ LETTER OF 2013.
Presidents, Mayors, Cardinals, Professors, Editors —
“A splendid opportunity for Baltic leaders to just speak up”
CITY-CENTER NEO-NAZI MARCHES THAT GLORIFY WARTIME HITLER COLLABORATORS NOW SCHEDULED FOR ALL THREE BALTIC STATES; ESTONIAN & LITHUANIAN EVENTS ARE ON NATIONS’ INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAYS
ESTONIA: TALLINN, FEBRUARY 24TH
LATVIA: RIGA, MARCH 16TH
LITHUANIA: KAUNAS, FEB. 16TH AND VILNIUS, MARCH 11TH
3 February 2015
Sir Martin Gilbert
25 October 1936 — 3 February 2015
MAGNIFICENT HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR, DEAR FRIEND, LOYAL AND UNDAUNTED CHAMPION OF HISTORIC TRUTH
Poetry Section is Launched with Work of Ken Slade (Kęstutis Sladkevičius) and Aleksandras Bosas
SEE ALSO PAGE AND SECTION HONORING LITHUANIAN CITIZENS WHO STAND UP AGAINST HOLOCAUST DENIAL / OBFUSCATION, RACISM AND ANTISEMITISM. PROPHET AMOS AWARDS.
27 January 2015
Historians Cite 2015 Relevance of the Seventy Years Declaration
AUSCHWITZ LIBERATION 70TH ANNIVERSARY: Efraim Zuroff, Joshua Tartakovsky, and Pinchos Fridberg argue that Russia’s president should have been there. Dovid Katz calls for “Double Genocide” to be refuted head-on. Channel 4’s report.
EYEWITNESS REPORT ON THREE REMEMBRANCE DAY EVENTS IN VILNIUS; ON THE THIRD EVENT FEATURING GENOCIDE CENTER OFFICIAL; JERUSALEM POST & MAKOR RISHON REPORTS ON EFRAIM ZUROFF’S STATEMENT, NOW POSTED ON WIESENTHAL CENTER SITE. RESPONSE BY LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY. COMMENT BY COMMUNITY’S CHAIRPERSON FAINA KUKLIANSKY.
23 January 2015
Lithuania: Will officials speak out against planned neo-Nazi and collaborator-glorifying events in Kaunas (Feb 16th) and Vilnius (March 11th)? After deputy foreign minister goes to Brussels to “fight antisemitism” Efraim Zuroff tweets, challenging him to denounce both neo-Nazi marches back home. Also: Melee on launch of Holocaust museum project miles from the city center
Latvia: Will the government stop gifting the capital’s center for the March 16th celebrations of the country’s Waffen SS?
USA: What happened to Rep. John Conyers’ amendment to the military appropriations bill? The incredible UN vote. Triumphant American tour of a documentary that glorifies a Nazi collaborator’s postwar activity without mentioning the “slight problem of 1941”…
Heat of Debate: Dan Lazare’s critique of Timothy Snyder’s alleged rubbishing of the anti-Nazi partisan resistance crops up in the “New Republic” fallout. Did the US State Dept. (via Vilnius embassy) pour money into SLS to influence the Holocaust history debates? On Poland & Ukraine: Gebert (2) and Katz in Jewish Review of Books. Have the Tides Foundation & George Soros been manipulated to support “rigged Holocaust discussions”?
News & Views. Human Rights. Opinion. Books. Poetry. Museums. Media. More.
21 January 2015
Freedom of Expression in France & at UNESCO
Simon Wiesenthal Center critiques the Latvian Government’s sabotage of exhibition that was supposed to open this week in the French capital
8 January 2015
President of the Czech Republic Breaks EU’s Wall of Silence on Ukrainian Gov’s Worship of Nazi-Era Fascists
“Unfortunately, I cannot congratulate Ukraine on such national heroes.”
More on Ukraine: Kiev center is scene of worshipful Bandera march on new year’s day; Jerusalem Post reports. Then, Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk explained that the “USSR invaded Germany and Ukraine” in World War II. Bryan Macdonald reports. William Blum in Foreign Policy Journal on US policy being “dumb and dumber”…
1 January 2015
New Book Poses Question for US and EU Foreign Policy. Should the West not demand, as matter of ethics, values and history, the abandonment of allies’ state glorification of major Holocaust collaborators?
22 November 2014
A Historic Low for US (and Canadian) Foreign Policy?
UN Resolution for “Combating Glorification of Nazism” Passes in General Assembly Committee (115 for, 3 against, with 55 abstentions)
Resolution, offered by Russia, seen as inherently flawed by Putinist machinations, Russia-Ukraine crisis & East-West feuding; EU abstains, as Baltic nationalists gloat (Delfi.lt)
STILL A SHOCK that three member states voted against: Ukraine, USA, Canada. Ukraine’s government recently made “heroes” of Nazi collaborators; catalogue of the last year.
Are unchecked Neo-Con politics behind the failure to Just Say No to the adulation of Nazi collaborators?
Media: Margaret Besheer in Voice of America; Joseph Brean in Canada’s National Post; Ken Hanly in Digital Journal; Dovid Katz in The Times of Israel; Ryan Maloney in Huffington Post; John Meinhold in In Serbia News; Jim Miles in CounterPunch; Boruch Shubert in JP Updates; Sam Sokol in the Jerusalem Post.
The Real Question: Should the US, UK, Canada, the EU and the rest of the free world not sponsor their own resolution combating the glorification of Nazism which is a real problem in the eastern EU and Ukraine?
TIME FOR THE UN TO LOOK AT THE SEVENTY YEARS DECLARATION?
Related: Why did US Congressman John Conyers’ amendment restricting aid to pro-Nazi groups in Ukraine fail to pass? Max Blumenthal’s (unproven) allegations.
Glorification of Nazism section; Street names and gloried reburial in Lithuania; Issues in Croatia, Czech Rep, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine
Meanwhile, a citizen of Lithuania speaks out on memorials for Nazi collaborators and state-sanctioned parades that glorify Hitler collaborators on nation’s independence day
20 November 2014
The Face of Roma in Vilnius
Does a Program of “Integration” Undermine the Roma Community in Lithuania’s Capital?
Related Defending History sections: Roma, Human Rights, Opinion
Seventy Years Declaration (SYD) Relaunched for 2015
PROF. DANNY BEN-MOSHE LAUNCHES DECLARATION’S NEW WEBSITE ◊ RELAUNCH FOR JANUARY 2015 HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY ON 70th ANNIVERSARY OF LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ ◊ NEED UNDERLINED BY THE BALTIC-NATIONALIST INSPIRED RESOLUTION SLIPPED INTO THE US CONGRESS LAST JUNE
Reports in JWire; JDU; SYD’s history in DH (a minister’s Hitler-Stalin moustache pronouncement; Vytenis Andriukaitis’s reply; Denis MacShane); Early media; in the film Rewriting History; In Dan Stone’s new book on postwar Europe; Facebook.
Defending History Brings Results…
For First Time, NY Yivo to Honor (on Dec. 17) a Holocaust Resistance Hero Defamed by Lithuania’s Prosecutors
HOPES RISE FOR LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT PUBLIC APOLOGY TO DR. YITZHAK ARAD, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, HERO OF THE ANTI-NAZI RESISTANCE AND ISRAEL’S WAR OF INDEPENDENCE, MAJOR HOLOCAUST SCHOLAR AND FORMER DIRECTOR OF YAD VASHEM
Dr. Arad is a victim of a state-sponsored campaign of defamation. When forced by international outcry to abandon their “pre-trial investigation,” prosecutors published a further defamatory page on their own website. It’s still there!
Defamation remains widespread on Wikipedia, on the web, in “academic” books, and by the “Lithuanian Human Rights [!] Association” (LHRA). Public apology in writing seen as only remedy.
Hopes rising Yivo director will quit the “red-brown commission” which Yitzhak Arad exposed in Defending History as a major engine of the Double Genocide movement in Europe and beyond. Yivo membership in the Commission is seen as a betrayal of Holocaust survivors and support for Prague Declaration (which is publicly supported by the commission). See Seventy Years Declaration for response.
צי האָט דער איצטיקער ניו⸗יאָרקער ייוואָ אינגאַנצן אַרויסגעוואָרפן יידיש פון דער היינטצייטיקער טעטיקייט? וואָס וואָלטן דערויף געזאָגט דינה אַבראַמאָוויטש, אוריאל וויינרייך, מאַקס וויינרייך, יודל מאַרק, חנה מלאָטעק, שלמה נאָבל, נחום סטוטשקאָוו, אברהם סוצקעווער, נח פּרילוצקי, זעליג⸗הירש קלמנאָוויטש, זלמן רייזען, צמח שאַבאַד, מרדכי שעכטער?
Five Holocaust survivors, and the year the campaign against each was launched by government units in Lithuania. From left to right: Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Dr. Rachel Margolis, Ms. Fania Brantsovsky, attorney Joseph Melamed, and physicist Professor Pinchos Fridberg. Many bold Lithuanian citizens have stood up to state-sponsored efforts to obfuscate the Holocaust via revisionist historiography.
Latvian for “Springtime for Hitler”?
Riga Jewish Heritage Guide Aleks Feigmanis and Wiesenthal Center’s Efraim Zuroff Blast New Musical that Glorifies a Holocaust Perpetrator; Associated Press Reports
THE SHOW’S NATIONAL TOUR STARTED ON OCTOBER 11
NEW YORK, 19 October 2014
“Klinghoffer” — A Dangerous Pattern of Abuse of Drama to Downgrade Murder and Genocide?
Glorification of the local perpetrators of the Holocaust is a problem in many of the pro-Western countries of Eastern Europe
KIEV, 14 October 2014
Ukrainian Parliament’s Debate on Glorifying World War II Hitlerist Nationalists Ends in Disarray
Mainstream Western Media Mostly Ignores the News (but see: Sunday Times)
In a September tweet, Ukraine’s president said UPA fighters were an “example of heroism.” It was a prelude to the scheduled Oct. 14th debate in parliament on declaring Hitler’s executioners in Ukraine to be “freedom fighters.” When violence broke out on the 14th outside the national parliament, the Western media, including the BBC, whitewashed the Hitler-era Holocaust perpetrators being glorified by Ukraine’s nationalist leaders.
But the UPA, OUN and the Banderists were pro-Nazi, racist, antisemitic militias infamous for mass murders of civilians during the Holocaust. See: Yad Vashem. Yitzhak Arad. John-Paul Himka. Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe. Per Anders Rudling.
Presumably, nobody forced Ukraine’s president in 2014 to tweet on “that matter of history” from over 70 years ago? He came out with even worse at a press conference, before going on to proclaim a national independence holiday based on the fascist UPA’s sacred date.
RELATED COVERAGE: Foreign Policy, Guardian, International Business Times, London Jewish Chronicle, The Nation (II), NBC News, Telegraph, The Hill, Washington Post, ZDF
DELRAY, FLORIDA, October 2014
VILNIUS, 16 May 2014
Seven Lithuanian Champions of Human Rights Awarded First Annual
Daniel Lazare Deconstructs Timothy Snyder’s Trashing of Anti-Nazi World War II Partisans, and New Role as Point Man for (East European) Far Right and (US) Neo-Cons
PLUS: CAN YOU RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE WITH A PROFESSOR FROM YALE?
6 September 2014
Five years have elapsed since this journal was founded on 6 Sept. 2009, in memory of Professor Meir Shub (1924-2009). Outside coverage includes David Hirsch in Engage and Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian (2009); Avi Friedman in Mishpacha, Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post, Mark Ames in The Nation, and Wendy Robbins on BBC World Service (2010); Cindy Mindell in the Jewish Ledger and Peter Jukes in Motley Moose (2011); Danny Ben-Moshe in his film Rewriting History (2012); Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report (2013); Richard Bloom in his film Defending Holocaust History (2014). CONTINUE READING
2 September 2014
The Defending History Community Celebrates the 77th Birthday of
Vilnius author (in Russian), editor (in English, Lithuanian, Russian, Yiddish), historian (European), theatre director (Yiddish) and tireless, fearless (global) intellectual champion in the struggle against the far right’s Holocaust revisionism, racism and antisemitism
A pillar of strength in the Jewish Community of Lithuania and far beyond
Selections from his years as editor of the quadrilingual Jerusalem of Lithuania. Chersonski section in Defending History. Film tribute. Facebook.
LONDON, 26 August 2014
Ernst Lowenberg (1922—2014)
(28 December 1922 — 26 August 2014)
In his final months, London Holocaust survivor Ernst Lowenberg, a native of Halle am Saale in Germany, wrote to UK prime minister David Cameron asking the government to take a stand on East European Holocaust revisionism.
In 2012, on the eve of his ninetieth birthday, he led a peaceful, dignified, friendly picket-line outside the Lithuanian Embassy in London and handed the consul a petition.
He is pictured above at the prime minister’s Holocaust Commission consultation event held in London on 5 May 2014.
Funeral service Tuesday, 2 Sept. 2014 at 2 PM at West Chapel, Hoop Lane, Golders Green, London NW11
Text ◊ 15 European languages ◊ History ◊ Origins ◊ As Counter Prague 2008
ISSUES IN THE NEWS
Estonia ♦ Hungary ♦ Latvia ♦ Lithuania (Balčiūnas; Beržinis; Butkus; Dyukov; Fridberg; Grabauskas; Melamed)
COMING SOON: Review of the Lithuanian edition of a book on the Holocaust that got its author banned from attending the book launch event
Ukrainian Government’s Use of Neo-Nazi Paramilitaries is Reported by London’s Daily Telegraph
“But Kiev’s use of volunteer paramilitaries […] should send a shiver down Europe’s spine. Recently formed battalions such as Donbas, Dnipro and Azov, with several thousand men under their command, are officially under the control of the interior ministry but their financing is murky, their training inadequate and their ideology often alarming. The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel (Wolf’s Hook) symbol on their banner and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or antisemites.” — Tom Parfitt in the Daily Telegraph.
BUT USE OF PRO-HITLER ELEMENTS BY WASHINGTON’S ALLY GETS ONE SENTENCE AT END OF NEW YORK TIMES REPORT
Western Media Begins to Cover the Far Right and Nazi-Worshiping Aspects; See also Ukraine Section; Page; 2014 Media Page.
Plungyán (Plungė), 30 July 2014
Yankl-Yosl Bunk (Jakovas Bunka), Famed Wood Sculptor, Last Jew of Plungyán (Plungė, Lithuania), Dies at 91
His Art Commemorates the Holocaust in Western Lithuania
Was World War II Red Army Veteran of the War Against Hitler
Bunk’s sculptures; his memoir of Jewish Plungyán; JewishGen Kehila links; Adam Ellick on Bunk; JTA; Bunk’s list of the Jews of Plungyán; “hypothetical” speech at the 2011 Plungyán commemoration.
New Latvian Musical, “Sugar Herbert Sugar” Glorifies Holocaust Mass Murderer Herberts Cukurs
Tickets now available online for performances around the country. About the show. Signature tune released on YouTube (Would they have done better with the old Archies version of “Sugar Sugar”?)
Are we back to Springtime for Hitler, just focused on celebrating a local mass murderer of Latvian Jewry? Will the hosting venues, including the City Cultural Centers in Jelgava and Valmiera, and prestigious halls in Riga, Liepāja, Rēzekne and Ventspils also be holding memorials for their citizens murdered in the Latvian Holocaust in which Herberts Cukurs, known as the “Hangman of Riga,” took such a personal and violent part?
Surpasses Lithuanian law (up to two years imprisonment) and Hungary’s version (up to three years)
Opinion that there was one genocide in the country (the Holocaust) remains criminalized by 2014 law, in the spirit of the laws passed in Hungary and Lithuania in 2010
Comment on Eastern EU speech laws by: Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Dovid Katz, Efraim Zuroff; See also: FREE SPEECH Section
QUESTION: Does the new musical Sugar Herbert Sugar perhaps violate the new law which bans (with punishment up to five years jailtime) “glorification, denial, justification or gross derogation of genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace or war crimes against Latvia perpetrated by the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.” Or is the law null and void when it comes to the Holocaust in Latvia?
Is a Vilnius Police Unit Again Harassing Evaldas Balčiūnas for his Articles on the Holocaust?
Did Someone Sneak Some Holocaust Revisionism into the US Congress?
Under the Radar: Did East European nationalists — trying to insinuate the “Two Holocausts Theory” into the West — slip a resolution right onto Capitol Hill?
Hurtful Shock for Veterans, Holocaust Survivors & their Families: US Congress Approves Mixed Soviet-Nazi Commemoration Day in Line with 2008 “Prague Declaration” (Text)
BALTIC NATIONALIST GROUPS PRESSED FOR THE RESOLUTION; GOVTRACK; IT WAS ATTACHED TO THE MILITARY APPROPRIATIONS BILL (SEE AMENDMENT 134 / 1266); FULL TEXT; LITHUANIAN AMBASSADOR IN WASHINGTON CONFIRMS CURRENT POLITICAL AIM OF (DE FACTO) REVISION OF HOLOCAUST HISTORY.
SAME GROUPS THAT HAVE SUPPORTED PROJECTS TO HONOR NAZI COLLABORATORS?
But what’s wrong with a single “red-brown” remembrance day?
THE HOLOCAUST IS IN EFFECT DOWNGRADED TO ONE OF TWO SUPPOSEDLY “EQUAL HOLOCAUSTS”; See: Yitzhak Arad, Yehuda Bauer, Danny Ben-Moshe, Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Esther Goldberg Gilbert, Dovid Katz, Rachel Kostanian, Denis MacShane, John Mann, Efraim Zuroff
Are US officials aware that the Prague Declaration is the foundational document of the ultranationalists’ “Double Genocide” campaign to revise Holocaust history? Of the Seventy Years Declaration (2012) response? Do these members of Congress really believe that those who liberated Auschwitz are morally identical to its killers?
FILMS: Danny Ben-Moshe’s Rewriting History; Richard Bloom’s Defending Holocaust History; Gerit Ziegler’s When Double Genocide Means Single Genocide
BATTLE OF EUROPEAN DECLARATIONS: Seventy Years Declaration (2012) is a reply to the Prague Declaration (2008); Statement of the World Union of Progressive Judaism (2013); of the British Board of Deputies; History of SYD (to 2014)
Double Genocide section; Blaming the Victims; Glorification of Collaborators; 2012 reburial of 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister; Sample of the antisemitic essence of Double Genocide (by current official at the Economy Ministry)
Freedom of Speech in the Eastern EU?
ŠIAULIAI, 22 MAY 2014
DH Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas is Investigated by Lithuanian Police
He is author of a series of bold articles about state sanitization and glorification of Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators
Newest investigation follows recent police and prosecutorial harassment of Giedrius Grabauskas and Saulius Beržinis
PATTERN OF CRIMINALIZING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST? PROSECUTORS ON YITZHAK ARAD (2007); HARASSMENT OF VILNA GHETTO SURVIVORS (2008); 2 YEAR JAIL LAW (2010); POLICE PURSUIT OF JOSEPH MELAMED (2011); RED-BROWN COMMISSION’S DEFAMATION OF PINCHOS FRIDBERG (2013-14); SUMMARY OF STATE DEFAMATION OF SURVIVORS (2008-2014); GIEDRIUS GRABAUSKAS (2014); SAULIUS BERŽINIS (2014); EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS (2014).
RELATED: Defending History report on Lithuania’s 2010 law. Essays by: Leonidas Donskis; Milan Chersonski. Section on Democracy in the Eastern EU.
RELATED: Police action against feminists who stood up peacefully to the neo-Nazis in Lithuania.
“We stand with Evaldas 100%.”
With Efraim Zuroff
On February 16th 2014, Evaldas Balčiūnas joined the small, peaceful and silent protest led by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Israel office, on the occasion of the annual neo-Nazi march in Kaunas which again glorified the city’s 1941 Nazi puppet ruler who collaborated in sending his city’s 30,000 Jewish citizens to their deaths.
PRAGUE, 20 MAY 2014
“Double Genociders” in Prague Triumphantly Announce Participation of “Cabinet of Viviane Reding” at 12-13 June Conference on “Legacy of Totalitarianism Today”…
Will EU’s Commissioner for Justice legitimize the Prague campaign to obfuscate the Holocaust for the East-European-nationalist inspired rewrite of history?
Will there be a single paper on current glorification of Nazi collaborators in a conference on “Legacy of Totalitarianism Today”?
THE PRAGUE DECLARATION (2008); SYD (2012)
THE RED-BROWN COMMISSION (1998-2014)
The “Prague Platform” organizing the conference features on its home page the Prague Declaration and partnership with (inter alia) the Vilnius based Genocide Center and the “red-brown” commission. Also: Is EU funding squandered on rampant infighting?
LONDON, 9 May 2014
Appeal to Prime Minister David Cameron
Ernst Lowenberg, 91, pictured at the May 2014 UK consultation with Holocaust survivors, has written to David Cameron calling for rejection of the “Double Genocide” revisionism emanating from Eastern Europe. In 2012, he handed a petition to the Lithuanian embassy in London.
VILNIUS, 16 May 2014
Confirms rumors about the steps outside the Contemporary Arts Center on Vokiečių Street
Related: Jewish gravestones (matséyves) in the decorative walls of Lazdynai; on steps of the Reformed Evangelical Church on Pylimo; Blood libel plaque in the Bernardinai Catholic Church
Putin’s indefensible actions are robustly exposed. But there is reluctance to look critically at “pro-Western” forces that glorify (as “national heroes”) Nazi collaborators and Holocaust mass murderers…
What’s Western about that?
HISTORY FOR SALE? AS EVENTS UNFOLD, ARE WESTERN GOVERNMENTS TACITLY HELPING TO “FIX” THE HOLOCAUST BARBARITY OF BANDERA, THE UPA AND THE OUN? THESE GROUPS MURDERED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS (UKRAINIAN CITIZENS) ON AN ETHNIC BASIS IN THE CAUSE OF HITLERIST RACIAL ELIMINATION.
WESTERN VALUES? IS IT MORAL FOR THE US, NATO AND THE EU TO COVER FOR THE ELEVATION OF HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS TO NATIONAL HERO STATUS? CAN STATE-SANCTIONED NAZI-WORSHIP REALLY BE IRRELEVANT TO TODAY’S RACISM, ANTISEMITISM & HOMOPHOBIA?
HISTORIANS FOR HIRE? ARE BIG (AND SMALL) GUN HISTORIANS ALREADY BEING MOBILIZED TO OBFUSCATE THE ISSUES AND SANITIZE THE MASS MURDERERS OF UKRAINIAN JEWRY? TO PROMOTE MORE “DOUBLE GENOCIDE” REVISIONISM? ALLIES’ DEFEAT OF HITLER AT HUGE SACRIFICE IS INCREASINGLY MARGINALIZED BY THE REVISIONISTS.
Huge banner in Independence Square in Kiev glorifies wartime fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose Hitlerist organization murdered tens of thousands of civilians — citizens of Ukraine — on an ethnic basis. Photo: Washington Post. Earlier, BBC News published images of the Bandera banner gracing Kiev City Hall.
♦ See articles in Foreign Policy, BBC Newsnight, LA Times, Tablet, Huffington Post, International Business Times, Reuters and MORE.
♦ Ukraine section (also: On Bandera).
♦ In Defending History: Franziska Bruder, Eleonora Groisman, Jared McBride, Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe, Per Anders Rudling (see also Dr. Rudling’s other papers).
♦ Major museum in Lviv; Was Canadian PM manipulated?
REVISIONISM IN THE MAKING: PHOTOSHOPPED IMAGE AT THE LONSKY MUSEUM IN LVIV
Four of them, in their late 80s or 90s, are heroic veterans of the anti-Nazi war effort who escaped the Vilna, Kovno or Svintsyán Ghetto to join up with the partisans in the forests of Lithuania. All their families perished in the Lithuanian Holocaust.
“ONE PUBLIC LETTER OF APOLOGY COULD REPAIR MUCH OF THE DAMAGE”
THE SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT THEMSELVES: YITZHAK ARAD; FANIA BRANTSOVSKY; PINCHOS FRIDBERG; SARA GINAITE; RACHEL MARGOLIS (2); JOE MELAMED
COMMENT BY: SHIMON ALPEROVICH & TUVIA JAFET (2); CHEN IVRI APTER; DANNY BEN-MOSHE; GORDON BROWN; MILAN CHERSONSKI; LEONIDAS DONSKIS; THE ECONOMIST; ABRAHAM FOXMAN; ESTHER GOLDBERG (GILBERT); SIR MARTIN GILBERT; DOV LEVIN; DENIS MACSHANE; YOSSI MELMAN (2); UK PARLIAMENT EARLY DAY MOTION; UNITED STATES CONGRESSMEN 1 & 2; VALDAS VASILIAUSKAS; EFRAIM ZUROFF
“STILL TIME TO END THINGS WITH THE LAST SURVIVORS ON A NICER NOTE, AFTER 700 YEARS OF JEWISH HISTORY IN LITHUANIA“
MEDIA COVERAGE (SELECTION): Dana Gloger in the Jewish Chronicle (2008); Arne Bengtsson in Baltic Worlds (2008): Raphael Ahren in Haaretz (2009); Avi Friedman in Mishpacha (2009); Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post (2010); Esther Goldberg in Canadian Jewish News (2010); Cindy Mindell in the Jewish Ledger (2010); Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report (2013); Daniel Brook, coming soon (2014).
8 April 2014
April 2014 International Romani Day
Vilma Fiokla Kiurė looks at Roma issues in Lithuania: Roma: Presumption of Guilt
31 March 2014
Criminalization of History in the Eastern EU?
Is a police crime unit the appropriate authority for investigating EU/NATO citizens of 2014 who oppose state glorification of alleged Nazi collaborators of 1941?
Beržinis is one of many bold Lithuanian citizens who have spoken up
PATTERN OF CRIMINALIZING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST? PROSECUTORS ON YITZHAK ARAD (2007); HARASSMENT OF VILNA GHETTO SURVIVORS (2008); 2 YEAR JAIL LAW (2010); POLICE PURSUIT OF JOSEPH MELAMED (2011), GIEDRIUS GRABAUSKAS (2014), SAULIUS BERŽINIS (2014)
27 March 2014
23 March 2014
British Board of Deputies Calls for European Parliament to Reject Prague Declaration’s Holocaust Downgrade
Move follows statement by the World Union for Progressive Judaism. More on Prague Declaration. Responses include: SYD, Rewriting History and other films.
What’s wrong with Double Genocide? Shimon Alperovich, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Yitzhak Arad, Evaldas Balciunas, Yehuda Bauer, Danny Ben-Moshe, Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Pinchos Fridberg, Esther Goldberg Gilbert, Dovid Katz, Rachel Kostanian, Denis MacShane, John Mann, Geoff Vasil (Vasiliauskas), Efraim Zuroff
18 March 2014
More Holocaust Revisionism in “Prague Declaration Europe”?
Vilnius Constitutional Court: “Double Genocide” via New Attempt to Inflate Definition of the G-Word?
THE NEW DOCUMENT; REPORT; SEE ALSO STATE “GENOCIDE CENTER” AND ITS “HOLOCAUST ENVY”…
Move comes four years after parliament passed a law effectively criminalizing the opinion that there was one Holocaust in the country
On Double Genocide see:
ARTICLES: Shimon Alperovich, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Yitzhak Arad, Evaldas Balciunas, Yehuda Bauer, Danny Ben-Moshe, Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Pinchos Fridberg, Esther Goldberg Gilbert, Dovid Katz, Rachel Kostanian, Denis MacShane, John Mann, Geoff Vasil (Vasiliauskas), Efraim Zuroff
FILMS: Danny Ben-Moshe’s Rewriting History; Richard Bloom’s Defending Holocaust History; Gerit Ziegler’s When Double Genocide Means Single Genocide
BATTLE OF EUROPEAN DECLARATIONS: Seventy Years Declaration (2012) is a reply to the Prague Declaration (2008); Statement of the World Union of Progressive Judaism (2013); History of SYD (to 2014)
Double Genocide section; Blaming the Victims; Glorification of Collaborators; 2012 reburial of 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister; Sample of the antisemitic essence of Double Genocide (by current official at the Economy Ministry)
DOUBLE GENOCIDE IN THE ANTISEMITIC IMAGINATION:
- “Thank you for our victory,” says the swarmy Jew to the Soviet soldier as the city burns and a raped blonde lies dead. Courtesy of “Zeppelinus” who allegedly still works in the Economy Ministry.
DOUBLE GENOCIDE TOURISM:
Survey; Genocide Center; Genocide Museum; Gruto Parkas; Tolerance Center; Street names and university shrines for Nazi collaborators
Baltic Marching Season
Interface of Pro-Fascist Marches, Holocaust Revisionism, and Contemporary Racism
EFRAIM ZUROFF IN THE HUFFINGTON POST, JERUSALEM POST AND TABLET
Defending History, in harmony with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, monitored the three 2014 Nazi-ally glorifying marches in the Baltics. Authorities invested shrewdly this year in downplaying all three, but failed to simply move them away from prestigious city centers (which would have offended the far right and ultranationalist base). Visible fascist symbols were reduced from previous years, local opposition sometimes neutralized, and media interest discouraged.
But the noxious worship, in 2014’s EU, of Hitler’s allies in Holocaust-era Europe (now being cast as implicitly “acceptable”) remains a shameful constant, one that calls out for urgent scrutiny in the West. Yet again, Defending History is defense of today’s — and tomorrow’s — human rights and EU/NATO values. The adulaters of wartime Hitlerism are its moral heirs: today’s propagaters of racism, ultranationalism, antisemitism, homophobia and Aryanist theories of national purity.
27 February 2014
The “Platform”; the Orwellian “Reconciliation” of histories; What is Double Genocide? DH’s section; What’s it all about?
New (and unconfirmed) report from Vilnius
STILL NO DENIALS FROM POLICE OR PROSECUTORS ON AUTHENTICITY OF FEB. 2014 DOCUMENT CIRCULATING
IS A 2014 EU POLICE FORCE HARASSING A CITIZEN FOR A 2013 ARTICLE ABOUT ALLEGED 1941 LOCAL HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS?
New (and confirmed) report from Vilnius
ONE YEAR LATER:
Vilnius Holocaust Survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg is Still Defamed on State-Sponsored Commission Website
27 January 2014
Hungarian Medal Returned