Author Archives: Defending History

Opinion: American Jewish Committee (AJC) Needs to Look Again at its Involvement in Lithuania



OPINION | LITHUANIAN INVOLVEMENT OF THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE (AJC) | 2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | LIST OF MEMBERS | MOUNTING OPPOSITION | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | EARLIER OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN RABBIS (CER) | THE “CPJCE”  | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES


VILNIUS—The American Jewish Committee (AJC), founded in 1906, is one of the world’s accomplished advocacy groups for Jewish, and more broadly, minority and human rights causes, in addition to other lofty missions. Those who revere and support it now need to ask frank questions about, one is sorry to say, a disturbingly consistent infidelity to Jewish causes in one country, Lithuania. The lamentable record speaks for itself. It has for decades been represented by its  director of international Jewish affairs, Rabbi Andrew Baker. In the ACJ’s name and with its wherewithal, he has consistently let down, first, the living small-c Jewish community of Lithuania; second, the true narrative of the Holocaust when it is under attack by the forces of Holocaust obfuscation, distortion and revisionism; and, finally, the preservation of Jewish cemeteries. We do not ascribe to him any nefarious motives or conscious malice on any of these counts. He is not the first, nor the last American Jewish organization bigwig to be mobilized (and a little intoxicated by a slew of high Lithuanian government medals) as a kind of “useful Jewish functionary” to provide Jewish cover and cred for government policies in countries where, in post-Holocaust Eastern Europe, local Jewish communities can be small, weak, and demographically challenged.

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Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Lithuania, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Vilnius | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Opinion: American Jewish Committee (AJC) Needs to Look Again at its Involvement in Lithuania

Exactly How Many Thousands of People Will Fit into Events at Planned ‘Museum in the Middle of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery’?



OPINION | 2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | LIST OF MEMBERS | MOUNTING OPPOSITION | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | EARLIER OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | INVOLVEMENT OF THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE (AJC)CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN RABBIS (CER) | THE “CPJCE”  | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES


VILNIUS—The tragi-comic charade of the “museum & memorial complex” in the middle of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Shnípishok, today’s Šnipiškės district of modern Vilnius, capital of modern democratic Lithuania) took another bizarre turn today. A triumphant BNS press release, speaking for the government, gives the misimpression of universal agreement to setting up a museum in the huge Soviet ruin plonked in the cemetery’s heart. This would be the only museum on the planet in a Jewish cemetery. It would be surrounded by thousands of extant Jewish graves (not stones or memorial houselets; those were all pilfered by the Soviets; a vast number can be reconstructed thanks to photos and transcriptions from the most important Jewish cemetery in the Lithuanian lands).

The media coverage did not so much as mention the renewed and mounting international opposition, or the public protest and dissent issued by a single courageous member of the state commission (“Working Group”) appointed to come up with solutions. Why not? Does not a free media opt to inform readers of an extant second opinion?

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Posted in 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Lithuania, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Dovid Katz on the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Exactly How Many Thousands of People Will Fit into Events at Planned ‘Museum in the Middle of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery’?

Arkady Kurliandchik Critiques German Embassy’s Kukliansky Award



OPINION | LITHUANIA’S JEWISH COMMUNITY ISSUES | GERMANY

by Arkady Kurliandchik (Vilnius)

I am aware that it has long been a practice to award assorted leaders with assorted honors on assorted occasions. Perhaps there is some logic behind it. If you are the leader of something, well, then surely you must deserve recognition!

However, the recent award which was bestowed on the D-Day anniversary upon the head of the “Lithuanian Jewish Community” by the German Embassy here in Vilnius seems rather misplaced. As stated on the LJC website, the award was presented to Ms. Faina Kukliansky “for her tireless work commemorating Lithuanian Holocaust victims and long-term efforts to unite the LJC including enhancing the organization’s role on the national and international level.”

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Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Lithuania, Arkady Kurliandchik, Faina Kukliansky, Germany, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Arkady Kurliandchik Critiques German Embassy’s Kukliansky Award

International Opposition to 2024 Proposals for a Museum (/Memorial Complex), with Seating Capacity for 5000 People, in the Middle of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery


[last update]


See Note below


Videos Online

Written statements:

Rabbi Elchonon Baron

Ruta Bloshtein

Rabbi S. J. Feffer

Bernard Fryshman

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Human Rights, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on International Opposition to 2024 Proposals for a Museum (/Memorial Complex), with Seating Capacity for 5000 People, in the Middle of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

The Intensified Threat to Jewish Cemeteries



OPINION | 2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | LIST OF MEMBERS | MOUNTING OPPOSITIONOLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | EARLIER OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN RABBIS (CER) | THE “CPJCE”  | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES

by Bernard Fryshman

Prof. Bernard Fryshman

Dr. Bernard Fryshman, Professor of Physics at the New York Institute of Technology, is Executive Vice President Emeritus of the Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS), a US Department of Education recognized accreditation commission which enabled accreditation of major Lithuanian-origin yeshivas in the United States as institutions of higher academic learning. His writings were instrumental in enabling the  Protect Cemeteries Act passed by the United States Congress and signed into law in 2014.

I. A Brief Introduction

For several decades, an issue of deep concern for the Jewish People has been the desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Europe. The situation has recently worsened. In Ukraine sections of the Lemberg (today, Lviv) cemetery plots were reportedly sold for development and in Lithuania, a recent action took place with respect to the Shnípishok cemetery in Vilnius which, by extension, puts every Jewish cemetery at risk.

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Posted in 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Professor Bernard Fryshman, Vilnius | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The Intensified Threat to Jewish Cemeteries

Ukraine Needs the Vilnius Red-Brown Commission’s ‘Help’ Like a Hole in the Head



OPINION | RED-BROWN COMMISSION: PAGE AND SECTION

by Dovid Katz

The sacred cause of democratic Ukraine’s success and brutal dictator Putin’s failure must not be comprised by attempted hijacks by far-right Holocaust revisionists who have worked for decades to rewrite the history into “two equal Holocausts” (“Double Genocide”), an insidious form of revisionism whose first corollary is glorification of local Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators (whether Noreika in Lithuania or Bandera in Ukraine, among numerous others). It is alarming to read this week (on the website of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry) that Lithuania’s state-sponsored “Commission for the Evaluation of Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania” (for short: “the Red-Brown Commission”), the cause of so much pain to the last Holocaust survivors and the remnants of Lithuanian Jewry, is now interloping in Kyiv, attempting to insinuate Double Genocide Holocaust revisionism right into the current noble struggle of the free states of NATO and the European Union to ensure the future of free and democratic Ukraine. Resignations over the years from the “Red-Brown Commission” (all on matters of principle) include Sir Martin GilbertProfessor Konrad Kwiet and Professor Dov Levin.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Genocide, History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ukraine Needs the Vilnius Red-Brown Commission’s ‘Help’ Like a Hole in the Head

Vilnius Authorities Boldly Knock Down New Shrine to K. Škirpa, 1941 Planner and Inciter of Ethnic Cleansing of Lithuania’s Jews



DEFENDING HISTORY SUCCESSES | K. ŠKIRPA | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | VILNIUS | SHRINES TO HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS IN VILNIUS

VILNIUS—Less than 48 hours of Defending History’s report on the new plaque glorifying J. Škirpa, a planner and instigator of mass murder of Lithuanian Jewry, including incitement of mobs that killed thousands before German Nazi forces even arrived or took over, the municipal authorities, in close touch with the national government of Lithuania, boldly and publicly today smashed the plaque and removed all trace of it. City contractors from “Grinda” were on hand for hours before police removed a handful of far-right protestors, in some cases with force. In a major development, the entire scene was videotaped by 15min.lt and appears online.

THE VIDEO

This is a sharp contrast with the then mayor’s furtive 4 AM removal of the previous Noreika plaque back in 2019 (which was followed by a mob coming to affix a new one in short order). The Defending History community rapidly responded on social media with the words: Bravo Lithuania!

A scene of moral beauty, authority,  integrity and justice from the government of 21st century democratic Lithuania

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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Events, It Pays to Defend History: Success Over the Years..., Kazys Škirpa, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Vilnius | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Vilnius Authorities Boldly Knock Down New Shrine to K. Škirpa, 1941 Planner and Inciter of Ethnic Cleansing of Lithuania’s Jews

New Plaque Glorifying ‘Chief Spokesman for Ethnic Cleansing’ in Lithuanian Holocaust Goes Up in Central Vilnius



OPINION | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | KAZYS ŠKIRPA | GENOCIDE CENTER IN VILNIUS | GENOCIDE MUSEUM | SHRINES TO HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS IN VILNIUS  |  VILNIUS

Brand new plaque in central Vilnius for the man who set the formal goal of eliminating Jews from Lithuania in the run-up to the onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust. Photo: DefendingHistory.com

by Dovid Katz

VILNIUS—A crowd of ultranationalist glorifiers of Hitler’s invasion of Lithuania in June 1941 today affixed a handsome new plaque (with bas relief) on the corner of Vilnius’s central boulevard, glorifying Kazys Škirpa, who wrote pamphlets, in Berlin, calling for the elimination of Jews from Lithuania. His writings and radio broadcasts help incite the onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust on 23 June 1941, when his followers began butchering Jewish neighbors in Kaunas, and across Lithuania, before the Germans even arrived.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Kazys Škirpa, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on New Plaque Glorifying ‘Chief Spokesman for Ethnic Cleansing’ in Lithuanian Holocaust Goes Up in Central Vilnius

Rabbi Elchonon Baron, Asserting that Bnei Brak Rabbi was Misrepresented, Makes Clear: ‘There Will NOT be a Museum on Shnípishok Cemetery’



DOCUMENTS | OPINION2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | LIST OF MEMBERSOLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN RABBIS (CER)THE “CPJCE” LONDON GRAVE TRADERS | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY AFFAIRSHUMAN RIGHTS

Excerpts from Rabbi Elchonon Baron’s video:

“The use of any Jewish cemetery, for anything except the cemetery, is strictly forbidden in Jewish law and tradition. Most senior rabbis are very perplexed at the recent indication here in Vilna that perhaps there is an attempt to make a museum on the Shnípishok Cemetery, where our giants are buried. And they are claiming that this is in the name of senior rabbis. I mentioned to Rabbi Sariel Rosenberg [head of the Bnei Brak Beth Din] a few weeks ago that people are saying in his name that we can make a museum on the cemetery. We asked him exactly what it is possible to do. And he said: Nothing else — except matséyves [gravestones].

“There will not be a museum on Shnípishok Cemetery! There will not be a convention center! Woe is to anyone who tries. Because the Jewish souls want to rest in peace. Nothing will succeed there. There’s nothing to talk about. We won’t let it, it won’t happen!

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Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rabbi Elchonon Baron, Vilnius | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rabbi Elchonon Baron, Asserting that Bnei Brak Rabbi was Misrepresented, Makes Clear: ‘There Will NOT be a Museum on Shnípishok Cemetery’

Building Sheets Down, Scaffolding Removed, Builders’ Barriers are “Last Stage” for “Noreika section” of National Library of Sciences Facade



OPINION | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | INS AND OUTS OF THE NOREIKA PLAQUE IN CENTRAL VILNIUS | NOREIKA SAGA | U.S.A.

Latest images (17 June 2024) from the cleaned facade that Lithuania’s friends hope will remain morally clean… This is the Vrublevskis Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in central Vilnius, several moments from Cathedral Square and Gedimino Boulevard.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Ins and Outs of the Central Vilnius Noreika Plaque Glorifying a Brutal Holocaust Collaborator, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, Vilnius | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Building Sheets Down, Scaffolding Removed, Builders’ Barriers are “Last Stage” for “Noreika section” of National Library of Sciences Facade

New ‘Lost Shtetl’ Museum Allegedly Blocks Public Release of Documentary on the Holocaust in Sheduva. Meantime, Film (and Trailer) are Circulating Widely


[LATEST UPDATE; ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: 27 APRIL 2023]

OPINION|FILM|BOLD CITIZENS|SAULIUS BERŽINIS|SHEDUVA | MUSEUM OF THE LOST SHTETL

Partial chronology of recent events in the life and times of modern Lithuania’s first major Holocaust truth teller, documentary film maker

Saulius Beržinis

JUMP TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE

TO UPDATES; LATEST UPDATE

TO FOREIGN JOURNALIST’S ARTICLE WITHDRAWN FROM PUBLICATION

DEFENDING HISTORY’S BERŽINIS SECTION

What is it all about?

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Film, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Saulius Beržinis, Šeduva (Sheduva, Shádeve, Shádov) and its "Museum of the Lost Shtetl" | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New ‘Lost Shtetl’ Museum Allegedly Blocks Public Release of Documentary on the Holocaust in Sheduva. Meantime, Film (and Trailer) are Circulating Widely

The European Journey of Belgium’s Roland Binet: Warsaw to Rumbula (near Riga) and Ponár (near Vilnius)



MEMOIRSOPINION  |  HISTORY  |  BELGIUM

by Roland Binet  (De Panne, Belgium)

Until the age of seventeen I did not know at all that there were Jews. Following from that, I had moreover never heard anything of what happened to the Jews during World War II. My awakening came one evening in the fall of 1962.

I saw Frédéric Rossif’s documentary on the Warsaw Ghetto, Le Temps du Ghetto (‘The Time of the Ghetto’). I came away devastated, particularly shocked by the scenes of the starving children begging in the streets and by the “morning collection” of nude bodies picked up from the pavements and streets of Warsaw and transported by wheelbarrows and carts to a mass grave where the bodies were dumped without any respect. The images were at once revolting and unforgettable.

Screenshot from my ‘first shock’: Frédéric Rossif’s documentary on the Warsaw Ghetto, Le Temps du Ghetto (‘The Time of the Ghetto’)

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Posted in Belgium, History, Latvia, Lithuania, Memoirs, Music, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roland Binet | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on The European Journey of Belgium’s Roland Binet: Warsaw to Rumbula (near Riga) and Ponár (near Vilnius)

We Honor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja) on her 102nd Birthday in Vilnius



by Dovid Katz

Compilation of articles, documentaries, videos, and photos. Plus: from the saga of 2008

See Defending History’s Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky Section

Update: See now the Following Fania project

Note: This page is a work in progress. A number of older documents, articles, photographs, and recordings remain to be digitized, catalogued, and posted.

Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky: “My last wish is that the Jewish Partisan Fort, where we lived, loved and fought the Nazis in the forests of Lithuania, be preserved and restored so future generations will know of our resistance against genocide, and so we honor all those who fell fighting for the freedom of all of us.”

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Events, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Fania Brancovskaja), History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on We Honor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja) on her 102nd Birthday in Vilnius

Rabbi S. J. Feffer, Scholar (and Descendant) of Gaon of Vilna, Condemns Project to Defile Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery — Cites Ensnaring of Conference of European Rabbis (CER) & Bnei Brak’s Beth Din



 OPINION | 2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | WHO ARE THE MEMBERS? | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | THE CPJCE | THE USCPAHA | THE CER (CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN RABBIS) | THE GWF (GOOD WILL FOUNDATION)CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | HUMAN RIGHTS

Rabbi S. J. Feffer

VILNIUSRabbi S. J. Feffer, a part-of-the-year resident in Vilnius for some three decades, is best known locally for his free-of-charge (and no-tickets-needed) Passover seders and other holidays, always open to Vilneans of all backgrounds. His events are considered to be forums of intercommunity friendship and harmony, characterized by authentic Litvak Jewish Orthodox practice with equally warm welcome to folks of any and all persuasions. He is also known as an independent voice for Jewish heritage preservation, and against corruption in high places. Internationally, the rabbi, a descendant of close family of the Gaon of Vilna, is best known as part of the editing team for dozens of published volumes containing the works of the Gaon (Elijah of Vilna, 1720-1797).

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Posted in 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Rabbi S. J. Feffer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rabbi S. J. Feffer, Scholar (and Descendant) of Gaon of Vilna, Condemns Project to Defile Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery — Cites Ensnaring of Conference of European Rabbis (CER) & Bnei Brak’s Beth Din

Builders’ Curtain Down, Scaffolding Still Up, at Vilnius Science Library’s Facade: Will the Gov. Step in to ‘Just Say No’ to Plaque Glorifying a Collaborator in Genocide of Lithuanian Jewry during the Holocaust?



OPINION | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | INS AND OUTS OF THE NOREIKA PLAQUE IN CENTRAL VILNIUSNOREIKA SAGA | U.S.A.

Left: Before renovations. Right: Current stage of renovations. The question: What’s in store for this spot when the long-lasting renovations are finally complete?

Will the government of Lithuania, a proud, successful and delightful member of the European Union and NATO, stand up and state clearly that the Vilnius city-center plaque glorifying J. Noreika, a brutal Holocaust collaborator, removed a year ago in the run-up to July’s NATO conference (pretext: “renovations of the facade”), will not be put back?

“A state’s moral decisions are vital in determining the path for the future”

The builders’ sheets have come down. The scaffolding is still up. When the plaque was removed for renovations, Delfi.lt reported one year ago that the director of the National Library of Sciences, whose Noreika facade has damaged Lithuania’s standing, gave the plaque to a far-right, pro-fascist youth group “for safekeeping” while assuring the public that “the sign will be put back when the renovation works are completed.” Sources in the government have told Defending History that the plan of the far right is to replicate the “success of 2019” when removal of the plaque was followed by a far-right Nazi-sympathizing group coming by one night with a crowd to put it up (in that instance —to put up a bigger and better plaque with bas relief of the Holocaust collaborator), after which “nobody in the government or municipality would dare defy their fait accompli.”

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Ins and Outs of the Central Vilnius Noreika Plaque Glorifying a Brutal Holocaust Collaborator, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, United States | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Builders’ Curtain Down, Scaffolding Still Up, at Vilnius Science Library’s Facade: Will the Gov. Step in to ‘Just Say No’ to Plaque Glorifying a Collaborator in Genocide of Lithuanian Jewry during the Holocaust?

“Museum of the Lost Shtetl” Forces Removal of Saulius Beržinis’s 5 Minute Youtube Trailer Featured on Yom HaShoah



OPINION | FILM | BOLD CITIZENS | SAULIUS BERŽINIS | SHEDUVA | MUSEUM OF THE LOST SHTETL

Five Minutes & Six Seconds:

The Satanic Verses of Sheduva, Lithuania?

Our take:

We sincerely regret that the directors, donors, and staff of the “Museum of the Lost Shtetl” in the town of Sheduva, Lithuania have not yet spoken out freely and publicly about removal from Youtube of the five minute and six second  trailer to Saulius Beržinis’s classic Holocaust documentary on Sheduva:

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Posted in Free Speech & Democracy, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Saulius Beržinis, Šeduva (Sheduva, Shádeve, Shádov) and its "Museum of the Lost Shtetl" | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on “Museum of the Lost Shtetl” Forces Removal of Saulius Beržinis’s 5 Minute Youtube Trailer Featured on Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah 2024: Please can you spend five minutes and six seconds to watch something?



OPINION | COMMEMORATIONS | EVENTS | SHEDUVA & ITS NEW MUSEUM

by Dovid Katz

[UPDATE OF 10 MAY 2024: YOUTUBE FILM TRAILER REMOVED BY “MUSEUM OF THE LOST SHTETL”]

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Posted in Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Dovid Katz, Events, Museums, News & Views, Saulius Beržinis, Šeduva (Sheduva, Shádeve, Shádov) and its "Museum of the Lost Shtetl" | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Yom HaShoah 2024: Please can you spend five minutes and six seconds to watch something?

Rwandan Genocide Remembrance Deserves Better than Being Lassoed into Baltic Holocaust Obfuscation Politics



OPINION | VILNIUS’S GENOCIDE CENTER | VILNIUS’S GENOCIDE MUSEUMTUSKULĖNAI PEACE PARKGLORIFYING COLLABORATORS | DOUBLE GENOCIDE | EVENTS

by Dovid Katz

Published reports today provided details and images of the solemn, significant, and meaningful April 24th commemoration ceremony remembering the victims of the Rwanda Genocide of the Tutsi. The commemoration event was organized by a partnership that included Vilnius’s Genocide Center and the Embassy of Rwanda. Among the participants was the ambassador of Rwanda, HE Olivier J.P. Nduhungirehe, resident in the Hague, whose remit includes also Lithuania.

The Defending History community avidly supports remembrance of the Rwandan Genocide, and all genocides.

The problem here in Vilnius is that such events are often subtly (or not so subtly) part of a program to legitimize and cover up for systematic and institutional downgrade, relativization and obfuscation of the Holocaust — the genocide that happened “right here” and resulted in the massacre of around 96% of Lithuanian Jewry, one of the highest rates in Europe. Even more painfully, the same efforts usually extend to the (ab)use of vast budgets and corralled academic knowhow to find ways and means to perpetuate state-sponsored glorification of actual Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators, or, in the more public arena, to invest fortunes in Judaic, Yiddish and (indeed) Holocaust events to cover up for, and deflect from the same.

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Posted in "Tuskulėnai Peace Park", Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Events, Genocide Center (Vilnius), News & Views, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rwandan Genocide Remembrance Deserves Better than Being Lassoed into Baltic Holocaust Obfuscation Politics

The Defending History Community’s Statement on Putin’s Barbaric War on Ukraine (and the Free World)


[UPDATE — STATEMENT ORIGINALLY ISSUED ON 25 FEB. 2022]

Renewing our call of 25 Feb. 2022:

The Defending History community joins in calling for immediate restoration of peace and security for all the people of Ukraine, condemning unequivocally the savage and medievally barbaric invasion — and rain of death and destruction with mass murder and terrorization of a peaceful civilian population — by the neighboring big power, the Russian Federation, led by our century’s most dangerous and deranged warmonger dictator. Ukraine’s victory will be the victory of the free and democratic world everywhere, as will the fall of the Putinist regime of dictatorship, brutality, invasion, and mass murder of civilians.

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Posted in News & Views, Ukraine | Comments Off on The Defending History Community’s Statement on Putin’s Barbaric War on Ukraine (and the Free World)

Major Jewish Religious Publication, ‘Yated Ne’eman’, Calls for Campaign Against Latest Government Plan for Multipurpose Museum in the Middle of Sacred Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery



 OPINION | 2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | WHO ARE THE MEMBERS? | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | THE “CPJCE”  | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | HUMAN RIGHTS

VILNIUS—The major Jewish Orthodox publication Yated Ne’eman featured a full page eve-of-Passover protest today against the most recent Lithuanian government plans to desecrate the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in the Shnípishok/Šnipiškės district) by retaining, remodeling and converting a huge and widely hated Soviet dump plonked in the middle of the cemetery into a modern de facto museum commemorating an array of Jewish, Lithuanian and general historical issues. Religious Jews, secular humanists, and human rights activists for whom the rights of the deceased to lie in peace are indeed human rights, all continue to argue that the cemetery belongs to those buried in it. Thousands are still buried in this cemetery in plots purchased in perpetuity by their families over around half a millennium.

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Posted in 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion | Comments Off on Major Jewish Religious Publication, ‘Yated Ne’eman’, Calls for Campaign Against Latest Government Plan for Multipurpose Museum in the Middle of Sacred Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery