A Jewish Museum Without a Single Jewish Staff Member? (in a country with 3,000 Jewish citizens)

[UPDATE / original publication 1 Feb. 2022]

Opinion  |  Sheduva, Lithuania  |  Museums  |  Litvak Affairs

2022 is “Can you imagine?” year…

Can you imagine a museum in South Africa dedicated to the history of Apartheid without a single African member of staff on site?

Can you imagine a museum in Mississippi on Confederate state slavery without a single African American member of staff on site?

Can you imagine a museum of Lithuanian shtetl history in Lithuania without a single Jewish member of staff on site?


It’s the Lost Shtetl Museum in Sheduva (Šeduva), Lithuania.

Will it tell the truth about who (exactly) massacred the Jews of Sheduva? The barbarity before the Germans took control? About the role of the “Lithuanian Activist Front” (LAF) and Hitler’s puppet “Provisional Government” in the massacre of all the town’s Jewish citizens in 1941? About the Jewish veterans of the Red Army, then in maximal Alliance with the United States and Great Britain against Hitler and his local puppets, who helped liberate the town in the summer of 1944? Will the Museum’s “independence” rise to standing up to the state’s history-rewriting units, including its Genocide Center and its Red-Brown Commission? Will it demand the removal of museum exhibits and other public-space shrines honoring the collaborators and murderers in  the wider region in which the museum is situated?

Evaldas Balčiūnas has published an outline for a brand new multicultural play: Museum of the Lost Truth.

Will the museum now reveal its “top secret” multimillion-dollar donors of a massive new building and complex in town? Transparency is after all paramount when it comes to Jewish history on ground zero of the East European Holocaust. Will its Brussels-resident machers stop defaming those who do stand up to state-sponsored Holocaust obfuscation, double genocide revisionism and attempts to smear the victims? 

Are South African, Russian or other “anonymous tycoons” again being duped by slick Lithuanian government operatives? What grand medals and honors have crack members of that team received to date from the government for monitoring, manipulating and undermining the integrity, independence and backbone of the fragile, scattered remnants of the tragic Litvak legacy, in the interests of government PR?

See also DH sections on Sheduva; Museums; and unique, exclusive recordings of the amazing Christian Lithuanian Yiddish speaker and Holocaust truth teller of Sheduva, Elena Rimdžiūtė (video; clip; article).

What happened to the Jews of Sheduva? Who was in charge in town during the outbreak of murder, rape, plunder and humiliation? Were they the locals? What did they do to the town rabbi? See summaries by Yad Vashem, Evaldas BalčiūnasDov Levin, Ephraim OshrySeligman.org

Hopefully there will be serious research on the life (and gruesome death) of the last town rabbi, Mórdekhai-Dóvid Henkin, and on his wife, Rebbetzin M. Henkin, a woman of letters who published major articles in 1930s Kovno Jewish publications, including Beys Yankev and Yidisher lebn.

Someone has to defend history and ask the hard questions. It’s no fun. That’s us. Thank you for your support.

This entry was posted in Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Šeduva (Sheduva, Shádeve, Shádov) and its Free-of-Jewish-Staff "Museum of the Lost Shtetl", South Africa and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
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