The following press statement was issued today by the office of UK MP Denis MacShane concerning the response of the Lithuanian foreign minister to the news that eight Lithuanian parliamentarians had signed the Seventy Years Declaration.
News Release 25 Jan. 2012
On the eve of National Holocaust Day, former Europe Minister Denis MacShane MP has written to Lithuanian MPs and MEPs who defied their political establishment to sign a statement on the Holocaust which attacks attempts to devalue the Nazi extermination of Jews by claiming it is no worse than the crimes committed by communists.
The Seventy Years Declaration was issued on 20 January 2012 by seventy European Union parliamentarians (MPs and MEPs) concerned about the return of antisemitism as an issue in contemporary politics. In January 1942, Nazi officials met at a conference at Lake Wannsee close to Berlin to plan the industrially organized extermination of European Jewry.
In recent years, European right-wing politicians have sought to gain acceptance for their view that the suffering under communist rule was the same as the Nazi extermination of Jews. This so-called “double genocide” thesis has been criticized by campaigners against modern antisemitism as leading to a devaluation of the unique specific Jew-hating roots of the Holocaust.
Now social democratic MPs and MEPs in Lithuania who signed this declaration have been attacked by government officials. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister went so far as to say there was no difference between Hitler and Stalin except the length of their moustache.Continue reading