Collaborators Glorified

Vilnius Winter Mystery: When the Curtain Comes Down — Noreika or No Noreika?



 J. NOREIKA | COLLABORATOR GLORIFICATION | VILNIUS: 700 YEARS CELEBRATION

  • Vilnius winter mystery: When the curtain comes down — Noreika or No Noreika? Have they gone over the top to bury the Noreika Question at Vilnius’s Library of Sciences? In freezing  midwinter days, a city, and concerned observers internationally, wonder whether the brutal Holocaust perpetrator’s glory plaque is gone forever as Vilnius comes to embrace Western sensibilities, or whether a powerful clique of far-right antisemitic Holocaust-revisionist officials, academics and operatives will again stand in the way of Lithuania’s progress. Across the river, visible to the right of the Noreika Plaque Curtain are the “two green buildings” erected right on the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery earlier this century in a drive to obliterate the storied cemetery, a drive that has now grown to include refurbishment (instead of demolition) of  a hated Soviet ruin in its center. DefendingHistory.com photo by William Adan Pahl.

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New American Ambassador in Vilnius, HE Kara McDonald, Makes History Rapidly



COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | NOREIKA SAGA | JUOZAS KRIKSTAPONIS  MONUMENTU.S.A.

America’s new ambassador in Vilnius, HE Kara McDonald, makes a dramatic entrance that will go down in history, citing  glorified Holocaust perpetrators Krikštaponis and Noreika by name, in first major interview:

“I will continue to speak out strongly against the glorification of individuals who are known and documented to have participated in the Holocaust. This is part of the definition of antisemitism.”

New US ambassador in Vilnius HE Kara McDonald

THE INTERVIEW ON BNS/LRT

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Ins and Outs of the Central Vilnius Noreika Plaque Glorifying a Brutal Holocaust Collaborator, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, United States, US State Dept Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on New American Ambassador in Vilnius, HE Kara McDonald, Makes History Rapidly

A Great European City’s 700th Birthday: Will They Now Take Down Vilnius Public-Space Honors for Holocaust Collaborators?


[LATEST UPDATE. PAGE PUBLISHED ON 1 JAN. 2023]

VILNIUS—The Defending History community celebrates the 700th birthday of Vílna (today’s beautiful Vilnius — capital of the democratic EU state Lithuania; in Yiddish — Vílne; Polish Wilno; Belarusian Vilna; German Wilna) in the spirit of love for a city whose hundreds of years of harmony brought such magnificent cultural achievements in an array of cultures and languages. One of them is its Jewish legacy. Briefest of examples: Thousands of books in Hebrew, Aramaic and Yiddish were published in the nineteenth century alone. The Gaon of Vilna and the founders of modern Yiddish scholarship walked these streets.

The universally revered founder of Vilnius, Grand Duke Gediminas (Gedymin) built his new capital in 1323 as a harmonious symphony of humanistic diversity, a legacy that pulsates even today on the city’s charming streets. He is surely looking down on his city aghast at these “monuments” (in effect) to Aryanist ethnic purity, via the glorification of “nationalist heroes” who joined the Holocaust to kill as many Jewish citizens as possible. The Gediminist spirit will emerge triumphant, wait and see…

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NATO Conference’s Noreika-Go-Round of Vilnius Monument to Brutal Holocaust Collaborator?


[updated, originally: 8 May 2023]


OPINION | J. NOREIKA | COLLABORATOR GLORIFICATION | VILNIUS: 700 YEARS CELEBRATION

by Mark Blumberg (Tel Aviv)



Lithuanian media has recently reported on the “temporary removal for repairs” of one of the numerous public-space state-sanctioned memorials glorifying local Holocaust collaborators in Vilnius, the nation’s capital. It is the notorious Noreika plaque, affixed to the Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. It is situated a few minutes walk from Cathedral Square in the very heart of the EU member capital city that was once known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania for its extraordinary Jewish cultural and scholarly creativity.

Defending History

SUPPORTS UKRAINE!

The plaque, with its incorporated bas-relief sculpture glorifies Jonas Noreika, a brutal Hitler collaborator implicated in the incarceration, humiliation and genocide of many thousands of Jews in northwestern Lithuania during the Holocaust. Noreika is subject of the truth-telling book of the war criminal’s own granddaughter, American educator and author Silvia Foti, Michael Kretzmer’s major new documentary film, J’Accuse! and over a decade of campaigning by the Defending History team based in Vilnius. In Lithuania, 96.4% of Jewish citizens perished in the Holocaust, in the top league, along with neighboring Latvia, of Holocaust era Europe.

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Notes and Updates on Silvia Foti’s ‘The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather was a War Criminal’


[LATEST UPDATES]

Silvia Foti: The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather was a War Criminal

UPDATE OF JULY 2023: NOREIKA PLAQUE COMES DOWN FOR NATO CONFERENCE. FOR HOW LONG?

UPDATE OF JULY 2022: Foti’s The Nazi’s Granddaughter is reissued with the new title Storm in the Land of Rain

UPDATE OF MAY 2022:

Sylvia Foti’s major new book is widely available in English and Lithuanian, among other languages. QUESTION: Why is the center of Vilnius still blighted by an upgraded plaque & bas-relief  (right) and a central boulevard marble slab glorifying Hitler collaborator Jonas Noreika, who masterminded the death of thousands of Jews, and touted his unadulterated hate for Jewish fellow citizens in a prewar book? Why do  Western diplomats, and most visiting American, British and Israeli Jewish dignitaries feel obliged to avoid even the most polite critique of these prominent carbuncles on the face of the European Union? Surely, a true friend of Lithuania would want the best for Lithuania and its international stature, even if a small far-right “history rewriting elite” might feel offended.

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Time for France’s Embassy in Vilnius to Just Say ‘Non!’ to French Bookstore that Features Books Glorifying Lithuanian Holocaust Collaborators


[UPDATED 29 MAY]


OPINION | GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS | FRANCE  | THE ‘FRENCH BOOKSTORE’ IN VILNIUS

by Dovid Katz

VILNIUS—The French bookstore located in the building housing the Institut français / French Cultural Center, all part of the French Embassy compound here in Lithuania’s capital, has for many years been featuring smack in the middle of its prominent show window at Didžioji St. No. 1 in Vilnius Old Town, in the row of books closest to the viewer outside, books in English or Lithuanian (nothing to do with France or French) that are dedicated to glorifying Holocaust collaborators who supported and enabled the genocide of 96.4% of Lithuanian Jewry.

Jump to author’s memoir

Whenever, over the years, this issue has been brought up to French Embassy diplomats, French Institute leadership, the answer has been the same, along the lines of “It is not our bookshop, it is a private French-themed bookshop that simply rents the space from us. We are not responsible. The French Embassy is not responsible, the French Institute is not responsible, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is not responsible.” Nevertheless, we would like to pay tribute to French diplomats who did make an effort over the years. On 7 May 2020, for example, the then ambassador, HE Claire Lignières-Counathe took action. She reported back: “The French book shop on Didžioji gatvė is not part of the French Institute. But we pointed out to the owner that to present this book in the shop window could hurt people. He agreed and removed the book from the shop window.”

One week later, the book was back. And that goes to the heart of how a far-right, Holocaust-revisionist, Hitler collaborator glorifying (hence ipso facto antisemitic) enterprise has been, as one midlevel French diplomat put it to us off the record, “making a monkey out of our embassy in the third decade of the twenty-first century.”

In the city’s everyday life, and all the more so for thousands of tourists from around the world, the details of ownership are unknown and of little interest. It is the universal public perception that comes into play when a French themed bookshop is housed in the building of the French Embassy compound in Vilnius, just to the right of the French Institute’s handsome blue sign.

Visitors to town can be forgiven for thinking the French bookshop is affiliated with the Institut français (blue sign at left). Photo: Defending History.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, France, French bookstore housed in Institut français & French Embassy compound in Vilnius, likes to feature (English) titles glorifying local Holocaust collaborators. What gives?, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Time for France’s Embassy in Vilnius to Just Say ‘Non!’ to French Bookstore that Features Books Glorifying Lithuanian Holocaust Collaborators

Latvia is a Democracy: So Why Fear Critique of Annual Riga Worship of Hitler’s Waffen SS?



OPINION  |  LATVIA  |  RIGA MARCHES  |  ROLAND BINET’S DECADES OF PEACEFUL AND MUSICAL PROTEST  |   VILNIUS MARCHES  |  KAUNAS MARCHES  |  PRO-NAZI MARCHES IN EASTERN EUROPE  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  ANTISEMITISM

 

VILNIUS—In the opinion of all in the Defending History community, modern Latvia is a free, democratic, peaceful, tolerant and delightful country that has in little over three decades successfully managed a dramatic transition to the conceptual and spiritual heart of the European Union and the NATO alliance of democratic nations. What a day-and-night contrast with the trajectory of its huge eastern neighbor Russia over these same decades: from the high hopes of the heady Yeltsin years in the 1990s to today’s dictatorial, criminal Russian Federation, led by our century’s most deranged dictator, that has been imprisoning and killing so many of its own people in addition, now, to the mass murder of thousands of innocent civilians in the course of the ongoing barbaric invasion of neighboring, peaceful and democratic Ukraine (Defending History’s statement in support of a rapid and complete Ukrainian victory).

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Events, Human Rights, Latvia, Media Watch, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Latvia is a Democracy: So Why Fear Critique of Annual Riga Worship of Hitler’s Waffen SS?

Swastikas and Holocaust-Era Fascist Flags on View in Far Right’s Central Vilnius March



VILNIUS MARCHES | 700 YEARS VILNIUS CELEBRATIONS | FAR-RIGHT MARCHES | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED

by Julius Norwilla

 

Eyewitness Report

VILNIUS—In Lithuania, March 11 is the national holiday to celebrate the declaration of the restoration of national independence in 1990. The national celebrations include a huge and admirably inclusive march of several thousand people in the central street of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. (This is distinct from the February 18 national  independence holiday which commemorates the rise of the interwar Lithuanian republic in 1918.)

Sadly, however, for the ethnocentric, ultranationalist mindset, this delightful event is not good enough. They insist on their own “patriotic” version, and they apply each year for their “traditional march of ethnic youth” to march later in the afternoon. Sadly, since 2008 (each year covered on site by Defending History), the city authorities have readily gifted them the beautiful central boulevard, Gedimino Prospect. Perhaps this year it is particularly sad, because all the peoples of Vilnius who live today in delightful harmony in the city are together celebrating its 700th birthday. Seven hundred years ago, in 1323, the city was founded by Grand Duke Gediminas (Gedymin), who famously remained a tolerant multitheist, and readily welcomed Jews and many others to his brand new city that came to be known around the world as Vilna.

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Review of Michael Kretzmer’s Documentary Film “J’Accuse”



OPINION | FILM | ARTS | MEDIA | COLLABORATOR GLORIFICATION | J. NOREIKA

by Dovid Katz

Genuine heroes of this saga—both written out of the film

  • At left: Evaldas Balčiūnas (who first called his nation’s attention (in Lithuanian) and the world’s (in English) to state-sponsored adulation of Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrator J. Noreika. That was a year after his classic essay “Why does the state commemorate murderers?” appeared in Defending History in 2011. Here pictured at Vilnius County Court after one of the hearings in the litany of kangaroo cases against him (Defending History was there at each hearing to support him). He is DH’s 2023 Person of the Year.
  • At right: Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas brought his self-crafted poster to a nationalist event on independence day in central Vilnius, with an image to show his people the kind of national hero Lithuania should be celebrating: the inspirational Holocaust-era rescuer Malvina Šokelytė Valeikienė (DH’s person of the year in 2018). The gentle, teetotaling mathematician and philosopher took this sign right into the heart of an alcohol-fueled ultranationalist demonstration, leaving observers of every persuasion in awe of his courage. Dr. Kulikauskas boldly led the effort to expose Noreika in Lithuania and is the de facto author of the primary documents underpinning the legal petitions to the state’s Genocide Center and its courts. A Lithuanian American born and raised in California, he and his family migrated to newly free Lithuania decades ago.
  • See DH’s Evaldas Balčiūnas and Andrius Kulikauskas sections. A future film maker might even find an enchanting angle in the stark differences between the two Lithuanian heroes of this story. One is a devout Catholic, the other an atheist. One is an anarchist, the other a nationalist. One an urban family guy, the other a lone thinker and dreamer in a faraway wooden hut in the depths of the Lithuanian countryside.

VILNIUS—Michael Kretzmer’s new documentary J’Accuse! provides a terrific extended interview with legendary truth-teller Silvia Foti. The film’s narration provides effective statements on ongoing East European state adulation of Nazi collaborators though focused on just one, Jonas Noreika of Lithuanian Holocaust infamy (who was the Chicago-born Foti’s grandfather).

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BBC’s New Documentary Helps Viewers Come to Grips with the Start of the Holocaust’s Genocidal Phase



OPINION  |  ARTS  |  FILM  |  MEDIA WATCH  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS

by Roland Binet (De Panne, Belgium)

We are accustomed to the frequent excellence of BBC broadcasts, documentaries, and investigative reports. On January 23, 2023, with its documentary How the Holocaust Began featuring historian James Bulgin, BBC 2 struck a welcoming chord, demonstrating powerfully and convincingly that the Holocaust ― in the sense of the genocide per se, unleashed upon Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 ― started in the Baltic States of Lithuania and Latvia.

Through the works of Michaël Prazan (Einsatzgruppen as a book and TV documentary in French), Efraim Zuroff’s untiring crusade against the states in Eastern Europe that still cover up their complicity in the murder of millions of Jews during World War II (see his renowned book Operation Last Chance and the site of the same name at the Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem), through the vigorous and constant series of articles on in the web journal Defending History (see also the documentary Rewriting History by Danny Ben Moshe), we, the attentive and honest readers know what the reality of the Holocaust had been in the Baltic States when Jews were hunted as animals, slaughtered as animals by the German forces, and in many cases before they even arrived, also by the local populations “activists.”. We are cognoscenti but it is reassuring to see that the BBC broadcasts an image of far-reaching collaboration by the local populations in the Baltic States with the focus primarily on Lithuania.

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Notes from my Life



MEMOIRS  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  | HUMAN RIGHTS  |  PERSON OF THE YEAR  |  LITHUANIA  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

I was born in Šiauliai on May 27, 1962. My father worked in nearby Kuršėna. My first memories are mostly from there, especially the hamlet Daugėliai, established thanks to a brickyard, and surrounded by forests and the Venta river. My first ten years we children of the common yard rose up against the construction workers who were demolishing the football stadium that we had built with our own hands. For a six-year-old, I was quite adamant, standing up against a construction company truck. Alas, when my mom discovered my struggles, I was forced to rapidly move my resistance underground.

Evaldas Balčiūnas is Defending History’s Person of the Year 2023

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DH’s 2023 Person of the Year: Evaldas Balčiūnas



PERSON OF THE YEAR  |  LITHUANIA  |   EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  | HUMAN RIGHTS  |  HISTORY

In the decade since Evaldas Balčiūnas began informing the English-speaking world, in a series of articles in Defending History, of the details, scope, and pain of his own country pursuing a state policy of glorifying Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators, the phenomenon has moved from local shadows to the bright lights of open and free debate across the democratic world. His 2012 exposé of Holocaust perpetrator Jonas Noreika ultimately led to the publication in America of a bold new book, The Nazi’s Granddaughter by Sylvia Foti. But back here in Lithuania, Evaldas was lugged into court for years and years on kangaroo charges and harassed extensively. The Defending History team was there at each hearing to provide moral support. The day will surely come when Evaldas Balčiūnas — journalist, educator, rebel, author, and historian — will be honored by Jewish and Holocaust history and remembrance groups internationally, by humanists everywhere, and last but not least, by his own country, as its fearless grand  ethicist of the earlier twenty-first century.

Editor’s memoir

Evaldas Balčiūnas

In 2011, when our small Defending History team headed out (as we did each year) to Kaunas to monitor and document the 2011 neo-nazi city center march, an event that glorified Holocaust collaborators, we went for a coffee after the event. There, our mentor who never missed a march before his final illness, Milan Chersonski (1937–2021), the longtime Vilnius Yiddish theatre director and editor for some dozen years of the Lithuanian Jewish community’s quadrilingual newspaper, Jerusalem of Lithuania, told us (in Yiddish, of course): “Look, there is one young Lithuanian who has more courage than the rest of the country combined. He has been writing articles on the tragedy of his country’s government organs glorifying Holocaust collaborators in the public space. And unlike others, he’ll be happy for Defending History to publish them in English translation. Trust me, his articles are more important that all of ours that come from Jewish pens.”

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Updates on Kaunas’s ‘Capital of European Culture 2022’ Year Without (So Far) Removing a Single Shrine to Local Holocaust Collaborators


[latest update]

OPINION  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  | THE 2022 LEVINAS AFFAIR OF 2022

Congratulations to the city of Kaunas, Lithuania, once known also as Kovno (in Yiddish forever: Kóvne) on its selection as Europe’s “Capital of European Culture” in 2022, sharing the title with Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg. But as  the midpoint of the city’s co-reign rapidly approaches, it is necessary, albeit sad, to have to note that not a single public-space glorification of local Holocaust collaborators had been removed. Zero. No city on the planet has as many monuments to local partners in the genocide of that city’s Jews. The 30,000 Litvaks (Lithuanian Jews) of Kaunas were brutally murdered, and the city played the primary role in the launch of the Lithuanian genocide on 23 June 1941, before the arrival of the first German forces. Thousands were murdered before the Germans arrived and/or set up their administration.

See Lev Golinkin’s updated 2022 catalogue in the Forward of public space shrines to Nazi collaborators worldwide

Lithuanian government authorities have  reportedly invested large sums to lure “Useful Jewish Idiots” from the UK, US, Israel, and further afield to participate in “cultural events” intended to obfuscate and deflect from the primary issue: Why are the enablers of the slaughter of Kovno Jewry still honored by street names, plaques and university lecture halls and statues in the city? Local Jewish leaders who have dared to speak up have rapidly been smeared as “Putinists” for daring to criticize the far right’s hold over national history policy (and indeed, the need for such a policy to start with).

But in the waning days of 2021, a “waterfall of truth” began to cascade from an unanticipated quarter. Michael Levinas, son of the celebrated Lithuanian-Jewish born French philosopher Emanuel Levinas, forbade authorities to name a fancy new institute after his father. This was kept under wraps until his 21 Dec.  Le Figaro opinion piece broke the story, and it was duly reported in Lithuania by LRT.lt. See Defending History’s media tracker page for background and updates.

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Posted in 'Levinas Center' in Kaunas, Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Jonas Žemaitis, Kaunas, Kazys Škirpa, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Updates on Kaunas’s ‘Capital of European Culture 2022’ Year Without (So Far) Removing a Single Shrine to Local Holocaust Collaborators

Is Walking Down a Street Named for a Murderer Now Considered ‘Holocaust Remembrance’?



Opinion  |  Collaborators Glorified  | Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas  |  Politics of Memory  | Lithuania  |  History

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Just another street name in a pleasant part of Kaunas, this year’s Capital of European Culture? Author thinks that “Kaunas and its people deserve better”…

Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas (1915–1948) is remembered by the Republic of Lithuania for his anti-Soviet guerilla activities after the war but without regard for the three separate periods of his activity in service to Nazi activities to exterminate the Jewish people. He did indeed join the anti-Soviet partisan resistance movement in the spring of 1945. And, before his death, he did become the head of its Tauras County unit. Those who heroize this period of his activities emphasize his efforts in establishing military discipline and order in the county. His critics, in turn, are more likely to make reference to his order to the Žalgiris Detachment, subordinate to the Tauras County, to annihilate Russian (Soviet) civilian settlers (“colonists”) in Opšrūtai, who had been transferred to Lithuania according to the Soviet-Nazi repatriation agreement (often with little or no input from these folks themselves). Thirty-one persons perished in Opšrūtai, including fourteen children. In the partisans’ descriptions of the battle, it is easy to notice that their task was to eradicate all colonists, including children. Those who justify the atrocity against civilians, including children, say that it was necessary to thwart the russification of Lithuania.

Lithuania’s policy of historical memory was quite straightforward on this issue: it built a monument to the partisans of the Žalgiris Detachment in Opšrūtai. Ethnic cleansing of Jews, if done by “our own nationalist heroes” in Lithuania, is still seen, it seems, as acceptable.

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Posted in Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas, Antisemitism & Bias, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Kaunas, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Is Walking Down a Street Named for a Murderer Now Considered ‘Holocaust Remembrance’?

Subtle Art of State Antisemitism ― East European Style (with ubiquitous nod to glorification of Holocaust collaborators)



OPINION  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  (AB)USE OF JEWISH STUDIES FOR HISTORICAL REVISIONISM  |  YIDDISH AFFAIRS  | YIVO IN LITHUANIA  | MEDIA WATCH  | FOREIGN MINISTRIES AND JUDAIC STUDIES  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  | NOREIKA GLORIFIED

by Julius Norwilla (Vilnius)

On the 4th of April 2022, the website of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a news item titled (in Lithuanian, here translated) “Lithuania will expand cooperation with Yivo Jewish Research Institute, preserving and publicizing Lithuanian Jewish history” (as PDF). The site’s English language section uses the headline wording “Lithuania to expand cooperation with Yivo Institute for Jewish Research to protect and promote the history and heritage of Lithuanian Jews” (as PDF).

The news article contains information about the visit of the esteemed American scholar, Dr. Jonathan Brent, the executive director and CEO of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research in New York, also a famed educator and academic publisher, with his colleagues, and their meeting with the deputy foreign minister. The news item appears intent on communicating to the world how much our country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs cares about its Jewish and Yiddish legacy and how sensitive it is to the history of Lithuanian Jewry.

Both the Lithuanian and English versions are illustrated with a three-photo gallery portraying three scenes of the meeting: shaking hands at the welcome, a moment at the meeting table and the final with those at the meeting posing for the official photo-op.

Everything seems to be done according to the usual protocols of such meetings, at which the professional photographer takes numerous photos from start to finish, culminating with the final photo-op. Then the few dozen shots are whittled down to the most informative and appropriate handful for publication. The ones that make the point best. Elementary.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Julius Norwilla, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, ministries, News & Views, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, What Do Fake Litvak Games Look Like?, Yiddish Affairs, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Subtle Art of State Antisemitism ― East European Style (with ubiquitous nod to glorification of Holocaust collaborators)

27 Months Later: Lithuania’s Defense Ministry Still Flaunts Website Homage to Hitlerist Theoretician of Ethnic Cleansing of Jews


[UPDATED / ORIGINAL REPORT 3 MARCH 2020]

COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  |   KAUNAS MARCHES EU  |  OPINION 

Believe it or not, the Defense Ministry still flaunts its magazine cover glorifying Lithuania’s major  1941 “Holocaust advocate”  (as PDF) on its website with no editorial comment or disclaimer from the defense minister. Who was K. Škirpa?

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, History, Kazys Škirpa, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Yitzhak Arad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 27 Months Later: Lithuania’s Defense Ministry Still Flaunts Website Homage to Hitlerist Theoretician of Ethnic Cleansing of Jews

Ottawa Citizen & N.Y. Times Break Media Silence on Self-Damage of Eastern NATO/EU Democracies by Public-Space Adoration of Holocaust Collaborators



OPINION  |  MEDIA WATCH  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  LATVIA  |  UKRAINE  |  RIGA MARCHES

by Dovid Katz

Mainstream Western media has, it seems, finally begun to “notice a detail” that has been rather inscrutable to the wider public. Ukraine is a country where in 2019, 73.22% of voters chose a Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelensky in the second and final round of voting, a result verily impossible in any of today’s great Western democracies, including the United States and Britain. Indeed a Jewish president whose family boasts proud World War II veterans of the Holocaust-era Red Army’s and the Allies’ struggle against Hitler. That is no “pro-fascist” country. Period, full stop. Having been a regular visitor to Ukraine for a period spanning more than a decade (for Yiddish expeditions and sometimes delightful conferences), I can attest to the open, welcoming, multiethnic and multicultural tolerance and grand humor of this great country’s people.

What is the upshot? That just as elsewhere in pro-Western Eastern Europe, a small but disproportionately powerful coterie of far-right pseudo-patriotic history rewriters, among them highly educated and sophisticated historians, politicians and state apparatchiks, all Holocaust revisionists in their passion to have as national heroes Hitler collaborators, have done so much harm to their own countries. It’s enough to peruse Defending History’s sections on Croatia, EstoniaHungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and more (see Countries). Incidentally, the motivation of these small, overly influential elites is (mis)guided by two forms of racism: inability to concede their nations’ leaders acted wrongfully during the Holocaust (what country’s history has no dark spots?), and the demented desire for a (supposedly) ethnically pure country (in other words, quiet satisfaction with the results of accomplished ethnic purification).

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Today’s Far-Right March 11th Parade in Vilnius



VILNIUS MARCHES  |  KAUNAS MARCHES  |  FAR-RIGHT MARCHES  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED

by Julius Norwilla

VILNIUS—On our National Independence Day today, the 11th of March, approximately two hundred far-right nationalists and their sympathizers marched in the center of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, with permission of the city’s and national authorities. The march, following a route of many years’ standing, started at Cathedral Square and ended up in Lukiškės Square. But this year’s gathering was unusually short, taking up less than one hour. The main outlets of the Lithuanian media covered the event, generally obfuscating its far-right character.

What else makes this year’s march different from the marches of the previous years and from the march on February 16th? First, naturally, support for Ukraine, now under a vicious military campaign by Russian military forces, dominated the event. The rally was opened and closed by playing melodies and singing two national anthems: of Lithuania in Lithuanian and of Ukraine in Ukrainian.

Julius Norwilla’s photos at the event

Second, the provocative far-right slogan “Lietuva Lietuviams!” (Lithuania for Lithuanians!) was today used explicitly, featuring beforehand on the Facebook page banner preceding the event, thereby emphasizing the group’s fear of citizens, residents or refugees who are not pure ethnic Lithuanian (perhaps a contradiction to the professed support of Ukraine?). During the march, it was screamed out repeatedly. Defending History’s  monitoring and reporting of the far-right marches starting back in 2008. Sometimes the far-right slogan, implying illegitimacy or no human rights for non-ethnic-Lithuanians in Lithuania, is at times reduced to a single chant word: “Lithuania! Lithuania! Lithuania!”

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News and Views on a ‘Levinas Center’ in Kaunas that May Serve PR Interests of Deflecting from City’s Shrines to its Holocaust Perpetrators


[UPDATED]

  LEVINAS CENTER IN KAUNAS  |  FRANCE  |  KAUNAS  | GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  BALTIC JEWISH INVESTMENTS THAT DEFLECT FROM HOLOCAUST REVISIONISM

Tracking media coverage.

Composer and pianist Michael Levinas, the son (and heir and exclusive legal holder of the moral rights to his father’s works) of French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, has publicly protested Lithuania’s naming an institute in Kaunas for his father. See his op-ed in Le Figaro (21 Dec. 2021) [in English]) and his interview in Actualité Juive (13 Jan. 2022) [in English]). Initial coverage by JTA (19 Jan.) does not mention Michael Levinas’s protest, but unusually, the protest has been covered in some detail by Lithuanian mainstream media’s Lrt.lt (9 Jan., updated 17 Jan. 2022) which reported on the refusal of the French Embassy in Vilnius to send any representation to the center’s opening ceremony in Dec. 2021. A report also appeared on the website of the official Lithuanian Jewish Community (10 Jan.). However, a second local Kaunas community posting on 12 Jan. was alone cited by the European Jewish Congress website  as an uncontroversial news item.

“Question on everybody’s mind”:

Will the Levinas Center leaders, staff, sponsors and visitors politely ask, with dignity, that the city of Kaunas now, in its year as “Capital of European Culture” rapidly remove state-sponsored shrines to the local murderers of Levinas’s family and the other 30,000 Jewish citizens of Kaunas? Or will the Levinas Center become one of the “Useful Jewish Idiot (UJI) addresses” that are used to cover for current Kaunas policies of glorification of Nazi perpetrators, while providing handsome photo-ops, lavish hospitality and generous amenities to visiting foreign Jewish dignitaries who maintain studious silence on current policies of honoring Holocaust collaborators in the public space (in some cases, a very short walk from the new “Levinas Center”).

Levinas for veterinarians?

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Authorized Translation of French Composer Michael Levinas’s Interview with Actualité Juive on Illicit New ‘Levinas Center’ in Kaunas, as City Continues to Glorify Local Holocaust Perpetrators



Defending History’s Belgian correspondent Roland Binet has translated the 13 Jan. 2021 interview with Michael Levinas published on 13 Jan. 2021 in Actualite Juive.  Michaël Levinas, who has approved the translation, is a French pianist and composer of renown. He has this year been appointed Vice-President of the French Academy of Fine Arts, has taught at the Paris National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance and has been made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.  

For context see the Levinas Center Media Tracker page.


Son of the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, pianist and composer, honorary professor at the CNSMDP [National Superior Conservatory of Dance and Music], member of the French Institute and the Academy of Fine Arts, Michaël Levinas has expressed his opposition to the inauguration last month of the Emmanuel Levinas Center in Lithuania. He explains why.

Actualité Juive: The city of Kaunas in Lithuania in December inaugurated a center that bears the name of your father, the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. Why do you oppose that initiative?

Michaël Levinas: During a visit in Paris by the philosopher Viktoras Bachmetjevas, I learned that he wished to create an Emmanuel Levinas Center in Kaunas. I immediately told him of my reservations to the use of his name at the very place where all our family had been murdered during the Holocaust by bullets with the proven complicity of the Lithuanian people. It is an employee of  mygrandfather (who was a bookseller) who denounced the family and led the Lithuanian members of the militia to his home. I pointed out the fact that it was common knowledge that my father had on many occasions expressed the solemn vow never again to return to Lithuania and never again to have any contact with that country anymore. On the other hand, I told him that I was not opposed to the fact that, within the setting of a structure dedicated to  contemporary philosophy, a section might be created dedicated to the study of Emmanuel Levinas’s work. One year later, I was contacted by the French ambassador in Lithuania, Mrs. Lignières-Counathe, who informed me of the progress of a project of setting up of an Emmanuel Levinas Center. Again, I expressed my reservations, reminding her of my father’s very firm stance and of my moral and intellectual responsibility as exclusive holder of the moral rights pertaining to his work, which are of course correlated with the respect of his name and its use.

Actualité Juive: What happened next?

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