Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and State Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania

The Posthumous Remaking of a Holocaust Perpetrator in Lithuania: Why is Jonas Noreika a National Hero?



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

Who was Jonas Noreika?

Jonas Noreika (1910-1947), also known by his nom de guerre, General Vėtra, has been named by the current Lithuanian government as “an important member of the resistance” and an object of every sort of heroic commemoration.

In 1997 he was posthumously awarded the Order of the Cross of Vytis, First Degree. The same year a memorial plaque was placed on the facade of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences Library in Vilnius.

Library of the Academy of Sciences in Vilnius. The red arrow marks the Noreika plaque.

Noreika plaque in central Vilnius

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The History of Three “Lithuanian Freedom Army” (LFA) Colonels Who Served the Nazis



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

I will begin with a recent document I found while collecting information about the Lithuanian Freedom Army (LFA), an organization formed during World War II which present-day historians are attempting to portray as an organizer of the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resistance in Lithuania.

On 31 October 2002, President Valdas Adamkus issued decree no. 1965 titled “On Promoting Volunteer Soldiers to the Rank of Colonel”  which gave the rank of colonel to three “members of the armed resistance: volunteer soldiers and soldiers of Lithuania’s pre-war military,” namely, Tauras military district chief Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas (posthumously); Vytautas military district chief Vincas Kaulinis-Miškinis (posthumously); and Vytis military district chief Jonas Krištaponis (also posthumously). Five years later the president noticed he had made a mistake regarding one surname and on 5 January 2007, issued decree no. 1K-849 to correct the mistake, replacing Jonas Krištaponis with Juozas Krikštaponis (aka Krištaponis).

Regarding the anti-Soviet resistance, there really isn’t any argument: most of the LFA fighters heroically fought against the occupiers and died in that struggle.

Regarding the anti-Nazi resistance, however, many doubts are raised. These doubts arise because of the LFA’s position on the mass murder of Jews.

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Day of Shame (May 19th) Can Still be Averted at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas


DefendingHistory.com sincerely hopes that professors, students, and local and international friends and admirers of Vytautas Magnus University, one of the finest in the Baltics, will make their voices heard respectfully asking for the cancellation of this misconceived event, which is causing so much pain to Holocaust survivors and the remnant Jewish community.

Program of the Memorial Conference at Vytautas Magnus University (Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas) in Kaunas

to honor the “prime minister” of the 1941 Nazi puppet “Provisional Government” that oversaw the onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust by the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) and the Nazi invaders. Indeed, his name appears atop the 30 June 1941 order for a concentration camp for Jews to be built, and the 7 July 1941 order for a ghetto to be set up to incarcerate the Jews of Kaunas.

Coverage to date includes DefendingHistory.com, Milan Chersonski, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Haaretz.  The original program in Lithuanian of the conference and related festivities in Vilnius and Kaunas is available here. It is also posted on the website of the Genocide Center. An English translation of the four day program is available here.


Memorial Conference: “The Academic, Educational, Resistance and Political Activity of Juozas Brazaitis”

Catholic Theology Faculty Hall, Vytautas Magnus University, Gimnazijos 7, Kaunas

Saturday 19 May 2012

 

11 AM:

Opening Ceremony:

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Parliament’s Public Relations Department Posts Revised Schedule of Events to Honor Nazi Collaborator “Prime Minister” Juozas Ambrazevičius (Brazaitis)


BNS (Baltic News Service) today published in full a statement issued by the Public Relations Department of the Parliament, and signed by member of parliament Professor Arimantas Dumčius. The statement contains an updated  schedule of events in honor of the repatriation to Lithuania of the remains of Juozas Ambrazevičius, the “prime minister” of the 1941 Nazi puppet government in Kaunas. Background here, here, here; see also Aderet, Donskis, Zuroff and Krystyna Anna Steiger’s petition).

An earlier BNS report confirmed that the Lithuanian government is financing the transatlantic reburial and four days of events honoring the Nazi collaborator. Today’s press release from the parliament’s official Public Relations Department further underscores the deep government investment in glorification of the country’s 1941 Nazi collaborators.

But one of the scheduled events, a conference on Saturday 20 May, earlier slated for Vytautas Magnus University, is moved on this version to “venue to be announced” after a major scandal that included a letter from the rector of VMU to the nation’s parliament (the Seimas). Still, two VMU professors are among the speakers honoring Ambrazevičius.

Today’s parliamentary press release confirms that the reburial mass for the Nazi collaborator will be conducted by the archbishop metropolitan, Sigitas Tamkevičius, who recently published effusive praise for him in Bernardinai.lt, offering up a deeply revised biography, one that does not mention the onset of the Holocaust during the provisional government’s reign.

The  documents signed by Ambrazevičius in his capacity as “prime minister” of the 1941 “provisional government” include the 27 June 1941 statement calling for all means against the Jews but asking that executions not be public; the 30 June 1941 order for a concentration camp for Jews to be set up; and the 7 July 1941 order for all the Jews of Kaunas to be forcibly relocated into a ghetto within four weeks (English here; extract here).

Extract of the Provisional Government order of 7 July 1941 including the signature of J. Ambrazevičius and the sentence “By German order a ghetto for Jews will be established in Vilijampolė, to which all the Jews of the city of Kaunas must be moved within four weeks.”

The following is a full translation of the BNS report containing the text submitted by MP Dumčius. The original Lithuanian text appears on the BNS site (as htm here).


Parliament Public Relations Department May 16, 2012, rsv@lrs.lt

Press Report May 16, 2012

Report by Member of Parilament Professor Arimantas Dumčius: Juozas Brazaitis-Ambrazevičius Will Be Reburied in Lithuania

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Litvak Devastates Second Kaunas Conference on Nazi Collaborator Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

last revision 26 May 2012, 23:55.


The second conference in Kaunas on the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister and Holocaust collaborator Juozas Ambrazevičius cum Brazaitis, held Thursday, May 24, was treated to some harsh facts presented by a living Litvak, Kovno (Kaunas) historian and Jewish tour guide Chaim Bargman.

Although Vytautas Magnus University initially agreed to and then reneged on a deal with the Lithuanian government to host the earlier “academic conference” last Saturday May 19 purely to adulate the “prime minister” of 1941, they changed their minds yet again—possibly under influence from chairman of their board of directors, former president Valdas Adamkus, who in 2011 celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the LAF fascists—and provided university resources this week for a second event announced as an open discussion event. To their great credit, they did webcast the event and have posted the video (here).

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Vylius-Vėlavičius: Patriot or Another “Tuskulėnai Peace Park” Holocaust Perpetrator?



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

In my recent article about the war criminals buried at Tuskulėnai Memoral Park in Vilnius I provided a list of Nazi collaborators convicted by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union on April 19, 1943, and May 24, 1944 of murdering civilians during the Holocaust. This does not mean, however, that those convicted under other laws are guiltless.

SEE ALSO:

Milan Chersonski on Tuskulėnai Park in Vilnius

According to criminal case materials and archival material examined by Lithuanian historians, there are rabid Nazi collaborators buried at Tuskulėnai Memoral Park. Despite the facts, today falsified, but very “patriotic,” biographies for these people are being crafted and disseminated, according to which they are portrayed as fearless warriors who battled for a free Lithuania.

I have written about one of them, Jonas Noreika, nicknamed General Vėtra, convicted under sections 1a and 2 of article 58 of the criminal code of the RSFSR, but who was recently decorated posthumously by Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus, so I won’t repeat that here.

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In Obeliai (Abél) and Rokiškis (Rákishok): More State-Sponsored Glorification of Nazi Collaborators


 


O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

Years ago, when I first started doubting the veracity of certain propaganda intended to diminish the culpability of local forces in the Holocaust, I interviewed an elderly woman who was an eye-witness to what happened in late June of 1941 in Rokiškis (in Yiddish: Rákishok) in northern (or northeastern) Lithuania.

abel 1942

Obeliai (Abel) 1942: Is curiosity or concern sparked by this “celebration of 1941 partisans” coming from the apex of Nazi rule in Lithuania (1942, when the local Jews were already all murdered)? It seems not. This photo is of the 1942 Nazi-era memorial torn down by the Soviets, and just replaced by a new one, commemorating the same pro-Nazi “partisans” …

She told me how a bunch of young men turned savage, rounded up Jewish men, stuck them in what amounted to a pig sty surrounded by barbed wire in the center of town, and then tortured and humiliated them until they murdered them. She said this gang of savages went by the name of Savisaugos batalionas, which is Lithuanian for self-defense battalion. Were they led by Germans? No, she said, there hadn’t been a single German to be seen.

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The Unwritten Biography of Jonas Žemaitis: A Tale of Twists and Turns



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

The modern Republic of Lithuania has been creating a cult of the partisans. Statues are built to memorialize them. There are commemorative plaques and streets are named after them, as well as schools. One of the most prominent to be hallowed by the cult is Jonas Žemaitis, also called Vytautas, Luke, Matthew, the Silent and general as well as president. His biography is a tapestry of events and adventures. One could write an adventure novel about them, except that… Žemaitis isn’t necessarily a hero.

Zemaitis Military Academy

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Chief Lithuanian Bureaucrat/Historian Rehabilitates Nation’s Quislings, Again



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

In an interview posted on the Delfi website on June 21, 2013, Lithuanian government historian Arūnas Bubnys, head of department for the Orwellian- or even Kafkaesque-sounding Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of the Residents of Lithuania, once again lent support to the pro-Nazi Lithuanian Quisling government that seized power on June 23, 1941.

The interview, titled “Lithuanian Historian: June Uprising was Rehabilitation for Shameful Surrender to Soviets,” is available here. An English translation is provided here.

What follows is my commentary on that interview.

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Vexed Revival of “Red-Brown Commission”



State-sponsored Zingeris-Račinskas “red-brown commission” (officially: International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania) in Vilnius posts new list of members.

See also: 

Page on the commission

Critiques of the commission and its associated Prague Declaration

DH section on the commission.

Resignations to date from Commission-related bodies include Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Sir Martin Gilbert (London), Prof. Gershon Greenberg (Washington DC), Prof. Konrad Kwiet  (Sydney) and Prof. Dov Levin (Jerusalem).

Holocaust survivors themselves have stood up to express disquiet about some aspects of the commission: Yitzhak AradPinchos Fridberg (more), Dov Levin (more), Joseph Melamed (more), Basheva Ran, the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, Jewish Community of Lithuania / Union of Ghetto Survivorsdecade and a half of issues.

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A Library with an Agenda? Bringing American Naifs On Board the Ultranationalists’ Baltic Holocaust Distortion Train?



SUMMARY COVERAGE OF “VILNIUS JEWISH PUBLIC LIBRARY” EVENTS TO 19 JULY 2013:

Wyman Brent’s prophecy fulfilled?

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Lithuania Propaganda Agency is On The Road Again



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

This opinion piece and eyewitness report by Geoff Vasil relates to the July 10th event in honor of the Red-Brown Commission held at the Vilnius Jewish Public Library. See related reports on the library’s instrumentalization as a PR platform for the Commission and the more or less contemporaneous announcement of the Commission’s resumed activities, in the absence of apologies to Yitzhak Arad, Pinchos Fridberg, and the other accused Holocaust survivors.


Attendees at the July 10, 2013 event to honor the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania” were treated to speeches and plentiful Katz-bashing by (from right) Ronaldas Račinskas, Saulius Sužiedėlis and Ilya Lempertas.

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Yad Vashem and the “Two Genocides”



O P I N I O N

by Danny Ben-Moshe  (Melbourne)

This op-ed was first published in Jerusalem Report in August 2013.


I remember my first visit to Yad Vashem as a 16-year-old visitor to Jerusalem. It had a profound, and indeed formative, effect on me. I left there with a badge clipped to my lapel inscribed with the motto, zakhor, the Hebrew word for remember.

Yet for all its splendid work, Yad Vashem whose formal title is The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, I am sorry to say, is now dramatically failing both the martyrs and heroes of the country where the percentage of the Jewish community annihilated in the Holocaust was higher than anywhere else in Europe – Lithuania.

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Part of the Red-Brown Commission Writes to Yitzhak Arad



Defending History Brings Real (But Not Enough) Results…

After 7 Years of Silence, Part of Lithuanian Government’s “Red-Brown Commission” Expresses “Sorrow and Anger” at “Unwarranted Attacks” on Yitzhak Arad

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Vilnius Genocide Center Releases a New Graywash on the Vilna Ghetto



B O O K S    /    O P I N I O N

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.

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Footprints of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas in the Mass Murder of the Jews of Druskininkai



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

Adolfas Ramanauskas Vanagas was a well-known post-war partisan commander. Here’s what the Center for the Study of the Genocide of the Residents of Lithuania has to say about him on their website:

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The Bubnys Event at the 2015 Jewish Community Auschwitz Commemoration



E Y E W I T N E S S   R E P O R T   /   O P I N I O N

by Julius Norwilla

This year much of the world commemorates the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. The day of its liberation, January 27th, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. To mark the day this year, on the 26th of January, the Jewish Community of Lithuania organized three events, as reported in Defending History.

The final event of the day was the book launch for The Šiauliai Ghetto featuring as sole announced speaker its author, Dr. Arūnas Bubnys, director of the Genocide and Resistance Research Department of the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania; for a critical view of the Genocide Center, as it is known for short, see Defending History’s page and news section on the institution.

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The Nazis are Just Nuts



O P I N I O N    /    H I S T O R Y

by Geoff Vasil

◊ 

Somewhere in his voluminous correspondence, correspondence that far surpasses in quantity any of his literary endeavors, H. P. Lovecraft mentions what he sees as the almost arbitrary adoption of Christianity by northern European peoples, and comments that another religion might work just as well. That sense of another religion operating in parallel runs heavily throughout his stories, and nowhere is his notion better illustrated than in his short piece The Festival, roughly centered around an “I’ll be home for Christmas” motif in an unknown village of New England that turns terribly strange but somehow familiar for all its strangeness.

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How Did Lithuanians Wrong Litvaks?



O P I N I O N    /    H I S T O R Y

by Andrius Kulikauskas

Iwill speak about painful things, and so I understand if some of you won’t want to listen and will step out.

It is most important that we empathize with the victims of the Holocaust, and yet we must also empathize with the perpetrators if we wish to understand what happened and who was responsible for what. Litvaks outside of Lithuania feel hurt that Lithuanians shirk responsibility for the Holocaust.

I won’t be indifferent. I am a deliberate Lithuanian. I was born in the diaspora. I chose to be Lithuanian. Is the Lithuanian worldview harmful? I must investigate.

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A New Book on the Kaunas (Kovno) Ghetto by Arūnas Bubnys



O P I N I O N   /   B O O K S

by Geoff Vasil

This small book, brought out in three separate editions (English, Lithuanian, Russian) by the state-supported Genocide Center, looks more like a brochure than anything else. The cover features the author’s name, in small type, above all else, then a larger Kaunas Ghetto, then a line with the years 1941-1944, against a backdrop of a computerized dark blue sky above a “tasteful” black-and-white picture of Jews lined up in columns inside Kaunas ghetto. The computerized dark blue wraps around the spine to the back cover where some vague lines comprise a hand-drawn map of the streets making up Kaunas ghetto, an ISBN number in white above UPC Bookland barcode featuring the same number again, and then a web address, www.genocid.lt.  I found myself staring at the internet address and wondering what language that was supposed to be. Lithuanian is always “genocidas” and “genocid” isn’t possible as any permutation or declension of the noun, and of course English is “genocide.” Perhaps it’s Russian in Latin-letter transcription? But that would contradict the nationalist and ethnic bias of the publisher, the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Lithuanian Residents where Arūnas Bubnys is a leading figure. Perhaps “genocid” is someone’s notion of a non-English and yet international form of the word, formed by reducing it from the Lithuanian nominative case ending -as? I checked my favorite search engine, and of course the Lithuanian organization’s webpage came up first, but was soon followed by a wikipedia and wiktionary entry for the Croatian word.

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