Dovid Katz

See also:
https://defendinghistory.com/the-editor
www.dovidkatz.net

Another ‘Fake Litvak Congress’? Litvaks of Lithuania are Excluded on Orders of Election-coup ‘Pylimo 4 Bosses’; Photo-op Foreigners In Town for Gov. Hosted Event



OPINION  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  | WHAT DO FAKE LITVAK GAMES LOOK LIKE?  |  VILNIUS JEWISH COMMUNITY’S STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE  |  (AB)USE OF JEWISH EVENTS FOR HOLOCAUST REVISIONISM  | WHEN GOV. MINISTRIES MEDDLE IN FRAGILE MINORITY CULTURE (& HISTORY DEBATES)  |  LITHUANIA

by Dovid Katz

Most Lithuanian government officials in diverse branches of its democratic government, including so many in its Culture and Education ministries, its local museums and libraries, its schools and cultural centers, have a warm and healthy attitude toward both the historic weight and tragic fate of the nation’s Jewish minority. This is important to keep in mind as we come yet again to provide a voice for the voiceless: the manipulation of the fragile Litvak and Yiddish culture, of the last survivors and their families, and of Holocaust history by some small and lavishly financed “Jewish fix-it units” including the Genocide Center, Genocide Museum, Red-Brown Commission, and a scattering of “Jewish, Yiddish and Litvak” centers in central Vilnius, a good part of which exclude from all professional participation people — including top specialists in the relevant field — who dare disagree with state revisionism on the Holocaust. In some cases, this policy brings about the succeeding phase of “Jewish” addresses without a single Jewish member of staff (think African American Cultural Center in Alabama, staffed by pure lily-whites who won’t mess up and peradventure say something contrary to local “patriotic” history-book narratives demanded by nationalists).

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Lithuania, Dovid Katz, Events, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, ministries, News & Views, Opinion, What Do Fake Litvak Games Look Like? | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Another ‘Fake Litvak Congress’? Litvaks of Lithuania are Excluded on Orders of Election-coup ‘Pylimo 4 Bosses’; Photo-op Foreigners In Town for Gov. Hosted Event

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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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Dovid Katz, Latvia, Lithuania, Media Watch, News & Views, Ukraine | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Ottawa Citizen & N.Y. Times Break Media Silence on Self-Damage of Eastern NATO/EU Democracies by Public-Space Adoration of Holocaust Collaborators

Editor’s Comments on Defending History Persons of the Year 2022


[UPDATE]


OPINION  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  LITHUANIA

by Dovid Katz

Note: An earlier version of this comment appeared on Dovid Katz’s personal Facebook page on 31 Dec. 

Each year on New Year’s Eve, when the clock strikes midnight (Vilnius time), our Defending History community publishes its Person(s) of the Year, in most years, and this year once again, chosen from among the most inspirational and eternal of Lithuania’s 20th century heroes: the amazing people who risked everything, starting with themselves and their children and families, to just save a Jewish neighbor and fellow citizen who was targeted for death by the Nazis and their local collaborationists and lackeys. Most years, and this year again, we are fortunate to have an authoritative summary of the achievements of the folks we are honoring prepared for the Persons of the Year series by Danutė Selčinskaja, longtime director of the Project for Commemoration of Rescuers of Jews at the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History in Vilnius. With brevity, authority and humanity, Danutė tells the tale of our 2022 Persons of the Year: Tadas Pocius and Barbora Urbonavičiūtė-Pocienė; Antanas Volskis and Stanislava Volskienė;Leonas Vaidotas and  Stanislava Vaidotienė — all of the tiny speck of a village Karalgiris… All simple people of the land whose heart and soul stood entire heavens and firmaments above so many with education, jobs, money, authority, and all the rest.

See Defending History’s Persons of the Year

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Posted in Defending History's Person of the Year, Dovid Katz, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Editor’s Comments on Defending History Persons of the Year 2022

Claims Conference’s ‘Zachor’ Series Releases Video of Ruediger Mahlo’s Interview with Dovid Katz



VILNIUS—The Claims Conference today published on its youtube channel an interview on the Holocaust in Lithuania and its current treatment in Lithuania. The CC’s Ruefiger Mahlo interviewed Defending History editor Dovid Katz a part of its “Zachor” (Remember!) program. Other recent interviews with and webinars by DH’s editor are available via his webinar page.⸗
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Video Released of Marius Ivaškevičius’s Interview with Dovid Katz



VILNIUS—Famed Lithuanian playwright Marius Ivaškevičius interviewed Dovid Katz as his Vilnius apartment on 20 March 2017 as part of the filming for Tzvi Kritzer’s documtentary “The Last Sunday in August” about the slaughter of the Jews of Malát (today: Molėtai) Lithuania. The much more general interview offers sweeping discourse on the Lithuanian Holocaust and its legacies, and sundry difficult related issues. There was a cameo appearance  by  the film’s producer Tzvi Kritzer. The footage released  is unedited but not complete. Unfortunately, the beginning, with Marius’s detailed opening statement and set of questions, is missing from this footage. The documentary, released in 2018, is on youtube.

Posted in Arts, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Debates on the Postwar "Forest Brothers", Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Malát (Molėtai), News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Video Released of Marius Ivaškevičius’s Interview with Dovid Katz

Local and International Opposition to Plans for Convention Center at Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery


[updated]


INTERNATIONAL PETITION AT 53,500 SIGNATURES

SUMMARY OF RECENT NEWS

DEFENDING HISTORY’S SECTION; ROLE OF THE US TAXPAYER FUNDED USCPAHA; OF LONDON’S CPJCE ‘GRAVE-SELLING RABBIS’ 


(I) Groups of leading Litvak (and other) rabbis

(II) Institutions

(III) Individuals

(IV) Lithuania’s Jewish community

(V) US Congress & Israel’s Knesset

(VI) Background

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Posted in Appeals to the European Commission on Piramónt, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Dovid Katz, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Rothschild Foundation Europe (Hanadiv): Lithuanian Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Local and International Opposition to Plans for Convention Center at Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

Will Lithuania’s Parliament Really Name 2021 for Alleged Participant in LAF’s Kaunas Atrocities of June 1941?



OPINION  |  EVENTS  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  HISTORY   |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED

by Dovid Katz

According to Lithuanian media reports, the nation’s parliament (Seimas) will be declaring the year 2021 to be dedicated to the memory of Juozas Lukša (Daumantas).

Let us assume for the sake of argument that the identification of Mr. Lukša (Luksha) as one of the brutal murderers of defenseless Jewish neighbors in an infamous photo of the Kaunas Garage Massacre of June 1941, best known from Joseph Melamed’s 1999 Crime and Punishment, published by the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, is erroneous. Then, that the reference to Mr. Lukša in the text (p. 38) in a listing of perpetrators (known from a half century of testimonies from the survivor community), and a photo with other alleged collaborators (p. 105), are likewise mistaken. And that the information on the Association’s website, posted during Mr. Melamed’s lifetime, is also in error.

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Let us even grant that there is no current courtroom-grade proof for the details of the following text from Holocaust survivor Alex (Alter) Faitelson, in his classic memoir The Truth and Nothing But the Truth: Jewish Resistance in Lithuania (Gefen Publishing House 2006, p. 34). It is a text that includes the author’s recollection from after the war: Lukša’s “photograph was found and shown to witnesses who were interrogated. They all confirmed his participation in the torture of Jews in the garage” (Lithuanian translation). Incidentally, in 1993, Mr. Faitelson was awarded a certificate of honor by Lithuanian president Algirdas Brazauskas. He was not some “enemy of Lithuania” who spent his time making up stories about people. He was a Holocaust survivor, heroic member of the resistance and escape, and renowned memoirist.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Debates on Juozas Lukša, Dovid Katz, Events, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Will Lithuania’s Parliament Really Name 2021 for Alleged Participant in LAF’s Kaunas Atrocities of June 1941?

On the (Ab)use of Law to “Fix” Holocaust History



OPINION  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  FREE SPEECH  |  STATES’ MANIPULATION OF HISTORY

by Dovid Katz

This comment appeared in Mémoires en Jeu (Memory at Stake), no. 9, (2010).

In recent years, a number of eastern EU and NATO member states (plus Ukraine) have been constructing components of their official(and protected-by-law) national narratives on heroes who were collaborators, or even perpetrators in the Holocaust on the grounds that they were “anti-Soviet heroes.”1 These countries indeed had to face two Soviet occupations (1939/1940–41 and 1944/45–1991), and the occupation by Nazi Germany (1941-1944/5). The “liberating” state was also the author of major crimes such as repressions, deportations, forced labor and executions, and the statutes of post-Soviet Europe lacked a text on the crimes of communism. The ensuing moral problem is as follows: while these States would have legitimate heroes who struggled for freedom against dictatorial Soviet domination, they also honor those who participated in the Holocaust and even criminalize criticism against them.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Estonia, EU, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Free Speech & Democracy, History, Latvia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on On the (Ab)use of Law to “Fix” Holocaust History

Alexandra Kudukis Interviews Dovid Katz in The Lithuania Tribune



VILNIUS—The following  interview of DH editor Dovid Katz by Alexandra Kudukis appeared in the Lithuania Tribune today.

Alexandra Kudukis: Professor Katz, you shared that although you were not surprised by the decision, you believed the verdict only serves to divide and hold Lithuania as a culture and people back. Could you please expound on that thought?

My view, consolidated after twenty years of choosing to live in beautiful Vilnius, is that the Lithuanian people by and large have absolutely no interest in there being state-sponsored monuments to Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators or street names glorifying them. This is a kind of self-destructive obsession of a very small but very powerful elite that deals with “history” in government, government-sponsored research and public affairs, agencies and history departments.

Here, in this most delightfully democratic of countries, the one exception is freedom to disagree about history! My dear friend Evaldas Balčiūnas, for example, did the country a huge service by publishing a series of articles, starting in 2012, in both Lithuanian and English, on the topic of “Why does the state commemorate murderers?” He lost his job and career, and was lugged into court for useless kangaroo hearings for years (for the saga in English, please see his section in Defending History, here: (please scroll down to May 2014). In fact, virtually all who have spoken up on these issues have seen our jobs come to a rapid end (see a summary here).

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English Original of LRT ‘s Television Interview with Dovid Katz Now Online



EDITOR’S NOTE: LRT’s television interview with DH editor Dovid Katz, filmed in late November 2018, was broadcast on Lithuanian television on 14 February with Lithuanian voice-over. The following is the interview in the original English, courtesy of LRT.

Posted in Dovid Katz, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Comments Off on English Original of LRT ‘s Television Interview with Dovid Katz Now Online

Dovid Katz Interviewed by Stanislovas Tomas in Vilnius



 

DH EDITOR’S NOTE: While the interview per se was broadcast fairly and honestly, Jazz TV provided a wholly incorrect title in the version posted online. At no point did Dovid Katz assert that his 2010 discontinuation at Vilnius University was due to him saying that the anti-Nazi Soviet war effort between 1941 and 1945  saved many Jews during the Holocaust (which it did). Instead it was because of three articles in 2009 and 2010 (in the Jewish Chronicle (London), the Irish Times (Dublin) and the online Guardian which expressed disagreement with the 2008 Prague Declaration, the “Double Genocide” theory and particularly with Lithuanian state prosecutors who initiated campaigns of defamation against Holocaust survivors (and anti-Nazi partisan heroes) Yitzhak Arad, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Rachel Margolis and others. Professor Katz believes his views to be in the very best interests of Lithuania and its citizens. among whom he has chosen to live for the past twenty years.

[Update of 8 April: Following the smashing of the Noreika plaque one week after the interview, our report and “unequivocal condemnation” of all violence against property appeared in Defending History.]

[Update of 9 August: Amidst an antisemitic demonstration, a new and “better” Noreika plaque is put up.]


Full Lithuanian Translation of the Interview

Pilnas video interviu su prof. Dovydu Kacu (Vilnius, 2019 m. balandžio 1 d.) vertimas į lietuvių kalbą

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Posted in Dovid Katz, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Comments Off on Dovid Katz Interviewed by Stanislovas Tomas in Vilnius

The Yiddish Conundrum: A Cautionary Tale for Language Revivalism



YIDDISH PROJECTS   |  YIDDISH AFFAIRS

by Dovid Katz

This paper appeared this month as: Dovid Katz, “The Yiddish Conundrum: A Cautionary Tale for Language Revivalism” in: G. Hogan-Brun  and B. O’Rourke  (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Minority Languages and Communities (Palgrave Macmillan: London 2019), pp.  553-587.

For those who cherish the goal of preserving small, endangered languages, some developments (and lessons) from the case of Yiddish might be illuminating, though not in the sense of some straightforward measure of ‘success’ or ‘failure’. There is no consensus on the interpretation of the current curious — and contentious — situation. If the issues raised might serve as a point of departure for debate on its implications for other languages, particularly the potential damage from exaggeratedly purist ‘corpus planning movements’ as well as potentially associated ‘linguistic disrespect’ toward the majority of the living speakers of the ‘language to be saved’, then this paper’s modest goal will have been realized. Moreover, the perils of a sociolinguistic theory overapplied by a coterie with access to funding, infrastructure and public relations need to be studied.[1]

Ultimately, the backdrop for study of the current situation is the pre-Holocaust status quo ante of a population of Yiddish speakers for which estimates have been in the range of ten to thirteen million native speakers.[2]

Nowadays, on the one hand, millions of dollars a year are spent on ‘saving Yiddish’ among ‘modern Jews’ (secular and ‘modern religious’), interested non-Jews. People may be academically, culturally, literarily, musically, sentimentally, ideologically, and otherwise attracted. The number of Yiddish speaking families these efforts have generated is in dispute, but it is under a dozen. A high proportion of those hail from a postwar movement of normativist language revision, on the Ausbau model of Heinz Kloss. This conscious process has taken their variety ever further from native Yiddish speech of any naturally occurring variety while retaining a steadfast, profound commitment to actually using the language in daily life. Lavish subsidies provide for a newspaper, magazines, myriad programs and a few large architectural edifices dedicated, one way or another, to ‘saving Yiddish’. In academia, endowments have provided a number of positions that are ironically known in the field as ‘poetry fellowships’ in so far as their incumbents may try to be ‘Yiddish writers’ while under no pressure to produce successful doctoral programs that would be generating new generations of scholar specialists who can themselves write and teach in the language (say for advanced courses). In the case of some Yiddish chairs, the elderly East European born donor ‘had the chutzpah to go ahead and die’, leaving his or her children amenable to a program’s ‘rapid enhancement’ via conversion from the low-student-number (‘failing’) Yiddish to the ‘higher student takeup’ (‘winning’) menu of ‘Judaic Studies’ or ‘comparative Jewish literature’ courses.[3] Much of the current ‘language movement’ is focused on ‘Yiddish products’ in English (and other national languages) about Yiddish that have engendered fundraising campaigns for buildings and centers, without seriously attempting to produce new speakers, let alone writers. This has been made possible by what I have called massive American-style PR driven ‘delinguification’ of Yiddish (Katz, 2015: 279-290). The satire, ‘A conference of Yiddish savers’ by Miriam Hoffman, the last major actual Yiddish author born in Eastern Europe before the war, now based in Coral Springs, Florida, continues to delight readers from all sides of the argument (Hoffman 1994). Note that none of this is to suggest that any of these efforts are ‘wasted’.

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Is Yiddish ‘Lingua non grata’ at National Library’s Exhibition on Prewar Lithuanian Jewish Life?



OPINION  |  MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS  |  THE ARTS  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  YIDDISH AFFAIRS

by Dovid Katz

Lead banner for National Library’s exhibition on prewar Lithuanian Jewish culture

For many centuries, the Jews of Vilna (Yiddish Vílne, formal Ashkenazic Hebrew Vílno, modern Hebrew Vílna), and indeed, those from a huge radius of towns and villages in all four directions that looked to the then “Jerusalem of Lithuania” as their spiritual capital, the streets of the oldest Jewish settlement in the town were lovingly known as Di yidishe gas. The narrow dictionary definition is indeed “the Jewish street” but in the Yiddish of Vilna, as in other cities with highly developed Yiddish culture, the phrase came to signify the entire neighborhood in the sense that could perhaps best be captured by something like “our Jewish part of town.” When in 1920, the then Polish authorities offered the Jewish community the opportunity to name a few streets in town, Yídishe gas (Polish Żydowska) became one of them, for the neighborhood’s primary street. When the democratic Lithuanian independence movement of the late 1980s reached the stage of ridding the city of hated Soviet-imposed names, the old name was rapidly and boldly, restored, in its translative Lithuanian form, Žydų gatvė.

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Posted in Arts, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Dovid Katz, Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off on Is Yiddish ‘Lingua non grata’ at National Library’s Exhibition on Prewar Lithuanian Jewish Life?

Program of August 2018 Chernowitz (Cernivtsi) Yiddish Conference



YIDDISH AFFAIRS

 

VILNIUS—The organizers of the international conference in Yiddish studies to mark the 110th anniversary of the fabled Chernowitz Language Conference of 1908 have today released the final program for the conference.  It is available as PDF and follows below (use arrows at upper left to turn pages). It will be held in the same building where the 1908 conference took place in today’s Cernivtsi, Ukraine from 6 to 10 August 2018.

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Poland’s New Holocaust Law is Bad — But Not the Worst



OPINION  |  POLAND  |  FREE SPEECH

by Dovid Katz

in today’s Jewish Currents

So what happened on January 31st? The new law, adopted by both houses of the Polish parliament and then enacted on March 1st, warns that, “Whoever claims, publicly and contrary to the facts, that the Polish Nation or the Republic of Poland is responsible or co-responsible for Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich […] or for other felonies that constitute crimes against peace, crimes against humanity or war crimes, or whoever otherwise grossly diminishes the responsibility of the true perpetrators of said crimes […] shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to three years. The sentence shall be made public.”

The law is in some sense an overreaction to some common mischaracterizations of Poland’s role in the Holocaust, starting with the myth that Hitler chose to build concentration camps there because Poland was so antisemitic. He built them there because that is where the Jews were, more than three million of them. Nor did the Nazis generally recruit Poles to do the actual killing of Jews, as was the case in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and (western) Ukraine, among others. There were, to be sure, atrocities committed by Poles, such as the 1941 massacre of the Jews of Jedwabne—powerfully researched and immortalized by Jan Gross in his masterly 2001 book, Neighbors—and the unthinkable pogrom at Kielce, in 1946, just months after the end of the Holocaust.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Dovid Katz, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, News & Views, Poland, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Poland’s New Holocaust Law is Bad — But Not the Worst

Lithuania’s Museum of Holocaust Denial



Museums | Genocide Museum | Genocide  Center | Double Genocide | Collaborators Glorified | Lithuania

by Dovid Katz

In today’s Tablet magazine…

This past winter here in Vilnius, the charming capital of Lithuania, was much like any other. During long solid weeks of subzero temperatures, as the flow of tourists and roots-seekers slowed to a trickle, I adjusted the route of my daily walk to pass by up to a dozen top tourist sights. Day after day, there was one constant: The most popular, winter-defying “must-visit” for foreigners is “The Museum of Genocide Victims.” Perhaps there is something grotesquely sexy about “genocide.” Maybe the promise of (real) former KGB interrogation rooms and isolation chambers in the basement is less run-of-the-mill and more strikingly authentic than much usual museum fare. Estimates obtained from the museum’s administrators suggest about a million visitors total to date.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, EU, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Lithuania’s Museum of Holocaust Denial

“Nationalist” March in Central Vilnius on Lithuania’s 100th Birthday Ends Up in Usual Neo-Nazi Spirit



VILNIUS MARCHES  |  KAUNAS  MARCHES  |  REGIONAL PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  |  ANTISEMITISM  |  EVENTS  |  OPINION

Eyewitness Report by Defending History Staff with photos by Julius Norwilla. His photo gallery available here.

 

Lead banner reads: “WE KNOW WHO OUR NATION’S HEROES ARE. This year’s “sanitized” event in central Vilnius featured a lead banner glorifying six Nazi collaborators, five of them deeply implicated in the Lithuanian Holocaust. The torchlit march, the day’s final event, made its way from Vilnius’s most sacred Catholic shrine down through the Old City, culminating at a street named for one of the collaborators who had advocated “only” ethnic cleansing of the country’s Jewish minority in 1941.

For more on the six figures depicted on the lead banner, follow the links for (from left):  Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas,  Jonas Noreika,  Povilas Plechavičius,  Kazys Škirpa,  Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas, and  Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis.

It started off as a sanitized version of neo-Nazi culture made to look like just “mainstream nationalist.” But by the time the event reached its peak, it featured hundreds of people carrying torches through some of the oldest streets of Vilnius Old Town, while worshiping a banner featuring six alleged Nazi collaborators, five of them deeply implicated in the Holocaust per se, thereby symbolically expressing some kind of glee at the successful ethnic cleansing which these “heroes” supported. The Catholic Church gave the events a de facto  blessing. The two open voices of morally clear protest were of the Jewish activist Daniel Lupshitz and the Catholic professor Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas. Defending History’s Julius Norwilla and Dovid Katz monitored the event.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Debates on Adolfas Ramanauskas (Vanagas), Dovid Katz, Events, Julius Norwilla, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Comments Off on “Nationalist” March in Central Vilnius on Lithuania’s 100th Birthday Ends Up in Usual Neo-Nazi Spirit

Take Note, Historians of Israeli Diplomacy: Betraying the Truth about the Holocaust is Not a Good Idea



OPINION  |  ISRAEL PAGE  |  ISRAEL SECTION   |  HONORING COLLABORATORS  |  LEGACY OF JOE MELAMED  |  LEGACY OF DOV LEVIN  |  FOREIGN MINISTRIES AND THE HOLOCAUST

by Dovid Katz (Vilnius)

VILNIUS—We had the painful responsibility last week to record the folly of the Israeli embassy in an East European country that would go out of its way to lend “Jewish legitimacy” to a lamentable decision of a national parliament to name the incoming year 2018 in honor of a man, who in addition to whatever acts of bravery as a resistance figure in the postwar Soviet period, was also a leader of an armed pro-Nazi militia in the early days of the Lithuanian Holocaust, in late June and early July of 1941. The primary achievement of these groups, many affiliated with the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front) fascist “white-armbanders” was the unleashing of pillage, humiliation, harm and murder of their Jewish citizen neighbors. Make no mistake, the Soviets were fleeing, in June 1941, from Hitler’s invasion, the largest in human history, not from the local Jew-killers.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Dovid Katz, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Take Note, Historians of Israeli Diplomacy: Betraying the Truth about the Holocaust is Not a Good Idea

21st Century Lowpoint for Israeli Diplomacy? Ambassador Poses with Photos of Alleged Holocaust Collaborator



OPINION  |  ISRAEL PAGE  |  ISRAEL SECTION   |  HONORING COLLABORATORS  |  LEGACY OF JOE MELAMED  |  LEGACY OF DOV LEVIN  |  FOREIGN MINISTRIES AND THE HOLOCAUST

by Dovid Katz (Vilnius)

 

PHOTO: DELFI.LT

VILNIUS—Israel may have crossed a red line today when it was flaunted on the major News portal Delfi.lt here, both in Lithuanian and in English, that Israeli ambassador Amir Maimon had found the time this week to stage a demonstrative PR-photographed visit to the chief campaigner for the parliament’s decision less than one month ago to name 2018 in honor of Adolfas Ramanauskas — his daughter in Vilnius, Auksutė Ramanauskaitė-Skokauskienė, who is a prime icon of the ultranationalist camp that often glorifies various collaborators and participants in the Holocaust on the grounds that they were also anti-Soviet activists. The PR move came just after a major political commentator asked what Lithuania is getting in return for its staunch political support for the Netanyahu government.

UPDATES TO THIS ARTICLE: WEEKLY OF VILNIUS COMMENTARY; AMBASSADOR’S BETRAYAL OF HOLOCAUST HISTORY A FIASCO AS LITHUANIA VOTES ANYWAY AGAINST U.S. DECISION TO MOVE ITS EMBASSY (PARTING WITH NEIGHBORING LATVIA)

One of the PR photos released shows the ambassador posing underneath adulatory photos of the 1941 pro-Nazi militiaman (from various other periods in his life). Of course Lithuania has a vast number of inspirational historical heroes, including many anti-Soviet heroes, who were not Holocaust collaborators, and state decisions to honor collaborators cause untold pain to survivors, their families, and the remnant Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. They all send a message that becomes part of the history-revision campaign to downgrade the Holocaust in the context of “Double Genocide” revisionism.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Debates on Adolfas Ramanauskas (Vanagas), Dovid Katz, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 21st Century Lowpoint for Israeli Diplomacy? Ambassador Poses with Photos of Alleged Holocaust Collaborator

The Extraordinary Recent History of Holocaust Studies in Lithuania



OPINION  |  HISTORY  |  LITHUANIA’S STATE COMMISSION ON NAZI AND SOVIET CRIMES   |  LITVAK AFFAIRS

by Dovid Katz

This paper was published today by Taylor and Francis on its website. It appears in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, volume 31, no. 3, pp. 285-295 (Dec. 2017). Dapim is edited by the Strochlitz Institute for Holocaust Research at the University of Haifa.

In Lithuania, the primary provider for Holocaust studies for close to two decades has been the state-sponsored International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania (ICECNSORL), which was established in 1998 by decree of the nation’s president and is housed in the office of its prime minister, embedding it in the highest strata of Lithuanian politics. Several of its activities have enabled significant contributions in research, education, and public commemoration.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Extraordinary Recent History of Holocaust Studies in Lithuania