O P I N I O N
Vytautas Landsbergis is one of the giants of the late twentieth century. Along with Poland’s Lech Wałęsa and then-Czechoslovakia’s Václav Havel, Landsbergis led his people from foreign domination to freedom and democracy. Nothing these gentlemen might later on have said or done to their own legacies, particularly in the subsequent century, can detract from their singular achievements in contributing to the downfall of the Soviet Union and the freedom of the subjugated nations on its western periphery.
Posted in Double Games, Dovid Katz, Human Rights, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Legacy of 23 June 1941, LGBTQ Equal Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roma
Tagged Ambrazevicius Brazaitis, Jewish + Lithuania, Maceva, SLS (Summer Literary Seminars), Vytautas Landsbergis
O P I N I O N
by Geoff Vasil
Lithuania’s Jewish community isn’t immune from the broader issues facing Jewish existence in Eastern Europe and there are the same problems of Jewish identity that crop up in Russia, Bulgaria, Poland and elsewhere. And just as there are Christian Evangelicals and others who support the policies of the right-wing in the State of Israel elsewhere in Europe, there are those same voices among Lithuanian politicians and public figures.
What is perhaps different in Lithuania than elsewhere in Eastern Europe is that this Gentile support for Zionist ideals doesn’t translate into support for the surviving local Jewish community or contribute to a profounder and more sympathetic understanding of the Holocaust.
UPDATE OF 5 AUGUST 2012: This essay was republished with permission in the Algemeiner Journal; in 15min.lt (where it seems to have been taken down, but is still listed in Search); in Jewish Ideas Daily (where it was chosen as one of the editor’s picks for 1 August 2012).
Visitors to Vilnius will see any number of plaques dedicated to famous Jewish residents of Vilnius and several dedicated to the Holocaust. Those who look a little deeper under the surface might find there are a number of agencies, organizations and institutions operating in Vilnius which seemingly are aimed at promoting Jewish history, language and culture. In fact, both the plaques and monuments, and the majority of these “Jewish” organizations, serve as little more than window-dressing and display show-cases the Lithuanian government rolls out as exhibits evidencing Lithuanian sincerity in addressing the incomparable atrocity of the Holocaust.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Christian-Jewish Issues, Double Games, Geoff Vasil, Humor (Of Sorts), Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Israel, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Symbology, What Do Fake Litvak Games Look Like?
E Y E W I T N E S S R E P O R T / O P I N I O N
The ceremony today to commemorate Lithuanian Holocaust victims at Ponár, the country’s largest mass murder site, outside the capital city of Vilnius, on the day officially known as Day to Commemorate the Lithuanian Jewish Victims of Genocide, went off pretty much as most official commemorations do here: inappropriate and with seeming desperation to focus on any topic except the circumstances of the actual Lithuanian Holocaust—the massive collaboration and participation that led to the country’s having the highest proportion of Holocaust murder in Europe.
Ponár is the site’s Yiddish name. It is today Paneriai and is known as Ponary in Polish.
The official date, the 23rd of September was marked this year on the 24th, apparently so officials wouldn’t have to interrupt their weekend break.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Double Games, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Events, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Ponár (Ponary, Paneriai), Symbology, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius
Tagged Lithuanian-Israeli Relations, Menachem Begin + Vilnius, Ponar (Paneriai, Ponary), Remigijus Šimašius, Vilna Ghetto commemoration
O P I N I O N
by Efraim Zuroff
reprinted with the author’s permission from today’s Times of Israel
This week, one of the more shameful events in Lithuanian-Jewish relations since the Baltic republic regained independence in 1991 will be hosted in New York by the once-venerable Yivo Institute. Under the heading “Reclaiming the Jewish Narrative in Lithuania Today,” the Yiddish research institute will host Markas Zingeris, whom it describes as a “Lithuanian-Jewish poet and writer,” to speak about relations between Jews and Lithuanians since the fall of Communism.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Efraim Zuroff, Events, Human Rights, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, The Great SLS About-Face, United States, US State Dept Manipulated?, Yiddish Affairs, Yivo Manipulated?
Tagged Dr. Jonathan Brent, Efraim Zuroff, Holocaust in Lithuania, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Regimes, Markas Zingeris, Yivo, Yivo and Lithuania
O P I N I O N
Dear Mr. Hirsch,
Congratulations on your selection as judge of the new literary translation contest named for the eminent late Yiddish poet Avrom (Abraham) Sutzkever (1913-2010). News of the contest was today disseminated far and wide (information affixed below, for readers’ rapid reference, and to help inspire more entries in your competition).
Will prosecutors (and the writers’ union) in Vilnius be told about Avrom Sutzkever’s days with the Soviet partisans?
You may know that in addition to being a major twentieth century Yiddish poet and editor, Sutzkever survived the Holocaust by escaping the Vilna Ghetto to join the anti-Nazi Jewish partisans. You may or may not know that elderly Lithuanian Jewish Holocaust survivors, who like Sutzkever escaped certain death by joining the partisans, but who are still alive and relatively well, have been defamed as “war criminals” by the same Lithuanian government that recently invested in a Sutzkever plaque in Vilnius, brought over his Israeli family for festivities, and invests in ever more Jewish and Yiddish PR stunts (complete with honors for compliant foreigners) to camouflage a campaign of revisionism.
This is on top of a disturbing toleration of serious antisemitism, including in recent years, state-sanctioned neo-Nazi marches in the heart of the capital city on independence day, the legalization of public swastikas (the UN Human Rights Committee has commented), and inaction regarding front pages of mass circulation newspapers worthy of the 1930s. The most famous examples in recent years are depictions of the Jew and the Gay controlling the world (2009), and, less than a year ago, of one of the city’s resident rabbis.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Dovid Katz, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Sutzkever Prize in Lithuania, United States, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Abraham Sutzkever, Ed Hirsch, Holocaust in Lithuania, Summer Literary Seminars, Sutzkever Prize in Lithuania, Writers Union in Vilnius
The New York office of Cross-Cultural Communications Press today released the following statement by its director, poet and publisher Stanley H. Barkan, in response to a 26 Dec 2012 Forward article on the recently announced Abraham Sutzkever Translation Prize competition. Sutzkever (1913-2010), a Vilna Ghetto survivor and Jewish partisan, was a major Yiddish poet and editor.
The prize is related to events to be held in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, next summer on the centenary of Sutzkever’s birth. Details of the award and an opinion piece on its problematic aspects appeared earlier, on 6 Dec 2012, in Defending History. The text of Mr. Barkan’s statement first appeared in the Comments section following the Forward report.
Posted in Double Games, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Stanley H. Barkan, Sutzkever Prize in Lithuania, United States, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Ed Hirsch, Holocaust in Lithuania, Stanley H. Barkan, Sutzkever Translation Prize (2013)
O P I N I O N
by Arthur Dobrin
I am writing to you because it has come to my attention that you are to be the judge in the Avrom Sutzkever Poetry Translation Prize. Many years ago I came across a book of Sutzkever and have used several lines from his poems in a book of mine on bereavement. I was deeply touched by his work and wanted to share it with others.
O P I N I O N
by Peter Thabit Jones
Dear Mr. Hirsch
As a fellow poet and human being, I implore you to withdraw as a judge in a competition that will be part of a series of events misrepresenting things, in effect for the benefit of certain elements in the Lithuanian government. Alternatively, as suggested by colleagues, a simple requirement that each of the wrongfully defamed Jewish Holocaust Survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance be issued a full and public apology would bring the matter to a rapid close.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Sutzkever Prize in Lithuania, United States
Tagged Ed Hirsch, Holocaust in Lithuania, Jewish partisans (Holocaust era), Peter Thabit Jones, Sutzkever Translation Prize (2013)
O P I N I O N
by Charles Adès Fishman
I could hardly believe it when I was told that you were participating in the Sutzkever Translation Prize competition as a judge. The Ed Hirsch whose work I’ve read and admired for years—the Ed Hirsch I’ve admired for years—wouldn’t allow himself to be used in a way that will help the Neo-Nazi forces in Lithuania remove the stain of antisemitism from its persecution of individuals who served as Jewish partisans during the Holocaust years.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Sutzkever Prize in Lithuania, United States
Tagged Charles Adès Fishman, Ed Hirsch, Holocaust in Lithuania, Jewish partisans in Lithuania, SLS, Sutzkever Prize in Lithuania
Through the good offices of the Borns Jewish Studies program at Indiana University (Bloomington), and its Dr. Alice Field Cohn Chair Yiddish studies professor, D.B. Kerler (“Boris Karloff”), who allegedly knifed his own doctoral supervisor in pursuit of a summer position in Vilnius (despite having a tenured position in the US), a comrade Soviet-Israeli self-publishing Yiddish poet has been announced as visiting professor of Yiddish on the home page of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Both have in some views allowed themselves to be instrumentalized by the right-wing Holocaust-revisionist establishment that seeks to cover for state policies including rampant antisemitism and the “Double Genocide” campaign via events and stunts in the field of Yiddish and Jewish studies.
According to the announcement, Dr. Velvl Chernin is now the “visiting professor” of Yiddish at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, which was purged of full-time Jewish staff in 2010 and has been criticized for being Yiddish-free for eleven months of the year.
That situation has apparently now been remedied by the appointment of Dr. Chernin, who, it is announced,
Posted in Bloomington-Borns Program Manipulated?, Double Games, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Bloomington Borns + Vilnius, Bloomington Indiana Borns Jewish Studies Program, Boris Karloff, Dov-Ber Kerler, Dr. Alice Field Cohn Chair, Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, Richard Maullin, Velvl Chernin, Vilnius Yiddish Institute
On the 15 July 2013 centenary of the birth of the illustrious Yiddish poet of Vilna, Abraham Sutzkever (1913–2010), the last active association of Holocaust survivors from Lithuania released the statement below (also available as PDF). It urges organizers, participants, judges and prize winners to avoid being instrumentalized as cover-up props for Holocaust obfuscation. It proposes that they simply issue public statements calling for written public apologies from the Lithuanian government to the defamed Jewish partisans who knew Sutzkever well from the forests of Lithuania and dozens of years of contact in survivor circles. See the related debate on this year’s Sutzkever Prize.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Documents, Double Games, Events, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Joseph Melamed, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Sutzkever Prize in Lithuania, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Abraham Sutzkever, Fania Brantsovsky, Joseph Melamed, Rachel Margolis, SLS Jewish Lithuania Sutzkever Prize, Sutzkever Prize in Lithuania, Yitzhak Arad
O P I N I O N
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.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", "Vilnius Jewish Public Library", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Double Games, Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and State Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania, Events, Geoff Vasil, Holocaust Policies of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas and the State-Sponsored "International Commission" (ICECNSORL), Humor (Of Sorts), Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, The Great SLS About-Face, What Do Fake Litvak Games Look Like?
Tagged Double Genocide, Geoff Vasil, Holocaust in Lithuania, Ilya Lempertas, International Commission for the Evalluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania, Israel Lempert (Izraelis Lempertas), Karen Sutton, Kerry Keys, Massacre of the Jews in Lithuania, Mikhail Iossel, Prague Declaration, Saulius Suziedelis, Seventy Years Declaration, SLS Vilnius, Vilnius Jewish Public Library, Zilvinas Bieliauskas
Three members of the Lithuanian government’s renewed “Red-Brown Commission” are to headline its next American PR event, scheduled for Philadelphia on 10 November. The Commission is widely seen as one of the politico-academic engines of Holocaust revisionism in the European Union in the spirit of “Double Genocide.” Moreover the body publicly supports the (2008) Prague Declaration, the “bible” of the Double Genocide movement. Its website does not mention existence of the European parliamentary rejoinder, the (2012) Seventy Years Declaration, signed by seventy-one EU parliamentarians, including six courageous MPs and MEPs from Lithuania.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Double Games, Double Genocide, Events, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, United States, Views of Prof. Sarunas Liekis
Tagged Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust Obfuscation Lithuania
Dr. Shimon Alperovich, who was chairman of the Jewish Community of Lithuania from 1992 to earlier this year when he retired, gave an interview today on the contentious subject of the project to rebuild the Great Synagogue in Vilnius’s old town. It was lovingly known in Vilna Yiddish as di gréyse shúl or di shtót-shul.
Dr. Alperovich stressed that he was speaking in a personal capacity.
The interview is available, in Yiddish, on YouTube. Continue reading
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Shimon Alperovich (1928 – 2014), Vilna's Great Synagogue & its Courtyard (Shúlheyf), Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Shimon Alperovich, Simonas Alperavicius, Vilna Great Synagogue Courtyard, Vilner Shulheyf, Vilnius Great Synagogue
O P I N I O N
by Monica Lowenberg
Monica Lowenberg’s office has released for publication the following public letter sent to British ORT.
British ORT, FAO The Chief Executive, Mr. Dan Green
25 November 2013
Dear Mr. Green,
It is with deep regret that my 90 year old father, Ernest Lowenberg, former Berlin ORT pupil and I write to you today.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, Double Games, EU, Events, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT
Tagged British ORT, Egidijus Aleksandravicius, Lionidas Donskis, Lithuanian Embassy in London, Litvaks, Monica Lowenberg, University College London (UCL), Vytautas Magnus University, Westminster Synagogue
O P I N I O N
by Olga Zabludoff
Editor’s note: This and other responses were first offered to the Jerusalem Post for publication.
The Lithuanian government is pouring ever more resources and doing an ever better job with its PR campaign to turn Litvaks (Jews of Lithuanian origin) into virtual PR agents who now go further than they do themselves: painting a picture of the New Jewish Paradise in Lithuania without even mentioning the existence of painful current issues. Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Steve Linde no doubt meant only the best with his Chapter-of-Psalms, and will, I feel confident, now be happy to give the issues some rounded airing.
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa
Tagged Brothers Zingeris (Lithuania), Holocaust in Lihuania, Jerusalem Post + Lithuania, Olga Zabludoff, South Africans + Lithuania, Steve Linde