News & Views

A Great City’s 700th Birthday: For the Sake of Vilnius, Will They Now Take Down Public-Space Honors for Local Holocaust Collaborators?

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 endured for many centuries.

“People who love the city actually care about this stuff”

QUESTION: Will the city’s (and country’s) leaders at long last remove the public-space state-financed memorials that glorify participants in and collaborators of the Holocaust in which 96.4% of Lithuanian Jewry perished? Here are some of the most obvious candidates for rapid removal. Hopefully before the year’s tourist season gets underway this spring…

The shiny new plaque with bas-relief on facade of Library of Sciences  was erected in 2019 after the dispute over the earlier one. This is on a prestigious public building some three  minutes walk from Vilnius Cathedral and Gedimino Boulevard). It glorifies the brutal Jonas Noreika (subject of his granddaughter Silvia Foti’s  major recent book in the USA). The travesty of Noreika worship was brought to the attention of the English speaking world in Defending History in 2012 by Evaldas Balčiūnas, who is this year’s DH Person of the Year.

“Gediminas is turning over in his grave”

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Lithuania Learns Important Lessons ― The Hard Way


by Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

The war in Ukraine has truly shaken everyday life in Lithuania. It has, among other things, pushed human rights issues to the background, or reframed them in a strictly military or geopolitical east-west perspective. When information about civilian women being massively and brutally raped by the occupying army reached our shores, a protest was organized at the Russian Embassy in Vilnius. The protest was very similar to the one in Estonia, where Estonian women similarly protested at the Russian Embassy in Tallinn, expressing their solidarity with Ukrainian women by placards depicting victims of sexual violence. They stood by the embassy with horribly blood painted groins and bags on their head. Lithuanian protestors echoed the image. Protesters in Lithuania also brought children’s toys and strollers with them to direct attention to the tragedies of women who got pregnant after being raped. The image was reinforced by “the red pond” because, before the protest, the performance “Swimming Through” took place, during which the famous Lithuanian swimmer Rūta Meilutytė swam across the pond near the Russian Embassy, the water of which had been colored with red dye, to remind the diplomats of the ongoing massacres and atrocities and mass murder in Ukraine.

Lithuanian women activists started organizing various forms of aid to Ukrainian women, from raising funds for mobile gynecological clinics to supplying Ukrainians with hygiene products and pregnancy terminating medication.

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The Defending History Community’s Statement on Putin’s Barbaric Assault on Ukraine (and the Free World)


The Defending History community joins in calling for immediate restoration of peace and security for all the people of Ukraine, condemning unequivocally the savage and barbaric invasion — and rain of death and destruction — by a neighboring big power, led by our century’s most dangerous and deranged warmonger dictator. Ukraine’s victory will be the victory of the free and democratic world everywhere, as will the fall of the Putinist regime of dictatorship, invasion, and mass murder of civilians.

As a small gesture of spiritual solidarity, our Yiddish Studies team has constructed a modest new collection of videos of Ukraine’s last Yiddish speaking survivors. Ukraine alone spans every modern dialect of the language.

Note: In response to onslaughts of attempts at defamation and personal destruction (including from  far-right and neo-nazi groups), it can be useful to provide a screenshot (just below) of a front page text we introduced early in 2014, at first intermittently, and now for many years consistently. At the more intellectual level, our earlier (2011) reply to a much more academically nuanced version of the Red Libel in a major Lithuanian journal of political science may shed light (it was, at the insistence of the late Prof. L. Donskis, posted on their website, but never carried, or we believe, mentioned, in the print edition; please check). The text is available in DH.

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


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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Roza Bieliauskienė (1946 – 2023): Cofounder of Lithuania’s Jewish Museum, Longtime Chief Curator, Educator, Specialist on Litvak Artists


The following is a revised text of Dovid Katz’s obituary that appeared on his Facebook page today.

Roza Bieliauskienė (1946-2023)

The world of Jewish Vilna and Litvaks everywhere mourn in deep sorrow the untimely sudden death of our dear Roza (Róze, Reyzl) Bieliauskienė, beloved scholar of Lithuanian Jewish art, long time historian, museum curator, educator, guide and a loyal friend unafraid of untoward local politics and its boycotts. Whether for an old friend or a foreigner she’d never seen before, Roza would rush to help anyone research anything if it was in the field of Lithuanian Jewish culture, history. Here is our 2 hour+ interview with her (entirely in Yiddish) from less than a year ago (recorded and posted in the Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive (LYVA) thanks to the generosity of Remembering Litvaks Inc).

In the interview, she recounts with frankness and dignity the tragedy of how she and others were terminated at the state’s official Jewish Museum during one of the purges intending to turn it largely into a pure-ethno-Lithuanian state public relations unit. Roza, a cofounder of the museum, had been its chief curator, and she built its collections into a substantial museum.

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Books in the Debate to 2023 — With Latest on Silvia Foti’s “Nazi’s Granddaughter”



Evaldas Balčiūnas reviews Vilnius Genocide Center chief’s new book on the Lithuanian Holocaust; in German translation

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


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.

Kitos Knygos Books published Lithuanian edition of Silvia Foti’s book; she appeared in Vilnius to launch it at the Feb. 2022 Vilnius Book Fair

See the author’s major op-eds in the New York Times (27 Jan. 2021 [as PDF]), Wall Street Journal (26 Aug. 2021 [as PDF] & Lou Gerber’s 7 Sept.WSJ letter [as PDF]; EU Today (2 Sept. 2021 [as PDF]); author’s BBC Hard Talk interview with Stephen Sackur (15 April 2021); 17 Sept. 2021 report in Spiegel;

Events include: Seminar at Harvard University’s Davis Center; Jewish Federation of Greater Houston (23 Jan. 2022); Palos Heights (Ill.) Public Library (10 May 2022)

Related reports in; Andrew Higgins in The New York Times; Gil Skorwid and Patrick Smith on NBC NewsGrant Arthur Gochin in Jewish JournalRichard S. Hirschhaut at American Jewish Committee

Reviews of Foti’s The Nazi’s Granddaughter: Bettina Berch in Jewish Book Council; Liz Mineo in the Harvard Gazette; in the National Book Review.

Background on author’s website.   Spanish edition

When you visit Vilnius, Kaunas and other Lithuanian citizens, be sure to ask the powers that be to remove city-center shrines to brutal Holocaust collaborators that mar this beautiful European country.

See also a selection of street names and public-space shrines across Lithuania and DH’s Collaborators Glorified section. Also: Noreika section.

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Roma Heroism in Ukraine Eases Some Prejudice



by Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

At the supermarket door here in Vilnius, I met Olga, a Roma woman. I was surprised that security had not chased her away, since she was begging. Even more, they brought her a chair to sit on, since Olga was pregnant. I thought to myself: “What unseen humanity of the security guards!” I have seen more than once how the begging poor were chased away even from outdoor supermarket surroundings. As I started talking to Olga, we were approached by a nice, well-to-do woman, who donated to Olga a lot of food: sausages, sweet curd snacks for children, pasta, and oil. I was again pleasantly surprised.

However, talking to Olga quickly disabused me of my illusions that perhaps there is now more good will towards the Roma. She told me about the new hardships in these years of crises, as well as about how hard it is for vulnerable people to make ends meet these days.

“Do you think I’m not ashamed to stand here with my hand stretched out?”, asked Olga in tears and added: “I have five children. What else can I do?”

It has been a long time since I asked Roma about work, especially mothers of many, because I know very well how their lives so often progress, traditionally married off in chosen matches while in their early teens and, at only say twenty years of age, a woman can be the mother of multiple children.

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Notes from my Life


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


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 perpertrator 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 2012, when our small Defending History team headed out (as we did each year) to Kaunas to monitor and document the 2012 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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Jerusalem Post’s ‘Report’ on ‘Kaunas Capital of European Culture’ Fails to Even Mention Public Shrines Glorifying Local Holocaust Perpetrators


Not for the first time, the Jerusalem Post has sent a “correspondent” to Lithuania to do a write-up in the professional style of a journalist’s report, that serves in fact to facilitate the project of some branches of the Lithuanian government to falsify Holocaust history (2013 example). This falsification is not in the spirit of classical denial of the last century. It is rather primarily a case of dotting the country with shrines (street names, plaques, sculptures, school and university hall names), all in the public space, all financed by the state, that actually glorify local Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators, while simultaneously investing a fortune in “Jewish events” that will hypnotize naive foreign visitors who like royal treatment, photo-ops with officials, and delightful attention. But a professional journalist, and her publication, have a higher level of responsibility than the average “useful Jewish idiot” who is manipulated into not even noticing, for example, that one of this year’s “Capitals of European Culture 2022” — Kaunas, historically Kovno, Yiddish Kóvne — made it through the year without a single major visiting journalist having exposed the city’s refusal to remove even one of the city’s shrines to collaborators. (There are other major components to the state-sponsored revisionism underway, notably in the realm of academia and history where “Double Genocide” is peddled to downgrade the Holocaust; attempted prosecutions of Holocaust survivors for “war crimes” with no apologies to follow their failure; career destruction of courageous, inspirational Lithuanians who dare dissent, and more.)


Today’s Jerusalem Post article

Lev Golinkin in the Forward

Defending History’s Kaunas section 

Interactive Kaunas map (in progress)

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Western European Intellectuals Must be Alert to Peril of Being Made into Useful Idiots by Lavish Baltic History Revisionism


by Roland Binet  (De Panne, Belgium)

Annelies Beck is a Flemish journalist whom I admire. She is a tough cookie. I have often seen her interviewing politicians and admired her determination, intelligence and open-mindedness. So, I was quite curious to read her opinion piece in the literary supplement of the Flemish language De Standaard dated November 26, 2022, entitled “History is Far From Gone” and relating to a conference in Lithuania she went to on the subject of the role of public television within democracies. She is also a writer. In her opinion piece, she focuses on what the Lithuanians did during the Soviet occupations to protect and preserve their language: “The Lithuanians whom I later questioned declared the importance of resistance through language and literature (…) in different periods of their history.” While visiting, Mrs. Beck was impressed by what she saw “in a cell in the cellar of the Genocide Museum,”  imagining all the prisoners during the Soviet occupation, symbolized by the eighteen different layers of color having been necessary to wipe out all the graffiti they had scratched on the walls. She also writes, referring to a conversation she had with a Lithuanian journalist colleague, “that some heroic partisans were also antisemites” (no mention that many of those glorified were in fact recycled 1941 Holocaust perpetrators).

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Wollongong, Australia is a Long Way from Kaunas, Lithuania: Discovering a Holocaust Collaborator Among Us


by Michael Samaras

Michael Samaras at the Wollongong Art Gallery in Australia

Wollongong, an Australian city located about 80 kilometres south of Sydney, is a long way from Lithuania’s Kaunas, which probably made it attractive to Bronius Sredersas. He arrived in 1950, having fled Lithuania ahead of the Red Army in 1944. For the next 25 years Sredersas, one of more than 100,000 displaced persons to settle in Australia, worked in Wollongong’s steelworks. He led an unobtrusive life and acquired an anglicised nickname, “Bob”. He never married and didn’t waste his money. Instead, he saved his pay, frequented auction houses and with a canny eye built a substantial art collection.

In 1976, Sredersas shocked the citizens of his adopted city by presenting his art collection to them. For an industrial city like Wollongong, which didn’t even have an art gallery, this gift was a sensation. It triggered the establishment of the Wollongong Art Gallery which has since grown into a major regional cultural institution.

Sredersas was widely celebrated in the media and an exhibition space within the new gallery was named in his honor. After his death in 1982, his memory was preserved with eminent persons giving lectures in his memory. The gallery erected a plaque and hosted the Sredersas Dinner as a fundraising social event.

In 2018, the gallery staged a major exhibition celebrating Sredersas. Titled “The Gift”, the exhibition included a recreation of his home, a display of the artworks, a video, and a symposium on his life and benefaction.

Publicity for the exhibition included mention that in Lithuania, Sredersas had been a policeman. While I was aware of Sredersas’ life as a steelworker in Australia, his prior career as a policeman was new to me. I knew though that the Nazis had relied on local collaborators, formed into police battalions, to carry out the Holocaust in Lithuania. I was appalled at the possibility that Wollongong, my home town, might be honoring a Holocaust perpetrator and decided to see if I could find out more.

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Rabbinic Specialist on Divorce Survived Warsaw Ghetto, Went on to Rebuild Jewish Life in Fürth, Germany


by Yizhak Ahren

Moshe Nathan Rosenfeld: The Rav of Fürth. The Legacy and Legend of Rav Dovid Kahane Spiro. London 2021, 696 pp., £25.00/ $35.00 + postage. Orders directly from:

Rabbi Dovid Kahana Spiro (1901-1970) was a very pious and learned man who cofounded the Jewish community in Fürth after the Holocaust. He worked there for twenty-five years as a community rabbi and helped numerous people in need. The Firter Rov (Fürther Rav) was buried in the Har Hamenuchos Cemetery in Jerusalem. A picture of his tombstone can be found in Moshe Rosenfeld’s recently published book on Rabbi Spiro. The book’s thirteen chapters cover in great detail the origins of  the family Spiro, their pre-war life in Poland, the Warsaw Ghetto, survival, rebuilding, dialogue with a bishop, divorce cases and much more.

The author, who now lives in London, grew up in Fürth and practically from birth had a close relationship with Rabbi Spiro, who lived next door. Rosenfeld’s mother was the rabbi’s cousin, and his father became his right-hand man. The author frankly admits that he should have asked a thousand questions at the time, but didn’t. And therefore there are many answers that he honestly does not know today. Nevertheless, with a vast amount of work and love, he  managed to collect a wealth of material and to publish this extensive work. The history of the Spiro family, that lived in Poland, is presented in great detail.Continue reading

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Papers by Professor Michael Shafir (1944-2022)

Please send additions and corrections to Thank you.

Between Denial and “Comparative Trivialization”: Holocaust Negationism in Post-Communist East Central Europe

The Nature of Postcommunist Antisemitism in East Central Europe: Ideology’s Backdoor Return

Conceptualizing Hungarian Negationism in Comparative Perspective: Deflection and Obfuscation

Political Antisemitism in Romania: Hard Data and its Soft Underbelly

A Present Chiaroscuro: Review of Himka & Michlich (eds), Bringing the Dark Past to Light: the Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe

Questions and Answers on the Holocaust-Gulag “Comparative Martyrology”

Einmal mehr zu einer Vergangenheit, die nicht vergeht


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Defenders of Truth of the East European Holocaust Mourn Sudden Death of Professor Michael Shafir

We mourn the sudden and untimely death of our dear colleague, mentor and teacher


(4 January 1944 – 9 November  2022)


The entire Defending History community mourns the  untimely sudden death of the great Holocaust historian, who was in recent months putting final touches on the manuscript of his new book on the East European revisionist campaign, and its many Western and Jewish nochsheppers. Inspired by Randolph L. Braham (1922-2018), among others, Professor Shafir’s papers covering the whole swath of East European governments’ huge investments to “fix” the Holocaust made him the pioneer of the academic and intellectual resistance to state-sponsored Double Genocide revisionism. May his completed book and all his other writings soon be made accessible to scholars and the public alike. His works will live on and in time come to be recognized for their successful exposure of the vast and elaborately financed efforts to obfuscate the Holocaust. For an introduction, please read some of his seminal papers in the field.

Michael Shafir section in

Under construction:

Papers by Michael Shafir

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Will Second Opinions be Heard at Yale-Fortunoff Nov. 9 Event featuring Professors Dieckmann & Snyder?

Will Second Opinions be Heard at Yale-Fortunoff Nov. 9 Event?

Hopefully, families of Connecticut area Holocaust survivors will be included at the event, 5 PM at Luce Hall (room 202)

More on history of the Lithuanian gov. financed “Red-Brown Commission” of which the Yale-Fortunoff speakers are long-standing members

Two truly gifted and prolific scholars are featured on Nov. 9. But both have been extensively instrumentalized by the Lithuanian government for years. Both are veteran members (one for 25 years?) of the state-sponsored “Red-Brown Commission” that has been the engine for Holocaust revisionism in the spirit of Double Genocide and the Prague Declaration in the European Parliament. The commission has caused Holocaust survivors huge pain from day one. The other was brought to Vilnius a decade ago to help cover for (and deflect from) the reburial with full honors of the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister. Please attend and ask both about the Lithuanian government’s vast “history fixing industry” coming clean on:

(a) the thousands of Jews murdered by Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) butchers before the first Germans arrived or took over and the state effort to “cancel” this “little fact” from the historical record and narrative;

(b) the state’s current glorification of Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators via street names, plaques, sculptures, and museums;

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Will ‘Jewish’, ‘Litvak’ & ‘Yiddish’ Parts of ‘Kaunas 2022 Capital of European Culture’ Festivities Include Calls for Removal of Kaunas’s Hurtful Public Shrines to Holocaust Collaborators?



KAUNAS—The last Holocaust survivors in this city that gave birth to the Lithuanian Holocaust on 23 June 1941 (before the first German soldiers arrived, later that week) are in pain to learn that their government is now investing in foreigner-rich “Jewish” and “Litvak” and “Yiddish” events as part of gala PR for this year’s Kaunas 2022 “Capital of European Culture” program — without also removing the city’s shrines to the most infamous collaborators and perpetrators of the genocide. The Defending History community congratulates Kaunas on the European year of honor, while urging its foreign participants and honorees to politely and with dignity call  (publicly!) for Kaunas to kindly remove its prominent state-sponsored public-space shrines, monuments and memorials to major local Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators. By speaking out, with dignity and publicly, they would be successfully countering the moral taint of ipso facto being used as “Useful Jewish Idiots” (known as “UJIs”) to cover for the ongoing failure to remove even one such shrine and thereby participating actively (and having been forewarned) in the current (East European based) incarnation of Holocaust revisionism and denial (covered up with lavish “Jewish events”). By failing to do so, they would bring moral taint upon themselves for all time, while deeply offending the legacy of the victims and survivors, and more broadly, the rights of minorities everywhere to life without genocide.

The Kaunas region even has a state school named for an alleged killer at the June 1941 Lietukis Garage Massacre, one about which the British Parliament weighed in.

Kaunas 2022 tourist sites include a state-university sculpture and lecture hall (!) named for the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister Juozas Ambrazevičius (Brazaitis) who signed papers sending groups of Jews from Kaunas (in Yiddish Kóvne) to a nearby murder site and the rest to ghetto incarceration; a street named for brutal Holocaust perpetrator J. Noreika (see his granddaughter’s courageous new book); a school named for J. Lukša, implicated in some of the most barbaric Kaunas atrocities before the Nazis arrived (including the beheading of Rabbi Zalmen Osovsky; even the British Parliament weighed in on that one); a street and plaques for “theoretician and cheerleader of ethnic cleansing and genocide” K.  Škirpa; a street for Holocaust collaborator Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas; and more (see map with links to photos, and more street names). While some foreign Jewish glory and photo-op seekers have failed the basic test of moral integrity, Lithuania’s own intrepid ethicist, Evaldas Balčiūnas, has stepped up for a decade with a series of detailed articles on state glorification of Holocaust collaborators (and, far from a fun-trip, poster, and photo-op,  he has paid a big price).

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Yet Again, Naive Foreigners in Awe of Annual PR Show by ‘Red-Brown Commission’ (and its Director who Supports ‘War Crime Investigations’ of Holocaust Survivors)


VILNIUS—With nearly all local Holocaust Survivors now gone, or effectively out of public circulation, Lithuania’s “Red-Brown Commission,” a major European engine for the downgrade of the Holocaust via far-right “Double Genocide” history revisionism  is again in the forefront of PR efforts to bowl over naive foreign visitors and delegations to this city, particularly on September 23rd each year, with “moving Holocaust elegies.” For Lithuanian Holocaust survivors, the very choice of Sept. 23 (day of the 1943 liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto by the Germans, two years after the murder of the majority of Lithuanian Jews in hundreds of towns across the land) was seen as a decoy. The day each of them had etched in the heart in perpetuity was June 23rd, when in 1941, violence against Jews broke out in hundreds of locations, with murder documented in around forty — before the first German forces arrived or managed to set up their authority. It was the day when six hundred years of peaceful, harmonious coexistence turned overnight, under Hitlerist propaganda, to dehumanization, humiliation, plunder, rape, injury and murder. To this day, an industrial grade revisionist industry continues to obfuscate or outright deny the history of the First Week (i.e. the last week of June 1941). Indeed, June 23rd is  celebrated by far-right government historians each year as the date of a supposed “uprising” against the Soviets  by the white-armbanded Jew killers who did not “rebel” until the Soviets fled in disarray from Hitler’s invasion, when they began to murder Jewish neighbors across the land unleashing the Lithuanian Holocaust, in which 96.4% of Lithuanian Jewry perished. In 2020, Dr. Arunas Bubnys, the chief historian of the second “Holocaust entity financed by the state,” the Genocide Center, celebrated  the “holiday ” alongside banners of two major Holocaust collaborators. He was rewarded a year later with directorship of the Center.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Games, Double Genocide, Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas and the State-Sponsored "International Commission" (ICECNSORL) | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Yet Again, Naive Foreigners in Awe of Annual PR Show by ‘Red-Brown Commission’ (and its Director who Supports ‘War Crime Investigations’ of Holocaust Survivors)

Rachel Kostanian’s Inspiring Life Story (and Message) Now on German Wikipedia


Vilnius Cinderella Comes to the Ball (belatedly, and in Berlin)

German Wikipedia’s new entry tells the tale of Lituhania’s Rachel (Rokhl, Rochel) Kostanian, who for decades led a one-woman campaign in Vilnius for truth about the Holocaust, standing up to some very powerful forces. She was a co-founder and long time director of The Green House in Vilnius. Photo: Rachel in Berlin with Thomas Pfanne, former German cultural attaché in Lithuania, after she was honored by the president of Germany. See Defending History’s Rachel Kostanian section.

Posted in Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Rachel Kostanian | Comments Off on Rachel Kostanian’s Inspiring Life Story (and Message) Now on German Wikipedia

Russian Warship, Go F**k Yourself! (Tale of an Overdue Vilnius Cultural Version)


by Julius Norwilla (Vilnius)

 Look what you can see standing right by Vilnius’s Cathedral Square: The Soviet “Sports Palace” ruin that symbolizes not only antisemitism but also: Soviet/Russian Empire spiritual and political domination of Lithuania’s free spirit. High time to be rid of this carbuncle on the beautiful face of modern Vilnius?

The first phase of the eradication of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt in Shnípishok — modern Šnipiškės — and of the people buried there, started back in 1830, contemporaneous with an uprising against the Russian Empire. The November Uprising, as it is now known, started with the will to resist the czarist government’s plans to send the army of Poland — at the time an autonomous kingdom within the Russian Empire — to Belgium and France, as well as with the dreams of restoring Polish independence. In 1831, seeing that the uprising for independence would soon take over Vilna, the Russian Imperial government expropriated a section  of the Jewish cemetery by the bank of the Viliya (now Neris), and established an artillery citadel to keep the freedom-loving city at all times in the crosshairs of its cannon barrels. But even after the establishment of the citadel, more than three quarters of the actual graves (and their stoness or mini-mausoleums, oyhólim) remained untouched. This legendary cemetery is a Litvak pantheon, a monument to the civilization of Lithuanian Jewry. So it is meaningful that its first phase of destruction got underway just as the Russian imperial government’s project to enhance its military presence in Vilna, by making sure that the city’s inhabitants live in constant fear.

A small section of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt. The Soviet Sport Palace was built in its heart. All stones and inscriptions were trashed but thousands of graves survive on all four sides of the building, now an eyesore in the heart of modern Vilnius.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Julius Norwilla, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Russian Warship, Go F**k Yourself! (Tale of an Overdue Vilnius Cultural Version)