by Brendan Gorey (Dublin, Ireland)
We come from Dublin, Ireland and were born into the Christian community. Our great-grandmother gave birth to our grandmother in Manchester in 1895. Our grandmother was born out of wedlock and we never knew who the father was despite searching the records but always assumed he was British. When we submitted our DNA for analysis on a well-known website we were surprised and delighted to learn we were related closely to Eastern European Jews through our mother’s lineage and through the DNA links we discovered we are related genetically to families who were centred in the Plungė (Yiddish: Plungyán) region. For confidentiality and sensitivity reasons I will not mention their names as they probably don’t know of this branch of the family.
Our journey to the Kausenai massacre site near Plungė was a pilgrimage to honour our murdered Jewish ancestors and to pray for peace and forgiveness for all people who have been subjected to hatred and racism.
by Denis Daneman
This is part of a “reflection” that has been more than 65 years in the making. My earliest memories are of being surrounded by a warm and caring rather secular Jewish family in Johannesburg, South Africa, that all seemed to have hailed from a tiny place called Plungyán, in Lithuania, which made us all “Litvaks”. Only more recently did I learn that this pertained not only to my mother’s side of the family. My father’s side came from Riga in Latvia, also Litvaks, fortunately. Both families left The Pale of Settlement in the time-frame 1890-1906, eventually finding their way to Heilbron in the Orange Free State in the case of my Mom’s family, and Ceres in the Cape of Good Hope for my Dad’s. Both of these were to become part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.
I grew up believing that the most important people in my world came from The Pale, most specifically this tiny dot on the map called Plungyán, that they migrated to South Africa where they settled, proliferated, bickered, were educated and prospered. Then, after two or three generations, many, if not most left South Africa, perhaps the biggest group to Israel in the 1950’s and 60’s, some to Australia, the UK and USA, and the Daneman clan to Canada.
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
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Debates on the Postwar "Forest Brothers", Evaldas Balčiūnas, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Plungyán (Plungė), Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, Symbology
Tagged Evaldas Balciunas, General Vetka, Generolo Vetro gatve, Genocide Center, Glorification of War Criminals in Eastern Europe, Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust Obfuscation, Jonas Noreika, LIETUVOS MOKSLU AKAKEMIJOS VRUBLEVSKIU BIBLIOTEKA, Lithuanian Academy of Sciences Library, streets named for Holocaust perpetrators, Vilnius
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
An imaginary speech, not delivered by any of the high government officials who addressed the commemoration at the mass murder site of the Jews of Plungyán (Plungė) on 17 July 2011.
My dear friends, it is precisely because I am a proud official of the government of independent, democratic, Lithuania, and I love my country, that I am able to speak here today openly, on the seventieth anniversary of the murder of the Jews of Plungė — Plungyán, as they proudly called it in the Yiddish that rang through its streets for so many centuries.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Dovid Katz, Events, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Plungyán (Plungė), Politics of Memory, South Africa
Tagged Antisemitism Lithuania, Asta Skaisgirytė Liaukšienė, Desecration of monuments Lithuania, Emanuelis Zingeris, Holocaust Commemoration, Holocaust Commemoration in Lithuania, Holocaust commemoration Lithuania, Holocaust Memory, Jacob Bunka, Kausenai Memorial, Kazys Vitkevečius, Lithuania Tolerance Studies, Plunge, Plunge Holocaust, Plungian, Plungian Holocaust, Plungyan, Plungyan Holocaust, Ronaldas Racinskas, Tolerance studies center Lithuania
by Abel Levitt
According to Jewish Law, and according to custom in other religions, a tombstone must be placed at a grave with the name of the deceased.
In the case of Mass Murder, like what happened in Lithuania during the period which we know as the Holocaust, this has not been done. The scale was too big, thousands of people killed in a single day as happened in Ponár, near Vilnius, or at the Ninth Fort near Kaunas. Only in Plungė (Plungyán), where 1800 people , men, women, and children were brutally killed in two frightening and bloody days, has this now, today, been done.
Updates (newest first):
The following is DefendingHistory.com’s translation (from the tape) of the concluding speech of the 29-30 June 2011 conference (reports here and here), delivered by Ronaldas Račinskas, director general (sometimes listed as executive director) of the government 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’), which is housed in the Office of the Prime Minister of Lithuania. It can serve as a potent example of the state-sponsored Holocaust Obfuscation movement which presents one face domestically, a second in the European Parliament, and a third to naive Western Holocaust Studies groups.
Simple, really. Tell the locals there was no Holocaust, just a complicated morass of mixed-up perpetrators and victims (and heck, those Jews were mostly communists anyway). Tell the European Parliament there were two equal genocides and they must legislate the equality of totalitarian regimes. And tell the foreign Jews and the West you need money to pursue Holocaust studies and commemoration. They’ll have to believe you. After all, you’re in the prime minister’s office of an EU government. Elementary, really?
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, Events, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, News & Views, Plungyán (Plungė), US State Dept Manipulated?, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas, Yad Vashem Manipulated?
Tagged director general of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, executive director of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes of Lithuania, Historical Commission Lithuania, Holocaust in Lithuania, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Prague Declaration, Racinskas Holocaust Obfuscation, Račinskas tricks Holocaust museums abroad, Račinskas's double dealing with the Jewish community, Red-Brown Commission, Ronaldas Racinskas