VILNIUS—As long as Lithuanian Holocaust survivors were alive, they protested with their last breath against the motives and agenda of the Lithuanian government financed Red-Brown Commission (officially known, à la Orwell, as the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes of Lithuania” or ICECNSORL). Readers can visit a page documenting these protests from 1998 onward, reports of the painful episodes and sagas over the decades, and perhaps most painfully, the heartfelt begging by the last survivors, asking Yad Vashem to resist Foreign Ministry pressure and have nothing to do with the commission. Perhaps the best known document is the September 2012 letter to Yad Vashem by the late Joseph Melamed, legendary chairperson of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, the world’s leading and last organization of Lithuanian Holocaust survivors.
UPDATE OF 22 SEPT 2023:
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Genocide, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Mažvydas National Library (Issues Arising), News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, September 23rd Commemorations, Yad Vashem and Lithuania
Tagged Dina Porat, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of Nazi and Soviet Regimes, Ronaldas Racinskas, Yad Vashem and Lithuania
by Gershon Taitz (Vilnius)
I would like to invite the participants of today’s Yad Vashem Conference in Jerusalem, “Jewish Leadership in Lithuanian Ghettos” to consider a number of issues concerning this conference. First, please be aware that Dr. A. Bubnys is the chief historian at the “Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania.” His center of activity promotes inaccurate and hostile memory of the Holocaust in Lithuania.
We all recall the controversies ignited by A. Bubnys in his book on the Šiauliai Ghetto (Shávler géto). The book was written in such a way as to give the impression that Jews perished principally because of the Jewish leadership in the ghetto, and not because of the German and Lithuanian forces who were the voluntary and enthusiastic perpetrators (a classic case of trying to blame the victims). This makes the Genocide Center’s participation in a Yad Vashem conference on the topic of forced Jewish “leadership” of the ghettos problematic, not least because of the conference’s topic being precisely that nominal Jewish leadership. Indeed, it happens here that blame for the Holocaust is deflected as far as possible on the forced Jewish “leadership” of the ghettos and the “Jewish police” in the ghettos.
Posted in Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and State Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania, Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem and Lithuania
Tagged Arunas Bubnys, Gerhson Taitz, Gersonas Taicas, Lithuanian Jewish Community, Siauliai ghetto, Yad Vashem, Yad Vashem and Lithuania
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.
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.
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 and Lithuania
Tagged Adolfas Ramanauskas, Amir Maimon (Lithuania), Antisemitism in Eastern Europe, Chen Ivri Apter, Dovid Katz, Efraim Zuroff, Evaldas Balciunas, Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust Memory, Israel + antisemitism, Israel + diaspora Jewry, Israel + Holocaust, Israeli Embassy in Vilnius, Israeli Foreign Policy + Eastern Europe, Israeli foreign policy + Holocaust, Joseph Melamed, Leivick House (Tel Aviv), Rachel Margolis, Ruta Vanagaite, Yitzhak Arad
The following comment appeared on Facebook today:
YAD VASHEM’S “political department” and the group that visited Lithuania last week:
Thanks to both members of the group who quietly reached out to the Defending History team for a meeting. As you saw, nothing but good comes from relaxed, pleasurable, respectful and frank exchange of ideas and knowledge, over a cup of coffee. It was sad that the group was (again) hermetically sealed from “The Second Opinion” here in Vilnius (and those Holocaust survivors who hold such opinions), as if Israeli citizens cannot be trusted to cope with a rich tapestry of opposing views when they visit Eastern Europe. (That various “Yiddish” institutions gleefully, at times, play the role of gatekeeper of ideas here is another issue.) For background on the issues from our team’s perspective, please see:
Over the years some amazing Israeli heroes of truth and courage have indeed spoken out.
Posted in Dovid Katz, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT, Yad Vashem and Lithuania, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Chen Ivri Apter, Yad Vashem, Yad Vashem + Lithuania, Yad Vashem + politics, Yad Vashem + Vilnius, Yad Vashem educational trips, Yitzhak Arad
As the Lithuanian government-sponsored “Red-Brown Commission” (popular moniker for the “International Commission for Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes of Lithuania“), quiet on the international front for a time, announces a comeback global conclave for 17-19 March 2016, suspense is rising as to whether various Jewish organizations, including Yivo and the AJC, but above all the Israel Foreign Ministry, will again be coming on board to legitimize the body that is the midwife of the Double Genocide movement in the European Parliament.
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Documents, Double Games, Double Genocide, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem and Lithuania
Tagged Arvydas Anusauskas, Commission on Nazi and Soviet Crimes, Historical Commission of Lihtuania, Israel-Lithuania relations, Israeli Foreign Ministry + Eastern Europe, Joseph Melamed, Rachel Margolis, Ronaldas Racinskas, Yitzhak Arad
O P I N I O N
by Danny Ben-Moshe (Melbourne)
This op-ed was first published in Jerusalem Report in August 2013.
I remember my first visit to Yad Vashem as a 16-year-old visitor to Jerusalem. It had a profound, and indeed formative, effect on me. I left there with a badge clipped to my lapel inscribed with the motto, zakhor, the Hebrew word for remember.
Yet for all its splendid work, Yad Vashem whose formal title is The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, I am sorry to say, is now dramatically failing both the martyrs and heroes of the country where the percentage of the Jewish community annihilated in the Holocaust was higher than anywhere else in Europe – Lithuania.
Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Australia, Danny Ben-Moshe, Double Genocide, Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and State Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Lithuania, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem and Lithuania
Tagged Danny Ben-Moshe, Double Genocide, Emanuelis Zingeris, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Pinchos Fridberg, Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism (2008), Yitzhak Arad
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience is the name of one of the main European engines of Double Genocide and Holocaust Obfuscation. Apparently funded by the European Union in part (or more), its name is inspired by the full name of the 2008 “Prague Declaration” (on European Conscience and Communism), which is prominently advertised on its home page. Informally it is referred to as the “Prague Process Platform” (PPP) and is based in the Czech Republic.
THE REPORT FROM THE “PLATFORM”
Kristallnacht, 74 years ago tonight, was the Night of Broken Glass, in which widespread coordinated violence against Jewish citizens of Germany, supported by the Nazi regime, resulted in at least 91 deaths, 30,000 arrests and transfers to concentration camps, and over a thousand synagogues burned down. The event was a major harbinger of the imminent genocide of European Jewry.
With the recent Lithuanian elections barely out of the way, and the ruling right-wing Homeland Union Conservatives the undisputed losers, the ultranationalist right is losing no time in pressing ahead aggressively with the Double Genocide “red-equals-brown” agenda, reverting to one of the movement’s original slogans: “United Europe — United History.” For pro-tolerance and liberal forces, the profoundly undemocratic message implied is that a united Europe has to also be united (i.e. have one opinion) on questions of history, and that Double Genocide and its central document, the 2008 Prague Declaration, are inviolable truths.
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, Events, Free Speech & Democracy, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Human Rights, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem and Lithuania
Tagged Emanuelis Zingeris, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Red-Brown Commission, Ronaldas Racinskas
It was today confirmed by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience that the Lithuanian government’s “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes of Lithuania” (known for brevity as the “Red-Brown Commission”) is a formal member of the “Platform.” This is further confirmed on the Platform’s website under the list of “Platform Members” (right hand column).
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, Lithuania, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", Yad Vashem and Lithuania
Tagged International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lihtuania, United State Holocaust Memorial Museum, USHMM, Yad Vashem
Baltic News Service (BNS) has just released yet more convoluted news on the renewal of the “red-brown commission” by, it appears, yet another revised presidential decree. Full text of the BNS report follows below.
The American documentary film maker Richard Bloom, who has produced a number of documentaries on the Holocaust, today released for publication his recent correspondence with Yad Vashem. He said his decision was taken after he failed to receive substantive replies to his recent queries about Yad Vashem rejoining the Lithuanian government’s “red-brown commission.”
The polite fiction that the renewed Lithuanian state sponsored “Red-Brown Commission” will advance Holocaust research and research on Soviet crimes strictly at the academic and educational levels took a big hit today, before even its first meetings.
A BNS report released today confirms that the Commission, officially known as The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, is one of the bodies that will be involved with demanding compensation from Russia for Soviet crimes against Lithuania.
The following is the text of the statement released today by the signatories enumerated below.
Welcome to Holocaust Halloween: The Political Obfuscation of the Holocaust in Lithuania by Lies, Masquerades, Tricks, and Treats
The Soviet occupation of Lithuania is a painful part of its history.
The mass murder of approximately 95% of Lithuania’s Jewish population (noted by historians as the highest percentage of any European country) during World War two is an abomination and blot on the history of Lithuania and its citizenry.
The two events are not equal. Historical sufferings are not identical.
The following is a translation of the Hebrew letter from Tel Aviv attorney Joseph Melamed, head of the Association of Lithuanian Jews, to Avner Shalev, director of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, in reaction to news reports reporting that Yad Vashem would rejoin the Vilnius-based red-brown commission. In addition, the Association issued a statement to the media today.
Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel
1 King David Boulevard
Tel Aviv 64953
Telephone +9723 696-4812
Fax +9723 695-4821
Tel Aviv, 3 September 2012
Hon. Avner Shalev
Chairman, Yad Vashem
The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority
The Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel was left in shock by the decision of Yad Vashem to renew its activities in the “International” Commission [for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania].
TEL AVIV—The office of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel today released the text of the Hebrew letter which the ALJ’s chairman, Tel Aviv attorney Joseph Melamed, sent today to Avner Shalev, the director of Yad Vashem. Images of the letter’s two pages follow (signed letter as PDF). English translation here.
See also the separate English statement which the ALJ released to the media earlier today, following the recent news about the Lithuanian government renewing a much enlarged red-brown commission with the ostensible participation of Yad Vashem.
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Games, Double Genocide, History, Israel, Joseph Melamed, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem and Lithuania
Tagged Association of Lithuanian Jews, Holocaust in Lithuania, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occpational Regimes in Lithuania, Joseph Melamed, Yad Vashem + Lithuania