Symbology

Joseph Levinson’s Symbolic Gravestones for His Parents “Speak Out” During His Own Funeral (12 April 2015)



C E M E T E R I E S   /   P H O T O G R A P H Y

by Dovid Katz

As dozens gathered at Vilnius Jewish cemetery to bid farewell to dear Joseph Levinson today, those who read Yiddish could not fail to notice the two symbolic gravestones he erected on the family plot, in Yiddish by choice.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Joseph Levinson, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Symbology, Yiddish Affairs | Comments Off on Joseph Levinson’s Symbolic Gravestones for His Parents “Speak Out” During His Own Funeral (12 April 2015)

Associated Press Reports on US Plan to Train Fascist “Azov” Battalion in Ukraine



US SINKS INTO FURTHER INVOLVEMENT WITH PRO-NAZI ELEMENTS IN UKRAINE

AP REPORTS ON OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DECISION TO SEND US TROOPS TO TRAIN UKRAINIAN FAR-RIGHT “AZOV” BATTALION  THAT FLAUNTS NAZI SYMBOLS

TRAINING WILL START ON APRIL 20, IMPORTANT TO FASCISTS WHO CELEBRATE HITLER’S BIRTHDAY

US Representative John Conyers’ Amendment of May 2014 Back in Focus; Tom Parfitt’s August 2014 report in London’s Telegraph

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Posted in Bandera, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology, Ukraine, United States, US State Dept Manipulated? | Comments Off on Associated Press Reports on US Plan to Train Fascist “Azov” Battalion in Ukraine

New Memorial, on State Land in Western Lithuania, Honors Alleged Murderer of Thousands of Civilians



O P I N I O N    /    C O L L A B O R A T O R S    G L O R I F I E D

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

When I wrote several years ago (Lithuanian; English) about the monument erected to Juozas Barzda at Iešnalis Lake, I thought it must have been some sort of misunderstanding.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Debates on the Postwar "Forest Brothers", EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, History, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Symbology | Comments Off on New Memorial, on State Land in Western Lithuania, Honors Alleged Murderer of Thousands of Civilians

Text of US Rep. John Conyers’ Proposed Amendment Restricting Aid to Pro-Nazi Forces in Ukraine


 Defending History has obtained the full text, available to our readers as PDF, and as images (following this text) of US Congressman John Conyers’ proposed amendment that would have restricted US military aid to units that extol Nazi perpetrators or use Nazi, racist or white supremacist symbols. The amendment proposed by Mr. Conyers, who represents Michigan’s 13th congressional district, failed to pass.

The amendment, dated 19 May 2014, contains language that would instruct the Secretary of Defense to restrict aid in cases where he “has credible evidence that the unit or its members have taken public stances or taken actions that are indicative of extremism,” including three categories:

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Member of Lithuania’s Jewish Community Speaks Out on Neo-Nazi Parades, and Govt. Flowers at Monument to Hitler’s Soldiers



O P I N I O N

by Jacob Piliansky

Iam proud to be a Litvak, and I am proud to be a citizen of independent and democratic Lithuania. I very much enjoy walking in our city’s delightful Vingis Park, as well as downtown in the beautiful city center area.

 However, I feel suddenly both sad and shocked, when I see neo-Nazi parades with swastikas and other fascist symbols  along  Gedimino Boulevard on our independence day repeating the yelled chants of “Lithuania for [ethnic] Lithuanians.”

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Jacob Piliansky, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Symbology, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Member of Lithuania’s Jewish Community Speaks Out on Neo-Nazi Parades, and Govt. Flowers at Monument to Hitler’s Soldiers

Ukraine’s “Centrist” Leaders Honor Holocaust-Era Nazi Collaborators as “Heroes”



Ukrainian Parliament’s Debate on Glorifying World War II Hitlerist Nationalists Ends in Disarray

But “Centrist” President Poroshenko Proclaims Day of Fascist Group’s Founding as National Holiday

Mainstream Western Media Mostly Ignores the News (but see: Sunday Times)

In a September tweet, Ukraine’s president said UPA fighters were an “example of heroism.” It was a prelude to the scheduled Oct. 14th debate in parliament on declaring Hitler’s executioners in Ukraine to be “freedom fighters.” When violence broke out on the 14th outside the national parliament, the Western media, including the BBC, whitewashed the Hitler-era Holocaust perpetrators being glorified by Ukraine’s nationalist leaders.

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More Mainstream Media Coverage of the Swastika Issue in Lithuania



The following, for our readers’ information, is Geoff Vasil’s translation of a 3 February 2014 article that appeared in 15min.lt. Please see the original Lithuanian for the photos referenced herein by their captions in square brackets.

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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, EU, Human Rights, Lithuania, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology | Tagged | Comments Off on More Mainstream Media Coverage of the Swastika Issue in Lithuania

Riga, Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

The UK’s home secretary Theresa May, the Hungarian Jobbik party, and Holocaust Memorial Day have all been in the press lately. Reading how the leader of pro-Nazi Jobbik party was, in the interests of free speech, allowed to hold his rally in Hyde Park, I have to question why Ms. May allowed this man entry into the UK and hadn’t called his racist attitudes, “unacceptable” as she had in the past with, “Every Muslim should be a terrorist” Zakir Naik. What had changed?

In the capital of European culture? Waffen SS Calendar (Riga 2014)

In the Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS Calendar (Riga 2014)

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, EU, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, Latvia, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, Symbology, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Riga, Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?

Aleksandrs Feigmanis Documents Mysterious Eight-Pointed Star in Riga Synagogue


MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAFollowing publication last year of an article on the mysterious eight-pointed star known from some old Jewish cemeteries in western Lithuania (the area known as Zámet in Yiddish, corresponding in part to Žemaitija), DH contributor Dr. Aleksandrs Feigmanis, director of Riga-based BalticGen Tours, has reported that a similar eight-pointed star adorns the (recently renovated) synagogue in Riga, Latvia. Hopefully, images will emerge of the prewar design corresponding to the reconstructed section in question.

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Posted in Aleksandrs Feigmanis, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Latvia, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Symbology | Comments Off on Aleksandrs Feigmanis Documents Mysterious Eight-Pointed Star in Riga Synagogue

Respublika’s Editorial on Nazi Symbols in Use


 

The following is a translation, by Geoff Vasil for Defending History, of the editorial that appeared on 17 January 2014 in the Vilnius daily Respublika (p. 4), a day after the front page story (16 Jan.) featuring photographs of Faina Kukliansky and Moishe Beirakas, and a day before the front story (17. Jan) featuring Gercas Žakas.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Human Rights, Lithuania, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology | Comments Off on Respublika’s Editorial on Nazi Symbols in Use

Respublika’s 16 January 2014 Front Page Article “Jews Don’t Want to Wear Nazi Symbols a Second Time”



The following translation, by Geoff Vasil, is of a front page article in the Vilnius daily Respublika (16 January 2014). The Lithuanian original is available online. See also: Geoff Vasil’s comment on the article which may serve as an introduction to some of the local issues and nuances.

Respublika Jan 2014 interviews with Faina Kukliansky and Moishe Beirak


 

Jews Don’t Want to Wear Nazi Symbols a Second Time

January 16, 2014 by Asta MARTIŠIŪTĖ and Olava STRIKULIENĖ, Respublika reporters MEP Vytautas Landsbergis, chairman of the Supreme Soviet/Restored Parliament of Lithuania, speaking at a solemn event to commemorate January 13 [1991], spoke in his speech about the Holocaust as well. Was it necessary to mention this at a ceremony dedicated to the 14 defenders of Lithuanian freedom who died and who hadn’t even been alive during Holocaust times? Beyond this, January 13 [commemorations] didn’t come off without yet another curiosity. A Wehrmacht symbol was used in the “Forget-me-not” campaign and MP Rasa Juknevičienė said next January it will be possible to acquire these symbols [lapel pins] throughout Lithuania, and not exclusively in the capital. Continue reading

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology | Comments Off on Respublika’s 16 January 2014 Front Page Article “Jews Don’t Want to Wear Nazi Symbols a Second Time”

Raising Cain on the Resurrection of Abel



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Genesis 3:13

And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. Genesis 4:10

Driving east out of Rokiškis, fields give way to forest, and the lake country leads on to strange and wild hills in an abandoned quarter of the country bordering Latvia. The lake country is beautiful, almost alpine in its effect, and spotted with small settlements and villages of varying sizes, some even boasting gas stations and schools.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Arts, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Geoff Vasil, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rákishok (Rokiškis), Symbology | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Raising Cain on the Resurrection of Abel

Lithuanian State Language Commission Turns Down Jewish Community’s Suggestion for a Spelling Rule that “Holocaust” Be Spelled with a Capital “H”


VILNIUSDefending History today obtained from local sources a copy of the official statement of the Lithuanian State Language Commission concerning the spelling, in Lithuanian, of the word for Holocaust, usually Holokaustas.

For some it will sound astounding that in the country with the highest percentage of Jews killed (96.4%) in Holocaust era Europe, where a massive state effort has been underway to promote “Double Genocide” and the “Prague Declaration,” a simple suggestion from the tiny remnant Jewish community that Holocaust be spelled with a capital letter (denoting its status as a unique event in history) has drawn a tortured, convoluted reply from the state language commission, one that seems to wittingly confound the capitalization question with the issue of whether holocausts strike far and wide, like hurricanes.

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Mystery of the Eight-Pointed Western Litvak (Zámeter) Symbol on Jewish Gravestones



by Dovid Katz

 

On expeditions and on culture and history tours, we have on a number of occasions come across unusual Jewish gravestones (in Yiddish — matséyves), so far invariably on the territory of western Lithuania (and on occasion, in bordering Latvia) that is the land known in Litvak culture as Zámet (a Jewish person therefrom is a Zámeter, f. Zámeterin or deep Litvak Zámeterke).

In broad terms, it corresponds to historic Samogitia (Lithuanian Žemaitija). However, the specific cultural and linguistic borders relevant to Litvak culture and Yiddish dialectology often make for a unique Litvak geocultural configuration. For a general Yiddish orientation on the (pre-Holocaust) linguistic situation, see e.g. the maps for ‘ear’ and ‘dove’ vs ‘deaf’ in the in-progress Language Atlas of Lithuanian Yiddish.

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The Neo-Nazis Hate the Feminists, Too



Protesters against ultranationalist groups must face police and prosecutors

O P I N I O N

by Lina Žigelytė

 

Lina Zigelyte

Lina Žigelytė

A spectre is haunting Lithuania — the spectre of feminism. All the powers of far-right Lithuania (this includes also far-rightists who know how to present themselves as center-right) have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: puritans and watchful police officers, bloggers and self-described patriots.

The word “feminist” has become the most recent label to define the enemy of the state. This is because grassroots strategies — theatrical protests, DIY media, art projects, and solidarity with social minorities — are rapidly changing the landscape of local feminism. What is important, these strategies also invigorate the broader fight against neo-Nazism.

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Posted in EU, Film, Human Rights, LGBTQ Equal Rights, Lina Žigelytė, News & Views, Opinion, Symbology, Women's Rights | Comments Off on The Neo-Nazis Hate the Feminists, Too

Swastikas From Latvia in Center of Šiauliai (Shavl), Lithuania, as Police Look On


Since 2010, when a Lithuanian court proclaimed public swastikas legal and included in its ruling the “historical wisdom” that it only a harmless ancient Baltic symbol, swastikas have proliferated at public events sponsored by the far right, with police looking on listlessly. Most painfully for the dwindling numbers of Holocaust survivors here and abroad, swastikas and other fascist symbols, along with glorification of local Holocaust collaborators, have figured in sanctioned independence day marches in Kaunas on February 16th each year, and in the capital city Vilnius, each March 11th.

In 2012, the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee commented publicly.

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In Obeliai (Abél) and Rokiškis (Rákishok): More State-Sponsored Glorification of Nazi Collaborators


 


O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

Years ago, when I first started doubting the veracity of certain propaganda intended to diminish the culpability of local forces in the Holocaust, I interviewed an elderly woman who was an eye-witness to what happened in late June of 1941 in Rokiškis (in Yiddish: Rákishok) in northern (or northeastern) Lithuania.

abel 1942

Obeliai (Abel) 1942: Is curiosity or concern sparked by this “celebration of 1941 partisans” coming from the apex of Nazi rule in Lithuania (1942, when the local Jews were already all murdered)? It seems not. This photo is of the 1942 Nazi-era memorial torn down by the Soviets, and just replaced by a new one, commemorating the same pro-Nazi “partisans” …

She told me how a bunch of young men turned savage, rounded up Jewish men, stuck them in what amounted to a pig sty surrounded by barbed wire in the center of town, and then tortured and humiliated them until they murdered them. She said this gang of savages went by the name of Savisaugos batalionas, which is Lithuanian for self-defense battalion. Were they led by Germans? No, she said, there hadn’t been a single German to be seen.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and State Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania, Geoff Vasil, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Rákishok (Rokiškis), Symbology | Tagged , , | Comments Off on In Obeliai (Abél) and Rokiškis (Rákishok): More State-Sponsored Glorification of Nazi Collaborators

Red-Brown Circus in Lithuanian Capital



Outgoing prime minister, after right wing’s loss in Lithuania’s elections, headlines “Double Genocide” conference in nation’s parliamentRed-Brown Commission is primary organizer of the eventGirniusLandsbergisLiekisRačinskasZingeris are featured; Partners include the “Genocide Center” that Glorifies Local Holocaust Perpetrators

UPDATES TO 21 FEBRUARY 2013:

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR PINCHOS FRIDBERG SPEAKS OUT — ON THE LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY’S WEBSITE; IN THE ALGEMEINER; SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER’S OPERATION LAST CHANCE; AND DEFENDING HISTORY.

EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS

GEOFF VASIL (VASILIAUSKAS)

OUR PRE-CONFERENCE REPORT

Dovid Katz replies to the Red-Brown Commission website’s attack against Professor Pinchos Fridberg

 

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Genocide, EU, Genocide Center (Vilnius), News & Views, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", Symbology, Views of Prof. Sarunas Liekis | Comments Off on Red-Brown Circus in Lithuanian Capital

A “New” Postcard, Featuring Antisemitic Distortion of the 1941 Lietukis Garage Massacre, Comes to Light as Vilnius University Calls the Envelope-Maker “Humanistic”


Just as Vilnius University put up a sign in Lithuanan and English, defending as “humanistic” its exhibition of a collection of envelopes by the antisemitic and homophobic designer Antanas Šakalys, the VU employee who had first provided the offensive images to DefendingHistory, which we published on 21 September 2012, provided another, at 2PM today, to coincide with the time of the scheduled gala opening of the exhibition, cancelled after our article and the 25 Septenber Delfi.lt report by Eglė Samoškaitė. The 2PM slot was then symbolically taken up at the university by a group of nine dauntless protesters against the glorification of an antisemitic and homophobic designer.

Ironically the envelope released today, a production of the same designer, also refers to “humanism”…

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology | Comments Off on A “New” Postcard, Featuring Antisemitic Distortion of the 1941 Lietukis Garage Massacre, Comes to Light as Vilnius University Calls the Envelope-Maker “Humanistic”

A Detective Story about an Exhibit at Vilnius University: Jews are Upset, Leftists Protesting, University in Disarray



by Eglė Samoškaitė

Translation of Ms. Samoškaitė’s Lithiuanian article that appeared in today’s Delfi.lt.

www.DELFI.lt

Representatives from New Left organization were angered by an exhibit of envelope art by graphic artist Antanas Šakalys scheduled to go on display at Vilnius University library because the artist earlier had used antisemitic and homophobic illustrations on envelopes.

Dovid Katz, who was born in America but lives in Lithuania, published on his website Defendinghistory.com several of Šakalys’s envelopes which human rights experts characterized as antisemitic.

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