Lithuania

Vilnius Authorities Boldly Knock Down New Shrine to K. Škirpa, 1941 Planner and Inciter of Ethnic Cleansing of Lithuania’s Jews



DEFENDING HISTORY SUCCESSES | K. ŠKIRPA | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | VILNIUS | SHRINES TO HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS IN VILNIUS

VILNIUS—Less than 48 hours of Defending History’s report on the new plaque glorifying J. Škirpa, a planner and instigator of mass murder of Lithuanian Jewry, including incitement of mobs that killed thousands before German Nazi forces even arrived or took over, the municipal authorities, in close touch with the national government of Lithuania, boldly and publicly today smashed the plaque and removed all trace of it. City contractors from “Grinda” were on hand for hours before police removed a handful of far-right protestors, in some cases with force. In a major development, the entire scene was videotaped by 15min.lt and appears online.

THE VIDEO

This is a sharp contrast with the then mayor’s furtive 4 AM removal of the previous Noreika plaque back in 2019 (which was followed by a mob coming to affix a new one in short order). The Defending History community rapidly responded on social media with the words: Bravo Lithuania!

A scene of moral beauty, authority,  integrity and justice from the government of 21st century democratic Lithuania

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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Events, It Pays to Defend History: Success Over the Years..., Kazys Škirpa, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Vilnius | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Vilnius Authorities Boldly Knock Down New Shrine to K. Škirpa, 1941 Planner and Inciter of Ethnic Cleansing of Lithuania’s Jews

New Plaque Glorifying ‘Chief Spokesman for Ethnic Cleansing’ in Lithuanian Holocaust Goes Up in Central Vilnius



OPINION | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | KAZYS ŠKIRPA | GENOCIDE CENTER IN VILNIUS | GENOCIDE MUSEUM | SHRINES TO HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS IN VILNIUS  |  VILNIUS

Brand new plaque in central Vilnius for the man who set the formal goal of eliminating Jews from Lithuania in the run-up to the onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust. Photo: DefendingHistory.com

 

UPDATE OF 23 JUNE: WITHIN 36 HOURS OF THIS ARTICLE, THE VILNIUS POLICE AND ENGINEERING UNIT REMOVED THE PLAQUE.

THE DEFENDING HISTORY COMMUNITY EXTENDS SINCEREST CONGRATULATIONS TO LITHUANIA’S LEADERS FOR THEIR PROMPT, BOLD, AND JUST ACTION, IN THE SPIRIT OF THE EU, NATO, AND THE FREE WORLD. BRAVO, LITHUANIA!

by Dovid Katz

VILNIUS—A crowd of ultranationalist glorifiers of Hitler’s invasion of Lithuania in June 1941 today affixed a handsome new plaque (with bas relief) on the corner of Vilnius’s central boulevard, glorifying Kazys Škirpa, who wrote pamphlets, in Berlin, calling for the elimination of Jews from Lithuania. His writings and radio broadcasts help incite the onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust on 23 June 1941, when his followers began butchering Jewish neighbors in Kaunas, and across Lithuania, before the Germans even arrived.

“The Lithuanian diplomat Kazys Škirpa used this suffering in his radio broadcasts to spur mobs to murder.”

—Timothy Snyder, in Bloodlands (2010, p. 192)

Since the United States ambassador to Lithuania, HE Kara McDonald, said for the record earlier this year that glorification of Holocaust collaborators is “part of the definition of antisemitism,” attention has been focused on the two collaborators she cited by name, Jonas Noreika and Juozas Krikštaponis, and especially on Noreika. American journalist Lev Golinkin has initiated an inventory of public shrines to Nazi collaborators in Lithuania. While honoring Vilna’s 700th birthday last year, Defending History renewed its calls for removal of all shrines to Hitler’s collaborators in modern Lithuania’s beautiful capital.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Kazys Škirpa, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on New Plaque Glorifying ‘Chief Spokesman for Ethnic Cleansing’ in Lithuanian Holocaust Goes Up in Central Vilnius

Rabbi Elchonon Baron, Asserting that Bnei Brak Rabbi was Misrepresented, Makes Clear: ‘There Will NOT be a Museum on Shnípishok Cemetery’



DOCUMENTS | OPINION2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | LIST OF MEMBERSOLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN RABBIS (CER)THE “CPJCE” LONDON GRAVE TRADERS | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY AFFAIRSHUMAN RIGHTS

Excerpts from Rabbi Elchonon Baron’s video:

“The use of any Jewish cemetery, for anything except the cemetery, is strictly forbidden in Jewish law and tradition. Most senior rabbis are very perplexed at the recent indication here in Vilna that perhaps there is an attempt to make a museum on the Shnípishok Cemetery, where our giants are buried. And they are claiming that this is in the name of senior rabbis. I mentioned to Rabbi Sariel Rosenberg [head of the Bnei Brak Beth Din] a few weeks ago that people are saying in his name that we can make a museum on the cemetery. We asked him exactly what it is possible to do. And he said: Nothing else — except matséyves [gravestones].

“There will not be a museum on Shnípishok Cemetery! There will not be a convention center! Woe is to anyone who tries. Because the Jewish souls want to rest in peace. Nothing will succeed there. There’s nothing to talk about. We won’t let it, it won’t happen!

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Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Lithuania, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rabbi Elchonon Baron, Vilnius | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rabbi Elchonon Baron, Asserting that Bnei Brak Rabbi was Misrepresented, Makes Clear: ‘There Will NOT be a Museum on Shnípishok Cemetery’

Building Sheets Down, Scaffolding Removed, Builders’ Barriers are “Last Stage” for “Noreika section” of National Library of Sciences Facade



OPINION | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | INS AND OUTS OF THE NOREIKA PLAQUE IN CENTRAL VILNIUS | NOREIKA SAGA | U.S.A.

Latest images (17 June 2024) from the cleaned facade that Lithuania’s friends hope will remain morally clean… This is the Vrublevskis Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in central Vilnius, several moments from Cathedral Square and Gedimino Boulevard.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Ins and Outs of the Central Vilnius Noreika Plaque Glorifying a Brutal Holocaust Collaborator, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, Vilnius | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Building Sheets Down, Scaffolding Removed, Builders’ Barriers are “Last Stage” for “Noreika section” of National Library of Sciences Facade

New ‘Lost Shtetl’ Museum Allegedly Blocks Public Release of Documentary on the Holocaust in Sheduva. Meantime, Film (and Trailer) are Circulating Widely


[LATEST UPDATE; ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: 27 APRIL 2023]

OPINION|FILM|BOLD CITIZENS|SAULIUS BERŽINIS|SHEDUVA | MUSEUM OF THE LOST SHTETL

Partial chronology of recent events in the life and times of modern Lithuania’s first major Holocaust truth teller, documentary film maker

Saulius Beržinis

JUMP TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE

TO UPDATES; LATEST UPDATE

TO FOREIGN JOURNALIST’S ARTICLE WITHDRAWN FROM PUBLICATION

DEFENDING HISTORY’S BERŽINIS SECTION

What is it all about?

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Film, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Saulius Beržinis, Šeduva (Sheduva, Shádeve, Shádov) and its "Museum of the Lost Shtetl" | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New ‘Lost Shtetl’ Museum Allegedly Blocks Public Release of Documentary on the Holocaust in Sheduva. Meantime, Film (and Trailer) are Circulating Widely

The European Journey of Belgium’s Roland Binet: Warsaw to Rumbula (near Riga) and Ponár (near Vilnius)



MEMOIRSOPINION  |  HISTORY  |  BELGIUM

by Roland Binet  (De Panne, Belgium)

Until the age of seventeen I did not know at all that there were Jews. Following from that, I had moreover never heard anything of what happened to the Jews during World War II. My awakening came one evening in the fall of 1962.

I saw Frédéric Rossif’s documentary on the Warsaw Ghetto, Le Temps du Ghetto (‘The Time of the Ghetto’). I came away devastated, particularly shocked by the scenes of the starving children begging in the streets and by the “morning collection” of nude bodies picked up from the pavements and streets of Warsaw and transported by wheelbarrows and carts to a mass grave where the bodies were dumped without any respect. The images were at once revolting and unforgettable.

Screenshot from my ‘first shock’: Frédéric Rossif’s documentary on the Warsaw Ghetto, Le Temps du Ghetto (‘The Time of the Ghetto’)

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Posted in Belgium, History, Latvia, Lithuania, Memoirs, Music, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roland Binet | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on The European Journey of Belgium’s Roland Binet: Warsaw to Rumbula (near Riga) and Ponár (near Vilnius)

We Honor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja) on her 102nd Birthday in Vilnius



by Dovid Katz

Compilation of articles, documentaries, videos, and photos. Plus: from the saga of 2008

See Defending History’s Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky Section

Update: See now the Following Fania project

Note: This page is a work in progress. A number of older documents, articles, photographs, and recordings remain to be digitized, catalogued, and posted.

Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky: “My last wish is that the Jewish Partisan Fort, where we lived, loved and fought the Nazis in the forests of Lithuania, be preserved and restored so future generations will know of our resistance against genocide, and so we honor all those who fell fighting for the freedom of all of us.”

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Events, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Fania Brancovskaja), History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on We Honor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja) on her 102nd Birthday in Vilnius

Rabbi S. J. Feffer, Scholar (and Descendant) of Gaon of Vilna, Condemns Project to Defile Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery — Cites Ensnaring of Conference of European Rabbis (CER) & Bnei Brak’s Beth Din



 OPINION | 2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | WHO ARE THE MEMBERS? | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | THE CPJCE | THE USCPAHA | THE CER (CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN RABBIS) | THE GWF (GOOD WILL FOUNDATION)CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | HUMAN RIGHTS

Rabbi S. J. Feffer

VILNIUSRabbi S. J. Feffer, a part-of-the-year resident in Vilnius for some three decades, is best known locally for his free-of-charge (and no-tickets-needed) Passover seders and other holidays, always open to Vilneans of all backgrounds. His events are considered to be forums of intercommunity friendship and harmony, characterized by authentic Litvak Jewish Orthodox practice with equally warm welcome to folks of any and all persuasions. He is also known as an independent voice for Jewish heritage preservation, and against corruption in high places. Internationally, the rabbi, a descendant of close family of the Gaon of Vilna, is best known as part of the editing team for dozens of published volumes containing the works of the Gaon (Elijah of Vilna, 1720-1797).

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Posted in 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Rabbi S. J. Feffer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rabbi S. J. Feffer, Scholar (and Descendant) of Gaon of Vilna, Condemns Project to Defile Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery — Cites Ensnaring of Conference of European Rabbis (CER) & Bnei Brak’s Beth Din

Builders’ Curtain Down, Scaffolding Still Up, at Vilnius Science Library’s Facade: Will the Gov. Step in to ‘Just Say No’ to Plaque Glorifying a Collaborator in Genocide of Lithuanian Jewry during the Holocaust?



OPINION | COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | INS AND OUTS OF THE NOREIKA PLAQUE IN CENTRAL VILNIUSNOREIKA SAGA | U.S.A.

Left: Before renovations. Right: Current stage of renovations. The question: What’s in store for this spot when the long-lasting renovations are finally complete?

Will the government of Lithuania, a proud, successful and delightful member of the European Union and NATO, stand up and state clearly that the Vilnius city-center plaque glorifying J. Noreika, a brutal Holocaust collaborator, removed a year ago in the run-up to July’s NATO conference (pretext: “renovations of the facade”), will not be put back?

“A state’s moral decisions are vital in determining the path for the future”

The builders’ sheets have come down. The scaffolding is still up. When the plaque was removed for renovations, Delfi.lt reported one year ago that the director of the National Library of Sciences, whose Noreika facade has damaged Lithuania’s standing, gave the plaque to a far-right, pro-fascist youth group “for safekeeping” while assuring the public that “the sign will be put back when the renovation works are completed.” Sources in the government have told Defending History that the plan of the far right is to replicate the “success of 2019” when removal of the plaque was followed by a far-right Nazi-sympathizing group coming by one night with a crowd to put it up (in that instance —to put up a bigger and better plaque with bas relief of the Holocaust collaborator), after which “nobody in the government or municipality would dare defy their fait accompli.”

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Ins and Outs of the Central Vilnius Noreika Plaque Glorifying a Brutal Holocaust Collaborator, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, United States | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Builders’ Curtain Down, Scaffolding Still Up, at Vilnius Science Library’s Facade: Will the Gov. Step in to ‘Just Say No’ to Plaque Glorifying a Collaborator in Genocide of Lithuanian Jewry during the Holocaust?

“Museum of the Lost Shtetl” Forces Removal of Saulius Beržinis’s 5 Minute Youtube Trailer Featured on Yom HaShoah



OPINION | FILM | BOLD CITIZENS | SAULIUS BERŽINIS | SHEDUVA | MUSEUM OF THE LOST SHTETL

Five Minutes & Six Seconds:

The Satanic Verses of Sheduva, Lithuania?

Our take:

We sincerely regret that the directors, donors, and staff of the “Museum of the Lost Shtetl” in the town of Sheduva, Lithuania have not yet spoken out freely and publicly about removal from Youtube of the five minute and six second  trailer to Saulius Beržinis’s classic Holocaust documentary on Sheduva:

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Posted in Free Speech & Democracy, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Saulius Beržinis, Šeduva (Sheduva, Shádeve, Shádov) and its "Museum of the Lost Shtetl" | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on “Museum of the Lost Shtetl” Forces Removal of Saulius Beržinis’s 5 Minute Youtube Trailer Featured on Yom HaShoah

Major Jewish Religious Publication, ‘Yated Ne’eman’, Calls for Campaign Against Latest Government Plan for Multipurpose Museum in the Middle of Sacred Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery



 OPINION | 2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | WHO ARE THE MEMBERS? | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | THE “CPJCE”  | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | HUMAN RIGHTS

VILNIUS—The major Jewish Orthodox publication Yated Ne’eman featured a full page eve-of-Passover protest today against the most recent Lithuanian government plans to desecrate the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in the Shnípishok/Šnipiškės district) by retaining, remodeling and converting a huge and widely hated Soviet dump plonked in the middle of the cemetery into a modern de facto museum commemorating an array of Jewish, Lithuanian and general historical issues. Religious Jews, secular humanists, and human rights activists for whom the rights of the deceased to lie in peace are indeed human rights, all continue to argue that the cemetery belongs to those buried in it. Thousands are still buried in this cemetery in plots purchased in perpetuity by their families over around half a millennium.

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Posted in 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion | Comments Off on Major Jewish Religious Publication, ‘Yated Ne’eman’, Calls for Campaign Against Latest Government Plan for Multipurpose Museum in the Middle of Sacred Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

Updates from Lithuania’s Liveliest Cemetery



 OPINION2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | WHO ARE THE MEMBERS?OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | THE “CPJCE”  | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | HUMAN RIGHTS

Letter of Moral Capitulation” from Three Rabbinic Organizations?

Tale of Two Visions — for Lithuania’s most sacred Jewish site, the Old Vilna Cemetery, where many thousands still lie buried

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Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Comments Off on Updates from Lithuania’s Liveliest Cemetery

Historic Statements by Prof. Sid Leiman Clarify Need to Dismantle Soviet Eyesore & Restore Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery



DOCUMENTS | 2023 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | THE “CPJCE” LONDON GRAVE TRADERS | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY AFFAIRSHUMAN RIGHTS

The office of Professor Sid Leiman, a member of the Commission (or “Working Group”) established in 2023 to advise Lithuania’s prime minister on the future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, today followed up on yesterday’s release of his Nov. 2023 letters (to fellow Commission members and to the prime minister of Lithuania) with a further release, below, of (1) an excerpt from his Oct. 2023 paper presented to the Commission, and (2) his statement issued today confirming his view that the Commission’s final report of Feb. 2024 fails to rise to the occasion.  Defending History’s take.


(1) Excerpt from Prof. Leiman’s 22 Oct. 2023 paper circulated to members of the commission:

 

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Posted in 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Historic Statements by Prof. Sid Leiman Clarify Need to Dismantle Soviet Eyesore & Restore Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

Two Statements by Prof. Sid Leiman, To Date Only Member of Commission on Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery to Resist ‘Directed Foregone Conclusion’



DOCUMENTS | 2023 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | THE “CPJCE” LONDON GRAVE TRADERS | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY AFFAIRS | HUMAN RIGHTS

The office of Professor Sid Leiman, a member of the Commission (or “Working Group”) established in 2023 to advise Lithuania’s prime minister on the future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, today released for the public record two statements, both of 28 November 2023. One is his letter to Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, which itself forwarded to the PM his earlier letter of the same date to fellow Commission members. The two attachments, one in Hebrew and one in English, were both published at the time by Defending History. They are the Hebrew and the English version of the call by four leading heads of Lithuanian heritage yeshivas around the world. In short order, a fifth head of a Lithuanian yeshiva wrote separately for the record.


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Posted in 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Documents, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Sid (Shnayer) Leiman | Comments Off on Two Statements by Prof. Sid Leiman, To Date Only Member of Commission on Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery to Resist ‘Directed Foregone Conclusion’

Welcoming Springtime in Vilnius with Ever More Repairs at Library of Sciences



 J. NOREIKA | NOREIKA PLAQUE IN CENTRAL VILNIUS | COLLABORATOR GLORIFICATION | VILNIUS: 700 YEARS CELEBRATION

Ides of March 2024:

BUT STILL NO ANNOUNCED DECISION ON FUTURE OF CENTRAL VILNIUS SHRINE TO HITLER COLLABORATOR J. NOREIKA. A SHRINE WITH A RECENT STORIED HISTORY. ONE OF A NUMBER OF PUBLIC-SPACE SHRINES IN VILNIUS GLORIFYING LOCAL HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS.

Ever more antics to avoid having to permanently remove plaque glorifying the Nazi collaborator (or just to delay announcing any decision)? National Library of Sciences in central Vilnius on the eve of the Ides of March 2024. Defending History photos by William Adan Pahl.

Critics ask: Is it all to avoid making the bold decision to leave the plaque and bas relief of Noreika away from the building’s facade and right on the junkpile of Hitlerist paraphernalia — where it justly belongs?

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Ins and Outs of the Central Vilnius Noreika Plaque Glorifying a Brutal Holocaust Collaborator, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, Vilnius | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Welcoming Springtime in Vilnius with Ever More Repairs at Library of Sciences

Lithuanian Gov. Sponsored ‘Working Group’ (Commission) on Fate of Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery Issues ‘Final Report’



 DOCUMENTS | 2023-2024 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | WHO ARE THE MEMBERS? | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | THE “CPJCE”  | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | HUMAN RIGHTS

VILNIUS—Sources in the Lithuanian prime minister’s office today released to Defending History and other publications the text of the final report of the new “Working Group” established to advise on the future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt in the Shnípishok district of Vilna, today’s Šnipiškės district in modern Vilnius. The text is available as PDF, and follows here. Please use the handles in the upper left hand corner to turn pages.

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Posted in 2023-2024 'Working Group' on the Future of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Comments Off on Lithuanian Gov. Sponsored ‘Working Group’ (Commission) on Fate of Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery Issues ‘Final Report’

Seimas’s ‘Official Antisemite’ Announces Run to be Lithuania’s President. . .



Lithuanian parliament’s ‘proud antisemite’ announces run for president.

Defending History was first to analyze his statements for Holocaust-based context

 The ‘pioneering’ hatemonger is arguably the first elected official in Eastern Europe to synthesize local far-right Holocaust revisionism and inversion with third-world style hatred of Israel

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Seimas’s ‘Official Antisemite’ Announces Run to be Lithuania’s President. . .

Vilnius Winter Mystery: When the Curtain Comes Down — Noreika or No Noreika?



 J. NOREIKA | NOREIKA PLAQUE IN CENTRAL VILNIUSCOLLABORATOR GLORIFICATION | VILNIUS: 700 YEARS CELEBRATION

  • Vilnius winter mystery: When the curtain comes down — Noreika or No Noreika? Have they gone over the top to bury the Noreika Question at Vilnius’s Library of Sciences? In freezing  midwinter days, a city, and concerned observers internationally, wonder whether the brutal Holocaust perpetrator’s glory plaque is gone forever as Vilnius comes to embrace Western sensibilities, or whether a powerful clique of far-right antisemitic Holocaust-revisionist officials, academics and operatives will again stand in the way of Lithuania’s progress. Across the river, visible to the right of the Noreika Plaque Curtain are the “two green buildings” erected right on the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery earlier this century in a drive to obliterate the storied cemetery, a drive that has now grown to include refurbishment (instead of demolition) of  a hated Soviet ruin in its center. DefendingHistory.com photo by William Adan Pahl.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Ins and Outs of the Central Vilnius Noreika Plaque Glorifying a Brutal Holocaust Collaborator, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, Vilnius | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Vilnius Winter Mystery: When the Curtain Comes Down — Noreika or No Noreika?

New American Ambassador in Vilnius, HE Kara McDonald, Makes History Rapidly



COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED | NOREIKA SAGA | JUOZAS KRIKSTAPONIS  MONUMENTU.S.A.

America’s new ambassador in Vilnius, HE Kara McDonald, makes a dramatic entrance that will go down in history, citing  glorified Holocaust perpetrators Krikštaponis and Noreika by name, in first major interview:

“I will continue to speak out strongly against the glorification of individuals who are known and documented to have participated in the Holocaust. This is part of the definition of antisemitism.”

New US ambassador in Vilnius HE Kara McDonald

THE INTERVIEW ON BNS/LRT

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Ins and Outs of the Central Vilnius Noreika Plaque Glorifying a Brutal Holocaust Collaborator, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, United States, US State Dept Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on New American Ambassador in Vilnius, HE Kara McDonald, Makes History Rapidly

DH’s 2024 Person of the Year: Julius Norwilla



PERSON OF THE YEAR  |  LITHUANIA  |  JULIUS NORWILLA  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  | HUMAN RIGHTS  |  HISTORY

The journey of Julius Norwilla (Norvila) comprises the dynamic persona of: a child in Soviet-era Kaunas; a young intellectual dissident (of religious persuasion) in the waning days of the Soviet Union; theology student at Tallinn and Oxford; Protestant pastor in Vilnius; champion of all the minority people and cultures in Lithuania; love of the Lithuanian Jewish heritage and standing up against state efforts to manipulate that heritage and its history; intense study of Yiddish; combating Holocaust obfuscation and public worship of Holocaust participants (including peaceful, dignified protest at, and photo documentation of, each neo-Nazi march over many years); central figure in the movement to preserve Jewish cemeteries and mass graves; beloved teacher; and — through it all a rare paragon of personal steadfastness, loyalty, and integrity, equally unshakeable by offers of largesse, mammon, and career glories from one side or — by threats of personal and career destruction from the other. Such incentives sometimes come into play in the context of campaigns of defamation and personal destruction of colleagues; here is a human being who would never touch such tactics with a bargepole. Verily, such steadfastness and integrity is a rarefied trait when it comes to painful Jewish issues and history in the Baltics. All in the face of major powers and forces in a part of the world where respect for free speech and diversity of views continues to be a work in progress or, not infrequently, a public relations illusion. For close to a decade: author at Defending History.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Defending History's Person of the Year, Julius Norwilla, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Persons of the Year | Tagged , , | Comments Off on DH’s 2024 Person of the Year: Julius Norwilla