This small book, brought out in three separate editions (English, Lithuanian, Russian) by the state-supported Genocide Center, looks more like a brochure than anything else. The cover features the author’s name, in small type, above all else, then a larger Kaunas Ghetto, then a line with the years 1941-1944, against a backdrop of a computerized dark blue sky above a “tasteful” black-and-white picture of Jews lined up in columns inside Kaunas ghetto. The computerized dark blue wraps around the spine to the back cover where some vague lines comprise a hand-drawn map of the streets making up Kaunas ghetto, an ISBN number in white above UPC Bookland barcode featuring the same number again, and then a web address, www.genocid.lt. I found myself staring at the internet address and wondering what language that was supposed to be. Lithuanian is always “genocidas” and “genocid” isn’t possible as any permutation or declension of the noun, and of course English is “genocide.” Perhaps it’s Russian in Latin-letter transcription? But that would contradict the nationalist and ethnic bias of the publisher, the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Lithuanian Residents where Arūnas Bubnys is a leading figure. Perhaps “genocid” is someone’s notion of a non-English and yet international form of the word, formed by reducing it from the Lithuanian nominative case ending -as? I checked my favorite search engine, and of course the Lithuanian organization’s webpage came up first, but was soon followed by a wikipedia and wiktionary entry for the Croatian word.
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Bold Citizens Speak Out, Books, Double Games, Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and State Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania, Geoff Vasil, History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Editor’s note: The following is a translation of the open letter by Professor Pinchos Fridberg, a Holocaust survivor in Vilnius, and the reply by Yivo’s director, Dr. Jonathan Brent. Both were published in the Yiddish Forward (Forverts) on 1 March 2015. Prof. Fridberg has also posted an audio file of his reading his letter aloud in his native Vilna Yiddish. In the case of any issue arising, the Yiddish text is authoritative. For readers’ reference, hyperlinks have been added (by Defending History) to various of the documents and topics cited. See also the Pinchos Fridberg page and section in Defending History, page and section on the state-sponsored commission discussed, and section on Yivo issues.
September 2014 at Ponár, the mass muder site of Vilna Jewry: Three representatives of the controversial state sponsored commission on Nazi and Soviet crimes pay respects in unison: (from left): Dr. Jonathan Brent, Emanuelis Zingeris, Ronaldas Račinskas. Photo: Defending History.
ear Dr. Jonathan Brent,
I appeal to you in Yiddish. Do you know why? Because I believe, that a person who is the leader of the Yivo institute will understand me. My name is Pinchos Fridberg. I was born in Vilna before the war and am a survivor of the Holocaust. My grandmother and grandfather, and all our relatives on my mother’s side — 28 people — lie [at the mass murder site] Ponár.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Documents, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Politics of Memory, United States, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas and the State-Sponsored "International Commission" (ICECNSORL), Yiddish Affairs, Yivo Manipulated?
Tagged Dr. Jonathan Brent (Yivo), Emanuelis Zingeris, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Jewish community in Lithuania, Jews in Lithuania, Jonathan Brent, Juozas Ambrazevicius Brazaitis, Kovno Ghetto, Pinchos Fridberg, Ronaldas Racinskas, Yivo + Vilnius + Lithuania, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Yivo Lithuania, Yivo Vilna Project
by Dovid Katz
Vilnius has just lost one of its most powerful and authentic Litvak personalities, and one of the last Vilna-born prewar Jews still resident in the city. Meilach Stalevich, who was born on June 28th 1923 passed away peacefully during the night of 8 t0 9 November this month, in the middle of his ninety-second year, following a heart attack several days earlier.
For some who didn’t know him personally, he will forever be celebrated for his extraordinary soundbite in Wendy Robbins’ BBC radio documentary in 2010, when he was asked what he thought of the idea that the Nazi and Soviet regimes were similar in nature. In a few seconds, in the rich Yiddish tones of a Vilna native, he was able to debunk the current array of Holocaust revisionists rather more effectively than perhaps all of the academic efforts underway taken together.
O P I N I O N
A recent report, also available as PDF, suggests sudden and deep involvement of the World Jewish Congress in the Lithuanian government’s repeatedly documented use of Yiddish, Judaic studies and even Holocaust studies as means to advance — or cover for — state-sponsored Double Genocide revisionism with respect to the essential narrative of the Holocaust. The report has proven to be disturbing for the wider Holocaust survivor community and its supporters.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Double Games, Double Genocide, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Michael Schneider (World Jewish Congress), Ronald S. Lauder, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, World Jewish Congress + Lithuania, World Jewish Congress + Yiddish, Yiddish in Vilnius & Lithuania
The following 7 March 2014 comment by Olga Zabludoff on the video posted of the 14 February 2014 event at Yivo appears in the Comments section for her earlier article in the Algemeiner Journal, where readers can follow the entire discussion.
Many thanks to Yivo for posting the video of the discussion “Unresolved History: Jews and Lithuanians after the Holocaust.” In my opinion, the champion panelist was Leonidas Donskis who opened his heart with conviction and courage. As a Jewish Lithuanian his understanding of and sympathy for both Jews and Lithuanians have generated wise insights and pervasive truths. Among his magnitude of analytical comments to be applauded, Donskis explained that the Far Right in Lithuania has managed to get close to the center of power where they have been “mainstreamed” rather than marginalized. He also reflected on how difficult it is for Lithuanians who have decided to tell the truth. As a nation “we lack the political courage,” he remarked.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, The Great SLS About-Face, United States, Yivo Manipulated?
VILNIUS—Professor Pinchos Fridberg today posted a Youtube video replying to attacks on himself by the executive director of the Lithuanian government’s International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.
The following is a reprint of Pinchos Fridberg’s article in today’s Russian-language Мы здесь.
The following, in reverse chronological order, is the text of Monica Lowenberg’s two comments to Ronaldas Racinskas’s comment, all in the discussion following Olga Zabludoff’s article in the Algemeiner Journal on the Holocaust in Lithuania and a Yivo symposium in New York. These and other comments appear in the AJ‘s comments section.
O P I N I O N
by Olga Zalubdoff
The following is the text of Olga Zabludoff’s op-ed published on 13 February 2014 in the Algemeiner Journal. Comments by readers are available at the original site of publication.
Yivo, Lithuania, The Holocaust
Nobody could love or respect the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research more than I do. It was founded as the Yiddish Scientific Institute in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1925. Yivo remains a symbol for all who cherish our Yiddish heritage and, now, its last prewar survivors. Through the years I have spent many wondrous hours at Yivo, digging, discovering, and learning about my Litvak ancestors, their shtetlakh, and their culture. Being there always felt like being home. The books and documents I handled seemed almost sacred. Memories of conversations with Yivo’s’s revered librarian Dina Abramowicz still make me smile. . .
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, US State Dept Manipulated?, Yiddish Affairs, Yivo Manipulated?
Tagged Dr. Jonathan Brent, Neo-Nazi marches of Feb 16th and March 11th (Lithuania), Olga Zabludoff, Yivo Lithuania
This week has seen a further public and, in most assessments, vitriolic attack, from the president of the (Prague-based) “Platform of European Memory and Conscience,” the European Union financed body responsible for “enacting” the 2008 Prague Declaration, against one of its own founding constituent members, the (Prague-based) “Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.”
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Genocide, EU, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", Sweden, The Czech Republic
Tagged 2008 Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, Double Genocide, Genocide Center in Vilnius, Platform of European Memory and Conscience, Prague Platform + Prague Institute, Prague Platform on former communists
VILNIUS—Among other news portals in Lithuania, 15min.lt reported on 23 December that a group of nationalists in the Seimas (parliament) had proposed establishment of a new institution, the “National Council of Historical Memory” to set the “indisputable truth about historic events.” Coming on top of the 2010 red-brown criminalization of opinion law that has brought alarm from human rights circles in the European Union, this latest layer of state establishment of alleged historic truth would compound the damage.
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.
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 Genocide Center in Vilnius, Geoff Vasil, Lithuania, Obeliai
O P I N I O N
NOTE: This English version of a recent piece by Professor Pinchos Fridberg (of Vilnius), translated by Lumilla Makedonskaya (of Grodno), is for our readers’ information. In the case of any doubt or matter arising, the original Russian text alone is authoritative.
The unfortunate and wasteful campaign of Holocaust obfuscation waged by certain East European state institutions continues apace. The level of investment continues to strike outsiders as puzzling, given current economic and cultural issues and the younger population’s clear focus on the future and a better life for all in the new and multicultural European Union. Here in Lithuania, the first victims of the government’s (rather Soviet-style) “genocide industry” are the hard-working people of the country who deserve more judicious disbursement of their nation’s resources. The state-sponsored Genocide Center has just released three simultaneous editions (English, Lithuanian and Russian) of a new book on the Vilna Ghetto by historian Arūnas Bubnys, its own “director of the Genocide and Resistance Research Department.”
Dr. Bubnys is also a member of the state-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”). He was one of a minority of members of the Commission who refused to sign the (in the opinion of some, inadequate) letter of 14 October 2013 to Dr. Yitzhak Arad.
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Books, Double Games, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and State Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), EU, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Poland, Politics of Memory, Ponár (Ponary, Paneriai)
Tagged Arunas Bubnys, Genocide Center Vilnius, Holocaust Obfuscation, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Lithuania, Vilna Ghetto, Vilnius, Yitzhak Arad
O P I N I O N
by Rachel Croucher (Melbourne, Australia)
Lithuania declared its restoration of independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on March 11, 1990. The country then began to immediately seek closer ties with established Western European institutions as a means to consolidate its national and economic security. After centuries of subjugation at the hands of various foreign powers, this need for national and economic security was seen as being of primary and urgent concern to the fledgling democracy. This race to join as many Western European institutions as possible was also a way to prove to the rest of the world that Lithuania was now in practice a true European country, part of the post-1945 Western European order. The sentiment behind this is best expressed by Czech-born and naturalized French writer Milan Kundera when he stated in 1989 that
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Double Games, Double Genocide, History, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rachel Croucher
Tagged Emanuelis Zingeris, Holocaust in Lithuania, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Rachel Croucher, Vytatuas Landsbergis, Yitzhak Arad
by Geoff Vasil
The Contemporary Art Center’s reading room in Vilnius is hosting an unusual-for-Lithuania Holocaust event called Keep Me in Mind. Briefly, visitors are invited to wander among different tables where good-looking and polite people await them with small boxes and sheaves of papers. When you sit down the narrator at the table tells the story of an individual Holocaust survivor, from childhood to the present. Almost all of the survivors seem to now live in Haifa, Israel. One survivor, Benjamin Ginzburg, came from Vilnius.
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Arts, Geoff Vasil, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged "Keep me in Mind", Geoff Vasil, Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust Politics