The following is the written version of Dovid Katz’s presentation at the International Conference on Holocaust Education organized by Rūta Vanagaitė as part of a Europe for Citizens project, held at Vilnius City Hall on 17 April 2015. Conference program. Conference’s final press release. Project website.
Politics, Policy, and Lithuanian Holocaust Discourse
Good afternoon. Sincerest thanks to everyone who made today possible, above all to dear Rūta Vanagaitė for successfully bringing together folks from many sides of today’s issues here in Vilnius for the first time in the twenty-first century, in the fine spirit of openness and tolerance that is particularly important, now, when politics and current events can easily deflate freedom of opinion on history, the progress of civil discourse, and the dignity of education.
The following text is the original draft, submitted on 20 January 2015 at the invitation of the London Jewish Chronicle. An edited version (processed with all courtesies to the author) appeared in the JC on 22 January. This version is posted here simply to emphasize the author’s belief that ceremonies at Auschwitz that do not address the current massive campaign by eastern EU states to downgrade and obfuscate the Holocaust are unwittingly part of a cover-up of the very unique historical phenomena they are meant to accurately preservce and pass on. The related issue of whether Russia’s leaders will be invited to the ceremonies has been analyzed in recent pieces by Efraim Zuroff and Pinchos Fridberg.
No Cover-Up at Auschwitz!
The heralded 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz approaches, amidst a grand oblivion to what is happening before our very eyes to the actual history of the Holocaust. If we fail to speak out about the irksome issues too, the pomp and circumstance ipso facto morph into an unsavoury cover-up.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, 70 Years Declaration, Dovid Katz, EU, Events, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Auschwitz commemorations, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Holocaustw Remembrance Day, Prague Declaration, Seventy Years Declaration
Hundreds of Holocaust survivors in the UK were invited to the 5 May 2014 Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission Survivors’ Consultation Event. Greetings from Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Charles were distributed at the Wembley Park event to the survivors and their families.
One of the participants, 91 year old Ernst Lowenberg had participated in a friendly protest outside the Lithuanian embassy in London in December 2012, where he handed the consul a copy of an international petition (that is still underway online).
Back in Dec. 2012, Ernst Lowenberg (center) handed the Lithuanian consul in London a petition. Report here. PHOTO: MARK DAVIDSON
He has been closely following the efforts to obfuscate the Holocaust emanating from some East European governments that are investing heavily in exporting the “Double Genocide” revisionist model of Holocaust history.
Mr. Lowenberg followed up today with a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, which he released for publication in Defending History. In the letter, he asks the British government to help preserve the memory of the Holocaust by rejecting the current revisionist campaign and supporting the Seventy Years Declaration (SYD) of 2012, which was signed by fifteen British parliamentarians from across the political spectrum (DH section on the SYD).
Mr. Lowenberg’s letter follows.
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, EU, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom
Tagged Ernst Lowenberg, Holocaust Education in the UK, Prague Declaration (2008), SYD, UK + Seventy Years Declaration (SYD)
Dan Stone’s new book, Goodbye to All That? A History of Europe Since 1945 (Oxford University Press, March 2014) has some discussion on the “Battle of the Declarations” in Europe: the Prague Declaration (“PD” of 2008) and the Seventy Years Declaration (“SYD” of 2012).
Each of the declarations has its own website: the PD at praguedeclaration.eu; SYD at: seventyyearsdeclaration.org. The SYD was produced as an initiative of Defending History, which has its (openly partisan) section on the Seventy Years Declaration, its text in European languages, and a page of critiques of the Prague Declaration. The SYD’s launch was greeted by the then Lithuanian foreign minister’s “moustache comparison” and his attack on the eight Lithuanian parliamentarians who had signed it. The 2012 documentary film Rewriting History focuses on the origins of the Seventy Years Declaration.
The following is a brief excerpt from Dan Stone’s Goodbye to All That? from page 281:
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Books, Documents, Double Genocide, History, News & Views, Politics of Memory
Tagged Dan Stone, Double Genocide, Goodbye to All That A History of Europe Since 1945, Lithuanian Activist Front, Prague Declaration, Seventy Years Declaration, Waffen SS in Latvia and Estonia
LONDON—In its just published A Jewish Manifesto: The 2014 European Elections, the British Board of Deputies has included a statement rejecting the attempts of recent years to downgrade the Holocaust. Section 3.3, entitled “Holocaust Revisionism” appears on page 10 of the online version of the Jewish Manifesto.
The Manifesto notes the “alarm among many Jewish communities” caused by the 2008 Prague Declaration, the de-facto central document of the Double Genocide movement, and calls on MEPs to “challenge their European colleagues on these narratives that seek to downplay or minimize the Holocaust.” The Prague Declaration sports the word “same” five times referring to Nazi and Soviet crimes, effectively claiming there were two equal genocide-causing regimes and thereby writing the Holocaust out of history as unique event, without denying a single death.
O P I N I O N
This comment, republished here with the author’s permission, first appeared in the Jerusalem Post on 22 February 2014.
My 2012 documentary film Rewriting History tracked the emergence of “Double Genocide” and the rewriting of the history of the Holocaust in Lithuania.
The film warned that what was occurring in Lithuania was a harbinger of something that could become more widespread and ultimately mainstream in Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe. Unfortunately recent events in Hungary bear this out.
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Collaborators Glorified, Danny Ben-Moshe, Double Genocide, EU, Film, Hungary, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion
Tagged Danny Ben-Moshe, Double Genocide (Hungary), Double Genocide + Lithuania, Genocide Museum Vilnius, Green House (Vilnius), Holocaust in Hungary, Holocaust in Lithuania, Rewriting History (film), Seventy Years Declaration
MP John Mann (photo: Guardian)
2013: “It is an industrial rewriting of history in Eastern Europe to excuse mass murders carried out on behalf of the Nazis.”
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, Genocide Center (Vilnius), John Mann, UK MP, News & Views, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom
Tagged Double Genocide, John Mann, MP, Prague Declaration
The recently entered Wikipedia entry on the Seventy Years Declaration has been rapidly distorted by the usual right-wing Baltic nationalism operatives who use the free on-line encyclopedia to foster the misimpression that Prague Declaration politics are “neutral” while its opponents who oppose glorification of Nazism in Eastern Europe are “left wing.” Moreover numerous inaccuracies and impertinent points have been introduced in an obvious attempt to render the entry untenable and have it removed, while the far-right’s Prague Declaration politics continue to be propagated on Wikipedia with the energy of a full-time PR team.
EARLIER VERSION OF WIKIPEDIA ENTRY
AFTER SABOTAGE BY THE FAR RIGHT’S WIKI SQUAD
The new SYD-dedicated website www.SeventyYearsDeclaration.org was launched today.
The website marks a new phase in the international effort to halt the progress of the East European far right’s “Double Genocide” campaign across Europe and beyond. For more background on the Seventy Years Declaration (SYD) see the dedicated page, European languages page, and section in Defending History.
Early history and coverage (Jan-Feb 2012), including the eight bold Lithuanian parliamentarians (all social democrats) who signed the SYD.
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Antisemitism & Bias, Double Games, Double Genocide, Human Rights, Litvak Affairs, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, UCL Manipulated?, United Kingdom
Tagged Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė, East-Central Europe, Fania Brantsovsky, Holocaust in Lithuania, Joseph Melamed, Lithuanian-Jewish relations, Monica Lowenberg, Post-Communist Europe, Post-Communist views of the Holocaust, Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, Rachel Margolis, Seventy Years Declaration, Yitzhak Arad
In a curious annual statement to his nation’s diplomats around the globe, Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis recently proclaimed publicly that “historical memory policy” would be one of the main goals of Lithuanian’s foreign policy, particularly as it looks forward to its rotating presidency of the EU next year.
The insistence on the Eastern European right wing’s history appears alongside energy and transport infrastructure, economic development, consular services for citizens resident abroad, military security, international alliances and more. The speech also mentions the need for more coordination of Lithuania’s “body and mind” implying the need for more rather than less diplomatic work in the field of history revisionism internationally.
In spite of the repeated visible damage to Lithuania’s standing emanating from previous attempts, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now announced that red-brown politics in the service of Double Genocide would be one of the goals of its upcoming stint in the rotating presidency of the European Union.
There was diplomatic blood on the floor following the foreign ministry’s failed attempt to insinuate Double Genocide into the Stockholm Program in 2010 (reports here, here, and here).
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, EU, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, News & Views, Politics of Memory
Tagged Bloodlands, Double Genocide, Foreign Minister Azubalis, Jewish + Lithuania, Prague Declaration, Roger Cohen, Seventy Years Declaration, Timothy Snyder