A month has now elapsed since the online Lithuania Tribune took a defamatory press release as God’s-honest-truth news, in absence of the slightest attempt to obtain a quote from the victim, or indeed anyone with a contrasting view. The press release came not from a news agency, but the highly partisan executive director of the “Red-Brown Commission” (the full and rather Orwellian name of which is “The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania”). The Commission is highly controversial to say the least, and resignations to date (all on principle) from its associated bodies include Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Sir Martin Gilbert (London), Prof. Gershon Greenberg (Washington, DC), Prof. Konrad Kwiet (Sydney) and Prof. Dov Levin (Jerusalem). Moreover, while putting forward an educational image to donors, it is in fact the ultranationalist political engine of a sizable part of the Double Genocide movement in Eastern Europe today, and this dubious role has been brought to light repeatedly. Major statements on the Commission’s activities came in 2012 from its former member Yitzhak Arad, and from the world’s last active association of Holocaust survivors from Lithuania.
B O O K S
by Olga Zabludoff
Review of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust by Ellen Cassedy. University of Nebraska Press, 2012.
Had this title been billed as a simple memoir of Cassedy’s trip to Lithuania in the summer of 2004, my criticism of her book would be tempered. She had gone to the land of her ancestors to study Yiddish at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute and to connect with her Jewish roots. The professors and mentors she encounters at the Yiddish Institute come alive, as do the various Lithuanians and Jews with whom she connects. Cassedy is a good writer who captures physical details well. But even at that, this reviewer found the memoir to be superficial.
The major problem is that Cassedy’s book is being promoted as the Bible of the Lithuanian Holocaust by advocates for the current Lithuanian government and elite establishment which aspire to paint for the outside world a distorted version of the Holocaust. A version defined in shades of gray and the confusion they generate. A version that incorporates the mythology of equivalency between crimes committed by the Nazi and Soviet occupation regimes.
SEE ALSO THE REVIEWS BY
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Books, Double Games, Double Genocide, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, VilNews.com, What Do Fake Litvak Games Look Like?
Tagged Double Genocide theory, Ellen Cassedy, Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust Obfuscation, Olga Zabludoff, We are Here. Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust
O P I N I O N
by Milan Chersonski
Milan Chersonski (Chersonskij), longtime editor (1999-2011) of Jerusalem of Lithuania, quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, was previously (1979-1999) director of the Yiddish Folk Theater of Lithuania, which in Soviet times was the USSR’s only Yiddish amateur theater company. The views he expresses in DefendingHistory are his own. This is an authorized translation from the Russian original.
Photo: Milan Chersonski at this desk at the Jewish Community of Lithuania (image © 2012 Jurgita Kunigiškytė). Milan Chersonski section.
Can you imagine a European Union / NATO government investing millions in setting up a “Peace Park” in its beautiful capital city, in memory of people buried at the site of the park, when hundreds of them were Nazi collaborators who eagerly supported the annihilation of the Jewish population of their country?
Earlier this month, VilNews.com prominently published an article by Vincas Karnila, presented as the Introduction to a series called “The Mass Graves in Tuskulėnai.” It is a panegyric to the employees of the Museum of Genocide in Vilnius and the Center for the Study of Genocide and Resistance for their tireless efforts to establish the Tuskulėnai Peace Park. Readers are informed that six articles will follow. [Update: Subsequent articles in Karnila’s series can be found in www.VilNews.com.]
We know from official sources that Soviet KGB victims were buried at Tuskulėnai from 1944 to 1947.
Karnila tells us:
Posted in Arts, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, Milan Chersonski (1937-2021), Museums, Opinion, Politics of Memory, VilNews.com
Tagged Genocide Center of Lithuania, Tuskulenai Peace Park, VilNews.com, Vincas Karnila
Можно ли представить себе правительство европейской страны, члена ЕС и
НАТО, которое в своей прекрасной столице инвестирует миллионы на
создание «Парка тишины» в память о похороненых там людях, если сотни
из них были пособниками нацистов и активно участвовали в уничтожении
еврейского населения своей страны?
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
Thought experiment: Imagine an African American in the city of Columbia, South Carolina, being called an extremist or fanatic for peacefully expressing the opinion that it is offensive for the Confederate flag to be hoisted on the grounds of the state capitol building. Imagine him or her being called extremist or fanatic for failing to be grateful that the flag was, after much protest, moved from atop the dome to the mere grounds of the capitol and its design slightly changed to conform to the Confederate Battle Flag (as a “concession”).
Imagine if a snow-white editor of a web journal singled out for David Duke style praise “Moderate African Americans” who just say “Thank you” when a pathetic morsel of PR is offered up by local authorities in the face of mounting international opprobrium.
There would be public outrage at the racism.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Dovid Katz, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Racism, South Africa, Vilna's Great Synagogue & its Courtyard (Shúlheyf), VilNews.com, What Do Fake Litvak Games Look Like?
Tagged Aage Myhre, Holocaust in Lithuania, Norwegian property magnates in Vilnius, VilNews.com
Rabinowitz-Dorf: Did the PR firm sell out Lithuanian Jewry to help the current right-wing government “change” the history of the Holocaust with American Jewish cover, while enabling “Fake Litvaks” to misrepresent themselves as representing the Jewish community in Lithuania?
Posted in American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Lithuania, Double Games, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Media Watch, News & Views, United States, US State Dept Manipulated?, Use and Abuse of Sugihara, VilNews.com, What Do Fake Litvak Games Look Like?
Tagged Fake Litvaks, Harley Felstein, Holocaust in Lithuania, Jewish + Lithuania, Rabbinowitz/Dorf + Lithuania, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications, Zygimantas Pavilionis
O P I N I O N / R E V I E W
by Birutė Ušinskaitė
Cover of playbill
It was just another rainy and not overly cold evening in early December of the year 2011, but the play I was privileged to see at the Kaunas Chamber Theatre, Day and Night, proved to me, a proud Vilnius native and resident, that not all that is bold and brilliant originates in our capital.
For the first time in modern Lithuanian history, in my experience at any rate, a Lithuanian play on the Holocaust did not try to deflect attention ― or responsibility ― to the Germans or to some pseudo-objective forces of society, or to stick to some “kosher” theme like the dilemmas of Gens and the Judenrat in the Vilna Ghetto in order to avoid talking about what is frankly the main point for our country: the voluntary participation of many of our countrymen in the mass murder of the Jewish citizens of our own country, in some cases before the Nazis even arrived.