Celebrating (!) 75th Anniversary of Start of the Lithuanian Holocaust (23 June 2016)?

VILNIUS—For the tiny and dwindling group of Holocaust survivors in this part of the world, the indelibly cursed day the genocide began was June 23rd 1941, when hordes of young local “nationalists,” some affiliated with the fascist Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) — which had put in writing its intentions for Jewish fellow-citizens beforehand — began to murder, plunder and rape their neighbors in at least forty locations before the first German soldiers even got there, as confirmed by numerous historians and eyewitnesses. Within a few days, most would don white-armbands.

But in the state-sponsored the “Museum of Genocide Victims” in central Vilnius, the white-armbander murderers are portrayed as heroic “rebels” and “partisans” who drove out the Soviet army, an abject historical nonsense (the Red Army was fleeing the Nazi invasion, the largest invasion in human history, not the local Jew-killers). There are streets, squares and university lecture halls named for the fascist group and its war-criminal leaders who delighted in the extermination of their Jewish neighbors. Informed foreign visitors sometimes politely refuse to enter the premises of Kaunas’s Vytautas Magnus University. Visitors to Vilnius are shocked to learn there is a “June 23rd Street” in the capital.

Five years ago in 2011, on the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust, various official bodies sadly found it proper to “celebrate” the day (even as more and more “Jewish events” were, as ever, offered up for naive foreigners as camouflage). DefendingHistory.com monitored and chronicled the events then, over the years, and — now. The single most painful event may have been the 2012 state reburial with full honors of the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister who oversaw the initial slaughters.

Now, on the eve of the 23 June 2016 75th anniversary of the carnage of neighbors, various “celebrations” are being planned, including an incredible resolution submitted by a group of parliamentary MPs last November). Coverage to date includes:

Bičiulystė: JAV lietuvių laikraštis internetu – American Lithuanian Newspaper.

Lietuvos žinios.

Obelių paminklas [See Geoff Vasil’s report and  essay on this monument].


And — as soon as the Nazis did arrive and set up their administration, the same “heroes” and “rebels” became the vanguard of annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry. In this image they are surrounding Jewish women being taken from their homes to be further humiliated and shot.  More images.

Are these white-armbanders really the heroes that modern, democratic Lithuania wants to celebrate and cherish?

This entry was posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
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