OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER PROJECT | INTERNATIONAL PETITION | HUMAN RIGHTS
VILNIUS—Congratulations were pouring in this morning as soon as Lithuania’s media, led by Alfa.lt’s ace reporter, Arvydas Jockus, one of the few to have provided balanced reports throughout the saga, reported on the Lithuanian government’s decision to abandon the project to cite a national convention center in the heart of the old Vilna Jewish cemetery at Piramónt, in the Shnípishok section of Vilna (today’s Šnipiškės in modern Vilnius). The Alfa.lt report was followed by BNS (Baltic News Service) confirmation, carried by Lrytas.lt, the business news portal Verslo zinios (vz.lt), as well as 15min.lt, Diena.lt, Kauno diena, and visosnaujienos.e2.lt, among others. JTA has reported the new development (and its report carried, inter alia, by Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post, Enlace Judío, and the Forward). Ben Cohen’s originally researched article followed in New York’s Algemeiner Journal.
The reasoning cited for the project cancellation cited by authorities was a change in economic models and needs following the covid pandemic period. This comes in stark contrast to earlier claims that the convention center at the cemetery would itself soon be filling the country with euros
Since the evening news broadcast on Vilnius television broadcast in April 2015 images of a group of money-punch-drunk London hasidic rabbis of the CPJCE gleefully “selling” the cemetery to the then Lithuanian prime minister, DefendingHistory.com has led international opposition, by chronicling the saga from day one, and by inspiring, coordinating and recording the international opposition. DH’s pages over the years have featured seminal writings on the subject by a diverse group of authors including Lithuanian intellectual Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas, building science professor and Jewish community sage Prof. Josif Parasonis; leading Vilnius activist Julius Norwilla; an anonymous Lithuanian artist inspired by Mr. Norwilla; American scholar Prof. Sid (Shnayer) Leiman; New York activist Dov-Ber Fried whose separate campaign, coordinated by his wife Mrs. Chaya Fried, played a major role; Christian evangelical pastor Michael Maass; and many more. Within Lithuania, Defending History’s pages brought together the former chief rabbi, Rabbi Chaim Burshtein (who was fired for opposing the convention center project), Litvak rabbi and Vilna Gaon scholar Rabbi Samuel Jacob Feffer; the late Milan Chersonski, longtime editor of the Jewish community’s fabled quadrilingual newspaper; and numerous others.
DH’s coverage of the Vilnius cemetery saga: Look at it chronologically, or work back from the most recent…
RUTA BLOSHTEIN’S HISTORIC PETITION
THE INDEFATIGABLE CAMPAIGN OF DOV-BER AND CHAYA FRIED OF NEW YORK CITY. MR FRIED’S EARLY ARTICLES IN DH.
MAJOR LITVAK RABBINIC LEADER HORAV ELCHONON BARON SPEAKS OUT TO LITHUANIAN AMBASSADOR IN TEL AVIV. HIS VIDEO AT WESTERN WALL.
Other Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe must be saved from mercenary corrupt clutches of London’s CPJCE and complicit cowardice of US gov’s USCPAHA. Bravo to those who dared stand up to them by name: Prof. Bernayd Fryshman; Rabbi Chaim Burshtein; the Conference of European Rabbis (CER).
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