In Honor of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja) on her 100th Birthday (2022)


by Dovid Katz

Compilation of articles, documentaries, videos, and photos. Plus: from the saga of 2008

See Defending History’s Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky Section

Note: This page is a work in progress. A number of older documents, articles, photographs, and recordings remain to be digitized, catalogued, and posted.

I: In Articles

Note: Item no. 8 (in red for rapid reference) represents, in my view, Fania’s most cherished last wish, expressed so many times: that the Jewish Partisan Fort in the forest, where 100 or so escapees from the Vilna Ghetto lived in wooden underground bunkers and fought the Nazis as part of the anti-Nazi resistance, be saved from imminent disappearance and be restored as a testament to Jewish resistance and courage during the Holocaust, and more generally, to the indomitable human spirit to resist against the greatest of odds and in the most tragic of circumstances, when all of one’s friends and relatives had already been murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators based on their race of birth. The Jewish Partisan Fort should be cherished by Lithuania, the European Union, the international heritage (and Jewish heritage) community, and all humanity, as one of Europe’s sites eminently deserving of preservation. This is now particularly urgent given the rapid deterioration and feared imminent disappearance of the site.

  1. Her Dream Came True: Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky became the most beloved Yiddish teacher in Vilna. Librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute recounts her last-minute escape from the Vilna Ghetto” [in Yiddish] in Algemeiner Journal, 27 July 2007, pp. 1, 9, 10.

  2. Will the World Continue to Remain Silent? The new, ‘smarter’, dangerous form of Holocaust Denial is seriously being considered by — the European Parliament!” [in Yiddish] in Algemeiner Journal, 25 July 2008, pp. 9-10.

  3. Rokhl Margolis, 86, Can’t Come Home to Vilna — because she fought against the Nazis” [in Yiddish] in Algemeiner Journal, 15 August 2008, pp. 9-10.

  4. Prague’s Declaration of Disgrace. A European attempt to equate Communism with Nazism will falsify history” in The Jewish Chronicle, 21 May 2009.

  5. ‘Genocide Industry’ has Hidden Agenda. Attempts at equalizing historical wrongs are often aimed at Holocaust Obfuscation” in the Irish Times, 30 May 2009.

  6. Leonidas Donskis, “Hostages to an Ill-Begotten Theory” in Transitions on Line (10 October 2008), reprinted with the author’s permission in Defending History, 1 December 2009.

  7. Halting Holocaust Obfuscation. The Baltic ultranationalists rewriting East European history as an equal Nazi-Soviet ‘double genocide’ must be stopped” in the Guardian, 8 January 2010.

  8. The Last Jewish Fort in the Forests of Lithuania: Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky Calls for its Preservation” in Defending History, 13 August 2010.

  9. Sir Martin Gilbert Releases August 2008 Letter on his Resignation from the Lithuanian Government’s ‘Red-Brown Commission’” in Defending History, 1 September 2010.

  10. Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, State-Defamed Jewish World War II Partisan Hero, Turns 100 Today” in Defending History, 22 May 2022.

  11. Editor, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky Section in (spanning the years 2008-2022). Please skim through chronologically to appreciate the dramatic historic depth of events in Fania’s life of the last decade and a half and their implications for the much wider narrative of history.

II: In Documentaries

  1. In Danny Ben-Moshe’s 2012 documentary Rewriting History (Identity Films, Melbourne, televised by SBS TV). Alternative link.

  2. In Richard Bloom’s 2018 documentary, Defending Holocaust History.

  3. In Christian Carlsen’s 2018 documentary, Liza Ruft. Excerpt on youtube exposes the project of the state-sponsored “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” to defame for history Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and the other Jewish partisan resistance heroes who fought valiantly against Nazi rule in Lithuania.

III: In Videos

Note: These videos of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky are part of the ongoing Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive (LYVA) project (please see the youtube description box).They are presented as raw, unedited material that is being digitized and posted to protect the materials for future generations. As funding materializes, more and more videos (and audios) with Fania and many other survivors will be rescued, restored, digitized and posted. Contributions are tax-deductible in the United States. Please consider supporting this project generously. More details at our donors’ page.

IV: Photo Album

Our photo album featuring Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky in under construction. Please come and visit to see the images uploaded to date.



V: From the Saga of 2008

(excerpted from Defending History’s Blaming the Victims page)

  1. Dovid’s 30 March 2008 memo to the Board of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute.

  2. American Embassy issues a certificate of appreciation to Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky on 30 April signed by the American ambassador, HE John A. Cloud. It was presented at a luncheon hosted by U.S. attache Joseph Boski (photo; video).

  3. Dovid’s 7 May report to colleagues on the 5 May visit of the police to the residence of Rachel Kostanian looking for Rachel Margolis and Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky.

  4. Report of 28 May on the Wiesenthal Center’s Efraim Zuroff handing a letter of protest to the Lithuanian ambassador in Israel.

  5. Prosecutors tell the media on 28 May that they are unable to locate Fania Brantsovsky (Fania was present 9-5 each day at her post of librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, less than five minutes’ walk from the residence of the president of Lithuania).

  6. Report of 3 June on HE Irish Ambassador Dónal Denham’s evening at the ambassador’s residence in honor of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, presenting her with a Certificate of Lifetime Achievement. See now relevant pages in Ambassador Denham’s memoir, Nine Lives: Reflections of a Deliberate Diplomat (2022; Steinar Gil’s review in DH).

  7. Report of 19 June  on the letter of protest from the Jewish Community of Lithuania (chairperson Dr. Shimon Alperovich) and the Lithuanian Union of Ghetto and Camp Survivors (chairperson Tuvia Jafet).

  8. Report in the Economist, “Prosecution and persecution. Lithuania must stop blaming the victims” appears on 21 August (author: Edward Lucas).

  9. Report of 27 August on the walking tour of the Vilna Ghetto led by Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky organized by HE British Ambassador Simon Butt. See also Defending History’s Ambassador Simon Butt section.

  10. Open Letter  of 1 September by the Jewish Community of Lithuania (chairperson Dr. Shimon Alperovich) and the Lithuanian Union of Ghetto and Camp Survivors (chairperson Tuvia Jafet).

  11. Mention by MP Denis MacShane in his book Globalising Hatred: The New Antisemitism, released 25 Sept. 2008, p. 33.

  12. Editorial by Milan Chersonski, editor of the Jewish Community of Lithuania’s quadrilingual Jerusalem of Lithuania, Oct.-Dec. 2008 (English edition, the editorial appeared in all four languages).

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