Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors ask U.S. Embassy in Vilnius to Clarify 64,000 Euro Holocaust Education Grant

Joseph A. Melamed

The Tel-Aviv based Association of Lithuanian Jews, the world’s most active association of Holocaust Survivors from Lithuania and their progeny, today released to the media the letter which its chairman, Joseph A. Melamed, sent on 16 September 2010 to Anne E. Derse, America’s ambassador to Lithuania. Mr Melamed, a Tel Aviv attorney and former Israeli diplomat, told that his office hopes to receive a reply “in the nearest future”. The full text of Mr Melamed’s 16 September letter:

Dear Ambassador Derse,

As chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, the largest and most active association of Litvaks anywhere in the world, whose core continues to remain our own generation of Holocaust Survivors (I myself am a survivor of the Kovno [Kaunas] Ghetto),

We have been gravely concerned by the lack of information concerning the recent grant of some 64,000 euros to Holocaust education in Lithuania. As you know, there is in Lithuania a powerful elitist antisemitic establishment that is well endowed with state funds to distort, minimalize and relativize the Holocaust, most prominently by way of support for revisionist history that seeks to persuade the entire Europe to accept a model of Double Genocide (Nazi and Soviet).

It would be a huge and painful blow to Holocaust Survivors, and to the memory of the victims, if even one single euro were granted to those engaged in pursuing and promoting this antisemitic revisionism under the guise of local Holocaust education.

To clear the air, we ask that the embassy reveal all details of disbursement of this grant without further delay. My sincere thanks in anticipation.

With all good wishes from Tel-Aviv,

Joseph A. Melamed

Chairman, Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel

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