VILNIUS—Shortly after Defending History published the news yesterday that Dr. Arūnas Bubnys, longtime chief historian at Lithuania’s state sponsored far-right Genocide Center had been nominated by the speaker of parliament as the center’s new director, news published also by New York’s Algemeiner Journal, a social media campaign began to try to spread a rumor that the DH photo of Dr. Bubnys proudly speaking less than a year ago under banner images of Holocaust collaborators Jonas Noreika and Kazys Škirpa was “photoshopped.” Two of DH’s Vilnius-based team, Julius Norwilla and Dovid Katz, monitored the event from start to finish. Their report appeared the same day, 23 June 2020, the 79th anniversary of the outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust. Instead of honoring the victims — defenseless Jewish citizens, often older rabbis and younger women brutalized and murdered by the “White Armbander” fascists — the event, like many legitimized by Lithuanian government institutions, glorified the killers, who are invariably described as “heroic anti-Soviet rebels.” This is of course a patent historic nonsense. The USSR’s forces were fleeing Hitler’s invasion, Operation Barbarossa, the largest invasion in human history, not the local white-armbanded Jew-killers. While the Soviets were in power, the Hitler-backers and murderers of civilian neighbors now adulated as “anti-Soviet rebels” did not fire a single shot. Not even at a local rabbit.
There is some thick tension in the Vilnius air these days over how the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of butchery will be commemorated here, elsewhere in the Baltics and beyond, including western Ukraine, in just over two months time.
“A strange old world…”
Just as a public adulator of Holocaust collaborator J. Noreika was being nominated to head his EU/NATO nation’s Genocide (!) research center, the perpetrator’s American granddaughter released her new book in the US detailing the gruesome truth about Noreika’s barbaric cruelty. Defending History has been on the Noreika case for nine long years. For much of that time, our correspondent was subjected to prosecutors’ and police harassment and kangaroo proceedings.
In the meantime, we publish more of the absolutely non-photoshopped, non-manipulated photographs of Dr. Bubnys proudly standing beneath the banners of Noreika and Škirpa for the duration of his address to his adoring far right and neo-Nazi crowd on 23 June 2020. Note that the image of Noreika, at the left, includes also his “heroic nom de guerre” — “General Vetra” (General Storm…). During his speech, he baited one of Defending History’s editors by name, leading the highly professional police at the perimeters to rapidly come and ensure the Defending History’s observation team’s safety. As ever, Defending History thanked the Vilnius police on the day for their consistent utmost professionalism, effectiveness and courtesy to all parties.