OPINION | VILNIUS GENOCIDE CENTER | VILNIUS GENOCIDE MUSEUM | GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS | ACADEMIC BACKGROUND
Defending History was there. See Background and DH’s take on the trial.
THE PLAINTIFFS’ TABLE: Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas, longtime contributing writer at DH (left) represented absent American plaintiff Grant Gochin at the hearing on state honors for Holocaust collaborator J. Noreika, whose case was first brought to the English speaking world in 2012 by Evaldas Balčiūnas, who was also in attendance. At right is attorney Rokas Rudzinskas. PHOTO © Defending History 2019.
VILNIUS—As the long-awaited trial opened this morning, the Genocide Center’s official and two lawyers explained to the three-judge panel that they need a lot of time to study so many documents, including some less-than-perfect printouts, hence an adjournment would be required. The next hearing was set for 5 March. In fact, the Genocide Center has for many years been familiar with the documents demonstrating Jonas Noreika’s brutal Holocaust collaboration (and has for years tried to say that they prove “only” ethnic cleansing, expulsion, isolation and ghettoization, humiliation, and plunder of all the region’s citizens who were Jewish).
Just seven people came to observe (three of them from DH’s team, nobody from abroad). There was no local media coverage as of now. US, UK, Israeli embassies sent no observers. Efforts to “muzzle the whole thing” seem to have been effective.
Update of 19 Jan: media blackout at the national and local level here has continued unbroken as of today (except for “Putin-propagandist” pseudo-media)
Dovid Katz, one of the three DH observers had this takeaway: “This adjournment of the case presents a fine opportunity for Lithuania’s leaders and parliament to finally call a halt to perverse far-right attempts by the ‘Genocide Center’, a state-sponsored agency with a long history of antisemitism and racism, to defend a brutal Holocaust collaborator’s continuing glorification via street names and plaques — all at taxpayer expense. These are not the values of the EU and NATO, nor are they the values of the delightful people of Lithuania who deserve rather wiser allocation of national resources.” His academic papers on these subjects over the past decade are now available online.
CASE ADJOURNED, OBSERVERS PREPARE TO LEAVE. At right: Evaldas Balčiūnas, whose 2012 article on Noreika brought to the English-speaking world the issue of streets and schools named in his country for a Holocaust collaborator. After a series of articles on the same phenomenon regarding various collaborators, he was prosecuted and persecuted by authorities for years (see Evaldas Balčiūnas section, scroll down to May 2014). At far left: Master piano teacher and Vilnius Jewish community personality Leonas Kaplanas. Center: Dovid Katz with Mr. Kulikauskas Sr. PHOTO © Defending History 2019.
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