JTA on Scandal Emanating from Lithuanian Parliamentarian Gumuliauskas’s Proposed Bill to “Fix” Holocaust History
Defending History’s take:
The proposal is not in line with Poland’s earlier debacle, but infinitely worse. However, Lithuania should not be held accountable for the rants of a single member of parliament (though it is disturbing to note the utter silence from his committee members including the one “official Jewish parliamentarian”).
If/when the Seimas indeed takes up the bill as a formal piece of legislation, the international (and local) response would be shock, outrage and deep sadness. And, for those defending Holocaust history from its obfuscators, a time for major domestic and international opposition (and full documentation for the historic record). In the meantime, state authorities have let stand the Genocide Center’s antisemitically flavored gross revision of Holocaust history, forcefully protested against even by the often acquiescent “official” (state restitution sponsored) Jewish community.
Moreover, the episode is bringing to the fore an ongoing and painful disconnect. State-sponsored museums (starting with central Vilnius’s “Genocide Museum”), street names and textbooks continue to glorify both the barbarous LAF (“Lithuanian Activist Front”) murderers (as “rebels”) and the Nazi aligned “provisional government” (as “patriots”) while utterly disowning and denying their role in the humiliation, pillage, injuring and murder of thousands of Lithuanian Jews in phase 1 of the Lithuanian Holocaust (starting, in the case of the LAF in dozens of locations before the arrival of the first German forces or their taking control locally). Numerous testimonies recount the “white-armbanders” on the roads sparing no effort to prevent Jewish citizens from escaping the Hitlerist chokehold on 22 and 23 June 1941.
How sad. When Lithuania has true heroes spanning a thousand years, including magnificent figures in the fateful Holocaust years: See DH’s Person of the Year for 2018, 2019, and 2020. Moreover, today’s Lithuanian people deserve much better from their parliament than sham resolutions offered up in the spirit of far-right history-revisionist ultranationalism, a spirit that does not reflect the tolerance, diversity and love of the world that characterizes the nation’s citizens.