The Society for the Promotion of the European Human Rights Model, based in France, today published its public letter to the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, of which the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research is a constituent component.
“I have received from Mr. Brent, executive director of Yivo, a worrying reply indicating that he does not intend to cancel this invitation. Mr. Brent explained that Guest of Honor does not really mean Guest of Honor and that he was convinced after having attended a conference in Lithuania last June that the Lithuanian authorities may improve their reserved position on the Holocaust.
“You will see in our protest letter that since 1990 Lithuanian authorities have increasingly tolerated and supported antisemitic acts and neo-Nazi events and organizations; for example they authorized neo-Nazi parades in the street, they have legalized the swastika as a national symbol in 2010 and obfuscate the Holocaust.
“As a matter of fact, immediately after the conference that Mr. Brent attended, the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) supported and welcomed on its premises, on 29 and 30 June 2011, an international conference to rehabilitate as heroic patriots the members of the Lithuanian militia ‘LAF’ [Lithuanian Activist Front] which initiated the pogroms of June 1941 and helped the Nazi to perpetrate the Holocaust.
“Only a few days ago, the Lithuanian police requested, on 30 August 2011, the extradition from Israel of the director of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel. The reason for this request is that Mr. Melamed (born in 1925) who is a survivor of the Holocaust and anti-Nazi resistance veteran has mentioned the participation of ‘LAF’ in the perpetration of the Holocaust.”
Excerpt from the Society’s statement of 7 September 2011.
The document follows the society’s earlier 1 September 2011 public letter sent to Yivo’s executive director and released to the media.
Both documents are signed by the society’s president, Didier Bertin.
UPDATE: Following the publication of Yossi Melman’s 7 September 2011 article in Haaretz, the Society for the Promotion of the European Human Rights Model issued a further statement to the Academic Council of the Center for Jewish History and Yivo on 7 September.