IN THE INTERIM:
Leaders of Official Lithuanian Jewish Community Finally Joined Call for Removal of Vilnius City Center Plaque Honoring a Brutal Holocaust Perpetrator
Six Years after Evaldas Balčiūnas’s 2012 plea on the pages of Defending History, Lithuanian Jewish Community finally calls on government to remove plaque glorifying Holocaust perpetrator Jonas Noreika. Recent courageous essay by Noreika’s granddaughter, Silvia Foti, apparently played key role. JTA report.
But beloved Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg notes that “taking down one plaque” is not the solution (See also: Pinchos Fridberg section).
Andrius Kulikauskas reports on Grant Gochin’s appeal to Vilnius’s “Genocide Center” and the center’s response.
Evaldas Balčiūnas’s 2012 Defending History essay, “Why is Jonas Noreika Considered a National Hero?” and the Balčiūnas section in DH. Scroll down to May 2014 to follow reports on the campaign by prosecutors and police to harass and discredit Mr. Balčiūnas (esp. reports of 22 May 2014, 4 July 2014, 9 July 2014, 1 Aug. 2014, 28 April 2015, 12 June 2014, 15 Nov. 2015, 17 Jan. 2016, 9 June 2016, 22 July 2016).
As “reward” for his years of pleading with the Lithuanian gov. to stop glorifying Nazi collaborators, DH staff writer Evaldas Balčiūnas was harassed by police, prosecutors and far-right “plaintiffs” for years. See his DH section. Please scroll down to May 2014 to follow the ins-and-outs of the case.
Times article features Vilna born Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg. See DH’s Fridberg section, and his 2014 Person of the Year citation. He has been the subject ofpersonal attack by the state’s “red-brown commission”. In the Jewish world he is perhaps best known for his heartfelt plea in Yiddish, begging the director of New York’s YIVO to disentangle YIVO from the commission and Holocaust revisionism (English translation). At the height of the Rachel Margolis saga, YIVO would not reach out to her, while heaping honors on a gov. official whom the local Jewish communityformally accused of antisemitism. Prof. Fridberg was also one of the first members of the Lithuanian Jewish community to publicly protest plans to plonk a national convention center in the middle of the old Jewish cemetery. Today there is an international petition signed by 44,400. Photo: Defending History.