Tag Archives: Yitzhak Arad

Vexed Revival of “Red-Brown Commission”

State-sponsored Zingeris-Račinskas “red-brown commission” (officially: International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania) in Vilnius posts new list of members.

See also: 

Page on the commission

Critiques of the commission and its associated Prague Declaration

DH section on the commission.

Resignations to date from Commission-related bodies include Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Sir Martin Gilbert (London), Prof. Gershon Greenberg (Washington DC), Prof. Konrad Kwiet  (Sydney) and Prof. Dov Levin (Jerusalem).

Holocaust survivors themselves have stood up to express disquiet about some aspects of the commission: Yitzhak AradPinchos Fridberg (more), Dov Levin (more), Joseph Melamed (more), Basheva Ran, the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, Jewish Community of Lithuania / Union of Ghetto Survivorsdecade and a half of issues.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", "Vilnius Jewish Public Library", Double Games, Double Genocide, Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and State Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Germany, Lithuania, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas and the State-Sponsored "International Commission" (ICECNSORL), Views of Prof. Sarunas Liekis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Vexed Revival of “Red-Brown Commission”

Prankster Claiming to Represent Litvak Graveyard NGO Attempts to Divide Litvak Community


The run-up to next week’s controversial Lithuanian-government sponsored conference on Lithuanian Jewish issues in London, which is sowing enough confusion as it is, was put into further disarray as it emerged that an email received by hundreds of people (from various forwarders) is apparently part of a curious hoax. The only discernible purpose seemed to be bring discord into the fragile ranks of the surviving Litvak camp by spreading a set of “symmetrical” false rumors.

Some of the emails were identified as originally coming from an official of an NGO, “Maceva” that is dedicated to the laudable cause of maintaining Lithuanian Jewish graveyards, but it is increasingly thought that this shocking attribution could well be part of the hoaxter’s agenda, and that an unambiguous denial — or apology —will be forthcoming from Maceva’s board of directors at the earliest possible opportunity.

The major two — actually three — pieces of disinformation being disseminated are:

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Posted in Double Games, Double Genocide, Events, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Prankster Claiming to Represent Litvak Graveyard NGO Attempts to Divide Litvak Community

Monica Lowenberg’s Petition to the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, HE Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė

The text of Monica Lowenberg’s petition that appeared today on Change.org. To sign please visit:


Abandon state sponsored Antisemitism and Holocaust Obfuscation

  • To:
  • HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė
  • Lithuanian Ambassador for London, UK

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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Antisemitism & Bias, Double Games, Double Genocide, Human Rights, Litvak Affairs, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, UCL Manipulated?, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Monica Lowenberg’s Petition to the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, HE Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė

Yitzhak Arad’s Paper

The Holocaust in Lithuania, and Its Obfuscation, in Lithuanian Sources

by Yitzhak Arad


C O N T E N T S:


Lithuanian Nationalism and Antisemitism Prior to the Holocaust

The First Soviet Occupation of Lithuania, 15 June 1940 – 22 June 1941 

 The Lithuanian Activist Front: Antisemitic Incitement

The German Invasion and the Organization of an “Independent” Lithuanian Government

The Period of Pogroms: Late June to Mid July 1941

The Lithuanian Press at the Time of the Pogroms: A Source of Incitement

The Lithuanian Provisional Government: Anti-Jewish Legislation

Systematic Mass Murder: German Design and Command, Lithuanian Perpetration (late July–November 1941)

Lithuanian Police Battalions and Their Role in the Murder of the Jews

The Lithuanian Catholic Church and the Holocaust

The Rewriting of Holocaust History and the Double Genocide Thesis — “The Jewish Holocaust and the Lithuanian Holocaust”

Anti-Soviet Guerilla Warfare in Lithuania

The Prague Declaration of June 2008 and the European Parliament Resolution of April 2009





In Lithuania, as in other places in Europe conquered by Nazi Germany, a thorough and comprehensive inquiry into the tragic events that occurred compels consideration of three factors:

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Antisemitism & Bias, Christian-Jewish Issues, Double Genocide, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yitzhak Arad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Yitzhak Arad’s Paper

Tel Aviv’s Leivick House Releases 2009 Video of Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter at Margolis Event

Israel’s Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter presenting Dr. Rachel Margolis with a certificate of merit at Leivick House in Tel Aviv. Dr. Margolis is seen wearing the medals won for her bravery fighting against the Nazis in the forests of Lithuania during the Holocaust. Her entire family perished.

Leivick House, one of Israel’s (and the world’s) last Yiddish-in-Yiddish cultural institutions, has released a video clip of the June 2009 visit to its Dov Hoz Street headquarters in central Tel Aviv by Israel’s then ambassador to Latvia and Lithuania, the late Chen Ivri Apter, at an event to honor Dr. Rachel Margolis. It is posted on YouTube (partial English translation here). The event itself was reported in DefendingHistory and the Leivick House website, among other venues.

Dr. Margolis, due to celebrate her 91st birthday next week, is a Vilna Ghetto survivor and anti-Nazi resistance hero who has been targeted by Lithuanian prosecutors, in effect according to some for “the crime of surviving.” Tributes to Dr. Margolis have come from around the world, including former UK prime minister Gordon Brown in 2011.

Ambassador Ivri Apter died last month at the age of 54 after a long battle with cancer that friends always said he never allowed to cloud his love of life and the day ahead.

His short speech at Leivick House is thought likely to go down in history for its courage and forthrightness at a time when his nation’s foreign policy was noticeably starting to tilt in a contrary direction. The Tel Aviv event was organized jointly by DefendingHistory.com and Leivick House.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Lithuania, News & Views, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Tel Aviv’s Leivick House Releases 2009 Video of Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter at Margolis Event


Note: Each author is exclusively responsible for his or her signed contribution. DH’s transparency p0licy excludes use of any pseudonyms (with the one exception of legendary Vilna wag Motke Chabad). The editor is responsible for unsigned posts.

Genrich Agranovski

Shimon Alperovich

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

Yitzhak Arad

Evaldas Balčiūnas

Chaim Bargman

Stanley H. Barkan

Ruth Barnett

Danny Ben-Moshe

Didier Bertin

Saulius Beržinis

Roland Binet

Herbert Block

Ruta (Reyzke) Bloshtein

Aleksandras Bosas

Valentinas Brandišauskas

Frank Brendle

Wyman Brent

Franziska Bruder

Chaim Burshtein

Motke Chabad

Milan Chersonski

Rachel Croucher

David Cukier

Algis Davidavičius

Leonidas Donskis

Shmuel Jacob Feffer

Aleksandrs Feigmanis

Pinchos Fridberg

Berel Fried

Ira Gold

Eleonora Groisman

Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius)

Clemens Heni

Leena Hietanen

Mikhail Iossel

Lord Janner of Braunstone

Peter Jukes

Sergey Kanovich

Leon Kaplan

Dovid Katz

Rafael Katz

Juris Kaža

Viktorija Kazliene

Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

Regina Kopilevich

Rachel Kostanian

Tzvi-Hirsh Kritzer

Faina Kukliansky

Andrius Kulikauskas

Aleksandr Kuzmin

Sid (Shnayer) Leiman

Dov Levin

Joseph Levinson

Monica Lowenberg

Michael and Fausta Maass

Denis MacShane

Simon Malkes

Joseph Melamed

Dr. Rachel Margolis

Ivo Mosley

Julius Norwilla 

Josifas Parasonis

Jacob Piliansky

Moss Robeson

Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe

Per Anders Rudling

Kamilė Rupeikaitė

Danutė Selčinskaja

Michael Shafir

Anna Shepherd

Ken Slade

Andres Spokoiny

Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė

Birutė Ušinskaitė

Rūta Vanagaitė

Geoff Vasil

Nida Vasiliauskaitė

Tomas Venclova

Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson

Aleksandras Vitkus

Gert Weisskirchen

Olga Zabludoff

Lina Žigelytė

Efraim Zuroff

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Yad Vashem Shocks Holocaust Survivors by Rejoining Lithuanian Government’s “Red-Brown Commission”

Holocaust survivors from Lithuania, and their families and advocates, are reporting feelings of “shock and betrayal” at “unbelievable reports” that Yad Vashem might again be lending legitimacy to the Lithuanian government sponsored “red-brown commission.” These accounts derive from a BNS (Baltic News Service) report today that appeared in various Lithuanian media, including Alfa.lt (full translation below), reporting that the president herself signed the decree today for substantial new state investment in the commission.

The Vilnius and Jerusalem rumor mills are equally putting out the word that there had been pressure from the Israeli foreign ministry, itself pressured by the Lithuanian foreign ministry for Holocaust-revising gestures in line with the current Baltic state policy often referred to as “Double Genocide.”

UPDATES: 29 Aug 201231 Aug31 Aug(b)31 Aug(c); 3 Sept; 3 Sept(b) [Holocaust survivors’ statement]; 3 Sept(c) [Survivors’ letter to head of Yad Vashem]; 3 Sept(d) [in English translation].

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, History, Israel, Lithuania, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Yad Vashem Shocks Holocaust Survivors by Rejoining Lithuanian Government’s “Red-Brown Commission”

Yad Vashem, in Jolt to Holocaust Survivors, Joining Revisionist Holocaust Conference in the Lithuanian Parliament

UPDATE 1: On 27 June 2011 at 3:31 PM (Vilnius time), the Israeli Embassy in Riga (responsible for Lithuania as well as Latvia) emailed DefendingHistory.com to say that Yad Vashem’s participation in the event has been cancelled. This was confirmed in a further email from Yad Vashem at 3:56 PM. In Vilnius, however, the name of Yad Vashem and its designated representative continue to appear on programs and brochures, giving the impression that the event enjoys the formal participation of Yad Vashem. See our public query to Yad Vashem.

UPDATE 2: See Defending History’s eyewitness reports of Day 1 and Day 2 of the conference.

According to a conference program posted on the website of the Lithuanian Parliament, Yad Vashem is the only Jewish institution sending a representative to the latest conference mounted by the Lithuanian government in its campaign to downgrade the Holocaust and whitewash the Lithuanian Holocaust’s first murderers (the L.A.F. and other fascist groups), often by glorifying them as ‘freedom fighters’. The printed brochure for the conference, to be held on 29 and 30 June 2011, announces the event as a joint project of the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) and the deeply antisemitic Genocide Research Center. One of the Center’s top ‘specialists’ participated in the recent neo-Nazi parade and went on to launch a public antisemitic campaign. He was neither removed from his post nor publicly reprimanded, as the season’s conferences plow ahead full steam.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Events, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Museums, News & Views, Yad Vashem Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Yad Vashem, in Jolt to Holocaust Survivors, Joining Revisionist Holocaust Conference in the Lithuanian Parliament

Three Years Later: Neither Charged nor Cleared

marked three years to the day since police in Vilnius came looking for Holocaust Survivors Dr Rachel Margolis (born 1921, at right of photo) and Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (born 1922) in a ‘war crimes investigation’ that has still not been publicly closed.

Both women were incarcerated in the Vilna Ghetto from 1941 to 1943. Both lost their entire families to the barbarity of the Nazis and their local collaborators. They both escaped, on different days in September 1943, to join up with the anti-Nazi partisans in the forests of Lithuania. The underground forest fort, a half-hour’s drive from Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, where Fania lived with another hundred or so Jewish escapees of the Vilna Ghetto, is being allowed to sink into the ground and disappear from history’s view.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Antisemitism & Bias, Double Genocide, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), Events, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Three Years Later: Neither Charged nor Cleared


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Critiques of the Red-Brown Commission

1998    2001-2007    2008-2011    2012-2013    2014-2015    2016   2017-2018    2019


DH Editor’s Take

Page on the Commission

Section on the Commission

Commission’s Own Website

2015 Appeal to Conscience of Members of the Commission

2015 Appeal by One of the Last Vilnius Holocaust Survivors

2015 Confirmation by Commission’s Executive Director of Double Genocide Ethos & Campaign Against Holocaust Survivors who Joined the Anti-Nazi Resistance


Holocaust Survivors expressed grave concerns about the Commission at its inception in 1998. As PDF. See also 1998 letter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

From Karen Sutton’s The Massacre of the Jews of Lithuania. Lithuanian Collaboration in the Final Solution, 1941 – 1944 (published by Gefen, Jerusalem & NY 2008; excerpt from p. 211):

Sutton revised

From David Bankier’s  Expulsion and Extermination: Holocaust Testimonials from Provincial Lithuania (published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 2012; excerpt from page 204):

Bankier on red-brown commission

From Yitzhak Arad’s “The Holocaust in Lithuania, and its Obfuscation, in Lithuanian Sources” (2012):

Arad on Commission



Efraim Zuroff (Vilnius 2001)

Efraim Zuroff (Jerusalem 2005)

Efraim Zuroff (Jerusalem 2007)


Sir Martin Gilbert resigned in 2008:

Jewish Community of Lithuania and Uni0n of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners (Vilnius 2008). Letter contains the text:

‘The fact that the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” established by the President (chaired by E. Zingeris), did not publicly defend its own member Yitzhak Arad, or the other Jewish anti-Nazi partisans, is also surprising.’

Jewish Community of Lithuania and Uni0n of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners (Vilnius 2008)

Karen Sutton, professor of history at Touro College in New York, in her The Massacre of the Jews of Lithuania (see Recent Books → 2008; Background →  2008):

‘Despite a number of half-hearted measures and ill-conceived historical commissions, contemporary Lithuania has much soul-searching to do to come to terms with what happened [….]’ (p 209); ‘Both the historical commission and the lethargy of the Lithuanian Department of Justice on the issue of alleged war criminals have elicited an enormous outpouring of opposition from the Lithuanian Jewish survivor community and — “symmetrically” — tacit approval of the general non-Jewish population’ (p 211).

Yad Vashem (Jerusalem 2008)

Geoff Vasil (Vasiliauskas) (Vilnius 2008)

Valdas Vasiliauskas (Vilnius 2008);  English translation

Professor Dov Levin demanded removal of his name in 2008:

Avi Friedman (Jerusalem 2009)

Dovid Katz (Vilnius 2009a)

Dovid Katz (Vilnius 2009b)

Shimon Samuels (Paris 2009, presented at Warsaw); alternate link

Jonathan Freedland (London 2009)

Clemens Heni (Berlin 2009)PDF

Esther Goldberg (London 2010)

Dovid Katz (Vilnius 2010);  in Russian translation

Dovid Katz (Vilnius 2010b)

Dovid Katz (Vilnius 2010c)

Bildungswerk für Friedensarbeit e.V. (2011)

2011: Commission’s understanding of “Holocaust Studies”  revealed at the Lithuanian parliament in the speech of its executive director / director general.

Professor Konrad Kwiet resigned in 2011:


28 August 2012.  DefendingHistory.com: ‘Yad Vashem shocks Holocaust survivors by rejoining Lithuanian government’s “red-brown commission”’.

31 August 2012.  Lietuvos rytas: ‘Taking an interest in Nazi and Soviet crimes is a response to Russian propaganda’.  English translation.  DefendingHistory.com comments.

3 September 2012.  DefendingHistory.com: ‘English text of Joseph Melamed’s letter to Yad Vashem’.

3 September 2012.  DefendingHistory.com: ‘Joseph Melamed, head of Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors’ association, releases letter to director of Yad Vashem’.

3 September 2012.  DefendingHistory.com: ‘Holocaust survivors, based in Tel aviv, issue statement on renewal of red-brown commission’.

21 November 2012.  DefendingHistory.com: ‘When the politicians run the conferences on — history’ by Evaldas Balčiūnas.

21 November 2012.  DefendingHistory.com: ‘Red-Brown circus in Lithuanian capital’.

26 December 2012.  DefendingHistory.com: ‘Tell me I’m wrong’ by Geoff Vasil.

1 January 2013.  DefendingHistory.com: ‘Instead of truth about the Holocaust — myths about saving Jews’  by Pinchos Fridberg.

15 January 2013.   The Algemeiner: ‘Instead of truth about the Holocaust — Myths about saving Jews’ by Pinchos Fridberg.

17 January 2013.  DefendingHistory.com: ‘Red-brown commission’s newest layer of obfuscation: Are names of members secret?

27 January 2013US Researcher is Persuaded that the Problem in Lithuania is called “Zuroff and Katz” …

21 February 2013.  Executive director of the red-brown commission calls prominent Vilnius Holocaust survivor a ‘liar’ on the commission’s website.

28 May 2013.  Executive director of the commission uses paper at Riga conference to personally attack Defending History editor.

21 June 2013.  One of the commission’s new members, the head of the research department art the Genocide Center, tries yet again, in a public interview, to whitewash th LAF murderers of June 1041. Geoff Vasil replies.

5 December 2013.  Commission ‘does’ Toronto.



2 March 2014.  Defending History’s English translation of the public correspondence between Vilnius Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg and Yivo director Dr. Jonathan Brent concerning the commission. Original appeared on 1 March in Yiddish in New York’s Forward (Forverts).

8 March 2014.  Olga Zabludoff comments on the misrepresentations by the commission’s representative on a panel discussion organized by Yivo in New York City in February 2014.

15 March 2014.  Defending History’s appeal to the conscience of the members of the commission.


18 November 2016.  Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust (University of Haifa, Institute for Holocaust Research), vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 1–30: ‘Is East European “Double Genocide” revisionism reaching museums?’ by Dovid Katz.

22 November 2016.  ISGAP Flashpoint: ‘Antisemitism in the twenty-first century shtetl’ by Dovid Katz.


December 2017. Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust (University of Haifa, Institute for Holocaust Research), vol. 31.3, pp. 285-295: “The Extraordinary Recent History of Holocaust Studies in Lithuania” by Dovid Katz.


August 2019. Lithuania’s official Jewish Community reports that the executive director of the “red-brown commission” is under police investigation for corruption.

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Blaming the Victims? State Agencies & Other Elites Defame Holocaust Survivors

UPDATED MARCH 2017. See also (older, not updated) Responses page.

2006    2007    2008    2009    2010    2011

2012    2013    2014    2015    2016    2017


The campaign of defamation by Lithuanian state prosecutors and allied elites (particularly in the Genocide Center and the antisemitic right-wing press) has resulted in a number of cherished Holocaust Survivors being smeared as “war criminals” without a single charge ever having been leveled against anybody. Launched in 2006, the campaign, abusing tools such as “pre-trial investigations” and leaks to the media, have sought to brand as “war criminals” the heroes of the war against Hitler. It grew in 2011 with the addition of equally perverse  “libel charges,” launched with fanfare when Interpol (!) was sent to disturb in Tel Aviv the elected head of the last active group of Litvak Holocaust survivors in the world. Then, in 2013, the state’s “red-brown commission” defamed one of Vilnius’s last survivors on equally perverse grounds, all the while putting on “Holocaust events” for naive Western audiences, usually funded by the (unknowing) Lithuanian taxpayer, in venues  including London, New York, Toronto, and Vilnius.

A single public letter from the president could fix it all. Instantly.

The campaign of defamation results in permanent calumny in historians’ works, Wikipedia, and elsewhere (see below) that is more than a grave injustice to the Holocaust survivors targeted (and their families). It is a deliberate ultranationalist falsification of history in the spirit of the wider campaign to find fault with the victims and make heroes of the perpetrators. These are components of the movement to obfuscate the issues, and downgrade the Holocaust in the spirit of the Double Genocide movement and its central document, the 2008 Prague Declaration.

All but one of the accused survivors — most in their late eighties or nineties — are still alive (as of February 2016). Dr. Rachel Margolis passed away on 6 July 2015, having failed to fulfill her final wish of one last trip to her native Vilna.

A single public letter of apology from the president or prime minister of Lithuania, accompanied by an apology from the state prosecutors, would be the minimal gesture of good will needed to repair the damage. Public defamation can only be (partly) repaired by public apology. Moreover, the state has a splendid last chance to end its relationship with its own Holocaust survivors, after a 700 year history in Lithuania, on a rather higher note than police coming to look for aged women veterans of the heroic Jewish resistance in the forests of Lithuania.

During his own tenure before these events, Lithuania’s eminent late president (later prime minister) Algirdas Brazauskas, a champion of confronting historical truth with courage and dignity, awarded certificates of honor to the selfsame Jewish partisan veterans for the selfsame service in helping to liberate Lithuania from Nazism. . .


22 April 2006.  Article in Respublika accuses Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Holocaust survivor, resistance hero, veteran of the Israeli war of independence and long-time director of Yad Vashem, of being a war criminal on the basis of misquoted, decontextualized passages in his own 1979 book, The Partisan[ADDENDUM of April 2014: One of the chief stone-throwers (final section) is A. Anušauskas, who is today a member of the state’s commission on Nazi and Soviet crimes. In 2006 he was “scientific editor” at the Genocide Center. Since 2008 he has been a member of parliament where he was for some years chair of the Committee on National Security and Defense.]


10 September 2007Prosecutors in Lithuania confirm that their investigation of Holocaust survivor, anti-Nazi resistance hero and former director of Yad Vashem Dr. Yitzhak Arad, on suspicion of “crimes against humanity” had been initiated in May 2006. The “investigation” was based on an article in the antisemitic daily Respublika (22 April 2006), in which the special prosecutor and head of the Genocide Center are extensively quoted. In June 2006 the daily triumphantly proclaimed that prosecutors were acting on its earlier article. English summary. See below at 25 September 2008 for “conclusion” of the investigation and the 2010 report of the “Lithuanian Human Rights Association” . . . In 2014, ongoing defamation evident from Wikipedia entry.


29 January 2008Article in the daily Lietuvos aidas that called on prosecutors to investigate Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Dr Rachel Margolis. English translation.

6 April 2008.  Professor Dov Levin of Jerusalem protests, returning his own earlier award to the president of Lithuania.

30 April 2008.  The Embassy of the United States in Lithuania issues a certificate of appreciation, signed by Ambassador John A. Cloud, to Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky; presented by political officer Joseph Boski at a luncheon organized by the Vilnius Yiddish Institute.

5 May 2008.  Police come looking for Dr. Rachel Margolis [born 1921] and Ms. Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky [born 1922] on a ‘war crimes’ investigation. Dovid Katz’s report to colleagues at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Reports in the Jerusalem Post (PDF here), and Jewish Chronicle (PDF here). [Note: Three years earlier, on 8 May 2005, then Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas had awarded Dr. Margolis a certificate of appreciation for her role as an anti-Nazi partisan.]

28 May 2008Prosecutors tell news agencies that Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Rachel Margolis cannot be found;  English translation.

28 May 2008.  Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Israel office, hands the Lithuanian ambassador to Israel a letter of protest.

3 June 2008.  The Embassy of Ireland in Lithuania issues a certificate of lifetime achievement to Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, signed by Ambassador Dónal Denham, who presented the award at a reception at the ambassador’s residence.

11 July 2008Prosecutors reply to the Jewish Community of Lithuania.

19 June 2008.  Open Letter of the Jewish Community of Lithuania and the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners.

20 July 2008.  Washington Times op-ed by Dan Mariaschin, of B’nai B’rith International.

1 August 2008.  United States congressmen Howard Berman, Paul Hodes and Robert Wexler protest the actions of the Lithuanian government.

19 August 2008.  Open Letter from students and faculty of the summer program in Yiddish language and literature at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute at Vilnius University (text by Elliott Palevsky, director of the  cultural program).

20 August 2008.  Jewish Week op-ed by Mark Weitzman (director of government affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center USA): ‘Capital of culture or injustice?’

21 August 2008.  Economist article [by Edward Lucas]: ‘Prosecution and persecution: Lithuania must stop blaming the victims’alternate link2nd alternate link.

25 August 2008.  Letter to Dr Rachel Margolis from nine NATO embassies in Vilnius.

22 August 2008Director of the Business Division of Baltic News Service (BNS) attacks Yitzhak Arad, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Rachel Margolis;  English translation.

22 August 2008Report in The New Centrist.

1 September 2008.  Open Letter of the Jewish Community of Lithuania and the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners.

2 September 2008Prosecutors comment on investigations “related to persons of Jewish nationality”.

4 September 2008.  Question to the German parliament by a group of members.

25 September 2008Prosecutors close part of the Arad investigation, ask the public for assistance in looking for “evidence” and fault his book on the basis of an anonymous “doctor of humanitarian sciences (expert-historian)”. Question: Will the anonymous expert-historian trasher of Dr Arad’s book please identify himself and share his evidence with colleagues?

25 September 2008.  Response of UK MP Denis MacShane: excerpt from p 33 of his Globalising Hatred. The New Antisemitism (see Recent Books → 2008 → MacShane).

September 2008.  ‘Investigating Jewish partisans in Lithuania: the protest of a veteran Jewish partisan’ by Sara Ginaite in Jewish Currents.

October-December 2008.  ‘Bitter pill of history’ by Milan Chersonski in Jerusalem of Lithuania, 143-144 (7-8), p 7.


15 March 2009.  Holocaust Council of Metro West issues a Woman of Valor award to Dr Rachel Margolis.

7 April 2009.  Letter to Dr Rachel Margolis from the chairman, president and executive director of NCSJ.

9 April 2009.  Keene State College in New Hampshire honors Dr Rachel Margolis.

16 April 2009.  Letter to Dr Rachel Margolis from the National Director of ADL.

20 May 2009.  Director of Baltic News Service (BNS) calls for Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Yitzhak Arad to be put on trial for war crimes;  English translation.

21 May 2009.  Dovid Katz’s op-ed in the Jewish Chronicle posits a link between the Double Genocide movement (and its prime document, the Prague Declaratin of 2008) with the campaign against Holocaust survivors.

19 June 2009.  Lord Janner of Braunstone issues a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Rachel Margolis, delivered at the Dr Rachel Margolis event chaired at Leivick House in Tel Aviv by its director, composer Daniel Galay. The keynote speaker was Israeli ambassador to Latvia and Lithuania, Chen Ivri Apter, who awarded Dr. Margolis a certificate of merit from his embassy. Tel Aviv school children who study Yiddish with Hannah Pollin-Galay presented a cultural program of song, and a gift of flowers to Dr. Margolis. Other speakers included professors Israel BartalDov Levin (Jerusalem) and Dovid Katz (Vilnius). Dr. Margolis addresses the audience. After the eventDr. Margolis with Ambassador Apter. Photos by Leyzer Burko. Leivick House report on the event.

23 September 2009.  Faina Kukliansky, chairwoman of the Vilnius Jewish Community, and legal advisor to the Jewish Community of Lithuania, speaking at the annual September 23 commemoration a Ponar (Paneriai), cites prosecutors’ attempts to mischaracterize the status of Jewish anti-Nazi partisan veterans Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Rachel Margolis; comments cited in column 5 of the report by Milan Chersonski, editor of the Jewish community’s Jerusalem of Lithuania (Fall 2009 issue).

28 October 2009.  The mainstream Delfi.lt reports: “Germany honors red partisan under investigation for mass murder in Vilnius”caricature of Holocaust survivor and anti-Nazi partisan veteran Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky published with the article.  English translationBNS’s 29 Oct 2009 English summary. Coverage of the situation in Jerusalem of Lithuania (autumn 2009 issue), publication of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, by its editor Milan Chersonski: “Congratulations on the Award!”

3 December 2009.  United States congressmen Shelley Berkley, Howard Berman (chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee), Paul Hodes, James Moran, and Robert Wexler (chairman, House Subcommittee on Europe) protest the Lithuanian government’s defamation and persecution of Holocaust Survivors Dr. Rachel Margolis and Ms. Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky.


1 January 2010. Avi Lehrer posts video of Dovid Katz’s Dec. 2009 interview with Dr. Rachel Margolis who explains her fear to return to Vilnius for one last visit.  Part 2.

27 January 2010.  On 27 January (Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the liberation of Auschwitz), Lithuanian prosecutors visited the Jewish Community of Lithuania at Pylimo Street 4 in Vilnius, demanding information about Joseph Melamed in connection with a new ‘investigation’, the nature of which is not publicly known. Mr. Melamed, a Kovno Ghetto survivor, veteran of the anti-Nazi partisans in the forests of Lithuania and of Israel’s War of Independence, is the elected chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in IsraelIt is one of the last active associations of Litvaks in the world. Mr. Melamed and the Association have spoken out boldly against the Prague Declaration and the “Double Genocide” movement, most recently during the recent Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism. Prosecutors in Vilnius have yet to announce the basis of their interest in Mr. Melamed, the author of a number of works on Litvak issues. There has moreover been no explanation of why they came to disturb the local Jewish community in Vilnius on Holocaust Remembrance Day instead of contacting Mr. Melamed directly with any questions they might have.  Report on the home page includes quotations from an exclusive Holocaust in the Baltics interview with Joseph Melamed. February 10 report on Interfax. February 11 report on Izrus.

23 July 2010.  Lithuanian Human Rights [!] Association issues statement replete with false and defamatory accusations against Holocaust survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance.  Report here.

6 September 2010Article blaming the Vilna Ghetto’s United Partisan Organization for war crimes, attacking Yitzhak Arad, Leonidas Donskis and others.  English translation.

7 October 2010.  ‘Nazi crimes have been downgraded in Lithuania’ in the Canadian Jewish News by Esther Goldberg.


3 January 2011.  Report that the Lithuanian Human Rights Association (LHRA) had released on its website at the end of December 2010, a July 2010 document, prepared and signed by ten of its experts, defaming Yitzhak Arad, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Rachel Margolis more outrageously than ever before.  See full report.

9 March 2011.  Former UK prime minister Gordon Brown speaks out on Rachel Margolis in the Independent.

5 May 2011.  ‘Three years later. Neither charged nor cleared’ on DefendingHistory.com.

30 August 2011.  On the demand of Lithuanian prosecutors, Interpol agents in Tel Aviv visit with Joseph Melamed, Holocaust survivor (of the Kovno Ghetto), veteran of the partisans’ struggle against Nazi forces, and of the Israeli War of Independence. He is interviewed concerning his 2009 book Crime and Punishment. Yossi Melman’s report in Haaretz. Other reports in Arutz Sheva (English), in Neues Deutschland and Junge Welt (in German), and JSS (in French); also: Associated Press (→ CBS News,  Fox,  MSNBC,  Washington PostYahooNews etc); JTA (→ WJCJJJuedische.at, etc); Mishpacha. Geoff Vasil in the Jewish Chronicle.

8 September 2011.  Early Day Motion 2161 in the British Parliament on the Melamed case.

9 September 2011.  Yivo director Jonathan Brent issues circular to staff denying Yossi Melman’s report in Haaretz on the Interpol visit to Joseph Melamed. Yossi Melman’s reply.

15 September 2011. Yossi Melman’s reply to Jonathan Brent.

22 September 2011. Yad Vashem withdraws invitation to Lithuanian minister over Melamed affair.

28 September 2011.  An event held by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry to mark the publication (with the ministry’s financial support) of Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands includes a speech by the director of the History Institute that included an attack on Jewish anti-Nazi partisans.


2012.  Final chapter of Marek Jan Chodakiewicz’s Intermarium (2012) is a chapter of defamation against Jewish partisans including (by name) Yitzhak Arad, Fania Brantsovsky, and Rachel Margolis. See review by Dovid Katz in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (2013).

6 March 2012.  Holocaust survivors Tel Aviv led by Joseph Melamed, picket an event hosted by wealthy South African Jews to honor the Lithuanian foreign minister infamous for his “moustache comparison” of Hitler and Stalin and antisemitic slurs. The accusations against Jewish partisans are very much in the air, as Melamed, 87, holds a sign asking the diners in the Panorama Hotel: “Where is your conscience? Where is your solidarity with Holocaust survivors, with veterans and with the partisans?”

2012.  Prosecutor Rimvydas Valentukevicius, asked by Danny Ben-Moshe in the documentary Rewriting History whether Rachel Margolis can safely return to Vilnius for one last visit, replies: “Are you her lawyer?” followed by Prof. Ben-Moshe’s commentary.

September 2012. Vilnius University honors an antisemitic, homophobic “envelope artist,” one of whose prime creations is a further defamation of Dr. Yitzhak Arad. More samples of the designer envelope collection.  A group of nine young Lithuanians protested the exhibit. Years earlier, the Jewish community’s newspaper Jerusalem of Lithuania had exposed the envelope artist. For years, the envelopes, including the one “featuring” Dr. Arad, were sold in Vilnius’s Central Post Office on Gedimino Boulevard.

20 October 2012.  Tel Aviv’s Leivick House releases for the June 2009 video of the late Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter’s speech on Yitzhak Arad, Fania Brantsovsky and Rachel Margolis.

Dec. 2012. Yitzhak Arad analyzes the campaign to criminalize Jewish veterans of the war against Hitler as part of a wider Double Genocide program of historical revisionism.


February 2013.  State sponsored “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” defames Vilnius Holocaust survivor Pinchos Fridberg on its own website  [Chronology of the Pinchos Fridberg affair here].

February 2013. Artūras Račas, editor-in-chief of Baltic News Service (BNS), attacks Holocaust Survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg.  Professor Fridberg replies.

October 2013.  Part of the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” writes a letter of regret to Yitzhak Arad. The letter was pointedly not signed by members Arūnas Bubnys (Genocide Center, Vilnius), Jonathan Brent (Yivo), Norman Neimark (Stanford University), Janos Rainer (Institute for History of 1956 Hungarian Revolution), Timothy Snyder (Yale University) and Francoise Thom (Sorbonne).


2014.  Defending History names Prof. Pinchos Fridberg Person of the Year following his consistent courage in telling the truth about the Holocaust in the face of defamation by the (former) head of BNS and the state’s International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.

2014. Wikipedia entry for Dr. Yitzhak Arad is a sample of continuing defamation in the absence of Lithuanian government apologies. See now Dr. Arad’s December 2012 paper in Defending History on the Lithuanian Holocaust and its obfuscation.

2014.  Monica Lowenberg’s ongoing petition on Change.org.

2014.  Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s interview on Salford City Radio (UK), with reference to four of the ‘investigations’ against Jewish partisan heroes who escaped the Vilna, Kovno and Svintsyan ghettos to join up with the anti-Nazi partisans.


2015.  On Youtube: The executive director of the Lithuanian government sponsored “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania” (known for short as “the red-brown commission” to local diplomats) speaks out publicly, at Ponar (Paneriai), in a German documentary film,  on why he thinks Holocaust survivors who survived by joining the anti-Nazi resistance need to be investigated. His explanation rapidly became an iconic encapsulation of Double Genocide.


4 March 2016.  Prosecutor General Rimvydas Valentukevičius, closely involved in the effort to “investigate” Jewish Holocaust survivors who were partisan veterans from 2006 onward, issues a reply to the Jewish Community of Lithuania in which he fails to even mention the growing request for his office (and the affiliated Genocide Center) to release the names of around one thousand alleged local Holocaust perpetrators generated by his own state-sector colleagues. In other words prosecutors, who for ten years have been publicizing (= defaming) Holocaust survivors by name, never coming up with a single charge or accusation, in a veritable campaign, now refuse to publish the names of Holocaust perpetrators.


22 February 2017.  Far right news portal Propatria.lt publishes condemnation of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, 95, in connection with President Dalia Grybauskaite’s award to Ms. Brantsovsky on 16 February for her work in Holocaust education in Lithuania.

24 February 2017.  Slaptai.lt publishes report on condemnation of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky by a statement composed by Statys Gorodeckis.

2 March 2017.  The state-sponsored “Genocide Center” issues a statement stating that Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky was not at Koniuchy/Koniūkai, but was at other scenes of partisan battles, concludes that her late husband (!) was however present and was therefore a war criminal, considers the Soviet partisans (the only force effectively fighting the then Nazi regime of Lithuania) criminals, but explains that it was… nevertheless fine for the president to give her an award because of the Western narrative…

9 March 2017. The far-right ‘Union of Nationalists’ publishes facsimiles of its statement of 23 February 2017  against Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, addressed to Lithuania’s president, Dalia Grybauskaitė, asking the president to rescind an award made to Ms. Brantsovsky for work in the field of Holocaust education, on the basis of her service as a Jewish partisan in the war against Hitler. The statement accuses Ms. Brantsovsky and her late husband of participation in massacres against civilians, with not an iota of evidence.

10 March 2017.  Report in Alkas.lt on the ‘Union of Nationalists’ statement condemning Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and her late husband of participation in ‘massacres’ with no critical journalistic comment directing readers to other points of view.

11 March 2017.  Author of the statement condemning Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky is offered an honored slot, in the forecourt of Lithuania’s Presidential Palace, as his statement is read out as part of the far right’s Independence Day activities for which the municipality of Vilnius, the nation’s capital, again granted the city center. A video of the “Witch Trial on Independence Day” was posted on Youtube by Alkas.lt.

20 March 2017.  Lietuvos žinios article by Jurga Tvaskienė notes anti-Brantsovsky statements by forces of Ramūnas Karbauskis, the head of the country’s ruling party, the Peasants and Greens, and cites criticism of these statements by parliamentarian Arvydas Anušauskas, without, however, noting that it was Dr. Anušauskas who helped launch the anti-Jewish-partisan hysteria in the antisemitic daily Respublika back in 2006. See above under April 2006.

22 March 2017.  Jewish Community of Lithuania protests anti-Brantsovsky statements in publications under the control of the ruling Peasants and Greens party, on the community’s official website.

26 March 2017. Defending History editor Dovid Katz’s summary of the 2017 campaign against Ms. Brantsovsky, including full English translations of the Genocide Center’s 2 March  2017 statement, and the reply by the Nationalist Union of 9 March 2017.

13 April 2017. English translation of the full transcript of the March 11th “witch hunt ceremony” on the presidential palace’s forecourt is published in Defending History.


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Hostages to an Ill-Begotten Theory

by Leonidas Donskis

This essay first appeared in Transitions on Line on 10 October 2008, with the following editor’s note: “Lithuanian authorities in late September closed their two-year investigation into the wartime partisan activities of Yitzhak Arad, a Lithuanian-born Israeli historian and a former head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, reportedly on the urging of the European Union and the United States. Prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to link Arad to possible war crimes committed by Soviet partisans during a 1944 fight with German forces that left many Lithuanian civilians dead. The authorities are still considering whether to put two Lithuanian Jewish women, Fania Brantsovskaya (Brantsovsky) and Rachel Margolis, on the witness stand in connection with the killings.”

It is republished here with Professor Donskis’s permission. For a history of the issue, see our page on the subject of Holocaust survivors defamed by prosecutors.

A disturbing tendency has recently appeared in Lithuania. In the words of the eminent scholar of Yiddish Dovid Katz, this tendency may best be described as the “Holocaust Obfuscation movement.” Its essence lies in subversion of the logic and evidence of the Holocaust, whitewashing or at least selectively reading the history of the Second World War and drastically shifting the roles of victims and evil-doers.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Double Genocide, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), History, Human Rights, Leonidas Donskis, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yitzhak Arad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hostages to an Ill-Begotten Theory

Lithuanian Government’s Holocaust Conference in Jerusalem

by Dov Levin

This opinion piece, under the heading “Lithuanian Hypocrisy” appeared today in Haaretz. It reappears here by permission of the author, Professor Dov Levin of Jerusalem.

Last week I was caught in a debate with myself: whether or not to appear, despite the feeling of nausea, in a discussion with Lithuanian historians, writers and poets at the International Book Fair in Jerusalem. The idea made me so sick that in the end I decided to stay away and I also convinced my friend, former partisan and former chairman of Yad Vashem Yitzhak Arad, to excuse himself from the discussions.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Dov Levin (1925 - 2016), Events, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yitzhak Arad | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuanian Government’s Holocaust Conference in Jerusalem