VILNIUS—Yet again, a conference here in the Lithuanian capital dedicated to combating fascism and antisemitism is announced, without there having been a public call for papers, without a single speaker from among those who actually combat fascism and antisemitism in the country, with nobody from the democratically elected Vilnius Jewish community (not even the long-time editor of Jerusalem of Lithuania who has exposed and combated antisemitism for decades). No Holocaust survivors. None of the nationally relevant questions of the day can be found on the conference program. As ever, outstanding academic personalities from abroad are recruited to lend the gravitas and provide serious papers on an array of topics (which they admirably do), as long as these have little directly to do with the actual contemporary issues here in Lithuania (but the conference introduction by Prof. Dovilė Budrytė does indeed touch on some of the issues, which seem, however, to be largely absent from the actual conference program). The last such event, in 2015, resulted in the Norwegian Embassy withdrawing support and launching an inquiry on behalf of the EEA (European Economic Area) funders of that event.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Events, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views
Tagged antisemitism conference, Antisemitism in Lithuania, Chaim Bargman, Dovilė Budrytė, EEA, Evaldas Balciunas, fascism in Lithuania, Israeli Embassy in Vilnius, Leonas Kaplanas, Milan Chersonski, Racism in Lithuania, Ruta Vanagaite, Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevicius), Zeppelinus
VILNIUS—Chaim Bargman, Jewish guide in Kaunas, asked today in Vilnius that DefendingHistory.com record a statement in Yiddish from him on an incident that occurred on 6 September (video here). Bargman, a beloved guide and genealogist for international Jewish-interest tourists in the Kaunas (Kovno) area for decades, was immortalized in the late Dan Jacobson’s Heshel’s Kingdom (1998). September 6th was the date of this year’s annual commemoration ceremony for the murdered Jews of Ukmergė (Yiddish: Vílkomir) held at the nearby mass grave, where, according to the Lithuanian Holocaust Atlas, between 6,358 and 10,000 Jews from the region were humiliated and murdered. There was massive local collaboration as well as large-scale local participation in the slaughter of one of Lithuania’s most famous Jewish communities over many centuries. Disturbingly, for many, a town square in the heart of Ukmergė has a monument dedicating it to the memory of a notorious Holocaust perpetrator.
Posted in Chaim Bargman, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Chaim Bargman, Holocaust Commemoration in Lithuania, Holocaust in Ukmerge (Vilkomir), human rights in Lithuania, Jewish issues in Lithuania
O P I N I O N
by Geoff Vasil
last revision 26 May 2012, 23:55.
The second conference in Kaunas on the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister and Holocaust collaborator Juozas Ambrazevičius cum Brazaitis, held Thursday, May 24, was treated to some harsh facts presented by a living Litvak, Kovno (Kaunas) historian and Jewish tour guide Chaim Bargman.
Although Vytautas Magnus University initially agreed to and then reneged on a deal with the Lithuanian government to host the earlier “academic conference” last Saturday May 19 purely to adulate the “prime minister” of 1941, they changed their minds yet again—possibly under influence from chairman of their board of directors, former president Valdas Adamkus, who in 2011 celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the LAF fascists—and provided university resources this week for a second event announced as an open discussion event. To their great credit, they did webcast the event and have posted the video (here).
Posted in Chaim Bargman, Collaborators Glorified, Events, Geoff Vasil, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Chaim Bargman, Darius Udrys, Geoff Vasil, Juozas Ambrazevicius Brazaitis, Sarunas Liekis, Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) (VDU)