Tag Archives: David E. Fishman

Has “In Geveb” Done it Again?


VILNIUS—Yet again, “The Editors” (which editors?) of the lofty online academic Yiddish studies journal “In Geveb” have omitted mention of Defending History and of publications by any of its editors or contributors (except for occasional unsigned disparaging remarks on papers published, unbecoming of academic discourse). The context this time is a bibliography-style list of articles and opinion pieces that have appeared online concerning Yivo’s tragic recent decision to fire its entire library staff. The one omission in the list of articles? Defending History’s response to Yivo’s actions, titled: “Chelm or New York? Yivo Fires All its Librarians, While Investing ‘Fortune’ in PR for Lithuanian Government’s Jewish Politics.”  Hopefully, it was an oversight.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, In Geveb Watch, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Has “In Geveb” Done it Again?

A “Day of Shame” in Annals of Lithuanian Jewish History?

Did a “Dubious Minyan of Ten State Property Bank Officials” with Alleged “Jewish Enablers” Just Sell Out the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery for a Multimillion Euro Conference Center?

Are leaders of  some American Jewish organizations betraying Jewish interests for a pot of lentils from East European governments? AJC’s Andy Baker trashes Ruta Bloshtein’s petition and its tens of thousands of signatories; another one-sided YIVO “symposium” (but with powerful audience questions from Ms. Rebecca Cook and Prof. Bernard Fryshman)… Top state medals for Yivo and AJC leaders (see Yivo’s “politics in Lithuania” record from 2011). “History will be very clear about all this, notwithstanding the current mush achieved by some big PR bucks.” Recent PR shtik includes claiming some books found decades ago are “just now discovered” and recruiting an American JTS academic (who helped cover for two new buildings on the old Vilna cemetery over a decade ago) to tell the media they are “the new Dead Sea Scrolls”…

If a new national convention center is indeed to open at the old Vilna Jewish cemetery, thousands each night would cheer, sing, clap, dance, use bars and flush toilets surrounded by thousands of Vilna Jewish graves going back over 500 years. Including the parents and son of the Gaon of Vilna. Just as the state-sponsored “2020 Year of the Gaon” gets underway, including a handsome new recombinated menorah coin.

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Posted in American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Lithuania, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, CPJCE (London), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Politics of Memory, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A “Day of Shame” in Annals of Lithuanian Jewish History?

Vilnius Yiddish Conference: State-Manipulated Stunt to Cover for Vilnius Antisemitic & Holocaust Revisionist Events the Same Day?

Question: Will the Roskies (In Geveb) & Fishman (JTS) “Yiddish PR conference” financed to deflect attention from the painful issues, publish a morally clear statement of protest (and support for the Jewish community)? Do conference participants appreciate concerns they are being used as “useful Jewish idiots” (UJIs) in the wider effort to rewrite Holocaust history and cover for blatant antisemitism? Note: these aspects do not detract from the high academic quality of some of the visitors’ fine papers. These are two distinct issues albeit now morally linked. This is a conference honoring Zalman Szyk (Zalmen Shik, author of the 1939 book on Vilna), who was murdered by the Nazis and their local collaborators. Surely, an event in his memory should not be allowed to cover for state-sponsored glorification of Nazi perpetrators the very same days. A simple, measured, polite statement by the conference’s leaders and participants would have been of paramount importance in the circumstances. But would it have marred those triumphant photo-ops with ministers and officials? (No, actually…)

The Lithuanian Jewish community’s callout to world Jewry came on Aug. 6, smack in the middle of the Roskies-Fishman (In Geveb/JTS) conclave. The world’s Jewish media reported on the situation facing the Lithuanian Jewish community that led to closure of both the synagogue and the community center during the conference (including: Algemeiner Journal, APnewsForward,  France24Jewish Heritage Europe, Times of Israel). Will the conference leaders and participants perhaps  issue a polite statement of support for the Jewish community even  after the event, having failed to dare interrupt glorious photo-ops with parliamentarians and ministers during the proceedings? Perhaps some will be in line for future medals and awards, joining an elite, illustrious coterie.

Group photo of foreign academics flown in, glorified, wined and dined by Lithuanian gov. agencies the same day the capital’s one synagogue and Jewish community had to close because of threats resulting from a publicly sanctioned demonstration glorifying  notorious Holocaust collaborator J. Noreika with a shiny new city-center plaque and bas relief. The conference was dedicated to Zalman Szyk (Zalmen Shik), who was himself  murdered by the ilk of the collaborator glorified on the day of the conference. Source: Forverts.

Are they aware of the systematic exclusion from their conference of all the local Jewish scholars in this field who have expressed disagreement with the glorification of Holocaust collaborators (including Holocaust survivors who have written about Jewish Vilna)? Will they consider signing Ruta Bloshtein’s petition on the old Vilna Jewish cemetery? “Just one thing is sure — that Zalmen Szyk is turning over in his grave” (he was murdered in 1942 by the resolute allies of those glorified the very day of the conference)…

BACKGROUND: See DH sections on collaborators glorifiedNoreika sagaRamanauskas sagaseven Lithuanian-Jewish issues that could be easily resolved; abuse of Jewish studies as deflection and smokescreen; the academic background. the Seventy Years Declaration (SYD)

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Midsummer Week of Vilnius Synagogue Closure, Antisemitic Demo Glorifying Holocaust Collaborators; A Roskies-Fishman Conference for Neat Cover?

[updated 29 August 2019]

Twenty years after Joe Melamed named Noreika & Škirpa as Holocaust collaborators in Crime & Punishment. Ten years after Defending History published images of the plaques. Seven years after DH’s Evaldias Balčiūnas brought the case of J. Noreika to the English speaking world. Four years after Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas‘s classic DH essay on K. Škirpa: 

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius Leads City Council Decision to Rename “Skirpa Street” and Personally Orders Removal of “Noreika Plaque” in 4 AM Raid

Official Lithuanian Jewish Community Closes Premises and Synagogue on  6-8 Aug. in View of Threats, Citing Conservative Party’s Ongoing Campaign to Protest Mayor’s Actions and Glorify Holocaust Collaborators


Statement issued by Vilnius Jewish Community;  JTA reports of 6. Aug; 7 Aug; 8 Aug (+TOI); LJC’s circulated reply to VJC

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, History, Human Rights, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Prof. David E. Fishman's Lithuanian Adventures, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Midsummer Week of Vilnius Synagogue Closure, Antisemitic Demo Glorifying Holocaust Collaborators; A Roskies-Fishman Conference for Neat Cover?