Tag Archives: Grant Arthur Gochin

Yad Vashem Director Dani Dayan, Speaking in Lithuanian Parliament, Boldly Raises the Glorification of Holocaust Collaborators Noreika, Škirpa and Krikštaponis

[UPDATES TO 3 OCT. 2023]


by Dovid Katz

The modest but resolute Defending History community, in Vilnius and internationally, in unanimity today expressed heartfelt congratulations to Yad Vashem director Dani Dayan who broke dramatically, and publicly, with decades of what the last Lithuanian Holocaust survivors considered to be tragic betrayal and appeasement, often under presumed political pressure (see our report from earlier this week and Defending History’s section “Yad Vashem and Lithuania“).

Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan (photo courtesy Yad Vashem)

Starting over a decade ago, Defending History exposed to the English speaking world the state-sponsored public-space glorification of such brutal Holocaust collaborators as Jonas Noreika, Kazys Škirpa, and Juozas Krikštaponis (among numerous others). When Yad Vashem’s long-serving former director, the Jewish anti-Nazi hero (and Israeli War of Independence here) Yitzhak (“Tolka”) Arad (1926-2021) was absurdly accused of war crimes, soon to be followed by similar attempts to prosecute other Holocaust survivors, Defending History stood at the vanguard of alerting the Western world, from the Western diplomatic community in Vilnius to the British Parliament and American Congress.

And when Yad Vashem, under political pressure, would not publish Yitzhak Arad’s own paper on these matters, we were proud that he came to Defending History to publish the paper, back in 2012. One of the most painful and soul-wrenching responsibilities of the Defending History community has been to stand shoulder to shoulder with the last Lithuanian Holocaust survivors who could not believe the failures of Yad Vashem, when it came to Lithuania, to rise to the occasion.

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Review of Michael Kretzmer’s Documentary Film “J’Accuse”


by Dovid Katz

Genuine heroes of this saga—both written out of the film

  • At left: Evaldas Balčiūnas (who first called his nation’s attention (in Lithuanian) and the world’s (in English) to state-sponsored adulation of Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrator J. Noreika. That was a year after his classic essay “Why does the state commemorate murderers?” appeared in Defending History in 2011. Here pictured at Vilnius County Court after one of the hearings in the litany of kangaroo cases against him (Defending History was there at each hearing to support him). He is DH’s 2023 Person of the Year.
  • At right: Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas brought his self-crafted poster to a nationalist event on independence day in central Vilnius, with an image to show his people the kind of national hero Lithuania should be celebrating: the inspirational Holocaust-era rescuer Malvina Šokelytė Valeikienė (DH’s person of the year in 2018). The gentle, teetotaling mathematician and philosopher took this sign right into the heart of an alcohol-fueled ultranationalist demonstration, leaving observers of every persuasion in awe of his courage. Dr. Kulikauskas boldly led the effort to expose Noreika in Lithuania and is the de facto author of the primary documents underpinning the legal petitions to the state’s Genocide Center and its courts. A Lithuanian American born and raised in California, he and his family migrated to newly free Lithuania decades ago.
  • See DH’s Evaldas Balčiūnas and Andrius Kulikauskas sections. A future film maker might even find an enchanting angle in the stark differences between the two Lithuanian heroes of this story. One is a devout Catholic, the other an atheist. One is an anarchist, the other a nationalist. One an urban family guy, the other a lone thinker and dreamer in a faraway wooden hut in the depths of the Lithuanian countryside.

VILNIUS—Michael Kretzmer’s new documentary J’Accuse! provides a terrific extended interview with legendary truth-teller Silvia Foti. The film’s narration provides effective statements on ongoing East European state adulation of Nazi collaborators though focused on just one, Jonas Noreika of Lithuanian Holocaust infamy (who was the Chicago-born Foti’s grandfather).

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Posted in Arts, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Dovid Katz, Film, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, Michael Kretzmer's Documentary Film "J'Accuse!" on the Lithuanian Holocaust, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review of Michael Kretzmer’s Documentary Film “J’Accuse”

Chronology: 2021 Dedicated to Glorifying Juozas Lukša (Daumantas), Alleged Participant in June 1941 Kaunas Atrocities


JUMP TO MOST RECENT: On 23 Nov. 2021, Vilnius inaugurated a square named for the alleged 1941 Holocaust perpetrator


23 June 2020: “Setting the stage”: After the longtime ultranationalist head of the “Genocide Center” is replaced by a meek looking “member of the Tatar community” in attempt to repair the disastrous image of an EU/NATO democracy financing a Nazi-whitewash ethnic-purity-inclined institute paid for by the state, the chief historian of the Center (a longtime member of the state’s “red-brown commission”) delivers a fiery June 23rd speech proudly flanked by huge images of two proven Holocaust collaborators, J. Noreika and K. Škirpa.  Defending History was on the scene and reports.

29 June: 2020  In response to media reports, Dovid Katz presents a case against the official state naming of the  upcoming year 2021 for June 1941 LAF activist Juozas Lukša, invoking the publications of Alex FaitelsonJoseph Melamed and a British parliamentary motion. Cnaan Liphshiz reports in JTA (also in Jerusalem PostTimes of IsraelEuropean Jewish Congress).

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Posted in American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Lithuania, Collaborators Glorified, Debates on Juozas Lukša, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Chronology: 2021 Dedicated to Glorifying Juozas Lukša (Daumantas), Alleged Participant in June 1941 Kaunas Atrocities

Getting It Right: Three Memoirs Tell It Like It Is


by Olga Zabludoff


Ponary Diary 1941-1943: A Bystander’s Account of a Mass Murder, by Kazimierz Sakowicz; edited by Yitzhak Arad. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2005

Ruta’s Closet, by Keith Morgan with Ruth Kron Sigal. London: Unity Press (an imprint of Unicorn Press Ltd), 2013

Malice, Murder, and Manipulation: One Man’s Quest for Truth, by Grant Arthur Gochin. Los Angeles, 2013


The concept “Holocaust memoir” encompasses many subgenres in time and place. This review will cover the interlocking treatments by three very different types of witnesses:

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