Tag Archives: Holocaust in the Baltics
by Roland Binet (De Panne, Belgium)
My attention was recently caught by an article in a Flemish-language newspaper here in Belgium (“Living in fear of the Russian bear” in De Standaard of 5 September 2022), where the author writes that he had studied in 2005 at the University of Vilnius. The article speaks eloquently — and accurately — about the loss of freedom that came upon the people of Lithuania when the USSR invaded and occupied (for the long haul) Lithuania in 1940. It speaks of the many people deported to Siberia by the NKVD, it speaks warmly of the postwar fight of the Forest Brothers, and it speaks openly about the current fear that Putin’s Russian Federation might try again to incorporate their country into their revanchist program, a fear the author calls “Potsdam II.”
There is, however, disturbingly, quite a stupendous missing link in this abridged history of Lithuania in the twentieth century. Where had the quarter million Jews (the figure on the eve of the Holocaust) of the country disappeared to “overnight” (as centuries go), during that fateful century? Had there ever been a Jewish minority in Lithuania at all? When I looked at the author’s pedigree, I understood why the Jews had not played any role of significance in his biased dialectical discourse. Joren Vermeersch is a historian (of sorts) and an accomplished author. He is also a representative (stand-in, as we call it) for the Belgian House of Representatives, for the “N-VA.” This is the nationalist Flemish party that has its historical roots in the collaboration with the Nazis during World War II. The party that has systematically fought for an amnesty for Nazi collaborators. The party in which the grandparents or parents of some of the present actual leaders had been condemned by the Belgian State for collaboration with the enemy. Nobody is guilty of sins of their ancestors, but when there is a pattern of such pedigree being considered a great plus for current leadership, and that pedigree is subtly glorified rather than disowned, we have a current moral problem that merits discussion in the public square.Continue reading
by Aleksandrs Feigmanis (Riga)
June 2020. I go to buy some food in the supermarket near where I live. Passing by the display-stand of the “Jānis Roze” bookstore featuring its proud new titles I was shocked to see My flight to Japan (Mans lidojums uz Japānu) by Herberts Cukurs (pronounced [tsú-kurs]). The book was just published, not by some private publisher, but by the Latvian Museum of Aviation in Spilve. Description of the new title on the website Janisroze.lv presents Herberts Cukurs as “the aviator, traveler and man of courage.” No mention of his involvement in the Holocaust.
by Dovid Katz
This comment appeared in Mémoires en Jeu (Memory at Stake), no. 9, (2010).
In recent years, a number of eastern EU and NATO member states (plus Ukraine) have been constructing components of their official(and protected-by-law) national narratives on heroes who were collaborators, or even perpetrators in the Holocaust on the grounds that they were “anti-Soviet heroes.”1 These countries indeed had to face two Soviet occupations (1939/1940–41 and 1944/45–1991), and the occupation by Nazi Germany (1941-1944/5). The “liberating” state was also the author of major crimes such as repressions, deportations, forced labor and executions, and the statutes of post-Soviet Europe lacked a text on the crimes of communism. The ensuing moral problem is as follows: while these States would have legitimate heroes who struggled for freedom against dictatorial Soviet domination, they also honor those who participated in the Holocaust and even criminalize criticism against them.
Head of Lithuanian Jewish Community Calls on Mayor of Vilnius to Remove Plaque Honoring a Holocaust Collaborator
VILNIUS—Jewish Community chairperson Faina Kukliansky, a prominent lawyer here in the Lithuanian capital, today released on the community’s official website the text of her letter to the mayor of Vilnius calling for the removal of a plaque honoring the notorious Holocaust collaborator Jonas Noreika. The letter follows her bold speech at the 23 September Ponár (Paneriai) memorial which likewise called on government officials to remove honors for Holocaust perpetrators, citing three prominent collaborators by name.
There was immediate speculation on which human rights, Jewish and Israeli organizations, here and internationally, would react with rapid public expressions of support for the chairperson’s letter. The charismatic young mayor of Vilnius has a colorful record on Jewish issues, which Defending History has been following for years, starting with his earlier stint as justice minister.
The year 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of the genocide of the Jews of the Lithuanian shtetls, the smaller towns, villages and countryside, in fact, a solid majority of Lithuanian Jewry (with a smaller component being kept alive in four cities for slave labor and rolling annihilation over the remaining years of the Holocaust). Marking the anniversary, at the end of August and beginning of September this year (a period in 1941 when a number of the local massacres were concentrated), there have been commemorative events in (Yiddish names first) Birzh (now: Biržai), Dusát (Dusetos), Malát (Molėtai), Shádov (Šeduva), Vílkomir (Ukmergė) and more. By far the largest event took place at Malát on the 29th of August. The project, leading to establishment of a new foundation, was initiated by Tzvi Kritzer. The speakers included high representatives from the Lithuanian government, its official Jewish community, and various public and cultural representatives.
VILNIUS—For the tiny and dwindling group of Holocaust survivors in this part of the world, the indelibly cursed day the genocide began was June 23rd 1941, when hordes of young local “nationalists,” some affiliated with the fascist Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) — which had put in writing its intentions for Jewish fellow-citizens beforehand — began to murder, plunder and rape their neighbors in at least forty locations before the first German soldiers even got there, as confirmed by numerous historians and eyewitnesses. Within a few days, most would don white-armbands.
by Roland Binet (Braine-l’Alleud)
During World War II, numerous proofs of the systematic massacre of the Jews on a large scale had made known to the allied leaders. As the British had very early in the course of the war cracked the Enigma code, their Intelligence Service could read nearly all military dispatches sent by the German units to their headquarters, including those daily reports sent by the Einsatzgruppen leaders who duly sent the daily figures of the Jews and other “enemies” they had killed. One of these reports told of some 30,000 Jews having been killed.
by Monica Lowenberg
In 2011, I made my first journey to Riga, the capital city of Latvia.
A few months before, I had been tracked down by two distant cousins on a genealogy site, quite out of the blue. I remember the strange feeling I had when one of them asked me if I felt “Latvian.” Latvian? German Christian, German Jewish, British, yes — but Latvian Jewish? No.
♦ Riga Conference on Holocaust Issues (Shamir Foundation)
♦ Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism (Jerusalem)
O P I N I O N
by Efraim Zuroff
From today’s Times of Israel.
The visit to Israel of a foreign prime minister used to be a big deal. That’s why there were so many photos of Burmese head of state U Nu’s visit in the early sixties. Those days, however, are long gone and today when most prime ministers visit us it’s usually of little or no interest to anybody and they get almost no coverage unless they are major world figures.
That would help explain why I only found out Tuesday morning that Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was to be touring Yad Vashem that day.
Ostensibly, that is no occasion of any particular significance, and the visit is more or less a pro forma requirement for any head of state coming to Israel in that capacity, especially if he or she has never been here before. But that is not true in the case of the Estonian leader, who heads a country that is suffering from a severe Baltic variant of post-Communist Eastern European Holocaust amnesia. This is an intellectual disease whose four main characteristics are a systematic minimization of crimes by local Nazi collaborators, a distinct lack of political will to prosecute and punish such individuals, a tendency to glorify locals who fought alongside the Nazis – in Estonia’s case in Waffen-SS units – and a determination to promote the historical canard of supposed equivalency between Nazi and Communist crimes.
Will Intellectuals in Western Countries Continue their Silence on Latvia’s Glorification of Hitler’s Waffen SS?
E Y E W I T N E S S R E P O R T / O P I N I O N
by Roland Binet (Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium)
RIGA—The day is a festive one despite the gray and low sky. Young pretty girls have bunches of roses which they soon distribute to elderly and solemn gentlemen arriving, row upon row in an interminable procession. Numerous national flags are held in a heraldic and staid way by young men forming a kind of double guard of honor.
1500 Honor the Waffen SS at Riga’s Liberty Monument; Event is Praised by Latvia’s President, Condemned by Council of Europe’s Commission on Racism
E Y E W I T N E S S R E P O R T / O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
RIGA—According to most estimates, there were around 1500 participants today in the city-center ceremony honoring the Waffen SS, about 1000 police, and about one hundred protesters who turned out in opposition to the event.
The ongoing campaign by some East European governments to repackage far-right ultranationalist politics and policies (with concomitant antisemitic, racist and Nazi-glorifying undertones) as a wholesome British-conservative-style “center right” has suffered a major blow. The battleground of ideas has in recent weeks shifted to the annual Waffen SS commemoration ceremony held at Liberty Monument, the symbolic heart of the capital of Latvia, with the blessing of some of the nation’s top leaders.
The Holocaust in Lithuania
Materials in English for Holocaust Studies Educators and Students
COMPILED BY DOVID KATZ. UPDATED 2022.
AMONG RECENT ADDITIONS:
Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive (LYVA) including numerous eyewitness accounts; Testimonies from The First Week (from 22 June 1941); Latvia
I: ONLINE RESOURCES
Note: This list does not include translations from the Yizkor Book or memoir literature on individual towns. Many can be accessed by town name on JewishGen, via the Holocaust Map of Lithuania (using prewar residence as point of departure) or the current Lithuanian Holocaust Atlas project that documents the mass graves of Lithuania and their history.
Ronald Headland, Messages of Murder. A Study of the Reports of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the Security Service, 1941-1943, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press: Rutherford 1992, pp 122-124.
Dovid Katz: “On three definitions: Genocide, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Obfuscation” in Leonidas Donskis (ed), A Litmus Test Case of Modernity. Examining Modern Sensibilities and the Public Domain in the Baltic States at the Turn of the Century [= Interdisciplinary Studies on Central and Eastern Europe 5], Peter Lang: Bern 2009, pp 259-277.
Zvi Kolitz, “The Physical and Metaphysical Dimensions of the Extermination of the Jews in Lithuania” in Lucjan Dobrosycki and Jeffrey S. Gurock (eds), The Holocaust in the Soviet Union. Studies and Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945, pp 195-204.
Konrad Kwiet, “The Onset of the Holocaust: The Massacre of the Jews in Lithuania in June 1941” in Andrew Bonnell, Gregory Munro and Martin Travers (eds), Power, Conscience, and Opposition, Peter Lang: New York 1996, pp 107-121.
Joseph Levinson, “The LAF [Lithuanian Activist Front] and the First Acts of the Provisional Government” in his The Shoah in Lithuania, Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum and Vaga: Vilnius 2006, pp 163-224.
Joshua Rubenstein and Ilya Altman (eds), The Unknown Black Book. The Holocaust in the German-Occupied Soviet Territories, Indiana University Press and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Bloomington, pp 277-315.
II: BOOKS AND PAPERS
Yitzhak Arad, The Holocaust in the Soviet Union. University of Nebraska: Lincoln & Yad Vashem: Jerusalem 2009, 701 pp.
Yitzhak Arad, Ghetto in Flames. Holocaust Publications: Washington DC 1983.
Christoph Dieckmann, “The Role of Lithuanians in the Holocaust” = pp. 149-168 in Beate Kosmola and Feliks Tych (eds), Facing the Nazi Genocide: Non-Jews and Jews in Europe, Berlin: Metropol, 2004.
David Gaunt, Collaboration and Resistance during the Holocaust: Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Peter Lang: Bern 2004.
Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy. Fontana / Collins 1990 [and other editions]. On Lithuania: pp. 51, 78, 154, 182, 234-5, 281, 339. 620, 722, 798-9, 799. On Vilnius: pp. 22, 39, 60, 91, 92, 168, 170, 177, 185-6, 192-5, 206-8, 216-7, 219, 228, 233, 234, 246, 339, 486, 544, 559, 568-9, 583, 590, 592-3, 595, 598, 606-7, 608, 620, 699, 703-4, 735, 777, 788. On Kaunas: pp. 51, 117-8, 124, 153, 155, 157, 161, 168, 178, 180-1, 189-90, 196, 199, 208, 222-7, 229, 234, 235, 323, 520, 554, 593-4, 640-1, 645-6, 664, 678. 702, 741, 783, 786, 799.
Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust. William Morrow 1993 [and other editions]. On Lithuania: Maps 4, 5, 11, 12, 14, 25, 26, 33, 36, 42, 74, 75, 87, 88, 98, 99, 182, 214, 274, 316. On Vilnius: 1, 2, 4. 11, 14, 28, 3, 71, 73, 75, 83, 86, 87, 94, 96, 98, 170, 176, 185, 186, 195, 202, 208, 209, 210, 215, 219, 224, 226, 244, 247, 260, 261, 267, 272, 274, 308, 311, 313, 314.
Martin Gilbert, Never Again. Universe Publishing [and other editions; also available in Lithuanian translation]. On Lithuania: pp. 12, 13, 19, 20, 22, 49, 62, 63, 64, 64, 71, 99, 105, 109, 147, 151, 153, 158, 160, 177. On Vilnius: pp. 17, 38, 40, 41, 44, 48, 56, 68, 69, 70, 79, 81, 119, 125, 163, 167, 168, 175. On Kaunas: pp. 7, 17, 49, 63, 68, 69, 78, 96-9, 100, 101, 109, 119, 124, 125, 148, 152, 161, 171, 174.
Sara Ginaite, Resistance and Survival: The Jewish Community in Kaunas, Lithuania, 1941-1944. Mosaic Press: Oakville, Ontario 2006. [also available in Lithuanian]
Masha Greenbaum, “The Bloodbath” = pp 302-339 in her The Jews of Lithuania. A History of a Remarkable Community 1316-1945. Gefen Publishing House: Jerusalem & Hewlett, NY 1995.
Dovid Katz, “On three definitions: Genocide, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Obfuscation” in Leonidas Donskis (ed), A Litmus Test Case of Modernity. Examining Modern Sensibilities and the Public Domain in the Baltic States at the Turn of the Century [= Interdisciplinary Studies on Central and Eastern Europe 5], Peter Lang: Bern 2009, pp 259-277. At: https://holocaustinthebaltics.com/2009SeptDovidKatz3Definitions.pdf
Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen & Volker Riess (eds), “Pogroms in Kaunas and elsewhere in Lithuania” = pp 23-58 in their ‘The Good Old Days’. The Holocaust as Seen by its Perpetrators and Bystanders. Foreword by Hugh Trevor-Roper [Oxford University]. Free Press (Macmillan): New York 1991.
Herman Kruk, The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Edited and introduced by Benjamin Harshav. Translated by Barbara Harshav. Yivo and Yale University Press: New Haven & London 2002.
Dov Levin, “World War II, the Holocaust and the Jewish Survivors” = pp 187-247 in his The Litvaks. A Short History of the Jews in Lithuania. Yad Vashem: Jerusalem 2000.
Joseph Levinson (ed), The Shoah (Holocaust) in Lithuania. Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum: Vilnius 2006. [Note: original edition in Lithuanian].
Rachel Margolis, Partisan from Vilna[memoir]. With an introduction by Professor Antony Polonsky. Afterword by Marjorie Margolis. Academic Studies Press: Boston 2010.
Ephraim Oshry, The Annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry. Judaica Press: New York 1995. [original Yiddish edition: Khurbn Lite, NY 1951].
Dina Porat, “The Holocaust in Lithuania. Some Unique Aspects” = pp. 159-174 in David Cesarani (ed.), The Final Solution. Origins and Implementation, Rutledge: New York 1996.
Joshua Rubenstein and Ilya Altman (eds), “Lithuania” = pp 277-315 in their The Unknown Black Book. The Holocaust in the German-Occupied Soviet Territories.Indiana University Press: Bloomington & Indianapolis 2008.
Kazimierz Sakowicz, Ponary Diary 1941-1943. A Bystander’s Account of a Mass Murder. Edited by Yitzhak Arad. Preface by Rachel Margolis [rediscoverer of the manuscript and publisher of the original Polish edition of 1999]. Yale University Press: New Haven & London 2005.
Michael Shafir, Between Denial and “Comparative Trivialization”: Holocaust Negationism in Post-Communist East Central Europe. Hebrew University: Jerusalem 2002 [= The Vidal Sasoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, ACTA no. 19].
N.N. Shneidman, Jerusalem of Lithuania: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Vilnius. Mosaic Press: Oakville, Ontario 2002.
N.N. Shneidman, Three Tragic Heroes of the Vilnius Ghetto. Mosaic Press: Oakville, Ontario 2002.
Sara Shner-Neshamit, “Jewish-Lithuanian Relations during World War II: History and Rhetoric” = pp 167-184 in Zvi Gitelman (ed), Bitter Legacy. Confronting the Holocaust in the USSR. Indiana University Press: Bloomington & Indianapolis.
Lyn Smith, Remembering: Voices of the Holocaust. Carroll & Graf: New York [memoir by Juozas Aleksynas, member of the 12th & 13th Lithuanian police battalion, on pp 96-98].
Karen Sutton, The Massacre of the Jews of Lithuania. Lithuanian Collaboration in the Final Solution 1941-1944. Gefen Publishing House: Jerusalem & New York 2008.
Abraham Tory, Surviving the Holocaust. The Kovno Ghetto Diary. Edited with an introduction by Martin Gilbert. Textual and historical notes by Dina Porat. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass 1990.
Tomas Venclova, “Jews and Lithuanians” in his Forms of Hope. Sheep Meadow Press: 2002.
Sima Ycikas, “Lithuanian-Jewish Relations in the Shadow of the Holocaust” = pp 185-213 in Zvi Gitelman (ed), Bitter Legacy. Confronting the Holocaust in the USSR. Indiana University Press: Bloomington & Indianapolis.
Isaac Zibuts et al, The Sounds of Silence. Traces of Jewish Life in Lithuania. R. Paknio Leidykla: Vilnius 2009. [Note: parallel, concurrent edition in Lithuanian].
Galina Žirikova (compiler), The Collections of the State Archive of Lithuania: A Soure of Research on the Holocaust in Lithuania. Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum: Vilnius.
Efraim Zuroff, Operation Last Chance: One Man’s Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice. Palgrave Macmillan: New York & Basingstoke 2009.
A number of citizens of Lithuania from diverse backgrounds have spoken out against antisemitism, racism, and Holocaust Obfuscation. See the Defending History sections dedicated to the authors Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Aleksandras Bosas, Milan Chersonski, Algis Davidavičius, Leonidas Donskis, Pinchos Fridberg, Vilma Fiokla Kiurė, Regina Kopilevich, Andrius Kulikauskas, Fausta and Michael Maass, Julius Norwilla, Jacob Piliansky, Kamilė Rupeikaitė, Geoff Vasil (Vasiliauskas), Nida Vasiliauskaitė, Tomas Venclova, Lina Žigelytė and others.
Lithuanian film directors are at the forefront of producing bold new documentaries. See recent works by Saulius Beržinis and Alicija Žukauskaitė.
FIRST-WEEK RESCUERS PAGE (JUST GETTING STARTED — CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOME)
The following is a selection. There are many more citizens of Lithuania who have stood up with courage.
18 December 2015. Defending History: ‘Documents which argue for ethnic cleansing (by Kazys Škirpa, Stasys Raštikis, Stasys Lozoraitis and Petras Klimas in 1940-1941 and by Birutė Teresė Burauskaitė in 2015)’ by Andrius Kulikauskas.
10 November 2015. Lithuanian Jewish Community: ‘Litvak youth protest honoring of General Vetra in Vilnius’ [extracts in English from the full 9 Nov. article in Lithuanian in 15min.lt by Paulius Gritenis].
4 October 2015. Defending History: ‘Police prevent Kaunas Jewish guide Chaim Bargman from attending annual memorial for the annihilated Jews of Ukmergė (Vilkomir)’ [introducing video interview of Chaim Bargman in Yiddish].
20 April 2015. Defending History [courtesy of International Conference on Holocaust Education]: ‘Lithuanians and Jews: What’s changed and what hasn’t over the last forty years?’ by Tomas Venclova. In Delfi.lt (24 April 2015).
19 March 2015. Mi Zdes: Correspondence between Vilnius Holocaust survivor Pinchos Fridberg and Yico director Jonathan Brent in Russian translation. In English (in DH); reprint in Operation Last Chance (Simon Wiesenthal Center). In Yiddish.
19 February 2015. Defending History: ‘February 16th 2015 in Kaunas…’ by Evaldas Balčiūnas.
4 February 2015. Defending History: ‘The Nazis are just nuts’ by Geoff Vasil.
16 November 2014. Defending History: ‘Which issues did the exhibit neglect to cover? [Review of a 2014 exhibition “Lithuanian Jews behind the Iron Curtain” at the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum]‘ by Milan Chersonski.
11 November 2014. Defending History: ‘Meilach Stalevich (1923 — 2014)’ by Dovid Katz.
8 November 2014. LatvianNews.lv: ‘Herberts Cukrus. A criminal. Just a criminal’.
17 August 2014. Defending History: ‘Vilnius daily’s report on the Dyukov affair’.
3 March 2014. Pinchos Fridberg’s Youtube: ‘Lakhn iz gezunt’ by Pinchos Fridberg [in Yiddish]. Reaction to a comment posted at Olga Zabludoff’s 13 February 2014 op-ed in the Algemeiner Journal.
23 February 2014. Defending History: Prof. Pinchos Fridberg’s sound file ‘Lakhn iz gezunt’ (in Yiddish) in response to R. Račinskas’s comment to Olga Zabludoff’s 13 February 2014 article in the Algemeiner Journal. Background here and here.
11 February 2014. Tablet: ‘A comment from Professor Pinchos Fridberg, Vilnius’. Reprint in DefendingHistory.com.
10 February 2014. Antifa.lt: Antifa.lt announces its 16 February 2014 protest against neo-Nazi march in central Kaunas; On Facebook.
21 January 2014. JosephLevinson.com: Joseph Levinson website launched.
17 January 2014. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Forget me knot’ by Geoff Vasil (Vailiauskas).
24 December 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘A Love Story’ by Pinchos Fridberg.
25 September 2013: DefendingHistory.com: ‘Inclusion and occlusion. A review ofthe Prague Platform’s travelling exhibition “Totalitarianism in Europe” (currently on show at Tuskulenai Peace Park in Vilnius, Lithuania)’ by Geoff Vasil (Vasiliauskas).
25 September 2013: DefendingHistory.com: ‘Chersonski replies to Aleksandravičius on the 2012 Kaunas reburial with full honors of 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister’ by Milan Chersonski [in Russian; English translation forthcoming].
29 August 2013. The Baltic Times: ‘How memory prevails’ by Leonidas Donskis.
23 June 2013. Around ten young anti-fascists from Antifa Lietuva stage a march in Kaunas protesting the glorification of the Lithuanian Activist Front who unleashed murder upon local Jewish populations on this date in 1941 in dozens of locations. Milan Chersonski reports from Kaunas. More on Antifa.lt and Facebook. The banner carried translates: ‘Real heroes rescued people instead of killing them. Remember the victims of the Holocaust’.
22 April 2013. Jerusalem Report: ‘Lithuania’s deceit’ by Bernard Dichek [see interviews with Fania Brantsovsky and Milda Jakulytė-Vasil].
15 March 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Believe it or not: Lithuanian parliament honors organizers of neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius’ [with full translation of Dovydas Pancerovas’s courageous article].
11 March 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘3,000 participants in “unauthorized” neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius on 2013 independence day’ by Anna Shepherd [with reports on the courageous groups of Lithuanian citizens who turned out to oppose the neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius].
2 March 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Letter to the editor’ by Pinchos Fridberg [with two sound files of MP Emanuelis Zingeris at the November 2012 Seimas conference on ‘United Europe — United History’].
14 February 2013. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Righteous among the nations: Zháger (Žagarė).
14 February 2013. The Baltic Times: ‘Lithuanian PM is against instigation of ethnic hatred’.
8 February 2013. VilNews.com: ‘A poem about the witches among us’ by K.R. Slade.
• Eight Lithuanian parliamentarians (six MPs and two MEPs) courageously sign the Seventy Years Declaration. They are rapidly attacked by the foreign minister, and defended by UK MP Denis MacShane, who wrote to each. The New York Times reports. Jewish Chronicle. Algemeiner Journal. MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis (now minister of health) replied powerfully. So did UK MP and author Denis MacShane. Andres Spokoiny’s tribute to MP Andriukaitis.
• Hundreds of Lithuanian citizens of all backgrounds, resident in Lithuania and in a dozen countries, courageously sign Olga Zabludoff’s petition asking the Lithuanian government to ban the neo-Nazi march from the central boulevard of Lithuania’s beautiful capital Vilnius on its proud independence day of March 11th.
• Many Lithuanian citizens, resident in Lithuania and elsewhere, courageously sign Krystyna Anna Steiger’s petition. It started as a petition asking Vytatyas Magnus University to cancel events honoring the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister. Upon achievement of that goal it shifted to asking the government to cancel its reburial ceremonies. Following the reburial, it evolved to the current petition asking the government to remove memorials to Nazi collaborators on public property.
• Eight of the nine demonstrators who picketed the opening of a racist-homophobe’s art exhibition at Vilnius University on 27 September 2012 are Lithuanian citizens. Details here.
• Among the major bold and courageous contributions to the debate by Lithuanian personalities in 2012: Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis 1, 2, 3, 4; V.T. Andriukaitis & A. Sysas; Saulius Beržinis; Algis Davidavičius; Leonidas Donskis 1, 2; Darius Udrys, Alicija Žukauskaitė.
25 September 2012. Delfi.lt: ‘Parodos detektyvas VU: žydai pasipiktino dailininku, kairieji organizuoja protestą, universitetas sutrikęs’ [‘A detective story about an exhibit at Vilnius University: Jews upset by artist, leftists organize protest, university in disarray] by Eglė Samoškaitė.
18 July 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Why was a Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrator who also murdered Belarusians given atate honors? Open letter to the Lithuanian Ambassador to Belarus’ by Evaldas Balčiūnas.
17 May 2012. VilNews.com: ‘Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis is no hero’ by Darius Udrys. Republished in 15min.lt. Republished in the Lithuania Tribune.
17 May 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘International Christian Assembly Directors in Lithuania Speak Out on the Glorification of Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis’ [with full text of statement by Michael and Fausta Maass].
12 April 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘MP Vytenis Andriukaitis: Open letter to Genocide Center’s “chief specialist” Ričardas Čekutis’ by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis. [= authorized English translation of 5 April 2012 Balsas.lt article]
11 February 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Lithuanian parliamentarian Vytenis Andriukaitis, signatory of 70 Years Declaration, replies to foreign minister, cites “moustache” remark and the implications of ‘double genocide”‘. [An authorized translation of the Lithuanian article by Vytenis Andriukaitis that appeared on Delfi.lt on 9 February 2012]
22 January 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Lithuanian foreign minister berates his country’s parliamentarians who signed “70 Years Declaration”; Says Hitler = Stalin except for length of their moustaches’. Republished on Operation Last Chance.
20 January 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘The Seventy Years Declaration on the anniversary of the final solution conference at Wannsee’ [including eight Lithuanian signatories].
Milan Chersonski, ‘Jewish Museum renewed Holocaust exhibition’ by Milan Chersonski in Jerusalem of Lithuania [English edition appeared on 18 February 2011; edition of the publication dated July-Sept 2010].
Valentinas Mitė, ‘The murder of Jews in Lithuania. A pigsty and the Holocaust’ in Jerusalem of Lithuania [English translation appeared on 18 February 2011, edition of the publication dated July-Sept 2010].
[Shimon Alperovich (Simonas Alperavičius)], public statement on projects to glorify the 1941 collaborationist Provisional Government of Lithuania. English translation by Geoff Vasil. 7 September 2010.
Algirdas Paleckis, ‘The legacy of fascists and fascism in Lithuania’, paper delivered at the World Without Nazism Conference, Kiev, 21 June 2010.
Lithuanian National Youth Association presents a ‘doll of fascism’ to Henrikas Mickevicius, director of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute, to ‘help’ him frighten others about the dangers of fascism, 1 April 2009.
Dr Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office, pays tribute to citizens who assisted Operation Last Chance, in his Operation Last Chance, pp 156-160(see Recent Books → 2009 → Zuroff).
The prime minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Brazauskas, awards Dr Rachel Margolis a certificate of appreciation for her contribution to the liberation of Lithuania as an anti-Nazi resistance fighter (8 May 2005).
Alfredas Bumblauskas, ‘Issues in the history of Lithuanian-Jewish relations in the context of historiographical paradigms’ [‘Lietuviu-Zydu santykiu istorijos problema istoriografiniu paradigmu kontekste’] in Kulturos barai 12, pp 49-55.
Rūta Puišytė, ‘The Holocaust in Jurbarkas’, BA thesis supervised by Professor Meir Shub at Vilnius University; prefaces by Professor Meir Shub and Professor Dov Levin; translated into English by Joseph Rosin.
The eminent Lithuanian scholar and poet Tomas Venclova (Yale University) published the first Lithuanian version of his valiant essay, ‘Jews and Lithuanians’ in the samizdat journal Tarbut in 1975. The standard English version appears in his Forms of Hope.
Dr. Jonas Basanavičius (1851-1927), a principal founder of the Lithuanian revival of modern times, and editor of the first newspaper in the language, wrote this letter in 1924 to a Jewish newspaper, upon hearing of plans to ban Yiddish signs in public places. The English translation is followed by a facsimile of the original Lithuanian letter, taken from M. Sudarski’s Líte (New York 1951), p. 143. A facsimile of the page is available here.
“Having learned from Mr. Katsenelenbogen that certain district leaders are banning the public use of the Yiddish language on signs, and thereby violating the sense of justice of the Yiddish speaking citizens of Lithuania, I would like — though it be a cry in the wilderness — to defend their language on the basis of equality, and to advise the organs of government to stop persecuting, pettily, the language of loyal residents, and to stop making them feel aggrieved by the Lithuanian government.”
- Dr. J. Basanavičius
- Palanga, 12 August 1924
Litvak Studies Institute Protests “Fake Litvak” Game by Politicians; Director Mikhail Iossel Issues Statement
Litvak Studies Institute Protests Lithuanian Government’s “Fake Litvak” Forum, Calls on State to Halt PR Gimmickry and Reverse Anti-Jewish Policies
Posted in Press — 20 July 2010
For the dwindling number of aged Litvak survivors who grew up in the East European Jewish civilization decimated by the Holocaust, the anti-Jewish and Holocaust-distorting policies of the Lithuanian government in recent years are deeply painful.
Holocaust in the Baltics, established on 6 September 2009, is dedicated to the memory of Professor Meir Shub (1924—2009), pictured at right teaching a class at Vilnius University in the early 2000s.
A historian and philosopher, he dedicated the last decades of his life to rebuilding Jewish studies in Vilnius, despite severe health issues deriving from his World War II wounds sustained as a Red Army soldier during the struggle against Nazism.
He was determined to inspire and train students of all backgrounds who would freely research Judaic topics, including the Holocaust. He was convinced that the success of these studies depended on the retention of a robust and intellectually free-feeling Jewish community component in such projects in Eastern Europe.
Meir Shub’s booming voice (which grew louder as his deafness worsened), straight talk, and high Litvak expectations of his students were trademarks. He is sorely missed. He played a pivotal role in achieving the first Oxford-Vilnius agreement in Judaic studies, and, in 1991-1992, was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Oxford University. His works include a study of the Gaon of Vilna.