Click on the image for details of 21 Sept. conference in Kaunas on role of museums in remembering the past
Vytautas Magnus University, once considered a beacon of tolerance and liberalism, suffered extensive (utterly self-inflicted) reputational damage back in 2009 when it inaugurated a lecture hall and bas-relief glorifying Juozas Ambrezevicius Brazaitis, “prime minister” in Lithuania’s Nazi puppet “provisional government” in 1941. During his brief period as Hitler’s chief puppet in the country, he signed documents confirming transfer of numerous Jewish fellow citizens of his native Kaunas to the nearby Seventh Fort for torture and murder, and later signed the Nazi-ordered documents ordering all remaining Jews of Kaunas into a ghetto, to become the infamous Kovno Ghetto. During his later American career, as a CIA asset and academic, he never once expressed regret over what had happened to the 30,000 Jewish residents of Kaunas.
Then, in 2012, when an international scandal broke out over the Lithuanian government’s decision to fly over and rebury with full honors the Nazi puppet prime minister’s remains, it was, alas a top historian and academic official at Vytautas Magnus who described the reburial as a grand act of Lithuania’s historic drama, while denouncing the Leonidas Donskis led effort to pull the university out of national ceremonies honoring the Nazi collaborator, in these terms: “This wasn’t the academic community but a decision of the VMU administration which became frightened that they were going to get hit over the head with a club by the Jews.” For context, see events of May 2012.
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Leonidas Donskis, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion
Tagged Ambrezevicius-Brazaitis, Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust Memory, Leonias Donskis, Vytautas Magnus University
VILNIUS—Israel may have crossed a red line today when it was flaunted on the major News portal Delfi.lt here, both in Lithuanian and in English, that Israeli ambassador Amir Maimon had found the time this week to stage a demonstrative PR-photographed visit to the chief campaigner for the parliament’s decision less than one month ago to name 2018 in honor of Adolfas Ramanauskas — his daughter in Vilnius, Auksutė Ramanauskaitė-Skokauskienė, who is a prime icon of the ultranationalist camp that often glorifies various collaborators and participants in the Holocaust on the grounds that they were also anti-Soviet activists. The PR move came just after a major political commentator asked what Lithuania is getting in return for its staunch political support for the Netanyahu government.
One of the PR photos released shows the ambassador posing underneath adulatory photos of the 1941 pro-Nazi militiaman (from various other periods in his life). Of course Lithuania has a vast number of inspirational historical heroes, including many anti-Soviet heroes, who were not Holocaust collaborators, and state decisions to honor collaborators cause untold pain to survivors, their families, and the remnant Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. They all send a message that becomes part of the history-revision campaign to downgrade the Holocaust in the context of “Double Genocide” revisionism.
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Debates on Adolfas Ramanauskas (Vanagas), Dovid Katz, Dr. Rokhl (Rachel) Margolis (1921-2015), Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem and Lithuania
Tagged Adolfas Ramanauskas, Amir Maimon (Lithuania), Antisemitism in Eastern Europe, Chen Ivri Apter, Dovid Katz, Efraim Zuroff, Evaldas Balciunas, Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust Memory, Israel + antisemitism, Israel + diaspora Jewry, Israel + Holocaust, Israeli Embassy in Vilnius, Israeli Foreign Policy + Eastern Europe, Israeli foreign policy + Holocaust, Joseph Melamed, Leivick House (Tel Aviv), Rachel Margolis, Ruta Vanagaite, Yitzhak Arad
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
An imaginary speech, not delivered by any of the high government officials who addressed the commemoration at the mass murder site of the Jews of Plungyán (Plungė) on 17 July 2011.
My dear friends, it is precisely because I am a proud official of the government of independent, democratic, Lithuania, and I love my country, that I am able to speak here today openly, on the seventieth anniversary of the murder of the Jews of Plungė — Plungyán, as they proudly called it in the Yiddish that rang through its streets for so many centuries.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Dovid Katz, Events, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Plungyán (Plungė), Politics of Memory
Tagged Antisemitism Lithuania, Asta Skaisgirytė Liaukšienė, Desecration of monuments Lithuania, Emanuelis Zingeris, Holocaust Commemoration, Holocaust Commemoration in Lithuania, Holocaust commemoration Lithuania, Holocaust Memory, Jacob Bunka, Kausenai Memorial, Kazys Vitkevečius, Lithuania Tolerance Studies, Plunge, Plunge Holocaust, Plungian, Plungian Holocaust, Plungyan, Plungyan Holocaust, Ronaldas Racinskas, Tolerance studies center Lithuania