VILNIUS—Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė was highly praised by Defending History for her bold and historic August 2021 cancellation of the “convention center in the Jewish cemetery” project that had been causing Lithuania’s stature so much unnecessary damage (see Šimonytė section). It had been supported by corrupt politicians, money-hungry builders and contractors, a corrupt group of London “grave sellers” (the CPJCE), and an array of “Useful Jewish Idiots” who have repeatedly betrayed the living remnants of Lithuanian Jewry over decades, via what some describe as an acquired addiction to honors, photo-ops, grants, junkets, medals, translations of their writings, and assorted other catnip products. One of them was even a veteran of a 2007-2008 commission who helped provide “American Jewish cover” for the “two green buildings” (combined residence and business) on the cemetery site that are surrounded by graves on all four sides to this day (more exactly: he was brought in after construction of the first to help smooth the way for the second; he did utter some general sentiments of protest in a New York Yiddish newspaper but refused the editor’s permission for his piece to appear in the paper’s English supplement “because I’m going to be there soon”).
Missing from the commission (the PM’s advisors really missed an opportunity here) are the three Lithuanian-citizen, Lithuania-resident heroes of the story who steadfast work over years saved their country from the future humiliation of an American president refusing to set foot in a “convention center in the Jewish cemetery” — Ruta Bloshtein (author of the international petition), Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas, and Julius Norwilla.
Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė
Tagged Andrius Kulikauskas, Chaim Burshtein, Jewish cemetery at Piramont (Snipiskes, Julius Norwilla (Norvila), Old Vilna (Vilnius) Jewish cemetery, Pinchos Fridberg, PM Ingrida Simonyte, Rabbi Chaim Burshtein, Rabbi S. J. Feffer, Ruta Bloshtein, Snipiskes
The Holocaust Mass Grave Site
The best way to reach the mass killing site in Garliava (Yiddish Gúdleve, Polish Godlewo), is to take a train from the central train station in Kaunas. It is just one stop. The railway runs south, through a picturesque valley of the languid river Jiesia. Garliava is a township historically in the Suwałki region. It is named after an ancient landlord and noble family Godlewski. It seems that twentieth century ethnic purity zealots renamed the township into Garliava to sever any obvious link to the personage commemorated by the town’s naming, thereby reducing the historical chronicle of the entire region to a narrow and assertively ethnonationalist narrative
When you step out of the old railway station in Garliava, the town itself is still one kilometer away. The train line and the station were built in 1862, and one can wonder, what the point was, with the then cutting-edge train technology of the time, to make a long detour around the town and build the station somewhere in the middle of the fields, or as one might put it, right in the middle of nowhere?
Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, History, Julius Norwilla, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views
Tagged Garliava, Godlewo (Godlevo), Gúdleve (Lithuania), Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust mass graves in Lithuania, Julius Norwilla (Norvila)
VILNIUS—Shortly after Defending History published the news yesterday that Dr. Arūnas Bubnys, longtime chief historian at Lithuania’s state sponsored far-right Genocide Center had been nominated by the speaker of parliament as the center’s new director, news published also by New York’s Algemeiner Journal, a social media campaign began to try to spread a rumor that the DH photo of Dr. Bubnys proudly speaking less than a year ago under banner images of Holocaust collaborators Jonas Noreika and Kazys Škirpa was “photoshopped.” Two of DH’s Vilnius-based team, Julius Norwilla and Dovid Katz, monitored the event from start to finish. Their report appeared the same day, 23 June 2020, the 79th anniversary of the outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust. Instead of honoring the victims — defenseless Jewish citizens, often older rabbis and younger women brutalized and murdered by the “White Armbander” fascists — the event, like many legitimized by Lithuanian government institutions, glorified the killers, who are invariably described as “heroic anti-Soviet rebels.” This is of course a patent historic nonsense. The USSR’s forces were fleeing Hitler’s invasion, Operation Barbarossa, the largest invasion in human history, not the local white-armbanded Jew-killers. While the Soviets were in power, the Hitler-backers and murderers of civilian neighbors now adulated as “anti-Soviet rebels” did not fire a single shot. Not even at a local rabbit.
See DH’s sections on Dr. Bubnys, the Genocide Center, and commemorations of 23 June 1941, as well as reviews of his books on the Vilna Ghetto and on the Kovno (Kaunas) Ghetto.
Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and State Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Human Rights, Kazys Škirpa, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika, Vilnius, Yitzhak Arad
Tagged Arunas Bubnys, Celebrations of 23 June 1941, Foti + Noreika, Genocide Center Vilnius, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust Revisionism, Jonas Noreika, Julius Norwilla (Norvila), Kazys Škirpa, Lithuanian Holocaust, Silvia Foti, The Nazi's Granddaughter
Julius Norwilla (standing end of table) with his class of Elementary/Intermediate Yiddish at Vilnius’s Jewish Cultural and Information Center (JCIC) in the Old Town, under auspices of the Vilnius Jewish Community in March 2020. On 24 March, with a pandemic upending life in the Lithuanian capital (as everywhere), the students and teacher decided to continue online via skype and have not missed a week. Standing at left is Rima Kazlauskaite, administrator at JCIC.
Posted in Events, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Arkady Kurliandchik, Elementary Yiddish, JCIC (Vilnius), Jewish Cutlural & Information Center (Vilnius), Julius Norwilla (Norvila), Regina Kopilevich, Vilnius Jewish community, Yiddish class in Vilnius, Yiddish in Vilnius