Tag Archives: Dovid Katz

Bravo! Lithuania Abandons “Convention Center in the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery”



OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY  |  OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER PROJECT  |  INTERNATIONAL PETITION  |  HUMAN RIGHTS

VILNIUS—Congratulations were pouring in this morning as soon as Lithuania’s media, led by Alfa.lt’s ace reporter, Arvydas Jockus, one of the few to have provided balanced reports throughout the saga, reported on the Lithuanian government’s decision to abandon the project to cite a national convention center in the heart of the old Vilna Jewish cemetery at Piramónt, in the Shnípishok section of Vilna (today’s Šnipiškės in modern Vilnius). The Alfa.lt report was followed by BNS (Baltic News Service) confirmation, carried by Lrytas.lt, the business news portal Verslo zinios (vz.lt), as well as 15min.lt, Diena.ltKauno diena, and visosnaujienos.e2.lt, among others.  JTA has reported the new development (and its report carried, inter alia, by Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post, Enlace Judío, and the Forward). Ben Cohen’s originally researched article followed in New York’s Algemeiner Journal.

Ben Cohen in The Algemeiner

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bravo! Lithuania Abandons “Convention Center in the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery”

Video Released of Marius Ivaškevičius’s Interview with Dovid Katz



VILNIUS—Famed Lithuanian playwright Marius Ivaškevičius interviewed Dovid Katz as his Vilnius apartment on 20 March 2017 as part of the filming for Tzvi Kritzer’s documtentary “The Last Sunday in August” about the slaughter of the Jews of Malát (today: Molėtai) Lithuania. The much more general interview offers sweeping discourse on the Lithuanian Holocaust and its legacies, and sundry difficult related issues. There was a cameo appearance  by  the film’s producer Tzvi Kritzer. The footage released  is unedited but not complete. Unfortunately, the beginning, with Marius’s detailed opening statement and set of questions, is missing from this footage. The documentary, released in 2018, is on youtube.

Posted in Arts, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Debates on the Postwar "Forest Brothers", Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Malát (Molėtai), News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Video Released of Marius Ivaškevičius’s Interview with Dovid Katz

Lithuania Hears Pleas and (For Now?) Cancels Funding for Convention Center Project in Old Jewish Cemetery



OPINION  | HUMAN RIGHTS | CHRISTIAN-JEWISH ISSUES  |  CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES  |  OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO ‘CONVENTION CENTER  IN THE CEMETERY’ PROJECT |INTERNATIONAL PETITION

by Andrius Kulikauskas

A Victory for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s

On December 16, 2020, the sixth day of Hanukkah, defenders of the oldest Jewish cemetery in Vilnius (at Piramont-Šnipiškės) won a major, decisive, surprising, timeless victory. Lithuania’s government, acting on our campaign’s and Seimas member Kęstutis Masiulis’s proposals to the Seimas (parliament) Budget and Finance Committee, struck from the 2021 budget all funding for the reconstruction of the Vilnius Sports Palace into a Vilnius Congress Center. This building, which the Soviets had erected in the middle of the Cemetery, had fallen into disuse. The Lithuanian government acquired the building in 2015 with plans to remake it as a center for international conferences, further desecrating the Cemetery for untold years to come. Thankfully, the newly elected Government has eliminated funding.

The Government’s website includes a page for that afternoon’s meeting. The third item of the meeting is Finance Minister Gintarė Skaistė’s report on the revised budget. She spoke for twenty minutes and made no mention of the Congress Center. However, if you look through the documents (here and here), you will see that the allocation of 515,000 euros (around $631,000) as installment toward the multi-million euro reconstruction of the Sports Palace has been expressly eliminated.

The highlighted sentence in the parliament’s revised budget explicitly eliminates the 515,000 euro allocation for phase 1 of the “convention center in the cemetery” project…

Seimas Budget and Finance Committee Bureau Chief Alina Brazdilienė sent me an email so that I would be sure to notice. She had been responsive to my concerns that the 54 letters and many more received by the Committee from us in November were not visible to the Government. On December 15th she had told me that the day before she had emailed the Ministry to ask if they would like to see our emails. The Ministry had replied that they would not because they had not yet come to their own position. Understandably, I was not happy that the Ministry was not interested to see all of our arguments. I did not expect us to win. I was wrong!

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Posted in Andrius Kulikauskas, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuania Hears Pleas and (For Now?) Cancels Funding for Convention Center Project in Old Jewish Cemetery

On the (Ab)use of Law to “Fix” Holocaust History



OPINION  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  FREE SPEECH  |  STATES’ MANIPULATION OF HISTORY

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.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Estonia, EU, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Free Speech & Democracy, History, Latvia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on On the (Ab)use of Law to “Fix” Holocaust History

Curious History of a Yiddish Professorship at Vilnius University & its “Vilnius Yiddish Institute”


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YIDDISH AND JUDAIC STUDIES MANIPULATED FOR HOLOCAUST REVISIONISM  | VILNIUS YIDDISH INSTITUTE  |  BORNS JEWISH STUDIES PROGRAM AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY  |  RICHARD MAULLIN

Its Prehistory (1990-1999), History (1999-2010) and Posthistory (2010-2018) from the Year of Lithuania’s Declaration of Independence Onward

CAN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES STILL WRITE INDIVIDUALS OUT OF HISTORY IN POST-SOVIET SPACE? DO VILNIUS UNIVERSITY’S DEANS AND RECTOR APPROVE OF THE PRACTICE? CAN A PAST PROFESSOR WITH A PERFECT RECORD OVER 11 YEARS (NO COMPLAINTS, NO INCIDENTS) BE WRITTEN OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY’S HISTORY AND DEFAMED IN THE UNIVERSITY’S NAME ON ORDERS OF SOMEONE AT THE “INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE EVALUATION OF THE CRIMES OF THE NAZI AND SOVIET REGIMES IN LITHUANIA” (THE “RED-BROWN COMMISSION“)?

A “for the record” page in progress, developed in response to repeated public statements by the current director of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, a member of the state-sponsored Commission on Nazi and Soviet crimes, claiming that Defending History’s editor (a) was never a professor at the university, (b) if he was an elementary Yiddish alphabet teacher paid by some surfers in California, he got fired for not turning up to work. Further documents are being processed for inclusion in the bizarre but curiously telling chapter of the history of Yiddish Studies in the 21st century. The political manipulation (ranging from West European far-left to East European far-right) of Yiddish-less “Yiddish” is a theme in the final chapter of Yiddish and Power (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) by the Yiddishist in question, Dovid Katz.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Bloomington-Borns Program Manipulated?, Free Speech & Democracy, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Richard Maullin, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas and the State-Sponsored "International Commission" (ICECNSORL), Views of Prof. Sarunas Liekis, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Curious History of a Yiddish Professorship at Vilnius University & its “Vilnius Yiddish Institute”

Alexandra Kudukis Interviews Dovid Katz in The Lithuania Tribune



VILNIUS—The following  interview of DH editor Dovid Katz by Alexandra Kudukis appeared in the Lithuania Tribune today.

Alexandra Kudukis: Professor Katz, you shared that although you were not surprised by the decision, you believed the verdict only serves to divide and hold Lithuania as a culture and people back. Could you please expound on that thought?

My view, consolidated after twenty years of choosing to live in beautiful Vilnius, is that the Lithuanian people by and large have absolutely no interest in there being state-sponsored monuments to Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators or street names glorifying them. This is a kind of self-destructive obsession of a very small but very powerful elite that deals with “history” in government, government-sponsored research and public affairs, agencies and history departments.

Here, in this most delightfully democratic of countries, the one exception is freedom to disagree about history! My dear friend Evaldas Balčiūnas, for example, did the country a huge service by publishing a series of articles, starting in 2012, in both Lithuanian and English, on the topic of “Why does the state commemorate murderers?” He lost his job and career, and was lugged into court for useless kangaroo hearings for years (for the saga in English, please see his section in Defending History, here: (please scroll down to May 2014). In fact, virtually all who have spoken up on these issues have seen our jobs come to a rapid end (see a summary here).

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Dovid Katz, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Alexandra Kudukis Interviews Dovid Katz in The Lithuania Tribune

Holocaust History Trial Slated for 15 January in Vilnius


[LAST UPDATE]

OPINION  |  VILNIUS GENOCIDE CENTER  |  VILNIUS GENOCIDE MUSEUM  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  ACADEMIC BACKGROUND

As trials of alleged criminals come to an end, is the era of ‘history on trial’ getting underway?

OUR TAKE

Holocaust perpetrator: glorified in marble on the central boulevard of an EU capital?

On January 15th, 2019, at 10 AM, a momentous historic court case will unfold in Vilnius, Lithuania, scheduled to start at the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court at Žygimantų 2 in the heart of the capital. Challenged by a call for removal of Holocaust collaborator Jonas Noreika from the pantheon of national heroes (including street names, memorials and an inscribed stone block on the capital’s central boulevard), the state-sponsored “Genocide Center”, a bastion of far-right extremism that, in the opinion of many, does grave damage to the image of modern democratic Lithuania, will be defending Noreika using the hard-earned tax euros of the nation’s noble citizens. See the remarkable 2018 Salon magazine essay by Noreika’s granddaughter, American author and educator Silvia Foti; DH report by Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas on the action brought by Grant Gochin. Documents include the original query (15 June), Genocide Center’s response (19 July), Mr. Gochin’s legal complaint (10 August) and the Genocide Center’s response (1 Oct.).

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Holocaust History Trial Slated for 15 January in Vilnius

The Yiddish Conundrum: A Cautionary Tale for Language Revivalism



YIDDISH PROJECTS   |  YIDDISH AFFAIRS

by Dovid Katz

This paper appeared this month as: Dovid Katz, “The Yiddish Conundrum: A Cautionary Tale for Language Revivalism” in: G. Hogan-Brun  and B. O’Rourke  (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Minority Languages and Communities (Palgrave Macmillan: London 2019), pp.  553-587.

For those who cherish the goal of preserving small, endangered languages, some developments (and lessons) from the case of Yiddish might be illuminating, though not in the sense of some straightforward measure of ‘success’ or ‘failure’. There is no consensus on the interpretation of the current curious — and contentious — situation. If the issues raised might serve as a point of departure for debate on its implications for other languages, particularly the potential damage from exaggeratedly purist ‘corpus planning movements’ as well as potentially associated ‘linguistic disrespect’ toward the majority of the living speakers of the ‘language to be saved’, then this paper’s modest goal will have been realized. Moreover, the perils of a sociolinguistic theory overapplied by a coterie with access to funding, infrastructure and public relations need to be studied.[1]

Ultimately, the backdrop for study of the current situation is the pre-Holocaust status quo ante of a population of Yiddish speakers for which estimates have been in the range of ten to thirteen million native speakers.[2]

Nowadays, on the one hand, millions of dollars a year are spent on ‘saving Yiddish’ among ‘modern Jews’ (secular and ‘modern religious’), interested non-Jews. People may be academically, culturally, literarily, musically, sentimentally, ideologically, and otherwise attracted. The number of Yiddish speaking families these efforts have generated is in dispute, but it is under a dozen. A high proportion of those hail from a postwar movement of normativist language revision, on the Ausbau model of Heinz Kloss. This conscious process has taken their variety ever further from native Yiddish speech of any naturally occurring variety while retaining a steadfast, profound commitment to actually using the language in daily life. Lavish subsidies provide for a newspaper, magazines, myriad programs and a few large architectural edifices dedicated, one way or another, to ‘saving Yiddish’. In academia, endowments have provided a number of positions that are ironically known in the field as ‘poetry fellowships’ in so far as their incumbents may try to be ‘Yiddish writers’ while under no pressure to produce successful doctoral programs that would be generating new generations of scholar specialists who can themselves write and teach in the language (say for advanced courses). In the case of some Yiddish chairs, the elderly East European born donor ‘had the chutzpah to go ahead and die’, leaving his or her children amenable to a program’s ‘rapid enhancement’ via conversion from the low-student-number (‘failing’) Yiddish to the ‘higher student takeup’ (‘winning’) menu of ‘Judaic Studies’ or ‘comparative Jewish literature’ courses.[3] Much of the current ‘language movement’ is focused on ‘Yiddish products’ in English (and other national languages) about Yiddish that have engendered fundraising campaigns for buildings and centers, without seriously attempting to produce new speakers, let alone writers. This has been made possible by what I have called massive American-style PR driven ‘delinguification’ of Yiddish (Katz, 2015: 279-290). The satire, ‘A conference of Yiddish savers’ by Miriam Hoffman, the last major actual Yiddish author born in Eastern Europe before the war, now based in Coral Springs, Florida, continues to delight readers from all sides of the argument (Hoffman 1994). Note that none of this is to suggest that any of these efforts are ‘wasted’.

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Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Ends Up with DH Editor in Hit Job by Neo-Nazi Blogger



How did Lithuania’s Foreign Minister End Up Together with Defending History’s Editor in Hit Job by Nation’s Top Neo-Nazi Blogger?

“By doing the right thing, and calling for the removal of a central Vilnius plaque that honors a brutal Nazi collaborator”

LATEST ADDITION TO THE SERIES “OUR EDITOR IN THE NEO-NAZI IMAGINATION”

See also selection of the racist, homophobic, and misogynist output of a Baltic nation’s far-right blogger who is said to be an official in the Economy Ministry

 

There are ome strange twists in the 21st century history of Holocaust collaborator Jonas Noreika (who continues to be honored by street names, plaques, engraved stones and more).

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Posted in Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Ends Up with DH Editor in Hit Job by Neo-Nazi Blogger

Lithuania’s Intensive Spring Season for New Brand of Holocaust Denial



OPINION  |  LITHUANIA  |  FREE SPEECH  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  | USA  | NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT

The team at Defending History has witnessed quite a lot in Eastern Europe over the last decade when it comes to Holocaust obfuscation and its related ills, including glorification of actual Holocaust collaborators, defamation of Holocaust survivors who joined the resistance, and a progressive chipping away at Western norms of free speech and tolerance. It is almost as if the Western powers don’t care whether folks in the “Eastern EU” have the same rights of expression as others.

During these last few weeks, an unusually intensive convergence of events has been noticed here in Vilnius. To bring our loyal readers up to speed we thought it might be useful to summarize what’s been happening on the Lithuanian Holocaust obfuscation and history rewriting front. Links to articles are included for those interested in reading more.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuania’s Intensive Spring Season for New Brand of Holocaust Denial

Virtual Yiddish Mini-Museum of Jewish Life in Interwar Lithuania


 

APOLOGIES. THIS PAGE HAS MOVED HERE

https://defendinghistory.com/mini-museum-of-jewish-life-in-interwar-lithuania

 

Posted in Arts, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Mini-Museum of Jewish Life in Interwar Lithuania, Museums, News & Views, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Virtual Yiddish Mini-Museum of Jewish Life in Interwar Lithuania

21st Century Lowpoint for Israeli Diplomacy? Ambassador Poses with Photos of Alleged Holocaust Collaborator



OPINION  |  ISRAEL PAGE  |  ISRAEL SECTION   |  HONORING COLLABORATORS  |  LEGACY OF JOE MELAMED  |  LEGACY OF DOV LEVIN  |  FOREIGN MINISTRIES AND THE HOLOCAUST

by Dovid Katz (Vilnius)

 

PHOTO: DELFI.LT

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.

UPDATES TO THIS ARTICLE: WEEKLY OF VILNIUS COMMENTARY; AMBASSADOR’S BETRAYAL OF HOLOCAUST HISTORY A FIASCO AS LITHUANIA VOTES ANYWAY AGAINST U.S. DECISION TO MOVE ITS EMBASSY (PARTING WITH NEIGHBORING LATVIA)

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.

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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 Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 21st Century Lowpoint for Israeli Diplomacy? Ambassador Poses with Photos of Alleged Holocaust Collaborator

The Extraordinary Recent History of Holocaust Studies in Lithuania



OPINION  |  HISTORY  |  LITHUANIA’S STATE COMMISSION ON NAZI AND SOVIET CRIMES   |  LITVAK AFFAIRS

by Dovid Katz

This paper was published today by Taylor and Francis on its website. It appears in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, volume 31, no. 3, pp. 285-295 (Dec. 2017). Dapim is edited by the Strochlitz Institute for Holocaust Research at the University of Haifa.

In Lithuania, the primary provider for Holocaust studies for close to two decades has been the state-sponsored International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania (ICECNSORL), which was established in 1998 by decree of the nation’s president and is housed in the office of its prime minister, embedding it in the highest strata of Lithuanian politics. Several of its activities have enabled significant contributions in research, education, and public commemoration.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Extraordinary Recent History of Holocaust Studies in Lithuania

Lithuanian Language Textbook for Hebrew Schools with “Ékhod mi yoydéya” in Lithuanian (Mariampolė 1928)



מוזייעלע פון יידישן לעבן אין דער קאָוונער ליטע

Mažasis žydų gyvenimo tarpukario Lietuvoje muziejus

Mini-Museum of Jewish Life in the Interwar Lithuanian Republic

by Dovid Katz

EXHIBIT № 1

See also: Yiddish Mini-Museum of Old Jewish Vilna


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דאָס לערנביכל פון לערער .I.A (מאַרנפּאָל 1928) פאַרן לערנען מיט קינדער אין שול ליטוויש דורכן מיטל פון — העברעאיש

   דאָס טשיקאַווע לערנביכל, דאַטירט יולי 1928, פון לערער .I.A (צי קען ווער⸗ניט⸗איז דערגיין דעם נאָמען?) פון דער העברעאישער גינמנאַזיע אין מאַריאַמפּאָל (אויפן היימישן יידיש: מאַרנפּאָל; הײַנט — מאַריאַמפּאָלע אין ליטע) צום באַנוץ פון יידישע קינדער אין די העברעאישע שולן אין דער אומאָפּהענגיקער צווישן⸗מלחמהדיקער ליטע („קאָוונער ליטע“) אויף אויסלערנען זיך  ר י כ ט י ק  און כדבעי די ליטווישע שפּראַך (וואָס איז געוואָרן די מלוכה שפּראַך ערשט מיטן אויפקום פון דער מלוכה אין 1918). 

   גאָר אַ טשיקאַווע קולטור⸗היסטאָרישער אַספּעקט פונעם ביכל איז דער אויסגעהאַלטענער און דורכאויסיקער באַנוץ פון ה ע ב ר ע א י ש אויף אויסלערנען זיך ריכטיק ל י ט ו ו י ש, בײַ קינדער וועמענס מאַמע⸗לשון און איינציקער טאָגטעגלעכער לשון איז — י י ד י ש. דער באַשלוס, אין סאַמע ליטע, צו באַנוצן אַ ניט גערעדטע שפּראַך צום אויסלערנען זיך אַ גערעדטע שפּראַך; דער ניט⸗דערזאָגטער אידעאָלאָגישער העברעאיזם פאַרבונדן מיטן פאַקט אַז די דאָזיקע בילדונגס⸗שיטה שטעלט מיט זיך פאָר אַ פאַרשווערערונג צום לערנען, ניט קיין פאַרגרינגערונג, אַזש ביז צום באַנוץ פון שווערע פילאָלאָגישע טערמינען אינעם ע ל ע מ ע נ ט אַ ר ן  לערנביכל — אָדאָס זײַנען אַלע שטריכן וואָס רופן אַרויס צו אַ פאָרשונג. איין מעגלעכער פאַקטאָר וואָס וואַרפט זיך אין די אויגן: אינעם ביכל, אָט אַזוי ווי אינעם מחברס וואָרט פריער, ווערט דער טראָפּ געלייגט אויף דער פאָנעטיק, אַזוי אַרום אַז קינדער וואָס קענען שוין פון דער סביבה כאָטש אין טייל פאַלן „זיך צונויפריידן“ אויף ליטוויש זאָל זיך אויסלערנען ריידן טאַקע אויף אַ ראַפינירטן אופן און ניט מיט אַ שטאַרקן „יידישן אַקצענט“, ווי ס′פּאַסט אין דער נײַער ליטווישער מלוכה. די זאַך לאָזט זיך צורעכט מאַכן, האַלט דער מחבר, דווקא דורכן מיטל פון געשריבענעם העברעאיש. צריך עיון.

    נאָכוואָס: מיט דעם וואָס דער מחבר באַנוצט זיך מיט דער קלאַסישער העברעאישער טערמינאָלאָגיע צום לערנען, שטודירן און פאָרשן דעם קלאַסישן לשון⸗קודש, ניט פאַרגרינגערנדיק און אויסמײַדנדיק דעם באַנוץ פון אינטערנאַציאָנאַליזמען, איז אַ סברא אַ סימן, אַז ער איז בעת מעשה אויסן געווען לערנען מיטן תלמיד דערוויילע אויך ה ע ב ר ע א י ש.  אויך דאָ בלײַבט עס מיט אַ — צריך עיון.

   דאָ ווײַטער גייען אייניקע זײַטלעך פונעם ביכל, אַרײַנגערעכנט דער שער⸗בלאַט, די באַמערקונג צום אָנהייב פון מחבר, עטלעכע כאַראַקסטעריסטישע זײַטלעך און צום סוף, די לעצטע צוויי זײַטלעך וואו עס גייט אַ ליטווישער וואַריאַנט פון באַליבטן פּסח⸗ליד „אחד מי יודע“ (′ווער ווייס איינס?′) אויף ליטוויש, אַ טעקסט וואָס די קינדער וואָלטן מיט פרייד דערקענט ניט נאָר פון סדר סתם נאָר בפירוש אויף ליטוויש, מחמת דעם וואָס ס′איז פון לאַמג אַ טראַדיציע „אחד מי יודע“ זינגען אויף פאַרשיידענע לאַנד⸗לשונות אַוואו יידן האָבן געוואוינט. דער באַליבטער פילאָלאָג כאַצקל לעמכען (1904 − 2001) האָט אַ ליטווישן וואַריאַנט דערפון אַרײַנגענומען אין זײַן גרינטלעכער אַרבעט, „די השפּעה פון ליטוויש אויפן יידישן דיאַלעקט אין ליטע“ (אין אָקספאָרדער יידיש 3, 1995, זז. 5 − 130, דאָרטן גופא זז. 122-121). אַ פאַקסימיליע קומט דאָ באַלד אונטן נאָך דעם ליטווישן טעקסט אינעם מאַרנפּאָלער ביכל. פריער נאָך, אין זײַן בוך אויף ליטוייש, Lietuvių kalbos įtaka Lietuvos žydų tarmei (ווילנע 1970), האָט ער דעם ליטווישן נוסח פאַרעפנטלעכט (דאָרטן גופא, זז.  131 − 132). פון פאַרגלײַך וועגן ברענגען מיר אויך דאָ אונטן דעם יידישן נוסח פון ליד וואָס ס′האָט געבראַכט מענינקע קאַץ (1906 − 1991) אין זײַן זאַמלונג יידישע פאָלקסלידער (בתוכם אַ סך פון ווילנער געגנט).

דאָס ווייניק באַקאַנטע לערנביכל ווערט אַפּנים ניט דערמאָנט אַפילו אין דער ספּעציפישער אַרבעט איבער דער טעמע פון ווערשיק, וואו א. שולמאַנס לערנבוך פאַר מער אַוואַנסירטע ווערט אָנגערופן „דאָס איינציקע לערנביכל“ (זע ווערשיקס אַרטיקל אין Archivum Lithuanicum, באַנד 7, 2005, ז. 142).

   צולעצט אַ פאָנאָלאָגישע (און דער עיקר אַ קולטור⸗היסטאָרישע) באַמערקונג מכח דער הברה פון העברעאיש וואָס ווערט געלערנט אין די שולן. ניטאָ קיין ספק (פון ז. 13), אַז קמץ = o, דהיינו: די אשכנזישע הברה. . .

   אַ יישר⸗כח יוליוס נאָרווילאַן פאַרן שענקען דאָס ביכל אונדזער מוזייעלע.


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פון כאַצקל לעמכענס אַרבעט אין אָקספאָרדער יידיש 3:

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דער יידישער נוסח פון „איינער איז דאָך גאָט“ פון ווילנער געגנט וואָס ס′האָט אויפגעשריבן מעינקע קאַץ

זײַט אַזוי גוט, דרייט ווײַטער די זײַטלעך מיטן פײַל אויבן לינקס

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  • הירשע⸗דוד כ″ץ
  • ווילנע, אויף אַלעקסאַנדראָווסקע בולוואַר
  • אַכט טעג אין כסלו תשע″ח \ דעם 26טן נאָוועמבער 2017
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Harvard Publishes “Catalog of the Leyzer Ran Collection in Harvard College Library”



BOOKS  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  VILNIUS JEWISH LIFE

Image (279)VILNIUS—As the first small shipment of Harvard Library’s new book, Catalog of the Leyzer Ran Collection in the Harvard College Library arrived this week in the Lithuanian capital, there was widespread satisfaction that at least a tabulation of the contents of Leyzer Ran’s extensive archive of Jewish Vilna is finally available. The collection was bequeathed to Harvard University where the Library maintains it as a distinct entity with its own name, space, and now, a handsome catalogue brought out by Harvard University. Leyzer Ran (1912-1995) is widely considered to be the primary postwar chronicler of the centuries-old unique Jewish civilization of the city known in Yiddish as Vílne, Yerusholáyim d’Líte — Vilna, Jerusalem of Lithuania. The newly appeared catalogue was compiled and edited by Dr. Charles Berlin, who is Head of Judaica at Harvard Library and Harvard University’s Lee M. Friedman Bibliographer in Judaica.

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Double Genocide: New and Official Form of Holocaust Denial



OPINION  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  POLITICS OF MEMORY

by Dovid Katz

This article appeared today in Jewish Currents:

America was jolted this past summer not only by a neo-Nazi event in Charlottesville, Virginia that left an anti-Nazi protester dead by vehicular homicide, but by President Trump’s “blame on both sides” line, which created in America a microcosm of a debate that has been raging for some years in Eastern Europe among historians of World War II and the Holocaust and several Eastern European governments.

The entire Charlottesville debate was over a bogus moral equivalence that Trump drew between American neo-Nazi demonstrators and those who turned out to oppose them. The larger context was about whether those who who fought for slavery and secession in the Civil War are “the same” as those who fought against slavery and for the Union. Magnify that all a hundred-fold to begin to comprehend what is a major intellectual and political push to contextualize the actual Nazi genocide, the Holocaust, within the Hitlerist “freedom fight” against Soviet Communist domination in Eastern Europe.

Such are our times, in which well-presented postmodernist slop can stultify elementary clarity of thought. In the various cases at hand, different versions of the same bogus moral equivalence strategy of argumentation are used, at a minimum, to make prosaic and palatable that which is inherently beyond the pale, such as state-sponsored public-square adulation for those who collaborated in genocide in Eastern Europe (or, indeed, in slavery).

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“Books in the Works”



by Dovid Katz

BOOKS TO DATE;  PUBLICATIONS TO DATE;  RECENT PUBLICATIONS;  CV;  WEBSITE

UPDATED SPRING 2021

A Cultural Grammar of Yiddish

99 Yiddish Words: A Linguistic, Cultural and Political History

Yiddish Cultural Dictionary: An English-Yiddish Lexicon

in progress online

A Short History of Yiddish

A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Hebrew

in progress online

On The Road in the Old Country: Memoirs of Journeys to the Last Yiddish Mohicans in the Litvak Lands. Vol I: The Last Shtetl Jews. Vol II: In the Erstwhile Cities of Yiddish.

Vilnius Jewish Culture

(folio volume on the scale of Lithuanian Jewish Culture, 2nd edition Baltos Lankos: Vilnius 2010)

A Litvak’s Guide to Modern Vilnius

Normativism Gone Wrong: The Failure of Postwar Yiddish Language Planning

Double Genocide: The East European Plot to Write the Holocaust out of History

The US, NATO, the EU and Israel: A Tilt Toward (East European) Holocaust Denial

Holocaust Denial of the Twenty-First Century


ALSO: Urgently looking for a publisher or agent to enable a new edition of Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of Yiddish, Basic Books: New York 2004, 2nd edition 2007. It has gone out of print with rights reverting to the author.

BOOKS IN YIDDISH

Fifth collection of short stories set in pre World War I Jewish Lithuania. [previous books]

Translation of the Bible into Lithuanian Yiddish

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Antisemitism in the 21st Century Shtetl



 

OPINION  |  ANTISEMITISM  |  COMMEMORATIONS FOR DESTROYED COMMUNITIES

by Dovid Katz

This article appeared today in ISGAP Flashpoint:

The words “antisemitism in the shtetl” might evoke recollections of Fiddler on the Roof, a touch of family lore “from the old country” way back when, or for those familiar with modern Yiddish literature, a scene from this or that writer. Baffling as it may sound, however, it a substantial contemporary topic in the study of antisemitism, and, perhaps even more surprisingly, part of a phenomenon with implications for the future, given the vast number of cities, towns and villages in the world with a rich Jewish history but no living Jews, where potent anti-Jewish feeling (as well as pro-Jewish feeling) can be observed. As noted back in Flashpoint 21, antisemitism in Eastern Europe is very different from its much better known Western and Middle East incarnations.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Malát (Molėtai), News & Views, Norway, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Antisemitism in the 21st Century Shtetl

Is Eastern European “Double Genocide” Revisionism Reaching Museums?



HISTORY  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  MUSEUMS  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED

by Dovid Katz

This paper appeared today in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, published by Taylor and Francis.

ABSTRACT: In contrast to twentieth-century Holocaust Denial, the most recent assault on the narrative of the genocide of European Jewry has emanated from a sophisticated revisionist model known as Double Genocide, codified in the 2008 Prague Declaration. Positing “equality” of Nazi and Soviet crimes, the paradigm’s corollaries sometimes include attempts to rehabilitate perpetrators and discredit survivors. Emanating from pro-Western governments and elites in Eastern Europe in countries with records of high collaboration, the movement has reached out widely to the Holocaust Studies establishment as well as Jewish institutions. It occasionally enjoys the political support of major Western countries in the context of East-West politics, or in the case of Israel, attempts to garner (eastern) European Union support. The empirical effects to date have included demonstrable impact on museums, memorials and exhibits in Eastern Europe and beyond.

The demise of twentieth-century-style Holocaust denial in mainstream Western society is aptly symbolized by David Irving’s loss to Deborah Lipstadt in the London High Court in 2000. But around the same time, a new and more irksome method of writing the Holocaust out of history was emerging under the radar, this time without necessarily denying any of the historical events or a single death. Particularly in Eastern Europe, it was being forged with state funding and more subtle powers of persuasion in academia, the media, the arts and international diplomacy.

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Papers on Double Genocide & East European Holocaust Revisionism & Antisemitism


by Dovid Katz

SEE ALSO: ARTICLES IN THE GUARDIAN; JEWISH CURRENTS; TABLET.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS; ALL PUBLICATIONSBOOKSACADEMIA.EDU.

2019

“On the (Ab)use of Law to Remake the Historical Narrative of World War II” in Mémoires en Jeu / Memories at Stake, no. 9 (Paris), pp. 88 -93. PDF of proof only.

2018

“The Baltic Movement to Obfuscate the Holocaust” in Alex J. Kay and David Stahel (eds), Mass Violence in Nazi-Occupied Europe: New Debates and Perspectives (Indiana University Press: Bloomington, Indiana), pp. 235-261. PDF of proof at: https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Baltic-Movement-to-Obfuscate-the-Holocaust.compressed.pdf.

“Primary Holocaust Inversion and Eastern European Antisemitism” in Charles Asher Small (ed), The ISGAP Papers. Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective, vol. iii (ISGAP: New York), pp. 207-218. PDF of proof at: https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/PDF-of-DK-on-Holocaust-Inversion-ilovepdf-compressed.pdf.

2017

“The Extraordinary Recent History of Holocaust Studies in Lithuania” in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, vol. 31.3 “Scholars’ Forum: Holocaust Historiography in Eastern Europe (Part II)”, pp. 285-295  (December 2017)[http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23256249.2017.1395530?journalCode=rdap20;  PDF of proof at: https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Dovid-Katz-on-Holocaust-Studies-in-Lithuania-PROOF-ONLY-Dec.-2017.pdf].

“Free Trade Awry? The Westward Export of Double Genocide” in Danielle Buschinger et al. (eds.), Mélanges offerts à Jeff Richards par ses amis à l’occasion de son 65e anniversaire, Centre d’Etudes Médiévales de la Picardie: Amiens 2017, pp. 413-443 [proof online at: https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Dovid-Katzs-paper-in-Earl-Jeffrey-Richards-festschrift-2017.pdf].

2016

“Is Eastern European ‘Double Genocide’ Revisionism Reaching Museums?” in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, vol. 30.3: 1–30, 18 Nov. 2016 [http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23256249.2016.1242043 / PDF of proof online at: https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Dovid-Katz-2016-Dapim-paper-PROOF-ONLY.pdf].

“West is West, East is East: The Specific East European Incarnation of Antisemitism” in ISGAP’s Flashpoint 21, 8 April 2016 [http://isgap.org/flashpoint/west-is-west-east-is-east-the-specific-east-european-incarnation-of-antisemitism/].

“Antisemitism in the Twenty-First Century Shtetl” in ISGAP Flashpoint, no. 38, 28 November 2016 [http://isgap.org/flashpoint/antisemitism-in-the-21st-century-shtetl/].

2015

“Left- and Right-Wing Politics” (section in chapter 15,  “Yiddishless Yiddish Power vs. Powerless Yiddish”) in Dovid Katz, Yiddish and Power (Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke 2015), pp. 295-300 in chapter on pp. 275-304.

2014

Review of: Georges Mink and Laure Neumayer, History, Memory and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe: Memory GamesPalgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke 2014. In: East European Jewish Affairs 44.1 (2014): 112-115 [https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Proof-of-Review-of-Minkes-and-Neumayer-Dovid-Katz-2014.pdf].

“Freewheeling Deconstruction of Max Weinreich: Sensationalization of the Fragile Field of Yiddish”  [in Yiddish] in Defending History,  22 June 2014, see section on abuse of Yiddish for far-right Holocaust politics in Lithuania in §VII [https://defendinghistory.com/freewheeling-deconstruction-max-weinreich-ongoing-machinations-weakened-field-yiddish#yiddishabusedforfarrightpolitics].

2013

“On Methodology in Historical Yiddish Linguistics” [in Yiddish] in Defending History, 6 August 2013, see section on the “Holocaust trauma argument” in §II [https://defendinghistory.com/methodology-in-historical-yiddish-linguistics-by-dovid-katz#holocausttrauma].

Review of: Arūnas Bubnys, Vilnius Ghetto 1941–1943, Genocide and Resistance Research Center: Vilnius 2013. In: Defending History, 19 November 2013 [https://defendinghistory.com/genocide-center-releases-a-new-graywash-on-the-vilna-ghetto/60925].

2012

Review of: Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Intermarium: The Land between the Black and the Baltic Seas (Transaction: New Brunswick 2012). In: Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, 7.2 (2013), pp. 169-175 [https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Dovid-Katz-review-of-Intermarium-in-Israel-Journal-of-Foreign-Affairs-7-2-2013.pdf].

2011

“The Detonation of the Holocaust in 1941: A Tale of Two Books” = review of: Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books: New York 2010) and Alexander V. Prusin, The Lands Between: Conflict in the East European Borderlands, 1870-1992, Oxford University Press: Oxford 2010. In: East European Jewish Affairs 41.3 (Dec. 2011), pp. 207-221 [https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Dovid-Katzs-review-of-Bloodlands-in-EEJA-Dec-2011.pdf].

Reply to: Rokas Grajauskas, “Is there a Chance for a Common European Culture of Remembrance?” [in Lithuanian Foreign Policy Review (2010), pp. 110-118]. In: Lithuanian Foreign Policy Review, 7 March 2011, posted on website, initially at: http://lfpr.lt/uploads/File/2010-24/Katz.doc, but not in print version of the journal, and possibly removed at some point from the website. The reply is now available in Defending History at: https://defendinghistory.com/13705/13705.

Review of: Adam Michnik, In Search of Lost Meaning: The New Eastern Europe, edited by Irena Grudzinska Gross, University of California Press: Berkeley 2011. In: East European Jewish Affairs (2012), pp. 187-191 [https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Review-of-Michnik-Dovid-Katz-in-EEJA.pdf].

2010

Participation in forum on a paper by Barry Rubin. In: Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs 4.3 (2010), pp. 189-193 [https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2010IsraelJournalofForeignAffairsDovidKatz.pdf].

2009

“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 et al 2009, pp. 259-277 [https://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/2009SeptDovidKatz3Definitions.pdf].

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Sample clips from videographed interviews with survivors of the Holocaust’s first week in Lithuania;  in Latvia

ARTICLES IN:

Algemeiner Journal 

Global Independent Analytics

The Guardian

Irish Times

Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Currents

Jewish Review of Books

Tablet

Taylor & Francis

Times Higher Education Supplement

Times of Israel 

Various

 

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