Tag Archives: Dovid Katz

Defending the History of: Yiddish at Oxford


Under the leadership of the visionary founder of modern Jewish studies at Oxford University, Dr. David Patterson (1922–2005), the academic research and teaching institution which he created became for around two decades a major world center of Yiddish studies. That institution was the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies (since renamed the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies). Indeed, it was Yiddish in the last quarter of the twentieth century that catapulted the Centre from just another sleepy Hebrew studies unit to a world-class center in advanced studies, including successful doctoral programs that provided a generation of (today’s) professors, and seminal publications in English and Yiddish that will be there for centuries to come. The kind of thing that the current twenty-first century incarnation of the same institution might well look back on with pride and even some nostalgia.

Among today’s scholars, educators, authors and personalities in the wider arts who were attracted to come and study Yiddish by our team, enabled at each stage by Dr. Patterson (in an array of settings ranging from weekly classes through summer courses to doctoral programs) at the Centre between the 1970s and 1990s are Prof. Marion Aptroot, Dr. Helen Beer, Prof. James Dingley, Prof. Jennifer Dowling, Prof. Gennady Estraikh, Mr. Elliot Gertel, Prof. Christopher Hutton, Dr. Devra Kay, Prof. Dov-Ber Kerler, Ms. Miri Koral, Dr. Holger Nath, Prof. Ritchie Robertson, Ms. Elinor Robinson, Mr. David Schneider, Prof. Robert Moses Shapiro, Prof. Astrid Starck, Dr. Heather Valencia, Prof. Nina Warnke, Mr. Tim Whewell, among many others.

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The American Hebrew Day School Boycott of Yiddish: ‘Aleichem Sholem’ and Other Documents from the 1972-1974 Yeshivah of Flatbush Dispute

by Aleichem Sholem staff member (and art director) Eli S. Rosenzweig (from issue no. 4, p. 2, 1974)


In the 1970s, one could still hear an older set of reasonings for the boycott of the study of Yiddish in any American Jewish (/Hebrew) day school: “It’s a primitive ghetto-mentality (and not very nice sounding) galut language (or corrupt jargon) good for the Communists and the Hasidim and those who hate Hebrew and Israel. It would be ridiculous to include it, especially now that it’s a completely dead language.” Nowadays one hears delicatized, politer reformulations of the foregoing, plus less polemic explanations: “It would just be too much on top of English, Hebrew, and one of the major foreign languages. Sorry, it’s a curriculum issue, there’s no time.”

Looking back at Aleichem Sholem, from my high school years (ages 15-18), I am delighted to report that in Nov. 2004, I had a wonderful evening of peace, reconciliation, humor and “speaking only Yiddish as a matter of principle, at the insistence of the hosts” at the Manhattan high rise apartment of Rabbi David Eliach and Dr. Yaffa Eliach at their gracious invitation when I was in New York that month for the publication of Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of YiddishOn a much sadder note, and with lifelong feelings of some indirect guilt: our beloved Talmud teacher Rabbi Oscar (Yechezkal) Lichtman, the school’s major embodiment of East European style Talmudic study (he had studied with the legendary Rabbi Aaron Kotler) was fired once our class graduated, some time had gone by and the issues were out of the public eye, and told it was because of his support for “the Yiddish.” He relocated to Chicago to start a yeshiva there, and passed away in 2007.

The materials below are being collected not only in the interests of those who will fairly study these often misunderstood events of the early 1970s in New York. This little project is dedicated to a long overdue twenty-first century fulsome, serious, proud and successful introduction of Yiddish studies into the curriculum of the American (and international) Hebrew and Jewish day school movement, which can only be enriched and enhanced by enabling hundreds of thousands of pupils to know the language of their own recent ancestors, of a great world literature and of the unique and vast heritage of East European Ashkenazic Jewry.

  — Dovid Katz (Sept. 2022)

  1. Dovid Katz, “51 talmidim in Fletbush yeshive hayskul farlangen ayntsufirn limed fun yidish” [51 Students at Flatbush Yeshiva High School Demand Inclusion of Study of Yiddish” in Forverts, 17 April 1972, p. 5 [plus front page news of Apollo 16 moon landing and bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong].

  2. Dovid Katz, “Nokhamol vegn yidish in der fletbush yeshiva hayskul” [Again About Yiddish at Flatbush Yeshiva High School] (letter to the editor) in Forverts, 12 June 1972, p. 5 [plus article on project for Jewish/Yiddish day school(s) in N.Y. plus front page news on UN Security Council session to adopt means of countering airplane hijacking].

  3. Bernard Bard, “Yiddish Rebels Upset Yeshiva” in The New York Post, 17 August 1972, pp. 2, 38 [apology was received for misspelling of “Dovid”…], [plus front page news of former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark returning to Washington from his visit to North Vietnam].

  4. Aleichem Sholem, no. 1 (Aug.-Sept. 1972).

  5. Aleichem Sholem, no. 2 (Winter 1972).

  6. Aleichem Sholem, no. 3 (Spring 1973).

  7. Aleichem Sholem, no. 4 (Oct. 1973).

  8. Aleichem Sholem, no. 5 (Summer 1974).

  9. A 1975 letter writing campaign to principals of major Hebrew day schools resulted in one sympathetic letter, from Dr. Abraham Zuroff of BTA (Brooklyn Talmudical Academy = Yeshivah University High School for Boys). See 2014 obituary for Dr. A. Zuroff. Question: Does the successor school include Yiddish in the second decade of the 21st century?
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In Honor of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja) on her 100th Birthday (2022)


by Dovid Katz

Compilation of articles, documentaries, videos, and photos. Plus: from the saga of 2008

See Defending History’s Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky Section

Note: This page is a work in progress. A number of older documents, articles, photographs, and recordings remain to be digitized, catalogued, and posted.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Fania Brancovskaja), History, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on In Honor of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja) on her 100th Birthday (2022)

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


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, It Pays to Defend History: Success Over the Years..., 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


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

Sanitizing Mass Murder: A Historical Novelette


by Saul Chapnick  

from today’s TIMES OF ISRAEL

PREFACE: This is a “must-tell” story. It has, for too long, been deliberately kept away from you, the public. It is a fictionalized account of actual events. This tale has all the components of modern day noire: a lone hero, a jaded country, not admitting to its murderous genocidal past, and a once revered institution, experiencing a moral dilemma that could affect her very existence. 

This is the story of Dr. Raphael L. Hatulay and what he has witnessed over the years between the goings on with what we shall call, ASHKI and the Republic of Fenwick. During this process Professor Hatulay has lost almost everything he worked for in life, but he is still fighting for what is right and just. This story deserves to be told.  You deserve to hear it.

“What is the stated mission of a non-profit institution?”  the Public Health professor asked his students nearly five decades ago.

Depending on the agency, the answers provided from the students differed about the stated mission: from feeding the hungry to educating the masses to caring for the elderly.

“Wrong. Wrong, Wrong! Lies, lies, lies!” retorted the professor, who was also the director of a major governmental agency. “The main purpose of charitable organizations and nonprofits is one thing, and one thing only, continuity and survival, no matter what and no matter who gets in the way. Nothing else matters!”

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Humor (Of Sorts), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Saul Chapnick, Yiddish Affairs, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Sanitizing Mass Murder: A Historical Novelette

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



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


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?, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Fania Brancovskaja), 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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Holocaust History Trial Slated for 15 January in Vilnius



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


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


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”


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


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





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


by Dovid Katz (Vilnius)



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.

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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


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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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


See also: Yiddish Mini-Museum of Old Jewish Vilna


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.









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”


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


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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