KAUNAS—The last Holocaust survivors in this city that gave birth to the Lithuanian Holocaust on 23 June 1941 (before the first German soldiers arrived, later that week) are in pain to learn that their government is now investing in foreigner-rich “Jewish” and “Litvak” and “Yiddish” events as part of gala PR for this year’s Kaunas 2022 “Capital of European Culture” program — without also removing the city’s shrines to the most infamous collaborators and perpetrators of the genocide. The Defending History community congratulates Kaunas on the European year of honor, while urging its foreign participants and honorees to politely and with dignity call (publicly!) for Kaunas to kindly remove its prominent state-sponsored public-space shrines, monuments and memorials to major local Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators. By speaking out, with dignity and publicly, they would be successfully countering the moral taint of ipso facto being used as “Useful Jewish Idiots” (known as “UJIs”) to cover for the ongoing failure to remove even one such shrine and thereby participating actively (and having been forewarned) in the current (East European based) incarnation of Holocaust revisionism and denial (covered up with lavish “Jewish events”). By failing to do so, they would bring moral taint upon themselves for all time, while deeply offending the legacy of the victims and survivors, and more broadly, the rights of minorities everywhere to life without genocide.
Tracking media coverage.
Composer and pianist Michael Levinas, the son (and heir and exclusive legal holder of the moral rights to his father’s works) of French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, has publicly protested Lithuania’s naming an institute in Kaunas for his father. See his op-ed in Le Figaro (21 Dec. 2021) [in English]) and his interview in Actualité Juive (13 Jan. 2022) [in English]). Initial coverage by JTA (19 Jan.) does not mention Michael Levinas’s protest, but unusually, the protest has been covered in some detail by Lithuanian mainstream media’s Lrt.lt (9 Jan., updated 17 Jan. 2022) which reported on the refusal of the French Embassy in Vilnius to send any representation to the center’s opening ceremony in Dec. 2021. A report also appeared on the website of the official Lithuanian Jewish Community (10 Jan.). However, a second local Kaunas community posting on 12 Jan. was alone cited by the European Jewish Congress website as an uncontroversial news item.
“Question on everybody’s mind”:
Will the Levinas Center leaders, staff, sponsors and visitors politely ask, with dignity, that the city of Kaunas now, in its year as “Capital of European Culture” rapidly remove state-sponsored shrines to the local murderers of Levinas’s family and the other 30,000 Jewish citizens of Kaunas? Or will the Levinas Center become one of the “Useful Jewish Idiot (UJI) addresses” that are used to cover for current Kaunas policies of glorification of Nazi perpetrators, while providing handsome photo-ops, lavish hospitality and generous amenities to visiting foreign Jewish dignitaries who maintain studious silence on current policies of honoring Holocaust collaborators in the public space (in some cases, a very short walk from the new “Levinas Center”).
Levinas for veterinarians?
Posted in 'Levinas Center' in Kaunas, "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Collaborators Glorified, France, Kaunas, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Emmanuel Levinas, Kaunas Capital of European Culture 2022, Levinas Center in Kaunas, Michael Levinas