O P I N I O N
by Geoff Vasil
In an interview posted on the Delfi website on June 21, 2013, Lithuanian government historian Arūnas Bubnys, head of department for the Orwellian- or even Kafkaesque-sounding Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of the Residents of Lithuania, once again lent support to the pro-Nazi Lithuanian Quisling government that seized power on June 23, 1941.
The interview, titled “Lithuanian Historian: June Uprising was Rehabilitation for Shameful Surrender to Soviets,” is available here. An English translation is provided here.
What follows is my commentary on that interview.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Geoff Vasil, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Arunas Bubnys, Center for the Study of Genocide and Resistance (Lithuania), Genocide Center Vilnius, Geoff Vasil, Holocaust in Lithuania, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes, Kazys Škirpa, Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF), Provisional Government of Lithuania in 1941 (PG), Ronaldas Racinskas, World War II
O P I N I O N
The Defending History community welcomes today’s news that a street (and/or square) in the Verkiai district, Vilnius’s northernmost neighborhood (and popularly considered to be just north of the city), may be named for Ona Šimaitė, the enormously courageous librarian who defied the Nazis and their local collaborators by risking her life to save Jewish citizens of the country. But this is a confusing signal that can easily be construed to send the wrong message. Her street deserves to be right in the city center! Šimaitė’s life has recently come to new and deserved attention thanks to Julia Sukys’s important recent book, Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Simaite.
“Lithuania has her magnificent real heroes of 1941: the inspirational people who saved an innocent neighbor from the LAF and Provisional Government’s reign of genocide, starting with the war’s first week. They are that year’s heroes of history who should be honored. May their families live to see streets and squares named for them.”
(1) Lecture Hall at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas (in the spirit of a “Marshal Pétain Auditorium” at Vichy, Bordeaux or Paris):
(2) Bas Relief at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas:
NOTE: In spring of 2012, the Lithuanian government repatriated the remains and glorified the memory of the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister. A vice-rector at Vytautas Magnus University went on to praise the reburial as affirmation of the “drama of Lithuanian history” and to complain that people are afraid to speak on this subject because “the Jews will hit them over a head with a club.”
The Lithuanian Holocaust was initiated when dehumanization, taunting, humiliation, pillage and murder of Jews was initiated in dozens of locations by “freedom fighters” of the LAF and other nationalist groups before the arrival of German forces. Some six centuries of legendary coexistence were brought to an abrupt end on 23 June 1941 when the Jewish minority was subject to degradation, harm and murder. Readings. Eyewitness testimonies. [Historic note: the far right’s “explanation” that the murderers of Jewish neighbors were “heroic anti-Soviet rebels” is demonstrably nonsense. The Soviet occupiers were fleeing the German attack initiated on 22 June 1941.]
Street name in Vilnius:
Whitewash in the New “Holocaust Room” (!) at the Genocide Museum in Vilnius:
Hundreds of local Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators are among those the Soviets after the war tried, killed and then buried at Tuskulėnai. The participation in Nazi atrocities by many of those buried here remains unmentioned on the Genocide Center or Vilnius municipality websites which describe the site as a memorial for the victims of Soviet rule buried there. See Milan Chersonski in DefendingHistory.
Street in Kaunas:
Square in Ukmergė:
(1) Plaque on the Library of the National Academy of Sciences in central Vilnius:
(2) High on the wall of national heroes inscribed on the facade of the Genocide Museum on the main boulevard of Vilnius:
(3) Street name in Kaunas:
(4) On the Šiauliai Region government building in Šiauliai:
Street name in Kaunas:
and in central Vilnius: