Tag Archives: Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF)
Chronology: 2021 Dedicated to Glorifying Juozas Lukša (Daumantas), Alleged Participant in June 1941 Kaunas Atrocities
Lithuania’s National Mažvydas Library Celebrates Adolfas Damušis, a Supporter of Ethnic Cleansing of the Nation’s Jewish Minority
(Department of Philosophy & Cultural Studies, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University)
The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania has just celebrated the opening of the Adolfas Damušis Democratic Studies Center on June 15-16, 2017 with a one-sided view of his life. Gintė Damušytė, Lithuania’s ambassador to Denmark, and Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius founded the Center in 2013 to honor the memory of her father, Adolfas Damušis (1908-2003). He was a chemist and lifelong idealist. As a Catholic youth activist, he was arrested in 1931 by Smetona’s autocratic regime and held at the Varniai concentration camp for half a year. In 1941, he was one of the organizers in Kaunas of the anti-Soviet uprising on June 23, 1941, the leader of the Lithuanian Activist Front’s military staff in Kaunas, and the Minister of Industry in Lithuania’s short-lived Provisional Government. In 1944-1945, he was held by the Gestapo in a prison in Bayreuth, northern Bavaria, for his anti-Nazi activities. In the US, he served as the leader of the Lithuanian Catholic youth organization “Ateitis” (the Future) and many other organizations, and worked as an editor for “Radio Free Europe”.
The following is the first column of page 898 of Professor Dov Levin’s entry, “Lithuania,” in volume 3 of Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (Israel Gutman, editor-in-chief; published by Macmillan, New York, and Collier Macmillan, London, 1990, in cooperation with Yad Vashem: The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem). Further reading on the subject. Eyewitness testimonies.
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LONDON—British author Peter Jukes, best known for his screenplays, literary criticism and political journalism, tweeted last week on the release in the United States of a new documentary film that heroizes certain postwar anti-Soviet “forest brothers” in Lithuania. The film, “The Invisible Front,” that premiered in Greenwich Village’s prestigious Cinema Village theater on 7 November, fails to even mention the view that various of the specific figures it glorifies for their post 1944 activities were in fact alleged recycled Nazi collaborators of 1941. That was the year when, in the days following the Nazi invasion launched on 22 June, the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) started butchering local civilian Jews, often elderly rabbis or young women, before the first German forces had arrived. Premeditation becomes evident from perusal of the LAF’s prewar leaflets.
The news release, which was also circulated widely via the WUPJ’s emailed news reports, follows by half a year the SYD’s endorsement by Britain’s major Orthodox union, The United Synagogue, in the summer of 2013. [SYD text in European languages]
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.
What follows is my commentary on that interview.
Landsbergis’s New Book Tries (Yet Again) to Sanitize the 1941 Hitlerist “Provisional Government” of Lithuania
B O O K S
by Geoff Vasil
Vytautas Landsbergis, Rezistencijos pradžia [“The Beginning of the Resistance: June 1941: Documents on the Six-Week Provisional Government of Lithuania”], Vilnius 2012.
MEP Vytautas Landsbergis, former speaker of the Lithuanian parliament and leader of the Lithuanian independence movement in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, unveiled his latest polemic at a ceremony cum press conference held on the first floor of the Signatarų Namai building in Vilnius’s Old Town on September 11, 2012, the historic site where Lithuanian independence was proclaimed from the balcony to the street below sometime around February 16, 1918.
This small book—there’s only 22 pages written by Landsbergis, the rest is a motley collection of supposedly historic documents—is an attempt to answer criticism of the Lithuanian Government and Catholic Church’s ceremonial reburial of Lithuanian Nazi puppet prime minister Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis and other concurrent celebrations in the spring of 2012.
The Holocaust in Lithuania, and Its Obfuscation, in Lithuanian Sources
by Yitzhak Arad
Editor’s note: Yitzhak Arad explained that Yad Vashem had refused to publish this paper, and that he did not accept the reasons given, believing that in fact politics were at work. The Defending History community is honored to be able to pubish Dr. Arad’s paper.
C O N T E N T S:
Systematic Mass Murder: German Design and Command, Lithuanian Perpetration (late July–November 1941)
The Rewriting of Holocaust History and the Double Genocide Thesis — “The Jewish Holocaust and the Lithuanian Holocaust”
In Lithuania, as in other places in Europe conquered by Nazi Germany, a thorough and comprehensive inquiry into the tragic events that occurred compels consideration of three factors:
On the Recent Amateur Treatments of the Role of the Provisional Government of 1941 in the Mass Media
O P I N I O N
by Shimon Alperovich
Authorized translation from Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil of the 26 June 2012 statement issued by Dr. Shimon Alperovich (Simonas Alperavičius), chairperson of the Jewish Community of Lithuania. Posted on the community’s website at: http://www.lzb.lt/en/home/691-recent.html. According to sources in the community, Dr. Alperovich wrote this in response to an article on Delfi.lt by Vidmantas Valiušaitis called “Why are Historians Afraid of the Facts?” (Lithuanian text here), and when Delfi allegedly declined to publish Dr. Alperovich’s response, the community placed it on its own webpage and elsewhere.
Recently there has been an increasing number of internet articles by amateur, non-professional authors without training in history expressing approval for the actions of the 1941 Provisional Government of Lithuania toward the Jews of Lithuania, without regard for the antisemitic actions of that government in the context of the mass murder of the Jews of Lithuania already underway at that time.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community earlier provided an assessment of the Lithuanian Activist Front and the Provisional Government.
It is saddening that the authors of these texts choose to ignore the conclusions of professional historians as well as the findings of the special commission established by decree of former president Valdas Adamkus and operating under the Lithuanian government, which clearly and categorically judges the actions of the LAF and PG thus:
2015 DEBATE:Balčiūnas, Gochin, Kanovich, and Valatka: Asking for Vilnius to take down plaques and street names that honor Holocaust collaborators. But petition to mayor from group of intellectuals stays “secret”. PLUS: Some local media regards discussion itself as “a Russian plot”…
EVENTS HONORING 1941 PERPETRATORS; REBURIAL OF 1941 NAZI PUPPET PM IN 2012; ALTERNATIVE TOURISM. SECTIONS OF EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS AND MILAN CHERSONSKI. READING LIST ON THE LITHUANIAN HOLOCAUST
“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.”
Glorification of 23 June 1941
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.]
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:
(4) On the Šiauliai Region government building in Šiauliai:
Street name in Kaunas:
and in central Vilnius:
The Seventy Years Declaration
on the Anniversary of the Final Solution Conference at Wannsee
On this the 70th anniversary of the formal adoption by the Nazi leadership of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Problem” we the undersigned
Lithuanian Ministry of Defense Honors ‘Lithuanian Activist Front’ (LAF) Nazi Collaborators (announced without comment on ‘Bernardinai’)
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by Dovid Katz
The campaign to distort World War II history in the direction of East European far-right models and to glorify local Nazi collaborators and perpetrators continues apace.
Bernardinai.lt, usually a bastion of tolerance and resistance against racism and ultranationalism, today published without comment a press release from the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense verbatim, about yesterday’s ministry activities honoring the Nazi-collaborating Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF), on the occasion of an anniversary of the killing of some of its leaders and members by Soviet forces.