VILNIUS—Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius), candidate for the leadership of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, today issued a statement on his public Facebook page inviting members of the community to participate in the electoral conference for chairperson of the Vilnius Jewish Community, to be held this Wednesday evening 24 May 2014 6 PM (18:00) at the Karolina Hotel in Vilnius. His statement, in Lithuanian, reminds readers that the recent attempts to cancel the conference (whose date was democratically voted on by a clear majority of Vilnius Jewish Community Board members) would result in the application of the “new rules” decided on in the middle of the current campaign that would effectively disenfranchise 2,200 Vilnius Jews by recounting their votes from the present 22 or so (via the longstanding formula of 100 people = one vote) to one vote, while each of the elite power brokers in the chairperson’s circle (not all of whom live in Lithuania) would in effect have the votes to decide the entire future of the Jewish community, resulting in a tragic undermining of the future of the actual living Jewish people in Lithuania. To make matters worse, various of these “machers” have two or three votes each.
Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), Free Speech & Democracy, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Shádov (Šeduva), Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius)
Tagged Faina Kukliansky, Gercas Žakas, Lithuanian Jewish Community elections, Maceva, Šeduva Jewish Memorial Fund, Sergejus Kanovicius, Sergey Kanovich, Sheduva Lost Shtetl Museum, Shmuel Levin, Simonas Gurevicius (Simon Gurevich)
VILNIUS—Interviews by several Defending History staffers with several dozen members of Vilnius’s Jewish community over the past several days have turned up what seems to be a widespread sense of (citing terms that recurred frequently in the conversations) “disappointment” or “shock” at the “unbelievable changing of the rules of an election in the middle of the campaign.” (Such mini-surveys are not scientific, and a professional survey of today’s Jewish community on a number of issues is a critical desideratum here.)
The change seems to be in the cause of in effect disenfranchising the actual living Jews of Lithuania by suddenly decoupling the numbers of living, resident Jews from votes cast for the leadership of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, for which elections are scheduled, as of today, for May 28th (for recent developments see the DH section on Vilnius Jewish Life). A number of those interviewed mentioned the role of the “Good Will Foundation” that allocates funding for the community’s administration, including elections, from the government finance provided as restitution for prewar communal religious Jewish property. Some of its allocations have been highly controversial.
Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Shádov (Šeduva)
Tagged Democracy in Eastern Europe, Jewish community structures in Eastern Europe, Jews in Lithuania, Lithuanian Jewish Community, Lost Shtetl Project (Seduva), Maceva, Šeduva Jewish Memorial Fund, Seduva Lost Shtetl Museum, Šeduva shtetl museum, Vilnius Jewish community
VILNIUS—Public opposition to the placing of a twenty-five million dollar convention center in the heart of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery has come from an array of individuals and organizations, in Vilnius and internationally.
Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory, US Commission for Preservation of the American Heritage Abroad
Tagged Committee for Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe, CPJCE, Department of Cultural Heritage (Lithuania), European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative, Jewish cemetert at Piramont (Snipiskes), Litvak Cemetery Catalogue, Lo Tishkach, Maceva, Snipiskes, The U.S. Commission for the Preservation of the American Heritage Abroad, USCPAHA, Vilnius Jewish cemetery
Lithuanian Anti-Fascist Group Mounts Protest in Kaunas Against Glorification of 1941 LAF Killers on Anniversary of the Day the Killing Started
Courageous Antifa Lietuva banner reads: “Real heroes rescued people instead of killing them. Remember the victims of the Holocaust”
Milan Chersonski was there. His report on the event. His take: “Let the world know that not everyone in Lithuania tolerates the distortion of history.”
Milan Chersonski (second from right) is not the only one in town taking pictures of the banner and the handful of demonstrators. Police photographed anti-fascist participants and asked names and addresses (as last February).
The group of courageous demonstrators at the Lietukis Garage memorial, in a city-center courtyard in Kaunas
Milan Chersonski walks with the small group of Antifa Lietuva demonstrators who marched the same route though Kaunas old town that throngs of neo-Nazis take each year on February 16th. This year the neo-Nazis’ banner had honored the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister on whose watch the Lithuanian Holocaust began.
Could there really be a “June 23rd Street” in Vilnius?
Background: Evaldas Balčiūnas; Milan Chersonski; Section on collaborators glorified. Honors for collaborators in public spaces. Reburial of 2012. Historical readings. More on June 1941.
Street name in Kaunas for the head of the “Lithuanian Activist Front” (in Berlin) whose hateful radio addresses incited mobs to mass murder.
The lecture hall at Vytautas Magnus University named for the actual Nazi puppet prime minister Juozas Ambrazevičius (Brazaitis) who signed papers confirming German orders for sending the Jews of his city (KAUNAS) to a concentration camp, and for incarcerating all the rest in the ghetto. The 2012 reburial saga.
Leena Hietanen (Tallinn) on the bestseller novel Purge:
Still no apology to commission’s former (& founding) member Yitzhak Arad after massive state-sponsored defamation
In 2013, Commission defames Vilnius survivor Pinchos Fridberg on its website, and uses conference in Riga to attack Defending History. Commission member from the Genocide Center uses 23 June 2013 in newest attempt to whitewash 1941 LAF collaborators and perpetrators, in defiance of the history. Accidental omission? His entry on Commission members’ list (with no hint of “completely separate subcommissions”) omits the “detail” that he is director of the “Genocide and Resistance Research Department” at the Genocide Center…
The Clock is Ticking…
TO EVERY THING THERE IS A TIME UNDER THE SUN…
A Need for De-Obfuscation?
Newest Word for Holocaust Revisionism in Eurospeak? “ISTME” (pronounced Is-it-me?) comes under “Science and Technology”!
Is the EU Again Being Bamboozled with “Double Genocide”? Are fine scholars again unwittingly instrumentalized for DG?
Shrines for Nazis, in the EU
He was honored by the central government too in a fiasco including Kaunas’s university. Its leading historian told the press that reburying the fascist underlines “the drama of Lithuanian history” and lamented that administrators were “afraid of getting hit over the head by the Jews with a club.” The city’s Jewish population, once over 30,000, is now several hundred, close to statistical zero.
Defending History urges people of conscience politely to refrain from entering the building until the shrines are removed.
What was going on in Kaunas (Kovno) during the tenure of the June-August 1941 “Provisional Government”? Here, white-armbanders loyal to the gov take women citizens to humiliation and death because they are Jewish…
Related: Evaldas Balčiūnas on a military academy named for someone with Nazi-era biographical gaps…..
28-30 May 2013
Fireworks in Jerusalem
27-28 May 2013
On the Watch, In Real Time
CHECKING ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE:
DEFENDING HISTORY SUPPORTS HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS, RESISTANCE HEROES AGAINST NAZISM, EAST EUROPEAN JEWISH COMMUNITIES, YIDDISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE; WITH EMPHASIS ON THE LITVAK CULTURE, LEGACY, HISTORY AND FUTURE
22 May 2013
Admirers, in Vilnius, say ‘Happy Birthday’ on Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky’s 91st
Veteran of the Vilna Jewish partisans, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky answers questions from an international audience that came to celebrate her 91st birthday (at the Jewish Community of Lithuania, in the room dedicated to veterans of the Jewish resistance against the Nazis). She was one of the victims, in recent years, of local prosecutors’ kangaroo “war crimes investigations” against Lithuanian Jews who survived the Holocaust precisely because they joined the anti-Nazi resistance.
There is still time for Lithuania’s government to end the six hundred year pre-Holocaust sharing of space in the spirit of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania on the happier note of reconciliation via public apologies to the defamed Jewish partisans (who continue to be defamed in new publications, e.g. “Intermarium” and on Wikipedia etc).
14-15 May 2013
Survivor circles express quiet regret that DC’s Holocaust Museum (USHMM) unwittingly supports revisionist agenda by legitimizing, via simple participation, another Double Genocide event in Europe. At earlier events, USHMM was one of an array of “useful Western legitimizers” but this time around it is the only one.
9 May 2013
Jewish Community of Lithuania Honors Veterans of the War Against Hitler
Jewish children lead each of the surviving Jewish veterans of World War II to the rapturous welcome of a huge crowd at the Jewish Community of Lithuania’s headquarters in central Vilnius.
O P I N I O N
by Joseph Levinson
Joseph Levinson (Josifas Levinsonas) in Vilnius, 2013. Courtesy of the Levinson family.
On April 25th 2013 an event dedicated to the recording, maintenance and preservation of old Jewish cemeteries in Lithuania was held at the Vilnius premises of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. It was organized by the NGO “Maceva” and chaired by one of the NGO’s founders and leading figures, himself a resident of Brussels.
The April 25th evening in Vilnius went “smoothly” until a veteran member of the Jewish Community politely pointed out that much of the work that the NGO was taking credit for and presented as a miracle dropped from the heavens had in fact been carried out many years earlier by the very Jewish Community in whose premises the event was held. There was a moment of shock when the event’s chairman reacted by saying “There are different kinds of Jews!” instead of thanking the senior member of our community for his well-intentioned, polite and factual corrective remarks from the floor.
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
Vytautas Landsbergis is one of the giants of the late twentieth century. Along with Poland’s Lech Wałęsa and then-Czechoslovakia’s Václav Havel, Landsbergis led his people from foreign domination to freedom and democracy. Nothing these gentlemen might later on have said or done to their own legacies, particularly in the subsequent century, can detract from their singular achievements in contributing to the downfall of the Soviet Union and the freedom of the subjugated nations on its western periphery.
Posted in Double Games, Dovid Katz, Human Rights, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Legacy of 23 June 1941, LGBT Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roma
Tagged Ambrazevicius Brazaitis, Jewish + Lithuania, Maceva, SLS (Summer Literary Seminars), Vytautas Landsbergis