by Tord Björk
The Nazis wanted to exterminate a race and Karl Marx wanted to exterminate a social class. Our guide at the House of European History museum (HEH) in Brussels is twisting her tongue as she tries to solve the task of simultaneously explaining that Communism and Nazism are the same thing, and yet, somehow not. Visually, the impression of the museum’s exhibition is overwhelmingly slanted toward the notion that they are fully, inexorably and inherently equivalent.
Towering above us in the ideologically most intense part of the museum are huge video screens tilted towards the visitor. These screens, on four islands in the room, are so large that in spite of the hall being generously spacious, they fill up the room. The spectator can feel small in their shadow. On the screens the masses march in honor of the dictator, people are violently oppressed and the imagery makes this museum’s point very clearly: the interwar period was marked by the very same conflict as that after the war until the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin wall fell. That single conflict that is posited as God’s-honest-truth-fact is between Western democracy and (any kind of) totalitarianism. The technically impressive format is meticulously balanced: two huge screens each for the horrific methods of Communism and Nazism. The similarity is indeed visually striking. Stalin and Hitler—in that order— are omnipresent in the midst of terror. As a climax, the hammer and the sickle are projected at the same time as the swastika in meticulously equal format.
Today’s edition of The Architects’ Journal (AJ) gracefully announces that Tszwai So, director of Spheron Architects, has been declared the winner of the “international competition to design a pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism.” Mr. So, named a rising star in British Architecture in 2016, is widely acclaimed as one of the most illustrious younger talents of European architecture in our time. Our team feels certain that he would be the first to wish to be apprised of an ulterior political program behind a seemingly neutral architectural project which will now be exploiting his reputation, and his firm’s, as well as his actual design, in promoting a political project that is vastly more controversial than meets the eye at first acquaintance.
Mr. So and Spheron Architects, like the other contestants, were most likely unaware that the sponsor of the competition, the Prague-based Platform of European Memory and Conscience, known for short in Eurocircles as the Prague Platform, is the prime European engine for the far-right movement of World War II history revisionism that is increasingly becoming known as Double Genocide. That phenomenon was recently among the main points of a New York Times article by Pulitzer Prize winning correspondent Rod Nordland concerning the “Genocide Museum” here in Vilnius, which has close ties with the “Prague Platform” in the pursuit of Double Genocide politics in the European Union.
Posted in Arts, Belgium, Double Genocide, EU, Human Rights, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform"
Tagged Double Genocide, Prague Declaration, Prague Platform for European Conscience, Spheron Architects, Tszwai So
This paper appeared today in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, published by Taylor and Francis.
ABSTRACT: In contrast to twentieth-century Holocaust Denial, the most recent assault on the narrative of the genocide of European Jewry has emanated from a sophisticated revisionist model known as Double Genocide, codified in the 2008 Prague Declaration. Positing “equality” of Nazi and Soviet crimes, the paradigm’s corollaries sometimes include attempts to rehabilitate perpetrators and discredit survivors. Emanating from pro-Western governments and elites in Eastern Europe in countries with records of high collaboration, the movement has reached out widely to the Holocaust Studies establishment as well as Jewish institutions. It occasionally enjoys the political support of major Western countries in the context of East-West politics, or in the case of Israel, attempts to garner (eastern) European Union support. The empirical effects to date have included demonstrable impact on museums, memorials and exhibits in Eastern Europe and beyond.
The demise of twentieth-century-style Holocaust denial in mainstream Western society is aptly symbolized by David Irving’s loss to Deborah Lipstadt in the London High Court in 2000. But around the same time, a new and more irksome method of writing the Holocaust out of history was emerging under the radar, this time without necessarily denying any of the historical events or a single death. Particularly in Eastern Europe, it was being forged with state funding and more subtle powers of persuasion in academia, the media, the arts and international diplomacy.
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, EU, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Genocide Museum Vilnius, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust museums, Holocaust Revisionism, Prague Declaration, Seventy Years Declaration
NEW YORK—At least a few viewers of the Fox News Channel’s premier prime time program, “The O’Reilly Factor” were taken aback to hear Bill O’Reilly spurt out last night, in his best high-school teacher by-the-way factual tone, “Stalin was as bad as Hitler! Alright, it’s the same thing!” during a segment presented as uncontested truth. The guest inspiring the “truism” was Mr. Marion Smith, executive director of the Washington DC based “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation” (sometimes known for short as VOC).
Posted in Double Genocide, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", United States
Tagged Bill O'Reilly, Bill O'Reilly and Israel, Bill O'Reilly and Jewish issues, Bill O'Reilly and Jews, Double Genocide, Fox News and Jewish issues, Hitler and Stalin, Marion Smith, O'Reilly Factor and Holocaust issues, Prague Declaration, Prague Platform for European Memory and Conscience, The O'Reilly Factor, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
VILNIUS—The news portal Delfi.lt reported yesterday on Lithuanian sharpshooting star Ronaldas Račinskas making a hit at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics not only for his talents with a rifle, but on his work back home for which the headline calls him the “Nazi-Soviet hunter,” in the latest of a long series of Holocaust terms appropriated and ably recast by the Red-Brown movement’s PR wizzards. Besides heading a commission that now includes the gentleman who launched the campaign, a decade ago, to “hunt” Holocaust survivors who joined the Jewish partisans, his “Nazi and Soviet hunting” refers to his role as Director of the Secretariat of that comission, popularly known as the Red-Brown Commission, a state-financed entity that is one of the main European engines for spreading the revisionist far right’s “Double Genocide” model of World War II history. In that history, as an example, those who liberated Auschwitz are declared to be equal in principle to those who committed the genocide there. Moreover the movement’s primary document, the 2008 Prague Declaration (PD), insists that all European “minds” accept the revised history and regard Nazi and Soviet crimes as equal, a stance widely considered to be a camouflage for obfuscating and diminishing the Holocaust. The response in the European arena came in the form of the 2012 Seventy Years Declaration (SYD).
Director of the Secretariat of the state-sponsored International Commission on the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania (known for short as the “Red-Brown Commission”) is a sharpshooting star at the Rio Olympics. He has rapidly brought red-brown politics into the apolitical environment of the Olympic Games. His views on the Holocaust feature in a new German documentary.
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Double Genocide, Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Double Genocide, International Commission for the Evaluation of Nazi and Soviet Crimes (Vilnius), Prague Declaration, Red-Brown Commission, Rio Olympics and Baltic politics, Ronaldas Racinskas, Sarunas Liekis, Vilnius Yiddish Institute
The following text is the original draft, submitted on 20 January 2015 at the invitation of the London Jewish Chronicle. An edited version (processed with all courtesies to the author) appeared in the JC on 22 January. This version is posted here simply to emphasize the author’s belief that ceremonies at Auschwitz that do not address the current massive campaign by eastern EU states to downgrade and obfuscate the Holocaust are unwittingly part of a cover-up of the very unique historical phenomena they are meant to accurately preservce and pass on. The related issue of whether Russia’s leaders will be invited to the ceremonies has been analyzed in recent pieces by Efraim Zuroff and Pinchos Fridberg.
No Cover-Up at Auschwitz!
The heralded 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz approaches, amidst a grand oblivion to what is happening before our very eyes to the actual history of the Holocaust. If we fail to speak out about the irksome issues too, the pomp and circumstance ipso facto morph into an unsavoury cover-up.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, 70 Years Declaration, Dovid Katz, EU, Events, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Auschwitz commemorations, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Holocaustw Remembrance Day, Prague Declaration, Seventy Years Declaration
Dan Stone’s new book, Goodbye to All That? A History of Europe Since 1945 (Oxford University Press, March 2014) has some discussion on the “Battle of the Declarations” in Europe: the Prague Declaration (“PD” of 2008) and the Seventy Years Declaration (“SYD” of 2012).
Each of the declarations has its own website: the PD at praguedeclaration.eu; SYD at: seventyyearsdeclaration.org. The SYD was produced as an initiative of Defending History, which has its (openly partisan) section on the Seventy Years Declaration, its text in European languages, and a page of critiques of the Prague Declaration. The SYD’s launch was greeted by the then Lithuanian foreign minister’s “moustache comparison” and his attack on the eight Lithuanian parliamentarians who had signed it. The 2012 documentary film Rewriting History focuses on the origins of the Seventy Years Declaration.
The following is a brief excerpt from Dan Stone’s Goodbye to All That? from page 281:
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Books, Documents, Double Genocide, History, News & Views, Politics of Memory
Tagged Dan Stone, Double Genocide, Goodbye to All That A History of Europe Since 1945, Lithuanian Activist Front, Prague Declaration, Seventy Years Declaration, Waffen SS in Latvia and Estonia
MP John Mann (photo: Guardian)
2013: “It is an industrial rewriting of history in Eastern Europe to excuse mass murders carried out on behalf of the Nazis.”
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, Genocide Center (Vilnius), John Mann, UK MP, News & Views, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom
Tagged Double Genocide, John Mann, MP, Prague Declaration
O P I N I O N
This opinion piece and eyewitness report by Geoff Vasil relates to the July 10th event in honor of the Red-Brown Commission held at the Vilnius Jewish Public Library. See related reports on the library’s instrumentalization as a PR platform for the Commission and the more or less contemporaneous announcement of the Commission’s resumed activities, in the absence of apologies to Yitzhak Arad, Pinchos Fridberg, and the other accused Holocaust survivors.
Attendees at the July 10, 2013 event to honor the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania” were treated to speeches and plentiful Katz-bashing by (from right) Ronaldas Račinskas, Saulius Sužiedėlis and Ilya Lempertas.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", "Vilnius Jewish Public Library", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Double Games, Events, Geoff Vasil, Humor (Of Sorts), Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, The Great SLS About-Face, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas
Tagged Double Genocide, Geoff Vasil, Holocaust in Lithuania, Ilya Lempertas, International Commission for the Evalluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania, Israel Lempert (Izraelis Lempertas), Karen Sutton, Kerry Keys, Massacre of the Jews in Lithuania, Mikhail Iossel, Prague Declaration, Saulius Suziedelis, Seventy Years Declaration, SLS Vilnius, Vilnius Jewish Public Library, Zilvinas Bieliauskas
• Saulius Beržinis and Ona Biveinienė on the Holocaust in Jurbarkas (Yurberik).
• Alicija Žukauskaitė’s An Elegy for Honey and Tar (on the Holocaust in Lithuania).
• Daiva Čepauskaitė’s Kaunas play, Day and Night.
• Liza ruft!
• Assorted clips.
Major New Film About Rescuers:
• The Pit of Life and Torment, by Lilija Kopač, Danutė Selčinskaja, Algis Liutkevičius and Anatolijus Tetiušinas, based on the life story of Moyshe Kukliansky and his family.
Films focused on Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, and including the nexus of failure of certain governments to take seriously the prosecution of Nazi war criminals and the quest to distort history:
In spite of the repeated visible damage to Lithuania’s standing emanating from previous attempts, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now announced that red-brown politics in the service of Double Genocide would be one of the goals of its upcoming stint in the rotating presidency of the European Union.
There was diplomatic blood on the floor following the foreign ministry’s failed attempt to insinuate Double Genocide into the Stockholm Program in 2010 (reports here, here, and here).
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, EU, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, News & Views, Politics of Memory
Tagged Bloodlands, Double Genocide, Foreign Minister Azubalis, Jewish + Lithuania, Prague Declaration, Roger Cohen, Seventy Years Declaration, Timothy Snyder
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
NOTE: This is an authorized republication of today’s letter, which first appeared in the online Algemeiner Journal. [Update: It then appeared in the AJ’s print edition on 25 May, pp. 2, 4, 5.]
Greetings, and sorry we missed each other in Vilnius this time. I write in the context of our ongoing and respectful conversation, which started in the Guardian (thanks to Matt Seaton, and prominently including Efraim Zuroff) back in 2010 (I, II, III, IV); continuing through our meeting at Yale, the Aftermath Conference in Melbourne, Australia, in 2011 (thanks to Mark Baker, and with participation of Jan Gross and Patrick Desbois), and more recently, via my review of your book Bloodlands (along with Alexander Prusin’s The Lands Between), in East European Jewish Affairs.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Books, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, Yivo Manipulated?
Tagged Bloodlands, Efraim Zuroff, Jewish + Lithuania, Jonathan Brent, Mark Baker, Matt Seaton, Prague Declaration, Timothy Snyder, Yivo, Yivo Lithuania
Developments have started moving quickly in the ill-starred project to host the current foreign minister of Lithuania as “guest of honor” at a Tel Aviv “gala” at the Dan Panorama Hotel on March 5th.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Israel, Joseph Melamed, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, South Africa
Tagged Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, Audronius Azubalis, Double Genocide, Holocaust in Lithuania, Joseph Melamed, Litvaks, Prague Declaration, Telfed
The foreign minister of Lithuania did not wait until the day was over.
“It is not possible to find differences between Hitler and Stalin except in their moustaches (Hitler’s was shorter).”
— The Foreign Minister of Lithuania, commenting upon the Seventy Years Declaration in the early hours of 20 January 2012, 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Double Genocide, Lithuania, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Yivo Manipulated?
Tagged Algirdas Sysas, Audronius Azubalis, Azubalis Hitler Stalin moustache, Double Genocide + Lithuania, Dr. Jonathan Brent, Emanuelis Zingeris, Justinas Karosas, Last Monday in Tel Aviv, Paul Berger, Prague Declaration, Vygaudas Ušackas
O P I N I O N
by Efraim Zuroff
I hate to spoil the Havel and the Jews festival in the wake of his demise, but I feel that it is important to point out a terrible mistake Havel made which directly relates to Jewish affairs. I am referring to his signing the Prague Declaration of June 3, 2008 (along with 39 other East European politicians and intellectuals), which basically equates Communist crimes with those of the Nazis, warns that “Europe will not be united unless it is able to unite its history [and] recognize Communism and Nazism as a common legacy”and seeks to deny the Holocaust its deserved status as a unique case of genocide.
Posted in Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, EU, Events, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Efraim Zuroff, Have + Prague Declaration, Havel + Jewish + Prague Declaration, Havel + Jews, Prague Declaration, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Vaclav Havel
Updates (newest first):
The following is DefendingHistory.com’s translation (from the tape) of the concluding speech of the 29-30 June 2011 conference (reports here and here), delivered by Ronaldas Račinskas, director general (sometimes listed as executive director) of the government sponsored ‘International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania’ (known for short as the ‘Red-Brown Commission’), which is housed in the Office of the Prime Minister of Lithuania. It can serve as a potent example of the state-sponsored Holocaust Obfuscation movement which presents one face domestically, a second in the European Parliament, and a third to naive Western Holocaust Studies groups.
Simple, really. Tell the locals there was no Holocaust, just a complicated morass of mixed-up perpetrators and victims (and heck, those Jews were mostly communists anyway). Tell the European Parliament there were two equal genocides and they must legislate the equality of totalitarian regimes. And tell the foreign Jews and the West you need money to pursue Holocaust studies and commemoration. They’ll have to believe you. After all, you’re in the prime minister’s office of an EU government. Elementary, really?
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, Events, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, News & Views, Plungyán (Plungė), US State Dept Manipulated?, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas, Yad Vashem Manipulated?
Tagged director general of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, executive director of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes of Lithuania, Historical Commission Lithuania, Holocaust in Lithuania, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Prague Declaration, Racinskas Holocaust Obfuscation, Račinskas tricks Holocaust museums abroad, Račinskas's double dealing with the Jewish community, Red-Brown Commission, Ronaldas Racinskas
DefendingHistory.com has announced the free availability of a frequently updated resource page that provides links for select major expressions of opposition to the 2008 Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism. The page is available here or by visiting:
Posted in Double Genocide, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Double Genocide, East European antisemitism, Emanuelis Zingeris, Equal evaluation of totalitarian regimes, Holocaust Distortion, Holocaust Obfuscation, Prague Declaration, Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, Prague Process, Reconciliation of Ejurope, Reconciliation of European Histories, Red-Brown movement