Tag Archives: Red-Brown movement
Yad Vashem, Causing Pain to Survivors with Participation in Lith. Parliament Conference Lauding Collaborators, Withdraws at Last Moment (after Defending History’s Plea)
UPDATE 1: On 27 June 2011 at 3:31 PM (Vilnius time), the Israeli Embassy in Riga (responsible for Lithuania as well as Latvia) emailed DefendingHistory.com to say that Yad Vashem’s participation in the event has been cancelled. This was confirmed in a further email from Yad Vashem at 3:56 PM. In Vilnius, however, the name of Yad Vashem and its designated representative continue to appear on programs and brochures, giving the impression that the event enjoys the formal participation of Yad Vashem. See our public query to Yad Vashem.
According to a conference program posted on the website of the Lithuanian Parliament, Yad Vashem is the only Jewish institution sending a representative to the latest conference mounted by the Lithuanian government in its campaign to downgrade the Holocaust and whitewash the Lithuanian Holocaust’s first murderers (the L.A.F. and other fascist groups), often by glorifying them as ‘freedom fighters’. The printed brochure for the conference, to be held on 29 and 30 June 2011, announces the event as a joint project of the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) and the deeply antisemitic Genocide Research Center. One of the Center’s top ‘specialists’ participated in the recent neo-Nazi parade and went on to launch a public antisemitic campaign. He was neither removed from his post nor publicly reprimanded, as the season’s conferences plow ahead full steam.
DefendingHistory.com announces Media Chronicle of Opposition to the 2008 ‘Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism’
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:
This page has moved here. Thank you.
Five Occurences of the word same in the Prague Declaration:
1 “Consciousness of the crimes against humanity committed by the Communist regimes throughout the continent must inform all European minds to the same extent as the Nazi regime’s crimes did”
2 “Believing that millions of victims of Communism and their families are entitled to enjoy justice, sympathy, understanding and recognition for their sufferings in the same way as the victims of Nazism have been morally and politically recognized”
3 “Recognition that many crimes committed in the name of Communism should be assessed as crimes against humanity serving as a warning for future generations, in the same way Nazi crimes were assessed by the Nuremberg Tribunal”
4 “Establishment of 23rd August, the day of signing of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, as a day of remembrance of the victims of both Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes, in the same way Europe remembers the victims of the Holocaust on January 27th”
5 “Adjustment and overhaul of European history textbooks so that children could learn and be warned about Communism and its crimes in the same way as they have been taught to assess the Nazi crimes”
25 November 2010. For the first time since the Prague Declaration was proclaimed on 3 June 2008, a group of ambassadors has spoken out to oppose ‘Double Genocide’. Opposition to the Declaration has been mounting steadily.
‘Spurious attempts are made to equate the uniquely evil genocide of the Jews with Soviet crimes against Lithuania, which, though great in magnitude, cannot be regarded as equivalent in either their intention or result.’
Excerpt from a letter to leaders of Lithuania from the Vilnius-based ambassadors of Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, 25 November 2010
The Prague Declaration was preceded by perfectly legitimate and noble condemnations of the evils of Soviet communism in the European Union’s institutions, before this movement was hiijacked by the far right’s red-equals-brown campaigners and their government backers in the eastern part of the EU. See: Soviet Crimes.
RELATED: PAGE ON TIMOTHY SNYDER’S BLOODLANDS
British Parliament (31 January 2008): MP John Mann, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, critiques the January 2008 precursor of the ‘Prague Declaration’ [see entry for 2:30 PM, paragraph 4; see also paragraph 3].
ITF [International Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research] (17 August 2009): Statement of the ITF Chair regarding the European Parliament resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism’ (by Ambassador Tom Vraalsen).
Guardian (28 September 2009): ‘The Nazi whitewash. I can’t believe Eric Pickles supports Latvia’s “For Fatherland and Freedom” party, which wants to rewrite a murderous history’ (by Efraim Zuroff); alternate link.
Clemens Heni (26 October 2009): ‘The Prague Declaration, Holocaust trivialization and antisemitism’ by Clemens Heni. PDF.
Jewish Chronicle (29 October 2009): UK MP John Mann, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, calls the Prague Declaration ‘a sinister document’ in his ‘Europe must focus on Baltic hate’.
Jerusalem of Lithuania (Autumn 2009): Milan Chersonski, editor of Jerusalem of Lithuania, publication of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, discusses the renewed government campaign against Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, in the context of the red-equals-brown movement in Europe.
Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism (16 December 2009): Informal statement by German parliamentarian Gert Weisskirchen.
The Guardian (8 January 2010): ‘Halting Holocaust obfuscation. The Baltic ultranationalists rewriting east European history as an equal Nazi-Soviet “double genocide” must be stopped’ by Dovid Katz. Republication in Russian.
Simon Wiesenthal Center (26 January 2010): Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, responds to the Arad accusations plus plans to replace Holocaust Remembrance Day with a mixed red-brown memorial day. Excerpt: ‘And how exactly, for example, would such “joint commemorations” unfold in Lithuania? A moment of silence for Jewish citizens butchered by the Nazis and their local collaborators, followed by a moment of silence for these victimizers, later turned into “victims of Communism?” I urge Lithuania and other supporters of this drive to drop their campaign and instead preserve the memory of the Shoah and the unique suffering of its victims that is commemorated on Holocaust Memorial Day.’
The Nation (12 February 2010): Mark Weitzman, United States director of governmental affairs at the Wiesenthal Center, reports that ‘[from] his talks with US officials in Washington and on Capitol Hill, he believes that the American silence on the matter will soon change as they are beginning to understand the seriousness of the situation’.
Guardian (14 September 2010): ‘I see why “double genocide” is a term Lithuanians want. But it appals me. To equate Soviet and nazi crimes is dishonest and historically false. Why has this poisonous idea taken such deep root?’ by Jonathan Freedland.
‘Lithuania has taken more than a “walk-on part in British politics”. When the European parliament called on its members, in April 2009, to mark 23 August as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, and when the OSCE, in July 2009, adopted the Vilnius Declaration on increasing awareness of totalitarian crimes, we too became party to the equation of Nazi crimes with those of communism in the Baltic states. By accepting the parallelism, we also have excused collaborators, ignored the unspeakable savageries perpetrated in Lithuania between 1941 and 1945, condoned the pardoning of every single Lithuanian war criminal until today, and endorsed the prosecution of Jewish resistance fighters, whose situation remains unresolved.’
Professor Tessa Rajak (London) in The Guardian (17 Sept 2010)
The Guardian (30 September 2010): ‘Why Red is not Brown in the Baltics. Unhappily, Timothy Snyder’s historical reassesment of the Nazi-Soviet pact coincides with Baltic ultra-nationalist agendas’ by Dovid Katz.
The Guardian (21 December 2010): ‘Why is the US silent on “double genocide”? While European countries have condemned the new Holocaust revisionism in the Baltics, America shows no moral leadership’ by Dovid Katz. In Russian.
The Guardian (21 December 2010): ‘EU rejects eastern states’ call to outlaw denial of crimes by communist regimes. Eastern European states wanted Soviet crimes “treated according to the same standards” as those of Nazi regimes’ by Leigh Philips.
Letter from the European Commission confirming the negative appraisal of 22 December 2010, regarding attempts to enact ‘Double Genocide legislation’ (21 February 2011). English translation. [A response to Didier Bertin of the Society for the Promotion of the European Human Rights Model]
East European Jewish Affairs (vol 41 [December] 2011, no. 3, pp. 207-221): ‘The detonation of the Holocaust in 1941: a tale of two books’ [review of Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands and Alexander Prusin’s The Lands Between] by Dovid Katz.
Seventy European Union parliamentarians sign the Seventy Years Declaration, published on 20 January 2012, which contains the language: ‘We reject attempts to obfuscate the Holocaust by diminishing its uniqueness and deeming it to be equal, similar or equivalent to Communism as suggested by the 2008 Prague Declaration.’
Haaretz, Books Supplement (24 September 2012): ‘Killed by their neighbors’ [review of David Bankier’s Expulsion and Extermination: Holocaust Testimonials from Provincial Lithuania; Frank Buonagunio’s The Last Bright Days. A Young Woman’s Life in a Lithuanian Shtetl on the Eve of the Holocaust; Ellen Cassedy’s We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust]’ by Efraim Zuroff [PDF of print edition here].
Website of the Jewish Community of Lithuania (17 January 2013): ‘Instead of truth about the Holocaust — myths about saving Jews’ by Pinchos Fridberg. Also in the Algemeiner Journal (15 January 2013), the Operation Last Chance website of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (19 December 2012), and Defending History (24 December 2012), where links are provided to the publications of the article in the Russian language.
DefendingHistory.com (27 May 2013): ‘State-sponsored collective memory revisionism; a 21st century incarnation of Holocaust Denial?’ by Dovid Katz [PDF of power point presentation at the Second International Conference on Holocaust Museums and Memorial Places in Post-Communist Countries (in Riga, Latvia)].
At the end of 2013, in an announcement disseminated mainly in January 2014, the World Union for Progressive Judaism announced it “fully endorses the Seventy Years Declaration. This Declaration, endorsed by 70 European Union parliamentarians who represent all sides of politics, is an attempt to distinguish between the horrors of the Shoah and other crimes against humanity. This has taken on a greater importance since the Prague Declaration of 2008 which attempts to equate the era of Nazism to that of Communist tyranny.”
In late March 2014, the Board of Deputies in London called on members of the European Parliament to work against the Prague Declaration and its ethos, in its A Jewish Manufesto, issued in the run-up to the European Parliament elections.
May 2014: Dan Stone’s new book, Goodbye to All That? A History of Europe Since 1945 (Oxford University Press) refers to the debate symbolized by the Prague Declaration vs. the Seventy Years Declaration.
Apastekhlatroymer: ‘Die Geschichte verteidigen – Defending History’ by Hans Breuer (post of 21 June 2014).
Manifesto of the ‘Double Genocide’ and Holocaust Obfuscation movement
See also: Opposition to the Prague Declaration; Proposal for replacement; Statement on Soviet Crimes; The Seventy Years Declaration (+ Section).
The ‘Prague Declaration’ and its preceding and derivative European resolutions are based on ‘Double Genocide’: the proposed ‘equivalence’ of Nazi and Soviet crimes as revisionist history for the European Union. The theoretical constructs for the Double Genocide movement were developed by a number of historians in Eastern Europe, who have themselves on occasion been taken to task by courageous Lithuanian scholars who have exposed these works for what they are (see e.g. the classic review by V. Brandišauskas now available in English translation). Some of the bold dissenting voices from Lithuania are credited on this site’s Bold Citizens page.
The ‘Prague Declaration’ includes the following demands of the European Union:
‘recognize Communism and Nazism as a common legacy’
‘recognition that many crimes committed in the name of Communism should be assessed as crimes against humanity serving as a warning for future generations, in the same way Nazi crimes were assessed by the Nuremberg Tribunal’
‘ensuring the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination of victims of all the totalitarian regimes’
‘a day of remembrance of the victims of both Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes’
‘adjustment and overhaul of European history textbooks so that children could learn and be warned about Communism and its crimes in the same way as they have been taught to assess the Nazi crimes’
Chronological Outline of Developments (selection only)
The precursor conference on ‘United Europe, United History’ in Tallinn (22 January 2008). 23 Jan. BNS report on the event, from the website of an Estonian MEP active in the movement (report now removed).
The ‘Prague Declaration’ (3 June 2008) at its own site [update of January 2012: declaration removed from this site which was reassigned to another Prague Declaration; see here for full original text; see here for a 2010 page capture of the original site); alternate link.
The European Parliament resolution (2 April 2009) recommends a single mixed ‘Europe-wide Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, to be commemorated with dignity and impartiality’ [item 15]. Alternate link.
Proposal in Brussels at a European Parliament conference by the director of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Czech Republic (14 October 2009). The speaker of the Lithuanian parliament insisted that Europe adopt ‘a single view on the crimes of totalitarian regimes’.
After the EU’s Dec 2010 repudiation of attempts to insinuate Double Genocide in the Stockholm Programme, the Prague Declaration movement regroups in 2011 under the banner of: The Prague Process, announcing plans for 29 March 2011 meeting and funding under the ‘Europe for Citizens’ program, as well as plans to (abuse) the Hungarian and Polish presidencies of the EU for the red-equals-brown movement.
In 2012, the Lithuanian foreign ministry announces that pursuing in the EU the proposed unification of European history in a red=brown framework would be one of the formal goals of Lithuania’s 2013 rotating presidency of the EU.
Prague’s Declaration of Disgrace. A European attempt to equate Communism with Nazism will falsify history.
Not many have heard about the Prague Declaration, which is currently making the rounds at the European Parliament. Proclaimed last June in Prague (but cooked up in the Baltics), its innocuous theme is “European Conscience and Communism”. Now who would oppose that? The heinous crimes of Communist regimes clearly merit full exposure. Victims deserve recognition. When the grand jamboree of freedom, fun and prosperity got under way for us lucky westerners in 1945, entire nations ceded to Stalin were condemned to totalitarian rule.