VILNIUS—For the tiny and dwindling group of Holocaust survivors in this part of the world, the indelibly cursed day the genocide began was June 23rd 1941, when hordes of young local “nationalists,” some affiliated with the fascist Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) — which had put in writing its intentions for Jewish fellow-citizens beforehand — began to murder, plunder and rape their neighbors in at least forty locations before the first German soldiers even got there, as confirmed by numerous historians and eyewitnesses. Within a few days, most would don white-armbands.
Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory
Tagged Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust in the Baltics, LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front), Vytautas Magnus University
VILNIUS—Over the past decade, few foreign embassies in Lithuania have done as much as Japan’s to help ensure that the Holocaust in Lithuania is never forgotten and indeed, that remembrance events and educational programs feed into both national and international efforts to raise awareness and sensitivities in the cause of averting future massacres of innocent civilians.
Japan’s Holocaust remembrance achievements in Lithuania are manifold. From 2008, when state prosecutors connected to the Genocide Center began defaming local Holocaust survivors, Japan’s embassy joined with others in giving honor to the wrongly accused, including the 2009 “Walk in the Rain” organized by then Norwegian ambassador Steinar Gil. More well known are the embassy’s activities in commemoration of Chiune (Sempo) Sugihara, the inspirational Japanese humanist who saved thousands of lives by issuing visas in Kaunas in 1940 (enabling those people to flee Soviet rule directly, and indirectly from what was to come a year later, in 1941, with Hitler’s invasion and the massive local collaboration in genocide). One of the most important goes back to the turn of our century when the embassy participated actively, and generously, in setting up Sugihara House in Kaunas.
Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Double Games, Double Genocide, Events, Japan, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Use and Abuse of Sugihara
Tagged Chiune Sugihara, Embassy of Japan in Vilnius, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes, Japan and Holocaust issues, Red-Brown Commission, Vytautas Magnus University
O P I N I O N
by Monica Lowenberg
Monica Lowenberg’s office has released for publication the following public letter sent to British ORT.
British ORT, FAO The Chief Executive, Mr. Dan Green
25 November 2013
Dear Mr. Green,
It is with deep regret that my 90 year old father, Ernest Lowenberg, former Berlin ORT pupil and I write to you today.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, Double Games, EU, Events, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT
Tagged British ORT, Egidijus Aleksandravicius, Lionidas Donskis, Lithuanian Embassy in London, Litvaks, Monica Lowenberg, University College London (UCL), Vytautas Magnus University, Westminster Synagogue
Translated from Russian by Ludmila Makedonskaya (Grodno); updated English version approved by the author, Milan Chersonski (Chersonskij), longtime editor (1999-2011) of Jerusalem of Lithuania, quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania. He was previously (1979-1999) director of the Yiddish Folk Theater of Lithuania. The views he expresses in Defending History are his own. Photo: Milan Chersonski (image © Jurgita Kunigiškytė). Milan Chersonski section.
Real Heroes and Supposed Heroes
Who Protested and Why?
In May 2012 solemn funeral events were held in Kaunas: the ashes of the interim prime minister of the Provisional Government of Lithuania (hereinafter PG) Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis were transferred from the state of Connecticut in the United States, where he was buried in 1974, to Kaunas, the former temporary capital of Lithuania. There the ashes were reburied.
Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, History, Lithuania, Media Watch, Milan Chersonski (1937-2021), News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged 1941 Provisional Government of Lithuania, Egidijus Aleksandravicius, Egidijus Aleksandravicius + Holocaust, Egidijus Aleksandravicius + Sugihara Foundation, Holocaust in Lithuania, Juozas Ambrazevicius Brazaitis, Lithuania Activist Front (LAF), Milan Chersonski, Milan Chersonskij, Valdas Bartusavičius, Vytautas Magnus University
“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: