Hungary

State honors collaborator:  Elie Wiesel & Knesset’s Speaker Rivlin react

Romania

Obfuscator is appointed minister

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Baltics

Estonia: Valentine’s Day Law
Latvia: Waffen SS
Lithuania: Nazi ‘PM’ Honored. UN on swastikas & parades.
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MEP Donskis

When the news came out, he issued a bold statement within minutes
Then he wrote an essay that could outlive all the rest
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Amphitheatre

• Hollande on France; But some repackage Double Genocide — as “goal”
Snyder debate in Tablet  [Open LetterReviews  of Bloodlands]
• SYD now in English, French, German, Lithuanian, Russian, Yiddish. Background.
• In the Daily Mail
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Jewish Lithuania

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Litvak Tourism

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Litvak Forum

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Social Democrats Stood Up

Boldly defying the right wing government’s Holocaust politics, a number of leading Lithuanian Social Democrats have stood up with courage. Six MPs and two MEPs signed the SYD. They were attacked by the current foreign minister in his “moustache reply” and an article (and in a “cooked” radio panel).

MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, the SD foreign affairs spokesman, replied robustly. UK MP Denis MacShane sent personal letters to each of the signatories. Then, two MPs issued a statement in the Seimas protesting the state’s honoring of the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister.

MP Andriukaitis challenged the foreign minister on the floor of the Seimas.

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New Documentary Film

Rewriting History (Marc Radomsky & Danny Ben-Moshe) challenges East European governments’ “Double Genocide” politics and the 2008 “Prague Declaration

The film highlights the 2012 arrival of the Seventy Years Declaration at the European Parliament, where it was received by EP president Martin Schulz

Promo on YouTubeWebsite; at Classic Cinemas; Facebook

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EU/NATO Ally Honors Holocaust Collaborator; Local Jewish Community Issues Protest

Remains of 1941 fascist leader met by honor guard at Vilnius Airport on 17 May 2012 and reburied in Kaunas’s Church of the Resurrection on the 20th, as city’s mayor dismisses criticism.

Office of the prime minister, who signed off on government funding (€8,700 / US $11,000)defends reburial & honors of the 1941 Nazi puppet “prime minister” who personally signed the protocols confirming Nazi orders for (1) “all means” against Jews (but avoiding executions in public); (2)  setting up a concentration camp for Lithuanian Jews [euphemism for the carnage underway at the Seventh Fort]; (3) all Kaunas Jews to be herded into a ghetto within 4 weeks (English here).
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Archbishop  who praised  the wartime collaborator then officiated at the reburial, which was attended (and praised) by MEP V. Landsbergis and former president Valdas Adamkus. The Lithuanian Army Orchestra provided the music.

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Coverage:  DH I, II; Ofer Aderet in Haaretz IIIIIIIV & V; Arutz 7BBC  News  Europe; Jewish Chronicle (London) I, II15min.Lt/BNS; Baltic CourseEuropean Jewish Press, IIRzeczpospolitaNewsweek PolandWprost.  Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson on first Kaunas conferenceGeoff Vasil on 2nd Kaunas conference.  Edward Lucas on the Economist blog and in EuropeanVoice.comMore here.
Protests: PetitionJewish Community of Lithuania & Vilna Gaon Museum ◊ Lithuanian MPs V.P. Andriukaitis and A. SysasMP Andriukaitis takes on the foreign minister in parliamentB’nai B’rith International (Washington DC) ◊ European Jewish Parliament ◊ Milan Chersonski in DH.Com ◊ DH ◊ MEP Leonidas Donskis ◊ Dovid Katz ◊ Michael and Fausta Maass (ICEJ) ◊ Regnum.ruFederation of Russian Jews ◊ Darius Udrys in VilNews.ComVilhjálmur Örn VilhjálmssonGeoff Vasil in DH ◊ Efraim Zuroff in the Jerusalem PostWiesenthal Center (LA)Post-facto public letter.
Wobbles, teeters and set-ups:  Yale professor answers The Question, in VilniusHe and NY Yivo director are feted in Vilnius the same week, some say, to deflect attention; their symposium fails to mention the concurrent state-sponsored events to honor collaborator. An open letter.
Whitewash and glorification: Prime Minister; MEP Landsbergis I, IIformer President AdamkusForeign Minister; Culture Minister; Parliament’s PR office; Archbishop; Kaunas history professor (original); the “liberal” Bernardinai.lt, & II; Mayor of Kaunas; VilNews.com editor-in-chief; “Documentary”;  Far-rightist J. Panka in the Jewish Chronicle; open letter from 61 academicsVideo promo for “documentary film”. Stage 2 of the earlier attempt by A. Liekis at LAF-PG state glorification?
Deflection: Elite (international) symposium on the Lithuanian Holocaust, in Vilnius the same week, centered on “Bloodlands” and with no menti0n of the concurrent reburial ceremonies underway. Open letter in reply. One of the symposium’s participants went on (domestically) to trumpet the “drama of Lithuanian history” inherent for him in reburying a major Nazi collaborator, accusing “the Jews” of intimidating his university’s administrators “with a club”; but when it was all over, he went on to become John Hancock no. 1 of the “post-facto letter”
Debates:  MP Vytenis Andriukaitis vs. Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis on the floor of the Lithuanian parliament; Aage Myhre and Darius Udrys in VilNews. Dovid Katz replied to Edward Lucas.
More  coverage here and here.
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ABOVE: On the watch of the 1941 Nazi puppet “prime minister” Juozas Ambrazevičius (later Brazaitis): Local white-armbanders loyal to the “provisional government” surround Jewish residents (mostly women) in Kaunas on the march from their homes to humiliation and mass murder.

BELOW: Signature of Juozas Ambrazevičius (Brazaitis) on the 7 July 1941 protocol [English translation here]. The text includes: “By German order a ghetto for Jews will be established in Vilijampolė, to which all the Jews of the city of Kaunas must be moved within 4 weeks.”

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Heavily guarded Kovno Ghetto gate isolating the tens of thousands of the city’s citizens who were Jewish for incarceration, slave labor, humiliation and genocide. Provisional Government confirmation of the German order for the ghetto was signed by the puppet prime minister.

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This compromises Lithuania in the eyes of the world

— Dr. Shimon Alperovich, chairperson of the Jewish Community of Lithuania
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Vilnius’s Choral Synagogue was defaced on May 18th 2012. Milan Chersonski commented to Haaretz: “This was the unofficial supplementary program to honor the Nazi collaborator. If great eminences like the former heads of state Vytautas Landsbergis and Valdas Adamkus are parties to the honoring of a Holocaust collaborator, then hooligans in town feel able to make their own contribution too with a can of paint thrown at the synagogue. In their own way, they all have thrown paint in the faces of the small surviving Jewish community in the country.”  Police have made no arrests. PHOTO: MILAN CHERSONSKI.
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QUESTION: Will Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas maintain the deeply offensive lecture hall  name honoring the Nazi puppet prime minister who signed the protocols confirming Nazi orders for that very city’s Jews to be put in a concentration camp and ghetto? Are these the values being instilled in students at one of the best universities in the Baltics?

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DefendingHistory.com comments:

“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.”

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Seventy Years Declaration Joins the European Conversation

The Seventy Years Declaration

Solemnly commemorates the Holocaust and reaffirms human rights of all people. Opposes the Prague Declaration and ‘Double Genocide’ politics. Rejects glorification of the Waffen SS of Estonia and Latvia and the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF).

Lithuania’s foreign minister’s “moustache response” came within minutes of SYD’s release.

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TEXT AND LIST OF FOUNDING SIGNATORIES

PRESENTED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

UPDATE: DOCUMENTARY FILM RELEASED

SYD TEXT IN FRENCH;  GERMAN;  LITHUANIAN;  RUSSIAN;  YIDDISHLIST OF UK SIGNATORIES;  LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ATTACKS SIGNATORIES WITHIN MINUTES

MEDIA COVERAGE

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Danny Ben-Moshe launches SYD in the Jerusalem PostSYD published. Lithuanian Foreign Minister responds in minutes with infamous “moustache comparison” of Hitler and Stalin, later attacks Lithuanian parliamentarians who signed. UK MP Denis MacShane congratulates the Lithuanian Eight who signed. Vytenis Andriukaitis, signatory of nation’s Declaration of Independence, replies to FM. Roger Cohen in the New York Times. Gang-up on Lithuanian radio panelAJForwardHaaretzJC.

British parliamentarian tells Lithuanian signatories of the 70 Years Declaration:

“I know it must be lonely to take a stand on such a controversial subject but wanted to write to you to say you are not alone and every decent British and European citizen stands with you.”

— UK MP Denis MacShane

DefendingHistory.com congratulates the Lithuanian parliamentarians among the founding 70 signatories of the Seventy Years Declaration for their courage, integrity, love of all their country’s peoples, and genuine commitment to European values:

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, MP

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, MEP

Justinas Karosas, MP

Justas Paleckis, MEP

Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, MP

Julius Sabatauskas, MP

Algirdas Sysas, MP

Birutė Vėsaitė, MP

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1000 Neo-Nazi Marchers Fill Central Vilnius on Lithuania’s Independence Day; They are Addressed by Two Members of Parliament

Marcher sports a designer swastika on her handbag at the March 11th 2012 neo-Nazi march on Gedimino Prospect in the heart of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital.

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EYEWITNESS REPORT & IMAGES

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Latvian President Blesses Waffen SS March in Riga; Council of Europe’s Racism Unit Condemns Event; 1500 Turn Out

The president of Latvia endorsed this year’s Waffen SS march, “bowing his head” to his nation’s Waffen SS.  Latvia’s ambassador to the UK defended the march.  Council of Europe condemns the event.  UK MP John Mann.  UK Parliament Early Day Motion 2866. 1500 Turn Out.

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A wreath for Holocaust survivors was covered by the Waffen SS logo by the event’s organizers. Two anti-Nazi activists exposed the wreath again for a short time, before they were removed by police.

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Foreign protesters included Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (Jerusalem), Joel Rubinfeld of the European Jewish Parliament (Brussels), Monica Lowenberg, creator of the anti-march international petition (London).

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EYEWITNESS REPORT & IMAGES.  2ND REPORT.  MEDIA COVERAGE.

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Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors Protest Tel Aviv ‘Gala’

Kovno Ghetto Survivor and Resistance Hero Joe Melamed, 87, Leads March 5th 2012 Picket Line Against “Sellout Gala” at the Tel Aviv Dan Panorama

Lithuanian Foreign Minister and Brothers Zingeris are Greeted by Protesting Holocaust Survivors

A FIRST-TIME PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN LEYVIK HOUSE YIDDISH CULTURE CENTER, THE SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER ISRAEL OFFICE AND THE ASSOCIATION OF LITHUANIAN JEWS IN ISRAEL

Report on YNET.  The Times of Israel.  15min.lt.  Itongadol.com.  Agencia Judia.  Forverts (Yiddish Forward).    Background.  More.

Editor and Yiddish cultural leader, Bella Bryks-Klein, carries a sign asking the Lithuanian government to stop its program of activities to glorify Nazi collaborators like the “Lithuanian Activist Front” (LAF) of 1941, which unleashed slaughter in dozens of towns before the Nazis even arrived, and indicated its intentions in advance of the outbreak of war.

 

Some of the 18 protesters, led by Joe Melamed (first from left), chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, who greeted Lithuanian Foreign Minister Ažubalis at a Tel Aviv “gala” at which he was guest of honor. It is just over a month since Ažubalis belittled his parliamentary colleagues who signed the Seventy Years Declaration marking the Wannsee anniversary in January, when he made his infamous comment on moustache length being the one difference between Hitler and Stalin. Back in 2010 the Jewish community in Lithuania called a special meeting to draft a statement protesting a major antisemitic outburst by the foreign minister. There are seven major areas of unresolved Lithuanian-Jewish issues. Photo: Bella Bryks-Klein.  

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A Shock for Survivors and Visitors to the Lithuanian Capital

New ‘Holocaust Room’ in the Cellar of Vilnius’s State Sponsored Genocide Museum Sanitizes the Local Fascists who Unleashed the Genocide of Lithuanian Jewry

 

 Culmination of a year of government events glorifying the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) and other Hitlerist groups that initiated (and whose members became the backbone of) the annihilation of the country’s Jewish minority

LAF leaflets set out plans for genocide prior to the German invasion. Historians on the 1941 campaign of mass murderSurvivors testifyMapRecent nationalist glorification. Now, the new Holocaust Room in the cellar of a major state museum in an EU capital has this to say:

Year to commemorate the perpetrators ran parallel with a year to commemorate the Holocaust, too; One in a series of ‘dual tracks’ to satisfy at once the antisemitic, Holocaust-revisionist Far Right and foreign Jewish groups

PR: ‘Fake Litvak’ initiatives (Identity Theft) & Double Games
 ♦

ANTISEMITIC EXHIBITS IN MAIN HALL OF GENOCIDE MUSEUM DISPLAYED AS BEFORE, WITH NO CURATORIAL COMMENT

 ♦
MEANWHILE, IN WASHINGTON DC, NEW JEWISH ‘SUNFLOWER’ GROUP MANIPULATED BY LITHUANIAN EMBASSY TO DISTORT AND TRIVIALIZE THE 1941 GENOCIDE OF THE JEWISH POPULATION AS ‘FREEDOM FROM THE SOVIETS’  AND — ‘AT THE PERIL OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY’; RESPONSE HERE.
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Admirers Celebrate

90th Birthday of Dr. Rachel Margolis

Tel Aviv attorney Joe Melamed, head of the Association of Lithuanian Jews, celebrating Dr. Rachel Margolis's 90th birthday in Rechovot

Left her safe haven with righteous Christians to join her family in the Vilna Ghetto. Joined the Jewish underground anti-Nazi resistance. Witness to creation of the Yiddish Partisan Hymn.

Escaped to join the partisans and fought valiantly against the Nazis in the forests of Lithuania. The only one in her family to survive the Holocaust.

Volunteered for the short-lived Jewish museum after the war.

Dedicated half a century to Biology at Vilnius University.

Helped establish the Green House Holocaust exhibit. Rediscovered, deciphered and published Kazimierz Sakowicz’s diary of Ponár. Author of a remarkable memoir. Beloved guide, lecturer and teacher on Jewish Vilna and the Holocaust.

Target of a campaign of defamation by Vilnius prosecutors, the “Lithuanian Human Rights Association” and other far-right Holocaust-revisionist elites.

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MORE INFORMATION AND TRIBUTES:

FORMER UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN ♦ 5 MEMBERS OF THE US CONGRESS ♦ ACADEMIC STUDIES PRESS ♦ KEENE STATE COLLEGE ♦ SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE ♦ LORD JANNER OF BRAUNSTONE ♦  LATE LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER ALGIRDAS BRAZAUSKAS ♦ ISRAELI AMBASSADOR CHEN IVRI APTER ♦ ADL DIRECTOR ABRAHAM FOXMAN ♦ NCSJ ♦ METRO WEST HOLOCAUST COUNCIL ♦ LEIVICK HOUSE TEL AVIV ♦ JEWISH CHRONICLE ♦ ALGEMEINER JOURNAL (& 2) ♦ RACHEL MARGOLIS.COM

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Coverage in DefendingHistory.com:

OVERVIEWS HERE & HERE;  7 MAY 2008;  19 JUNE 200928 OCTOBER 2009;  27 JANUARY 2010;  28 OCTOBER 2010;  3 JANUARY 2011;  5 MAY 2011;  28 AUGUST 2011;  23 SEPTEMBER 2011.

Two Vilna natives: Dr. Margolis prepares to sing the Jewish partisan hymn together with Jerusalem attorney (and Yiddish singer) Diana Shapiro

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Believe it or not. . .

Vilnius Prosecutors Launch Campaign against Another Holocaust Survivor, 86, this time via — Interpol!

Joe Melamed

Joe Melamed in his Tel Aviv office

At Lithuanian prosecutors’ demand, Israeli Interpol liaison officers speak with Mr. Melamed about the ‘accusations’

Report in Haaretz by Yossi Melman

Yad Vashem withdraws invitations to visiting minster and resident ambassador for Vilna Ghetto commemoration; Coverage in Haaretz by Yossi Melman; Associated Press (→ CBS News, Fox, MSNBC, Washington Post, YahooNews etc); JTA (→ WJC, JJ, Juedische.at, etc); Mishpacha

Three British MPs file Early Day Motion 2161 to protest the Lithuanian government’s action

DefendingHistory.com reports here and here

  Geoff Vasil in the Jewish Chronicle

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A Moral Epidemic??

Local Nazi Collaborators & Holocaust Perpetrators Honored in Parts of Eastern Europe

IS THIS REALLY HOW THEY SHOULD NOW BE RECYCLED BY ‘NEW EUROPE’?

Croatia

Estonia

Hungary

Latvia

Lithuania

Romania

Ukraine

EFRAIM ZUROFF IN HAARETZ 

DefendingHistory.com section on the glorification of Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators in Eastern Europe

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When a Major Scholar’s Book is Abused by East European Nationalists

Vilnius book event for the Lithuanian edition is held at the Foreign Ministry with a disturbing speech by the director of the History Institute

East European nationalists are abusing the book

Select critiques of Bloodlands

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May 5th 2012 made it 4 Years since Police Came Looking for Two Women Holocaust Survivors


REPORT ON THE THREE YEAR MARK STILL HOLDS


Holocaust Survivors:

Not Charged — Not Cleared

With non-stop defamation: Lithuanian ‘Human Rights’ [!] Association calls for  ‘sentencing’ of named ‘citizens of Jewish nationality’ for ‘organizing a massive slaughter’; Document is here; Comment herehere.

UNITED STATES CONGRESSMEN STILL WAITING FOR A MEANINGFUL REPLY

FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN HONORS DR RACHEL MARGOLIS

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Courageous Achievements

Brussels — Valiant members of parliament and the European Parliament from Latvia, Lithuania and other East European Countries sign the Seventy Years Declaration

Kaunas — Daiva Čepauskaitė’s new play: ‘Day and Night’

Šiauliai — Evaldas Balčiūnas is translating the memoir of a Jewish woman partisan of the Vilna Ghetto

Vilnius — Social Democratic MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis boldly responds to the latest Holocaust-related article by the foreign minister of Lithuania

Vilnius — In the face of untoward pressure over many years, Rachel Kostanian has maintained steadfast historical accuracy in the Green House Holocaust department of the State Jewish Museum; Esther Goldberg’s reports I & II

Vilnius — Books and a documentary of lasting value produced by the House of Memory, led by Linas Vildžiūnas, Vaidotas Reivytis and others; projects curtailed by the government’s ‘red-brown establishment’ monopolizing resources

Vilnius — Saulius Beržinis’s Kopa Studios producing series of uniquely spin-free documentaries on the Holocaust

Riga — Rabbi Menachem Barkahan’s New Holocaust Museum

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Ukraine: Fascists, Collaborators, Perpetrators — Honored

DETAILS HERE

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Latvia (back in 2011): 2,500 Turn Out to Hail Country’s Waffen-SS

Increased Turnout for This Year’s Waffen-SS March in Riga

DETAILS HERE AND HERE

COMMENT HERE AND HERE

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PLANS TO HONOR HOLOCAUST MASS MURDERER AND RE-INTER  HIS REMAINS IN RIGA

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Estonia (back in 2011): Hitler’s Invasion Celebrated

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Roundup

Select Debates, Essays, Broadcasts, Appreciation

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НЕ ТОЛЬКО О ТУСКУЛЕНАЙСКОМ ПАРКЕ ПОКОЯ


МНЕНИЕ

Милан Херсонский


4 августа 2012 года в портале VilNews.com за подписью Винцаса Карнилы появилось «Введение» – вступление к статье «Массовые захоронения в Тускуленай». Введение представляет собой панегирик работникам Музея геноцида в Вильнюсе и Центра изучения геноцида и резистенции за их неутомимую деятельность, направленную на создание Тускуленайского парка покоя. Автор обещает читателям, что в ближайшее время в указанном портале будут опубликованы шесть статей в продолжение темы массовых захоронений в Тускуленай.

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Ernst Nolte’s Grandson


O P I N I O N

by Clemens Heni

This edited and condensed extract is from the author’s forthcoming book (in press) and appears here with Dr. Heni’s permission. Clemens Heni is founding director of the Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (BICSA).


In June of 1986 the German historian Ernst Nolte (born 1923) started the so-called Historians’ Dispute (Historikerstreit) by publishing an article in the leading conservative daily of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.[i]

Nolte has to be seen as just one of the voices, though a leading one in point of fact, in the nationalist wing in the Federal Republic under Helmut Kohl, who had become chancellor in 1982, with “national identity” as a core element of his politics. The national wave had already begun in the 1970s with the infamous “Hitler wave” films, and with the emergence of the New Right and its German agitator Henning Eichberg and authors such as Martin Walser in 1979.

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Lithuanian Foreign Minister Includes “Historical Memory Policy” (= Double Genocide) Among Nation’s Prime Goals

In a curious annual statement to his nation’s diplomats around the globe, Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis recently proclaimed publicly that “historical memory policy” would be one of the main goals of Lithuanian’s foreign policy, particularly as it looks forward to its rotating presidency of the EU next year.

The insistence on the Eastern European right wing’s history appears alongside energy and transport infrastructure, economic development, consular services for citizens resident abroad, military security, international alliances and more. The speech also mentions the need for more  coordination of Lithuania’s “body and mind” implying the need for more rather than less diplomatic work in the field of history revisionism internationally.

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Crying Over Dead Jews


O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

Lithuania’s Jewish community isn’t immune from the broader issues facing Jewish existence in Eastern Europe and there are the same problems of Jewish identity that crop up in Russia, Bulgaria, Poland and elsewhere. And just as there are Christian Evangelicals and others who support the policies of the right-wing in the State of Israel elsewhere in Europe, there are those same voices among Lithuanian politicians and public figures.

What is perhaps different in Lithuania than elsewhere in Eastern Europe is that this Gentile support for Zionist ideals doesn’t translate into support for the surviving local Jewish community or contribute to a profounder and more sympathetic understanding of the Holocaust.

UPDATE OF 5 AUGUST 2012: This essay was republished with permission in the Algemeiner Journal; in 15min.lt (where it seems to have been taken down, but is still listed in Search); in Jewish Ideas Daily (where it was chosen as one of the editor’s picks for 1 August 2012).

Visitors to Vilnius will see any number of plaques dedicated to famous Jewish residents of Vilnius and several dedicated to the Holocaust. Those who look a little deeper under the surface might find there are a number of agencies, organizations and institutions operating in Vilnius which seemingly are aimed at promoting Jewish history, language and culture. In fact, both the plaques and monuments, and the majority of these “Jewish” organizations, serve as little more than window-dressing and display show-cases the Lithuanian government rolls out as exhibits evidencing Lithuanian sincerity in addressing the incomparable atrocity of the Holocaust.

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Efraim Zuroff Responds to Tablet Magazine Essay on Timothy Snyder


O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

  • The following comment first appeared in the discussion following David Mikics’s Tablet magazine article on Timothy Snyder (“The Diplomat of Shoah History. Does Yale historian Timothy Snyder absolve Eastern Europe of special complicity in the Holocaust?”). It is reproduced here with Dr. Zuroff’s permission. For further background, see the links below.

Unfortunately, this excellent article by David Mikics focuses almost exclusively on Poland, which for historical reasons is not the place where Snyder’s Bloodlands totally fails to present a historical account of the reality of the Holocaust. A far better place would be the Baltics in general, and Lithuania in particular. In these countries, three important phenomena took place:

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