State honors collaborator: Elie Wiesel & Knesset’s Speaker Rivlin react
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.”
— Dr. Shimon Alperovich, chairperson of the Jewish Community of Lithuania
“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.”
Lithuania’s foreign minister’s “moustache response” came within minutes of SYD’s release.
British parliamentarian tells Lithuanian signatories of the 70 Years Declaration:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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
Coverage in DefendingHistory.com:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: