Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Instead of Truth about the Holocaust – Myths about Saving Jews

January 15, 2013 2:53 am 2 comments

Survivors of the Mauthausen concentration camp cheer the soldiers of the Eleventh Armored Division of the U.S. Third Army one day after their actual liberation in May 1945. Photo: National Archives and Records Administration.

Neither I nor my wife Anita are specialist researchers of the Holocaust. We are simply witnesses saved by a miracle. Until the last days of our lives we will consider the Righteous to be saints, the only ray of light in the darkest world of murderers and collaborators, like Juozas Brazaitis-Ambrazevičius, Antanas Impulevičius and Aleksandras Lileikis.

In 1998, the International Commission for the Evaluation of Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania was formed by decree of the president of Lithuania.

Everybody agrees that these two regimes have a lot in common and their crimes need objective and unbiased evaluation. However, I will never agree with the idée fixe of the president of this commission, Mr Emanuelis Zingeris, about the complete identity of these regimes, with attempts to equate the Holocaust and Stalin’s crimes against the Lithuanian people. However, my opinion will hardly be of interest for Mr Zingeris, a Lithuanian politician of Jewish descent. To my mind, the authorities are using his Jewish descent.

In recent years, attempts for the mass rehabilitation of Nazi collaborators have been made in Lithuania. Some collaborators were even reburied with military honors like national heroes. Simultaneously, myths about Jews are being created and disseminated. I’d like to share with the world by whom and how this is done. No fiction, just pure facts.

The commission mentioned above held a European forum at the Lithuanian Parliament on November 15-16 titled “United Europe – United History.” All of the countries of the European Union took part, together with former Soviet republics such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia, and others. I’d like to draw your attention to a report given by Mrs I. VilkienÄ—, deputy director of the commission and coordinator for educational projects. That is how she was introduced by the chairman, Dr N. Å epetys, who added that “she doesn’t only create curricula but also gets teachers of history into shape and makes them think.” I bring your attention to two audio files accompanying my article: a eulogy from Dr Å epetys to Mrs VilkienÄ— (attachment 1) and the final part of her speech (attachment 2). I am doing this for two reasons: firstly to avoid accusations of malicious libel against the commission, and secondly to give those readers who know Lithuanian a chance to “enjoy” her speech. Others, unfortunately, will have to content themselves with the quotes in the text. I cannot add simultaneous interpretation of her speech, as its speed considerably exceeds the abilities of  my interpreter.

In the final part of her speech, Mrs VilkienÄ— took 4 min. 57 sec. to present a detailed story of a Lithuanian family who “saved 43 (forty-three!) Jews over the course of three years in a huge bunker that was dug with the family’s own hands.” She said she had “heard the story at a conference dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the extermination of ghetto in the town of TelÅ¡iai. About two or three hundred high schools pupils and lots of teachers from the schools in and around TelÅ¡iai took part in the conference.” Mrs VilkienÄ— described the details of the story with brilliance, as if she was a real witness of the events. The participants of the forum were told that “the head of the family was 30-32-35 years old and his wife was pregnant” and “a girl was born in the bunker, so actually there were 44 saved, not 43.” “Although the family wasn’t rich, they fed everyone, and took the people from the bunker for fresh air at night.”

I thought I misheard the number 43. So after the speech I got up and said:

“Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of a Lithuanian family who saved 43 (forty three!) Jews in the course of three years in a huge bunker that was dug with the family’s own hands. Could you please give their surname?”

A fantastic answer followed:

“I can’t remember now!”

With full responsibility I can assure you: this Lithuanian family did not exist. This is pure myth running in the light of the high tribune of an international forum. Moreover, it was created by an official introduced as the “deputy director of the commission and coordinator for educational projects.” All the rest are minor details.

In relation to what has been said, I’d like to receive answers to three questions:

How to inform all the participants of the forum that instead of objective information they were palmed off with complete nonsense?

How to inform hundreds of Lithuanian pupils that while learning about the Holocaust they are given myths, not facts?

And, most importantly, can we trust any of the materials of the commission?

PS:

My grandmother Rahil, grandfather Itshak and numerous relatives from my mother’s side found eternal rest in Paneriai. I myself have lived through the Shoah. The story of my rescue is unique and could be the plot of a film.

Girsh, my wife’s father, and her grandfather Joseph died in Dachau, her grandmother Sterle in Salaspils. My wife Anita was a prisoner (Ausweis #4426) of the Kaunas Ghetto. Subdued by a sleeping pill, she was taken out of the ghetto in a bag of rotten potatoes by Righteous among the Nations Bronislava KriÅ¡topavičienÄ—, zikhroyno livrokho.

This article was originally published by www.defendinghistory.com.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture First English-Language Trailer Debuts for Natalie Portman’s Hebrew Film ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ Based on Amos Oz’s Memoir (VIDEO)

    First English-Language Trailer Debuts for Natalie Portman’s Hebrew Film ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ Based on Amos Oz’s Memoir (VIDEO)

    The first English-language trailer for Natalie Portman’s directorial debut — A Tale of Love and Darkness — based on Israeli author Amos Oz’s memoir, was released on Thursday. The movie, originally filmed in Hebrew, tells the story of Oz’s childhood in Jerusalem at the end of the British Mandate and the early years of Israel’s independence. Portman, who was born in Israel and speaks fluent Hebrew, plays the lead role of Fania, the author’s mother. She struggles to raise her son as she deals with inner demons, a […]

    Read more →
  • Features As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    JNS.org – Sonnenallee, a street in Berlin’s Neukölln district, looks like it comes straight out of an Arab city — so much so that it goes by the nickname “Gaza Strip.” Kebab and bakery shops are advertised in Arabic; men sit in men-only coffee shops; and bridal shop windows showcase glittery, not-so-stylish gowns. But take a random turn, and you’ll find a swath of bars, burger joints, and Indian restaurants where hip Berliners announce that they have arrived to urban coolness. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot engages in fierce action sequences in the new Wonder Woman trailer, which Warner Bros. premiered during the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. The nearly 3-minute trailer, the first to debut for the superhero film, shows scenes of Diana, princess of the Amazons, fighting alongside men in the battle against the world’s toughest enemies. The first shot of the video shows Wonder Woman discovering a man, Steve Trevor (played by actor Chris Pine), washed ashore. The clip then takes viewers to the all-female island where Wonder Woman was born. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    Is diplomacy worthwhile, even if the end result isn’t what we hoped for? That is the question, among many others, posed by the new play Oslo, by J.T. Rogers. Making its New York debut at Lincoln Center, the play examines the secret diplomatic process that led to the historic 1993 peace accords. The character of Shimon Peres makes an appearance onstage — and he, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, tower over the proceedings. But they mainly do so in absentia. Instead, […]

    Read more →
  • Spirituality/Tradition Sports Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    JNS.org – Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition. Koufax — who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history — decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. “I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview. Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    The famed lead guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, encouraged Jewish singer-songwriter Adam Lambert to perform in Hebrew during their upcoming joint concert in Israel, an entertainment industry advocacy organization reported on Tuesday. During a recent interview with Israeli television personality Assi Azar, May was played a 2005 video of Lambert singing the popular song Shir L’Shalom, (Song for Peace). May was so impressed by Lambert’s singing of the Hebrew track that he told the American singer, “We have to do that. Let’s […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    JNS.org – Kenyan-born marathoner Lonah Chemtai is expected to compete for Israel at the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next month after gaining a last minute approval. “I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters. Chemtai, who grew up a rural village in western Kenya, first came to Israel in 2009 to care of the children of her country’s ambassador to Israel. The 27-year-old runner recently gained […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    To date or not to date? That is not the question for most Modern Orthodox singles in New York. The question is when will they find their future spouses, and when will their families stop nagging them about having babies? Inspired by the success of the Israeli show “Srugim,” Leah Gottfried, 25, decided she would create and star in her own show, “Soon By You.” “Dating is so serious already,” Gottfried said. “We wanted to take a lighter approach and laugh at the […]

    Read more →