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. Vilkienė, deputy director of the commission and coordinator for educational projects. That is how she was introduced by the chairman, Dr N. Šepetys, 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 Šepetys to Mrs Vilkienė (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 Vilkienė 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 Telšiai. About two or three hundred high schools pupils and lots of teachers from the schools in and around Telšiai took part in the conference.” Mrs Vilkienė 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 Krištopavičienė, 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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.