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February 13, 2014 2:24 pm

YIVO, Lithuania, and Lies About the Holocaust

avatar by Olga Zabludoff

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A banner featuring the picture of Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis, the Nazi puppet prime minister of 1941 who personally signed orders confirming German demands for thousands Jews of this very city. Photo: Courtesy of DefendingHistory.com.

Nobody could love or respect the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research more than I do. It was founded as the Yiddish Scientific Institute in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1925. YIVO remains a symbol for all who cherish our Yiddish heritage and, now, its last prewar survivors. Through the years I have spent many wondrous hours at YIVO, digging, discovering, and learning about my Litvak ancestors, their shtetlach, and their culture. Being there always felt like being home. The books and documents I handled seemed almost sacred. Memories of conversations with YIVO’s revered librarian Dina Abramowicz still make me smile. . . . But today I am saddened by what I perceive as an irony of events: one on February 14 at YIVO in New York, and another on February 16 in YIVO’s motherland.

Several years ago I learned that neo-Nazi marches are now held in the major city centers of Lithuania twice annually. Marches will soon occur in Kaunas (Kovno) on February 16 and in Vilnius (Vilna) on March 11. We all know that neo-Nazi parades still occur both in our country and in Europe, guaranteed under freedom of expression laws in democracies. But Lithuania’s fascist events transmit an extra sting: the selected dates commemorate the most sacred days of the Lithuanian calendar. February 16, 1918, marked the Day of Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence. March 11, 1990, was the nation’s second Restoration of Independence. Why would a member state of the European Union celebrate its patriotic holidays – its Days of Independence – by flaunting swastikas and other fascist symbols in the centers of its major cities?

Is there a subliminal connection between “patriotism” and Nazism in Lithuania?

The organizers of the 2014 neo-Nazi marches have already obtained their permits from the municipal authorities. This has become an automatic rubber stamp sanctioned by the government of Lithuania. For the seventh consecutive year, the marches will take place during prime time along the major boulevards of Kaunas and Vilnius. Last year the mayor of Vilnius suggested the groups should parade in an alternative location, one that is not in the city center. The organizers scoffed at the insult and announced they would march along the same prominent route that has always been theirs. The police did not intervene in the illegal march, and the mayor subsequently commented he would place no restrictions on permits in the future.

It seems ironic that right here in the United States, just days before the Kaunas neo-Nazi march,  a gathering of  high-level personalities will participate in a serious-sounding roundtable discussion: “Unresolved History: Jews and Lithuanians after the Holocaust,” hosted by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, and Anne E. Derse, former U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania, will present the introductory remarks. The program is supported by the Lithuanian Consulate General in New York and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.

It is an elegantly civilized and blissful concept: an eminent group of Jews and Lithuanians assembled to discuss critical issues facing the Jewish community in Lithuania today. Who can criticize such a noble effort?

Lithuania is the land where more than 95 percent of its prewar Jewish population of 225,000 was murdered during the Holocaust – annihilated mainly by volunteering Lithuanian collaborators. Will the academics and intellectuals address the importance of the true historical memory of the Holocaust so that the generations that follow will inherit the truth? The Lithuanian government invests heavily in a campaign of seminars and conferences that bring together educators and statesmen who explore the legacy of the Holocaust in Lithuania. They are forever analyzing the unresolved Lithuanian-Jewish issues. The words are cheap, but the issues never get fixed. Perhaps at  the next conference…

These events make the current ruling elite of Lithuania look good in the West.

But for the 3,000 or so Jews in Lithuania, life goes on as before. They have become almost deaf to the chants of neo-Nazis, almost blind to the buildings and streets named in honor of Nazi collaborators, almost desensitized to the feel of rising anti-Semitism in a country where Jews approach statistical zero.

It was less than two years ago that the Lithuanian government, to the silence of the U.S. State Department and many Jewish organizations, repatriated from Putnam, Connecticut, and reburied with full honors, the remains of the 1941 Nazi puppet “prime minister” who personally signed papers confirming shipment of the Jewish citizens to death camps and ghettos. At the time, it was reported here in The Algemeiner. A leading professor at Yale, along with the director of YIVO, were, incredibly, brought to Lithuania to camouflage what was happening with yet another saccharine historical symposium sponsored by the Lithuanian government.

Since 2006, Lithuania has been the only country on the planet to defame Holocaust survivors who survived by joining the anti-Nazi resistance as “war criminals.” None of them has yet received a public apology.”Ž

The greatest threat to what may be the hidden agenda of the YIVO roundtable revolves around a body known unofficially as the “Red-Brown Commission” and officially as The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania. The Commission has sought to advance the Double Genocide theory, which seeks to equate the World War II Nazi and Soviet crimes, claiming that the suffering of the Jews under the Nazi occupiers was equal to that of the Lithuanians during the two Soviet occupations of the country. Of course the serious crimes of Stalinism need to be investigated, exposed, and made part of the historical record. That is vitally important. But it is a separate issue, and is completely disrespectful to Holocaust survivors.

The Double Genocide movement has made threatening inroads via its primary document, the Prague Declaration of 2008. In 2012, a robust response came from 70 parliamentarians in the European Union who signed the Seventy Years Declaration, including eight Social Democrats from Lithuania. Sadly, not a single one of them appears on YIVO’s upcoming panel. Can we hope that the participants will rise to the occasion and confront the unresolved issues once and for all?

Olga Zabludoff is an editor-writer who worked for The Macmillan Company in New York and the National Education Association and the National Association of Educational Broadcasters in Washington, D.C. Her articles on Lithuania have appeared in the Baltimore Sun, the South African Jewish Report, VilNews and DefendingHistory.com.

Her international petition, addressed to the Lithuanian ambassador, calling for action on the annual Independence Day marches in Vilnius in Kaunas, can be found here.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • alina

    “It is legitimate to adopt a critical attitude toward the relatively large number of Jews who particularly in the first decade after the Bolshevik revolution collaborated with the Soviet Government in the persecution of other peoples.”

    Lithuanians have the right to protect themselves. Jews were the ones WHO CREATED THE SOVIET REGIME:)

    • Olga Zabludoff

      Dear Alina,
      If you believe the comments you have expressed here, I cannot waste my time responding. If you choose to believe myths and propaganda over true historical facts,I feel sorry for your misguided education.

  • To view the panel discussion, “Unresolved History: Jews and Lithuanians After the Holocaust” at YIVO on February 14, 2014, please visit the following webpage: http://yivo.org/video/index.php?tid=203&aid=1267

    • Olga Zabludoff

      Many thanks to YIVO for posting the video of the discussion “Unresolved History: Jews and Lithuanians after the Holocaust.” In my opinion, the champion panelist was Leonidas Donskis who opened his heart with conviction and courage. As a Jewish Lithuanian his understanding of and sympathy for both Jews and Lithuanians have generated wise insights and pervasive truths. Among his magnitude of analytical comments to be applauded, Donskis explained that the Far Right in Lithuania have managed to get close to the center of power where they have been “mainstreamed” rather than marginalized. He also reflected on how difficult it is for Lithuanians who have decided to tell the truth. As a nation “we lack the political courage,” he remarked.

      Saulius Suziedelis, a historian, opened his presentation with the observation that it is not the history that is unresolved, but coming to terms with that history, confronting the history. Yet I was left with a troubling sense of wondering which version of the history he advocates. For the prominent historian that he is, and as a member of the state appointed International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Suziedelis seemed to be minimizing some very important thorns of Holocaust history and current political issues in Lithuania. He claimed the Double-Genocide concept is sheer nonsense manufactured by demagogues and noise makers. He shared the same opinion about the anti-Nazi Jewish partisans who were summoned, he argued, only as “witnesses.” (See http://defendinghistory.com/?p=238 ) On the subject of the Jews massacred in the provinces, Suziedelis commented, “They did not die at the hands of their neighbors.” He insisted they were victims of the Einsatzgruppen mobile killing units. A historian certainly must know that the German Nazis in those mobile killing squads served essentially as observers and photographers; they did not need to do the killing; they had sufficient numbers of volunteer Lithuanian executioners, in many cases whom the victims knew by name.(David Bankier’s book Expulsion and Extermination and Kazimierz Sakowicz’s Ponary Diary: 1941-1943 testify to the story of how the Jews were exterminated in the provinces and at Ponary.

      Mikhail Iossel was a worthy moderator, steering the dialogue well. It is worth watching the video more than once.

  • Pinchos Fridberg (Vilnius)

    A piece of advice to those who are about to make comments in «Algemeiner».

    Do not forget to add in the end of your commentary the following:

    Dear Algemeiner,
    You present yourself as media voice with moral clarity, so, I belief that you will assume all responsibility and standards of free and democratic press and will publish my letter as response to the article of … .

    Best regards,
    ……………………………………………

    Be extremely careful and try not to make any mistakes in spelling the author’s surname (see commentary of Mr. Ronaldas Racinskas)

  • James

    No one has addressed why YIVO permitted its facilities to host such an event? Given that its board is mostly comprised of children of survivors, it would be nice if some of its board members step forward and give an explanation. What would the founders of YIVO, many of whom were killed by their neighbors who they trusted (Lithuanians, Latvians and Poles, etc.) say if they could speak now? As a Jewish institution YIVO should be representing the Jewish point of view or at least take a neutral stand. Therefore, a smiliar event where Olga Professor Dovid Katz and Dr. Zuroff speak should be planned in the near future. And it should be followed a week later by a debate between one of these three and perhaps someone representing the Lithuanian Government.

  • Pinchos Fridberg (Vilnius)

    INTERVIEWING MYSELF:

    Q: How come you and your wife are so concerned about the Holocaust, and the Righteous among the nations?

    A: I am a Vilna born Holocaust survivor. My grandmother Rahil (Rochel), grandfather Itshak (Yitkshok) and numerous relatives from my mother’s side found their eternal rest at Paneriai (Ponar).
    Girsh (Hirsh), 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 and thereby saved by Righteous among the Nations Bronislava KriÅ¡topavičienÄ—, zikhroyno livrokho (of blessed memory).

    Q: In your commentary, published here, as well as your numerous articles, you blatantly put blame upon the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania” in its falsifying the history of the Holocaust in Lithuania. Why, thus, has the Сommission not sued you in court to make you publicly refute your own claims?
    A: That is because I have produced irrefutable documents. I have uploaded them on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtUCm3NTskc&feature=youtu.be

    Here is an excerpt from the report presented by Mrs. VilkienÄ—, deputy director of the Commission and its education programs coordinator at the international forum “United Europe-United History” (Vilnius, November 16,2012):

    “And what did they do?

    They dug a huge, huge bunker, a giant pit, and took 43 Jews, their neighbors. And they hid them from ’41 till ’44. They hid them, while in fear of their neighbors, every night opening that bunker, letting them breath fresh air, taking care of food, they themselves not being very well-off. During that time a girl was born in the bunker. That means they rescued 44, not 43. During that time the pregnant woman, the wife of the rescuer, also gave birth to this woman who was telling us this story. And she told it so simply, as a simple matter: as if it were self-evident: they rescued people. And we, we who, who then stood, that is, sat in the audience and listened, we thought: Well, how did they take care of food, during winter, clothes, hygienic conditions for three years, how were people able to do that? And that story, I believe, taught [us] much, very many things, first about the ability to help, about aid to others, about victims, those who were hidden, about those who tried to find those people, that there is a story about these people, that they, four people, are the ones who rescued two families, they were afraid to ask others for help because they thought they would turn them in. And really there are so very many moral matters. So I think that these stories, this is a personal experience of history, it is very important. “

    Q: What is it that stops the executive director of the Commission, Mr. R. Račinskas, from publicly apologizing for the unreliable information? Is it fear of breathing upon the esprit de corps or is it lack of information?
    A: I do not know what keeps him from apologizing. I can’t help with the first question, but no problem with the second. In my publication “Lithuania is Paying with its Image for an Official’s Ambitions”, I focus on these issues in detail
    http://defendinghistory.com/translation-into-english-of-professor-pinchos-fridbergs-article-of-9-april-2013/57767
    Moreover, I deliberately placed the information of this publication on the commission’s website
    http://www.komisija.lt/en/komentarai.php?msg_from=5&news_id=1361200737

    Q: Don’t you think that your regular publications discredit the commission?
    A: No, not at all. Lies do discredit, but I am telling the truth. And I shall write about it until the lie is publicly refuted.
    On October 14, 2013, I wrote a letter to the speaker of the Lithuanian parliament (Seimas)
    http://defendinghistory.com/higher-mathematics-of-the-lithuanian-holocaust/61292 )
    But I have not yet received a reply.

    Q: Are you having any difficulty in publishing your articles?
    A: Concerning Israeli and American Internet resources — no, practically, but Lithuanian ones — yes. Believe it or not, but there is not one serious Internet resource in the Lithuanian language which would agree to publish the speech Protocol (without comments), uttered within the Seimas walls (!), even as a paid publication (advertisement). There is only one exception, the magazine Veidas (“Face”)having proved that it owns its own face, whereas the editor of the Lithuanian Tribune does not even reply to my letters.

    Q: Is it any possible, that this “tribune” is owned by Mr. Zingeris and Mr. Racinskas?
    A: I have no idea. I have not seen this portal’s registry papers yet.

    PS: I extend my great gratitude to the Algemeiner editorial staff who published my article “Instead of Truth about the Holocaust – Myths about Saving Jews” in January, 2013
    http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/01/15/instead-of-truth-about-the-holocaust-%E2%80%93-myths-about-saving-jews/

    PROFESSOR PINCHOS FRIDBERG
    VILNIUS, LITHUANIA

  • Julius

    The author asks: “Is there a subliminal connection between “patriotism” and Nazism in Lithuania?”

    Well, it certainly is. Jew-hatred, in words of my wife who is a Lithuanian, is in the blood of every Lithuanian, and has nothing to do with sad lessons of WWII. What happened during WWII was an active expression, an exercising of what has been before.

    Nationalistic and patriotic in many a Lithuanian’s mind, amounts to the same. As a small country and a small nation, Lithuanians, in spite of having become part of European Union, still are and remain nationalistically oriented people, and, ergo, antisemitic.

    Of course, not every single Lithuanian are like that. But, as a saying has it, exception only proves the rule.

    • Mindey

      How do you make such general statements about the whole Lithuanian population without referring to statistical inference from a representative sample? Do some research!

    • Linda

      From your statements it appears that your wife is anti-Semitic. Because your wife is an anti-Semite and also Lithuanian does not mean that all Lithuanians are anti-Semites. You should conduct a survey or do some research. Anyone who lives in Lithuania would recognize your claim that all Lithuanians who love their country are therefore also anti-Semites as ridiculous. It is haters like you and your wife with simplistic thinking and flawed logic that continue to spread misinformation and hatred.

  • Dear Algemeiner,

    This letter is the reaction to the article by Olga Zabludoff “YIVO, Lithuania, and Lies About the Holocaust” published on 2014-02-13 at http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/02/13/yivo-lithuania-and-lies-about-the-holocaust/.

    We at the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania are also concerned about some negative facts in Lithuania, like radicalization of some part of the society. We also condemn any manifestations of Anti-Semitism and intolerance or history falsification. The strategic goal of the Commission was, is and will be the promotion of historical truth and justice as well as reconciliation among the nations and people.

    So the paragraph about our institution in above mentioned article comes as unpleasant surprise for us. Olga Zabludoff write: “The greatest threat to what may be the hidden agenda of the YIVO roundtable revolves around a body known unofficially as the “Red-Brown Commission” and officially as The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania. The Commission has sought to advance the Double Genocide theory, which seeks to equate the World War II Nazi and Soviet crimes, claiming that the suffering of the Jews under the Nazi occupiers was equal to that of the Lithuanians during the two Soviet occupations of the country.”

    These statements about active role of the Commission in promoting so called “Double Genocide” have no any factual grounds. And it could not, because the Commission from the first days of establishment stands very clearly for the separate judgement of two totalitarian regimes. Our position is clear – each one must be judged separately on its own merits and for its own deeds.

    During the first meeting on November 17, 1998, the Commission set clear division between research and evaluation of the crimes committed by the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes, and also set the main goals and the principles of its functioning:
    “The President of the Republic of Lithuania has set up the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania to investigate the circumstances and the scope of extermination. Since the Nazi Holocaust and Soviet crimes were carried out for different purposes and employed individual methods, the members of this Commission split into two sub-commissions which in their own turn would coordinate and supervise two working groups of experts which investigate crimes executed during the Holocaust and the Soviet occupation. (Quote from the first statement of the Commission, full text available on the Commissions internet side http://www.komisija.lt/Files/www.komisija.lt/File/Session%201998/Statement%201998%2011%2018.doc )”

    During its second meeting on March 2, 1999, the Commission adopted and issued the “Mission statement” (http://www.komisija.lt/en/body.php?&m=1173445917). This fundamental document is like the Constitution of the Commission. It set and elaborated goals of the Commission:
    – To fill in gaps in the modern history of Lithuania, by academic research and investigation conducted by specialists and experts, and disseminate the documented information both in Lithuania and abroad;
    – To bring to Lithuania historical and sociological research, which has been generated in the West during the past fifty years, in essence to reverse the isolation and separation from historical information, which characterized the Soviet period;
    – To publicize and disseminate the information generated, and inform citizens and students of all ages concerning the Holocaust and crimes committed by the Soviet regimes, and their consequences for Lithuanian society and the international community;
    and expected concrete achievements of the Commission in the fields of:
    1.Research:
    – Provide an inventory and bibliography of books, reports, exhibits, videotaped declarations of witnesses, photographs, etc.
    – Detailed historical and archival research, and personal interviews, in Lithuania and abroad.
    – The preparation, publication, and cataloguing of series of articles, reports, and documents concerning the historical events associated with the crimes committed in Nazi occupied Lithuania, particularly the Holocaust, and under the Soviet occupations. Amongst the topics to be covered are crimes against humanity, genocide, deportations, forced labor, cultural plunder, seized property and assets restitution, etc.
    2. Calculation of Moral and Material Damage:
    – Calculations of the moral, economic and physical damages from the two occupation periods, utilizing in part the previous work performed in this area.
    3. Disseminations of Findings:
    – Support for the preparation of educational materials and curriculum for school students at all levels to promote study, discussion, and understanding of Lithuanian history during that period.
    – Continuing series of informational seminars for general educational purposes.
    – A series of conferences and debates for professionals in various disciplines concerning the Nazi and Soviet occupations. Scholars and officials from abroad will also be involved.
    – A media campaign, using Internet as well, to disseminate the results of the Commission’s work, and thereby increase the level of public understanding and national reconciliation.

    “Mission statement” also set Commission’s organization and operating procedures and once again stressed that the Commission is divided into two Sub-Commissions, to deal with the periods of Nazi and Soviet occupation separately. In the concluding part of the Statement it is emphasized that “Commission has a crucial role to play in the determination of Lithuania’s historical truths during the twentieth century, educating the populace, and promoting reconciliation and respect for human rights”.

    During its 3rd meeting on August 29, 1999, the Commission adopted the “Outline of Work Plan” (http://www.komisija.lt/en/body.php?&m=1173548714) and divided period of Lithuanian occupation into five major periods:
    I. Introduction.
    II. The First Soviet Occupation, 1940-1941
    III. The Nazi Occupation of 1941-1944. The Holocaust and other Nazi Crimes
    IV. The Second Soviet Occupation – First phase (1944-1953)
    V. The Second Phase of the Second Soviet Occupation (1953-1990)
    Each of these periods is divided into concrete subject matter themes (like “The role of Lithuanians and others in the local population as perpetrators and/or collaborators in the Holocaust” or “The organized destruction of Lithuanian Jewry”). All Commission’s academic work and research was conducted according to this “Work Plan”. Research works and conclusions of the Commission could be found on http://www.komisija.lt/en/body.php?&m=1194863084#.
    International Commission is among few institutions which actively tells truth about Holocaust in Lithuania (http://www.komisija.lt/Files/www.komisija.lt/File/Tyrimu_baze/Naciu%20okupacija/Zydu%20naikinimas%201941%20m.%20vasara/ENG/Approved%20Conclusions_Persecution%20and%20Mass%20Murder%20of%20Lithuanian%20Jews.pdf), discloses the role of local population as perpetrators in the Holocaust; confronts old stereotypes and prejudges by organizing seminars and other activities about centuries long Jewish history on the current territory of Lithuania, their religion, culture, traditions and the active and positive role in establishment and strengthening of the independent Republic of Lithuanian in interwar period; organizes academic conferences for historians and seminars for teachers and educators (http://www.komisija.lt/en/body.php?&m=1150465846); initiates and organizes commemorative events on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27, http://www.komisija.lt/en/naujiena.php?id=1391082776) and National Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day (September 23, http://www.komisija.lt/en/naujiena.php?id=1380622214), as well as coordinates network of 95 Tolerance Education Centers around Lithuania (http://www.komisija.lt/en/body.php?&m=1176460068).
    We think that judgments about activities of certain institutions, organizations and people (like judgments about historical events) should be based on facts and practical deeds, but not on believes, assumptions or stereotypes.
    We invite Olga Zabludoff and others find more about our activities on http://www.komisija.lt, to meet with us and teachers from Tolerance Education Centers, to talk with our partners from Yad Vashem (Israel), Holocaust Memorial Museum (US) and many others, and then make judgments.
    Dear Algemeiner,
    You present yourself as media voice with moral clarity, so, I belief that you will assume all responsibility and standards of free and democratic press and will publish my letter as response to the article of O. Zbludoff.
    Best regards,
    Ronaldas Racinskas
    Executive Director of the International Commission

  • Jerry

    dear Alan, Stalin killed the Nazis after June 22, 1941, before that date he was heavily collaborating with the Nazis.

    Sending communist refugees back to Germany, sabotaging the french army 1940, remember Katyn…..

  • Mindey

    Hmmm… After coming back to Lithuania, I had incidentally talked to one young pro-facist Lithuanian student of history at Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences. It surprised very much, how could one be pro-facist? I listened, trying to understand.

    He explained to me his inclinations saying that “although facism has strong connotations with facist Germany and Nacizm, ordinary people can’t differentiate between the facism as a political system, and the historical crimes associated with facism,” and that as a historian he knows many examples when facist government used to help nations to mobilize themselves for making progress.

  • Pinchos Fridberg (Vilnius)

    Thank you, Olga Zabludoff, for the fine article!

    It reminded me of my own article “An Old Jew From Vilna Writes a Letter to Moshe Rabeinu” (at http://defendinghistory.com/and-of-course-the-research-that-our-commissions-historians-are-carrying-out-is-very-important/59280) of which this is just an excerpt:

    (Translation from Yiddish)

    “My dear Moshe Rabeinu!

    You are the only one here on this earth who has a direct contact to the Almighty. Please could you be so good as to give Him my letter. Perhaps he will answer my three questions:

    (1) How could the people who took part in the European forum “United Europe – United History” (Vilnius, November 16, 2012) now be informed, that instead of objective information there were, forgive me for saying so, palmed off with fairy tales?

    (2) How can I inform hundreds of Lithuanian pupils that instead of the truth about the Holocaust, they are being told myths?

    (3) The main question: What do You think, can we now trust the other documents issued by the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania”?

    Yours
    Pinchos ben Schaje
    Vilnius”

  • Leyzer

    While we are on the subject of YIVO and Yiddish – what ever happened to the Yiddish Algemeiner?

  • Bravo, Olga. See other recent comments by Dr. Efraim Zuroff and Professor Pinchos Fridberg on the same events:

    Dr. Zuroff’s: http://defendinghistory.com/efraim-zuroff-on-tablet-magazines-co-sponsorship-of-lithuanian-governments-yivo-event-and-request-to-yivo-audience/63754.

    Professor Fridberg’s:
    http://defendinghistory.com/vilnius-holocaust-survivor-pinchos-fridberg-posts-new-comment-in-the-tablet/63780

    For possible interestw, my own eyewitness report of the Kaunas (Kovno) event one year ago,and report here in the Algemeiner Journal:
    http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/02/25/purim-in-lithuania-a-season-for-state-approved-neo-nazi-city-center-marches/

  • Ross Yerkes

    COULD THIS BE A REACTION TO THE YEARS OF COMMUNIST OPPRESSION, WHERE JEWS WERE SO PROMINENT IN ITS ADMINISTRATION? REMEMBER SOLZHENITSYN’S “200 YEARS TOGETHER”.

    • Olga Zabludoff

      It’s important to realize that Jews were deported to Siberia along with Lithuanians–but in greater proportions of their population. Jews were not spared under the Soviet regime.

      • James

        Jews were 7% of the total population of Lithuania in 1941 but of those who were deported in June 1941 shortly before the German invasion, Jews represented more than 25%. Therefore, Jews suffered more than the Lithuanians during this deportation. Add to the fact that the Soviets closed all Jewish schools, banned the Hebrew language, nationalized large factories and businesses which were largely owned by Jews, the entire Jewish community suffered more during the the first year of Soviet occupation (June 1940 – June 1941). For the current government of Lithuania to honor Lithuanians who have Jewish blood on their hands is outrageous and Lithuania’s membership in both the EU and NATO needs to be revoked. And all American aid for Lithuania needs to be suspended until Lithuania takes responsibility for the actions of its citizens in the murder of over 200,000 Jews in a five month period in 1941.

  • Stalin killed the Nazis there. Are we going to mourn their deaths? This is too much.

  • Grant Gochin

    There is little credible about Lithuanian protestations of how they mourn their murdered Jews. They love their Jews that they so willingly and collaboratively murdered, it is just living Jews that they don’t really like.

    After re-burying Brazaitis with full State Honors, (costs paid directly from the Prime Ministers office), YIVO stated that they were cutting ties with Lithuania. I am surprised that any Lithuanian Government official is welcome on YIVO premises.

    There are names on that panel that are truth tellers. They will confront Lithuanian deceit head on, and at the end of the day, the Lithuanians will cluck their tongues, and brazenly continue their actions when the conference is over.

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