The government of Lithuania has issued a statement entitled Commemoration of Holocaust in Lithuania. It is exquisite in its manipulative use of language in order to misrepresent facts. Their statement is replicated below in regular text, my comments are in italics:
The Holocaust is the most horrible human tragedy of the 20th century, which traumatised the whole world, including Lithuania. It is the most painful and bloodiest event in the country’s history. It was only after Lithuania restored its independence in 1990 that historians had opportunities to explore the little-known pages of Lithuanian history, including the Holocaust that was organised and perpetrated by Nazi Germany military and police units assisted by local collaborators. It is only now that we are starting to come to grips with this terrible history.
This is untrue. Lithuanian national leadership proposed the ethnic cleansing and “elimination” of Jews from Lithuania. Murders began before Nazis arrived. Lithuanians did not have the wherewithal and the ability to carry out the entire Holocaust by themselves. Nazis enabled Lithuanians to perpetrate the Holocaust in Lithuania and in neighboring countries. There were fewer than 1,000 Nazis in Lithuania, some of whom were secretaries and drivers. A few hundred Nazis did not have the ability to murder 220,000 Jews, Lithuanians took it upon themselves to carry out the Lithuanian national mission.
In the middle of the 20th century, in the very heart of Europe, many people, influenced by complex circumstances of the time, easily submitted to the rules of a brutal game and to the roles assigned to them, whether as executioners, assistants or observers. We dare to admit that Lithuanians also collaborated with the Nazis in the atrocities of the Holocaust. The research has revealed the shockingly horrible scale of the Holocaust, which is beyond human comprehension.
Lithuania omits that Lithuanians proposed the “elimination” of Jews. This statement is very carefully crafted to ascribe responsibility to Nazis, and to imply a minor role by the Lithuanians. Lithuanians enthusiastically, joyously, and voluntarily carried out the Holocaust. Blaming Lithuanian murders on Nazis is Holocaust revisionism.
As we mourn the thousands and thousands of Lithuanian Jews, Lithuania continues to remember and reflect on what has happened and why it happened.
This statement is fabricated. Lithuania has an entire government department called the “Genocide Center”, to create Holocaust history into a false narrative. They did not punish a single Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrator, rather, they elevated many of them into their national heroes.
Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas, during an official visit to Israel in 1995, apologised in the Knesset to the Jewish people on behalf of the Lithuanian nation for the actions of his compatriots who had participated in the Holocaust.
Again, another misleading statement. After his reluctant apology, Brazauskas was repudiated in Lithuania upon his return. He then chose to remake many of Lithuania’s Holocaust perpetrators into national heroes. The Government of Lithuania regularly takes unrelated items, re-contextualizes and combines them, and therefore creates fabricated history.
Education is one of the best instruments to protect the common values of humanity and to educate the younger generation in the spirit of humanism. In Lithuania, a member country of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) since 2002, the history of the Holocaust is being taught in schools.
IHRA has repeatedly condemned Lithuania for Holocaust revisionism and distortion. Claiming membership and not mentioning that Lithuania repudiates IHRA mandates is dishonest.
Last year educational curricula for all grades in secondary education was reviewed and IHRA Recommendations for Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust played an important role in developing the new curricula.
“Played an important role”? Surely they jest. Lithuania signed false statements in front of other IHRA Members. IHRA has identified Lithuanian Government Holocaust distortion. This statement is nothing short of garbage.
The Secretariat of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania initiated the Memory Road across Lithuania. The participants retraced the paths that the Holocaust victims were forced to walk to the sites of their massacre.
The Secretariat of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania has identified the Lithuanian Government as Holocaust distorters. Selectively misrepresenting facts is distortion. Ronaldas Račinskas, the head of the Secretariat fraudulently called evidence against Skirpa and Noreika “total fake”.
There are more than 160 Tolerance Education Centers in schools, local museums and educational centers established in different cities and towns across Lithuania.
But, what do they teach? Clearly not the truth.
Lithuanian Government approved the IHRA definition of antisemitism and recommended to all the public authorities to take this definition into account in their work.
Holocaust denial, revisionism, distortion and triumphalism IS antisemitism. The Lithuanian Government also signed promises they would not elevate murderers of Jews into their national heroes. Signing statements means nothing when their agenda is to deceive.
The efforts are devoted to promote the critical thinking of schoolchildren and students to ensure a more accurate understanding of the consequences of antisemitism.
The Lithuanian government has zero tolerance for any manifestations of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, or disrespect for the murdered victims of the Holocaust.
This statement is absolutely, entirely and completely a lie. The thirty plus legal actions listed on this page prove the dishonesty of the statement. Lithuania has an entire Government agency dedicated to Holocaust denial, revision, inversion, distortion and triumphalism. The Lithuanian Government and Court are in collusion to commit the crimes of Holocaust revisionism. The documentaries J’Accuse! and Baltic Truth cover only a very few elements of Lithuanian Holocaust dishonesty.
Anti-Semitism as a political ideology is not widespread in Lithuania.
Holocaust revisionism is widespread in Lithuania and encouraged by the government.
It is more like a tension or a defensive attitude in response to tragic and shameful aspects of the past, such as the involvement of Lithuanians in the Holocaust.
Really? They are excusing Holocaust revisionism in a document titled “Commemoration of Holocaust in Lithuania”?
In addition to the existing Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History two new museums devoted to Lithuanian Jewry are being developed: Memorial Museum of Holocaust in Lithuania and the Vilna Ghetto and Museum of Culture and Identity of Lithuanian Jews.
The central and local governments in cooperation with the Lithuanian Jewish Community continue to re-arrange, maintain and mark the sites of mass killings of Jews by putting up memorial plaques and erecting monuments, putting up directional signs on roads leading to the sites of killings and burial as well as installing information stands telling the history of the Holocaust.
Do these signs state that the murders were committed by Lithuanians? We know they do not. Instead of saying the murders were committed by Lithuanians, they use the nebulous term “collaborators” to deny Lithuanian culpability.
Education and open dialogue based on facts are essential during our turbulent times.
This is a total misrepresentation. There are currently pending criminal charges against me for exposing the vast genocidal crimes of Jonas Noreika. Ruta Vanagaite was hounded out of Lithuania for speaking the truth. The government regularly and continually accuses those who demand the truth to be “Russian Agents”.
Since the restoration of independence, Lithuania has consistently followed the principles of the restoration of historical justice.
This is a total lie – to date Lithuania has not punished a single Holocaust perpetrator. The Lithuanian government actively transforms murderers into rescuers. Two hundred and twenty thousand men, women, children, invalids, infants scholars, doctors, plumbers, rabbis, sages, and other ordinary citizens, were murdered simply because of possessing a single drop of Jewish blood, and Lithuania considers the murderers to be national heroes. How is this possible?
Lithuanian Government fully delivered on its commitments in compliance with the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Good Will Compensation for the Immovable Property of Jewish Religious Communities to provide more than 37 million EUR (more than 40 million USD) as a compensation.
Are we being told that money makes up for 220,000 murders? Only the most cynical and uncaring consider money a replacement for human lives. This financial arrangement was a miniscule representational payment in lieu of returning stolen hospitals, shuls, retirement homes, schools and other communal property.
Last year Lithuania took another step of good will: adopted the amendment to the current Law and envisaged additional 37 million EUR (40 million USD) to be payed as a monetary compensation, also for the private realty including heirless one of Lithuanian Jews that Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes nationalized or illegally expropriated.
This settlement did not include repayment for property stolen by Lithuanians. It is an obvious omission to deny the fact that Lithuanians plundered and shared Jewish property, including children’s underwear, toys and strollers. This settlement amounted to $16.80 per murdered Jew per year, for a few years. And to whom was it paid? It will possibly be used to renovate desecrated Jewish property for use as tourist attractions for Lithuania’s benefit. So, who benefits from this? Clearly, the Lithuanians.
Individual cases of disputed glorification of historical figures are on the Lithuanian Governments’ agenda.
NONSENSE! I have provided the Government of Lithuania with fourteen names of Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators who have been glorified by the national state. Their response was to threaten me with criminal charges. This glorification was intentional. The government has made no movement whatsoever to tell the truth.
As much as commemoration of historical figures is linked to the municipal decisions the Government of Lithuania holds a dialogue with the local authorities concerning this issue.
This statement is not only extremely deceptive, it is preposterous. The municipalities do not enter the names onto the National register. The President does.
We see the importance of academic research and education so that the public is aware of the controversial figures and their wrongful honors.
Another thoroughly dishonest statement. The thirty plus legal actions listed on this page prove that Lithuania has no interest in academic research.
The Government has only insulted, demeaned or ignored Silvia Foti.
The government has ignored all outside academic research (see a partial list here) which contradicts their government employees, who are tasked with Holocaust fraud.
It is commendable that discussion on the past has started.
Commendable that they have been forced into a corner after eighty years and can no longer lie so blatantly? This statement is simply an insult. What discussion? Where? As in this statement, the government merely repeats their lies, no matter how many times they have been exposed as lies.
It is a slow process to come clear about who are the real heroes of Lithuania.
It has been 80 years since the Shoah. How slow should Jews expect before truth is told? Another 80?
The American and German governments have identified Lithuania’s Holocaust revisionism as promoting impunity for war criminals, normalizing antisemitism, racism, discrimination, and exclusion, increasing tensions between countries, and undermining public support for democratic institutions and values-based international structures.
Moreover, the Lithuanian Government has initiated new legislation to solve existing cases of disputed commemorations and to prevent such cases in the future. The new Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Prohibition of the Promotion of Totalitarian or Authoritarian Regimes and Their Ideologies will take effect this year.
The Israeli American Civic Action Network termed it the “Noreika Law”. In fact, the Government of Lithuania intended this law to apply only to Soviet monuments, not to their own Lithuanians who murdered Jews. Unfortunately for Lithuania, the Government of the United States is holding them to a standard other than which they intended.
As we remember and mourn the victims of the Holocaust,
Lithuania only mourns Jews murdered by Nazis. They do not mourn Jews murdered by Lithuanians.
we also remember and honour the Righteous Among the Nations, whose heroic acts saving the Jews during the World War II preserved faith in the ideals of humanity and human conscience. We salute the bravery of more than 900 of them in Lithuania who risked their lives to save others. Today, they are the most powerful teachers of courage and determination who deserve the exceptional respect of all of us.
The 900 number is 0.04% of Lithuanians. This means that 99.96% of Lithuanians were not rescuers. IHRA considers a relentless focus on the 0.04% of Lithuanians who rescued Jews, while disregarding the 99.96% to be Holocaust distortion. Lithuania disregards IHRA standards while crowing about membership. The relentless focus while abnegating the 99.96% is intended to portray Lithuania as a rescuer nation. This is a complete inversion of reality.
The Seimas (the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania) set March 15th as the remembrance Day of the Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews. March 15th was chosen in memory of Ona Šimaitė, the rescuer of the Jews of the Vilnius Ghetto during Nazis’ occupation of Lithuania. On March 15, 1966 O. Šimaitė became the first Lithuanian to be awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel.
Again, a relentless focus on the 0.04% of Lithuanians who did not steal, rape or murder. Pretending the 99.96% who were perpetrators, bystanders or could not prove they were the self-proclaimed rescuers they represent, is Holocaust distortion at it’s triumphal best.
Also, the Seimas adopted amendments to the existing law whereby the rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust are treated as the equivalent to freedom fighters.
Some of their “Freedom Fighters” were also murderers of Jews. Placing rescuers in this same category is simply, an affront to human dignity.
Although the number of the recipients of Righteous Among the Nations’ title in Lithuania is one of the highest when compared to the size of the population, the international community knows little about their heroic stories. As they are the most compelling examples of true humanity, we all are obliged to make their stories heard.
They were 0.04% of the population. Certainly, they were heroes. Will the government of Lithuania ever tell the truth about the 99.96% of Lithuanians who are not “Righteous among the nations”?
This concludes the Government’s statement. It is clearly propaganda and disinformation. After eighty years of deception, how can Jews possibly trust the Government of Lithuania now?
The Lithuanian Government compulsively uses “softening” words when they communicate about murdered Jews. Instead of “murdered”, they use “lost”. Instead of “orders” they use “letters”. Instead of “Lithuanian murderers”, they use “Nazis and others”. Their texts are highly coded and can only be understood when aware of their insulting and demeaning communication tactics.
Members of the government of Lithuania are quick to claim that “my best friends are Jews”, or that they wrote a book about Jewish recipes, or hawked citizenships for fees. This has nothing to do with their government telling the truth about the Holocaust. Truth is a prerequisite for friendship, without it, the “friendship” is false and certain to shatter when the truth is revealed.
Lithuania purchases weapons from Israel. Israel needs Lithuania’s vote at the United Nations and in the European Union. President Herzog and Prime Minister Netanyahu are aware that Lithuania honors the murderers of both their families as a national hero (Pucevicius). President Herzog and Prime Minister Netanyahu are acting on behalf of the State of Israel, and engaging as they should. The relationship is simply transactional, not sincere. Just as Israel trades with other countries who are artificial friends, they do so with Lithuania. It’s purely business.
Lithuanian diplomats regularly visit Yad Vashem. They attend Jewish events and exclusively talk about the 0.04% of Lithuanians who rescued Jews (always using the words “over 900” – as it sounds bigger and better than 0.04%). These visits never have anything to do with telling the truth. These visits are well worn deceptions.
Lithuanian diplomats have been invited to showings of J’Accuse! in London, New York, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Cape Town, Johannesburg and even in Lithuania itself. In every case they have either ignored the invitation or claimed not a single staff member is able to attend. Their fallacious pretense is further evidence Lithuania is boldly boycotting truthful events, and instead, just issue more lies and consistently false statements. One wonders if they will ever tire of this deception?
If Lithuania wishes to build bridges with Jews, they should stop issuing such disingenuous statements and instead follow a five step process:
- The government of Lithuania needs to revoke national honors for all their Holocaust perpetrators national heroes.
- The President of Lithuania should go on national television and admit the full and complete truth of the Holocaust cover up.
- Lithuania needs to create a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” to tell the whole truth of who committed the murders, and how the Genocide Center, Government and Courts continues to cover up their crimes.
- Judges who ruled on instruction rather than fact, need to be exposed for their judicial misconduct and removed from their positions. Government workers who committed Holocaust frauds should be fired and their state pensions revoked. Antisemitic government workers at the Migration Department who deliberately reject Jewish applications should be fired and their state pensions denied.
- As an act of contrition, sincere apology and redemption, Lithuania should welcome every Jew of Lithuanian heritage with a grant of Lithuanian citizenship. A mass grant would negate the application process and be a genuine sign of reconciliation.
The statement titled Commemoration of Holocaust in Lithuania is offensive. It is dishonest. It is manipulative. No matter how many times their deceptions are highlighted to the government of Lithuania, they merely repeat them in the hopes that a lie told repeatedly will eventually become reality. It will not, we are not fools. There is no basis for trust between Jews and Lithuania.