About 100 people gathered for the latest book signing/ fund raising event in Chatsworth, California, on Saturday, June 19, 2021, thanks to the efforts of Grant Gochin, Russell Lyon, and Dillon Hosier of the Israeli Civic Action Network (ICAN). The purpose of the event was to raise funds to send The Nazi’s Granddaughter, an expose on Holocaust distortion in Lithuania, to every member of Congress. If you are interested in helping, please visit Tell Lithuania to Stop Honoring Holocaust Criminals.
Scott Abrams, representative of Congressman Brad Sherman, D-CA presented a flag that was flown over the Capitol; Patricia Glaser, JD, one of 500 leading lawyers in the United States, presented a letter from South Africa’s Shadow Foreign Minister Darren Bergman; Rabbi Ahud Sela presented honors from the Temple Ramat Zion; Armen Sahakayan, executive director of Armenian National Committee of America presented a certificate of recognition (details below). Speeches were also given by Finbar Hill, emeritus consul general of Ireland; Juris Bunkis, honorary consul of Latvia; Dillon Hosier, CEO of ICAN; Grant Gochin, the emeritus special envoy for diaspora affairs for the African Union, which represents all 55 African nations.
Eugene Levin, maker of the documentary Baltic Truth on Holocaust distortion in Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus (to be released soon) flew in from Boston. Michael Kretzmer, a filmmaker in England who has begun his documentary on the making of The Nazi’s Granddaughter, sent his crew to film the event. Dina Gold, author of Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Question for Justice at Krausentrasse 17/18 Berlin and Holocaust activist, flew in from Washington DC.
My favorite speech came from my brother Ray Kucenas. Here is what he said:
I am the only other living grandchild of Jonas Noreika. I am very proud that Silvia fulfilled this promise to our mother to write this book in exactly the way she wrote it. The vast majority of all our living relatives were and are actually against releasing this information because it highlights the horrific actions of someone, but for this information, would otherwise be considered a hero.
Generally, family members try to preserve the good name of ancestors, and most people would decide to hide the bad and only talk about the good. Why share dirty laundry? Well, some stains only go away with help from others who know what a good cleansing is. Hiding stubborn nasty stains only causes guaranteed future embarrassment once they are revealed.
Writing a book about a hero would have been easy. That is the book my mother would have written. But sadly, I am fairly certain that it would not have been an incredible, groundbreaking story. Instead, the book that Silvia wrote is about hard-to-imagine details and facts of how humans can and did do outrageous and horrible things to other humans.
The journalist in Silvia decided that the exposed corroborated facts and details would be what her book was about. With this book, the truth of what really happened is being brought to light. The truth must be told and not held in secret. The bigotry, hatred, racism, mass murder, genocide and inhuman atrocities of the past need to be contemplated so that such horrific behavior would never ever be replicated.
Hopefully, this book provides a small step to help others see what was done and what should never be repeated.
Several accolades were prepared in advance, which was truly humbling.
La Canada Flintridge
The City Council of the City of La Canada Flintridge recognizes and honors Silvia Foti with this certificate of recognition. For your dedication and efforts in fighting racism, anti-Semitism, and Holocaust denial and for prevention of genocide through your writings featured in the New York Times, BBC, Chicago Tribune, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, and many more outlets. Signed by Tania Moreno, city clerk, Michael T. Davitt, mayor.
Armenian National Committee of America—Western Region
This certificate is presented to Silvia Foti. For your dedication and efforts in combating denial of the Holocaust, Armenian Genocide, and other genocides, as well as your commitment to preventing future genocides. Signed by Armen V. Sahakyan, executive director.
City of Atlantic City
This certificate of commendation is presented to Silvia Foti. In grateful appreciation of your dedication, devotion and commitment to fight racism, antisemitism, and Holocaust denial and for your outstanding efforts to support the prevention of genocide. Signed by Honorable Marty Small, Sr., Mayor City of Atlantic City.
Congressman Brad Sherman
The flag of the United States of America. This is to certify that the accompanying flag was flown over the United States Capitol at the request of the Honorable Brad Sherman, Member of Congress. To Silvia Foti. Signed by Thomas J. Carroll, III, acting architect of the Capitol.
Shadow Minister of South Africa
Letter of appreciation and admiration. I knew you by name and reputation way before I had read your book or had heard you speak. Our families share a history dating back to the war that few will acknowledge in its entirety. It was due to the brave and honest efforts of yourself that allowed for open discussion.
Unfortunately, we live in a time that should have seen us progress from the thirties and forties and take us away from ever repeating the mistakes of our past, yet a century later and we seem to be facing an enormous rise in anti-Semitism again. Levels of propaganda and the severity of it are considered worse than Germany pre-war time. At a time like this, I am reminded of the words from Anne Rice: “Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.”
In a world of fake news, social media and influencers, people learn from peers and not teachers. They get facts from social media and not an encyclopaedia. So, it is all too easy for people to fall for a populist sentiment or what is perceived as a populist sentiment due to biased media and mediums. The real heroes are the good people at heart that will still speak out against the intimidation, threats, and isolation in the name of truth and justice.
Silvia, please accept my admiration and appreciation for you being one of these heroes. Please keep up the excellent work and let your truth and moral compass guide you always. The world needs more people of your fibre because until we have truth, we can never have reconciliation and without reconciliation the world will never see peace.
Yours sincerely, Darren Bergman, MP, shadow minister international relations and cooperation; executive member of the SADC parliamentary forum (treasurer); member of the liberal international human rights committee.
Temple Ramat Zion
A certificate of recognition and appreciation is presented to Silvia Foti. For her commitment to the truth and to preserving the memory of what happened to the Jews of Lithuania. Signed by Rabbi Ahud Sela; President Susan Lukenbill; Hazzan Daniel Friedman.
The Storm Door Blog
Here was my speech: We are at the 80-year anniversary of the start of the Shoah in Lithuania. The government of Lithuania is engaged in Holocaust denial and revisionism. My book describes this in detail.
The murder victims have no voice. We have to speak for them as they cry out from their mass death pits for truth. We cannot rest until they have that truth.
Is it possible that one woman in Chicago and one man in Los Angeles are alone on this journey? Fortunately for us, others have brought their talents and passion and have joined us. You are among them. We need you; we cannot do this alone. The murder victims need you.
For the 220,000 Jews murdered in Lithuania, for the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, for past and future victims of genocides, shouldn’t we try to make the truth known and prevent the next, and inevitable mass atrocity?
For the victims of my own grandfather, for the victims in Lithuania, for all the victims of the Shoah, I recall the words of Eli Wiesel: “If the Holocaust is forgotten, the dead will be killed a second time.” To that, I add: When the murderers are honored as national heroes, history absolutely will be repeated. We cannot stand by and allow that to happen.
Dillon Hosier of ICAN has elevated this to an international issue. Please, I ask you to help us, and stand up for the victims.
In related news….
- Speeches from Nazi’s Granddaughter Book Signing & Fundraiser – LINK
- How you can help: Print this LETTER; attach to it a cover letter as follows below and send it to your member of Congress.
Attached is communication from Congressman Sherman for your reference.
In an era where racist iconography is being deplatformed so that victims of violent conquest, slavery and genocide are no longer to be rendered irrelevant and erased by governments upholding structural white supremacy, I request that the US Congress issue an immediate ban on meeting any politicians, official representatives or their agents from the Government of Lithuania, or any of its municipalities, until such time that they do the following:
- Revoke all national honors for Holocaust perpetrators.
- Remove from public display all monuments commemorating Nazi collaborators
- Tell the truth about the unfolding of the Holocaust in Lithuania
- Close their Center of Holocaust Fraud – The Genocide and Resistance Research Center.
- BBC News links: Sri Lanka; Ethiopia; Thailand; Bangladesh; Somalia; Urdu; Spanish; English
- Algemeiner: Lithuanian Government Engaging in ‘Holocaust Denial,’ Says Author of Book Exposing Her Grandfather’s Past as Nazi Collaborator
Wishing you truth and peace in the storms of your life,
Silvia Foti, granddaughter of General Storm—Jonas Noreika
The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather was a War Criminal is available.
Taglines: Holocaust distortion; General Storm; Jonas Noreika; Silvia Foti; Writer’s Life; The Storm Door blog; Genealogy; Grant Gochin