In the most stunning display of hypocrisy since Nazis claimed that ghettos were for the safeguarding of Jewish lives, on July 7, 2020, the government of Lithuania voted to condemn attempts to rehabilitate the reputations of Holocaust perpetrators.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is an international intergovernmental organization representing 34 governments including Israel and USA. Throughout the history of the organization, the Plenary has only adopted two statements. This week, they adopted a third – to condemn countries that attempt to revise and distort their national history and rehabilitate historical figures complicit in Holocaust crimes and the genocide of the Roma. Pertaining to rehabilitating historical figures complicit in Holocaust crimes, Lithuania is the most serious offender in the European Union.
The head of the UK IHRA delegation, Lord Eric Pickles, declared, “Failure to remember truthfully demeans the living and disrespects the dead. The issue is simple: participants in the Holocaust, whether directly or indirectly, are incapable, within a civilized society, of having their reputations rehabilitated.”
Lithuanian Ambassador Dainius Junevicius knows full well the complicity of his government in Holocaust revisionism, yet, cynically voted for this resolution in front of a world body.
The IHRA is following much of the rest of the developed world in removing monuments for defective “national heroes”. Princeton University recently removed Woodrow Wilson’s name from their School of Public Policy. Mississippi lawmakers voted to remove the confederate emblem from their state flag. Finland’s air force removed the swastika from their logo after almost a century of use.
In South Africa, there are discussions about removing statues for Cecil John Rhodes and for Queen Victoria. Worldwide, the move is to tell truth about human rights violators, and not hail them as heroes. They have become no longer tolerable as national heroes in civilized nations.
The exact opposite is taking place in Lithuania. In 2019, a new rehabilitated monument was installed on a public heritage building for Jonas Noreika, a monster who murdered an estimated 14,500 Jews.
Lithuania’s usual process for elevating people to hero status has been to find a deed they deem positive, and then consider persecution of Jewish victims as irrelevant. In Lithuania the strategy has also been to invert the negative and claim their hero did the opposite, such as false claims that Noreika rescued Jews, or that US Congress rehabilitated or exonerated some of their perpetrators.
How has this feat been accomplished?
The Chief historian for the Lithuanian government’s Genocide Center, Arunas Bubnys, provides snippets of history to project the ideological meaning he intends to convey, simultaneously discarding information he deems inconvenient. (Bubnys was not always like this). Selecting which facts to present while erasing others becomes revisionism. Bubnys also sits on a Lithuanian Presidential Commission called The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.
The Genocide Center historian Dalius Stancikas is not actually a historian; he is a geologist who digs out his own manufactured facts from his sewer of choice. The Genocide Center is replete with staff who use all their creative forces to squeeze fetid imagined facts from nothing. This has become their raison d’etre at Lithuania’s equivalent of Hitler’s Ministry of Propaganda. Certainly, nobody expects facts from the Lithuanian Government. It is known that documents about this time period were destroyed, deliberately or otherwise.
The previous Director of the Genocide Center, who was the master Holocaust distorter for the nation, was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas “for dedicated and conscientious work for the Republic of Lithuania, for the fostering of historical truth“. (Truth? Surely they jest!) This person has no familiarity with truth, neither historical nor present. She was the national spokesperson to establish and spread a new revisionist history, simply labelled “truth”.
Most of the Commission’s members are independent and honest; the daily staff are government employees. The Executive Director of the Commission, Ronaldas Racinskas, (also a Lithuanian delegate to IHRA) was asked by a US researcher on Holocaust revisionism from Yale University about two specific Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators, Noreika and Skirpa, the question was presented as follows: “Several sources that I’ve spoken to have claimed that your commission is suppressing documentary evidence on, and perhaps research about, Lithuanian collaboration, especially in the cases of Kazys Skirpa and Jonas Noreika. Is that true? And if they are mistaken, how so?”
Racinskas response to the Yale University researcher is below, Racinskas copies in Ingrida Vilkiene, also a Lithuanian delegate to IHRA.
There is no doubt about the guilt of Skirpa or Noreika. The Executive Director of the Commission calling claims about them “total fake” is an issue for the Commission itself to address.
The false history, as produced by Lithuanian government employees, is protected by the Presidency, Prime Minister’s Office, Parliament, Courts and other government departments. No wonder, the foundational narrative of the state is built on a massive lie. Some of those they identify as heroes called for the elimination of Jews before the Holocaust and carried out their promises during the Holocaust. The Orwellian task of validating why they are not guilty for their actions is up to government employees, such as Bubnys, Stancikas, Racinskas and others.
Dr. Robert Williams – the chair of the Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial of the IHRA states, “Our shared memories of the past are inherently flawed and malleable. To do justice to the loss of the Holocaust and to help affirm a better public and common understanding, our memories need good history built on facts and analysis because, at the end of the day, history always stands a better chance of proving that old British axiom: truth will out.”
In Lithuania, the combined force of the government and Courts are doing all they can to block truth from being outed. The Civil Appeals Court in Vilnius will hear an appeal on July 16 on why they should consider if Holocaust revisionism is consequential. The Lithuanian Ambassador to IHRA just voted in front of non-Lithuanians that it is consequential. In front of Lithuanians only, we expect the Court to vote that it is not.
It appears that Lithuania has sold its soul in order to revise its Holocaust reputation. Future generations of Lithuanians will look back at currently empowered political figures, almost all of whom are complicit in distorting the truth. Clearly there are those who deserve honors, people who have stood up to the intimidation’s of those in power who venerate murders. Among those are two women who have been repudiated by the Lithuanian state, Silvia Foti and Ruta Vanagaite. When Lithuania honors them as national heroes, that will signal to the world that Lithuania has at last become (in the words of Lord Pickles) a civilized nation.