January 27th is Holocaust Remembrance Day, but it feels more like Holocaust Forgotten Day.
Having Litvak heritage comes with its own atrocious history. Realizing how and why our Jewish Lithuanian ancestors were slaughtered during the Holocaust—as explained in the 2022 film, “J’Accuse!” by Michael Kretzmer—is a painful experience.
Some of Lithuania’s war heroes are forever branded with a dual identity. They were also murderers of thousands of innocent Jews.
As Lithuania’s leaders continue to honor these pro-Nazi killers, can they even comprehend what that feels like to the Jewish descendants whose loved ones were massacred? I think not. Do they care? I’m sure they don’t.
However, their sad faces will appear as usual on Holocaust Remembrance Day, as they lay wreaths and give memorial speeches about the Jews they lost. They didn’t lose Jews; we did. How dare they claim this as their loss, when their country created it. The truth remains buried with the bodies.
If Lithuania’s leaders truly cared, they would take down the statues, and rename the schools and streets that bear the names of the murderers. If they were interested in redemption, the President of Lithuania could broadcast a televised speech about it. But what do we get instead? Silence.
Their silence is a cruel, yet familiar, reminder of the silence of our loved ones who perished after being starved, beaten, raped, and tortured by so many of their own townspeople.
Yet, we are still willing to listen. We are eager to help present-day Lithuania attempt a different strategy—telling the truth. They could represent a new global model admired for their efforts toward the betterment of humanity, rather than symbolizing the epitome of evil.
So, how does Lithuania get out of this mess? Simple. Let us help you. Ask for our guidance and we will gladly respond. We want to work towards better foreign relations for Lithuanian Jews, the country of Lithuania, and the world. It’s your choice, Lithuania.
Official Selection “then” meant rounding up Jews:
Whether you went to the left or the right determined who lived and who died. Jews were tricked into giving up their belongings “until they returned home, after the war.” For most, “home” came to mean our heavenly domain above.
Official Selection “now” means worldwide recognition:
The film “J’Accuse!” uncovered the truth about the Holocaust in Lithuania, with official selections to film festivals— from India to Berlin, Germany, to Miami, Florida—resulting in dozens and dozens of prestigious awards.
I hope we are on the road to progress.