The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year, it will fall on Sunday. On that day, the Lithuanian Government will issue expressions of regret. They will hold a memorial and express their sadness that Lithuanian Jews were murdered. They will talk about the 900+ Lithuanians that rescued Jews, they will Tweet about it and make it a public display of regret that they hope will appear sincere. They will rail against dictatorial ideologies. That is what they will do, but let us consider what they will not do.
The Lithuanian Government will not identify the murderers. They will not remove honors they have granted to Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators, they will not take down the monuments they have built to laud the great deeds of Lithuanians who murdered Jews, and they will not relent from their distortions of Lithuania’s role in the Holocaust. They will not address the 15-30,000 Lithuanians that were participants in the slaughter, nor the tens of thousands of Lithuanians that benefitted from the plunder of Jewish property. They will have no sincerity in the platitudes they offer, and the only people that will believe the production, are they themselves. When the show is over, they will go home and will not have to bother again for another year.
The insincerity and duplicity displayed towards the victims is breathtaking. It is a mockery of, and an added insult to their memory, and spit in the face of every living Jew that understands what is happening.
This year Remembrance Day comes during a Court postponement of my legal case against the Lithuanian Government for Holocaust distortion. The reason for the delay? Government lawyers claim they need more time to study the evidence. For years they have claimed they have already studied all the evidence, but avoidance and delay are familiar tactics.
Meanwhile, as Lithuania professes horror at past authoritarian regimes, the country is on the verge of initiating a criminal investigation of an award-winning novelist for a fictional depiction of anti-Soviet partisans and their Russian enemies that critics claim is insulting and libelous. His “crime”? Depicting them as ordinary, fallible human beings with motives that don’t always rise to morally simplistic superhero or supervillain standards.
A committee operating under the purview of the Lithuanian Parliament has declared Ivaskevicius’s novel “The Green Ones” insulting and libelous, and is officially referring the case to the Prosecutor’s Office for criminal investigation. It seems the impulse to censor and police people’s thoughts did not die with the Soviet Union. To make matters worse, the Lithuanian Parliament is currently considering legislation that would make it a crime to publicly disseminate anything that “undermines confidence in or encourages dissatisfaction with the Lithuanian state and its institutions” (a literal translation of the proposed legislation).
As I have previously written, part of Lithuania’s propagandistic “Big Lie” is the notion that anyone who took up arms against the Soviets is a saint and superhero. Anyone who suggests otherwise (even, apparently, in a work of fiction) is subject to public moral lynching and criminal prosecution. Clearly, that new piece of legislation is intended to support and strengthen the “Big Lie”.
Against the claims of the government’s Genocide and Resistance Centre and its head, Birute Terese Burauskaite, I have personally commissioned and submitted to the Centre historical studies with a literal mountain of evidence that disproves the government’s official narrative about anti-Soviet resistance leader and Nazi collaborator Jonas Noreika. The government maintains Noreika cannot be implicated in the Holocaust. The facts prove otherwise. But official distortion of facts along with required obedience to those interpretations are what indicates to me that we have here an emerging authoritarian regime.
If the Lithuanian Parliament adopts this law, just like national laureate Marius Ivaskevicius, I, too, will be subject to criminal prosecution in Lithuania for “undermining confidence in the Lithuanian state and its institutions” by my telling straightforward facts. The fraudulent narrative of the Holocaust as postulated by the Lithuanian Government will be the only official and legal narrative, and truth will be criminalized.
Lithuania has had many lessons on the effects of such legislation. This is how the Soviets imposed their ideology. This is how the Nazis imposed their ideology. Recall how Germans under Hitler were treated by speech suppression laws. And, sadly, Lithuania is now following in their path.
The thought control leading into the Holocaust appears eerily similar to the thought control legislation now being proposed. The proposed criminalization of truth is already a de facto deed in Lithuania where leaders of the nation will stand in front of their audiences on Sunday and distort Lithuanian guilt. Having won their freedom from the Soviets, Lithuanians seem keen on squandering it for their own propagandistic purposes, and my prediction is that not only will the performance delivered on Sunday be utterly insincere, but that the path the country is on will lead to further decline. What kind of future awaits a country that prosecutes and punishes truth?
America is a member of NATO. We may one day be expected to send our soldiers to defend values that turn Nazi murderers into national heroes, and actual heroes into enemies of the State. Our tax dollars are being used to prop up Holocaust distortion in Lithuania. Will we send our sons and daughters to bleed and die for a country that punishes people for telling the truth and spits in the face of victims of the Holocaust?