As with any premeditated crime, from the very start of the dehumanization and systematic slaughter of the Jews of Europe, Lithuanians and Nazis were aware their intended crimes would come back to haunt them. In order to prevent being held to account, Lithuanians and Nazis intended to deconstruct history, deny their crimes and claim to have been victims themselves.
After the Holocaust, Lithuanians believed they had successfully blamed their crimes on Nazis and “got away with it”. As a result, Lithuania never punished a single Holocaust perpetrator – they did not feel they needed to. Lithuanians also didn’t believe that murdering Jews warranted punishment. Rather, the Lithuanian government actively heralds Holocaust perpetrators as their national heroes. It’s a bait and switch strategy.
Lithuania cannot deny their Holocaust because there are over 200 death pits within their bloodlands containing the twisted bodies of 220,000 murdered Jewish victims.
This ELTA report from Kaunas, dated July 4, 1941, states:
Jews Trained in Useful Work
Kaunas, July 4, ELTA–A concentration camp for Jews has been established near the Seventh Fort in Kaunas where they will be trained in agricultural work. …
This report first appeared in the newspaper Ūkininko Patarėjas [The Farmer’s Friend] in issue number 3 on July 11, 1941. This is most likely the first report in the Lithuanian press about sinister “events” at the Seventh Fort in Kaunas.
Lithuanian partisans donned white cloth bands on their arms. White arm-banders “concentrated” Jews and sent them to the slaughterhouse near the Seventh Fort in Kaunas. Teaching Jews „useful agricultural work“ is interesting phraseology. This „training“ included the brutal and sadistic enslavement of Jews by Lithuanians. It included the rape of children and the starvation, beating and slaughter of their Lithuanian Jewish neighbors and fellow citizens.
Among these victims was the family of my own Aunt, Risa Silbert. Risa survived and currently lives in Perth, Australia. Risa reported her Lithuanian neighbors applauded as Jews were rounded up and taken to their slaughter at the Seventh Fort. Risa witnessed the guards were ethnic Lithuanians, not Nazis. Lithuanians knew from the outset that they would “eliminate” Jews.
Jews were unable to even contemplate such a dark future. Jews could not conceive that any human being could murder an infant with such utter hatred. That an apparent human could abandon all human instinct and could be possessed by such evil. Lithuanians gleefully, enthusiastically and joyously destroyed people who had been their friends just the prior day.
Lithuanians did not consider Jews to be humans. Jews were termed “useless eaters”. Jewish children were placed into effective “meat grinders”. Butchering was the Lithuanian solution for their “Jewish problem”. They deemed Jews unworthy of life and ineligible to exist. They dehumanized and demonized Jews. They perpetrated genocide on Jews. Enthusiastically and joyously.
Does this report exist?
One of the original Lithuanian deception strategies was to claim that most Lithuanians did not participate in the Holocaust. Lithuanian crimes were blamed on Nazis, and with no intended surviving witnesses, Lithuanians claimed (and taught their children) that Lithuanians were trying to rescue Jews.
Above is a Lithuanian newspaper reporting on Jews being sent to a concentration camp. How does Lithuania avoid the “appearance” of Lithuanian complicity? Easy. Currently, Lithuanian Wikipedia claims the Lithuanian Telegraph Agency, ELTA, (a supposed “news” (propaganda) portal) “did not operate during the years of the German occupation (1941-1944).
This lie is so flimsy in the face of concrete evidence that it is ridiculous, yet, it is the typical strategy of distortion and denial. Lithuanian information is submitted into a vacuum, assuming that nobody will fact check, and there are no survivors to bear witness. How inconvenient for them that Risa survived!
On June 30, 1941, the Lithuanian Provisional Government adopted a resolution to establish a concentration camp at the fort and created the National Labor Security battalion, “Tautinio darbo apsaugos batalionas” or TDA, to guard that location. On the evening of June 30, they began slaughtering Jews in the Fort. By July 2, 1941, more than 1,500 Jews (including my own cousins) had already been murdered. On July 4, according to an ELTA report, 463 Jews were murdered there. To improve their numbers and efficiency, there was a larger mass shooting on July 6 at the Seventh Fort when they murdered another 2,514 Jews.
Shooting was heard throughout the city of Kaunas. There was no possibility writers and staff at the Ūkininko Patarėjas newspaper did not hear the shooting. The public was fully aware of the shooting and violence taking place in their city. For Lithuanians to claim they were unaware of these murders, requires the hypothesis that they were blind, deaf, mentally challenged, and unaware their neighbors, families and friends were sharing in Jewish loot, taking over now emptied Jewish homes, children’s toys and bedclothes of their Jewish victims. It simply is not possible for these claims to be even minimally credible. Lithuanians were aware, and happily volunteered in the annihilation of an entire race. Lithuanians propagandized Holocaust denial from the initial murder, and they continue it unabated today. This is what Lithuanian children have been taught for the last eighty years. It is a current crime.
Lithuanians were joyous participants in the identification and detention of their Jewish neighbors. Risa describes the joy of Lithuanians who had been her friends just days before, now taking delight in the slaughter of her teenage brother.
On June 19, 1941, the newspaper Naujosios Biržų žinios [The Latest Biržai News] repeated this report. The report was in the first issue of the newspaper from northeastern Lithuania. Lithuanian artist, writer and filmmaker Jonas Mekas, worked for that newspaper. It is absolutely impossible that he too was unaware of events at that time. Like some other Lithuanians, he may not have been involved in crimes himself, but like all other Lithuanians, he was certainly aware.
Lithuanian news agency ELTA was responsible for Holocaust revision then, just as the Lithuanian government is responsible for Holocaust distortion and revision now.
Holocaust revisionism is antisemitism. Defining the murderers of Jews as national heroes is insulting the victims and insulting to every living and dead Jew. Rewriting history to declare the murderers as innocent or heroic is dehumanizing to every decent human being.
Will Lithuania ever stop their deceptions?
This article was co-authored by Grant Gochin and Evaldas Balčiūnas.