Jan 29, 2021
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In Lithuania, out of hatred for Soviet history, the memory of the extermination of Jews by the Nazis is erased

The republic holds the record for the number of commemorative signs glorifying the participants in the massacres

In Vilnius, the chairman of the parliamentary commission of historical memory Valdas Rakutis, professor and teacher, accused the Lithuanian Jews killed in 1941-1944 in collaboration with the Nazi and Soviet regimes. He also accused the Jews of destroying themselves: wiping their communities off the face of the earth at the orders of the ghetto administration. And among the Lithuanians involved in the organization of mass slaughter, there were no, Rakutis believes, but stipulates that if someone did shoot, then it was the “victims of Soviet repression” who did it.

This statement, made on January 27, the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust, displeased the ambassadors of Israel and the United States accredited in Vilnius, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry and the political council of the Fatherland Union party. The professor panicked, but it was not possible to curb the scandal. In response, the Kaunas Jew, the historian Chaim Bargman, told the unpleasant truth – they want to destroy the memory of the tragedy of an entire nation in Lithuania. Attitude towards Jews was and remains a state problem in Lithuania.

Historian from Kaunas Haim Bargman

Kaunas historian Haim Bargman, photo:

Bargman has repeatedly noted that official Vilnius has been spreading lies about the Holocaust for many years. Historians underestimate the number of crimes committed by Lithuanian collaborators, Europe remains silent, and international institutions contribute to the spread of anti-Semitic acts.

Nazi hunter Ephraim Zuroff adheres to the same point of view, believing that even the Israeli leadership does not notice Lithuania’s Nazi past in favor of relations between the two countries. Zuroff notes “Israel’s absolute inability to categorically reject the false interpretation of the Holocaust promoted by every Lithuanian government since the collapse of the Soviet Union”… In his opinion, Lithuania has become the leader of the initiatives of post-communist Eastern Europe in distorting the history of the tragedy; Vilnius does this in several ways:

– deliberately underestimates the number of crimes committed by local collaborators;

– equates communists with Nazis;

– glorifies the “forest brothers” who fought against the Soviet system, even if they exterminated the Jews.

These statements are true. The instinctive dislike of the “titular” Jews over the years in Lithuania has not disappeared. The small Jewish community is increasingly facing anti-Semitism. Abuse of graves, distribution of leaflets Jews out!, torchlight processions on public holidays under the slogan “Lithuania for the Lithuanians!”, the praises of Nazi criminals have become commonplace.

As a rule, pre-trial investigations of these cases ended in nothing, or the Prosecutor General’s Office let the case down. This was the case, for example, with the rock group Diktatura, in one of the songs which sounded: “The Poles are all already hanged, the slaughtered Russians are lying under the fence, the Jews are already burning in the oven, only the real Lithuanians are all alive.”

Moving adults and children into the ghetto

Moving adults and children into the ghetto, photo:

Jews burning in the oven are the dream of Lithuanian neo-Nazis and those who patronize them. By the time of the German attack on the USSR, from 225 to 265 thousand Jews lived in Lithuania, including 13-15 thousand refugees from Poland, 6,000 refugees from Klaipeda and 10-12 thousand people on the lands transferred to Lithuania from Belarus in the fall of 1940. According to the International Commission for the Assessment of the Crimes of the Nazi Occupation Regime, the total number of victims of the genocide ranged from 200 to 206 thousand people, including:

– about 190 thousand Lithuanian Jews; it is estimated that 80% were killed before 1942.

– from 8,000 to 10,000 Jewish refugees from Poland.

– about 5,000 Jews from Austria and Germany.

– 878 French Jews.

Ponary (Paneriai) - a terrible symbol of the Holocaust

Ponary (Paneriai) – a terrible symbol of the Holocaust, photo:

In Lithuania, under the Nazis, those deported from European countries were not distributed among the ghettos, as in Poland and Belarus, but destroyed immediately. It is established that between November 25 and 29, 1941, trains from Berlin arrived in Kaunas, delivering 4,934 Jews, who were born in Germany and Austria. All were immediately shot.

The local Lithuanian population, among whom anti-Semitism had grown very much before the war, aided the German occupiers. They were not, as historians Valdas Rakutis and Arvydas Anushauskas claim today, loners or a crowd; it was “An organized force, including the Lithuanian military police formations, security battalions”… Among the main reasons for the massive participation of Lithuanians in the extermination of Jews are named:

– revenge of the victims of Soviet power,

– adaptation to the German “new order”,

– cleansing of the Lithuanians who collaborated with the Soviet government by “Jewish blood”,

– ideological anti-Semitism,

– enrichment through the appropriation of Jewish property.

Lithuanian Jews are convinced that hushing up these facts is unacceptable for the state, where from June 1941 to July 1944, almost an entire people were wiped off the face of the earth. In 2012, a list of 2,055 alleged participants in the Lithuanian Holocaust was compiled. The materials have been under the cloth for nine years. To questions from the government that “We need to do something with this list, the answer was received: no matter what we do, the Jews are not enough”, says the writer Ruta Vanagaite

Ruta Vanagaite and Efraim Zuroff - hunters for historical truth

Ruta Vanagaite and Efraim Zuroff – hunters for historical truth, photo:

Lithuania is the leader in the number of commemorative signs affixed to the participants in the massacres. Even Foreign Minister Gabrielus Landsbergis is surprised: “I have no idea why they are still there and why should they stay?”… At the same time, the minister takes the conversation aside, arguing about the need “Objective historical assessment”

Indulging the neo-Nazis will not end well, Vanagaite says. A bill has already appeared in the Seimas of Lithuania, which states: “The Lithuanian state did not participate in the Holocaust, since it was occupied. In the same way, the Lithuanian people could not participate in the Holocaust, as they were enslaved “, – says the author of this legislative initiative Arunas Gumuliauskas.

Monument to the executioner Juozas Krikshtaponis.  Ukmerge, Lithuania

Monument to the executioner Juozas Krikshtaponis. Ukmerge, Lithuania, photo:

The document was withdrawn from the Seimas Chancellery only after massive protests by the world Jewish community, which named it “The final stage of long attempts to whitewash the massive complicity of Lithuanians” in the murders of 95% of the Jewish population of Lithuania. The President of the Council of Rabbis of Europe Pinchas Goldschmidt once again noted: Lithuania as a state has a direct relationship to the Holocaust; the interim government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian police, and part of the local population were also involved in the extermination of Jews.

It seems that the dots above the “i” are placed. However, the illegal rewriting of history continues. And not only in Lithuania, but also in Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine. And those who dissect history are at the same time talking aloud about “An uncompromising commitment to fight anti-Semitism”

Cover photo: Lithuanian nationalists are proud of their war criminals,

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