NOTE: The name of this page is adapted from the subtitle of Edward Lucas’s 2008 Economist report on these issues.
See also: Responses
- The campaign to defame Holocaust Survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance is part of the wider campaign of Holocaust Obfuscation.
- Is this really how a proud and successful EU and NATO member democracy wants to say farewell to the tiny and dwindling numbers of Jewish survivors of the seven hundred years of shared history?
10 September 2007. Prosecutors in Lithuania confirm that their investigation of Holocaust survivor, anti-Nazi resistance hero and founding director of Yad Vashem Dr Yitzhak Arad, on suspicion of ‘crimes against humanity’ had been initiated in May 2006. The ‘investigation’ was based on an article in the antisemitic daily Respublika (22 April 2006), in which the special prosecutor and head of the Genocide Center are extensively quoted. In June 2006 the daily triumphantly proclaimed that prosecutors were acting on its earlier article. English summary. See below at 25 September 2008 for ‘conclusion’ of the investigation and the 2010 report of the ‘Lithuanian Human Rights Association’ . . .
5 May 2008. Police come looking for Dr Rachel Margolis [born 1921] and Ms Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky [born 1922] on a ‘war crimes’ investigation. Reports in the Jerusalem Post (PDF here), and Jewish Chronicle (PDF here). [Note: Three years earlier, on 8 May 2005, then Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas had awarded Dr Margolis a certificate of appreciation for her role as an anti-Nazi partisan.]
11 July 2008. Prosecutors reply to the Jewish Community of Lithuania.
25 September 2008. Prosecutors close part of the Arad investigation, ask the public for assistance in looking for ‘evidence’, and fault his book on the basis of an anonymous ‘doctor of humanitarian sciences (expert-historian)’. Question: Will the anonymous expert-historian trasher of Dr Arad’s book please identify himself and share his evidence with colleagues?
28 October 2009. The mainstream Delfi.lt reports: ‘Germany honors red partisan under investigation for mass murder in Vilnius’; caricature of Holocaust survivor and anti-Nazi partisan veteran Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky published with the article. English translation. BNS’s 29 Oct 2009 English summary. Coverage of the situation in Jerusalem of Lithuania (autumn 2009 issue), publication of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, by its editor Milan Chersonski: ‘Congratulations on the Award!’
27 January 2010. On 27 January (Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the liberation of Auschwitz), Lithuanian prosecutors visited the Jewish Community of Lithuania at Pylimo Street 4 in Vilnius, demanding information about Joseph Melamed in connection with a new ‘investigation’, the nature of which is not publicly known. Mr Melamed, a Kovno Ghetto survivor, veteran of the anti-Nazi partisans in the forests of Lithuania and of Israel’s War of Independence, is the elected chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel. It is one of the last active associations of Litvaks in the world. Mr Melamed and the Association have spoken out boldly against the Prague Declaration and the ‘Double Genocide’ movement, most recently during the recent Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism. Prosecutors in Vilnius have yet to announce the basis of their ‘interest’ in Mr Melamed, the author of a number of works on Litvak issues. There has moreover been no explanation of why they came to disturb the local Jewish community in Vilnius on Holocaust Remembrance Day instead of contacting Mr Melamed directly with any questions they might have. Report on the home page includes quotations from an exclusive Holocaust in the Baltics interview with Joseph Melamed. February 10 report on Interfax. February 11 report on Izrus.
Undated. Instead of taking a principled stance against the antisemitic prosecution of Holocaust survivors, in the absence of a single specific charge, nationalist historians have joined the obfuscationist efforts. Most painfully, the director of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, who has cleansed his VYI of opposing opinions on the subject, mocks the view of foreign Jewish analysts about the pervasive East European antisemitism that is masked as antisovietism. See the final pages of his Koniuchy in the ‘New’ and ‘Old’ Polish and Jewish Memory. Among recent government rewards was inclusion in the justice minister’s entourage at the Astana [Kazakhstan] conference in June 2010, ostensibly representing his ‘Jiddish [sic] Institute’; PDF here. The justice minister’s views of the Holocaust here). And, still not one syllable of signed criticism about the antisemitic defamation of the VYI’s own beloved librarian Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky. Incredibly, the VYI website’s News and Events page still has not a single word about Ms Brantsovsky’s October 2009 award from the president of Germany. Why not? Note: Zane Buzby, Professor Sidney Rosenfeld and S. Chic Wolk have resigned in protest from the Santa Monica based Board of the Friends of the VYI.
3 January 2011. Report that the Lithuanian Human Rights Association (LHRA) had released on its website at the end of December 2010, a July 2010 document, prepared and signed by ten of its experts, defaming Yitzhak Arad, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Rachel Margolis more outrageously than ever before. See full report.
7 September 2011. Haaretz reports on the visit of Israeli police, on demand of Lithuanian police via Interpol, to convey information on prosecution against Joseph Melamed, 86, Kovno Ghetto survivor, anti-Nazi partisan hero, veteran of the Israeli War of Independence and elected chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel (Hebrew version here). Earlier 30 August report in DefendingHistory.com. Other reports in Arutz Sheva (English), in Neues Deutschland and Junge Welt (in German), and JSS (in French).
28 September 2011. An event held by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry to mark the publication (with the ministry’s financial support) of Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands includes a speech by the director of the History Institute that included an attack on Jewish anti-Nazi partisans.
2012. Final chapter of Marek Jan Chodakiewicz’s Intermarium (2012) is a chapter of defamation against Jewish partisans including (by name) Yitzhak Arad, Fania Brantsovsky, and Rachel Margolis. See review by Dovid Katz in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (2013).
2013. Wikipedia entry for Dr. Yitzhak Arad is a sample of continuing defamation in the absence of Lithuanian government apologies. See now Dr. Arad’s December 2012 paper on the Lithuanian Holocaust and its obfuscation.