Lithuania: Reply to Yves Plasseraud 14 0ct 2011
Lithuania and the Memory of the Holocaust
Reply to the article of Yves Plasseraud published in VilNews in October 2011
By Didier Bertin, President of the Society for the Promotion of the European Human Rights Model (France)
14 October 2011
PUBLISHED ON 15 OCTOBER 2011 IN VilNews
We love Lithuania and its wonderful and precious language and fine people!
The sole acute problem of Lithuania might be its government.
There is still a lot to do in this country for Human Rights Organizations like fighting Racism, antisemitism, Homophobia and promoting education and free information as the corner stone of democracy for a member-State of the European Union.
Mr. Plasseraud reminded important criticisms which could be made in Lithuania and that he does not share despite they are true in our opinion: The obliteration of the participation of Lithuanian militias in Pogroms and Holocaust, the “current” authorization of Nazi Parades and the creation of a new concept which put in equivalence of the Holocaust and the suffering of people under communist dictatorship whose consequence is the arbitrary second ranking of the Holocaust. This concept is named double Genocide and made a mathematical equality between events, which has no sense in History. In fact this concept aims to obliterate or reduce one of the two components of the equation, which is clearly the Holocaust as this can be seen in Lithuania.
As a matter of fact the Vilnius Genocide Museum displays only facts on the Soviet oppression and we were personally told by a member of the Staff that for “the Jewish things” we have to go to the green hut named “Green House”, which is a very poor small a museum in a wooden hut and which at last refers to the Holocaust. This so called museum is as difficult to find as the Holocaust in the Lithuanian History. However and on top of these negative facts many others were forgotten were forgotten by Mr. Plasseraud.
We were also shocked by similar substantial obliterations in the museum of the 9th Fort in Kaunas. We had also the opportunity to check the content of a History school book of a 15 years old Lithuanian schoolboy and we noticed that it was far from the richness of our French school books. The History school book we saw was very slim and presented an over-simplified version of events.
We understood that the bad treatment of History was deeply rooted in Lithuania when we learned that the public relation manager of the Genocide Center associated to the Genocide museum and considered as “a “senior specialist” is the current leader of a Neo-Nazi organization.
96% of the Lithuanian Jews were killed in 4 years, which is the highest country rate of extermination of the Holocaust and of course 96% of the Lithuanian people were not killed in such proportion over a so short period and then were not victim of an equivalent genocide.
Lithuanian people still exist and are active in Lithuania when the Jewish people almost entirely disappeared. The double genocide is clearly a fake concept probably developed for ideological reasons. We are on the side of the victims of Genocides and we are thus opposed to the over-utilization of the word “Genocide” in order to preserve its real meaning. The over-utilization of this word obfuscates the responsibility of perpetrators of “real Genocides” as the Holocaust and the Genocides in Armenia, Rwanda and Cambodia.
Lithuania is the sole country of the planet, which currently tries to prosecute Holocaust Survivors and members of the resistance against Nazis during World War II. The reason for this harassment is that few of them are still alive and witnessed militias members participating to the holocaust while Lithuanian authorities want to consider them as resistants. Lithuanian authorities went too far in asking Interpol to hunt these heroes. Their last request to Interpol in order to hunt a very old Holocaust survivor in Israel was made at the end of August 2011 with of course no result but a lot of international protestations, which are detrimental for the whole people of Lithuania.
Lithuania is also the sole country on the planet to have legalized the display of the Swastika in 2010 and this is a shame for the whole European Union and provocation against European Ethics. This sole fact is very eloquent and should lead Mr. Plasseraud to review his position.
The duly authorized Nazi Parades in Vilnius are totally intolerable in European Union and should also be considered as a provocation against European Ethics. A Member of Parliament as the above mentioned “Senior Specialist” of the Genocide center participated both with the mob to the last 2011 Nazi Parade in Vilnius.
In June 2011, a conference was organized by the Genocide center in the premises of the Lithuanian Parliament. The target of this conference among others was the rehabilitation of the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front) who initiated with others the Pogroms that constitute the onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust.
The Lithuanian Activist Front –LAF and other participants took the opportunity of the withdrawal of the Red Army and the fact that the German Army did not yet arrived to barbarically murder 5 000 Jews in 5 days from 25 June to 29 June 1941 in the sole area of Kaunas ( similar events of smaller magnitude occurred in other cities).
The fact that “the Patriotic Youth” who currently utilizes the slogan “Thank God, I am white” is currently subsidized by the authorities as are other far rightist organizations, is another outrage against the terms of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
As a matter of fact there is a “Double Genocide” in Lithuania which is the genocide of the Jewish people and today the Genocide of the remembrance of their martyrdom.
Fighting for the remembrance of the martyrdom of the Jewish people cannot be called “gesticulations” as said Mr. Plasseraud but is a duty of anyone defending Human Rights.
We also want to respectfully remind readers that Russia was an ally during World War II, and despite Communism’s atrocious dictatorship we must not forget the sacrifice of the lives of 13.5 million Russian soldiers without which Western Europe might not have been easily freed from the Nazis by the other allies. If the Nazis were not defeated as they were, there would have been no Lithuania to regain its freedom in 1990/1991, because it seems clear today that its Germanisation was in their agenda.
Thank you and greetings from France,
SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS MODEL (FRANCE)
For information the article of Yves Plasseraud is herbelow:
Lithuania and the memory of the Shoah (Holocaust)
By Yves Plasseraud, Paris –October 2011
May Lithuania rot in hell for a thousand years! This is what one could recently read in a Letter to VilNews’ Editor. This vindictive sentence sums up, in a nutshell, the language of a number of the current Western (including Israeli) and Russian discourses on this Baltic country. The rationale behind this demonization is what the authors of these writings consider as the radical and supposedly built-in anti-Semitism of the Lithuanians.
To support their demonstration, they argue that the « Lithuanians » have recently been systematically trying to obliterate their massive participation in the Shoah (Holocaust) by putting forward the forged thesis of the so-called « double genocide ». Two of their main arguments in this respect are the Lithuanian support to the 2008 Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, and on the one hand, the name and the exhibits of the Vilnius Genocide Museum on the other hand (displaying much more about the Soviet oppression than about the Nazi one).
These two points are indeed objectively questionable and, more generally, despite many significant progresses, there are evidently a number of things to criticize in the Lithuanian handling of the Jewish question. Nothing however justifies the current intensity of their gesticulations and the « ontological » hate against this country they manifest ! In these matters, Lithuania is certainly not worse than most of the post-soviet countries of the East-Central European Area. Amongst the nations of the area, Lithuania is probably the one which has accomplished the biggest steps toward recognition and information of its dark pages in history, and these critics appear to systematically ignore this fact. The recent reaction of the informed public about the recent neo-Nazi parade in Vilnius offers a good illustration of this evolution.
If these current harsh and oversized critics really wanted to help the Lithuanian society progress forward on the way of recognition and democracy, it seems evident that they would adopt a more acceptable and convincing language. They would also address the Lithuanian public and not the Western media which are basically very uniformed of these matters and furthermore deprived of any contacts with the Lithuanian population.
If their aim is really an improvement of the situation on the Eastern-Central European ground at large, it also appears that they should concentrate on what takes place currently in the field of human rights. In this respect, a country like Russia where racism is unfortunately omnipresent and where historical revisionism is often a state Policy should be a central preoccupation! On the contrary, they regularly side-up with Moscow in criticizing the small neighbouring countries!
No, their attitude is not rational and obviously originates from somewhere else and has other objectives which – at this point – are unfortunately not very clear.
Museum of the Genocide excluding the Holocaust and old wooden hut dedicated to the Holocaust