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Mr. Januta twists facts and figures
to suit his arguments


Olga Zabludoff

By: Olga Zabludoff
Washington, DC, USA

Mr. Januta’s article goes right to the heart of the problem: the tendency of critics like him to accuse others of being misinformed and of misstating facts. Indeed it is Mr. Januta who twists facts and figures to suit his arguments. Even when his facts are “correct,” they are simply half-truths.

For example: Yes, there is a Holocaust Museum in Vilnius, but to compare the pitiful little hidden building (the Green House) with the state-of-the-art Museum of Genocide located on a major street is like comparing a mouse to an elephant.

It hardly pays to argue with Januta because his reasoning is obviously skewed and his facts distorted. For example: 95-96% of the Lithuanian-Jewish population was murdered in the Holocaust in Lithuania. His figure is 90%.

In his book Professor Dov Levin speaks of two evils -- but of only one genocide, another confusion in Mr. Januta’s mind. Furthermore, his ridiculous claim that the Jews of Lithuania contributed “zilch” to the economy and culture of the country is contradicted by Dov Levin in his book: “The majority of the Jewish population worked at every possible trade, serving not only their own community but also the population at large.” (Introduction, p. 11)  Even going back to the Middle Ages, Dov Levin writes: “On more than one occasion, when the Lithuanian authorities got into financial (or other) difficulty, the country’s wealthiest Jews came to their aid with generous loans or grants of credit.” (p. 44) “The Jews’ deep penetration into the Lithuanian economy also created extra employment for the general population.” (p. 50)

Januta’s interpretation of Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands is an injustice to the author’s careful research and articulate writing. Here is an excerpt that Mr. Januta obviously missed:

“The Germans arrived in Lithuania with their hand-picked nationalist Lithuanians and encountered local people who were willing to believe, or to act as if they believed, that Jews were responsible for Soviet repression. The Soviet deportations had taken place that very month, and the NKVD had shot Lithuanians in prison just a few days before the Germans arrived. The Lithuanian diplomat Kazys Skirpa, who returned with the Germans, used this suffering in his radio broadcasts to spur mobs to murder. Some 2,500 Jews were killed by Lithuanians in bloody pogroms in early July.

“As a result of trained collaboration and local assistance, German killers had all the help they needed in Lithuania.”  (pp. 191-192)

No need to say any more. fdfdg says it all in his Comments.

Category : Blog archive

  • […] Zabludoff: Mr. Januta twists facts and figures to suit his […]

    November 08 2011
    CommentsLike
    • Donatas Januta

      (continued) Olga, one last thought. I believe the quoted portion that use from Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands" (pp. 191-192), which refers to so-called radio broadcasts by Kazys Skirpa, has been removed from later editions of his book at the authori's own request, as having been inaccurate and totally without support. I.e., it was fabricated by a source that he was relying on. Ask him, yourself, if you like.

      Please give my regards to your friend fdfdg.

      November 01 2011
      CommentsLike
      • Donatas Januta

        Olga,

        (continued) As for your assertion that Jews contributed enormously to the Lithuanian economyu, well – you are absolutely right that over the years “the Lithuanian authorities” when they got into financial difficulties did get large loans from wealthy Jews. But those “authorities” were often simply individual warlords, or the the Polish kings of the joint Commonwealth, who got into personal financial difficulties because of their extravagant lifestyles, and none of those Jewish loans went anywhere other than into those same “authorities’” own pockets. The Lithuanian population, or the Lithuanian nation, got no benefit from allowing those dissolute “authorities” to continue their high-living lives at their expense. Of course, the wealthy Jews made those loans not out of any sense of charity either. They received more than a quid pro quo in return. And what about the "enormous" Jewish contributions to Lithuanian culture that you mentioned? Please enlighten me on that.

        Have a good day, Olga,

        November 01 2011
        CommentsLike
        • Donatas Januta

          My dear Ms. Olga,

          The number of Lithuanian Jews that were killed was enormous, it was the great majority of the Jewish population. I have seen several numbers, all around 90% or more. If you feel that 95-96% is more accurate than 90%, I won’t quarrel with you. Whatever the numbers, it was a horrible tragedy. But you don’t dispute Dora Porat’s numbers, do you, where she found that 99.5% of the Lithuanian population was not involved either directly or indirectly?

          As for my “interpretation” of Tymothy Snyder’s “Bloodlands”, all I said was that it’s a great book, and people should read it. I voided no other interpretation of it. So, you don’t think that it is a great book and people should read it? (continued)

          November 01 2011
          CommentsLike
          • Rimantas Aukstuolis

            This discussion of the Holocaust is good and necessary. The tragedy was immense then and clearly causes pain, anger and psychological damage even today among Lithuanians and Lithuanian Jews. This is true even though most who lived through those terrible times are now dead or it is a painful childhood memory or, to those of us born after the war, is a source of hurt and/ or questions. What did or didn't they do, and why? Did they resist? What were they thinking? Recriminations and unsubstantiated accusations are dead ends. The physical damage and loss of life, all around, is an obvious tragedy and black chapter in Lithuanian/ European history. Ethnic Lithuanians and Litvaks, historically, did live next to one another but in different worlds. There are indications that prior to 1939 this separateness seems to have been changing only to be dashed starting in 1939 with some Jews "played' by the Communists and some Lithuanians "played" by the Nazis. Most, in the middle, being afraid for their and their children's lives. We must get past this. The alternative is simply to turn around, walk away and forget, only to have some other generation relive it.

            October 29 2011
            CommentsLike
            • kestas reivydas

              The "Tolerance Center" of the Vilnius Gaon State Museum is a "major"building on the corner of a major street – Naugarduko. Its on the same block as the EU offices and across the street from the College of Economics . I have an apartment a block away and have visited the museums various exhibits. http://www.jmuseum.lt/index.aspx?Element=ViewArti
              To reffer to the "hidden" Green House is to imply that its the only museum dealing with the Holocaust. Simply not true.
              More on exibits here: http://www.jmuseum.lt/index.aspx?Lang=EN

              October 27 2011
              CommentsLike

              • […] Mr. Januta twists facts and figures to suit his arguments […]

                October 27 2011
                CommentsLike



                

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