20 January 2018
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By reading Israeli newspapers one can hear more sobering voices. I say, It is time to heal the wounds and start living in peace again, as we have done for hundreds of years

Vytautas Sliupas

By Vytautas Sliupas, California

“The Times of Israel”, March 11, 2012,  carries a news article “Nazi hunter leads criticism of Lieberman for cordially hosting Lithuanian FM”.  But not everyone was happy about this warm reception Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman gave his Lithuanian Counterpart.  About a dozen demonstrators were carrying signs disapproving Foreign Minister’s Audronius Azubalis visit.  Protest was co-organized by Efraim Zuroff, a well known Lithuania baiter.

Efraim Zuroff

The article further quotes: ”The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, however, seems unfazed by these accusations”.

My Kudos to both Foreign Ministers for trying to normalize the strained relations and to remove the mutual distrust.

There are Jewish voices that are more conciliatory and thoughtful.  In the Comments column:

Arik Elman

Mr. Arik Elman  writes “both the Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes should be considered to be the main disasters of the 20th century.  My family lost relatives to both and I really fail to see a problem to that statement… Why is that Mr. Zuroff is so fixated on a tiny Lithuania instead of looking to the West?”

Meir Rhodes

Mr. Meir Rhodes writes: …”both stalin and hitler were anti-Semitic monsters… stalin was preparing to deport and destroy the Jews in 1953…”

Zalman Lachman

Mr. Zalman Lachman writes: … “The argument who was worse, Hitler or Stalin, is just silly… While everyone is busy arguing  about last generations haters, there is a fellow in Persia preparing to kill us all right now… Let’s face the present… Efraim, how about we make an effort… and let the Lithuanians deal with their own history”.

Daniel Teeboom

Mr. Daniel Teeboom writes: … “Efraim Zuroff… I think it is a mistake to allow events from 70 years ago determine who should be our friends and who should not… So really, why care about Baltic deflections and demand so much from prospective friends?”

By reading Israeli newspapers one can hear more sobering voices.  I say, It is time to heal  the wounds and start living in peace again, as we have done for hundreds of years.

Vytautas Sliupas

Category : Litvak forum sidebar / Opinions
  • Donatas Januta

    Other German documents, clearly state that it was the Germans' intent and program to make it appear that the extermination of Jews in the Baltics was not a German but "a local matter". Statements like the one in The Times of Israel article that the local population was "heavily involved" in the killing of Jews merely buys into and perpetuates that Nazi propaganda.

    It is an awful tragedy that between 170,000 and 200,00 Lithuanian Jews were killed. But 2,900,000 of Poland's Jews were also killed during the Holocaust. Why is Lithuania being repeatedly demonized by Zuroff and his followers, while Poland, for example, has been given a relatively free pass? Are the lives of the 2,900,000 killed Polish Jews worth less than the 200,000 or so of Lithuanian Jews? Or is it simply that Poland being ten times the size and population of Lithuania has ten times as many resources – financial, political, and media access – with which to respond to false and exaggerated accusations, while the small country of Lithuania is an easier target with fewer resources to defend itself?

    March 14 2012
    • Donatas Januta

      It is also unfortunate that the author of the "Times of Israel" article has bought into the pamphleteers' narrative that "the local population was heavily involved in the massacres". Yes, there were collaborators in Lithuania, just as in France and in every country that was occupied by the Germans. But according to Israeli historian Dina Porat, 99.5% of the Lithuanian population was neither directly nor indirectly involved in the German organized killing of Jews.

      German documents contain complaints by the Germans in charge of their "final solution" in Lithuania of how hard it was to get enough local people in Lithuania to get involved. That's why the Germans depended on a few "flying squads" which they transported around the country to take part in the German "actions" against the Jews, because it was only those few that they could depend on carrying out their orders. (continued)

      March 14 2012
      • Donatas Januta

        I see that several of my colleagues – with some of whom I have in the past agreed more than with others – are participating in this dialogue – Mr Sliupas, Ms. Zabludoff. I've even exchanged some thoughts with Mr. Kanovich in the past.

        The comments in “The Times of Israel” article that Mr. Sliupas refers to, present some of the most thoughtful and perceptive discussions on the topic of Hitler vs. Stalin that have occurred on the internet. It is unfortunate that people feel the need to make comparisons between those two psychopaths and the tragedies that each imposed on the world. Nazi and communist atrocities, each individually stands on its own feet as one of the two most horrible events of the 20th century. One does not have to "equate them", but merely to understand and describe them to inevitably see that this is the case. (continued)

        March 14 2012

        • Closing our eyes on wrong won't make things right by definition. We won't achieve that if the head of MFA won't be welcome and we won't achieve much if we simply will decide that wounds will heal without being treated… Nobody is at war, so there is no need to speak of trying to leave in peace again. There are issues which have to be addressed, so we can simply open another page. Looking at two very different demonstrations of Independence day yesterday I doubt if the Lithuanian-Jewish history is the only open issue which prevents Lithuanian society to leave in peace… Peace is not one time moment – it is a process which lasts if efforts are lasting

          March 12 2012

          • There is an obvious confusion in this overview – in my opinion excellent ties and relationship of today between Lithuania and Israel cannot and should not substitute internal problems of dealing with the past. There are achievements and there are problems which are remaining. I think that it is completely possible for civilized society to leave in peace without closing eyes on the problems which remain. And I think that Lithuanian society is mature enough to deal with all of them, if there would be political will. Which in some cases we obviously lack. But those are issues which have to be dealt through constant dialogue and education. And this dialogue and education must happen inside Lithuanian society at first instance… We should not see things only through pink glasses – we should be able to face good and bad as one. And we should, most of all, should be able to see our kids raised in the manner whereas they are able to tell right from wrong.

            March 12 2012


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