An open letter to the prime minister of Lithuania, by Abe Larwe, board member Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, July 26, 2010.
Enough is enough
When will you finally stop your scheming, your dissemination of half truths and outright lies and finally admit the truth, the whole truth that no nation in all of Nazi occupied Europe annihilated their Jewish minority in such a brutal and savage display of hatred? Preparations were made ahead of time and the savage attack on the Jews began the moment the hostilities started, ahead of the Nazi invasion. Many fleeing Jews trying to save their lives were robbed and murdered on the roads by local residents without needing encouragement from the invading Nazi troops. The brutality and viciousness of these acts of terror cannot be described in words.
During the first two weeks, before the entrance of the Nazi murder units most of the Jews outside the larger cities were robbed and then murdered by their former neighbors. Organized mass murder led by Nazi supervision and executed almost entirely by local murderers followed. This is all documented and available to public scrutiny.
Since regaining independence in 1990 you have devoted more time and energy to deny the almost total active or passive participation of the Lithuanian people in annihilating almost the whole defenseless Jewish population of the country. A Lithuanian friend of mine once wrote to me, “there were many who participated in the slaughter, the majority stood by and cheered and a small minority disapproved but remained silent”.
Your country is soaked with innocent Jewish blood and you are doing everything possible to blot out, to minimize and deny proven facts. As if the Jews themselves are guilty of their tragedy. You accuse the Jews of Lithuanian’s exile to Siberia (more Jews were exiled); Jews suffered more during the Soviet occupation, were considered cosmopolitan, Zionist and middle class. You accused the Jewish people of being members of the Soviet security forces when most of the Soviet era security organs were manned by ethnic Lithuanians. Soviet era collaborators, (not Jews) are still manning most of your government organs.
You attempted to blame Nachman Dushansky of the massacre in the Rainiai forest although he was at that time on vacation in the Crimea.
You have allowed thousands of known Jew killers to live out their lives in peace and comfort enjoying the fruits of their dastardly deeds; murder and robbery and even granted them government pensions. You have harbored them and protected them from prosecution for war crimes committed during the Nazi occupation. The scope of murder committed by your “ordinary countrymen” and a few Lithuanian “special battalions” is unique even by Nazi standards. None of them stood trial in free Lithuania even though their names and record were common knowledge.
You have expropriated Jewish religious, cultural, community and private property; a robbery by all international legal standards.
In an attempt to whitewash your countrymen’s ghastly and barbarous murder of their unarmed Jewish neighbors you tried to build a parallel between these atrocious crimes and the crimes of Stalin. You accuse some young Jewish people of escaping your killing fields, joining the partisans and fighting for their lives. This attempt was a dismal failure and you searched for another gimmick to divert attention from the facts of the Holocaust in Lithuania. It is called “divide and conquer”.
The Lithuanian government headed by Prime-minister Mr. Andrius Kubilius has proposed to create a Litvak Heritage Forum with the intention to circumvent the long established Associations of Litvaks around the World representing the remnants of Lithuanian Jewry, survivors of the Holocaust in Lithuania, and witnesses to the indescribable atrocities committed by the local murderers.
Counselor Deividas Matulinis when asked when will the initiative of the Litvak Heritage Forum bear fruit answered, “There are rich Litvaks, who support the idea, so rather quickly”. If that is not anti-Semitism what is?
Manifestations of anti–Semitism in the press, in public demonstrations of swastika bearing thugs, chanting Nazi slogans, protected by the police and legalized by your judicial organs are common appearances in your country.
In spite of that you want the “rich Jews” to invest and modernize your stagnant local economy and industry, develop a high tech enterprise, a Silicon Valley and raise your standard of living. The Jews are good at that, aren’t they?
We, the few remaining survivors, who bear the open scars of your “love for the Jews” will do all in our power to familiarize our people with the facts, especially those lucky ones who were not there and are unable to fathom the scope of murderous hate that consumed your countryman during the war years and resulted in the annihilation of the almost the whole Jewish community in your country.
All your tricks and machinations will come to naught and truth will prevail!