Holocaust Obfuscation at Rokiskis, Lithuania
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The obfuscation of history - logo
The term, The Obfuscation of History, was introduced by Dovid Katz an academic who has introduced and taught Yiddish language and culture at many major universities, including Oxford, London, Columbia and Yale, published extensively and won numerous prizes including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship,and the Sholem Aleichem Prize.
Until recently Katz was professor of Yiddish at Vilnius University. He became very familiar with the Lithuanian government plan to rewrite the history of World War 2 in a manner which would absolve Lithuania from any guilt for the actions of so0called Lithuanian Partisans -- who murdered over 95% of their fellow Jewish citizens -- sometimes alone -- in most cases in joint actions with the German Eizengruppen murder squads. The Government scheme involved has been to slovenly adopt an elastic definition of genocide -- so that both the Nazis and the Russian (USSR) invaders actions could both be considered guilty of "genocide". Then, by equating the two rather different invaders -- it becomes possible to describe the "nationalist"partisans -- of the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Font) -- who generally opposed the Russian forces -- as heroic oponents of Genocide -- completely ignoring their active particupation in the murder of Jews. Moreover, those few Jews who escaped ghettoes and joined partisan bands -- and only Communist partisan vans would accept Jews -- can then be described as bandits supporting the genocide of the Lithuanian people.
Since Lithuania has joined the EU, it has become possible, Recently Prof Katz' professorial contract at Vilnius was not renewed because of his opposition to the Lithuanian government's adoption of the Prague Declaration of 1998 which equates the crimes of Communism with the genocide perpetrated by Nazism. In Lithuania, this opposition can result in a 2 year prison sentence, and in Hungary a 3 year sentence. The Prague Declaration has resulted in the downgrading of the Holocaust, with the activities of antiSoviets (the LAF and others) being presented as nationalism and resulted in a witch-hunt among Holocaust survivors whom the Lithuanian authorities now consider to have acted against Lithuanian national interests when they fought the Nazis. For example, recently, ladies in their late 80's who escaped the ghettos and fought against Nazism have had to deal with armed police action against them and are too scared to return to their homeland for fear of being called war criminals.
Dr Katz' website www.DefendingHistory.com provides excellent material about the revisionist history being created.
Rokiskis and its obfuscated history
Dovid Katz's term, the "obfuscation of history" is well exemplified by looking at the case of the small town of Rokiskis, north of Vilnius/Vilna. This is a town with a Jewish population for more than four hundred years, but bereft of Jews today.

First step in the obfuscation of the history of the Baltic has been to define genocide so as to cover any period when full freedoms were not enjoyed, and to proceed then to the Second Stage. where Nazism and Communism are equated;         Museum Scene portraits of Stalin and Hitler side by side
Inside the State Museum of Rokistis (about 80 km from Vilnius) a display has been set up with well-matched portraits of Stalin and Hitler to make the point of their equivalence.
In Stage 3 of Holocaust Obfuscation, the oponents of the Soviet are lauded and the Holocaust is discounted. Thus in the Rokiskis museum adjacent to the portraits of Hitler and Stalin is a gallery dedicated to the Heroic Partisans of WW2, many of whom worked with the Eizengruppen.(*)
Partisan Heroes Gallery State Museum Rokiskis
   Click for Podcast 32

In this interview Dovid Katz explains the Prague declaration that seeks by equating Nazism with Communism, to whitewash the activities of those Baltic groups whose participation with the Nazis in the holocaust lead to a 95% death rate amongst Baltic Jews in WW2, the highest murder rate outside Germany/Austria in WW2.
The programme features Yiddish songs and begins with a short discussion of Yiddish and the atlas of the Yiddish language of the Baltic that Prof Katz has produced after extensive research.

World and Us Broadcast 32:
On Lion FM Thursday 2 June 2011
Repeated Sunday June 5 2011

Interview with Dovid Katz, noted Yiddish expert, who was until recently professor of Yiddish at Vilnius University (Lithuania). Interview is in English, with song brackets in Yiddish.

Click here to return to the podcast list page of the World and Us.

                          To see more pix from Rokiskis Museum Click Here.

The 2008 „Prague Declaration“ is an instrument, in the European Parliament, to scrap Holocaust Commemoration Day – officially marked by the UN and many EU states on the date of the Auschwitz liberation, January 27. It is to be replaced by an all-purpose totalitarian victims’ day on the Soviet-Nazi Molotov-Ribbentrop accord date of August 23.

In the Fourth Stage of obfuscation the cultural contribution of Jews to the nation is discounted and given only token recognition. Thus the only mention of Jews in the Rokiskis Museum is a pair of silver rimonim in a display case.
Rokiskis still has a Synagogue Street but no Jews. In the Jewish cemetery many graves -- most damaged or part covered. In 1939 the Jewish population was 3,500.
Sign Synagog jumble of headstones
On the 15 and 16th August 1941, 3,200 Jewish residents of Rokiskis were murdered (along with 7 non-Jews) by the Eizengruppen aided by "partisans" in nearby woods (just north of the tiny village of Bajorai) where this memorial stands over the mass grave.(*)
death site memorial death site memorial
The inscription in Russian, Lithuanian and Yiddish reads: Here rest those killed by Lithuanian-German nationalists on 15-16 of August, 1941.
The market square features a notable building -- the pre-WW2 home of a local Jewish industrialist (now a hotel): Mansion Statue Also in the Rokiskis town square is a statue of Russian Air Force General Smuskievich, born in Rokiskis in 1902, he is the only Jew memoralised in any way in the town. An amazing Soviet ace in Spain 1936-7, he successfully lead the Soviet Airforce against Japan in Mongolia. Twice a Hero of the Soviet Union.
(*) In the notorious Jaeger Report, a Nazi document presented at the Nuremberg Trials -- translated here -- SS-Standartenfuhrer Jaeger reported:
Following the formation of a raiding squad under the command of SS-Obersturmfuhrer Hamman and 8-10 reliable men from the Einsatzkommando the following actions were conducted in cooperation with Lithuanian partisans:
where the chronological entries of daily murders includes those performed at Rokiskis on August 15-16, 1941.
The Jaeger Report also lists other murders carried out near Rokiskis with active partisan support in the period June 27 - August 14, 1941, of 493 Jews, 432 Russians, and 56 Lithuanians ("all active communists") totallying. 981
An indication of the sizeable number of right-wing partisans involved at each murder site is indicated by this entry in the Jaeger report referring to the "liquidation" at Zagare:
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© 2010-2011 Harvey A Cohen