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I've just returned from freezing Vilnius (temperatures at -18c) for what amounts to the farewell party of Dovid Katz . A big bear of a man, born in Brooklyn to the Yiddish poet Menke Katz, Dovid was the great Yiddish Professor at Vilnius University who has spent the last ten years collating the lost art works and texts of this once great language, going into the forests and towns to speak to the few remaining Yiddish speakers and record the dialects and unique vocabularies. But he's been fired from the University for political reasons: he has been outspoken against the trend of Holocaust Obfuscation which has gripped Lithuania and several other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

The basic premise of Holocaust Obfuscation can be found in the Prague Declaration of 2008 which, as Efraim Zuroff, the Nazi Hunter now in charge of the Wiesenthal Centre (who was also at Dovid's party) put it:

...seeks recognition of the canard that the crimes of Communism are equivalent to those of the Nazis and calls for the rewriting of all European history textbooks in that spirit and for the establishment of a European Research Institute to study totalitarian crimes as if they are all equal.

In the case of Lithuania (where Swastikas aren't banned) the logic is compelling. Russia occupied the Baltic States and (as the photos I saw on Saturday in Vilnius Castle show clearly) Lithuania nationalists gained power between 1941 and 1944 thanks to German support. Like many other countries, a purported Nationalist government, was actually a quisling puppet of Germany. It's also important to remember that ultranationalist militias (the LAF)  started killing Jews before the Nazis even arrived, and proportionate to the population, Lithuania then suffered the biggest genocide of the Jews in that part of Europe. So with the defeat of the Nazi's and the annexation by the Soviet Union, the end of Hitler also brought to an end to this spurious moment of Lithuanian 'independence' for another 44 years, as well as further deportation, exile or death for many Lithuanians.

Like so many of the Central European countries ravaged by Hitler and Stalin, there is no doubt that Poles (in large numbers), Belarusians, Ukranians, Lithuanians and other nationalities were subject to a dual onslaught. As Tim Synder explains in his brilliant new book Bloodlands, those countries lost 18 million civilians in calculated political murder from the start of the Stalin Terror to the end of the 40s, let alone the millions of soldiers who died on its killing fields.

But the Prague Statement, which is supported by many parties in the ECR Grouping in Strasbourg (which the British Governing Tory Pary has allied itself with) has created the false historical symmetry of a "double genocide", equating the appalling sufferings of many of these populations with the near absolute destruction of the Jews.

Worst still, thanks to this double genocide theory, many countries like Lithuania can simultaneously whitewash their own complicity in the Holocaust, and at the same time prosecute the few remaining Jewish survivors for having fought with the Soviet backed partisans - their only means of survival. As Dovid puts it:

In May 2008, at the lowpoint of modern Lithuanian history, armed police came looking for two incredibly valorous women veterans: Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (born 1922), librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, and Rachel Margolis (1921), a biologist and Holocaust scholar. Margolis is especially loathed by proponents of the "double genocide" industry because she rediscovered, deciphered and published the long-lost diary of a Christian Pole, Kazimierz Sakowicz. Sakowicz, witness to tens of thousands of murders at the Ponar (Paneriai) site outside Vilnius, recorded accurately that most of the killers were enthusiastic locals. Now resident in Rechovot, Israel, she is unable to return to her beloved hometown in Lithuania for fear of prosecutorial harassment.

So the revisionist movement of double genocide leads to a double persecution of the few remaining heroic survivors of that terrible time. I was lucky to meet one of them, Milan, this weekend. But there is one thing that debunks the double genocide theory: the reality on the ground.

I travel much in Eastern and Central Europe. Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians have vigorous dynamic societies. They have survived the dual nightmare of Stalinism and Nazism. But everywhere I go there are empty synagogues, abandoned or destroyed Jewish cemeteries. A once vibrant culture, part of the heart and soul of MittelEuropa, has gone for ever.

Dovid has dedicated his career to preserving this culture. His amazing collection of books and prints, Yiddish plays, paintings and poems, will have to go into storage because of the ultra nationalism of the Lithuanian Government.

When I first met Dovid ten years ago, and asked him about his work, he told me

I don't do holocaust studies. I do life. Not death.

And then regaled me with great Yiddish poems, or great Yiddish words (like 'schmekel-decker' for condom).

Now ten years on, political events have led him to become a defender of the living and the dead against the dangers of revisionism.

UPDATE:

To find out more about his work against revisionism
http://holocaustinthebaltics.com/

Or for those interested in his work on Yiddish
http://www.dovidkatz.net/

And if anyone wants to help build a Library for his amazing collection of Yiddish Books, let me know. Otherwise they go into storage.

Originally posted to Brit on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 03:48 PM PST.

Also republished by Europeans who love America, and vice versa and HaYishuv.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I read, with alarm, an article by Katz (18+ / 0-)

    (I'm assuming it's the same Dovid Katz), about the "double genocide" movement.  It's saddening and frightening to hear that this brave man has lost his job over waging a fight for historic truth., over the fight to recognize that Holocaust victims were actually victims not perpetrators of genocide.

    The article is well-worth reading and gives a full picture of this disturbing trend:  The Crime of Surviving .

    Thanks Brit for shedding light on this development.  Truly sad.

  •  This why as the generation... (23+ / 0-)

    that witnessed the Shoah firsthand dies out we now have the responsibility to pick up the torch and bear witness on their behalf to ensure the words "Never Again" have meaning.

    There is no crime in history comparable to the Shoah, and there never should be again. It was the systematic and mechanized genocide of six million of my people, two-thirds of the European Jewish population, and five million others the Nazis considered "undesirable".

    Whatever crimes the communists committed in Eastern Europe, and they certainly were horrific, they do not come close to comparing to the Shoah. And shame on those that persecute and prosecute the survivors simply for fighting that evil and seeking to ensure that the Nazis' crimes against humanity are never forgotten.

    If you will it, it is no dream. -- Binyamin Ze'ev (Theodor) Herzl

    by Mets102 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:40:28 PM PST

    •  You put the premise perfectly... (17+ / 0-)

      And this has all to do with historical and cultural truth rather than any kind of nationalism or ethnic competition.

      I ought to say I'm not Jewish. My grandfather was Armenian (he fled the genocide/massacres there). But what happened in Europe was a destruction of a whole Jewish Yiddish culture.

      "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin

      by Brit on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:53:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "destruction of culture" what Lithuanians faced (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego, raincrow, Anak

        The USSR had a deliberate policy of dare I say cultural genocide: wiping out the age-old indigenous cultures of their satellites (as well as of Russia itself to a lesser extent) in favor of the wholly artificial proletkult, i.e. all the loud, tacky, and propagandistic mass-produced schlock that has long been associated with the USSR's cultural output.  Lithuanian culture, like others, also suffered when it was part of the Russian Empire: courtesy of Tsar Alexander III, "Russification" was the official policy towards the "near abroad".  Before then, it was Germans again trying to replace the Lithuanian culture with a crabbed version of "German" culture intended for conquered peoples.

        It's true that only the Nazis systematically murdered people, but the Soviets were no less eager to extirpate the cultures of the lands they ruled.  Does it matter if the people are still alive if everything they are has been beaten and burned out of them?  In that respect, the Soviets were far more successful than the Nazis, and not unlike Prof. Katz, the former satellites of the USSR have been working hard to recover what was in such great danger of being lost.

        The "holocaust" hyperbole makes a great deal of sense when you know the history.

        The Egyptian people have shown us what to do ... do we have the courage to do it?

        by rf80412 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 05:16:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a bigger argument (8+ / 0-)

          And one I have constantly with my many Polish friends, especially my Polish girlfriend.

          But there is one answer to this - when it comes to Poland.

          The German plan for Poland, the Ukraine and most of Belarus was the Hunger Plan. They carefully drew up details to starve most the populations to death, and enslave the survivors on their Teutonic style estates.

          Poland lost six million people during 6 years of occupation. How many do you think would have survived by 1989?

          But despite 10 years of Stalinism and another 34 years of communism, Poland survived Soviet hegemony. It was battered, beaten and impoverished.  But it survived.

          I go to Warsaw at least once a month. Of course I flick to fingers at Stalin for staying the other side of the Vistula during the uprising (he didn't want an independent Poland) but  every time I go there I say "Fuck you Hitler" because he tried to annihilate the whole city.

          That's one country. We could talk about the others at length. Communism lasted much longer than Nazism. Had the latter occupied Europe till 1989, you might be making a very different argument

          "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin

          by Brit on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 05:24:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'd say that the only country where Soviets (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brit, Mariken, erush1345

          were reasonably successful in almost eliminating the native culture is Belarus. Mostly because the culture there was weaker than in other countries in the region and pretty close to Russian to begin with. So while the cultural genocide you're describing was quite real, it wasn't very successful.

        •  Hmm..."holocaust hyperbole"??!???? (12+ / 0-)

          You ask:

          Does it matter if the people are still alive if everything they are has been beaten and burned out of them?

          Yes, it does matter.  I am sure that my family members who were tortured, starved and then burned in Nazi ovens would have wanted to live, even minus their cultures.  Not one survived.

          I lived in and traveled through parts of the Former Soviet Union and can attest to the fact that people in the the area appreciate having their very lives, despite the sad truth that their communities were deprived of their cultural heritages for a long time.

          Only when the entire community is obliterated is the opportunity to reclaim the culture really lost forever.

          Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

          by hikerbiker on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:17:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well said. (11+ / 0-)

            I will never forget checking out the Shoah Project for the first time and reading some of the accounts that Steven Spielberg had compiled.

            Then I went to the listings and looked up my maiden name (which is not all that common).

            There it was - name after name after name.  All Poles when, as far as I then knew, that branch of my family were all Czech (actually then, Austria-Hungary, as they got out in the early 1900's).

            Then I find someone rather famous in another country with that name and damn if he isn't the spitting image of my grandfather when he was that age.  "We can't be related.  My background is Polish."

            I'll never know the truth of my family.  It's gone and there's no one left to ask.  :o(

        •  Here's why it matters (6+ / 0-)
          Does it matter if the people are still alive if everything they are has been beaten and burned out of them?

          Speaking as a Jew: Cultures can always survive.  Would they have been the same?  No, but Lithuanian culture would have survived underground, and sooner or later Lithuanians would have been able to get out and act as they had again.  That is, of course, unless the people from a culture are dead, in which case there is no survival of those ways.

    •  And also... (17+ / 0-)

      ...why some of us get really pissed off when people invoke the Nazis so casually. My grandparents each had very large extended families before the Nazis came to power. After the Holocaust, they had a single relative between the four of them.

      There are things that are comparable to what the Nazis did, but they're few and far between and the ordinary, everyday evils we complain about here on a daily basis -- the latest Republican outrage, folks who insist on diaries having substance, that political candidate running against the person you prefer in the primary -- don't even come close. Pretending they do in order to make a joke or to score cheap political points is insulting to the memory of actual victims of actual Nazis and desensitizes people to things that actually are comparable.

    •  There is no crime in history comparable... (0+ / 0-)

      "There is no crime in history comparable to the Shoah"

      The victims of the Holodomor and the Great Chinese Famine would disagree. I am half Jewish by the way, but I find your comment over the top.

      Kto przeżyje wolnym będzie, kto umiera, wolny już!

      by bozepravde15 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 05:55:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting Diary (14+ / 0-)

    I was not aware that Yiddish is a dying language.  Are there efforts to save and revive it as a living language?  

    Here in California Indian country (not sure where the American Indian Holocaust rates on the scale of genocides) by the 1990's some of the tribes were down to two or three aged native speakers and that was it.  Many tribal languages were simply lost -- the language of the Mattole Indians, for one, is completely lost and hasn't been spoken since the 1930's.   But for some of the tribes -- Yurok, Karuk and Hupa are the ones I'm most familiar with -- the University of California has had a fairly effective program for reviving the native languages and they are now being taught in reservation schools. People now write poetry in Yurok, though in the heyday of the Yurok it wasn't even a written language.

    I once heard an NPR interview with a scholar of cursing who, believe it or not, published a peer-reviewed journal on cursing.  The interviewer asked him what language was the most effective one for cursing.  Without missing a beat he said, "Yiddish, of course."

    It would be terrible to lose something like that.  Here's to reviving Yiddish as a living language.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 04:48:21 PM PST

  •  It is not a Canard (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onyx, Mariken
    Seeks recognition of the canard that the crimes of Communism are equivalent to those of the Nazis

    But, I agree that they certainly are not equivalent, because the Soviets under Stalin killed 3 times as many people as the Nazis did and imprisoned even  more, yet no one seems to be aware of this fact.  If any history is being whitewashed, is the brutal terror of the Stalinist regime.  Most of that info is downplayed in western history studies 'cos the Soviets were our allies during the war.

    The people of Eastern Europe had millions of their people killed, starved, or imprisoned in exile by Soviet rule, yet their suffering is constantly marginalized by western powers.  One can understand why they might be bit defensive about this whitewash.

    This is not to excuse those who participated in atrocities during German occupation, but other atrocities are conveniently ignored by the West as a result of our alliance with the Soviets.

    Atrocities by both the Nazis and the Soviets should not be ignored, nor should one type receive preferential treatment.  War criminals on both sides should be sought after and punished.  No more whitewashing for either side.

    DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
    LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

    by LordMike on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:01:27 PM PST

    •  I didn't use the word 'canard' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1

      ...that was Effraim Zuroff.

      Where do you get the figure of Stalin killing three times as many as the Nazis?

      I can't imagine how would add that up.

      Tim Snyder plots all the figures in Bloodlands. 3 million killed in the Ukrainian Famine. Half a million or more in the Terror. Another half million in various relocations and exiles...

      The Nazis killed 6 million Jews, 3 million Poles, 2 million Russian POWs...

      Your numbers are wildly off. Borderline revisionism

      "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin

      by Brit on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:10:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not revisionism... (0+ / 0-)

        Just more of the West downplaying the atrocities...

        Accordingly, if famine victims are included, a minimum of around 10 million deaths—6 million from famine and 4 million from other causes—are attributable to the regime,[104] with a number of recent historians suggesting a likely total of around 20 million, citing much higher victim totals from executions, gulags, deportations and other causes.[105] Adding 6–8 million famine victims to Erlikman's estimates above, for example, would yield a total of between 15 and 17 million victims. Researcher Robert Conquest, meanwhile, has revised his original estimate of up to 30 million victims down to 20 million.[106] In his most recent edition of The Great Terror (2007), Conquest states that while exact numbers may never be known with complete certainty, the various terror campaigns launched by the Soviet government claimed no fewer than 15 million lives.[107] Others maintain that their earlier higher victim total estimates are correct (up to 60 million).[108][109]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
        LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

        by LordMike on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:49:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're claiming... (4+ / 0-)

          Stalin killed 60 million on the basis of a a vague reference in a wikipedia entry?

          I'm afraid you're way off base with this. I completely agree that because of collusion (i.e. Stalin was an ally) and pure ignorance (Eastern Europe and its archives sealed off for decades) the West overlooked, ignored or suppressed the horrors of Stalinism.

          But you don't do history any service with those inflated figures. Nor does it help to downplay the role of the Nazis and the evil of the holocaust.

          Read Tim Synder's Bloodlands.

          "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin

          by Brit on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:42:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There's a couple of problems with your argument (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brit, volleyboy1

      that the West is downplaying Stalin's crimes because they fought on our side in WW2.

      The first big problem is that most of the deaths for which Stalin is responsible did not occur during the period of the WW2 alliance.

      The second big problem is that both before and after WW2, we were not exactly big fans of the Soviet Union.

      •  Depends on the 'we' involved (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sullivanst

        Certainly the horrors of the show trials and purges of Stalin's great Terror were reported before the war: just read Orwell to confirm that. However, this didn't fit in with the vested interests of the left at that time, or with the optics of 'Uncle Joe' during the 4 years of military alliance.

        After that - the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Belarus: these were very controlled police states. It took years for the facts of the Katyn massacre to be established. That's one of the dangers of totalitarianism: an ability to suppress the truth through murder, torture, exile. Stalin did not fall until the mid-50s and it took until 1989 for most of the historical archives to be opened.

        We're not just talking about propaganda here - but provable historical fact, and that took years to be uncovered.

        "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin

        by Brit on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 09:03:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Get Used to "Double Genocide," Americans (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brit, arielle, jayden, sullivanst

    As Dovid Katz writes in a previous Guardian article,  Why is the US silent on 'double genocide'?

    But now comes the truly strange part, and the point where things lapse into the unjustifiable. Whether it's from the US or the EU, one of the major "concessions" the Baltics want from the west is acquiescence to a revised and falsified history of the second world war that would, in effect, write the Holocaust out of history as distinct category and concept (without denying a single death), replacing it with a new model of "double genocide" (a topic discussed, inter alia, here by Timothy Snyder, Efraim Zuroff and myself, among others). According to that model, Nazi and Soviet crimes were, in principle, "equal".

    Oh, that isn't even so batshit crazy for the USA. We've already decided to deny there was even a genocide (single or double) of Armenians a century ago, due to our desire for good relations with Turkey. I'd have doubted the Baltics would ever command that sort of attention from us ... but not according to Katz:

    When the eastern European "double genociders" slipped in lines about Nazi and Soviet genocide, and the single "Europe-wide day of remembrance for victims of Stalinism and Nazism", into the OSCE's Vilnius Declaration of 3 July 2009, the United States, alas, signed on, too. Had the US state department consulted with local Jewish and other minority communities in the region, it would have known that this is the new code for double genocide, Holocaust obfuscation and the special brand of east European antisemitism.

    ...

    The force of America's moral voice is more necessary than ever in these times and places, when far-right revisionism, antisemitism and racism have learned to pose as centrist, and to abuse east-west politics to further their unholy agendas. Where on earth is the United States of America?

  •  Well Yiddish is my mame-loshn (mother tongue) (9+ / 0-)

    I didn't start picking up English until I was maybe 4.

    Here are modern and active Yiddish resources:

     Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater

     National Yiddish Book Center

     YIVO Institute

     Living traditions & KlezCamp

    (just a very quick list)

    "This is not what I thought I'd be when I grew up."

    by itzik shpitzik on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:24:03 PM PST

  •  thanks for this diary (6+ / 0-)

    It's interesting to me on several levels.

    I studied Yiddish with Dovid Katz many years ago.

    And I'll never forget the time I was reading a section of a story aloud to the class when I found myself forming the words, "Hokken a chienik" (hitting the teakettle/nagging).  This was an expression my dad had used with my mom when we were kids but I was shocked to see that the term could actually be proper, written language!  

    Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

    by hikerbiker on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:29:08 PM PST

  •  i haven't logged in ages... (11+ / 0-)

    and everything looks different here. but this amazing diary just made me do it... i am reminded of a horrible french film from the 90's called train of life. in the holocaust/comedy a shtetl bands together to build a train to have the village escape the coming nazis. anyway one of the memorable moments in the film is when the yiddish-speaking townspeople how to speak proper german. they say something like. 'the answer is to think like a german, not like a jew. to speak german you must take all the fun out of it." i am not sure why but this always stuck with me.

    anyway great stuff brit!

    "I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

    by canadian gal on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:36:10 PM PST

  •  Just wanted to let you know... (9+ / 0-)

    that I've used one of the features of DKos 4 and republished this diary to HaYishuv, which is a group about Jewish issues.

    If you will it, it is no dream. -- Binyamin Ze'ev (Theodor) Herzl

    by Mets102 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 06:46:14 PM PST

  •  Strong allegations, but you didn't show evidence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken

    that "he's been fired from the University for political reasons".  Please share your data.

    You may not be aware that Lithuania is a tiny country in the midst of a crushing recession/depression going through massive budget cuts, so it's not surprising that positions are being cut everywhere.  You also state that he had been working on a "once great language" with few remaining speakers in Lithuania (or possibly even worldwide), so I'd be curious to hear your evidence for the claim of firing for political reasons based on holocaust obfuscation, as opposed to budget pressures, or lack of student interest in his classes (if he teaches), or lack of sponsors for his research, or a range of other possible reasons.

    I think your call for support to create a library is a good one. In the current economic climate I suspect it might be a good idea to consider a similar appeal to help fund the university position that's been cut, rather than jump to other conclusions.

    Unless you do have solid evidence to back up your allegations...I look forward to seeing it.

    •  You can check the links I gave you... (5+ / 0-)

      ...from Dovid's site.  Everyone I talked to in Vilnius understood the political dimensions of this. If you information to the contrary, perhaps you should share it.

      "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin

      by Brit on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 01:52:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The links don't even address the firing or whether (0+ / 0-)

        ..it was political or budgetary or something else.

        I don't have evidence to support or refute your claim, but I  do know that the economy there is in bad shape so economic constraints are a plausible reason for firing professors. And political firings are also plausible.

        However, "Everyone I talked to in Vilnius understood the political dimensions of this" is hardly evidence to support your claim. You should consider using a disclaimer such as 'allegedly' or 'it appears' or 'may have' or 'xyz says' if you can't back up your claim with credible evidence.

        IMO, your arguments become less persuasive when you present opinions or judgments as facts...dare I say, that's a form of obfuscation.

        •  To be blunt (5+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure you're persuadable on this issue anyway, as you seem to have concluded that this one subphrase about Dovid 'losing his job for political reasons' is somehow more or less fact based than the countless others I've used in the diary.

          The timing of the sudden and unexplained termination of his contract after 11 years, the sudden withdrawal of his courses from listing by the university, coming soon after his first press briefings on the persecution of Jewish survivors by the Lithuanian authorities is pretty compelling circumstantially by itself. But there are other factors working behind the scenes which would require me to ask Dovid's permission to reveal

          If you require full chapter and verse on this, would you please contact me directly through email.

          "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin

          by Brit on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:23:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So you're dismissing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brit, volleyboy1, canadian gal

          conversations in which the diarist personally participated, because there's no hyperlink to them?

          I think you probably ought to re-evaluate the way in which you weigh the evidence with which you are provided.

  •  I Think It's Better (5+ / 0-)

    To try to engage Central and Eastern Europeans in solidarity -- use this as an opportunity to share experiences about a shared history, rather than to drive a wedge between Jewish people with roots in this region and its current inhabitants.

    Find me fast on Daily Kos by following me.

    by bink on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 02:01:20 AM PST

  •  This sounds particularly insidious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brit, canadian gal

    I mean, it's certainly the case that Stalin did truly horrific things too. There were the Gulags. There were the mass deportations leading to starvation. There was the Holodomor. There were the mass executions.

    One can certainly make the case that Stalin is responsible for more total deaths from oppression than Hitler was - although had Hitler had as long in power, that probably wouldn't be the case.

    But they've apparently succeeded in shifting the debate to whether or not two manifestations of evil are equal or not. That's a debate humanity loses.

    There's simply no excuse for criminalizing those who did what was absolutely necessary to save themselves from a regime hell-bent on the systematic murder of them, their family, and everyone like them.

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