The newspaper Ūkininko patarėjas [Farmer’s Helper], 30% of whose stock is owned by Union of Peasants and Greens [ruling] party leader Ramūnas Karbauskis, is printing articles raising doubt and uncertainty concerning the conferring of a state award to former ghetto inmate and Soviet partisan Fania Brancovskaja, articles which are insulting to the Lithuanian Jewish community. Historian and MP Arvydas Anušauskas says he thinks these sorts of publications bring to mind Nazi propaganda and contribute to the sowing of ethnic discord.
“The Lithuanian Jewish Community strives to base its words on facts, documents checked a hundred times before making a statement. These sort of accusations and this kind of rhetoric being published by Ūkininko patarėjas is, in my understanding, at the very least unethical,” Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky told [the newspaper] Lietuvos žinios.
She was talking about publications in Ūkininko patarėjas which raise doubts concerning the actions during World War II of Fania Brancovskaja. Brancovskaja was conferred the Order of the Cross of the Knight “For Merit to Lithuania” on February 16 this year. Some publications have claimed Brancovskaja, who fled the Vilnius ghetto and joined the Soviet partisans, is complicit in the mass murder of residents of the village of Kaniūkai [Lithuania] carried out in January of 1944, although research by experts from the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania found she had not taken part in that operation.
Going on Speculation
The March 14 issue of Ūkininko patarėjas contained an article stating: “On February 21 Ūkininko patarėjas was the first media organ in Lithuania to report to the public the President’s Office on the occasion of February 16 [Lithuanian Independence Day], by awarding the ‘knightess’s’ cross to a Soviet agent of diversion, to member of the Jewish gang which exterminated the village of Kaniūkai in Eastern Lithuania Fania Brancovskaja, in truth awarded and rehabilitated all the perpetrators of the genocide of the Lithuanian nation.”
Full story in Lithuanian here.