Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to address the dangerous issue of Holocaust distortion during his recent visit to Lithuania. To best understand the severity of this, we need to clarify the terms and potential hazards.
Holocaust distortion is often confused with the better-known phenomenon of Holocaust denial, but it is a more recent version of the latter.
It began with the fall of the Soviet Union, and the transition to democracy of post-Communist Eastern Europe. It was then (1990-1991) that these countries were able to face their Holocaust past honestly, including countries like Lithuania, which participated in systematic mass murder.
In Lithuania, 212,000 out of the 220,000 Jews who lived in the country under Nazi occupation were murdered during the Shoa (96.4%). This was the highest percentage of fatalities among the larger European Jewish communities. In Estonia, 99% of the Jews were killed, but only 1,000 lived under Nazi occupation; the rest, 3,500, were able to escape to the Soviet Union before the Nazi invasion.
It is important to remember that 90% of Lithuanian Jewry (in many cases the relatives of South African Jewry) were not murdered in death camps, as were most of the Nazis’ victims. Instead, they were shot near their homes, and in many cases by their neighbors or by other Lithuanians.
Full text here.