Rūta Vanagaitė to Launch New Book at Lithuanian Jewish Community

Rūta Vanagaitė to Launch New Book at Lithuanian Jewish Community

Press release
June 10, 2020

Launch of “How Did It Happen? Christoph Dieckmann Answers to Rūta Vanagaitė”

Dr. Christoph Dieckmann is a prominent German historian and a member of the Lithuanian President’s International Commission for the Evaluation of Crimes Committed by the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania. His monumental study “German Occupation Policy in Lithuania, 1941-1944” (Deutsche Besatzungspolitik in Litauen 1941–1944) was awarded the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research.

In the new book, controversial Lithuanian writer Rūta Vanagaitė poses a series of questions to Dieckmann in conversations which become too long to call just an interview, conducted over two years. Rūta Vanagaitė taps Christoph Dieckmann’s vast knowledge of the Holocaust throughout Europe to answer the questions which still bother her and presumably other Lithuanian readers who have begun to look seriously at this period of history.

The Goodwill Foundation partially financed the publication.

The launch will take place at 11:00 A.M. on June 25, 2020, at the Lithuanian Jewish Community, Pylimo street no. 4, Vilnius. Speakers scheduled include Vanagaitė, Dieckmann, professor Irena Veisaitė and writer and thinker Tomas Venclova. LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky is to moderate the event which will take place in English with Lithuanian.

Registration is required by writing an email to Neringa at neringa@lzb.lt or calling +370 672 16982, or by writing Raminta at raminta@gvf.lt.

“This book is a breakthrough. The book is in the form of a dialogue which translates academic analysis into language which intelligent readers everywhere can easily absorb.”
–Yehuda Bauer, honorary chairman, IHRA; academic advisor, Yad Vashem

“Christoph Dieckmann is one of the foremost historians of the Holocaust. This dialogue opens the door to his vast knowledge and to his measured and persuasive interpretations.”
–Timothy Snyder, historian of the Holocaust and Eastern European history

“This book is about the main lesson of the Holocaust, about the fact that each one of us has a choice: to be human or not to be. Even in hell we have this choice.”
–Svetlana Alexievich, writer, winner of Noble prize for literature