Grant Gochin delivered the following remarks to an audience of about 200 people at the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre of the Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation in Cape Town in the early evening of October 27.
Hello, chaverim, friends, I am honored and delighted to be on my home soil, speaking to my own people. My Mishpocha. Thank you for coming. My sincere thanks to the organizers and attendees, and those who have kept me going in this cause.
Every Jewish person in this room has ancestry from Lithuania. Most of us here now, are alive because our families got out before Lithuanians were able to murder us. We are all who are left, to remember and speak the truth. Our families’ voices cannot be stilled through apathy or forgetfulness. Our families’ voices must be heard.
I became eager to find out about the “Old Country” from the stories and lessons of my paternal grandfather. More and more, I knew I had to walk those streets and see those forests.
I was the very first Jew to apply to Lithuania for citizenship. Three times, they rejected me for reasons even the Lithuanian Supreme Court ruled to be “absurd.” There were two sets of rules, one for real “ethnic” Lithuanians, and a separate queue for Litvaks. This simplified their process–automatic denial for Jews. I fought back.
I sued the Lithuanian government five times to expose and dismantle their “No Jew Citizenship Policy.” I started with the arduous task of bringing the injustices into the light. I badgered, pestered, begged, spoke and wrote with anyone having anything to do with Lithuanian Jewish policy.
Do you want to know the only thing that does work in Lithuania? International exposure and public humiliation are the ONLY things Lithuania cares about.
They do not care about facts, morals, rights, truth or Jews. Eventually, Lithuania was publicly shamed into having no option other than to change some of their Jewish laws.
Even now, I take personal pride and joy in every Lithuanian citizenship acquired by a South African. I urge every single one of you to stand up and apply.
Lithuanian citizenship IS our birthright. It IS our history. It IS our entitlement. Lithuania should have been where our families could have lived in peace and safety, grown, and been buried with dignity. We are owed.
Your grandparents’ documents from Lithuania all prominently say “Žydas” “Žydė.” “Jew” or “Jewess.” Just like apartheid South Africa, we Jews could never be listed simply as Lithuanian, our racial classification was “Jew.”
As was “explained” to me by a Lithuanian diplomat in about 1990, a Jew could never be a “Lithuanian,” and a “Lithuanian” could never be a Jew. On our citizenship applications, they used to require our religious identity as a racial and national identification. Apartheid.
Today Lithuania wants us to identify as Lithuanian because it sounds less apartheid, less racist. While they have removed our racial classification from their application forms, our names and our documents still show exactly who we are–JEWS!
We remain Litvak Jews. They did not murder 96.4% of Jews because they were Lithuanians, they murdered our families because we ARE Jews. They, on the other hand, remain Lithuanians.
This is the reason why so many of our family members fought against apartheid so staunchly. Jews were the victims of apartheid in Lithuania and are all too familiar with its recognizable hideous hatred. Whereas our families had no advocates and no safe harbor and were unable to defend themselves in Lithuania, WE could stand up for black South Africans. And in huge numbers WE did.
I identified the murderer of my own family in the Lithuanian Holocaust. To my amazement and disgust, I discovered that he is celebrated as a beloved and admired national hero in Lithuania. His name was Jonas Noreika.
It is fact that Noreika personally was responsible for the savage and senseless slaughter of up to 14,500 of our family members.
Currently however, Noreika has been re-written in Lithuanian history as a heroic rescuer of Jews. The government of Lithuania enforces and applauds these falsifications. A result is that I have pending criminal charges against me – for “slandering” their heroes.
A few years ago, Noreika’s granddaughter, Silvia Foti, stepped forward to admit her grandfather’s crimes. She and I have now combined efforts. We have both written exposes of how the government of Lithuania fraudulently rewrote her grandfather into a national hero.
Lithuania has blocked every single path to actual truths inside Lithuania. The sole path left is judgement by the Court of public opinion. THAT my friends, is the main reason we are here today.
For the past few weeks, I have been publishing Lithuanian Holocaust testimonies in the Times of Israel. They are harrowing to read. A normal human mind cannot contemplate the horrors that were inflicted upon our families. I guarantee, you will be shocked by what you read. Please read them and remember the facts.
There are approximately 200 people in this room. Look around you my friends. Had we been in Lithuania, only seven of us would have survived to write one of those testimonies. Who among us would have been the survivor?
Lithuanians certainly were not and are not truthful about their crimes. They either mewl about having been victims and claim they heard nothing, saw nothing, and knew nothing, instead, they claim they were just too busy rescuing Jews to notice what was happening. Now, I ask you – do you believe that?
Michael Kretzmer, an English-Litvak documentarian, made a harrowing film called “J’Accuse!.” It will receive its world premiere at the Jewish International Film Festival in Australia next month. It will be screened on Sunday afternoon at the Great Park Community Centre in Johannesburg.
The movie centers on Noreika and his activities during the Holocaust, as he systematically murdered the Jews of Northern Lithuania. Many of our South African Jewish families came from Northern Lithuania. This documentary is as personal for you, as it is for me, as it should be for all of humanity. The documentary is quite simply devastating.
My Oupa spent his life in South Africa searching for information about our murdered relatives. And then, in April of 1984, the discovery.
In April of 1984 the German magazine “Der Spiegel” exposed Noreika as the primary murderer of the Jewish population in my Oupa’s region. 1984! Let us remember, that was before the advent of the internet and worldwide knowledge. The boat carrying magazines from Europe took about a month to arrive in Port Elizabeth, as hard copies. Oupa read Der Spiegel every month. At the end of May 1984, he finally read the April edition.
Noreika’s murders, inhumanity, and the gleeful cruelty and barbarity of the Lithuanians were all clearly defined on the pages.
After reading and rereading the article, Oupa lost all hope of ever finding any familial survivors. He was depleted and without further purpose.
A mere few days later, he dropped dead of a stress induced heart attack. I believe these Lithuanian monsters effectively killed my Oupa too. For me, Lithuanian Holocaust fraud is deeply personal.
Thirteen years after Jonas Noreika was exposed as a prime Holocaust perparator and the genocidal murderer of my own family, Lithuania declared him a national hero, honoring his supposed courage and humanity.
Since Jew killing was a worldwide sport, Lithuanians were not satisfied murdering just their own Jewish citizens, so, they travelled all over Europe, volunteering to work in the Concentration Camps so they could also murder Jews in other countries.
Lithuanian army contingents travelled to neighboring countries to gleefully slaughter as many Jews in Europe as they could. Even some Nazis were horrified at the brutality and sheer bestial activity of Lithuanians.
Lithuanian murderers were supremely effective. Noreika was a minor murderer in comparison to other Lithuanians, he only murdered about 14,500 of us. 14,500. That is more than all the Jews in Cape Town – combined.
Another in their disgusting pantheon of Jew murdering heroes, Antanas Baltušis, served as the leader of the guards at the Majdanek Concentration Camp.
The Lithuanian Government claims he only served on the outside of the camp, and therefore was unaware of what was happening inside. Do they really expect ANYONE to believe that? Have you ever heard of a guard serving on the inside of a gas chamber? Oblivious to the screams, stench, smoke and blood of those actively being murdered two meters from him? By his own subordinates! Preposterous!
The distortion, revision and lies carefully constructed by the Lithuanian Government are so blatantly crude, that one wonders, whom do they think will actually believe it? We are not that naïve. Even so, today Baltusis remains their national hero.
Yet another of their heroes, Kazys Škirpa, early on called for the elimination of Jews from Lithuania.
In 1939 there were approximately 250,000 Jews. Today approximately 2,500. It does not take a mathematical genius to recognize that 99% of Lithuanian Jews have been eliminated. Škirpa’s plan is the most successful program Lithuania has ever had in its entire history.
Eighty percent of Jews were eliminated prior to when Hitler’s Final Solution really began. The government of Lithuania officially says Škirpa’s call to “eliminate” Jews was just a mere “incident of anti-Semitism.” A mere incident? Two hundred and twenty thousand Jews murdered and the call for our ethic cleaning was a “mere incident” of anti-Semitism.
The Lithuanian government line is that these Jews are “lost.” Let me help Lithuania. Our families are not “lost.” We all know exactly where they are. They lie twisted in death pits strewn throughout Lithuania.
President Isaac Herzog and former prime minister Bibi Netanyahu are both Litvaks with origins in Šeduva. The murderer of their Lithuanian families in Šeduva was Izidorius Pucevičius, also declared a hero of Lithuania, also rewritten as a rescuer of Jews.
Also rebranded “national hero” is Jonas Semaška, another Holocaust perpetrator. There are many others whose names and deeds we will never know.
I have provided the Lithuanian Government with more than a dozen names of their heroes who were Holocaust perpetrators. They. Do. Not. Care.
The Lithuanian lies that perpetuated today, are responsible for murdering our families yet a second time.
According to the post Holocaust legal Nuremberg definition, every single member of Lithuania’s wartime Provisional Government falls into the category of a Holocaust perpetrator. When they claim it was “only” Lithuanian degenerates who were murdering Jews, they are LYING. It was from the very top of their national leadership, on down. Studies show that in some villages, it was up to 50% of the Lithuanian population that participated in Holocaust crimes. It was NOT a few, and NOT the degenerates.
The Lithuanian government tells us that the only ones to blame for the Holocaust were the “Nazis and their collaborators.” This stance has been created to focus only on Nazis and to distract away from Lithuanians.
They ignore the fact that Lithuanians began murdering Jews even before the Nazis arrived in Lithuania. What they refuse to acknowledge is simply that there were so very few Nazis in Lithuania. That Nazis gave Lithuanians weapons and Lithuanians joyously, willingly and enthusiastically murdered Jews.
While Lithuanians and Nazis shared the same basic ideology, even in their own barbarity, the Nazis were appalled by the extreme, brutal, predilections and inhumanity of the Lithuanians. When you hear Lithuanian ambassador Junevičius use the phrase “Nazis and their collaborators,” understand that this is a specific and deliberate form of Holocaust revisionism, distortion and distraction. The ambassador’s words are perfectly, excruciatingly and exactly crafted to minimize, eradicate and shift blame.
Yad Vashem declared 0.04% of Lithuanians were Righteous Gentiles. 0.04%.
That leaves 99.96% of Lithuanians who were either perpetrators, bystanders, or cannot prove that they were rescuers. Those who cannot prove that they were rescuers include Noreika, Pucevičius, Semaška and so many more.
Yet almost every single Lithuanian I have ever met has told me that their family were rescuers. Yad Vashem’s number is 0.04%. Know when you are being lied to.
Lithuania did not punish a single Holocaust perpetrator, instead, they converted many of their murderers into their national heroes.
There is not a single piece of evidence that Nazis punished any Lithuanians for refusing to murder a Jew. The infinitesimally small number of Lithuanian rescuers were rescuing the Jews NOT from Nazis, but from their FELLOW LITHUANIANS!
Yad Vashem states plainly and clearly their definition for Righteous Gentiles, however, the Lithuanian governments have created and defined their own standard for identifying “Righteous Gentiles.” This is a false system.
Privately some members of the government admit the truth. But they insist that “education requires time.” How much time do they need? After 80 years the time is up. Facts are simply facts. They do not change with age.
Through my legal actions, I have been able to expose the Lithuanian president, prime minister, the Parliament, the prosecutor general, the Lithuanian Heritage Department, the mayor of Vilnius and every single one of their courts including both of their Supreme Court as participants in the national program of Holocaust deception. Thus I have become persona non grata in Lithuania.
Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and I share the honor of being two of the most hated people in Lithuania. Regardless of the blatant, absurd accusations they hurl at any of us in the small cadre fighting for truth, we stand steadfast.
Lithuanian officials come to South Africa to meet with Jewish leaders and implore them to promote tourism and investment in Lithuania, all the while as they continue to lie about the past.
Lithuania’s strategy is to delay and obstruct. They hope people like me will get so tired we will give up. I will not. Lithuania has never told the truth about the Holocaust. I am not going anywhere and there are others to take up the reins.
I have brought close to 30 legal actions against the government of Lithuania. All of them simply demanded the truth. Every case has been dismissed on legal technicalities, without ever examining any facts. So much for an independent judiciary.
Ask yourselves: for the Jews who invest or do business in Lithuania, how do you have any trust in an environment of anti-Semitism where the court system operates on instruction, not fact or law?
Lithuania’s legal responses prove that when representatives of the Lithuanian government tell us they “want to know the truth” and that they “oppose Holocaust distortion,” they are lying.
My cases stand as permanent proof that 78 years after the end of the Shoah that Lithuania is a country which elevates Holocaust fraud.
Lithuania comprehensively and deliberately lying about the greatest crime in the history of the world raises the question: is there anything they will not lie about? Lithuanian ambassador to South Africa Dainius Junevičius with full knowledge of Lithuania’s Holocaust frauds signed a pledge in front of thirty-four government representatives Lithuania would not distort the facts of the Holocaust. Shameless.
They lie as easily as they breathe and almost as frequently. Nothing, absolutely nothing they say can be accepted as truth. When the government of Lithuania and their representatives communicate on Jewish issues, understand they are most likely engaging in deception.
Thankfully my friends, we are not alone in this fight. Many governments, organizations and individuals have voiced their staunch disapproval of Lithuania’s Holocaust deceptions, including the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the US State Department, the US Congress, Lithuania’s own Presidential Commission, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the American Jewish Congress, the Lithuanian Jewish Community, the European Jewish Community, the World Jewish Congress and many more. Lithuania stands exposed in front of the world as Holocaust revisionists.
Lithuania claims that they want to talk to “anyone open and ready to discuss painful issues of the past, on a respectful and constructive basis BUT only with those who share the effort to find the truth and reach reconciliation.” Their definition of those “sharing the effort to find the truth” refers to only those who will tolerate their Holocaust frauds. I am not one, and neither should you be. It obviously isn’t the US Government either, who have repeatedly and fruitlessly appealed to Lithuania to tell the truth. Lithuania’s truth is lies.
My case is currently in front of the United Nations. My case could take decades to be resolved. Indeed, I may not even be alive to hear the verdict. Our best immediate recourse is the court of public opinion. And that is all of us in this room.
When they look us in the eye and misrepresent, they are insulting us and treating us with contempt. More importantly, when Lithuania covers up the crime of genocide and avoids culpability, it shows current and future mass murderers that they, too, can get away with mass murder. It has worked for Lithuania, and it will work for others. This places our future generations at risk. We are not just addressing this for our ancestors, we are doing this to protect our children.
US President John F. Kennedy stated the situation exactly. He said: “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” For Lithuania, their heroes are a statement of their national values.
We Jews worldwide, including in South Africa, attend Lithuanian events and hear warm words. Only an analysis of these words shows the exact same terms being used in the UK, US, SA and Israel. Their words are a dictated script written in Vilnius, crafted very carefully to distract from the truth and soften their crimes. Do they really think we cannot figure it out? Their diplomatic staff are trained salespeople, skilled in how to convey their distorted messages.
They tell us that they are serious about remembering. Yet, my cases and the continual lies prove otherwise. Their standard procedure remains Holocaust revisionism.
Holocaust revisionism IS anti-Semitism. Defining the murderers of Jews as national heroes IS insulting the victims and insulting to every one of us. Rewriting history to declare the murderers as innocent or heroic is dehumanizing to EVERY Jew.
Germany’s official stance is to accept responsibility for the Shoah. There is now strong friendship between Jews and Germany and Israel and Germany. Lithuania has only lied, twisted the truth and committed fraud. There is no honest basis for a relationship between Jews and Lithuania.
To attempt to correct this abhorrent situation, Lithuania urgently needs to show us they are sincere in outing the truth. Only firm and immediate action is acceptable. I propose the following :
Close down their counterfeit Genocide Center and revoke all findings;
Create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission of non-Lithuanian, credentialed historians to establish the actual truth, just like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which South Africa had;
Just stop distorting and lying.
If Lithuania genuinely wants to apologize for their behavior, frauds and murders, I have a suggestion. Follow the example of Spain and Portugal and issue a mass blanket grant of full Lithuanian citizenship to all Litvaks. Worldwide. Laws can definitely be changed. They can definitely make this happen. Each of YOU deserves an immediate and unilateral grant of Lithuanian citizenship for what they did to our families, and for their rampant and consistent Holocaust fraud. We are entitled to it, and we should demand it.
I do not anticipate success in Lithuania. They have no intention of ever telling the truth. They manipulate us because they know South African Jews want their European passport. They can manipulate us because they have that power over us. Looking us straight in the eye while lying while simultaneously hero-worshiping the murderers is Holocaust Triumphalism.
It is easier for Lithuania to pretend our cause does not exist. We know the truth. We remember. And we must teach our future generations well. We are the protectors and guardians of Holocaust history. For the memory of our families and for our own dignity, Lithuania CANNOT win.
Lithuania WILL NOT win.
I thank you all.
AM YISRAEL CHAI.