Holocaust

Testament

Testament

The Pasaka movie theater in Vilnius and the Israeli embassy to Lithuania invite the public to a free screening of the film Testament at the movie theater located at Šv. Ignoto street no. 4 at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, January 27 Entrance free. The film is in Hebrew, English, German and Yiddish (Lithuanian subtitles will be provided).

The Testament is a film about Holocaust historian Yoel Halberstam, who becomes involved in a legal battle over the brutal mass murder of Jews in the fictional town of Lensdorf, Austria, at the end of World War II. An influential industrialist family on whose land the massacre took place are planning a large real estate development at the mass murder site. Yoel suspects the goal of the construction is bury all memory of the event forever, but he needs proof to stop it from going forward.

Event supporters: Lithuanian embassy to Israel, Israeli embassy to Lithuania

Remember Raoul Wallenberg

Swedish ambassador to Lithuania Maria Lundqvist and the Lithuanian National Martynas Mažvydas Library’s Judaica Center invite you to attend the opening of the Swedish Institute exhibit Raoul Wallenberg: I Don’t Have Another Choice, at the library in Vilnius at 5:00 P.M. on January 30. The exhibit will run till February 10.

LJC Board Members: #WeRemember #MesPrisimename

LJC Board Members: #WeRemember #MesPrisimename

The agony of the Holocaust is known all to well to some members of the board of directors of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, it having affected them and their families deeply.

Preserve the memory of the past, don’t be apathetic, photograph yourself with a sign reading #WeRemember or #MesPrisimename.

We will spread the knowledge of memory together.

Events to Mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Events to Mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 25 FRIDAY 10:30 A.M.-2:30 P.M, Artis Hotel, Totorių street no. 23, Vilnius
Holocaust Day conference on fighting discrimination

Presentation of exhibit “Lithuania. Lite. Lita. One Century our of Seven”
Registration: www.lzb.lt, info@lzb.lt [in Lithuanian and English with translation]

Organizers: Lithuanian Jewish Community, Department of Ethnic Minorities under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania

January 27 SUNDAY 2:00 P.M., Pasaka Cinema, Šv. Ignoto street no. 4
Screening of the film Testament aka haEdut (2017). Entrance free. Film is in Hebrew, English, German and Yiddish (Lithuanian subtitles will be provided).

The Testament is a film about Holocaust historian Yoel Halberstam, who becomes involved in a legal battle over the brutal mass murder of Jews in the fictional town of Lensdorf, Austria, at the end of World War II. An influential industrialist family on whose land the massacre took place are planning a large real estate development at the mass murder site. Yoel suspects the goal of the construction is bury all memory of the event forever, but he needs proof to stop it from going forward.

When You Save a Life, You Save a World

The exhibit When You Save a Life, You Save a World and the accompanying catalog will be presented at the Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum in Vilnius at 3:30 P.M. on January 24 to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Litvaks, Jews in Lithuania and Anti-Semitism: Lithuania’s Jews Persevere

Litvaks, Jews in Lithuania and Anti-Semitism: Lithuania’s Jews Persevere

You don’t have to be born in Lithuania to call yourself a Litvak. There were many years in which Lithuania’s borders kept changing, so that many Jews born in any of Lithuania’s neighboring countries or in any of the countries that had ruled or occupied Lithuania, consider themselves to be Litvaks – especially if they can also speak Yiddish.

At meetings in Vilnius this past November, the first question put to the journalist from Jerusalem Post by both Faina Kukliansky, the chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, and Fania Brancovskaja, Vilna’s last Holocaust survivor [sic], was “Do you speak Yiddish?” The interview with Brancovskaja, 96, was entirely in Yiddish, even though she is fluent in a half-dozen languages, including English. Kukliansky is also multilingual and even though the interview with her was conducted in English, every now and again, when she wanted to emphasize a point, she reverted to Yiddish.

Full story here.

Motke Chabad’s Best Joke

Motke Chabad’s Best Joke

Motke Chabad and His Best Joke* (Jewish humor)

by Pinchos Fridberg,
[an old Jew who was born and raised in Vilnius]

<Rebe>, will there ever come a time when the words <Vilne un Yidish> [Vilne and Yiddish] will be inseparable again?”
“<Saydn nor mit Meshiekh’n in eynem> [Not unless it comes with the Messiah].”

§§§

Would you like to know what an old Jew does after a delicious and satisfying lunch?
I’ll tell you: he lies <af a sofke> [<a sofke> – diminutive of sofa] <un khapt a dreml> [and grabs a nap].

And then what?

And then he dreams that …

A few days ago I received an e-mail from motke.chabad@xxxxx.com containing an incredible proposal: the author asked me to prove to him that I really am an old Vilna Jew <an alter vilner Yid>. I wouldn’t tell you these <bobe-maise> [old wives’ tales] if not for the way he suggested proving this.

Panevėžys Jewish Community Invites Public to Commemorate Holocaust

Panevėžys Jewish Community Invites Public to Commemorate Holocaust

The Panevėžys Jewish Community invites all people of good will to attend a Holocaust commemoration on January 27. Event program:

12 noon: Gathering at the Sad Jewish Mother statue, Atminties square, Vasario 16-osios street.

12:30 P.M. Gathering continues at the Ghetto Gate statue, corner of Klaipėdos and Krekenavos streets.

1:30 P.M. Discussion about Holocaust history, causes and perpetrators at the Panevėžys Jewish Community, Ramygalos street no. 18). Screening of film on Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex, the largest camp during the Holocaust where 1.5 million people were murdered.

Event supported by:

Conference Dedicated to International Holocaust Remembrance Day and Combating Discrimination

Conference Dedicated to International Holocaust Remembrance Day and Combating Discrimination


CONFERENCE DEDICATED TO INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY AND COMBATING DISCRIMINATION

Artis hotel, Vilnius, Totorių street no. 23, Vilnius, Lithuania
January 25

[10:30 – 11:00 A.M. registration]

11 A.M.

Welcome speeches:
Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr.  Linas Linkevičius
Faina Kukliansky, President, Lithuanian Jewish Community
Vida Montvydaitė, DIrector, National Ethnic Minorities Department
Julius Meinl, World Jewish Congress Commissioner for Combating Antisemitism

11:15 A.M. – 12:15 P.M. PART I:

Jews, Lithuanians and the Greatest Tragedy of the 20th Century. Lessons for Future Generations.

Snowball Rolled South: A Documentary on Litvaks in South Africa

Snowball Rolled South: A Documentary on Litvaks in South Africa

Ieva Balsiūnaitė, one of the producers of the film The Snowball Rolled South about Litvaks in South Africa, gave an interview to Lithuanian public television on the eve of its Lithuanian premiere on Lithuanian TV. The film will be screened at the Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, Naugarduko street no. 10/2, Vilnius, at 6:00 P.M. on January 17, 2019, to be followed by a discussion. The film contains Lithuanian and English passages and Lithuanian subtitles will be provided at this screening. The running time is 52 minutes. Entrance is free.

§§§

The majority of Jews living in South Africa come from Lithuania, and many of them are celebrated artists, businesspeople, public figures. A few have been Nobel prize winners and famous actors, even an Oscar nominee. Journalist, documentary maker and one of the makers of the film The Snowball Rolled South Ieva Balsiūnaitė told Lithuanian public television about this. Some of the film’s heroes were born in Lithuania, others in South Africa, so their connections with Lithuania are varied. The older generation still finds it hard to believe how all the warm and nice stories became the Holocaust, and the main characters speak about this excitedly, emotionally and frankly, Balsiūnaitė said.

You’d probably agree that few people in Lithuania know there are so many Litvaks in South Africa. How did this topic attract you and your colleagues and what made you make a documentary film about it?

We made the film as a team with Jonas Jakūnas and Sofija Korf, and we developed the concept with two journalists and documentarians, Viktorija Mickutė and Lukas Keraitis.

This topic first grabbed my interest a long time ago when I read an article about how almost all Jews living in South Africa have Lithuanian origins. That immediately raised a great many questions: why did so many people come from Lithuania specifically, and not from neighboring countries? What is the Litvak experience in the Republic of South Africa, and is there still some connection with Lithuania?

Kaunas Jewish Community Member Julijana Zarchi Remembers Life, Holocaust

Kaunas Jewish Community Member Julijana Zarchi Remembers Life, Holocaust

15min.lt

When she was three, Julijana Zarchi was smuggled out of the ghetto thanks to outside rescuers and so escaped death, but her family’s story begins in Germany and leads to the cotton fields of distant Tajikistan. Julijana and her mother were deported there. Zarchi, who related her and her family’s story for the program of Kaunas as the European capital of culture in 2022, said Naziism and Stalinism both had a bearing on the fate of her family. All of her closest family members except her mother were murdered. “The Nazis murdered all of them. Three times. That’s about how many mass murders there were,” she said. “I can’t find my relatives on my father’s side anywhere, and as one approaches old age one wants that sort of connection. I can’t find a single one, although the family was very large and the surname is a rare one. My grandfather, his brothers and sisters and many children…”

Aaron Klug Dead at 92

Aaron Klug Dead at 92

One of several Lithuanian Jews to have received the Nobel prize, Aaron Klug passed away November 20, 2018, at the age of 92.

Klug was born in Želva (aka Zelva, Zelvas) near the town of Ukmergė (Vilkomir) in the Vilnius region of Lithuania on August 11, 1926, to Lazar and Bella (née Silin) Klug. Lazar Klug received both a secular and Jewish religious education, and raised and sold cattle as his father did. Aaron Klug wrote he remembered nothing of his place of birth, and the family moved to Durban, South Africa, when Aaron was about two. Aaron Klug was graduated from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with a bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry and biology. He married dancer and choreographer Liebe Bobrow in 1948. Klug received a master’s degree from the University of Cape Town where he did work on X-ray crystallography. He then went to the UK, where he received a PhD in solid state physics at the University of Cambridge in 1952. Klug then worked with X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin at Birkbeck College, University of London, exploring the structure of the tobacco mosaic virus. The nucleoproteins of the virus were at that time too big for imaging with X-ray crystallography but too small to see with optical microscopes. Electron microscopes could only provide two-dimensional images, and Klug pioneered a method for making 3-D images, called crystallographic electron microscopy, for which he received the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1982. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988. Besides his many other contributions, he and his colleagues were responsible for mapping about one third of the human genome in the Human Genome Project. He taught at Cambridge and served as the president of Britain’s Royal Society from 1995 to 2000. He also worked with Francis Crick, who received the Nobel prize with Watson for discovering the helical structure of DNA.

Monument to a Monument Photo Exhibit

Monument to a Monument Photo Exhibit

Roža Zinkevičienė, the principal of the Saulėtekis school in Vilnius, invites the public to the opening of a photography exhibit there called “Monument to a Monument (Jewish Cemetery Destroyed in 1964)” by photographer Rimantas Dichavičius. The opening is to take place at 10:00 A.M. on January 17, 2019. The school is located at Kaminkelio street no. 10 in Vilnius. The exhibit is dedicated to marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Litvak Takes Lithuanian Genocide Center to Court over Noreika

Litvak Takes Lithuanian Genocide Center to Court over Noreika

War Hero or Nazi Collaborator? Family Partners with Victim’s Kin to Expose Truth

Vilnius trial will see whether Jonas Noreika was whitewashed by Lithuania’s Genocide and Resistance Research Center; his granddaughter says he did his best to help Nazis kill Jews

by Robert Philpot

LONDON–Seventy years after he was shot by the Soviets, the reputation of Jonas Noreika goes on trial in Lithuania next week.

Noreika–a hero to many in the Baltic state for resisting Communist subjugation of their country–stands accused of being a Nazi collaborator complicit in the Holocaust.

The case before the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court charges the state-funded Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania with intentionally distorting the role of Noreika in the murder of Jews.

It has been brought by Grant Gochin, a Lithuanian citizen living in the US whose relatives were among Noreika’s victims.

In an extraordinary twist, Gochin’s effort is being actively supported by Noreika’s granddaughter. Silvia Foti has spent more than two decades investigating “General Storm,” as her grandfather is known to many in his former homeland. Her conclusion is brutal: “Jonas Noreika willingly played a role in cleansing Lithuania of Jews. He did everything in his power to help the Nazis kill Jews, and nothing to stop them.”

Full story here.

Note: The trial was postponed by the court, allegedly at the Government’s request, until March 5.

When Moshe (Misha) Arens Called from Vilnius, or, the End of World War II

When Moshe (Misha) Arens Called from Vilnius, or, the End of World War II

by Sergejus Kanovičius

The internet didn’t exist yet, and the way to connect from Israel with parents and friends left in Lithuania was by fax or telephone. There wasn’t a surplus of money and both means were very expensive, so hearing the voice of a loved one was the greatest gift; letters are fine, but human nature it seems is such that we need living emotion, moments which dissolve in the past… When you hear the voice of your Father, or Mother, or grandfather, it feels as if you are with them, much more than reading a letter which has been in transit for a long time. Sometimes the people who helped us in so many ways in saving our son knew the longing for loved ones, they knew what longing means, because they themselves had experienced these separations and knew what they meant. The independency of Lithuania was going slowly, so it was expensive to call from Israel to Lithuania and from Vilnius to Tel Aviv. As I remember it, from Vilnius you longer had to wait for a previously ordered international call, all you had to do was dial 8, wait for the tone and then enter the number. But it wasn’t raining and isn’t raining money anywhere, neither there where rivers of milk flow along banks of honey, nor there where pack-ice gently caresses the banks of the Neris. Sometimes the worst thing you could pull out of the mail box was a nostalgic numerical reminder for some month, sometimes the telephone bills were such that you wanted to take that apparatus to a bank and lock it in the safe.

Condolences

This year the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Inmates lost ten of our members. The tenth was Anastazija Baltusevičienė of Kaunas, mother of Robertas Baltusevčius. She was born June 17, 1942, and passed away on December 25, 2018. Our deepest condolences to her son Robertas and sisters Filomena, Liucija, Elžbieta and Elena.

January 1 Is Lithuanian Flag Day

January 1 Is Lithuanian Flag Day

On January 1 every year a ceremony is held to replace the Lithuanian flag on the tower on the hill of Gediminas in central Vilnius, to mark Lithuanian Flag Day. Traditionally, the older flag is given over to the protection of one of the Lithuanian schools which has been noted for teaching civics and preserving historical memory.

The modern Lithuanian tricolor, the symbol of the independent Republic of Lithuania, was first raised on the tower on January 1, 1919. It was flown by a group of Lithuanian volunteers led by Vilnius city commandant Kazys Škirpa. The raised flag was saluted with gunfire and the volunteers sang the national anthem.

Today a small road next to the hill of Gediminas is named after Kazys Škirpa. For several years now the Lithuanian Jewish Community has been petitioning the municipality of Vilnius to change the name of the street named after a Holocaust perpetrator. The LJC’s position is quite clear: Kazys Škirpa Alley needs to be renamed if only to show respect for all the citizens of Lithuania.

Rudashevski Diary Book Design Wins Place in Tokyo Competition

Rudashevski Diary Book Design Wins Place in Tokyo Competition

Yitzhak Rudashevski’s ghetto diary published in Lithuanian by the Lithuanian Jewish Community was compiled and translated by Dr. Mindaugas Kvietkauskas. The unusual design of the book itself was the creation of Sigutė Chlebinskaitė. The Tokyo Type Directors Club has recognized the book design as worthy to be nominated along with another 2,860 books for their annual award in 2019, in the design category.

From the organizers of the Tokyo TDC Annual Awards 2019:

Dear Sigute Chlebinskaite,

Thank you very much for your entry to the Tokyo TDC Annual Awards 2019. We received 2,860 works from around the world. Among the entries, we are pleased to inform you that your entry below has been selected for our annual book. We hope the year 2019 will be a fruitful year for you.

Tokyo Type Directors Club