Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Lithuania tries to whitewash its role in the Holocaust

In response to Ellen Cassedy's "We are here" (April 18), I offer a second opinion.

Can there be hope for a country that claimed the highest percentage of Jewish deaths in all of Europe? More than 95 percent ofLithuania'sJews were annihilated — most of them murdered by Lithuanian collaborators who began the frenzied executions of their Jewish neighbors even before the Germans had marched into Lithuania. Yes, there can be hope — if lessons are learned from their past and if the truth is faced by this nation which is now an EU/NATO democracy.

Instead, the government is investing energy and funds into PR campaigns designed to sanitize Lithuania's tarnished image. Articles like Ms. Cassedy's, which praise the "cross-cultural" events held at the Lithuanian Embassy inWashington, D.C., and give stoic accounts about Holocaust education programs in Lithuania, are worked into the global mass media in order to mold a new face for Lithuania. But Lithuania's new face sculpted by her PR meisters lacks credibility.

Consider the following:

•Significant increases in anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incidents. No arrests have been made.

•Annual massive neo-Nazi marches since 2008 in Vilnius and Kaunas sanctioned by the government.

•Not a single Lithuanian war criminal has been punished. It is documented that a minimum of 15,000 Lithuanians participated actively in murdering Jews.

•Government prosecutors have harassed aging Jewish survivors in Vilnius and Israel with charges of "war crimes" because they had fought against the Nazis.

•The concept of a Double-Genocide is marketed ad nauseam. This is one step up the ladder from Holocaust Denial. The only genocide in Lithuania was the Holocaust.

If there is hope for the future of Lithuania, there are few signs yet. While there are some outspoken individuals and a handful of Members of the Seimas (Parliament) who have stood up courageously against ultra-nationalist views — with the consequence of being ostracized publicly by political leaders — the government will have to demonstrate real sincerity and eradicate the charade it has been running. Perhaps instead of hiring PR firms, Lithuania ought to follow Germany for lessons on how to deal with its Holocaust past. Present-day Germany has absolved itself in the eyes of the world. What it took was honesty.

Olga Zabludoff, Washington

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • 'We are here' -- in memory and in hope

    'We are here' -- in memory and in hope

    On Holocaust Remembrance Day, recalling a connection to the past in Lithuania

  • No dancing on Red Line's grave

    No dancing on Red Line's grave

    Spare us the dancing on the grave of the Red Line by those who have no right to call it a boondoggle ("Red Line was a boondoggle," June 30). We'll never know if it was or not since it won't be built in my lifetime. Certainly, I can't foresee any of Baltimore's myriad social problems improving without...

  • Ban smokeless tobacco from baseball

    Ban smokeless tobacco from baseball

    It is time for Major League Baseball to take a stand and ban smokeless tobacco, period. It is a foul, disgusting and dangerous addiction. It's never talked about until you hear of a player or former player who is diagnosed with mouth cancer or a player such as Tony Gwynn dies from the disease (...

  • EPA mercury ruling was even-handed

    EPA mercury ruling was even-handed

    The Sun's article on mercury limits incorrectly asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court split on ideological grounds ("Justices rule against EPA power plant mercury limits," June 29). On the contrary, the Supreme Court split was one between original intent, honest interpretations of the Constitution...

  • Reimer was The Sun's best

    Reimer was The Sun's best

    Congratulations to Susan Reimer on her retirement. I will definitely miss her column. It was the only thing worth reading in what they call The Sun ("Susan Reimer signs off," June 25).

  • Clean air with taxes, not regulations

    Clean air with taxes, not regulations

    Though the recent Supreme Court ruling against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's power plant emissions regulations was disappointing, I was happy to see The Sun emphasize the example our state has set by implementing strict anti-pollution laws in the article, "Justices rule against EPA...

  • Schools need resources, not reform

    Schools need resources, not reform

    There are so many assumptions embedded within Donald Manekin's recent commentary that I find problematic that I'm not sure where to even begin ("Reinventing Baltimore's schools," June 29).

  • Invest in buses, not Red Line

    Invest in buses, not Red Line

    Now that Baltimore's leaders are seeking a way to revive the Red Line, I want to know where the $288 million allocated for that project went ("City leaders seek a way to revive Red Line plan," June 30). Before these folk approach Gov. Larry Hogan, a full accounting is in order. The taxpayers of...

Comments
Loading

72°