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Yom HaShoah 2024: Please can you spend five minutes and six seconds to watch something? Par Dovid Katz

À propos du documentaire d’un maître chrétien lituanien qui a consacré une grande partie des 35 dernières années à documenter la vérité sombre et sans ornement de l’Holocauste dans sa patrie…


Saulius Beržinis

The passage of the decades has taken a naturally gradual toll on our ability to even imperfectly fathom history’s most successfully enacted genocide. Then, the one-time event of the death of each survivor and witness, a process now coming to its own inevitable finale, contributes a further roadblock for an inherently limited human capacity for comprehension. There are, moreover, all the errors of conception we are apt to make in fathoming an unfathomable, albeit one that occurred in the lifetimes of our own immediate ancestors. Not in some antiquity.

It is, nevertheless, even harder is to wise up to the cunning contraptions of deliberate obfuscation, downgrade, confusionism. These are being sponsored by the “history revision agencies” of some East European governments and their witting or unwitting agents on a lush gravy train of honors and medals. The new Holocaust Downgrade industry is often couched in the very envelopes of Holocaust commemoration, Holocaust events, Holocaust education, Jewish and Yiddish projects and celebrations, and all the rest of it.

In some Eastern European countries, themselves delightful and successful new democracies in the European Union and NATO, the history of World World II — strange to tell — remains a singular exception to otherwise splendidly free societies with all the European protections of free speech. Readers of Defending History over the last decade and a half are well acquainted with the counterintuitive phenomenon of Holocaust history being an acceptable exception to free speech out here in the east of The European Union.

You are supposed to learn about the Holocaust as one of two equal genocides (“Double Genocide”), you are supposed to limit conceptual guilt to Germans and Austrians, and, in the interests of ultranationalism, you are supposed to deny, in the Baltics, all that happened in The First Week, when thousands of innocent Jewish neighbors were butchered by the likes of the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front) before Hitler’s army even took over. And that brings us to the current issue: Not that it happened but that the perpetrators are glorified by street names, statues, and plaques.

Indeed, the most popular museum in Vilnius continues to devote a permanent exhibition to glorifying the killers via historical nonsense that they were heroes who led a rebellion that drove out the Soviet army. The Soviet army was of course escaping Hitler’s invasion of 22 June 1941, the largest invasion of human history, not the local Jew-killers with their white armbands (who did not fire a single shot when the Soviets were in power in 1940-41; so much for the it-never-happened “rebellion”). The right name for this is not an erroneous reading of history, but rather, to put it in contemporary parlance: Fake History.

The battle for the truth takes a different form each year. This year it is the (perhaps tragically successful) effort of the new Museum of the Lost Shtetl in Šeduva (Sheduva, Lithuania) to suppress the documentary film that it commissioned itself from Lithuania’s greatest documentarian truth finder on the Holocaust, Saulius Beržinis, who ended up telling Too Much Truth in his film (ah, this has happened to Saulius before; one case from a dozen years ago). The sorry saga can be followed step by step One foreign journalist summarized it in a single article, that was, however, withdrawn, allegedly after threats.

But all that could be a way to lose the plot. Today’s imperative is to remember what happened, and primarily the victims. A brilliant documentarian can elicit memories from today’s last witnesses, thereby bequeathing to future generations a further stamp of empirical reality, not only on the Holocaust, but on the dehumanizing racism that was an inherent component in the state of mind that enabled it in the first place. From that state of mind, one can proceed to infer a miniscule umpteenth of a fraction of what the victims perceived in their final moments, following their families’ heritage of six hundred years of peaceful coexistence.

Better, perhaps, on this Yom HaShoah, to spend five minutes and six seconds watching the free-online youtube trailer for a taste of the Satanic Verses that the museum’s leaders have decided must not be released online. Indeed, they have replaced the Lithuanian’s film with a soon to be released new one commissioned of a top Jewish Hollywood documentary filmmaker, sure to be a major contribution and a huge success (youtube teaser). Is it too much now to ask of the Hollywood folks and the academics and others employed in the enterprise: Please, please, while pursuing the success of your new replacement film, make public your view that Saulius Berzinis’s film should also be readily available. Don’t worry. It won’t hurt your Hollywood production.

Let this little tale of warning also protect us from the inner bit of racism that can afflict us all. We have here a story of powerful Jewish machers, be they in Zurich or Brussels, in cahoots with certain elements in the Lithuanian government’s history-fixing departments, trying to prevent universal release of a documentary film, not least because of its wider implications for the Holocaust in the entire region. And we have a Christian Lithuanian filmmaker who has paid such a heavy price for standing by his work — and his word.

That is this Yom HaShoah’s morality tale.

© Dovid Katz

Source: defendinghistory.com



— cattan (@sarahcattan_) May 11, 2024

L’article Yom HaShoah 2024: Please can you spend five minutes and six seconds to watch something? Par Dovid Katz est apparu en premier sur Tribune Juive.

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