hawkeye (hawkeye7) wrote,
hawkeye
hawkeye7

Bizarre History in Lithuania

Fania Brantsovskaya, 86, Rachel Margolis, 87, and Yitzhak Arad, 82, were teenagers when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. As Jews, they were herded into the Vilna Ghetto, but escaped and joined the Communist partisans. Now the Lithuanian government has been investigating their involvemnt in war crimes. In Margolis' 2006 memoirs, she wrote about an incident in January 1944 when her partisan colleagues attacked the village of Koniuchy (or Kaniukai).

The Lithuanian partisans, who operated under the aegis of the Central Partisan Command of the Soviet Union, had information that there was a German garrison in the village. After the fact, it turned out that the Germans had abandoned the place. In the battle that ensued, 38 villagers were killed, including women and children. Now Lithuania has declared this attack as a "massacre," and a special prosecutor opened an investigation. The idea is to equate Nazi and Communist persecution.

Dr. Yitzhak Arad is a Holocaust historian and one-time partisan, a former brigadier general and a chief education officer in the Israel Defense Forces, and the chairman of the board of Yad Vashem. Dr. Rachel Margolis is a retired Vilnius University biologist who helped set up a Holocaust exhibit in that city. She had also rediscovered, transcribed, and published the lost diary of a Polish witness to the murders at Ponar (Paneriai), the mass murder site outside Vilnius. librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Brantsovsky was honoured by the American Embassy in Lithuania with a certificate of achievement last April, and in August, the British Embassy organized a walking tour of the former Vilna Ghetto, led by Brantsovsky, in which fifteen Western alliance embassies participated (but none from the Baltic States).

Reopening Lithuania's old wounds
Tags: history
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