Lithuanian Jews, Zuroff spar over Holocaust research center

Zuroff has been a harsh critic of the Baltic states’ approach to the Holocaust, accusing countries such as Lithuania of rewriting the narrative to create equivalence between Soviet and Nazi crimes.

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January 30, 2015 02:16
1 minute read.
Efraim Zuroff

Efraim Zuroff. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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The president of the Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) are at loggerheads over the participation of a controversial research center during Holocaust commemorations this week.

Dr. Arunas Bubnys, director of the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania, should not have been welcome at the Jewish community’s ceremony on Monday, said the SWC’s top Nazi hunter, Dr. Efraim Zuroff.

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Bubnys’ writings, Zuroff asserted in a letter to Lithuanian Jewish leader Faina Kukliansky, serve as “a good example of Holocaust distortion designed to downplay the role of Lithuanians in the mass murder of Jews and emphasize the questionable behavior of the Jewish police who were operating under coercion in very difficult circumstances.

“It was Bubnys who publicly denied the well-documented violence by Lithuanians against Jews in dozens of communities before the Nazis even arrived, a fact corroborated in numerous survivor testimonies.”

Moreover, Zuroff wrote, the Genocide Center has played a “very active role in rewriting the accepted and accurate narrative of World War II, to the detriment of historical truth.”

Calling Bubnys’s participation in the commemoration a “disgrace and a betrayal of the memory of the Jews murdered by Lithuanians,” Zuroff accused Kukliansky of having caused her nation’s Jewish community to have “forfeited its role as custodian and guardian of Shoa memory.”

Asked about the opprobrium leveled at her leadership of the Jewish community, Kukliansky replied that she refused to discuss Zuroff’s “lies” and that she was consulting with legal counsel.



“It’s outrageous, it’s insulting, it’s lies,” she said.

Zuroff has been a harsh critic of the Baltic states’ approach to the Holocaust, accusing countries such as Lithuania of rewriting the narrative to create equivalence between Soviet and Nazi crimes.

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