Instead of Truth about the Holocaust – Myths about Saving Jews
by Pinchos Fridberg
Neither me nor my wife Anita are specialist researchers of the Holocaust. We are simply witnesses saved by a miracle. Until the last days of our lives we will consider the Righteous to be saints, the only ray of light in the darkest world of murderers and collaborators, like Juozas Brazaitis–Ambrazevi?ius, Antanas Impulevi?ius and Aleksandras Lileikis.
In 1998, the International Commission for the Evaluation of Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania was formed by decree by the president of Lithuania. Everybody agrees that these two regimes have a lot in common and their crimes need objective and unbiased evaluation. However, I will never agree with the idée fixe of the president of this commission, Mr Emanuelis Zingeris, about the complete identity of these regimes, with attempts to equate the Holocaust and Stalin’s crimes against the Lithuanian people. However, my opinion will hardly be of interest for Mr Zingeris, a Lithuanian politician of Jewish descent. To my mind, the authorities are using his Jewish descent.
In recent years, attempts for the mass rehabilitation of collaborators have been made in Lithuania. Some collaborators were even reburied with military honors like national heroes. Simultaneously, myths about Jews are being created and disseminated. I’d like to share with the world bywhom and how this is done. No fiction, just pure facts.
The commission mentioned above held a European forum at the Lithuanian Parliament on November 15-16 titled “United Europe – United History”. All of the countries of the European Union took part, together with former Soviet republics such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia, and others. I’d like to draw your attention to a report given by Mrs I. Vilkien?, deputy director of the commission and coordinator for educational projects. That is how she was introduced by the chairman, Dr. N. Šepetys, who added that “she doesn’t only create curricula but also gets teachers of history into shape and makes them think.” I bring your attention to two audio files accompanying my article: a eulogy from Dr Šepetys to Mrs Vilkien? and the final part of her speech. I am doing this for two reasons: firstly to avoid accusations of malicious libel against the commission, and secondly to give those readers who know Lithuanian a chance to “enjoy” her story. Others, unfortunately, will have to content themselves with the quotes in the text. I cannot add simultaneous interpretation of her speech, as its speed considerably exceeded the abilities of the interpreter.
In the final part of her speech, Mrs Vilkien? took 4 min. 57 sec. to present a detailed story of a Lithuanian family who “saved 43 (forty three!) Jews over the course of three years in a huge bunker that was dug with the family’s own hands”. She said she had “heard the story at a conference dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the extermination of ghetto in the town of Telšiai. About two or three hundred high schools pupils and lots of teachers from the schools in and around Telšiai took part in the conference.” Mrs Vilkien? described the details of the story with brilliance, as if she was a real witness of the events. The participants of the forum were told that “the head of the family was 30-32-35 years old and his wife was pregnant” and “a girl was born in the bunker, so actually there were 44 saved, not 43”. “Although the family wasn’t rich, they fed everyone, and took the people from the bunker for fresh air at night.”
I thought I misheard the number 43. So after the speech I got up and said, “Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of a Lithuanian family who saved 43 (forty three!) Jews in the course of three years in a huge bunker that was dug with the family’s own hands. Could you please give their surname?” A fantastic answer followed: “I CAN’T REMEMBER NOW!”
With full responsibility I can assure you: this Lithuanian family did not exist. This is pure myth running in the light of a high tribune of an international forum. Moreover, it was created by an official introduced as the “deputy director of the commission and coordinator for educational projects”. All the rest are minor details.
In relation to what has been said, I’d like to receive answers to three questions:
1. How to inform all the participants of the forum that instead of objective information they were palmed off with complete nonsense?
2. How to inform hundreds of Lithuanian pupils that while learning about the Holocaust they are given myths, not facts?
3. And, most importantly, can we trust any of the materials of the commission?
1. My grandmother Rahil, grandfather Itshak and numerous relatives from my mother’s side found eternal rest in Paneriai. I myself have lived through the Shoah. The story of my rescue is unique and could be the plot of a film.
2. Girsh, my wife’s father, and her grandfather Joseph died in Dachau, her grandmother Sterle in Salaspils. My wife Anita was a prisoner (Ausweis #4426) of the Kaunas Ghetto. Subdued by a sleeping pill, she was taken out of the ghetto in a bag of rotten potatoes by Righteous among Nations Bronislava Krištopavi?ien?, zikhroyno livrokho.
Professor Pinchos Fridberg’s Question to the Leadership of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, translated from the original Russian (which appeared at):
Letter from Professor Fridberg to the Leadership of the Jewish Community of Lithuania: Ladies and Gentlemen! You know well the Russian proverb “What is written with the pen cannot be cut down with an ax”. So, I would like to inform you that on 28 January 2013 it was stated as fact on the respected Russian-language news portal in Israel, Izrus (in a news article at: that Mr. Emanuelis Zingeris is “one of the leaders of the Jewish community.” I have always known that this gentleman is a member of the Conservative Party and an ideological ally of its chief ideologue Vytautas Landsbergis. And now, suddenly, what a surprise! As an ordinary dues-paying member of the community, I believe I have the right to know:
1. Did (in this century!) any leader of the Jewish Community of Lithuania (JCL) authorize Mr. Zingeris to represent its interests and to make any statement on its behalf?
2. Is Mr. Zingeris, a person referred to as “one of the leaders of the Jewish community in the country” even a member of the community?
With thanks in advance,
14 February 2013
O P I N I O N
by Pinchos Fridberg
Translator’s note: The original article in Lithuanian with all the graphics is available at http://defendinghistory.com/vienos-provokacijos-fotografijose-chronika/49453.
An email was sent to the Lithuanian Jewish Community at the end of the work-day on February 5, 2013:
From: Janina Bucevi?? siwe22@gma…. Sent: 4:56 P.M. February 5, 2013 To: info@lzb… Subject: response to article Hello, I read Pinchos Fridberg’s article on your internet publication which refers to a conference I organized. I would like to correct certain facts in that article. For that reason I come to you with an open letter. Thank you. Respectfully, Janina Bucevi?? attached: Janina Bucevi??.doc
The email contained as an attachment an open letter, a portion of which you can see below:
Janina Bucevi??, history teacher, Telši? Vyskupo Vincento Borisevi?iaus gimnazija [Telsiai Bishop Vincentas Borisevicius Gymnasium] contact: telephone 8 682 27662 email: siwe22@gma… To: The Lithuanian Jewish Community Pylimo g. 4, VilniusOPEN LETTER Telšiai, Lithuania February 5, 2013 Regarding an Apology for the Lack of Respect to Rescuers of Jews and Holocaust Victims I address you concerning the article by Pinchos Fridberg which has been on the English version of the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s webpage (www.lzb.lt/en) for several weeks now called “Instead of Truth about the Holocaust – Myths about Saving Jews.” The author in the article talks about a conference I organized [which was held] on October 12, 2011, for students and teachers to mark the 70th anniversary of the Telsiai ghetto, in which Jadvyga Stulpinait?, the daughter of rescuers of Jews, shared her memories and told how her parents and neighbor families saved Jews in the Žemai?i? Kalvarija rural district in the Telsiai district during the period of the Nazi occupation. This is a well-known and well-documented story…
Ms. Bucevi?? strongly criticized my article in her open letter. On February 7, advisor to the chairperson Renata Andraši?nien? forwarded to me Ms. Bucevi??’s letter with a request to respond to it, and to inform temporary acting Lithuanian Jewish Community chairperson Faina Kukliansky and executive director Simonas Gurevi?ius of this.
Lithuanian Jewish Community attachment 7 February (5 days…) To: Me, Faina, Simon… Dear Pinchos, The LJC has received the letter you forwarded from Ms. Bucevi??. Could you comment upon it and respond to it. Thank you in advance, Renata Andraši?nien? Advisor to the chairperson
I replied to Ms. Bucevi?? the very same day and informed the heads of the LJC of that response.
A Brief Response attachment 7 February From: pinchos fridberg <pfridberg@… To: siwe22, info, simon, faina… Good evening, honorable Janina Bucevice, The Lithuanian Jewish Community has forwarded your open letter to me. If it is posted on the LJC website, I will necessarily respond to it. Because before I wrote that article I did exhaustive research and I stand fully behind every word. For that reason I would like to recommend you again read carefully my article (the link to the original is http://www.zman.com/news/2012/12/13/140933-print.html ) and to listen carefully to the two attached audio files. If you have forgotten out conversation (on December 9 at 6:01:51 P.M. lasting 3 minutes on the OMNITEL [mobile provider] number 37068227662), I would like to remind you that to my question, “Have you ever heard about a Lithuanian family who protected and rescued 43 Jews for three years in a bunker they built with their own hands?”, you responded: “What’s the difference if it was 43 or 30, what’s important is that they rescued them.” After my response, “These are not sheep, but my people, and I want to know exactly,” you hung up on me. I would suggest you contact BITE Lietuva UAB [another mobile provider] so they might provide a recording of the conversation. I consent to it being posted publicly on the internet. Please be so kind as to also please read the copy of the letter by father Andriejus Sabaliauskas. Respectfully, Professor Pinchos Fridberg attachments: copy of letter from father Andriejus Sabaliauskas audio file of Nerijus Sepetis audio file of Ingrida Vilkiene
Please pay close attention to the text of my letter. There is not a rude word in it. Here is one of the attachments to that letter:
From: Andrius Sabaliauskas <andrius.sabaliauskas@… December 10, 2012 To: me Dear sir, Having listened to the audio recording received from you, I can only say that this is the first time I’ve heard this number of rescued Jews and I have not heard this number before. Most likely an error occurred which the honorable Vilkiene made in her report. Unfortunately I cannot say anything more than that. Jadvyga Stulpinaite Blazien?’s email is jadvyga.blaziene@… Izraela Blatait? (of Telšiai) was rescued and raised by the Stulpinas family and was born in the bunker, and currently lives in Israel, email israela_blat@… She and her sisters are living witnesses to these events. Respectfully and with the best wishes, Father Andriejus Sabaliauskas
Here are the other two attachments to the same letter, two audio files: LT. Nerijus Sepetis: http://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/1-by-P-Fridberg-2012.mp3 LT. Ingrida Vilkiene: http://defendinghistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/2-by-P-Fridberg-2012.mp3 Here is my thank-you letter to the honorable Mr. Sabaliauskas for his reply:
A&SchF FUND <wilne@… To: Andrius December 10, 2012 Thank you, honorable Mr. Sabaliauskas, for your answer. I have long known that Jadvyga’s parents are Righteous Gentiles. They are Holy People to our people. Concerning Vilkien?’s talk, it is hardly likely this was a mistake. She had the opportunity to correct it when I said I had not heard of this family which rescued 43 Jews for three years. But she didn’t do that. I have the recording. It doesn’t really matter how this myth came about. What is important is that an official person from the Commission spread it from the podium of the Forum.Respectfully, Pinchos Fridberg
Instead of answering me, and thus likely having all the material posted on the LJC website, Ms. Bucevi?? sent her open letter to the racas.lt blog. On February 10, Mr. Ra?as posted her open letter along with his own commentary. I cannot provide a screen-shot of his commentary because my camera settings do not include an option for impolite language. For those who may wish to satisfy their own curiosity, I provide the link: http://racas.lt/mieli-zydu-profesoriai-jusu-antisemitizmas-uzknisa-skiriama-pinchos-fridberg/
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