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Anniversary of Nazi invasion of USSR
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July 22 marks 69 years since the Third Reich broke their peace treaty with the Soviet Union invading former Polish territories, the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine and Bessarabia (now Moldova).

Who says losers don't get to write the history? The Lithuanian parliament last week passed a law making it an imprisonable offense to deny either the Holocaust or the alleged Soviet genocidal crimes against the Lithuanian people [sic].

A few facts to recall:

- Lithuanians began killing Jews before the Germans arrived in many locations;

- the "June Uprising" and the Lithuanian provisional government that arose suppsedly on its basis were nothing other than the wholesale massacre of Jews using crowbars, hacksaws and blunt implements, followed by the proclamation of a pro-Nazi government and state that sought to fight on the side of the fascists against the Allies;

- the "Soviet genocide" of Lithuanians saved their sorry asses: the Nazis planned to exterminate the Lithuanians as inferior subhumans once they were done with the Jews and Poles, and Soviet-occupied Lithuania saw a net increase in population from 1945 to 1990.

This is the latest in a line of legislation, resolutions and propaganda from all 3 Baltic States aimed at making the Holocaust and their suffering in the Soviet Union equal, and thus relieving the national memories of the Baltic nations of revisiting their complicty in the war crimes and genocide of WWII. Oh, but you'll only get 2 years in prison if you deny, denigrate or approve of either "genocide" in an offensive way in public. Whatever that means.

Most of what passes for reasonable in the red-brown equivalency camp sounds suspiciously anti-Semitic to outsiders, from claims that the Jews controlled the Soviet Union and used their operatives to target Balts for extermination (or "spiritual genocide" as some say, presumably meaning the tricking of good Catholic and Lutheran souls into atheistic Communism?) to selective apologetic historiography in official venues which seeks to blame Jews for the Holocaust while hiding evidence such as the letter of congratulation the Lithuanian provisional government sent to Adolf Hitler as one of their first acts.

It's also against the law to denigrate Lithuanian partisans--most of whom were pro-fascist war criminals--whereas two years ago state prosecutors sought to question three Holocaust survivors who were Jewish partisans fighting on the side of the anti-Nazi coalition for alleged crimes against Lithuanian and Polish villagers, including Yitzhak Arad, the first director of the Yad Vashem museum in Israel dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and Holocaust victims. The new law doesn't mention these Jewish partisans as either protected or unprotected from minimalization, denial or approval.

The new law does make it a crime (again, it was a crime already and one Soviet activist did prison time for it) to demean the victims or events of January 13, 1991, when Soviet troops fired on protestors at the Vilnius TV tower and ran over people with tanks or armored vehicles. Apparently it's also a crime to approve of the actions of the Soviet activists who tried to retake Lithuania for the Soviet Union in 1990 and 1991 too. But only if you approve in an offensive way, publicly.
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