A number of acclaimed films have shone a spotlight on the Holocaust in the Baltics. But Latvia and Lithuania have responded with Holocaust distortion.
During the past half year, three new documentary films devoted to the Holocaust in the Baltics, and especially in Lithuania, have been screened in numerous venues all over the world, except in Lithuania and Latvia, which are the subjects of these films.
One, titled When Did the Holocaust Begin, was produced by the BBC and focuses on the use of new forensic archeological technology to discover unknown mass graves of Holocaust victims in western Lithuania, where indeed the systematic mass murder of European Jewry began following the Nazi invasion of Lithuania, on June 22, 1941.
A second film, J’Accuse, focuses on the mass murder of the Jews of northwest Lithuania and the highly-significant role played by Lithuanian Nazi collaborators, and especially national hero Jonas Noreika, who, during the Holocaust, was the liaison between the Nazis and the Lithuanians, and was responsible for the annihilation of many thousands of Jews. After World War II, he was a leader of the local opposition to the Soviets.
The heroes of this movie, created independently by former BBC journalist Michael Kretchmer, are Noreika’s granddaughter, Silvia Foti, and American Litvak Grant Gochin, dozens of whose relatives were murdered in that part of Lithuania and who has unsuccessfully tried to sue the Lithuanian government numerous times to cancel the honors awarded to Noreika.
Silvia Foti’s biography of her grandfather, which began as an attempt to glorify him, ultimately exposed his role in Holocaust crimes, shocking Lithuanian society.