following comment first appeared in the discussion following
David Mikics’s Tablet magazine interview with Timothy Snyder
(“The Diplomat of Shoah History. Does Yale historian Timothy
Snyder absolve Eastern Europe of special complicity in the
Holocaust?”). It is reproduced here with Dr. Zuroff’s permission.
For further background, see the links below.
Unfortunately, this excellent article by David Mikics focuses
almost exclusively on Poland, which for historical reasons
is not the place where Snyder’s Bloodlands totally fails to
present a historical account of the reality of the Holocaust.
A far better place would be the Baltics in general, and Lithuania
in particular. In these countries, three important phenomena
1 the uniquely extensive participation of local volunteer
Nazi collaborators in the mass murder of their Jewish fellow
citizens, which in many cases was carried out with unusual
cruelty and zeal;
2 the mass murder in these countries
of many thousands of Jews deported there from elsewhere in
3 the participation of local security
police units from these countries in the mass murder of Jews
in Belarus and Poland.
In Poland, the Nazis did not incorporate
Poles into the mechanism of the systematic annihilation of
the Jews, as they did with Baltic collaborators, and therefore
Snyder’s cavalier attitude toward Lithuanian, Latvian, and
Estonian murderers of Jews is a far greater misrepresentation
of the historical reality than his assessment of the individual
Poles who persecuted and/or killed their Jewish neighbors.
Snyder recently participated in a symposium on the Holocaust in Lithuania, which
was held in Vilnius the same week as the reburial with full
honors in Kaunas of J. Ambrazevičius, the prime minister
of the Lithuanian Provisional Government, which fully supported
the Nazis and the mass murder of the Jews.
Ever the “diplomat of Shoah history,” he did not say a word about this outrageous
step during the symposium, nor has he ever declined the honors
accorded him in Eastern Europe as the “poster boy” for the
theory of double genocide by those are so busy promoting
the canard of equivalency between Nazi and Communist crimes.
The fact that the Lithuanian Foreign
Ministry is promoting Bloodlands as the alternative narrative,
which will serve to deflect the justified criticism of Lithuanian
complicity in Holocaust crimes, makes Snyder an accomplice
in the distortion of the history of the Shoah in these countries.