A report Saturday accused Hannah Rosenthal, the U.S. Anti-Semitism Envoy, of failing to admonish Lithuania’s official policy (which Dovid Katz examined today in Tablet Magazine) of equating the Nazi and Soviet occupations of the country.
According to Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s “chief Nazi-hunter” (!!!), Rosenthal praised Lithuania during a visit to the capital city of Vilnius last week for having “taken very proactive steps in dealing with anti-Semitism.” However, she reportedly did not speak about rising neo-Nazism in the Baltic republic, nor the state’s all-but-official doctrine of viewing the two occupations of itself as morally equivalent while glossing over the experience of Lithuanian Jews.
“What better occasion than Rosenthal’s visit to Vilnius,” Zuroff asks,
to finally make clear that there should be no tolerance for false historical symmetries between Nazism and communism, and that the time had come for Vilnius to teach the truth and internalize its lessons.
Instead of donating funds to a government which is the chief culprit in a campaign of disinformation, the Americans should be demanding that pupils in Lithuanian schools finally be taught the whole truth about their history during World War II, as difficult and as painful as that may be.
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.