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Lithuanian Historian Accused of “Denying the Holocaust”

By Thomas Kues

On 25 November 2010 the AFP news bureau reported the following:

A Lithuanian historian quit his civil service job Thursday after seven ambassadors from fellow European nations accused him of denying the Holocaust. Lithuania’s interior ministry said that Petras Stankeras, an independent historian who also held a middle-ranking post in its planning department, had left at his own request. Interior Minister Raimundas Palaitis said Stankeras’s views were personal.

‘Such interpretations have nothing in common with the position of the interior ministry with regard to the Jewish genocide,’ Palaitis said in a statement.

The announcement came a day after the ambassadors of Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden slammed an article by Stankeras in the mainstream weekly Veidas on the Nuremberg trials, where the victorious Allies tried top Nazi German officials after World War II. Stankeras wrote that the trials ‘provided a legal basis to the legend about the six million purportedly murdered Jews’.

The ambassadors blasted Stankeras in a letter to the interior ministry dated November 24 and obtained by the Baltic News Service on Thursday.

‘This amounts to denial of the Holocaust and merits the strongest condemnation,’ they said.

They also chastised Lithuanian authorities for failing to react rapidly, and questioned Veidas’s publication of the article. But Gintaras Sarafinas, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, said neither Veidas nor Stankeras denied the Holocaust, and blamed a style error. ‘Our weekly does not deny the Holocaust, never did and never will. The author, who is a professional historian, only wanted to discuss the number of victims,’ Sarafinas told AFP.

‘We admit that the sentence is wrong stylistically, as the word ‘purportedly’ should have been elsewhere,’ he added.

In a statement, Efraim Zuroff of the Jerusalem-based Simon Wiesenthal Center said Stankeras should be prosecuted under Lithuania’s Holocaust-denial law .”[1]

The original article in Lithuanian, “Niurnbergo karo nusikaltimų tribunolas – didžiausias juridinis farsas istorijoje” (The Nuremberg Military Court Tribunal: The Biggest Legal Farce in History), can be read in the online edition of the Veidas magazine.[2] It was printed in Veidas no. 45 from 8 November 2011. There is also an English translation available from a “Holocaust” website.[3] According to this translation, the passage “denying the Holocaust” reads as follows:

It is also important that the Nuremberg process provided a legal basis to the legend about the six million supposedly murdered Jews [įgavo legenda apie 6 mln. neva nužudytų žydų], although the court didn’t have even a single document signed by Hitler on the extermination of Jews (no one has found this document to this day, if it even exists, although a million dollar prize has been promised).

That there exists no documentary proof for Hitler ordering the alleged extermination of the Jews has been admitted repeatedly by orthodox holocaust historians. Christopher Browning for example stated in 1985:

There was no written order for the final solution, and we have no reference to an oral order except what Himmler told Heydrich when he said that he acted with the Führer’s approval.“[4]

Dr. Petras Stankeras is the author of the study Lietuviu policija 1941-1944 metais (“The Lithuanian Police 1941-1944”, Lietuvos gyventojų genocido ir rezistencijos tyrimo centras, Vilnius 1998), published by the state-sponsored Lithuanian Genocide Research Center.

[1] “Lithuanian historian quits after Holocaust article”, online: http://ejpress.org/article/47477 [1]
[2] http://www.veidas.lt/visuomene/istorija/niurnbergo-karo-nusikaltimu-tribunolas-%E2%80%93-didziausias-juridinis-farsas-istorijoje [2]
[3] http://holocaustinthebaltics.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/2010Nov14NurembergFarceVeidas.pdf [3]
[4] Colloque de l’École des Hautes Études en sciences socials, L’Allemagne nazie et le génocide juif, Gallimard, Paris 1985, p. 200. For more on the non-existance of the “Führerbefehl” and the problems regarding the mainstream historiography on the commencement of the alleged genocidal policy, cf. Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues, Carlo Mattogno, Sobibór: Holocaust Propaganda and Reality, TBR Books, Washington DC 2010, pp. 219-236.