The Third Estate has an interesting piece by one of their writers who's currently travelling in Lithuania. He's visited the so-called "Museum of Genocide Victims" in Vilnius and has noted that through some oversight, certain years have been excluded from its historical record. These reflect Lithuanians' selective memory concerning their history since 1939.
"(M)any different myths (have been) created. The myth of the Workers’ State and the fabulous development it promised, the myth of the proud ethnic Lithuanians against the degenerate Jews and Gypsies or the cunning Russian occupiers, the myth of the salvation of the free market from state planned paralysis, and many others. But what is of particular interest, and particular concern, is the creation of the post 1991 national myth. If the stories the country’s museums tell is anything to go by, there is a deeply problematic story being told.
"‘Museum of Genocide Victims’ in Vilnius is a clear example of it. This is a museum housed in a former KGB building, which offers an account of the history of the period 1940-91 which is as exaggerated as it is incomplete. For a start you would expect something called the ‘Museum of Genocide Victims’ to have something to say about Genocide; but there is nothing. The museum’s story begins in 1939, has a brief gap from 41-44, and starts again in 1944. During this period, 300,000 Lithuanians, 200,000 of them Jews, were executed by death squads or in camps. This accounted for 94% of Lithuania’s Jewish population. These figures are acknowledged, but despite the fact that they dwarf the numbers imprisoned, executed or deported by the KGB the story of the holocaust in that country is not told"
The author notes in passing that this obliteration of memory is related to a resurgence of fascism. In every instance, fascism requires the creation of false history. This is true for several reasons: to create a false golden age which must be reattained, to create false demons which must be fought, and to erase the fascists' own bloody fingerprints.
Lithuania has been a victim both of Nazi and Soviet occupation. About that, there can be no dispute. The question is whether those who choose only to remember the crimes of the Soviets will succeed in resuscitating the demons of the right.
On a personal note: I once met an Estonian woman who claimed about her homeland "we were very accommodating to our Jews". (It actually sounded more like "vee vurr werry accommodating...") I found her view surprising considering that Estonia's Jews were completely wiped out -- for the most part killed by local militias. She went on to tell me at great length how difficult it was for her to leave Estonia and flee to Germany to escape the Soviets.
Did I mention that my grandfather came to the U.S. from Estonia? That's what started that particular conversation. I noticed that this woman's last name had an odd blend of vowels. I asked what kind of name it was. Estonian. I said my granddad came from there. "Oh. What's the family name?" "Chasan." "That doesn't sound Estonian." "It's Jewish." "Oh. Vee vurr werry accommodating to our Jews."