International Virtual Lecture Series: Talking Memory with Guest Speakers Silvia Foti and Grant Gochin

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The Ghetto Fighters' House invites you to our

Free International Online Lecture Series

"Talking Memory"

 

Part 2: Holocaust Distortion in Lithuania: A Family Affair

A Special Book Launching Event and Israeli Premiere of

The Nazi's Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather was a War Criminal

With Author Silvia Foti

and

Grant Gochin

Advocate for Historical Justice in Lithuania

 

In Part 2 of our series on the Holocaust in Lithuania, we are honored to host authors Grant Gochin and Silvia Foti who became the unlikeliest of allies. A Jew and a Christian, Grant and Silvia joined together in the fight to get the Lithuanian government to acknowledge that those had been honoring as heroes had been responsible for the murder of thousands of Jews.

Sunday, March 14, 2021
11 AM PST
1 PM CST
2 PM EST
7 PM GMT
9 PM IL

 

The program is free to the public, but you must register:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqcuGtqT4qE9TAn5P884NOtBD1yOzZilYr

For further information please contact:  webinar@gfh.org.il

 

About the author:

Silvia holds Masters' degrees in Journalism, Education, and Creative Nonfiction, has been a journalist for twenty years, has published two mystery novels, and has been a high school English teacher since 2007.  She speaks English, Lithuanian, and Spanish fluently.

She is also the granddaughter of Jonas Noreika, a man honored as a hero in Lithuania for fighting communists, but in fact, also the man who ordered the deaths of more than 100 of Grant’s relatives.

The promise to her dying mother was to write a biography of her grandfather who had always been presented as a hero. She set out to write a book that would honor his memory and educate the world of his accomplishments. Her research took her in a very different direction. She would learn that her grandfather, Jonas Noreika, was a murderer with the blood of at least 14,000 Jewish victims on his hands.

About the book:

The Nazi’s Granddaughter is a story of duplicity, family treachery, and a betrayal of the country’s faith in Lithuania's national WWII hero, Jonas Noreika. It’s the first memoir to explore the hidden Nazi past of a relative with a high-ranking military position that remained a secret for nearly eighty years. In addition, no other comparable book has the irony of a man lauded as a hero by his family and his country having a concealed Nazi past. The intrinsic paradox underpins the dramatic narrative arc that pulls the mask from the hero in a story that is psychologically intense. And, no other book shows the personal toll on an initially naïve narrator for betraying her grandfather’s clandestine past and why she couldn’t leave well enough alone.

About Silvia and Grant

Grant Gochin is a South African Jew of Lithuanian heritage who has taken legal action against the government of Lithuania to pursue truth and justice in the name of the 200,000 Jews killed in the Holocaust in Lithuania. At least 100 members of Grant’s own family lost their lives at the hands of their fellow countrymen on orders of Jonas Noreika.

The Lithuanian government has resisted admitting the truth, choosing instead to create an entire department dedicated to revising their national history of the Genocide of Jews in Lithuania. The Lithuanian government declared Noreika a national hero, just one Holocaust perpetrator in a pantheon of murderers whose history they have deliberately re-written. Grant challenged their status as heroes in the Lithuanian courts only to discover that Lithuanian Holocaust revisionism was a national policy.

Grant, who reclaimed Lithuanian citizenship to have standing in the courts, met a wall of fraud and deception, until a most unlikely person stepped forward to expose the truth - Noreika’s own Granddaughter – Silvia Foti.

Silvia was horrified by what she discovered about her grandfather. Rather than perpetuate the myth she had grown up believing, she approached the Lithuanian government to ask that they correct the official record. She was met with the same resistance that Grant Gochin had encountered. The Lithuanian government rebuked Silvia and sought to discredit her 20 years of research into the life of her grandfather. Silvia considers the actions of the Lithuanian government to be one of the “greatest cover ups of the 20th Century,” yet it continues.

Silvia, a devout Catholic raised in Chicago and Grant, a South African Jew living in Los Angeles have become unlikely allies and friends -  she, the granddaughter of a murderer, and he, the grandson of his victims. Together, they work, independently and together, to expose the continuing Holocaust deceptions of the Lithuanian Government.