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    Ivan Chernyakhovsky

    Jew Score:
    5

    I0

    O1

    K4
    June 29, 1907 – February 18, 1945

    Smack in the middle of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, lies Kudirkos Square. It's named after writer Vincas Kudirka, but that wasn't always the case. For a good four decades, it was named after Ivan Chernyakhovsky. A giant statue centered the square.

    Kudirka wrote the national anthem and was very active in Lithuania's 19th-century independence movement, so not too shabby. Chernyakhovsky, on the other hand, liberated Vilnius from the Nazis.

    To get it out of the way, Chernyakhovsky wasn't Jewish. There are some erroneous reports of him being so, dating back to the war. (No, Ivan wasn't really Itzhak!) What he was, was the youngest ever Soviet army general. He liberated Vilnius at the age of 37. Less than a year later, he died from wounds as the Soviets moved towards Konigsberg.

    So one can see why Soviet-ruled Lithuania would love Chernyakhovsky and why free Lithuania would frown: he liberated it from Nazis (evil), but handed it over the the USSR (also evil). It should be pretty obvious why, after independence was achieved, Chernyakhovsky's statue was removed and the square was renamed.

    We say it's obvious, but is it really? Regardless of his Soviet affiliation, weren't his actions a major positive step in Lithuania's history? Or does the USSR's (also) evil status automatically dethrone any good that was done?

    We're not here to debate this. Vilnius belongs to Lithuania, and if Lithuanians decide that leaving a sign of Soviet occupation is not desired, more power to them.

    Maybe we should stop building statues in the first place.

    Verdict: Not a Jew.

    March 4, 2022

    See Also

    Berek Joselewicz

    Abba Kovner

    Maxim Litvinov

    Yakov Sverdlov

    Iona Yakir
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2022.