Vytenis Andriukaitis

Tsemakh Shabad’s 150th Birthday Celebrated in Style at the Lithuanian Parliament



O P I N I O N

by Defending History Staff

Asuccessful, highly compressed one-day conference, exhibition and city plaque unveiling were all shoehorned into one day, today, in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, to mark the 150th birth year of the celebrated and beloved Dr. Tsemakh Shabad (1864–1935), Vilna physician, public health advocate, benefactor, Yiddishist theoretician and builder of Yiddish educational infrastructure from elementary schools to the university-level Yivo institute. He was also a  representative in the city’s municipality. Shabad was a legend in his own time. When poor sick children in any shtetl of Vilna province, of whatever nationality or background, were in danger of imminent death from disease, there were no greater words of relief than “Dr. Shabad is on the way.”

The conference banner, a joint production of the Lithuanian parliament (Seimas), the Jewish Community of Lithuania and the Ministry of Health, featured the Yiddish Folks-gezunt (public health) logo, beloved of Dr. Shabad.

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An Important Book by Lithuania’s Health Minister, Totally Ignored by the Lithuanian Media. Why?



B O O K S

by Geoff Vasil

 See also: Andriukaitis’s 2012 reply to the foreign minister; on the floor of parliament; Andriukaitis section

Vytenis Andriukaitis by Defending History

Vytenis Povilas Andrukaitis, health minister of Lithuania. Photo: DefendingHistory.com

Vytenis Andriukaitis is a veteran politician. If you haven’t been following Lithuanian politics since 1990, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of him, and even if you have, there’s a fair chance you didn’t notice him amid the various cults of personality which have dominated the political scene since about 1990.

The reason for that is fairly simple: Andriukaitis has never cultivated or even tolerated a cult of personality to grow up around him. From the very first days of Lithuanian independence, a freedom movement with which Andriukaitis was intimately involved, he has stubbornly clung to the idea of multiparty parliamentary democracy, largely by his own tenacity reviving the pre-World War II Lithuanian Social Democratic Party.

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Dramatic Confrontation on the Floor of the Lithuanian Parliament


DefendingHistory.com has been able to confirm the following exchange on the floor of the Seimas (Lithuanian parliament) on 17 May 2012. MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, the Social Democrats’ senior spokesperson for foreign affairs asked a question of the prime minister, Andrius Kubilius, and the foreign minister, Audronius Ažubalis, both from the ruling Conservative / Christian Democrats’ faction. It was answered by the foreign minister.

The following is a translation of the exchange.

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Statement in the Lithuanian Parliament by MPs Vytenis Andriukaitis and Algirdas Sysas



O P I N I O N

by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis and Algirdas Sysas

The following is a translation of the statement submitted to the Lithuanian parliament (the Seimas) on 17 May 2012 by MPs Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis and Algirdas Sysas. The original is available here.


MPs Andriukaitis and Sysas in the Seimas (foreground). Photo courtesy Image Archive of the Seimas.

Several days ago we received an invitation to a ceremony for the reburial of the remains of Juozas Brazaitis Ambrazevičius (1903–1974) in the churchyard of the Kaunas Church of the Resurrection of Christ. A booklet was included with the invitation recounting the life and deeds of Juozas Brazaitis Ambrazevičius. It included his academic and pedagogical activity and his participation in the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resistance. It also presented an excerpt from a letter by Joshua Eilberg, chairman of the Immigration, Citizenship and International Law Sub-Committee of the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives, saying that an investigation into the Juozas Brazaitis Ambrazevičius’s collaboration with the Nazis during World War II had been stopped.

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Three Progressive Members of Lithuania’s Parliament Ask Prosecutors to Investigate Threats by Genocide Center’s “Chief Specialist”



On 1 April 2012, three members of the Lithuanian Parliament — Petras Auštrevičius, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis and Justinas Karosas — submitted a formal letter to prosecutors asking for an investigation into the threats made by a “chief specialist” (PDF here) at the state-sponsored Genocide Research Center, who has also published antisemitic, racist and homophobic statements and participated in the organization of neo-Nazi marches (see e.g. here, here, here, here and here).

[Two of the three targeted parliamentarians are signatories to the Seventy Years Declaration, and were recently attacked by the foreign minister; see here and here; see also MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis’s response here.]

The Lithuanian original of the three parliamentarians’ 1 April letter to prosecutors is here. A full English translation follows below.

[See also the 5 April 2012 article by MP Andriukaitas (English here), Ignas Krasauskas’s 4 April report, and Geoff Vasil’s 12 April analysis.]


To the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Lithuania

1 April 2012 No. 04-11/2012

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MP Vytenis Andriukaitis: Open Letter to Genocide Center “Chief Specialist” Ričardas Čekutis



O P I N I O N

by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

Authorized translation from the Lithuanian original that appeared on Balsas.lt on 5 April 2012.


 

Yesterday, April 4, my colleague Petras Auštrevičius sent me a fragment of some internet correspondence between you, Ričardas Čekutis, and Morta Vidūnaitė. You, commenting upon the conversation, expressed this thought:

“But a nationalist [or “ethnic”] state, Morta, is one where government, i.e., sovereignty, belongs to the [ethnic] nation, which is what is written in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. Not to some sort of ‘citizens’ but to the [ethnic] Lithuanian people. This is also the principle of the supremacy of national law over all transnational formations, such as the EU, into which we were shoved through deceit and forgeries.

“In a nationalist [ethnic] state, for example, characters such as Auštrevičius, Andriukaitis and Karosas would be shot without hesitation, and that would be right, for treason. Well, you’ll see, very soon…”

I wouldn’t want to argue with your thought that they would shoot us, because an opinion is an opinion. But this sentence that “well, you will see, very soon,” understood rather clearly from the context that we will see some shootings has a very different meaning. But more about that a bit later.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Free Speech & Democracy, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches, Vytenis Andriukaitis | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on MP Vytenis Andriukaitis: Open Letter to Genocide Center “Chief Specialist” Ričardas Čekutis

Lithuanian Radio Panel Discussion on the Seventy Years Declaration


The Seventy Years Declaration, released on 20 January 2012, was the subject of a 31 January 2012 Žinių radijas (News Radio) station panel discussion including one of the Lithuanian signatories of the declaration, Social Democratic MP Vytenis Andriukaitis, himself a signatory of the Lithuanian Declaration of Independence. MP Andriukaitis was attacked by the foreign minister for signing.

MP Andriukaitis’s response won international support, and there is reference in the panel discussion to the support from British human rights champion MP Denis MacShane for all eight Lithuanian parliamentarians who signed the Seventy Years Declaration.

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JFN’s Andres Spokoiny in New York City Congratulates Vytenis Andriukaitis in Vilnius



O P I N I O N

by Andres Spokoiny

 

Honorable Mr. Andriukaitis,

Your courage needs to be saluted.

I have followed with admiration your successive actions in favor of a proper appreciation of the unique crimes of the Nazi regime in Lithuania and beyond. From signing the Seventy Years Declaration to your letter to your parliamentary colleague the foreign minister, you have a shown a courage and a decency that, unfortunately, are rare in the Lithuanian political class.

You have defended the truth and the respect for the victims.

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Lithuanian Parliamentarian Vytenis Andriukaitis, Signatory of 70 Years Declaration, Replies to Foreign Minister, Cites ‘Moustache’ Remark and the Implications of ‘Double Genocide’


 


O P I N I O N

by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

 

The following is an authorized translation from the Lithuanian text published on Delfi.lt on 9 February 2012. It is a reply to the foreign minister’s article published a week earlier (English translation here).

Honorable A. Ažubalis, Did You Pull Such an Understanding of History out of Thin Air?

by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lithuanian Parliament

 

Honorable minister, looking at the headline of your public statement, I hoped at least that you would apologize for the position expressed earlier that “it is impossible to find any difference between Hitler and Stalin except in their moustaches (Hitler’s was smaller).” I agree with the position expressed by Dennis MacShane, member of the British House of Commons, that such jokes by foreign minister Audronius Ažubalis are inappropriate in discussing the mass murder of six million Jews.

SEE ALSO:

ANDRIUKAITIS SECTION

In your public statement, you again place two signed declarations in opposition to one another. One of them — the “only true one” — the “Declaration on European Conscience and Communism” signed in Prague in 2008, maintains that the precondition for a unified Europe is a unified view of history and the ability to condemn the last century’s crimes against humanity. The second, the Seventy Years Declaration — the declaration referred to as if it were a crime and condemned by you —was adopted marking the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee conference, a declaration which rejects attempts to trivialize the atrocities of the Jewish genocide.

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Press Release Issued by the Social Democratic Party in Lithuania


The following is a translation of the Lithuanian-language statement released today by the central offices of the Social Democratic Party in Vilnius:

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UK MP Denis MacShane’s January 24th 2012 Letter to Lithuanian MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis


The following letter, from UK MP Dr. Denis MacShane, was received today by the office of Lithuanian parliament member Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis:

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UK MP Denis MacShane Rushes to Defense of Lithuanian Parliamentarians who Signed Seventy Years Declaration; Slams Foreign Minister’s Hitler-Stalin ‘Joke’


The following press statement was issued today by the office of UK MP Denis MacShane concerning the response of the Lithuanian foreign minister to the news that eight Lithuanian parliamentarians had signed the Seventy Years Declaration.


News Release 25 Jan. 2012

On the eve of National Holocaust Day, former Europe Minister Denis MacShane MP has written to Lithuanian MPs and MEPs who defied their political establishment to sign a statement on the Holocaust which attacks attempts to devalue the Nazi extermination of Jews by claiming it is no worse than the crimes committed by communists.

The Seventy Years Declaration was issued on 20 January 2012 by seventy European Union parliamentarians (MPs and MEPs) concerned about the return of antisemitism as an issue in contemporary politics. In January 1942, Nazi officials met at a conference at Lake Wannsee close to Berlin to plan the industrially organized extermination of European Jewry.

In recent years, European right-wing politicians have sought to gain acceptance for their view that the suffering under communist rule was the same as the Nazi extermination of Jews. This so-called “double genocide” thesis has been criticized by campaigners against modern antisemitism as leading to a devaluation of the unique specific Jew-hating roots of the Holocaust.

Now social democratic MPs and MEPs in Lithuania who signed this declaration have been attacked by government officials. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister went so far as to say there was no difference between Hitler and Stalin except the length of their moustache.Continue reading

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