Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches

Latvian President Blesses Waffen SS March in Riga; Council of Europe’s Racism Unit Condemns Event; 1500 Turn Out


The president of Latvia endorsed this year’s Waffen SS march, “bowing his head” to his nation’s Waffen SS.  Latvia’s ambassador to the UK defended the march.  Council of Europe condemns the event.  UK MP John Mann.  UK Parliament Early Day Motion 2866. 1500 Turn Out.

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A wreath for Holocaust survivors was covered by the Waffen SS logo by the event’s organizers. Two anti-Nazi activists exposed the wreath again for a short time, before they were removed by police.

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Foreign protesters included Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (Jerusalem), Joel Rubinfeld of the European Jewish Parliament (Brussels), Monica Lowenberg, creator of the anti-march international petition (London).

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EYEWITNESS REPORT & IMAGES.  2ND REPORT.  MEDIA COVERAGE.

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1000 Neo-Nazi Marchers Fill Central Vilnius on Lithuania’s Independence Day; They are Addressed by Two Members of Parliament


Marcher sports a designer swastika on her handbag at the March 11th 2012 neo-Nazi march on Gedimino Prospect in the heart of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital.

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EYEWITNESS REPORT & IMAGES

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Leading News Portal Delfi.lt publishes article by Genocide Center ‘specialist’ who was one of the leaders of the recent Neo-Nazi march


Ričardas Čekutis, ‘specialist’ at the state-sponsored Genocide Center in central Vilnius (center, with megaphone) was one of the leaders of the neo-Nazi march on March 11th.  Photo: Anarchija.lt.

Lithuania’s mainstream news portal, Delfi.lt, today published an article (English here) by Ričardas Čekutis, a ‘chief specialist’ at the state-sponsored Genocide Center in central Vilnius. Mr Čekutis was one of the leaders of the neo-Nazi march held on the Lithuanian capital’s main boulevard on March 11th, with a permit from city authorities and the participation of a member of parliament. Eyewitness report here. Afterwards, he embarked on a public antisemitic campaign, in addition to defending the neo-Nazi march in an earlier Delfi.lt article. He proudly displayed a homophobic symbol when he ran for office in municipal elections.

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Lithuanian Government Agencies Provide Financial Support to Fascist Youth Organizations


In an article published today on Delfi.lt, Eglė Samoškaitė investigates state funding for fascist organizations, including those that lead or participate in neo-Nazi marches. A full English translation is here.

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Leading Lithuanian Daily Finally Exposes Genocide Center ‘Chief Specialist’ who is a Neo-Nazi Leader; He tells the paper: ‘There was no Holocaust!’


Lithuania’s major daily newspaper, Lietuvos rytas — Lrytas.lt — made some local journalistic history today with an extensive article by Dovilė Tuskenytė on the dangerous mainstreaming of neo-Nazism in the country that succeeded in its principal interview in eliciting the unvarnished tone of the movement. The article’s title in translation: ‘Lithuanian Neo-Nazis, who use paganism for cover, work in state institutions and claim the swastika is only a historical symbol’. There was general agreement in the human rights community that the article represented an important advance and that its author is to be congratulated. An English translation is available here.

The article is accompanied by a series of 23 photographs making very clear the nature of ‘national patriots’ involved in neo-Nazi activity, as well as the intent of the ‘recycled pagan symbols’ used nowadays by neo-Nazi groups. It follows the recent Delfi.lt article exposing government financial support for such groups.

Ms. Tuskenytė’s article contains an interview with the state-sponsored Genocide Center’s Ričardas Čekutis, who continues to be listed as a ‘chief specialist’ by the Center, some five months after serving as one of the organizers and leaders of a neo-Nazi march through the center of the nation’s capital, Vilnius on 11 March. His statements to Ms. Tuskenytė include the following:

“Čekutis says that the world visions of the EU and Adolf Hitler are identical. Čekutis agrees with neo-Nazis on another issue: that there was no Holocaust. The Lithuanian Nationalist Center chairman says that the victims from all countries in World War II need to be counted, and that most of them lost the same amount of people as the Jews who were murdered. He also explains that the figure of victims in the millions is nothing more than a myth created for contemporary Jews to receive different kinds of compensation from different countries.”

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Lithuania’s Defense Ministry Clears Soldiers who Participated in Neo-Nazi March


Lithuania’s main newspaper Lietuvos Rytas reported today on an internal investigation by the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense into participation by Lithuanian soldiers in neo-Nazi marches. The investigation found that the soldiers hadn’t violated the law, but the ministry isn’t making public the contents of the inquiry. The presence of neo-Nazis in the Lithuanian military came to light after the website Antifa.lt published photos of participants in a March 11 neo-Nazi independence day march through central Vilnius, next to pictures of the same people in Lithuanian military uniforms. See Antifa.lt’s posts here and here.

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Glorifiers of Pro-Hitler Fascist Groups March in Lviv



by Frank Brendle (Berlin)

Activists in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv wearing uniforms of the former Ukrainian Insurgent Army (known as UPA, from its Ukrainian language initials) marched in a large scale event in the city center today.

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Olga Zabludoff’s Petition to Stop the March 11th Neo-Nazi March in Vilnius



The following is the text of the petition created by Olga Zabludoff today on Change.org.

Lithuanian Ambassador to the United States: Ban Neo-Nazis from Desecrating the Dignity of Lithuania’s Independence Day

 

This petition was delivered to:

  • Lithuanian Ambassador to the United States
  • Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis

Petition by

  •  Olga Zabludoff
  •  Washington, DC

 

For the fifth time in the past five years a neo-Nazi parade (this year with a permit enabling a maximum of 2,000 participants) will march through the heart of Vilnius on March 11, Independence Day, one of the proudest and most significant days for the people of Lithuania. The neo-Nazi theme will be “Homeland.” Their display, if permitted by the government, will be taken by extremists throughout the region and Europe as a stamp of growing approval of neo-Nazi activities and a signal that the murder of about 95% of Lithuania’s Jewry during the Holocaust, largely by local collaborators, is taken lightly by today’s government.

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The Lingering Legacy of Nazism



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

Milan Chersonski (Chersonskij), longtime editor (1999-2011) of Jerusalem of Lithuania, quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, was previously (1979-1999) director of the Yiddish Folk Theater of Lithuania, which in Soviet times was the USSR’s only Yiddish amateur theater company. The views he expresses in DefendingHistory.com are as always his own. Authorized translation from the Russian original by DefendingHistory.com.


 

The twentieth of January 2012 made it precisely seventy years from the day when a conference of ministries and agencies of Hitler’s Germany was held at the Marlier Villa by Lake Wannsee. It went down in history as the Wannsee Conference. Nazi officials in a business-like manner in ice blood, discussed the problems of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, the euphemism for genocide of the Jews in Europe.

Fulfillment of the Wannsee Conference decisions, which became directives, continued until the last days of the Nazi state. Not even the approach of the Red Army in the east or the successful landing of the anti-Hitler coalition in the west resulted in German leaders abandoning the project to annihilate the Jewish people. In the face of a string of crushing defeats, acute shortages of transport, ammunition, fuel and even food, the Nazis went on sending Jews to their death with a maniacal consistency.

But it would be a very serious mistake to think that the Wannsee Conference directives per se played the main role in the Final Solution of the Jewish Question here in Lithuania. In this part of the world the Nazis and their many accomplices had been quick to rob and massacre the majority of the Jewish population by December 1941. Before the Wannsee Conference.

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Tolerance March of 100 is Cancelled in Kaunas; Neo-Nazi March for 1000 Going Ahead


In a decision with a surreal touch of a topsy-turvy world, Kaunas municipal authorities have announced that they are on “security grounds” revoking the permit for a pro-human rights  march with a maximum of one hundred people. The march had been permitted for 4 PM this Thursday, 16 February, in the center of Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city. It was conceived in part as a response to the neo-Nazi march which has a permit for a maximum of one thousand people at 1 PM the same day.

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300 Neo-Nazis March through the Center of Kaunas on Lithuanian Independence Day; They are Addressed by Members of Parliament



E Y E W I T N E S S    R E P O R T  /  O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

With attention focused on the government-permission-granted central Vilnius neo-Nazi march slated for Lithuania’s March 11th independence day — now the subject of an international petition on Change.org — there was minimal foreign interest in today’s independence day neo-Nazi march and demonstration in central Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city. The March 11th independence day marks the date in 1990 when Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union. Today’s holiday is on the date of the 1918 declaration of independence which heralded the rise of the modern Lithuanian state in the twentieth century. Both dates are revered by the country’s diverse minorities and factions. They represent freedom from oppression and foreign domination, and celebrate the building of a free and democratic state.

But in recent years, both dates have been hijacked by neo-Nazi groups in the heart of the country’s major cities, with the support of some members of parliament and leading political figures. There is, moreover, the proverbial blind eye of much or most of the elite classes, which serves as a contributing catalyst.

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Council of Europe’s Commission Against Racism and Intolerance Condemns Latvia’s Waffen SS Parades and Celebration of Hitler’s 1941 Invasion


The Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance today published online its 9 December report ECRI Report on Latvia (fourth monitoring cycle). In the 67 page report, the ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance) explicitly condemns the Waffen SS marches enabled and supported for many years by some of the highest echelons of Latvian government and society. There is also reference to the more recent case of celebrating the day of Hitler’s invasion in 1941.

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Stop the Neo-Nazi Movement in Hungary!



O P I N I O N

by David Surjányi

 

Dozens of people marching on the streets with flags in their hands and badges on their chest.

When they reach their destination a strange looking person steps on the podium and starts to speak. His speech is saturated with hate. He demands a “Jew-free” country. He blames the Roma people for the problems of our society.

And this is not 1944. It is 2012. Here in Hungary.

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Zingeris Statement on Planned March 11th Neo-Nazi March Fails to Mention — the Neo-Nazi March



C O M M E N T

In response to the international petition created by Olga Zabludoff asking the Lithuanian government to rescind permits for the March 11th neo-Nazi march in the center of the capital city Vilnius on the nation’s independence day, Lithuanian embassies in various countries yesterday sent their “Jewish lists” a statement dated 24 February 2012 signed by right-wing Jewish MP Emanuelis Zingeris.

The problem is that Mr. Zingeris’s eloquent statement, calling his countrymen to unity, justice and all lofty things on the nation’s independence day, does not mention with one word the actual neo-Nazi march that is the issue at hand.

It is a striking contrast with the unvarnished words from the heart of a simple Jewish resident of Vilnius about the same neo-Nazi march which DefendingHistory.com released, also yesterday, on YouTube.

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Latvian President, Blasting Critics of March 16th ‘Waffen SS Parade, says it’s ‘Crazy to Think Them War Criminals’


In an escalation of high level pro-Nazi rhetoric in Riga, the nation’s president, Andris Bērziņš, said today that the international community needs to have it explained.

Have what explained? Why those who served in Nazi Germany’s Latvian Waffen SS divisions are honored in the country’s capital on March 16th each year.

The president of Latvia went on to say that “It’s crazy to think they’re war criminals.”

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March 11th is Not a Day to Glorify the Perpetrators



O P I N I O N

by Olga Zabludoff

When I learned that the municipality of Vilnius had again issued permits for a neo-Nazi march on Lithuania’s March 11th Independence Day, I was disturbed for more than one reason. Why would the government, which has been purporting its wish for reconciliation with its small Lithuanian Jewish community and Jews everywhere, sanction the resurrection of a Holocaust image? Why would the government, which has been purporting its wish to better its tarnished image with worldwide Jewry, accept and endorse the display of the LAF white armbands imprinted with the flaming swastika?

Most survivors of the Lithuanian Holocaust are more traumatized by memories of the white-armbanded Lithuanian Activist Front than by memories of Hitler’s Aryan henchmen. It was the local LAF murderers who began to butcher Jews who had been their neighbors — this even before their German Nazi masters/commanders came upon the scene. It was the LAF who unleashed the Holocaust in Lithuania. It was then that their slogan was born: “Lithuania for Lithuanians!” (Lietuva Lietuviams).

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March 11th: A Grand Opportunity for the Lithuanian Human Rights Community — and the People of Vilnius



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

When three of us from the DefendingHistory.com community headed out from Vilnius on February 16th to confront the neo-Nazi march in central Kaunas, we were sure we would be joined by dozens, or more, true lovers of Lithuania  —  folks who cannot remain silent that perverted political leadership allows today’s neo-Nazis to achieve free reign in the center of a great city in the middle of the nation’s cherished independence day. Folks who cannot let the glorification of stylized swastikas (including the “Lithuanian swastika“), and white armbands (celebrating the LAF Holocaust perpetrators of 1941) go unchallenged in the country with the largest rate of murder of its civilian Jewish population in all Holocaust-era Europe. Folks who want to send at least some modicum of support to today’s minorities. And a message to the world that the neo-Nazis do not represent Lithuanian society.

It was a shock to find in Kaunas on February 16th, that the somewhat quixotic DefendingHistory.com threesome would find itself the only visible anti-Nazi presence during the march and the rally that followed.

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Monica Lowenberg in Dialogue with Latvia’s Ambassador to the UK



D E B A T E

From the 2009 Waffen SS march in Riga. Photo Ilmars Znotins.

Monica Lowenberg is the creator of the international petition against this year’s Waffen SS march scheduled for 16 March 2012 in the heart of Riga, Latvia’s capital city. The petition has to date attracted some six thousand signatures from every part of the planet.

Its author approached the Latvian ambassador to the UK for support.

Below is his letter of 1 March (as PDF here). It is followed by the text of Monica Lowenberg’s 5 March reply, supplied to DefendingHistory.com for publication.

 

I: The Latvian Ambassador to Monica Lowenberg (1 March 2012)

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Over 1000 Neo-Nazis Fill Main Vilnius Boulevard on Lithuanian Independence Day



E Y E W I T N E S S   R E P O R T

by Dovid Katz

Ignoring international pleas (including over two thousand signatures on an online petition) for the withdrawing of permits for this year’s neo-Nazi march, Vilnius authorities mounted a major police presence to keep order during today’s event in the heart of the Lithuanian capital.

This marcher’s handbag featured a designer swastika

The modified SS skull and crossbones and the “Lithuanian swastika” (with added lines) were among the symbols featured in today’s march

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Some Psycho-Sexual Undercurrents of the Lithuanian Independence Day Nazi March



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

Back in 2008 a friend and I put subtitles to the march by Lithuanian neo-Nazis through the capital, Vilnius, on independence day, and put the video with subtitles up on YouTube. Back then there was almost zero mention of the march where openly fascist youth chanted slogans about attacking and killing Jews and Russians, and the de rigueur “Juden raus.” Following the YouTube posting and as news travelled around the world, certain Lithuanian media figures and politicians felt the need to at least say something. Not much, but something.

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