Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches

Full Transcript of the “Fania Brantsovsky Witch Hunt Ceremony” on Lithuania’s Independence Day



OPINION  |  DOCUMENTS  |   BLAMING THE VICTIMS?  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  VILNIUS GENOCIDE CENTER  |  ANTISEMITISM  |  PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  VILNIUS MARCHES

VILNIUS—This year’s March 11th independence day march here last month was again granted the route of highest prestige, from Cathedral Square, up the whole of the capital’s main thoroughfare, Gedimino Boulevard, and ending at Parliament Square. Defending History’s eyewitness report recounted this year’s “detour” to the presidential palace for the bizarre ceremony of attacking Lithuania’s oldest Holocaust survivor, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja), 95 next month, one of the Jewish partisans subjected to defamation by the state’s campaign of Holocaust revisionism that has included a “blame the victims” components that started eleven years ago.

CAMPAIGN AGAINST (ONLY JEWISH) VETERANS OF THE ANTI-NAZI PARTISANS; RENEWED 2017 CAMPAIGN AGAINST FANIA YOCHELES BRANTSOVSKY

 

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Debates on the Postwar "Forest Brothers", Documents, Events, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Full Transcript of the “Fania Brantsovsky Witch Hunt Ceremony” on Lithuania’s Independence Day

State-Sponsored “Genocide Center” Issues Document that is “2017’s Jew-Witch Hunt” Against 95 Year Old Holocaust Survivor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky



OPINION  |  DOCUMENTS  |   BLAMING THE VICTIMS?  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  VILNIUS GENOCIDE CENTER  |  ANTISEMITISM

by Dovid Katz

VILNIUS—The following (text below) is a translation from Lithuanian of the 2 March 2017 letter from the state-sponsored Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania (widely known as the Genocide Center) to a nationalist group that put on this year’s March 11th Independence Day neo-Nazi march, with authorities’ permission, in the center of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. The group had complained about Lithuania’s president, Dalia Grybauskaite, having granted an award on February 16th to Lithuania’s oldest Holocaust survivor, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, soon to turn 95, for her work in the field of Holocaust education. The president’s office had referred the complaint to the Genocide Center which issued this letter (facsimile of the original below). The correspondence was then read out at a bizarre ceremony that some observers thought bore the hallmarks of a 2017 “Jew-witch hunt” when the Independence day festivities announced a detour to the presidential palace to read out the various letters and condemn Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, who is the only one of her family to survive the Holocaust precisely because she escaped the Vilna Ghetto in September 1943 and joined up with the anti-Nazi Soviet partisans, the only force seriously challenging Hitler’s rule of Lithuania.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Antisemitism & Bias, Christian-Jewish Issues, Documents, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, EU, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on State-Sponsored “Genocide Center” Issues Document that is “2017’s Jew-Witch Hunt” Against 95 Year Old Holocaust Survivor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky

Over 500 Neo-Nazis Granted Center of Vilnius for March 11th Parade; A Tirade Against Holocaust Survivor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, 95


[last update 14 March 2017]

HUMAN RIGHTS  |  ANTISEMITISM  |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  IN VILNIUS  | KAUNAS  |  RIGA

by Dovid Katz

VILNIUS—A six-person monitoring group assembled by Defending History was the only human rights team at this year’s March 11th neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius. DH’s monitors were Eveldas Balčiūnas, Dovid Katz, Julius Norwilla, Ruta Ostrovskaja, Jacob Piliansky, and Julia Rets. Two senior longtime annual observers, both major figures in Lithuania’s Jewish community for over half a century, Milan Chersonski and Prof. Pinchos Fridberg, were prevented  by health issues from monitoring the event this year.

For years Defending History has asked that the marchers’ freedom of speech be respected at venues away from the center of the capital on the nation’s independence day. The granting of “that time and place” (only since 2008) conveys a sense of legitimization by both the municipality and national government, which are sometimes thought to be playing a “double game” by facilitating the honoring of Holocaust perpetrators locally, alongside commemorations for the victims for foreign consumption. At least two Western ambassadors were “quietly” among the observing crowds.

Photo Galleries:

Evaldas Balčiūnas; Julius Norwilla; Julia RetsAlkas.lt; Delfi.lt. Did “mainstream media” coverage avoid imaging swastikas, other fascist symbols, and Hitler salutes?

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Posted in "Vilnius Jewish Public Library", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Collaborators Glorified, Events, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016), Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Comments Off on Over 500 Neo-Nazis Granted Center of Vilnius for March 11th Parade; A Tirade Against Holocaust Survivor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, 95

Defending History to Monitor Central Vilnius Neo-Nazi Parade on March 11th Independence Day



HUMAN RIGHTS  |  ANTISEMITISM  |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  IN VLNIUS  | KAUNAS  |  RIGA

VILNIUS—DefendingHistory.com invites citizens and visitors in town, and the Human Rights community especially, to come join the annual monitoring mission that will meet this Saturday, 11 March, at 3:30 PM at the Bell Tower on Cathedral square. From 2008, the year the center of Vilnius was first gifted by the municipality to the neo-nazis on the nation’s cherished March 11th independence day, the Vilnius-based team has been keeping track of the annual event, which has caused unbearable pain to the last Holocaust survivors and their families, not least because the marchers often flaunt placards glorifying various specific local Holocaust collaborators, in what appears to be a kind of celebration of the murder of the country’s Jewish citizens in the Holocaust. Since 2009, the team has been monitoring personally, on an annual basis, at the same time silently protesting and commemorating the annihilated Jewish population of the city that was once called Jerusalem of Lithuania. The march’s Facebook page is here.

The following is today’s public entry on the Facebook page of DH’s editor, Dovid Katz:

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Dovid Katz, Events, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016), Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Defending History to Monitor Central Vilnius Neo-Nazi Parade on March 11th Independence Day

UK’s Europe Minister Again Fails to Offer Even Mild Criticism of Baltic State-Enabled Nazi Worship



UK  |  LATVIA  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  DOCUMENTS

LONDON—The following is the UK Minister for Europe’s 8 April 2016 reply to his former shadow counterpart, Labour MP Gareth Thomas, concerning neo-Nazi marches in Latvia and Lithuania that occur each year with with substantial government support in the heart of each nation’s capital. For reference, the minister’s 2013 reply on the same topic is appended below.


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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, EU, Gareth Thomas, Human Rights, Latvia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on UK’s Europe Minister Again Fails to Offer Even Mild Criticism of Baltic State-Enabled Nazi Worship

Neo-Nazis Given Central Vilnius Again on March 11th Independence Day



PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  VILNIUS MARCHES  |  HUMAN RIGHTS  |  RACISM   |  OPINION

by Vilma Fiokla Kiurė  (with additional input and photos by Evaldas Balčiūnas, Milan Chersonski, and Julius Norwilla)

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PHOTO: EVALDAS BALCIUNAS FOR DH

Once again, on our national holiday of March 11th, at 4 PM in the afternoon, neo-Nazis chanting “Lietuva Lietuviams” (Lithuania for Lithuanians) marched from the Cathedral up our capital city’s central boulevard, Gedimino, to the Seimas (parliament) at its far end. During each of the nine marches (they started in 2008), none of the country’s leaders spoke out to condemn the march. On the contrary there are many signs of both tolerance and support from very high places, including the permits to march granted by the municipality (no comment from the mayor?) and other relevant authorities.

Yet again, the Union of Nationalist Youth was able to boast that it occupies the center of the capital on the nation’s independence day: “Without any obstacles, we received from the municipality an official permit to march [this day] on the main boulevard of Vilnius.” The official march was concluded several hours earlier and the heads of state apparently rested quietly as the neo-Nazis proceeded to take over the city center, from Cathedral to Parliament, a route rich in symbolic power.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Celebrations of Fascism, Christian-Jewish Issues, EU, Events, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Vilma Fiokla Kiurė, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016), Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Neo-Nazis Given Central Vilnius Again on March 11th Independence Day

Tomas Venclova’s Lecture at Vilnius Conference on 17 April 2015



O P I N I O N

by Tomas Venclova

The following text is the authorized English translation, by Geoff Vasil, of Professor Venclova’s address at a conference on Holocaust issues, organized by Rūta Vanagaitė, held at Vilnius City Hall on 17 April 2015. The original Lithuanian text. Video of Tomas Venclova speaking. Conference program. Conference’s final press release.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Antisemitism & Bias, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Tomas Venclova, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Tomas Venclova’s Lecture at Vilnius Conference on 17 April 2015

Wiesenthal Center Releases Vilnius Municipality’s 10 March Response to Appeal to Halt Neo-Nazi Takeover of Downtown Vilnius on Lithuania’s Independence Day


The Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center today released the response received by its director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, to his 3 March appeal to the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, the nation’s capital, to halt the planned neo-Nazi march in the city’s center on independence day, March 11th. The response was received on 10 March by emailed PDF, and seems to fail to address the requests in the letter that the municipality ensure that Nazi symbols, racially exclusionary slogans and glorification of Holocaust collaborators not be allowed in the city center on the national holiday.

Dr. Zuroff’s letter of March 3rd elicited the following reply on the 10th of March (as PDF):

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An “Inner” View of the Neo-March on Vilnius, 2015



O P I N I O N   /   N E O – N A Z I   M A R C H E S

by Geoff Vasil

 

Afunny thing happened on the way to the neo-Nazi march. I saw a man walking towards me, and thought I knew him. Apparently he thought the same thing, and we both said hello in Lithuanian as we passed one another. As I pondered how we might know each other, it came to me: I had seen him at an earlier neo-Nazi march, probably the one in Kaunas a month earlier. He thought I was a fellow marcher, apparently, or at least not an enemy to the cause.

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Jewish Community of Lithuania Issues Statement on Neo-Nazis’ March in Central Vilnius



VILNIUS—The Jewish Community of Lithuania today issued a statement concerning yesterday’s far-right march for which state powers again allocated the capital’s most prestigious central boulevard and a march route starting at Gediminas’ Hill and the Cathedral, and passing by the offices of the prime minister and government and concluding at the nation’s parliament.

The text of the statement, which follows earlier statements and discussions, is as follows:

The Lithuanian Jewish Community does not approve of the march by the Union of Lithuanian Nationalist Youth held on March 11, Lithuanian Independence Day, in Vilnius, because we believe the values publicly espoused by the marchers do not correspond to the principles of the modern democratic state which has been the basis for the creation of Lithuania for the last 25 years.

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Defending History’s Eyewitness Report on Vilnius, March 11, 2015



1,500 Neo-Nazis and Far-Right Extremists Again Given Vilnius’s Main Boulevard on Nation’s March 11th Independence Day; They Parade from Cathedral Square to Nation’s Parliament with Fascist Symbols and Chants of “Lietuva Lietuviams” (Lithuania for [Pure] Lithuanians) 

STATEMENTS FROM PRECEDING DAYS;

UPDATES: FOLLOWING THE EVENT — JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LITHUANIA’S STATEMENT AND REPORTSIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER; GEOFF VASIL IN DH

Flag with Swastika Hoisted Outside Nation’s Parliament for Over an Hour

Photos: Geoff Vasil (left image) and Defending History (right image)

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Run-Up to the March 11, 2015 Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius…



Will Lithuania’s Leaders Let 25th Independence Day be Marred by Neo-Nazis Commandeering Capital’s Center?

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The Latest:

Last-minute statements from the head of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, and the Simon Wiesenthal’s Center director of East European Affairs. From Prof. Pinchos Fridberg.

Appeals from Dr. Zuroff to the mayor of Vilnius, and Dr. Vilhjálmsson to the Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI).

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On Eve of Planned Neo-Nazi March, Statements by Head of Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Simon Wiesenthal Center



VILNIUS—On the eve of the planned neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius, slated for 3 PM on March 11th, Lithuania’s independence day, the chairperson of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, Faina Kukliansky, issued a statement on the community’s website, which was followed within minutes by a statement from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director of East European Affairs, Dr. Efraim Zuroff. The full text of both statements follows:

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, Efraim Zuroff, Events, Faina Kukliansky, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Comments Off on On Eve of Planned Neo-Nazi March, Statements by Head of Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Icelandic Author Calls on Vilnius Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) to Break Silence on Neo-Nazi Marches


REYKJAVIK—Dr. Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson, an historian, archaeologist and human rights specialist in Iceland and Denmark, who has in recent years contributed to Defending History, today released to the media his letter to the Human Rights Monitoring Institute asking if the HRMI will again this week maintain its perennial silence about the capital’s annual neo-Nazi marches on the March 11th independence day. The municipality of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, has been granting the city center on independence day to neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists who have since 2008 been chanting each year exclusivist and exclusionary slogans as well as sporting racist and Nazi signs and symbols. In recent years, they have also featured huge banners honoring a local 1941 Nazi collaborator in the Holocaust who was in 2012 reburied with full honors by the state.

The neo-Nazi marches in central Vilnius on independence day got underway in 2008.

Dr. Vilhjálmsson’s letter reads as follows:

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Member of Lithuania’s Jewish Community Speaks Out on Neo-Nazi Parades, and Govt. Flowers at Monument to Hitler’s Soldiers



O P I N I O N

by Jacob Piliansky

Iam proud to be a Litvak, and I am proud to be a citizen of independent and democratic Lithuania. I very much enjoy walking in our city’s delightful Vingis Park, as well as downtown in the beautiful city center area.

 However, I feel suddenly both sad and shocked, when I see neo-Nazi parades with swastikas and other fascist symbols  along  Gedimino Boulevard on our independence day repeating the yelled chants of “Lithuania for [ethnic] Lithuanians.”

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Jacob Piliansky, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Symbology, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Member of Lithuania’s Jewish Community Speaks Out on Neo-Nazi Parades, and Govt. Flowers at Monument to Hitler’s Soldiers

2014 Baltic Marching Season Concluded


 

Interface of Pro-Fascist Marches, Holocaust Revisionism, and Contemporary Racism

EFRAIM ZUROFF IN THE HUFFINGTON POSTJERUSALEM POST AND TABLET

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For Seventh Year Running, Neo-Nazis and Ultranationalists Given Center of Vilnius on Independence Day



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

by Dovid Katz

Lithuania’s March 11th independence day is celebrated by the free world, not least by those who remember the incredible news that spread around the globe in March 1990, when Lithuania’s parliament (Seimas) voted 124 to zero to break away from the Soviet Union. The courage of the parliamentarians from a broad spectrum of parties and movements was stark; the country was still occupied by ominous Soviet forces (and blood would be spilled by Soviet forces’ violence less than a year later, in January 1991). The March 11th celebration has been anchored  over the years by a record of achievement that includes the transition to democracy, the joining of the European Union and NATO, and the rapid integration with Western society, economy and mores.

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Run-up to the March 11th 2014 Neo-Nazi / Ultranationalist March in Central Vilnius



Vilnius, Tuesday March 11th 2014:

Neo-Nazis Announce March Through Old Town and City Center to Nation’s Parliament

Efraim Zuroff Will Lead Silent, Peaceful Remembrance as Protest

Colleagues of all backgrounds are invited to meet Dr. Zuroff, Holocaust historian, Nazi-hunter, author, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office. He will lead a silent, peaceful remembrance of the annihilated Jewish citizens of Vilnius and Lithuania, in protest against the neo-Nazi marchers and the continued granting of city center venues on independence day. Meeting on Tuesday, 11 March 2014, 3 PM at Old Town Hall (Rotušė) Square. First meeting at edge of square, on the corner of Stiklių and Didžioji outside Amatininkai Café, monitoring the march (itself scheduled for 4 PM) to its conclusion on Gedimino near the Seimas (parliament).

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Kaunas, Vilnius, Riga: Planned 2014 Neo-Nazi Marches (Summary Coverage to 26 Jan. 2014)



KaunasFebruary 16thVilniusMarch 11thRigaMarch 16th:

Will Lithuania’s President and Prime Minister Speak Out to Stop City-Centers on Independence Days Being Gifted to Neo-Nazis Again to Glorify the Holocaust’s Local Collaborators?

Last year, the president, prime minister and mayor failed to rise to the occasion of the neo-Nazi marches

Zabludoff’s Petition Nears the 3,000 Mark

First Stop — Kaunas on February 16th

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Summary Coverage on Upcoming “Baltic March Season”



2014 Winter Nazi Marching Season in the Baltics? 

KaunasFebruary 16thVilniusMarch 11thRigaMarch 16th:

Will Lithuania’s President and Prime Minister Speak Out to Stop City-Centers on Independence Days Being Gifted to Neo-Nazis Again to Glorify the Holocaust’s Local Collaborators?

Last year, the president, prime minister and mayor failed to rise to the occasion of the neo-Nazi marches

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Summary Coverage of Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius on March 11th 2013



March 11th 2013 Independence Day:

City Mounted Wholesome Family Event on Main Boulevard, but it was Followed by a Massive Neo-Nazi March; There were Few Protesters

NATION’S PARLIAMENT HONORS THE NEO-NAZI MARCH ORGANIZERS

EYEWITNESS REPORTS: ANNA SHEPHERD AND GEOFF VASIL

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Believe It Or Not: Lithuanian Parliament Honors Organizers of Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius


Reporting in today’s Lrytas.lt (Lietuvos rytas), Dovydas Pancerovas describes the parliamentary honors bestowed on organizers of last Monday’s March 11th neo-Nazi march on the main boulevard, Gedimino, of the nation’s capital, Vilnius (DH eyewitness reports by Anna Shepherd and Geoff Vasil; see also page 1 report). The following translation from the original Lithuanian is by Geoff Vasil.

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Lithuania’s Social Democratic Party Issues Statement Against Neo-Nazi March


Lithuania’s Social Democratic Party (LSDP), now in power, issued a statement on 14 March concerning the March 11th neo-Nazi march on the central boulevard of the nation’s capital city, Vilnius. The following is an English translation of the statement, which contrasts somewhat in tone with that of the prime minister who is from the same party.


 

 Nationalists Violating Principles of Democracy Can No Longer Use Democracy as Cover

14 March 2013

The unsanctioned march by nationalists that took place on Gedimino prospektas on the March 11th holiday tore away the veil of democracy from those who call themselves “patriotic youth.” Citizens who support democracy must pay heed to decisions made by democratic institutions, and ignoring such needs to be interpreted as anti-constitutional behavior.

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Strength Through Joy “Hitler Youth” Events Sponsored by the City of Vilnius on March 11, 2013



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

by Geoff Vasil

 

This March 11, the day in 1990 when the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic declared Lithuania sovereign and separate from the Soviet Union, was celebrated in Vilnius in the usual manner: neo-Nazis, skinheads, their young and naive followers and a gaggle of elderly politicians—both serving MPs and has-beens—assembled and marched up the main boulevard chanting nationalist and anti-minority slogans, scaring children and generally making the streets unsafe for normal activities.

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3,000 Neo-Nazi Marchers on Gedimino Boulevard in Central Vilnius on 2013 Independence Day


 


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

by Anna Shepherd

Photos by Anna Shepherd; they may be reproduced with accreditation to Defending History (this page) and to Ms. Shepherd.

 

An unsanctioned neo-Nazi march took place today on Gedimino Boulevard, the main avenue of central Vilnius, as Lithuania celebrated its 1990 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. It had an estimated three thousand participants, the largest number ever.

Vilnius authorities had this year issued a permit for the nationalists’ march to take place on Upės Street, a venue across the river, further from the city center. Instead of the neo-Nazi march that has occurred each year since 2008, this year Gedimino was supposed to be host of “Laisves Vejas” (Wind of Freedom), a celebration of freedom and independence including music, dance, poetry and other wholesome performances.

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Within Days of Monica Lowenberg’s Petition, Vilnius Municipality Tries to Move March 11th 2013 Neo-Nazi March Away from City Center


Several days after Monica Lowenberg’s petition was presented to the Lithuanian embassy in London, one of the petition’s points was partly acted on, at least as far as a press release goes, by a governmental agency in Lithuania, notably the Vilnius municipality.

PUBLIC PETITIONS HAVE AN EFFECT!

Point no. 4 of Ms. Lowenberg’s petition reads:

4) A commitment to disallow the neo-Nazi parades in the city centres of Vilnius and Kaunas on national Independence Day holidays in 2013 (with no prejudice to reassignment of venues on free speech grounds to sites and dates that do not heavily imply state support).

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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

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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Posted in "Vilnius Jewish Public Library", Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Events, Geoff Vasil, Humor (Of Sorts), LGBT Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Comments Off on Some Psycho-Sexual Undercurrents of the Lithuanian Independence Day Nazi March

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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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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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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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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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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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, History, Human Rights, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Milan Chersonski, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on The Lingering Legacy of Nazism

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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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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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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Double Genocide, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Human Rights, Lithuania, Media Watch, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Racism, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Leading Lithuanian Daily Finally Exposes Genocide Center ‘Chief Specialist’ who is a Neo-Nazi Leader; He tells the paper: ‘There was no Holocaust!’

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 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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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.

———

EYEWITNESS REPORT & IMAGES

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Genocide Research Center’s ‘Chief Public Relations Specialist’ Steps Up Antisemitic Campaign


Ričardas Čekutis, the Chief Public Relations Specialist at the state-funded Genocide Research Center who was a leader of the March 11th 2011 neo-Nazi march on the main boulevard of the Lithuanian capital, and was formerly a top parliamentary aide to a Liberal (!) MP, gave a further ‘charming interview’ on April 24th  to Diena.lt.

SEE EARLIER REPORT

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Genocide Center Official defends neo-Nazi march


A high official of the Genocide Research Center, Ričardas Čekutis, today published an article defending the recent neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius. Lithuania’s major daily, Lietuvos rytas, had identified him ten days ago as one of the key participants and organizers of the 1000-strong March 11th 2011 neo-Nazi march that proceeded through the center of Vilnius on the country’s Independence Day, with the participation of a member of parliament, and a permit from the municipality of Vilnius. The Jewish Community of Lithuania has protested the march on its own website (English translation here).

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Baltic Media: Covering the Fascist Marches, or Covering Them Up?


 


O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

This year Lithuanian neo-Nazis organized by Marius Kundrotas, Ričardas Čekutis and Julijus Panka with Lithuanian MP Kazimieras Uoka as their mascot marched in Kaunas on February 16 and through central Vilnius on March 11. February 16 is the old, pre-World War II national day of independence while March 11 is the date in 1990 when the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet voted to restore national independence and exit the Soviet Union.

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595 Bold Lithuanian Citizens Condemn 2011 Neo-Nazi Independence Day March in Central Vilnius


Five hundred and ninety-five Lithuanian citizens today published their public letter to the president, the parliament and the government of Lithuania, and to the Vilnius City Council. The letter condemns the ‘march of the extreme right and the spread of hatred in public’. The document appears on the Demos website in English  (an earlier Lithuanian version appeared on Peticijos.lt here).

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Neo-Nazis March in Central Vilnius on Lithuania’s Independence Day (with government permission and police escorts)



  • EYEWITNESS REPORT
  • by Sebastian Pammer
  • PHOTOS BY SEBASTIAN PAMMER

From the internet site www.tautos-balsas.lt I learned that the march of Lithuanian nationalists would start today at 4 PM (1600 hours) at Cathedral Square in the very heart of Vilnius, where the city’s central boulevard, Gedimino Prospect, begins its ascent toward the nation’s Parliament at its other end.

Kazimieras Uoka, at right, a member of the Lithuanian parliament from the Conservative party in power, was one of the leaders of the massive neo-Nazi march on the capital’s main boulevard on the country’s Independence Day.

I was shocked to see that one of the march’s leaders was a member of parliament from the ruling Homeland Union faction of the Conservative alliance in power (whose prominent Jewish member actually signed the Prague Declaration in 2008!). MP Kazimieras Uoka was marching at the very front. In 2010 Uoka’s pro-neo-Nazi activities were in evidence more than once. He had taken out the permit for last year’s Nazi march (Leonidas Donskis’s comment on that here) and then in May, he jumped the barricades to disrupt the wholly peaceful Gay Pride parade in Vilnius.

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Vilnius Municipality’s Response to Wiesenthal Center’s Comments on Planned Neo-Nazi Parade on March 11th


The Vilnius city administration (municipality) said today that it had ‘no intention of responding to the statement’ issued by the Simon Wiesenthal Center on 17 February condemning its decision to provide a permit for yet another city-center Neo-Nazi parade in the capital on the occasion of its March 11th Independence Day.

The statement, issued by Dr Efraim Zuroff, director of the Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office quotes Dr Zuroff as follows:

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Lithuanian Court Legalizes Public Swastikas as ‘Historical Heritage’; 2008 Ban on ‘Nazi and Soviet Symbols’ now Excludes… Swastikas


A Lithuanian court in Klaipeda approved the public display of swastikas on the grounds that they are ‘Lithuania’s historical heritage rather than symbols of Nazi Germany’. An ultranationalist ‘expert’ transported from Vilnius was easily able to persuade the court, which did not bother to ask a contrasting view of the Holocaust Survivor community, or the Jewish Community of Lithuania, in a European country with one of the highest proportions of Holocaust genocide on the continent. This sad distinction resulted from massive local participation.  Image from 16 Feb Klaipeda demonstration courtesy DMN atKaunodiena.lt.

BNS report on the court’s 19 May decision here. So much for the parliament’s 2008 ban on ‘Nazi and Soviet symbols’ which only caused pain to aged veterans of the anti-Nazi war effort, and which was ultimately part of the machinations in support of the Double Genocide movement in the European Parliament, in cooperation with the movement’s local power structures.

The United States Embassy has remained silent on the legalization of public swastikas.

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology, US State Dept Manipulated?, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Comments Off on Lithuanian Court Legalizes Public Swastikas as ‘Historical Heritage’; 2008 Ban on ‘Nazi and Soviet Symbols’ now Excludes… Swastikas

Lithuanian Court Approves Display of Swastikas in Public


A Lithuanian court in Klaipeda approved the public display of swastikas on the grounds that they are ‘Lithuania’s historical heritage rather than symbols of Nazi Germany’. An ‘expert’ transported from Vilnius was easily able to persuade the court, which did not bother to ask a contrasting view of the Holocaust Survivor community, or the Jewish Community of Lithuania, in a European country with the highest proportion of Holocaust genocide on the continent. This sad distinction resulted from massive local collaboration and actual participation.

Media coverage: BNS report on the court’s 19 May decision hereDelfi report.   JTA report on the court’s decision and Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s reaction. Photo by J. Markevicius on Delfi.

UPDATES

UN Human Rights Committee (Geneva) comments in July 2012

Continuation of the debate through the summer of 2012

“Lithuanian swastikas” at the March 11th 2013  independence day parade on the main boulevard of Vilnius, the capital

So much for the parliament’s 2008 ban on ‘Nazi and Soviet symbols’ which only caused pain to aged veterans of the anti-Nazi war effort, and which was ultimately part of the machinations in support of the Double Genocide movement in the European Parliament, in cooperation with the movement’s local power structures.  See also Swastikas and Swasticals.

The United States embassy in Vilnius has maintained a studied public silence.

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology, US State Dept Manipulated?, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches, Yad Vashem Manipulated? | Comments Off on Lithuanian Court Approves Display of Swastikas in Public

Jewish Community protests March 11 parade


The fragile but proud Jewish Community of Lithuania issued a statement including the feeling that by issuing a permit for the march, the Vilnius city administration used the 20th anniversary of Lithuanian independence to ‘trample on and offend’ the remnant Jewish community in the country.  BNS report.

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Neo-Nazi March again Escorted by Police on Lithuania’s Independence Day in the heart of Vilnius; White Armbands are Back


The fragile but proud Jewish community of Lithuania was again shaken to its core by a Neo-Nazi march in broad daylight through sections of downtown Vilnius on Lithuania’s March 11 Independence Day (see below at March 2008). Once again, the marchers, this time numbering around 500, were diligently escorted by police. Marking the twentieth anniversary of the country’s bold breakaway from Soviet tyranny and its inspiring transition to a modern democracy — a magnificent achievement celebrated by all the country’s communities —  it is a cherished day all around. Its tainting by another police-escorted Neo-Nazi parade was all the more painful, especially for aged Holocaust Survivors.

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Neo-Nazis March in Vilnius, Sanctioned by Municipality and with Police Escorts


Sanctioned by the Municipality of Vilnius on a route that included Vilna’s destroyed old Jewish cemetery …

11 March 2010.  Elderly Jewish survivors were shaken to the core by this latest Neo-Nazi march in downtown Vilnius on Lithuania’s March 11 Independence Day. The march was sanctioned by the city municipality. The permit was requested by a member of parliament from the governing party. And in a final flourish of inflicted pain, the approved route included the territory of the dismantled Old Vilna Jewish cemetery. All this marred the twentieth anniversary of the country’s bold breakaway from Soviet tyranny and its inspiring transition to a modern democracy, a magnificent achievement celebrated by all the country’s communities. More photos and reports: Balsas.ltDelfi.ltVideo by Lietuvos rytas.

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Bold Reporter, Lukas Pileckas, Releases Video of Neo-Nazi Downtown March on Lithuania’s Independence Day


Video clip of the neo-Nazi march on the capital’s central boulevard. The march featured chants of ‘Juden raus’ and a song including ‘Take a stick and kill that little Jew’. Marchers boasted the ‘Lithuanian swastika’ (with added lines). There were also anti-Russian and anti-Polish chants. Second clip comprising the somber, dignified response of the chairman of the Jewish Community of Lithuania plus more material from the march, including the apparent amusement of onlooking police.

These videos appear thanks to the bold Lietuvos rytas journalist Lukas Pileckas. Photo by Vidmantas Balkunas. Leading politicians failed to condemn the march for over a week, when foreign pressures forced statements.

[Update of 20 March 2008: The Jerusalem Post today published a report on the protest lodged by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, with the Lithuanian ambassador in Israel. PDF here.]

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