Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches

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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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