Monthly Archives: February 2012

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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Free Speech & Democracy, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion | Comments Off

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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Latvia, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views | Comments Off

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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Double Games, Events, Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off

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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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", 70 Years Declaration, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Denis MacShane, Double Genocide, History, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Vytenis Andriukaitis | Comments Off

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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Hungary, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Racism | Comments Off

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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, EU, Human Rights, Latvia, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Racism | Comments Off

Joe Melamed, Head of Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, calls on ‘Real Litvaks’ to Stay Away from Tel Aviv ‘Gala Sham’ on March 5th


Developments have started moving quickly in the ill-starred project to host the current foreign minister of Lithuania as “guest of honor” at a Tel Aviv “gala” at the Dan Panorama Hotel on March 5th.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Israel, Joseph Melamed, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Dovid Katz, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, LGBT Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, US State Dept Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Celebrations of Fascism, Human Rights, LGBT Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views | Tagged , | Comments Off

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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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Andres Spokoiny, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Vytenis Andriukaitis | Comments Off

Holocaust Survivors to Demonstrate outside Tel Aviv ‘Sellout Gala’ Slated for March 5th



C O M M E N T

[updated 17 Feb] The following “SAVE THE DATE GALA DINNER” announcement was recently posted on the Telfed Online website [update: page taken down; similar text is at the ILCCI site of the organizing "Israel-Lithuania"]:

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Israel, Joseph Melamed, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

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, Milan Chersonski, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

A Hidden Monument in Vilnius — Hopelessly Invisible?


In response to several requests from the United States, DefendingHistory.com this week asked three colleagues who found themselves in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, to try to see the “Flame of Hope” monument, by sculptor Leonardo Nierman, in memory of the victims of the Lithuanian Holocaust, located in the heart of the Old Town, in a yard that was in the Vilna Ghetto between September 1941 and the ghetto’s liquidation three years later.

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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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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, EU, Free Speech & Democracy, History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom, Vytenis Andriukaitis | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Seventy Years Declaration Joins the European Conversation


The Seventy Years Declaration

Solemnly commemorates the Holocaust and reaffirms human rights of all people. Opposes the Prague Declaration and ‘Double Genocide’ politics. Rejects glorification of the Waffen SS of Estonia and Latvia and the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF).

Lithuania’s foreign minister’s “moustache response” came within minutes of SYD’s release.

 ———

TEXT AND LIST OF FOUNDING SIGNATORIES

PRESENTED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

UPDATE: DOCUMENTARY FILM RELEASED

SYD TEXT IN BELARUSIANENGLISHFRENCH;  GERMAN;  LITHUANIAN;  POLISHRUSSIANSPANISHYIDDISHLIST OF UK SIGNATORIES;  LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ATTACKS SIGNATORIES WITHIN MINUTES

MEDIA COVERAGE

 ———

Danny Ben-Moshe launches SYD in the Jerusalem PostSYD published. Lithuanian Foreign Minister responds in minutes with infamous “moustache comparison” of Hitler and Stalin, later attacks Lithuanian parliamentarians who signed. UK MP Denis MacShane congratulates the Lithuanian Eight who signed. Vytenis Andriukaitis, signatory of nation’s Declaration of Independence, replies to FM. Roger Cohen in the New York Times. Gang-up on Lithuanian radio panelAJForwardHaaretzJC.

British parliamentarian tells Lithuanian signatories of the 70 Years Declaration:

“I know it must be lonely to take a stand on such a controversial subject but wanted to write to you to say you are not alone and every decent British and European citizen stands with you.”

— UK MP Denis MacShane

DefendingHistory.com congratulates the Lithuanian parliamentarians among the founding 70 signatories of the Seventy Years Declaration for their courage, integrity, love of all their country’s peoples, and genuine commitment to European values:

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, MP

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, MEP

Justinas Karosas, MP

Justas Paleckis, MEP

Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, MP

Julius Sabatauskas, MP

Algirdas Sysas, MP

Birutė Vėsaitė, MP

Posted in 70 Years Declaration, EU | Comments Off

German Politicians Repudiate EU’s Rep in Afghanistan, who Calls Hitler’s Rule ‘Respite from Communism’



by Frank Brendle (Berlin)

The German Government has repudiated the trivialization of Nazi regime by the ambassador of the European Union  in Afghanistan, Vygaudas Ušackas, a former foreign minister of Lithuania. In a 6 December Wall Street Journal article, Ušackas called Nazi rule in Lithuania “a few years’ respite from the Communists.” An apology was called for by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office, and a debate ensued.

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The Lingering Legacy of Nazism



М Н Е Н И Е

Милан Херсонский

 

У НАЦИЗМА НЕ ДОЛЖНО БЫТЬ БУДУЩЕГО

20 января нынешнего 2012-го года исполнилось 70 лет с того дня, когда в 1942-м году на вилле Марлир близ озера Ванзее состоялась конференция представителей министерств и ветвей власти гитлеровской Германии, которая вошла в мировую историю по названию озера – Ванзейская конференция. Это было совещание нацистских чиновников, которые деловито и хладнокровно обсуждали вопросы реализации «окончательного решения еврейского вопроса», то есть полного истребления евреев в Европе.

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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, History, Human Rights, In Russian, Lithuania, Milan Chersonski, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Events, Human Rights, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion | Comments Off

Seventy Years Declaration Joins the European Conversation on 20 January 2012


The Seventy Years Declaration

Solemnly commemorates the Holocaust and reaffirms human rights of all people. Opposes the Prague Declaration and ‘Double Genocide’ politics. Rejects glorification of the Waffen SS of Estonia and Latvia and the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF).

Lithuania’s foreign minister’s “moustache response” came within minutes of SYD’s release.

 ———

TEXT AND LIST OF FOUNDING SIGNATORIES

PRESENTED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

UPDATE: DOCUMENTARY FILM RELEASED

SYD TEXT IN BELARUSIAN; ENGLISHFRENCH;  GERMAN;  LITHUANIAN;  POLISHRUSSIAN; SPANISHYIDDISHLIST OF UK SIGNATORIES;  LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ATTACKS SIGNATORIES WITHIN MINUTES

MEDIA COVERAGE

 ———

Danny Ben-Moshe launches SYD in the Jerusalem PostSYD published. Lithuanian Foreign Minister responds in minutes with infamous “moustache comparison” of Hitler and Stalin, later attacks Lithuanian parliamentarians who signed. UK MP Denis MacShane congratulates the Lithuanian Eight who signed. Vytenis Andriukaitis, signatory of nation’s Declaration of Independence, replies to FM. Roger Cohen in the New York Times. Gang-up on Lithuanian radio panelAJForwardHaaretzJC.

British parliamentarian tells Lithuanian signatories of the 70 Years Declaration:

“I know it must be lonely to take a stand on such a controversial subject but wanted to write to you to say you are not alone and every decent British and European citizen stands with you.”

— UK MP Denis MacShane

DefendingHistory.com congratulates the Lithuanian parliamentarians among the founding 70 signatories of the Seventy Years Declaration for their courage, integrity, love of all their country’s peoples, and genuine commitment to European values:

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, MP

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, MEP

Justinas Karosas, MP

Justas Paleckis, MEP

Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, MP

Julius Sabatauskas, MP

Algirdas Sysas, MP

Birutė Vėsaitė, MP

Posted in Boxes | Comments Off

Social Democrats Stood Up


Boldly defying the right wing government’s Holocaust politics, a number of leading Lithuanian Social Democrats have stood up with courage. Six MPs and two MEPs signed the SYD. They were attacked by the current foreign minister in his “moustache reply” and an article (and in a “cooked” radio panel).

MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, the SD foreign affairs spokesman, replied robustly. UK MP Denis MacShane sent personal letters to each of the signatories. Then, two Social Democratic MPs issued a statement in the Seimas protesting the state’s honoring of the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister.

MP Andriukaitis challenged the foreign minister on the floor of the Seimas.

OTHER BOLD CITIZENS SPEAK OUT

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