Monthly Archives: March 2018

Vilnius and Three Other Lithuanian Jewish Communities Call for New Democratic Elections



DOCUMENTS  |  VILNIUS JEWISH LIFE  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  DEMOCRACY  |  GOOD WILL FOUNDATION  |  HUMAN RIGHTS

VILNIUS—Baltic News Service (BNS) carried today the text of a public statement issued by the Vilnius Jewish Community (VJC), joined by the Jewish communities of Klaipėda, Šiauliai, and Ukmergė (known in Jewish history as Meml, Shavl and Vilkomir, respectively). For its readers’ information, Defending History is providing a translation below. Please note that in the event of any query arising, the Lithuanian text alone is authoritative; items in square brackets [] have been added in the translation for clarity.

Readers wishing to look at the background are invited to our tracking section, Lithuania’s Jewish Community Issues. As our readers know, the Defending History community tends to see in the sad events of recent years the ominous hand of manipulation of a small but creative and proud Jewish community, by way of restitution monies that, some believe, are being channeled in ways that are not according to the democratic wishes of the members of the nation’s Jewish community. During last year’s election campaign, the rules were changed mid-campaign to disenfranchise the Jewish community’s living members via a new system based on a handful of organization chiefs, one of whom lives in Brussels. In one of the saga’s lowpoints, picking up on local antisemitic tropes, the official, government-sponsored community, where various ex-government or political officials and/or their children occupy some of the major positions, accused the actual Vilnius Jewish Community of being Russian speakers who pretend to be Jews, leading to international media coverage.


Translation of Text from BNS, 23 March 2017:

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Center of Vilnius Again Gifted to 1,000 Far-Right & Neo-Nazi Marchers on Lithuania’s Cherished March 11th Independence Day



VILNIUS MARCHES  |  KAUNAS  MARCHES  |  REGIONAL PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  |  ANTISEMITISM  |  EVENTS  |  OPINION

By Defending History Staff

Photos by Julius Norwilla, Ruta Ostrovskaya, and Dovid Katz

VILNIUS—For the 11th year running, the center of Lithuania’s beautiful capital, Vilnius, was gifted in the high afternoon hours this past Sunday, Match 11th, to far-righters and neo-Nazis on the annual holiday cherished by the free world for its historic importance, in 1990, in the series of events that toppled the Soviet Union’s hated misrule. The Defending History community, all resolute admirers of Lithuania who celebrate its successhas monitored this event annually. The international outcry after the 2008 event, which featured “Juden raus” and a throng of swastikas had led to curious “compromises” each year between organizers and the municipality on what will and will not be done. But no sign yet of the mayor’s office, municipality or government finding the moral backbone to just say, “No, not in the center of our capital on our independence day.”

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Racism, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Comments Off on Center of Vilnius Again Gifted to 1,000 Far-Right & Neo-Nazi Marchers on Lithuania’s Cherished March 11th Independence Day

Some Baltic Events in the Week of 11 March 2018



EVENTS

SUNDAY 11 MARCH: Celebrating Lithuania’s independence and success and also, as each year, monitoring the neo-Nazi march for which the center of Vilnius is gifted (on this of all days). See our eyewitness report.


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Posted in Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Some Baltic Events in the Week of 11 March 2018

Did Latvia’s Foreign Minister Just Honor an Author for a Book that Spews Antisemitism and “Explains” the Holocaust?



OPINION  |  LATVIA   |   FOREIGN MINISTRIES AND HOLOCAUST POLITICS  |   GLORIFYING COLLABORATORS  |  BOOKS  | ANTISEMITISM

by Alexander Gilman (Riga)

Latvia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs seems to have found a brand new idol and role model — Ludwig Seya, who had been a diplomat in the prewar Latvian Republic for 22 years. For a short time he was a minister, but mostly he held ambassadorships to various countries. After Latvia was annexed to the Soviet Union he taught at the main Latvian university in Riga. In 1944 he was arrested by the Nazis for underground activities in the Latvian Central Council, a union of pre-war politicians and intellectuals who tried to persuade the West to insist on the independence of Latvia after World War II. After being liberated from the concentration camp on the territory of Poland, Seya was arrested by the Soviet military authorities and sent to a Stalinist gulag.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Books, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Latvia, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Did Latvia’s Foreign Minister Just Honor an Author for a Book that Spews Antisemitism and “Explains” the Holocaust?

Chief Rabbi of Western Wall and and Holy Sites in Israel Calls on Lithuania’s President to Cancel Convention Center Project at Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery



DOCUMENTS  |  OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY  |  OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER PROJECT  |  PETITION   |  CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS  |  CPJCE

JERUSALEM—The 1 February 2018 letter of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites in Israel to the president of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė, was released here today for publication. In it, the world-renowned rabbi who heads the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, pleads with the president of Lithuania to “cancel this plan to make this site a convention center.” He reminds her of the tens of thousands of Jews buried at the old Piramónt cemetery of Vilna, now in the Šnipiškės district of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania. His letter follows the 7 January 2018 letter from the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, and the pleas of virtually all the world’s leading rabbis of Litvak heritage (and many others) over recent years, in addition to many people of good faith of all backgrounds.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, CPJCE (London), Documents, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Chief Rabbi of Western Wall and and Holy Sites in Israel Calls on Lithuania’s President to Cancel Convention Center Project at Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

Defending History Invites Volunteers to Help Monitor March 11 Neo-Nazis’ Event in Central Vilnius



EVENTS  | VILNIUS MARCHES  | KAUNAS MARCHES | PRO-NAZI MARCHES IN EASTERN EUROPE

SUNDAY 11 MARCH: Celebrating Lithuania’s independence and success and also, as each year, monitoring the neo-Nazi march for which the center of Vilnius is gifted (on this of all days). Monitoring group meets at 15:30 (3:30 PM) sharp at the Bell Tower on Cathedral Square. Our monitors are quiet, peaceful, courteous, carry no placards and chant no replies. We are there to monitor, record, and report, and silently remember the annihilated Jews of Lithuania in the face of marchers’ practice in recent years of flaunting banners with images of actual collaborators of the Lithuanian Holocaust (a thinly-veiled way of expressing glee at the genocide). Hopefully human rights organizations will finally do their jobs. See Defending History’s annual eyewitness reports for previous Vilnius marches (Kaunas marches here).

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Events, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Comments Off on Defending History Invites Volunteers to Help Monitor March 11 Neo-Nazis’ Event in Central Vilnius