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.
The Community is surprised by the lack of political will and action by Lithuanian government institutions in putting a stop to the spread of dangerous ultranationalist and Nazi tendencies in Lithuania. The decision to permit the march by this organization which is opposed to tolerance and ethnic concord in the Lithuanian state is unjustifiable if only for the constant refrain of the fascist slogan in marches by nationalists of “Lithuania for Lithuanians.” The marchers also carried a flag bearing black-and-white symbol of the White Pride World-Wide movement, and a black-and-white flag extolling skinheads with the stylized emblem of the SS and a Nazi swastika.
The LJC notes the ever diminishing turnout of followers of Julius Panka and other nationalist youth organization leaders, but we maintain efforts are still sorely needed to bring home to the public how unacceptable the ideas they declare publicly are in a tolerant civil society.