O P I N I O N
by Geoff Vasil
Ričardas Čekutis, an organizer of the March 11th 2011 neo-Nazi march through central Vilnius and the head of public relations at Lithuania’s Genocide Research Center, an institution nominally tasked with (and paid for by the taxpayers) to promote genocide research and education, recently answered some criticism of himself and his ideas, a neo-fascist political party and neo-Nazi marches, questions that were posed by Darius Kuolys.
The back-and-forth is taking place on the Lithuanian internet news and entertainment website Delfi.lt (there are Delfis in Latvia and Estonia, too, Delfi.lv and Delfi.ee), which more or less passes for mainstream in Lithuania. Not that Čekutis hasn’t had a free platform to issue his denials and propagate his philosophy of hate on other mainstream Lithuanian media. Days after the last “traditional” (four years in a row now) fascist march on March 11th, Lithuanian state television gave Čekutis a lengthy interview to sell his snake oil. Čekutis also holds press conferences (at ELTA instead of BNS, for whatever reason) and has a whole website devoted to his ravings and those of his cohorts—www.Patriotai.lt.
One of his more recent press conferences followed his dismissal as advisor to Dalia Kuodytė, the former head of the Genocide Research Center who was “kicked upstairs” and became a member of parliament. Kuodytė took Čekutis with her to parliament, but eventually decided to stab her former Genocide Research Unit employee in the back when the heat became too much, after Čekutis ran in municipal elections in the openly xenophobic and homophobic—openly fascist—party Young Lithuania and crafted an incredible explanation for public consumption for their newest slogan, “No gays, no blacks, no reds and no camp Gypsies.” He explained: These are merely symbols, you have to understand. Except for Gypsies. No one likes Gypsies, plus they really do sell narcotics. No one seemed to be buying the racist cartload Čekutis was peddling.
In the press conference following his dismissal, Čekutis didn’t place any blame at the feet of Kuodytė, he did not accuse her of caving in to the diktat of the homosexual Zionist mafia. Instead, he spoke of “thought police” controlling society, and portrayed himself as a martyr to the cause of the Nation (the capitalized form signifies translation of the Lithuanian term that means both ‘nation’ and ‘pure ethnic nation’). Since the city elections were still in play, he didn’t seem to see any need to tell the reporters at the press conference that he was in fact employed and had got his old job back as head of PR at the Genocide Research Center.
Darius Kuolys is a former advisor to the Lithuanian president, an astute observer, very intelligent and is also someone who could be called an authentic modern Lithuanian patriot. He challenged Čekutis to provide chapter and verse for the contention that pre-World War II Lithuanian independence activist Vincas Kudirka used the phrase “Lithuania for Lithuanians” anywhere in his speeches or writing.
Čekutis responded by saying, more or less, that he was lowering himself to answer his critics in Kuolys’s case only, because Kuolys had claimed to be seeking the truth. He then goes on to whine about intentions, context, what Kudirka “really meant” and manages to distort Kuolys’s words numerous times, using quotation marks but making up the content. Čekutis seemed to be especially bothered that Kuolys called the fascist march followed by a speech by a German neo-Nazi at the former Gestapo headquarters (where the national Genocide Museum, also financed by the state, is based now) “macabre”. At least, Čekutis misquotes Kuolys numerous times including that word in the spurious phrases, so it’s a good guess Čekutis, formally the PR chief for the Genocide Research Center, doesn’t really like the label, whatever he thinks it means.
The rest of the opinion piece/response by Čekutis claims Kuolys got the facts wrong about the march and marchers, that some German ultranationalist named Mike (Mike? Doesn’t sound German. Anyway…) Muller gave the speech in honor of multiculturalism (meaning fascists who had come from abroad to march in Vilnius) and that if Muller had given the speech in 1943, the Gestapo would have hung him before he managed to finish it. But the overriding theme in Čekutis’s robustly dishonest and insulting response to Kuolys is his own victimhood, as a member of the persecuted minority of nationalists who have always known what’s best for Lithuania and Lithuanians and have always been ready to step forward, to come out of hiding in the underground, when the times demand it. Plus there’s a fair ration of gratuitous insults aimed at homosexuals throughout the piece, which Čekutis must think will play well with the Lithuanian mainstream, or at least won’t cost him anything.
Kuolys doesn’t like German Nazis giving speeches at the former Gestapo HQ in Vilnius on Lithuanian Independence Day? He doesn’t like Third Reich-style propaganda banners in German and Lithuanian carried through the streets of the capital? He’s just anti-German! Čekutis actually tries to make this point, quipping he didn’t know that the German language had been outlawed in Lithuania.
Then, speaking further on the foreign fascists who arrived for the Lithuanian march (certain white power and neo-Nazi groups have plans to make good use of the Baltic states as a sort of base in Europe, the whole “Judenrein” thing from 1941 all over again), Čekutis says:
“I can only remind [the readers] that foreign guests travel to our march every year, true patriots and nationalists of their own countries: there were Latvians, Estonians, Finns, Ukrainians, Swedes, Japanese… It wouldn’t be a bad thing for Kuolys or another ‘indignant’ well-known public figure to make a list of unwanted citizens from unwanted countries: then at least it would be clear to the public who these ‘macabre neo-Nazis’ are, and it would also be easier for the ‘democratic’ public figures to prepare their ‘condemnation’ texts early.”
In the best style of the early Nazi activists turning the tables on their opponents by accusing them of the very things the Nazis themselves were engaged in, Čekutis turns the tables on Kuolys by bringing to mind the idea of the “Thought Police” making lists of ideologically unreliable citizens for dealing with them in the future. And Čekutis must know that the Lithuanian neo-Nazis are doing exactly that, collecting a list of people—presumably future targets—who oppose them.
Cekutis must know about this, because it is being carried out on the internet forum of his fellow long-time party colleague, a web forum that links extensively to his own www.Patriotai.lt, viewable at the ominous sounding address of www.lndp.lt Since it is all in Lithuanian, here are some translations to assist international readers in coming to grips with what is going on in today’s Lithuania.
First, you have to choose the forums at the main site. Then you follow the forums like this:
Main Page → Nationalism (patriotism, preservation of global multinationalism) – History and Ideology, Trends and Developments – Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism.
Once you’ve got that far, the thread is titled:
Who’s Who in Lithuania – List of Cosmopolitan “Pinko Communist” Tolerasts [the insulting word coined in contemporary Lithuanian for propontents of tolerance; it derives from tolerance + pederast].
The date of the first post is March 16, 2011.
The poster is named Zygeivis (more on him a bit later).
The first post is the title, with an explanation in parentheses from Zygeivis that he copied the list from a specific site before they “got smart” and took it down, followed by a petition by numerous Lithuanian intellectuals, artists, politicians and citizens against the March 11 fascist march and the phrase “Lithuania for Lithuanians” and others used by the marchers. The petition is followed by the names of 11 organizations and 1,342 individuals opposed to the Lithuanian neo-Nazis.
This is followed by several comments by Zygeivis and other members of the neo-Nazi forum:
Katastrofijus March 16 2011
I dont understand why they don’t address it to their government, the Israeli Knesset and the Polish Sejm. After all there are Satanists and lisping Russians (and probably monkeys) among the signers, [they?] could translate it into Russian slang. Welcome the Year of the Rabbit Holocaust. And it’s a shame that bananas are rather expensive in Lithuania and no one sells Arab meat.
Zygeivis March 17 2011
Maker of Webpage Order
From the comments [at the original petition website?]:
I sincerely thank you for the information provided: we have thought for a long time that a comprehensive and broad list of the different “hues” and “Pinko Communist” tolerats/pederasts and “hybrids” in the Lithuanian State was needed.
We grew quite weary because we had to collect “a drop at a time” but here, as they say, it was all provided “in a bowl” [on a platter]… 🙂
Thank you again. 🙂
P.S. By the way, we copied it immediately, before it disappears from the public. 🙂 🙂 🙂
[comments continued in the Zygeivis re-post:]
Question for the Knowers March 17 2011
When I copied the list a few days ago, there were 600 names signed.
Now I looked, I wanted to update it (since over two days at least 50 people should have signed) and I see that 595 names are left?
Instead of growing, has the list begun to shrink?
Zygeivis follows this with updated repostings of comments, presumably from the original webpage carrying the petition, where he quotes himself engaged in heated battle against the homosexuals, and explains why the list initially shrank:
I analyzed the “contingent” of signatories…
After throwing out different little Russians, Poles, Shit-Poles, Jews, … (i.e., those for whom “Lithuania for Lithuanians” is “naturally not appreciated”) as well as those writing from Mexico, England and Sweden, there really weren’t many left… 🙂
But the remaining are the “pure sex minority” of the Gay-Lesbian League and similar organizations, or all manner of “leftist tolerasts” from the “New Left”… 🙂
Of course, Zygeivis’s original reposting of a comment from the petition webpage was his own post there announcing his creation of a list, to judge from the style and “smiley” syntax. He also lets on in the last post who exactly is being targeted: Lithuanians who “should” embrace the phrase “Lithuania for Lithuanians” but don’t, and gays and lesbians.
This is followed by a new list of people “selling Lithuanian citizenship”. The author of the original article, reposted by Zygeivis from Patriotai.lt, is shocked to learn there is a Facebook group of Lithuanian citizens prepared to renounce their Lithuanian citizenship for a price. It appears to be a tongue-in-cheek auction to the highest bidder sort of thing, which is likely a violation of the Facebook terms of service (since almost anything can be construed as a violation if one tries really hard). The neo-Nazis take it seriously, and the list contains the names and professions of 39 people, plus others on a stand-by list who “might participate” but aren’t in the pool yet.
If Lithuanians on Facebook are allowed to joke around, then perhaps isn’t what Zygeivis is doing also a kind of internet trolling, intended to frighten the people who signed the anti-fascist petition, or, more likely, to discourage the undecided from signing? Is it a case of “internet as usual” or something darker?
Before Operation Barbarossa, a German genealogist from East Prussia traveled to Lithuania and compiled lists for the Third Reich, while pretending to be doing innocent genealogical work. Mainly lists of Jews.
“Country after country adopted laws identical to German race policies, ousting Jews, confiscating their assets, and organizing their expulsion long before the Reich crossed their borders. By spring 1939, Hungary had already passed a series of anti-Jewish measures, including land expropriation, professional exclusion, and citizenship annulment. A New York Times headline on the question declared, ‘Aim to Head Off Nazis’. Waves of pogroms and Nazi-style anti-Jewish boycotts and economic expulsions had long been sweeping Poland, especially in areas with many so-called Volksdeutsche, those of German parentage. By 1937, a leading party in the Polish government, ‘the Camp of National Unity’, declared the popular campaign had become official, to the delight of German-allied Polish Fascists. Similar persecution was regularly debated in Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Lithuania. Eventually the majority of Europe would soon legislate Jews out of existence. It was all part of Berlin’s new continent-wide irresistible sphere of antisemitic influence.
“While Berlin was igniting anti-Jewish campaigns everywhere, NSDAP forces were quietly gathering population details on Jews throughout the Continent and preparing for the day when Nazi-inspired coups or outright invasion would permit the instant liquidation of one Jewish community after another. Nazi race and population scientists utilizing punch card systems were a crucial component of this effort.
“Typical was a Nazi operative named Carl Fust, who was scouting church records for familial information in Lithuania as far back as 1936. On June 29, 1936, he reported his progress to the Reichssippenamt in Berlin. ‘I have now also registered all known books of the Tilsit Mennonite Community,’ wrote Fust. ‘It was quite a task to find the present location of the books . . . The entries … go partly back to the year 1769; however, individual data goes back as far as 1722.’…
Edwin Black, IBM and the Holocaust, chapter 7 Deadly Count
Black’s book barely touches upon Lithuania; it deals with the collusion of German and American eugenicists to automate the dizzying goal the Nazis had set for themselves of exterminating the Jews of Europe.
For the Nazis the task become one of engineering and number-crunching, although every number in their system was actually a human being, and when they crunched them, they crunched their bones. The main user of the early IBM computing equipment in the Third Reich was the office of Eichmann, the focus of Hanna Arendt’s book subtitled The Banality of Evil, to keep track of “resettlement” of Jewish victims (and homosexuals and Roma to a much lesser extent).
Which brings this back to the person behind Herr Webmeister Zygeivis.
Zygeivis is a long-time candidate for the Young Lithuania party and a member of the board of directors of the Lithuanian Nationalist Center, whose chairman is Ričardas Čekutis. His real name is Kestutis Ceponis and his full-time job according to his candidate page at the Supreme Election Commission is his webpage, lndp.lt (although he apparently receives or received a salary from that same Supreme Election Commission for unspecified work). According to his declaration for 2008 parliamentary elections, he has assets worth 175,000 litas and an income that year of 529.10 litas, for which he was liable to an income tax of 1 litas, which was reportedly paid. His biography says he graduated as a mathematician in 1980 and worked during his studies and after. In 1980 he got a job at the Mathematics and Cybernetics Institute of the Academy of Sciences, in the Data Analysis Department, and worked at the same institute until 1991. He did some post-graduate work on “the application of reverse Johnson transformations in methods of differentiation of characteristics in data analysis” and had about 20 papers published as well as a book on the same topic. He got a degree in tourism in 1982 and joined a pagan club in 1979. (This is the chronology in the biography he provided for himself). In 1998 he joined “the organization led by M. Murza. It has been called the National Democrat Party since 2001. A member of the Republic Council and board of directors”. He says he was one of the initiators of the Lithuanian Nationalist Center.
Whatever one makes of that, two things emerge: Čekutis is a mathematician and is allied with the main neo-Nazi currents in Lithuania, and has been for a long time, either helping found the fascist organizations, or joining early. He’s also a little too old to be given the benefit of the doubt concerning youthful internet trolling (born April 10, 1957.) The photo on the Elections Commission webpage isn’t very clear at all, and he doesn’t provide many (or any as far as I can tell) on lndp.lt, but he did show up for the ELTA press conference in 2008 where he, Marius Kundrotas of Patriotai.lt and Julius Panka, another fascist youth leader, announced the establishment of the Lithuanian Nationalist Center.
From left: Kestutis Ceponis, Lithuanian Nationalist Center chairman Marius Kundrotas (Čekutis replaced him soon after as chairman), member of the board of the Lithuanian Nationalist Center Mindaugas Simkunas, chairmain of the Union of Patriotic Lithuanian Youth Julius Panka. Photo by Gediminas Bartuska, ELTA.
Kestutis Ceponis on Elections Commission webpage
Elections Commission webpages on Ceponis (in Lithuanian, from 2008 parliamentary elections):
Candidate questionnaire: http://www.vrk.lt/rinkimai/400_lt/Kandidatai/Kandidatas23563/Kandidato23563Anketa.html
Assets and income declaration: http://www.vrk.lt/rinkimai/400_lt/Kandidatai/Kandidatas23563/Kandidato23563Deklaracijos.html
Candidate biography: http://www.vrk.lt/rinkimai/400_lt/Kandidatai/Kandidatas23563/Kandidato23563Biografija.html
Declaration of interests: http://www.vrk.lt/rinkimai/400_lt/Kandidatai/Kandidatas23563/Kandidato23563InteresuDeklaracija.html
Zygeivis’s enemies list thread:
Rare picture of Ceponis in the light of, well, a news agency studio (pasted above, below contains photo and article in Lithuanian, not clear if the fascist organization held their congress at ELTA, usurped the ELTA logo or briefed reporters at ELTA after the fact):
Pensive Ceponis at another fascist news conference (second from left, if I’m not mistaken) after he is re-elected a member of the board of the Lithuanian Nationalist Center:
photo: ELTA/M. Ambrazas
Ceponis lives in the Ignalina area, mainly populated by Russian-speakers brought in to service the nuclear plant there in the Soviet Union. While the rank-and-file neo-Nazis were assembling to march in Vilnius on March 11, reports from Facebook observers came in that the inner core, the elite, the creme-de-la-creme of Lithuanian neo-fascism were traveling north to spend the weekend in Ignalina. Well, there is a big park up there, even if the weather was subzero, so maybe they were just going camping.
And maybe the enemies list is just a joke. Like the slogan, “no gays, no blacks, no reds, no camp Gypsies”, there’s surely a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of this.