.LGL released the following statement in For LGBT Equality earlier today
The Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) today partially won its appeal against the decision of the Vilnius City Municipality to disallow the upcoming Baltic Pride march to be held on Gedimino Prospect, the main street of Vilnius. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court ruled that the decision of the municipality was not legal.
The organizers of Baltic Pride and the municipality must now restart the process of negotiating the location for the Baltic Pride march.
Officially speaking, the annual neo-Nazi march on Lithuania’s independence day earlier this month, complete with swastikas, sieg heils and white power jackets, had been “moved” by the municipality from Vilnius’s central boulevard, Gedimino, to the rather less prestigious location across the river in Shnípishok (Šnipiškės), and the move was confirmed by the courts. But it was all a fiction. On the day, the police facilitated the neo-Nazis’ march up Gedimino as usual without the slightest hint of disapproval, let alone transfer to one of the bridges leading across the river. See our report, and the eyewitness accounts by Anna Shepherd and Geoff Vasil.
Reporting in today’s Lrytas.lt (Lietuvos rytas), Dovydas Pancerovas describes the parliamentary honors bestowed on organizers of last Monday’s March 11th neo-Nazi march on the main boulevard, Gedimino, of the nation’s capital, Vilnius (DH eyewitness reports by Anna Shepherd and Geoff Vasil; see also page 1 report). The following translation from the original Lithuanian is by Geoff Vasil.
O P I N I O N
by Anna Shepherd
Westerners looking at the political landscape of Lithuania should not be duped into thinking, as has been stated on this site before, that those sitting on a board for Jewish cemeteries are necessarily in it for their dedication to the Litvak heritage, or, as I am about to illustrate here, that those sitting in committees for defending equal rights are necessarily in favor of universal equal rights.
The question we need to examine is why someone opposed to equal rights would aim to become a spokesperson of those same rights. Membership of such a committee or board can in fact be a good opportunity to hijack a concept in order to hide certain failures and shortcomings and to tailor its meaning to fit certain political goals. This is what in my opinion is happening in the appointment of Leonard Talmont as Chair and Mantas Adomėnas as Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights.
LGBT Equality (the LGL — Lithuanian Gay League) today issued a statement on its website urging the Vilnius municipality to change its heart over a decision to ban the Baltic Pride march from the capital’s center in the summer of 2013, just as Lithuania will proudly be assuming the rotating chairmanship of the European Union. The statement follows an earlier 16 January statement.
In the meantime, a nationalist website has announced that the March 11th 2013 neo-Nazi march will proceed on the capital’s central boulevard as always, irrespective of any requests from the municipality. The statement is signed by a former long-term high official of the Genocide Research Center who was involved in organizing various neo-Nazi marches and defending them publicly.Continue reading
LGBT Equality (the LGL — Lithuanian Gay League) today issued a statement on its website concerning the progress of the application to the Vilnius municipality to hold the Baltic Pride 2013 March for Equality on Gedimino Boulevard, the capital’s central avenue, on 27 July 2013.
In the meantime, the municipality, though it has requested that the neo-Nazi march planned for the nation’s March 11th independence day be moved from Gedimino Boulevard (where it has regularly been held since 2008 with participation of right-wing members of parliament and with few or no objections from Western embassies), seems not to be pursuing that request with any verve.
VILNIUS YEARS GONE BY:
Video of the first (2008) neo-Nazi march in the city center
Eyewitness account of 2010 Baltic Pride March across the river
Eyewitness account of 2011 Neo-Nazi March in the city center
The following are among the envelopes designed by Antanas Šakalys who continues to be honored by his (other) works being exhibited at both Vilnius University and the Central Post Office in the Lithuanian capital. Details and further links.
These samples are categorized as follows:
Holocaust Distortion/Inversion (blaming of victims, honoring of perpetrators, defamation of historians)
As of today, both Vilnius University and the Central Post Office are still featuring the “historic envelope art” of designer Antanas Šakalys, though neither of the prestigious venues publicly includes any samples of his antisemitic, Holocaust-distorting and homophobic output.
O P I N I O N
A dedicated Facebook page provides facts and photos on today’s dignified and courageous demonstration by a small group of young Lithuanian human rights advocates against Vilnius University’s proceeding with an exhibition of an envelope designer whose work features flagrant antisemitic, homophobic and racist material (larger selection here).
Fiokla Kiure’s images of the event are available here; a small selection follows this article.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bloomington-Borns Program Manipulated?, LGBT Rights, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Racism, Richard Maullin, Russian Speakers' Personal Status, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Anna Shepherd, Antanas Sakalys, Antisemitism in Lithuania, Dan Opatoshu, Daniel Berg, Fairbank Maslin, FM3, homophobia in Lithuania, Richard Maullin, Tina Lunson, Vilnius University, Vilnius University Library, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Vilnius Yiddish Summer Program
by Eglė Samoškaitė
Translation of Ms. Samoškaitė’s Lithiuanian article that appeared in today’s Delfi.lt.
Representatives from New Left organization were angered by an exhibit of envelope art by graphic artist Antanas Šakalys scheduled to go on display at Vilnius University library because the artist earlier had used antisemitic and homophobic illustrations on envelopes.
Dovid Katz, who was born in America but lives in Lithuania, published on his website Defendinghistory.com several of Šakalys’s envelopes which human rights experts characterized as antisemitic.
According to Vilnius University’s website, a ceremony to open an exhibition of “envelope art” by Antanas Šakalys will be held in the White Hall of the university’s main library on 27 September at 2 PM. Mr. Šakalys’s antisemitic postcards were on sale for many years at the capital’s main Post Office, and were exposed in 2008 by the Jewish community’s newspaper, Jerusalem of Lithuania.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bloomington-Borns Program Manipulated?, Collaborators Glorified, Events, Human Rights, LGBT Rights, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Racism, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Yiddish Affairs
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
Vytautas Landsbergis is one of the giants of the late twentieth century. Along with Poland’s Lech Wałęsa and then-Czechoslovakia’s Václav Havel, Landsbergis led his people from foreign domination to freedom and democracy. Nothing these gentlemen might later on have said or done to their own legacies, particularly in the subsequent century, can detract from their singular achievements in contributing to the downfall of the Soviet Union and the freedom of the subjugated nations on its western periphery.
Posted in Double Games, Dovid Katz, Human Rights, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Legacy of 23 June 1941, LGBT Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roma
Tagged Ambrazevicius Brazaitis, Jewish + Lithuania, Maceva, SLS (Summer Literary Seminars), Vytautas Landsbergis
The Union of Lithuanian Nationalist Youth (ULNY), one of the organizers of the annual neo-Nazi march in the center of Vilnius on the nation’s independence day, has been made a member of the Lithuanian Council of Youth Organizations, a body that is a recipient of European Union structural funds as well as Lithuanian government funding.
Media reports confirm that at the national conference last weekend, there were no votes against granting the ULNY full membership in the nationwide umbrella organization of accredited youth groups eligible for state funding. The vote was 19 in favor, zero against with seven abstentions.
O P I N I O N
by Geoff Vasil
Back in 2008 a friend and I put subtitles to the march by Lithuanian neo-Nazis through the capital, Vilnius, on independence day, and put the video with subtitles up on YouTube. Back then there was almost zero mention of the march where openly fascist youth chanted slogans about attacking and killing Jews and Russians, and the de rigueur “Juden raus.” Following the YouTube posting and as news travelled around the world, certain Lithuanian media figures and politicians felt the need to at least say something. Not much, but something.
Posted in "Vilnius Jewish Public Library", Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Events, Geoff Vasil, Humor (Of Sorts), LGBT Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches
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.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Dovid Katz, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, LGBT Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, US State Dept Manipulated?
Tagged Emanuelis Zingeris, Kazimieras Uoka, neo-Nazi march in Kaunas, Petras Grazuils, Rima Baskiene, swastikas in Lithuania, Visa Marija Cigrijene, Vytautas Landsbergis
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.
O P I N I O N
by Geoff Vasil
On Wednesday, November 16th 2011, the Tolerance Center in Vilnius hosted a conference called: Tolerance and Totalitarianism. Challenges to Freedom.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Events, Geoff Vasil, LGBT Rights, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas
Tagged Antisemitism in Lithuania, Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Emanuelis Zingeris, Hannah Rosenthal, Holocaust commemoration in the Baltics, Holocaust in Lithuania, Irena Veisaite, Jewish Affairs in Lithuania, Jewish Community of Lithuania, Jews in Lithuania, Litvaks, Markas Zingeris, President Obama's Envoy on Antisemitism, Red-Brown Commission, Ronaldas Racinskas, Sarunas Liekis, Simon Gurevich, Simonas Gurevicius, Tolerance Center
The infamous cartoon of The Jew and The Gay holding up the world was featured in Respublika and other mass circulation newspapers in Lithuania in 2004, and again from 2009. See our reports here, here and here. It came back to the newspaper today.
In a new essay, published in Lithuanian on 2 February , and in English on 7 February 2011, MEP Professor Leonidas Donskis takes to task Lithuanian commentators and politicians who have attacked the European Parliament for daring to criticize proposed new homophobic legislation making its way through the Lithuanian Parliament. He also takes note of the unfortunate role of state security services in realms they should have nothing to do with in an EU democracy, while bemoaning their total lack of concern with politicians and their top advisors who flirt openly with neo-Nazi ideology and policies. He writes: ‘Perhaps it is time to worry about the stench from the rising tide of fascist ideas and interpretations of history in our political life and media instead.’ Full text here.