Monica Lowenberg

Latvian Ambassador to the UK Comments on March 16th Waffen SS March in Riga


LONDON—Latvia’s ambassador to the UK has responded to a UK Conservative Party MP’s question about the Waffen SS events held in the center of Latvia’s capital, Riga, on March 16th each year. The office of UK Parliament MP David Amess, who represents Southend West, released the response dated 1 March 2013, which he received from the Latvian ambassador to the UK, HE Eduards Stiprais. It is reproduced in full below (as PDF here), courtesy of the office of Monica Lowenberg in London, whose petition and media guide have brought the Latvian SS marches to increased international scrutiny.

MONICA LOWENBERG’S REPLY TO THE LATVIAN AMBASSADOR IN 2012

See also Monica Lowenberg’s 2012 exchange of ideas with the Latvian ambassador to the UK. More in Defending History’s Latvia section.

Ambassador Stiprais’s letter to MP Amess:

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End of the World. And the Day After …



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

 

It is the 24th of December 2012, three days after the announced end of the world. I am sitting at my desk drinking a cup of a tea. No gaping hole has suddenly swallowed me up, no heavens have collapsed, no earthquakes have caused Tsunamis to sweep coastal towns. My cat is blissfully unaware of the commotion millions of people around the world have caused on mountain tops, at sacred sites and even in a museum in Russia which for apparently only $1,500 offered salvation in the underground bunker of the former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Apparently the museum sold all 1,000 tickets in one fell swoop and I am sure now regret that they offered a 50% discount if nothing happened. Tant pis. It is amazing how people will believe anything today. Even some very intelligent people.

The last time I looked at the international petition site I set up against the SS marches in Latvia, in number one place, above any human rights cause, came the rights of Shetland ponies. I am not sure what happened to the Shetland ponies but clearly something must have, as thousands and thousands of people across the world vitriolically and vociferously protested and voted for their rights and rightly so. However, when it comes to the rights of humans the voting finger is in most cases nowhere to be seen.

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December 2012 London Conference at UCL and Protest (Box Coverage to 24 Dec)



DOCUMENTS: Petition (with links; with select signatures) ◊ Petitioner’s dossierUPDATES: Petition’s first effect ◊ Jewish Chronicle ◊ London Jewish News ◊ UCL Hebrew Dept lets Holocaust survivors down ◊ Disinformation campaign ◊ Monica Lowenberg looks back at the events (24 Dec. 2012)LETTERS: Alumnus writes to provost (& to ambassador) ◊ Ruth Barnett ◊ Hans Coppi  (English) ◊ (Rachel Margolis’s cousin) Budd Margolis ◊ Gert Weisskirchen

PROTEST AT LITHUANIAN EMBASSY IN LONDON

VIDEO FROM THE EVENT: 12, and 3

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Within Days of Monica Lowenberg’s Petition, Vilnius Municipality Tries to Move March 11th 2013 Neo-Nazi March Away from City Center


Several days after Monica Lowenberg’s petition was presented to the Lithuanian embassy in London, one of the petition’s points was partly acted on, at least as far as a press release goes, by a governmental agency in Lithuania, notably the Vilnius municipality.

PUBLIC PETITIONS HAVE AN EFFECT!

Point no. 4 of Ms. Lowenberg’s petition reads:

4) A commitment to disallow the neo-Nazi parades in the city centres of Vilnius and Kaunas on national Independence Day holidays in 2013 (with no prejudice to reassignment of venues on free speech grounds to sites and dates that do not heavily imply state support).

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UCL Hebrew-Jewish Studies Dept Rejects Request for Five Minutes for Holocaust Survivor to Read Petition at Lithuanian Gov. Sponsored Conference


London observers were wondering whether the medal Professor Antony Polonsky received earlier this year from the president of Lithuania for his PR work for the Lithuanian government may have something to do with his denial of Monica Lowenberg’s request, asking for five minutes for her father, a Holocaust survivor, to read out at next week’s conference her petition to the Lithuanian government, proposing constructive solutions to the issues at hand. The petition has to date garnered over 250 signatories from two dozen countries. The following is the correspondence, which started with Ms. Lowenberg’s appeal to Professor Ada Rapoport-Albert and Dr. Francois Guesnet. Dr. Guesnet, the Corob Reader in Jewish History at UCL is one of the conference coordinators on behalf of the Lithuanian government funded institutions financing the conference. Holocaust survivors consulted cannot understand why safe and secure academics who hold high posts at Western institutions should so fear “even to give five minutes for somebody else to come and disagree” with the conference’s pay-masters in the freedom of the British capital.

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On Free Speech at University College London



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

The following letter to the provost of University College London was released for publication today by Ms. Lowenberg’s office.


 

To the Provost

Dear Professor Grant,

Please find pasted below correspondence between myself and Dr Francois Guenest of UCL and Professor Polonsky who together have organised with the Lithuanian government this year’s Part 2 conference ‘No Simple Stories’ to be held next week 17-19 December at the Lithuanian embassy in London and UCL.

I requested that I read out a petition that hundreds of people across the world, scholars, survivors and others agree with, a petition that disagrees with Polonsky’s and the Lithuanian government’s interpretation of events and action. Polonsky as designated organiser has refused me the opportunity to read out the petition.

Serious questions have to now be raised about the conference, its agenda and UCL.

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The Text of Monica Lowenberg’s Petition on Change.org



The following is a verbatim reprint of Monica Lowenberg’s December 2012 petition on Change.org. Embedded links have been added, marked by underlining, referring readers to further coverage on Defending History pages which link to various  sources providing more background.


Petitioning HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė

 This petition will be delivered to:

  • Lithuanian Ambassador for London, UK
  • HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė

Abandon state sponsored Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Obfuscation

  •  Petition by
  •  Monica Lowenberg
  •  London, United Kingdom

Following the announcement that the Lithuanian Embassy is one of the generous co-sponsors of this month’s London conference on Jewish-Lithuanian issues including the Holocaust, we the undersigned ask the Embassy’s public support on the following urgent matters:

1) Rapid and elegant public apologies, released prior to the conference, to the Jewish Holocaust Survivors defamed in recent years by Lithuanian prosecutors, media and some government officials. The survivors are in their late 80s and 90s, making time essential if there is going to be a symbolic amelioration in the manner in which the Lithuanian state is ending a 700 year old history of Jewish settlement, and on what note, with the last survivors of the bona fide pre Holocaust generation. Most urgently, Rachel Margolis; also: Yitzhak Arad and Fania Brantsovsky and Joseph Melamed.

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Why Monica Lowenberg’s Petition Is So Important



O P I N I O N

Londoner Monica Lowenberg, who has done so much, with a petition and via press coverage, to keep on Britain’s political agenda the Latvian government-blessed Waffen-SS parades in Riga each year, has in one fell swoop done a huge good for sadly analogous topics pertaining to neighboring Lithuania.  By launching an international petition in advance of this month’s Lithuanian government sponsored PR conference in London, and focusing the petition on simple, virtually cost-free good-will solutions to the irksome issues in Lithuanian-Jewish relations, she has shown how easy the extant problems would be to solve if the political will were there from the state (and it is the state, not the everyday people of the country that is the cause of all these problems). A state has embarked on a foolhardy campaign to rewrite history in the direction of glorification of Hitlerist allies in Eastern Europe, precisely the opposite of the values that EU and NATO member states should be instilling in new generations of Europeans.

Ms. Lowenberg’s petition, signed by hundreds of people from a dozen countries in its first few days, begins with the simple request for a public apology by the Lithuanian government to the Holocaust survivors defamed by Lithuania’s antisemitic state prosecutors who have called the courageous Jewish ghetto survivors who joined the anti-Nazi partisans (and are heroes of the free world) — “war criminals.” For half a dozen years, the campaign has included everything from press releases saying that these survivors “cannot be found” to police actually turning up looking for two women in their late eighties.

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Monica Lowenberg’s Petition to the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, HE Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė



The text of Monica Lowenberg’s petition that appeared today on Change.org. To sign please visit:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/he-ambassador-asta-skaisgiryt%C4%97-liau%C5%A1kien%C4%97-lithuanian-ambassador-london-uk-abandon-state-sponsored-anti-semitism-and-holocaust-obfuscation


Abandon state sponsored Antisemitism and Holocaust Obfuscation

  • To:
  • HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė
  • Lithuanian Ambassador for London, UK

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Monica Lowenberg in Dialogue with Latvia’s Ambassador to the UK



D E B A T E

From the 2009 Waffen SS march in Riga. Photo Ilmars Znotins.

Monica Lowenberg is the creator of the international petition against this year’s Waffen SS march scheduled for 16 March 2012 in the heart of Riga, Latvia’s capital city. The petition has to date attracted some six thousand signatures from every part of the planet.

Its author approached the Latvian ambassador to the UK for support.

Below is his letter of 1 March (as PDF here). It is followed by the text of Monica Lowenberg’s 5 March reply, supplied to DefendingHistory.com for publication.

 

I: The Latvian Ambassador to Monica Lowenberg (1 March 2012)

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