HUMAN RIGHTS | ANTISEMITISM | NEO-NAZI MARCHES | IN VLNIUS | KAUNAS | RIGA
VILNIUS—DefendingHistory.com invites citizens and visitors in town, and the Human Rights community especially, to come join the annual monitoring mission that will meet this Saturday, 11 March, at 3:30 PM at the Bell Tower on Cathedral square. From 2008, the year the center of Vilnius was first gifted by the municipality to the neo-nazis on the nation’s cherished March 11th independence day, the Vilnius-based team has been keeping track of the annual event, which has caused unbearable pain to the last Holocaust survivors and their families, not least because the marchers often flaunt placards glorifying various specific local Holocaust collaborators, in what appears to be a kind of celebration of the murder of the country’s Jewish citizens in the Holocaust. Since 2009, the team has been monitoring personally, on an annual basis, at the same time silently protesting and commemorating the annihilated Jewish population of the city that was once called Jerusalem of Lithuania. The march’s Facebook page is here.
The following is today’s public entry on the Facebook page of DH’s editor, Dovid Katz:
AGAIN, in 2017, will the president and prime minister of Lithuania, and mayor of its beautiful, inspiring capital city Vilnius, really gift the very center of town (from the medieval Cathedral, all the way up Gedimino Blvd, ending at Parliament Square), on this Saturday’s cherished March 11th Independence Day celebration — indeed cherished by all the free world — to the neo-nazis who spew hate, intolerance and macabre glorification of local Holocaust collaborators, in effect celebrating the annihilation of the country’s Jewish citizens?
WE HOPE, in the spirit of those old-style Jewish wedding invitations (“to be held in Jerusalem, unless Messiah tarries, in which case here in Malát”, say), that the powers that me will even now, at the last minute, MOVE the neo-fascist thugs to enable them to exercise their free speech rights in Balbírishok or Meyshególe or even Di Línke Shnípishok, NOT in the heart of the capital, which signals official legitimization and more than tacit support, all the more so when the Israeli ambassador and others fear and fail to utter even the mildest public word urging the march be moved. (Last year, pouring salt on the Jewish wounds of Lithuania, the Israeli ambassador went to Kaunas a month after that city’s march to THANK and PRAISE the mayor and city council for their attention to Jewish plaques, memorials, medals, photo-ops and PR. Report: https://defendinghistory.com/a-month-after-kaunas-marc…/86306).
HOWEVER, if that will not happen, our small DefendingHistory.com team will again be on hand to (a) monitor and document and (b) silently, peacefully protest, remembering particularly the 70,000 Jews of Vilna and its region butchered at nearby Ponár.
IN THAT CASE, we’ll be meeting at 15:30 (3:30 PM) sharp at the Bell Tower in Cathedral Square… PLEASE COME AND JOIN!
For our documentation of previous year’s Vilnius marches of this ilk please see:
On Kaunas marches:
On the annual Riga Waffen SS marches (this year’s coming up next Thursday, 16th of March):