by Frank Brendle (Berlin)
The German Government has repudiated the trivialization of Nazi regime by the ambassador of the European Union in Afghanistan, Vygaudas Ušackas, a former foreign minister of Lithuania. In a 6 December Wall Street Journal article, Ušackas called Nazi rule in Lithuania “a few years’ respite from the Communists.” An apology was called for by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office, and a debate ensued.
But Ušackas remains in office.
The German Government, in a response to a “Minor Interpellation” initiated by The Left Party, said that any positive assessment of national-socialist tyranny cannot be an option. The Foreign Office added this had been expressed face-to-face within the EU-bureaucracy.
The spokeswoman for internal affairs of The Left Party, MP Ulla Jelpke, declared today in a press statement that she wonders why Ušackas remains in office. She went on to say that if the European Union takes its own values seriously, it cannot agree to to be represented by someone who adores Nazi tyranny as a comfortable and peaceful period.
Ulla Jelpke’s complete statement is posted on her website.
A PDF of the entire German parliamentary procedure concerning the Ušackas affair is available here.
Efraim Zuroff’s overview of the tendency to glorify Nazism in parts of Eastern Europe, including the Ušackas debacle, appeared in Haaretz on 13 January 2012.