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.
Controversial Nationalists Honored at Parliament
by Dovydas Pancerovas
15 March 2013
The organizers of the unsanctioned march were honored at parliament. Police are studying materials on the illicit march on March 11 and the ruling coalition in parliament have condemned the event, but the Union of Lithuanian Nationalist Youth was nominated for the Civic and Patriotic Youth Initiatives awards. Nationalist organization leader Julius Panka was there, at the March 11 Hall in the Lithuanian parliament.
The event was the idea of conservative Agnė Bilotaitė. “We are here today to offer our thanks to you,” the MP told the young people assembled there. The patron of these awards was conservative Vytautas Landsbergis, the leader of the struggle for the restoration of Lithuanian independence.
The event was held to honor patriotic and ethnic youth organizations and initiatives.
The Union of Lithuanian Nationalist Youth could have won in the category of “Most Nationalist/Ethnic Youth Organization.” The nationalists were honored “for the courage to be proud while everyone else is ashamed.” A video clip was screened at parliament presenting the activities of the controversial youth organization.
The winner in this category turned out to be the Lithuanian Union of Sharpshooters.
The judges’ panel which selected the nominations was comprised of conservative leader Irena Degutienė, professor Liudas Mažylis, pedagogue Algimantas Masaitis, philologist Kazimieras Garšva, the singer called Stano and representative of the Youth Affairs Department Kristina Dambrauskaitė.
The Union of Lithuanian Nationalist Youth is an organization of nationalists. It organizes the controversial marches in Vilnius on March 11 and in Kaunas on February 16. These marches include the shouting of the slogan “Lithuania for Lithuanians.” The marches came to the public’s attention several years ago. At that time they chanted “Lithuania is good without Russians,” “Kill this little Jew” and “Juden raus.”
The nationalists are against Lithuanian membership in the European Union. They are also against sexual minorities and non-Lithuanian ethnic communities. They do not condemn skinheads who are known for racist attacks. “We do not tolerate injustice or violations of law or morality. We do not like perverts, criminals and other evil-doers, and it doesn’t matter at all what their ethnicity is, we do not like immoral Lithuanians either,” the organization explains on its webpage.