Masked Men Throw Smoke Bombs in Small Vilnius Theater, Disrupt Film on Anti-Fascists

On Monday evening 2 May (Yom Hashoah), at about 7 PM, five or six masked perpetrators forced their way into a small theater in Vilnius showing a film about the formation of the anti-fascist movement in France and hurled military-type smoke bombs at the screen. Viewers, including a child, fled in panic and unable to breathe. Some witnesses claimed they saw members of the Lithuanian military participating.

About twenty people had gathered at the Artoteka on Strazdelis Street in central Vilnius to view Antifa: Chasseurs de skins shown by the Lithuanian Free University. Witnesses said the young masked men acted quickly according to some plan and carried batons.

In the article covering the incident, police allegedly said similar attacks with smoke bombs have been happening lately against restaurants opened by foreigners in Vilnius. A subsequent Lrytas article claimed that Lithuanian military personnel participated in the masked attack on the small anti-fascist event in the nation’s capital. This was denied by the military and the defense minister.

The coverage reported on police police speculating the attack was related to Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). reports that video cameras recorded the attack which took place about one block away from the Green House, the only Holocaust museum in Vilnius.

For several years skinheads used to gather in the evening outside the Green House on Sugihara Square, a small square with a statue honoring the Japanese diplomat who rescued Jews during the Holocaust in Lithuania. That small group of skinheads apparently lived in different apartments near the square and museum, and so near the Artoteka art studio as well.

Comments under both articles indicate the neo-Nazis are attempting to blame the Lithuanian Association of Tolerant Youth for the attack as a false-flag intended to gain public sympathy. Tolerant Youth supports gay rights. Ricardas Cekutis, the “public relations specialist” at the Genocide Center, made the same claim regarding the hoisting of Nazi flags in Vilnius, Kaunas and Panevezys on Hitler’s birthday last month, telling the media Tolerant Youth had done this to defame Lithuanian patriots.

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