O P I N I O N
by Jacob Piliansky
Iam proud to be a Litvak, and I am proud to be a citizen of independent and democratic Lithuania. I very much enjoy walking in our city’s delightful Vingis Park, as well as downtown in the beautiful city center area.
However, I feel suddenly both sad and shocked, when I see neo-Nazi parades with swastikas and other fascist symbols along Gedimino Boulevard on our independence day repeating the yelled chants of “Lithuania for [ethnic] Lithuanians.”
And I feel both sad and shocked when I see, in Vingis Park each year, wreaths of fresh roses placed by my country’s officials on a monument to Hitler’s soldiers in the park. No matter how it is dressed up, or dressed down, such a regularly repeated protocol sends a clear message. The message is that Hitler and his collaborators were right to murder — and to plunder at will the possessions of — some 96.4% of the innocent civilian population of Lithuanian Jewry.
Related: Page, section & petition on glorification of collaborators; reburial of collaborator. Section on neo-Nazi marches; Vilnius 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008; Kaunas 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011; section on: Antisemitism; Jacob Piliansky’s comments included in the film Defending Holocaust History (at time code 50:03).
I feel optimistic that the Beigelių krautuvėlė project (the “Bagel Shop”), committed to fighting antisemitism and fostering tolerance, will take these matters into consideration.
My recent photographs of the Vingis Park memorial with various wreaths: