VILNIUS—The pseudonymous neo-Nazi blogger “Zeppelinus,” long alleged to be the alias of a high official in the Ministry of the Economy (DH still awaits a reply to our open letter of 2013 to the relevant minister), is notorious for his racist, antisemitic, and homophobic images that continue to needlessly damage Lithuania’s good name (sampling at end of article). This web journal’s editor has long been one of his many photoshop and photofake targets, naturally a source of pride for any and all within Vilnius’s bona fide human rights community. As some Lithuanian human rights activists put it, “If you didn’t make it into Zeppelinus’s sicko gallery, you’re not really doing enough for human rights in this country.”
Last August, Zeppelinus “kindly urged” the chairperson of the Jewish community to follow up on her dismissal of the chief rabbi of eleven years’ standing with expulsion of Dovid Katz and his šutvė (‘gang’ or ‘band of criminals’; ironically the word is a borrowing into Lithuanian from the Lithuanian Yiddish shútef ‘partner’, shútfes ‘partnership’, ultimately of Hebrew origin; cf. modern Israeli shutáf, shutafút). In a Facebook reply, Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė (one of the Defending History contributors the neo-Nazi has attacked) duly replied that she is proud to be part of such a šutvė. Chief rabbi Chaim Burshtein was publicly sacked over his opposition to building a $25,000,000 convention center in the heart of the old Jewish cemetery). The ironies of a major neo-Nazi publicist asking the titular head of a Jewish community to expel the Jews he doesn’t like did not escape local observers. Nor did it escape them that he thinks the head of a minority community in Lithuania has the powers to expel legal residents of Lithuania at the whim of a cowardly pseudonymous neo-Nazi blogger.
After last week’s Defending History preview and coverage of a Vilnius conference dedicated to antisemitism and extremism, the alleged Economy Ministry bigwig has now launched a new broadside against editor Dovid Katz (with new “fixed photo” and the works) as well as a condemnatory listing of various other activists in Lithuania who stand up to antisemitism by speaking out.
Some samples of Zeppelinus’s past contributions to Lithuanian society:
- Translation of the five speech bubbles:
- “Let’s nail him to the cross for saying that”
- “The minister will kiss the shoes of the ambassadors and of [Efraim] Zuroff”
- “He does not believe! He is asking questions! That’s heresy”
- “Freedom of speech is just for us, not you”
- “The Soviets committed genocide? That’s slander”
- Translation of text at bottom:
- Where has the spirit of the Lithuanian constitution hidden itself?
- Come and defend our freedom!
- The individual has the right to hold his own views and to express them openly –article 25 of the constitution
- The individual is considered innocent for so long as his guilt has not been proven in the manner prescribed by law –article 31 of the constitution
- In the Republic of Lithuania only the courts dispense justice — article 109 of the constitution
- “ …The suggestion is to grant Lithuanian citizenship under special circumstances…”
- “Please [go ahead and] deny [what I said]”
- Translation of text at bottom:
- Kaunas, February 16, 2013 [day of neo-Nazi march in Kaunas on the national holiday celebrating the independence of 1918]
- If to believe the tales of the antifascists and Jewish activists
- “Thank you for our victory”
- On March 11, we,
- antifascists, feminists, NK95 members and pedosceptics,
- human rights observers,
- expansion of homosexuality
- activists and members of other tolerant orientations,
- are holding a parade,
- which we are ringingly calling
- the march of freedom.
- Would you like to