Will Lithuania’s Leaders Let 25th Independence Day be Marred by Neo-Nazis Commandeering Capital’s Center?
Last-minute statements from the head of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, and the Simon Wiesenthal’s Center director of East European Affairs. From Prof. Pinchos Fridberg.
Appeals from Dr. Zuroff to the mayor of Vilnius, and Dr. Vilhjálmsson to the Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI).
Still no public statement from the HRMI or the Bagels or other funded human rights monitors. Chronicle of previous marches from 2008 to 2015.
As Lithuania celebrates the 25th anniversary of its heroic and historically pivotal declaration of independence from the USSR, will the mayor, prime minister and president actually allow neo-Nazis, racists, antisemites, and other far-right ultranationalists to occupy the capital’s main boulevard on independence day, this Wednesday, March 11th? The 2014 march featured incessant shouts of Lietuva Lietuviams (“Lithuania for [pure ethnic] Lithuanians”), swastikas, white power symbols and a huge banner glorifying a major local Nazi collaborator — the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister who supported the humiliation, pillage and murder the Jewish citizens of his own city, Kaunas (and whose remains the state repatriated and reburied with full honors in 2012).
Wiesenthal Center and Defending History to Monitor
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director of East European Affairs, is flying in to lead the monitoring group in partnership with Defending History. Friends of Lithuania’s European Union values and opponents of the far right, racist, antisemitic and Holocaust-distorting establishment are invited to join Wednesday March 11th at 3 PM (15:00) at Cathedral Square in silent, peaceful monitoring and protest in memory of the victims of the Lithuanian Holocaust (background reading).