Below, (1) the text of DH’s letter to the mayor of Kaunas, (2) the response received today from his office, and (3) our further response, in connection with the annual neo-Nazi march planned for 16 February 2015 in central Kaunas. See also section on previous marches, and our 3 February 2014 correspondence with the Kaunas police. Note that a banner featuring a major Kaunas Holocaust collaborator, the Nazi puppet prime minister Juozas Ambrazevicius Brazaitis (reburied with full honors as a hero in Kaunas, in 2012), is depicted in a 2014 photograph used by the march’s organizers to advertise the 2015 event.
Tag Archives: Ambrazevicius Brazaitis
Over 1,000 March in Kaunas City Center with Banner Honoring the 1941 Nazi Puppet Prime Minister who Helped Send City’s 30,000 Jews to their Death
PRESS: ALFA.LT; ALKAS.LT; BALSAS.LT; DELFI.LT; JERUSALEM POST; KAUNODIENA.LT; SWC REPORT; TV: KAUNAS NEWS; OPINION: Olga Zabludoff; Efraim Zuroff
Lithuanian TV interviews with Efraim Zuroff and Dovid Katz:
The following comment by Professor Pinchos Fridberg was posted in Tablet on 11 February 2014, as a comment on a previous comment by Dr. Efraim Zuroff in the same discussion. See also Defending History sections on Prof. Fridberg and Dr. Zuroff.
Kaunas, February 16th; Vilnius, March 11th; Riga, March 16th:
Will Lithuania’s President and Prime Minister Speak Out to Stop City-Centers on Independence Days Being Gifted to Neo-Nazis Again to Glorify the Holocaust’s Local Collaborators?
Last year, the president, prime minister and mayor failed to rise to the occasion of the neo-Nazi marches
First Stop — Kaunas on February 16th
The following is a verbatim reprint of Monica Lowenberg’s December 2012 petition on Change.org. Embedded links have been added, marked by underlining, referring readers to further coverage on Defending History pages which link to various sources providing more background.
Petitioning HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė
This petition will be delivered to:
- Lithuanian Ambassador for London, UK
- HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė
Abandon state sponsored Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Obfuscation
- Petition by
- Monica Lowenberg
- London, United Kingdom
Following the announcement that the Lithuanian Embassy is one of the generous co-sponsors of this month’s London conference on Jewish-Lithuanian issues including the Holocaust, we the undersigned ask the Embassy’s public support on the following urgent matters:
1) Rapid and elegant public apologies, released prior to the conference, to the Jewish Holocaust Survivors defamed in recent years by Lithuanian prosecutors, media and some government officials. The survivors are in their late 80s and 90s, making time essential if there is going to be a symbolic amelioration in the manner in which the Lithuanian state is ending a 700 year old history of Jewish settlement, and on what note, with the last survivors of the bona fide pre Holocaust generation. Most urgently, Rachel Margolis; also: Yitzhak Arad and Fania Brantsovsky and Joseph Melamed.
O P I N I O N
The letter below was sent by then MP Denis MacShane to the director-general of the Imperial War Museum on 18 September 2012. It was released for publication in 2013, and now appears in its chronological (time of writing) slot in Defending History’s Denis MacShane section.
- Ms Diane Lees
- Imperial War Museum
- Lambeth Road
- London SE1 6HZ
Dear Ms Lees:
I write to you as one of the MPs who takes a special interest in contemporary antisemitism. I chaired the All Party Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the problem, have written a well-received book “Globalising Hatred: The New Antisemitism” (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2008/9), and lecture and write all over the world on the return of the racist ideology of antisemitism in the 21st century.
Thus as a life-long supporter of the Imperial War Museum, and one particularly proud that this magnificent British institution encompasses the excellent Holocaust Exhibition, I write to express some urgent concern that IWM might unwittingly be drawn into a plan by certain far-right or ultranationalist circles in the current Lithuanian government to abuse the good name and offices of IWM in an attempt to legitimise the profoundly problematic “Genocide Centre” in Lithuania, in a series of meetings scheduled for this month, apparently organised by the Lithuanian Embassy here in London.
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
Vytautas Landsbergis is one of the giants of the late twentieth century. Along with Poland’s Lech Wałęsa and then-Czechoslovakia’s Václav Havel, Landsbergis led his people from foreign domination to freedom and democracy. Nothing these gentlemen might later on have said or done to their own legacies, particularly in the subsequent century, can detract from their singular achievements in contributing to the downfall of the Soviet Union and the freedom of the subjugated nations on its western periphery.
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
This is a slightly edited reprint of the comment posted today in reply to the article “Lithuania under the Nazis: Hero or Villain?” on the Economist’s online “Eastern Approaches” section, at: http://www.economist.com/comment/1472788#comment-1472788.
Many thanks to the Economist and its online Eastern Approaches section for highlighting this important issue that so many others have just swept under the rug. But frankly speaking, it does our Lithuanian friends no good to slant each report in the direction of sophisticated apologetics for the Lithuanian (and other regional) governments’ tragic veering to the far right on issues of historic integrity, human rights, freedom of speech, antisemitism, racism, gay rights, and perhaps above all, state-sponsored adulation of local Nazi war criminals and collaborators, and actual local mass murderers of the region’s Jewish population. It was, alas, a level of participation that resulted in the Baltics having the highest percentage of murder of its Jewish population in Holocaust-era Europe.
VMU in Kaunas Sinking Further into Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis Morass, as Historians Join Glorifiers for Yet Another Event
[Updates inserted in square brackets.] According to the website of Vytautas Magnus Univeristy, another event on Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis, the Nazi puppet “prime minister” of Lithuania who presided over the onset of the genocide of Lithuanian Jewry, will be held tomorrow, 24 May 2012, in the same VMU building (at Donelaičio Street 52) which is reputed to house both a lecture hall (room no. 608) and a bas-relief honoring the wartime fascist. Tomorrow’s event has also been announced on Bernardinai.lt. [Editor’s note of 24 May 2012: Shortly after the appearance of this article, the VMU website program was withdrawn; a screen shot appears below toward the end of this article.]
It is only a week since Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) withdrew from hosting a conference to honor the memory of the wartime collaborator in circumstances that have led to substantial confusion and conflict.
International Christian Embassy Directors in Lithuania Speak Out on the Glorification of Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis
Michael and Fausta Maass, directors of the Lithuania section of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) issued the following statement today.
“The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, Lithuanian section, calls upon the Lithuanian government and parliament, the Kaunas mayor’s office, the Church of the Resurrection in Kaunas, and other possibly participating entities involved in the ceremonies honoring Juozas Ambrazavičius-Brazaitis, to cancel any and all such ceremonies.
Ambrazevičius, the “provisional government” of 1941 which he led, and the closely associated Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) were complicit in the murders of many thousands of Lithuanian Jews before and during the German occupation of Lithuania.