JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office here today released the text of a letter sent by director Dr. Efraim Zuroff to the mayor of Kaunas, Lithuania, Andrius Kupčinskas, concerning the neo-Nazi march scheduled for February 16th. See also Defending History’s correspondence with the mayor’s office and our background summary.
The text of the letter is as follows:
February 12, 2015
Meras Andrius Kupčinskas
Laisves al. 96 201 kab.
Dear Mayor Kupčinskas,
I am writing to you as a Jew with deep family roots in Lithuania, who has visited your city several times and who has personally monitored neo-Nazi marches held in Kaunas in 2013 and 2014.
As you well know, once again the neo-Nazis and ultranationalists plan to march in the center of Kaunas this coming Monday, February 16 to mark Lithuanian independence day.
I think that it should be obvious to you that such a march in which the main slogan is “Lithuania for Lithuanians,” and numerous Lithuanian swastikas are shown along with the image of Third Reich supporter Juozas Ambrazevičius who collaborated with the Nazis in the murder of the Jewish residents of Kaunas is hardly an appropriate manner to celebrate Lithuanian independence.
Under such circumstances, I would hope that legal basis exists to cancel the march, or at least have it conducted elsewhere, under strict limitations against incitement and Holocaust distortion.
I look forward to your response.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff
Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Israel Office