Antisemitism & Bias

Select Bibliography: Media on Ukraine’s Holocaust Issues (2014-2015)


[Date of last update; Compiled by Dovid Katz]



June 2015

19 June 2015. Defending History: ‘Ukrainian Hitlerist icons celebrated in Weston-on-Trent in Derbyshire, England’ by J. North.

12 June 2015.  NR Handelsblad: ‘Review [in Dutch] of  Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe, Stepan Bandera: The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist. Fascism, Genocide and Cult’ by Laura Starink.

11 June 2015.  [Website of US Congressman] John Conyers Jr: ‘U.S. House passes 3 amendments by Rep. Conyers to Defense Spending Bill to protect civilians from dangers of arming and training foreign forces.

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High Intrigue Over the Fate of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery



by Dovid Katz

Updates in [brackets] to 3 July 2015

VILNIUS—According to Lithuanian media sources, including the highly respected English-language Lithuania Tribune (now merged with Delfi.lt), the government, working in concert with property developers, plans to declare the controversial project of a huge convention and entertainment center in the heart of the old Vilna Jewish cemetery site as a “project of national importance.” The move enables an application to the European Union for a grant of 13 million euros (14.64 million US dollars at current rates) as part of a grand-total (for now) of 22.8 million euros (25.67 million US dollars) for the new complex. The nation’s prime minister has told Lithuanian media that “after the modern congress center is completed, private investors could build a hotel, parking lots and other infrastructure,” eliciting fears that all of the old Jewish cemetery is becoming a cash cow slated for developers for years to come.

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Would this Building Project be Pursued if the Cemetery Were the Resting Place of Christians?



O P I N I O N    /   C H R I S T I A N – J E W I S H   R E L A T I O N S   /   C E M E T E R I E S

by Pastor Michael Maass

I would like to make an observation concerning the use of Jewish cemeteries for building projects, as this has come to be a major issue of controversy in Lithuania, and in other nations as well.

I would like to pose a question:  Would these building projects be pursued if the cemeteries in question were the resting places of Catholics, Protestant Christians, or other non-Jewish people?

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“The Naked Truth” on Lithuanian Television



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

The national Lithuanian television channel Lietuvos rytas TV recently (on May 4) broadcast a show by veteran talk-show host Rūta Grinevičiūtė (surname recently changed to Janutienė) called Nuoga Tiesa, “Naked Truth,” which posed the question, “Do you want the Jews to return again [sic] to Lithuania?” Viewers were invited to call in and/or vote by special telephone lines for Yes and No with a one euro toll per call. For that and a number of other reasons the entire program had something of the macabre about it, and although some of the guests made some important points, all of them seemed to miss certain glaring details which would have been the center of attention in the West.

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Jerusalem Debate on Antisemitism in Lithuania: Deputy Foreign Minister and Dr. Efraim Zuroff



Debate in Jerusalem, at World Forum for Combating Antisemitism, at Session on Holocaust Denial and Distortion in Eastern Europe

I: Summary document released by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry boasts of “accomplishments in liquidation of consequences of the Holocaust”

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Advertisement for Church Service Flaunts Congregation Stepping on Old Jewish Gravestones



CEMETERIES  /  REFORMED EVANGELICAL CHURCH  /  CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS

VILNIUS—The website of the Reformed Evangelical Church services this weekend advertised today’s Sunday service with a previously-made photo of pastors and worshippers posing for a photograph with their shoes pressing into the pilfered Jewish gravestones, some of which still have visible writing, of which the steps to the church are made. The church has still issued no public statement on its retention of the Soviet-era made-of-pilfered-Jewish-gravestones steps even after its much-celebrated reconstruction and restoration less than a decade ago.

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New Memorial, on State Land in Western Lithuania, Honors Alleged Murderer of Thousands of Civilians



O P I N I O N    /    C O L L A B O R A T O R S    G L O R I F I E D

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

When I wrote several years ago (Lithuanian; English) about the monument erected to Juozas Barzda at Iešnalis Lake, I thought it must have been some sort of misunderstanding.

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Wiesenthal Center Releases Vilnius Municipality’s 10 March Response to Appeal to Halt Neo-Nazi Takeover of Downtown Vilnius on Lithuania’s Independence Day


The Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center today released the response received by its director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, to his 3 March appeal to the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, the nation’s capital, to halt the planned neo-Nazi march in the city’s center on independence day, March 11th. The response was received on 10 March by emailed PDF, and seems to fail to address the requests in the letter that the municipality ensure that Nazi symbols, racially exclusionary slogans and glorification of Holocaust collaborators not be allowed in the city center on the national holiday.

Dr. Zuroff’s letter of March 3rd elicited the following reply on the 10th of March (as PDF):

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An “Inner” View of the Neo-March on Vilnius, 2015



O P I N I O N   /   N E O – N A Z I   M A R C H E S

by Geoff Vasil

 

Afunny thing happened on the way to the neo-Nazi march. I saw a man walking towards me, and thought I knew him. Apparently he thought the same thing, and we both said hello in Lithuanian as we passed one another. As I pondered how we might know each other, it came to me: I had seen him at an earlier neo-Nazi march, probably the one in Kaunas a month earlier. He thought I was a fellow marcher, apparently, or at least not an enemy to the cause.

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Defending History’s Eyewitness Report of Riga, 16 March



In the East of EU-NATO-Land: Again, Latvian Authorities Grant Riga Old Town and its “Liberty Monument” on March 16th to 1500 Worshippers of Hitler’s Waffen SS Latvian Divisions

All Waffen SS members swore an oath to Adolf Hitler, some were recycled Holocaust killers.  Lithuania’s far-right leaders J. Panka and R. Čekutis, fresh from neo-Nazi march in Vilnius, were on hand as honored guests; British neo-Nazis came for the event. For the second year in a row, the prime minister forbade ministers from attending. The antisemite who went around seeking Jewish observers to “enlighten” them (video).

Top left: Sea of flowers placed at Liberty Monument to honor Waffen SS. Top right: throng marches through historic old town. Bottom from left: heavy police presence; an antisemitic poster distributed by one of the event’s supporters.

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Zeppelinus Issues a New Hate Poster in Vilnius



Latest Poster from “Zeppelinus” Who is Alleged to be High Official at Lithuania’s Economy Ministry

NEWEST EFFORT MOCKS LOVE OF COUNTRY BY ROMA,  LEFTISTS,  JEWS,  BLACKS,  POLES AND LGBT.  SELECTION OF EARLIER PRODUCTIONS HERE.  “FULL DISCLOSURE” — HE HAS ALSO DEDICATED MONTAGES TO DH EDITOR.

Lithuania for Everyone. But where, then, is the country of the Lithuanians?” The signs read “I am Lithuania” with symbols interpolated, based on the actual sign (center) carried by head of the Union of Jewish Students at last Wednesday’s neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius.

Will the “Human Rights Monitoring Institute” maintain its usual silence? Where are The Bagels?

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Wiesenthal Center’s Press Release Following Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius



VILNIUS—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office, in Jerusalem, today issued this statement from Vilnius, where its Director for East European Affairs, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, came to monitor yesterday’s neo-Nazi march on Lithuania’s independence day, as part of his month of monitoring of all four Baltic neo-Nazi events from 16 February to 16 March.

The text of the press release follows:

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Defending History’s Eyewitness Report on Vilnius, March 11, 2015



1,500 Neo-Nazis and Far-Right Extremists Again Given Vilnius’s Main Boulevard on Nation’s March 11th Independence Day; They Parade from Cathedral Square to Nation’s Parliament with Fascist Symbols and Chants of “Lietuva Lietuviams” (Lithuania for [Pure] Lithuanians) 

STATEMENTS FROM PRECEDING DAYS;

UPDATES: FOLLOWING THE EVENT — JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LITHUANIA’S STATEMENT AND REPORTSIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER; GEOFF VASIL IN DH

Flag with Swastika Hoisted Outside Nation’s Parliament for Over an Hour

Photos: Geoff Vasil (left image) and Defending History (right image)

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An Open Letter from Professor Pinchos Fridberg



O P I N I O N

Editor’s note: The following open letter has been translated from the original Yiddish which will appear separately. See also the English version of the statement referred to in the open letter.

For many years now I have been starting the day by reading the latest on the website of the Jewish Community of Lithunia. Today for the first time in a long time I saw a published statement by chairperson Faina Kukliansky which I would happily sign on to. I would like to say: Bravo, Faina Kukliansky!

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Run-Up to the March 11, 2015 Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius…



Will Lithuania’s Leaders Let 25th Independence Day be Marred by Neo-Nazis Commandeering Capital’s Center?

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The Latest:

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).

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On Eve of Planned Neo-Nazi March, Statements by Head of Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Simon Wiesenthal Center



VILNIUS—On the eve of the planned neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius, slated for 3 PM on March 11th, Lithuania’s independence day, the chairperson of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, Faina Kukliansky, issued a statement on the community’s website, which was followed within minutes by a statement from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director of East European Affairs, Dr. Efraim Zuroff. The full text of both statements follows:

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Icelandic Author Calls on Vilnius Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) to Break Silence on Neo-Nazi Marches


REYKJAVIK—Dr. Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson, an historian, archaeologist and human rights specialist in Iceland and Denmark, who has in recent years contributed to Defending History, today released to the media his letter to the Human Rights Monitoring Institute asking if the HRMI will again this week maintain its perennial silence about the capital’s annual neo-Nazi marches on the March 11th independence day. The municipality of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, has been granting the city center on independence day to neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists who have since 2008 been chanting each year exclusivist and exclusionary slogans as well as sporting racist and Nazi signs and symbols. In recent years, they have also featured huge banners honoring a local 1941 Nazi collaborator in the Holocaust who was in 2012 reburied with full honors by the state.

The neo-Nazi marches in central Vilnius on independence day got underway in 2008.

Dr. Vilhjálmsson’s letter reads as follows:

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Efraim Zuroff Appeals to Vilnius Mayor Zuokas to Cancel Neo-Nazi March


JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office today released the following letter from its director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, to the mayor of Vilnius, Artūras Zuokas, concerning next week’s planned neo-Nazi march slated for the center of the city on the nation’s independence day.

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Lithuanian Jewish Community Issues Statement on Feb 16th 2015 March in Kaunas



The following statement appeared  today on the website of the Jewish Commnity of Lithuania:

The Position of the Lithuanian Jewish Community on the Slogan Chanted by the Lithuanian Union of Nationalist Youth, “Lithuania for Lithuanians”

The Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community, deeply upset and concerned by recent anti-Semitic attacks in the Kingdom of Denmark and France and by the rise in neo-Nazi tendencies all over Europe, calls upon the government institutions of the Lithuanian state to take stock of the situation in Lithuania at the current time. By identifying the problem of ethnic hate early, we can prevent possible tragedy in the future.

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Efraim Zuroff Leads Kaunas Protest


 


Event Summary and Links to Coverage:

Defending History’s Team of 12 Monitors & Protests Kaunas Independence Day Neo-Nazi March on Feb. 16th

Lithuanian Jewish Community Issues Statement on Feb. 20th

MARCH FEATURED LONG SERIES OF FASCIST-STYLE TAUNTS OF LIETUVA LIETUVIAMS  (“LITHUANIA FOR [ETHNIC] LITHUANIANS”) ALONG WITH SWASTIKAS, OTHER FASCIST SYMBOLS AND A HUGE BANNER OF THE 1941 NAZI PUPPET PM WHO COLLABORATED IN THE DESTRUCTION OF HIS CITY’S CITIZENS WHO WERE JEWISH. MAYOR’S OFFICE GAVE PERMITS FOR CITY CENTER TRAVESTY ON NATION’S INDEPENDENCE DAY.

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Defending History’s Eyewitness Report on Kaunas, February 16, 2015



Wiesenthal Center – Defending History Team of 12 Monitors & Protests Kaunas Independence Day Neo-Nazi March

UPDATE:

Lithuanian Jewish Community Issues Statement on Feb. 20th

MARCH FEATURED LONG SERIES OF FASCIST-STYLE TAUNTS OF LIETUVA LIETUVIAMS  (“LITHUANIA FOR [ETHNIC] LITHUANIANS”) ALONG WITHSWASTIKAS, OTHER FASCIST SYMBOLS AND A HUGE BANNER OF THE 1941 NAZI PUPPET PM WHO COLLABORATEDIN THE DESTRUCTION OF HIS CITY’S CITIZENS WHO WERE JEWISH. MAYOR’S OFFICE GAVE PERMITS FOR CITY CENTER TRAVESTY ON NATION’S INDEPENDENCE DAY.

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Wiesenthal Center’s Efraim Zuroff Writes to Mayor of Kaunas on Neo-Nazi March



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.

SEE EXTENDED COVERAGE ON PAGE 1

The text of the letter is as follows:

February 12, 2015
Meras Andrius Kupčinskas
Laisves al. 96 201 kab.
Kaunas
LITHUANIA


Dear Mayor Kupčinskas,

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In Europe, a New Public Curtain of Revisionism, Oblivion and Antisemitism



O P I N I O N

by Roland Binet  (Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium)

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Isee two new important social and political trends now that have a direct bearing, first on the memory of what happened in Europe and the USSR during the Holocaust and other massacres and, secondly, on the life of the Jews presently living in Europe.

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Member of Lithuania’s Jewish Community Speaks Out on Neo-Nazi Parades, and Govt. Flowers at Monument to Hitler’s Soldiers



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.”

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Latvian Musical that Sanitizes Holocaust Perpetrator Starts its Grand Tour



New Musical, “Sugar Herbert Sugar” Glorifies Herberts Cukurs

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REACTIONS & REPORTS:

From Jerusalem: EFRAIM ZUROFF IN I24; IN THE JERUSALEM POST; IN THE LONDON JEWISH CHRONICLE

From Riga: ALEKSANDRS FEIGMANIS IN DEFENDING HISTORY

From Liepaja: MIKE COLLIER REVIEWS PREMIERE IN LSM.LV

ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS

Tickets sold online for performances around the country. About the show. Signature tune released on YouTube (Would they have done better with the old Archies version of “Sugar Sugar” or Just “Springtime for Hitler”?)

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Antisemitism and Banking 



O P I N I O N   /   A N T I S E M I T I S M

by Ivo Mosley  (London)

To Vita Rose Mosley, born 21 October 2014 

A good deal of today’s nationalist and right-wing antisemitism rests upon the fantasy that “the Jews” control the world through finance and banking. Nor is the same fantasy entirely absent from left-wing antisemitism, which currently tends to concentrate itself on criticism of Israel.

The fact that some Jews are very good at banking is, apparently, enough to justify race-hate in the antisemite’s mind. Of course, a number of Jews are also prominent as scientists, civil rights activists, generals, hairdressers, actors, musicians, historians, etcetera, without anyone blaming science, civil rights, theatre, hairdressing, war, music, history, etcetera on “the Jews.”  This highlights one of the traditional functions of antisemitism: if something is obviously bad, “the Jews” can be reached for as a scapegoat.

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What Riga Ghetto Survivors Recall about Herberts Cukurs, Now “Hero” of New Show in Latvia



O P I N I O N / H I S T O R Y

by Aleksandrs Feigmanis (Riga)

Herberts Cukurs (1900-1965) had been an officer and a famous aviator during the years of the interwar Latvian Republic (1918-1940). After Nazi Germany’s 1941 occupation of Latvia, he became a significant figure in the infamous Arājs Kommando (or Sonderkommando Arajs), a notorious killing unit during the Latvian Holocaust. The Arājs group consisted of about 1,200 people, mostly local Latvians. It was established at the beginning of July 1941 within the German security services.

The Arājs Kommando carried out the killing of at least 30,000 Jews in numerous cities and towns in Latvia. The toll included the family of my grandfather in Vilani (in Yiddish Vilon), which occurred at dawn on August 4, 1941. The victims were his parents, and his sisters and their husbands and young children.

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Our Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas Interrogated for Articles Opposing Glorification of Nazi Collaborators and Current Neo-Nazism



M E M O I R   /   O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Note: This memoir continues the narrative started in the author’s earlier accounts of 22 May 2014, of 4 July, and of 9 July. See also our report of 22 May with image and translation of the actual summons. Evaldas Balčiūnas’s articles on Holocaust collaborators who are glorified in state-funded public settings can be found (in reverse chronological order) in the DH sections Evaldas Balčiūnas and Collaborators Glorified. See also sections on Free Speech and Human Rights. Other Lithuanian citizens disturbed by police for opposing state honors for Holocaust collaborators include Saulius Beržinis, Aleksandras Bosas, and Giedrius Grabauskas. This memoir was translated by Geoff Vasil and the final version approved by the author.


My wife told me that the police who delivered the summons on the afternoon of July 8th 2014 carried a large A4 format photograph of me. The police had serious plans… If I hadn’t told my wife to accept the summons, I might have been subject to an operation to locate or even arrest me. It was possible to laugh, but I needed to find transportation. I didn’t want to take my car. There and back entailed five hours of driving. It would be exhausting, and the experience could be expected to throw me off balance during the interrogation.

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Is “Sugar Herbert Sugar” the Latvian Version of “Springtime for Hitler”?



New Latvian Musical, “Sugar Herbert Sugar” Glorifies Holocaust Mass Murderer Herberts Cukurs

Tickets now available online for performances around the country. About the show. Signature tune released on YouTube (Would they have done better with the old Archies version of “Sugar Sugar“?)

Are we back to Springtime for Hitler, just focused on celebrating a local mass murderer of Latvian Jewry? Will the hosting venues, including the City Cultural Centers in Jelgava and Valmiera, and prestigious halls in RigaLiepājaRēzekne and Ventspils also be holding memorials for their citizens murdered in the Latvian Holocaust in which Herberts Cukurs, known as the “Hangman of Riga,” took such a personal and violent part?

Produxers, The - Springtime for Hitler Magazine (PSoL 060612) combined (1)

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Latvian Court Downgrades Holocaust While High Society Readies for New “Springtime for Cukurs” Musical



Latvian Constitutional Court Upholds “Double Genocide” Restriction on Free Speech

Opinion that there was one genocide in the country (the Holocaust) remains criminalized by 2014 law, in the spirit of the laws passed in Hungary and Lithuania in 2010

Comment on Eastern EU speech laws by: Milan ChersonskiLeonidas DonskisDovid KatzEfraim Zuroff; See also: FREE SPEECH Section

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At the Same Time: New Latvian Musical (“Sugar, Herbert, Sugar”) Glorifying Holocaust Mass Murderer Herberts Cukurs Rehearsing for October 11th Premiere.

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Latvian School Features “Judenfrei” Sign



from JTA

The entrance to a nursery school in Latvia owned by a traditionalist lawmaker featured a German-language sign advertising the establishment as being “Jew-free.”

The posting of the sign, which reads “Judenfrei,”  was revealed Monday by the Latvian daily Vesti Segodniya. The paper published a photo of the sign on the fence of the Pucite (“Owlet”) private school.

According to the Coordinating Forum for Countering Antisemitism, the establishment is owned by Imants Paradnieks, an ultranationalist Latvian lawmaker.

On Tuesday, Twitter users confronted him to ask whether the sign was genuine or just “a provocation.” He provided no reply, but wrote: “The Kremlin is full of jackals.”

The Riga-based school has a history of Nazi sympathies. In 2012, Pucite hosted two men dressed in Waffen SS uniforms, who held what they defined as “a lesson of patriotic upbringing” for the school’s early childhood program. A video of the lesson, which was uploaded to the nursery school’s website, showed two men encouraging 3-year-old children to play with World War II-era weapons.

 

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Respublika “Slightly” Edits Efraim Zuroff’s Obituary for Shimon Alperovich



M E D I A   W A T C H

Vitas Tomkus’s daily tabloid, Respublika has, alongside its sister title, Vakaro Žinios (Evening News, also owned by Tomkus) in many views inflicted tangible damage upon Lithuania and its image. The papers leave a long trail of racist, antisemitic, and homophobic invective, not seldom in sensationalistic formats that mirror the 1930s.

The most notorious instance was perhaps the 2004 front page featuring the unseemly cartoon of the The Jew and The Gay holding up a globe under the headline “Who runs the world?” recycled (and again, on page 1), in 2009. Vakaro Žinios (Evening News) even featured a sickening photo montage of the then head of the Jewish community Dr. Shimon Alperovich, and a Soviet-era abacus, with text suggesting the Jews were conspiring to defraud the Lithuanian people. More recently, a front page was devoted to a local rabbi with a headline about Jews not having to pay taxes. The word Žydai (Jews) alone was in massive size type, as on numerous occasions, e.g. when the paper accused “The Jews” of plotting to steal the building housing the Culture Ministry. It is almost all out of a dark satire.

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2014 Baltic Marching Season Concluded


 

Interface of Pro-Fascist Marches, Holocaust Revisionism, and Contemporary Racism

EFRAIM ZUROFF IN THE HUFFINGTON POSTJERUSALEM POST AND TABLET

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Latvia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on 2014 Baltic Marching Season Concluded

Summary Coverage of March 16th 2014 Waffen SS Event in Riga



Over 1500 March in Central Riga’s Annual March 16th Waffen SS Fest

MEDIA LINKS


Riga Waffen SS March 16th 2014

Liberty Monument and the heart of Riga are again gifted to the glorifiers of Hitler’s Waffen SS in Latvia.


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Summary Coverage in Run-Up to the 16 March 2014 Waffen SS March in Riga


Riga, Sunday March 16th 2014:

Could Riga (now the EU’s “Capital of European Culture”) Really be Allowing Yet Another City-Center Waffen SS Celebration on March 16th?

JUST IN:

BRITISH MEP RICHARD HOWITT ISSUES STATEMENT

MINISTER FACES SACKFOR FIRST TIME, GOV SAYS: STAY AWAY

BALTIC TIMES: AGAIN SPEWING OUT NATIONALIST PR AS “REPORTING”?

MONICA LOWENBERG’S “SPEAK NO EVIL” (video); PETITION NEARS 7000

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British MEP Richard Howitt, European Parliament Spokesperson on Human Rights, Issues Statement on Riga Waffen SS March


Richard Howitt, British Labour Member of the European Parliament, and spokesperson for the European Parliament Human Rights Sub-Committee today issued the following text of his statement which will be read out in Riga this Sunday March 16th.

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For Seventh Year Running, Neo-Nazis and Ultranationalists Given Center of Vilnius on Independence Day



O P I N I O N /  E Y E W I T N E S S    R E P O R T

by Dovid Katz

Lithuania’s March 11th independence day is celebrated by the free world, not least by those who remember the incredible news that spread around the globe in March 1990, when Lithuania’s parliament (Seimas) voted 124 to zero to break away from the Soviet Union. The courage of the parliamentarians from a broad spectrum of parties and movements was stark; the country was still occupied by ominous Soviet forces (and blood would be spilled by Soviet forces’ violence less than a year later, in January 1991). The March 11th celebration has been anchored  over the years by a record of achievement that includes the transition to democracy, the joining of the European Union and NATO, and the rapid integration with Western society, economy and mores.

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Run-up to the March 11th 2014 Neo-Nazi / Ultranationalist March in Central Vilnius



Vilnius, Tuesday March 11th 2014:

Neo-Nazis Announce March Through Old Town and City Center to Nation’s Parliament

Efraim Zuroff Will Lead Silent, Peaceful Remembrance as Protest

Colleagues of all backgrounds are invited to meet Dr. Zuroff, Holocaust historian, Nazi-hunter, author, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office. He will lead a silent, peaceful remembrance of the annihilated Jewish citizens of Vilnius and Lithuania, in protest against the neo-Nazi marchers and the continued granting of city center venues on independence day. Meeting on Tuesday, 11 March 2014, 3 PM at Old Town Hall (Rotušė) Square. First meeting at edge of square, on the corner of Stiklių and Didžioji outside Amatininkai Café, monitoring the march (itself scheduled for 4 PM) to its conclusion on Gedimino near the Seimas (parliament).

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Summary Coverage of 16 February 2014 Neo-Nazi March in Kaunas



 

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.LTALKAS.LTBALSAS.LTDELFI.LTJERUSALEM POSTKAUNODIENA.LTSWC REPORTTV: KAUNAS NEWSOPINION: Olga ZabludoffEfraim Zuroff

Section on Pro-Fascist Marches

Lithuanian TV interviews with Efraim Zuroff and Dovid Katz:

1 and 2

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Riga, Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

The UK’s home secretary Theresa May, the Hungarian Jobbik party, and Holocaust Memorial Day have all been in the press lately. Reading how the leader of pro-Nazi Jobbik party was, in the interests of free speech, allowed to hold his rally in Hyde Park, I have to question why Ms. May allowed this man entry into the UK and hadn’t called his racist attitudes, “unacceptable” as she had in the past with, “Every Muslim should be a terrorist” Zakir Naik. What had changed?

In the capital of European culture? Waffen SS Calendar (Riga 2014)

In the Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS Calendar (Riga 2014)

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Kaunas, Vilnius, Riga: Planned 2014 Neo-Nazi Marches (Summary Coverage to 26 Jan. 2014)



KaunasFebruary 16thVilniusMarch 11thRigaMarch 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

Zabludoff’s Petition Nears the 3,000 Mark

First Stop — Kaunas on February 16th

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Summary Coverage on Upcoming “Baltic March Season”



2014 Winter Nazi Marching Season in the Baltics? 

KaunasFebruary 16thVilniusMarch 11thRigaMarch 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

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Respublika’s 18 January 2014 Front Page Article “Kaunas Jewish Community Chairman Gercas Žakas: One Point for Discord between Lithuanians and Jews”



The following translation, by Geoff Vasil, is of a front page article in the Vilnius daily Respublika (18 January 2014), featuring an interview with Kaunas Jewish community leader Gercas Žakas (the words superimposed on the photo roughly translate: “Perhaps someone really is provoking us and sowing discord intentionally”). The Lithuanian original is available online.

See also the the front page spread featuring interviews with Faina Kukliansky and Moshe Beirakas which appeared two days earlier, on 16 January 2014.

 ZAKAS in Respublika


 

Kaunas Jewish Community Chairman Gercas Žakas: One Point for Discord between Lithuanians and Jews

January 18, 2014

by Olava STRIKULIENĖ

Kaunas Jewish Community chairman Gercas Žakas was initially surprised when the daily newspaper Respublika, where his son Arijus worked as a reporter, was deemed an antisemitic newspaper. And now Žakas is surprised our politicians sported a Wehrmacht symbol during Defenders of Freedom Day.

Žakas: “What symbol are you talking about?” Žakas asked. “I know nothing, I was away. Apparently someone wasn’t paying enough attention.”

Respublika: “During the commemoration of January 13 at parliament forget-me-not pins were passed out, which are really a symbol of the Nazi German Wehrmacht military.”

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Respublika’s Editorial on Nazi Symbols in Use


 

The following is a translation, by Geoff Vasil for Defending History, of the editorial that appeared on 17 January 2014 in the Vilnius daily Respublika (p. 4), a day after the front page story (16 Jan.) featuring photographs of Faina Kukliansky and Moishe Beirakas, and a day before the front story (17. Jan) featuring Gercas Žakas.

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Respublika’s 16 January 2014 Front Page Article “Jews Don’t Want to Wear Nazi Symbols a Second Time”



The following translation, by Geoff Vasil, is of a front page article in the Vilnius daily Respublika (16 January 2014). The Lithuanian original is available online. See also: Geoff Vasil’s comment on the article which may serve as an introduction to some of the local issues and nuances.

Respublika Jan 2014 interviews with Faina Kukliansky and Moishe Beirak


 

Jews Don’t Want to Wear Nazi Symbols a Second Time

January 16, 2014 by Asta MARTIŠIŪTĖ and Olava STRIKULIENĖ, Respublika reporters MEP Vytautas Landsbergis, chairman of the Supreme Soviet/Restored Parliament of Lithuania, speaking at a solemn event to commemorate January 13 [1991], spoke in his speech about the Holocaust as well. Was it necessary to mention this at a ceremony dedicated to the 14 defenders of Lithuanian freedom who died and who hadn’t even been alive during Holocaust times? Beyond this, January 13 [commemorations] didn’t come off without yet another curiosity. A Wehrmacht symbol was used in the “Forget-me-not” campaign and MP Rasa Juknevičienė said next January it will be possible to acquire these symbols [lapel pins] throughout Lithuania, and not exclusively in the capital. Continue reading

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Head of Major Parliamentary Committee in Lithuania’s Parliament says: Israel should pay the pensions for Holocaust-era Rescuers; He Adds: “Jews Just Want to Take”


VILNIUS—Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) veteran Bronius Bradauskas, chairman of the parliament’s powerful Budget and Finance Committee, has sparked controversy in comments he made about whether those who rescued Jews during World War II deserve state pensions in line with “freedom fighters’ pensions” received among others by veterans of the postwar “Forest Brothers,” some of whom were recycled Holocaust perpetrators.

He told Baltic News Service (BNS):

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Latvian State Dance Troupe Displays Nazi Swastika



R E P O R T / O P I N I O N

by Graeme Atkinson (Hope Not Hate) and Monica Lowenberg (DefendingHistory.com)

Source: HOPE not hate/DefendingHistory.com Sunday, 24 November 2013.


 

Riga dance ensemble swastika Nov 2013

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Antisemitism Denial — An English Intellectual Speciality



A German translation of this article appeared in Die Presse (Vienna) on 7 November 2013. The original English text appears here with the author’s permission. Dr. Denis MacShane, a former British MP and Foreign Office minister writes widely on European politics. His Globalising Hatred: The New Antisemitism (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) appeared in 2008.  See also Defending History’s Denis MacShane section.

O P I N I O N

by Denis MacShane

England has the most provincial intellectual class in Europe. Very few professors (unless they are foreign language teachers or specialists in say French or Italian history) will speak and read a foreign language fluently. They do not pick up Le Monde, Der Spiegel or El Pais and wait, sometime for years, for a translation of a key work published in a European language to appear in London.

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Genocide Center in Vilnius Responds to the List of Alleged Holocaust Perpetrators Published by the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel



Editor’s note:  The following is an English translation by Geoff Vasil of an article that appeared on Delfi.lt on October 25, 2013. The images that appeared with the original Lithuanian text are not reproduced here.

In 1999, The Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel published Crime and Punishment, compiled after many years of work, by its chairman, Tel Aviv attorney Joseph Melamed, a native of Kovno (Kaunas), Holocaust survivor and veteran of the Jewish partisan resistance in Lithuania and of the Israeli War of Independence. In the late 1990s, Mr. Melamed wrote repeatedly to Lithuanian prosecutors, explaining that some Holocaust perpetrators and witnesses were still alive and investigations could be pursued.

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Survey on Levels of Prejudice Among Lithuanian Military Brass and Troops


Delfi.lt reports that the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense has received the results from a study they undertook to gauge prejudice among leadership and troops as compared to Lithuanian society at large.

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Former BNS Chief Artūras Račas Lets Loose Again on Fridberg, Kanovičius, Pancerovas, Zuroff…



The following is a translation of an October 2, 2013 piece published by former Baltic News Service chief Artūras Račas on his blog. For context, see some of Mr. Račas’s previous work on Holocaust related issues, e.g. his comments on state investigations of Holocaust survivors who became anti-Nazi partisans (2008) and on Prof. Pinchos Fridberg and Dr. Efraim Zuroff (2013); see also Prof. Fridberg’s reply.


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Program of the 15-16 Oct 2013 Kiev Conference on Antisemitism (on the Centenary of the Beilis Trial)



The following is the text of the final program received today from the organizers:


International Conference on Anti-Semitism

on the occasion of 100th anniversary of the Beilis Trial

15-16 October, 2013, Kyiv, Ukraine

Fairmont Grand Hotel

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Old Blood Libel Plaque Still Displayed, Without Comment, at Bernardinai Church in Vilnius



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

 

WHERE THE BLOOD LIBEL STILL STANDS: Seventeenth century plaque commemorating a seven year old allegedly killed by 170 Jewish-inflicted wounds, on display at Bernardinai Church, Maironio Street 10 in Vilnius

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“Swastika Wood Art” Up & Down Gedimino Boulevard at Central Vilnius Arts Fair



The following is the content of a front page item that appeared on 11 September 2013:

The arts and crafts festival held on Vilnius’s central Gedimino Boulevard featured a number of disturbing swastika themes in woodwork. Here is one example:

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Where You Have to Step on Old Jewish Gravestones to go to Church



C E M E T E R I E S    /    C H R I S T I A N – J E W I S H   R E L A T I O N S

by Dovid Katz

The following are translated (and edited) excerpts from a longer letter in Yiddish received from a survivor who has asked to remain anonymous, about the Jewish gravestones that form the steps going up to the Reformed Evangelical Church at Pylimo 18 in Vilnius.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Dovid Katz, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Reformed Evangelical Church (Vilnius) | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Where You Have to Step on Old Jewish Gravestones to go to Church

Open Letter to Evaldas Gustas, new Minister for the Economy in Lithuania



O P I N I O N

SAMPLE IMAGES

Background:

Original 2 May 2013 report; Person identified by the media submits 13 May 2013 complaint to the Press Commission [draft English translation], citing Anarchija.ltBalsas.ltKaunoŽinios.lt, Lrytas.lt as well as DefendingHistory.com. He does not deny the identification but disputes the characterization of his work as in harmony with neo-Nazism.

23 July update: Zeppelinus greets Baltic Pride with a new hate image.

Dear Mr. Gustas,

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Economy Minister. May your tenure be blessed with success, wisdom and good fortune for all of Lithuania’s citizens.

We address you on the advent of your tenure on a human rights matter rather than an economic question. We feel certain you would agree that there is a demonstrable correlation between the long-term successful economies of the world and free and open democratic societies that reject all forms of state-supported fascism, racism, antisemitism, homophobia and other forms of hate and exclusionism directed at segments of the population.

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Revival of Antisemitism in Europe



O P I N I O N

by Roland Binet  (Braine-l’Alleud/Belgium)

 

One would have thought that after the destruction of millions of Jews during the war and the creation of Israel, that  antisemitism would have disappeared forever from Europe, the harsh and bloody lessons of the Holocaust having been learned. Yet, now, almost seventy years later, antisemitism is still an important factor to be reckoned with, both in Eastern and Western Europe.

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Zeppelinus, Unmasked as Official at Lithuania’s Ministry for the Economy, Posts New Gay-Hate Image to “Welcome” Baltic Pride Week



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

The leading neo-Nazi blogger in Lithuania, “Zeppelinus,” who was unmasked several months ago by a number of publications as a high official at the Ministry for the Economy and chairman of the nation’s Tripartite Commission, did not deny the identification.

Instead, quite incredibly, he complained to the press commission against those who would dare deem to be unacceptable his hateful racist, antisemitic, homophobic and pro-fascist productions.

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Rehabilitation of the Past as a Tool of Modern Politics


 


O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

RIGAThe following is the authorized text, in the original Russian, of Milan Chersonski’s paper delivered today at the international conference on Holocaust Commemoration and Memorials in Post-Communist Countries. See also: Milan Chersonski section.


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Baltic Times: Hitting a New Low with “Paid Advertisement” Advocating Migration of Latvia’s Russian Speakers?



 

O P I N I O N  /  M E D I A   W A T C H

The half-page article on the “Business” page of the Baltic Times (dated 4-17 April 2013 but widely available this week here in Vilnius) carries at its end the words “This is a paid advertisement.”

But these words do not succeed in mitigating the moral responsibility of the increasingly ultranationalist, far-right newspaper in disseminating hate material against any minority, least of all of in an EU / NATO member state. The inherent equality of peoples and their races and languages and national and personal identities are an inseparable component of what the European Union and NATO are all about.

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Estonian Fascist Admirers Preparing Midsummer Waffen SS Fest



O P I N I O N

by Leena Hietanen

Estonian ultranationalists traditionally celebrate Hitler’s victory on the Sinimae Hillls in eastern Estonia annually at the end of July. This year is no exception. The festivities are slated to start on the  27th of July at Sinimae.

As usual, the Estonian government is quietly giving its blessing to the proceedings. Old Estonian Waffen SS Legionaries gather on the hills to commemorate their participation on the Second World War on the side of Nazi Germany. In the battles of Sinimae Hills during the spring and summer of 1944 Estonian Waffen SS soldiers together with their fellow pro-Nazi combatants from Scandinavia, Belgium, Holland and Germany halted the progress of the Allied/Soviet front for half a year in the Eastern part of Estonia postponing the collapse of Nazi-Germany and condemning untold civilians to ongoing Nazi atrocities. Almost half of a million Hungarian Jews lost their lives in Auschwitz thanks to Estonian Legionaries. They would have survived had the Soviet advance not been tied up the Germans’ prime allies among the Estonian fascists.Continue reading

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Zeppelinus Images Revealed as Media Claims he is a Government Official



Three Major Lithuanian Sites Claim that Neo-Nazi Internet Figure “Zeppelinus,” a Hater of Poles, Jews, Roma, Russians, Blacks and Gays is actually…

Director of the Economic Ministry’s Human Resources Dept and the Government’s Rep on the “Tripartite Council”

Samples of Zeppelinus’s hate images on the internet:

zeppelinus hasidic kid with gun

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Swastikas From Latvia in Center of Šiauliai (Shavl), Lithuania, as Police Look On


Since 2010, when a Lithuanian court proclaimed public swastikas legal and included in its ruling the “historical wisdom” that it only a harmless ancient Baltic symbol, swastikas have proliferated at public events sponsored by the far right, with police looking on listlessly. Most painfully for the dwindling numbers of Holocaust survivors here and abroad, swastikas and other fascist symbols, along with glorification of local Holocaust collaborators, have figured in sanctioned independence day marches in Kaunas on February 16th each year, and in the capital city Vilnius, each March 11th.

In 2012, the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee commented publicly.

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Reports from Lithuanian Media Claim that Neo-Nazi “Zeppelinus” is Unmasked as — A Government Official!


Lrytas.lt today published an article by Martynas Čerkauskas, “Lithuanian Economics Ministry Accused of Nationalism” which follows this week’s exposés in Antifa.lt, Baltas.lt, and Kauno Žinios, which all imply or claim that the neo-Nazi internet “hero” who calls himself “Zeppelinus” is actually director of the Economic Ministry’s Expansion of Human Resources Department and a member of the Tripartite Council (labor, business and government), where he is the chief representative of the government’s interests.

UPDATE OF 15 JUNE 2013: See our Open Letter to the new economy minister with appendix of “Zeppelinus” images including English translations of text.

A sampling of images attributed to “Zeppelinus” is provided here.

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Facebook Discussion of 23-29 April 2013 on the May 2013 Global Forum in Jerusalem


A paste-in of the Facebook discussion to date on the upcoming Global Forum conferences in Jerusalem is available at:

http://defendinghistory.com/facebook-discussion-on-2013-global-forum-23-29-april-2013.

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Efraim Zuroff, Israel, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off on Facebook Discussion of 23-29 April 2013 on the May 2013 Global Forum in Jerusalem

Summary Coverage of March 16th 2013 Waffen SS March in Riga, Latvia



Annual Glorification of Latvia’s Hitler-Serving Waffen SSInternational Petition

Waffen SS Riga

Opinion: R. BRODSKYLATVIA’S UK AMBASSADORMONICA LOWENBERG

JOËL RUBINFELD’S NEWSLETTER ON EVENTS OF MARCH 16TH

Reports: APDelfiFoxJewish News — JNS.orgJ. KažaReutersRIART (video2); Times of IsraelWashington PostYNetVideo of wreath layingYahoo.  Gallery of imagesMore mediaWWN media list.

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MARINA SOLODKIN’S DEATH AND HER LAST PUBLIC STATEMENT

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INTERNATIONAL PETITION

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Latvia, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views | Comments Off on Summary Coverage of March 16th 2013 Waffen SS March in Riga, Latvia

Summary Coverage of Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius on March 11th 2013



March 11th 2013 Independence Day:

City Mounted Wholesome Family Event on Main Boulevard, but it was Followed by a Massive Neo-Nazi March; There were Few Protesters

NATION’S PARLIAMENT HONORS THE NEO-NAZI MARCH ORGANIZERS

EYEWITNESS REPORTS: ANNA SHEPHERD AND GEOFF VASIL

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Believe It Or Not: Lithuanian Parliament Honors Organizers of Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius


Reporting in today’s Lrytas.lt (Lietuvos rytas), Dovydas Pancerovas describes the parliamentary honors bestowed on organizers of last Monday’s March 11th neo-Nazi march on the main boulevard, Gedimino, of the nation’s capital, Vilnius (DH eyewitness reports by Anna Shepherd and Geoff Vasil; see also page 1 report). The following translation from the original Lithuanian is by Geoff Vasil.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, EU, LGBT Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views | Comments Off on Believe It Or Not: Lithuanian Parliament Honors Organizers of Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius

Isn’t it Time for the Author of the Myth to Apologize?



O P I N I O N

by Pinchos Fridberg (Vilnius)

Editor’s note: This article was first published by Professor Fridberg in Russian in Мы здесь. The following translation, by Ludmila Makedonskaya, was commissioned by Defending History, and it appears with Professor Fridberg’s permission, and with Defending History’s sole responsibility for the translation. The original  text is authoritative in any instance of doubt or nuance.

Dear Editor,

On December 13th, 2012, the portal Zman.com published my article (in Russian) “Instead of the Truth About the Holocaust — Myths About Saving Jews.” It was republished by a number of websites including Newswe.com. I sent a picture and added one important phrase specifically for your site. The fundamental point: the article was republished (in Russian and in English) by the official site of the Lithuanian Jewish Community (LJC).

Instead of an immediate public apology for providing unreliable information and closing the matter, they started looking for a way to discredit me personally. You will ask why? My answer is because the article ends with three not very convenient questions. I should pay tribute to the Lithuanian journalist Račas who did not remain in the background, but answered very straightforwardly and simply:

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Antisemitism & Bias, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Isn’t it Time for the Author of the Myth to Apologize?

Strength Through Joy “Hitler Youth” Events Sponsored by the City of Vilnius on March 11, 2013



E Y E W I T N E S S   R E P O R T  /  O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

This March 11, the day in 1990 when the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic declared Lithuania sovereign and separate from the Soviet Union, was celebrated in Vilnius in the usual manner: neo-Nazis, skinheads, their young and naive followers and a gaggle of elderly politicians—both serving MPs and has-beens—assembled and marched up the main boulevard chanting nationalist and anti-minority slogans, scaring children and generally making the streets unsafe for normal activities.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Events, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Geoff Vasil, Human Rights, Media Watch, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Strength Through Joy “Hitler Youth” Events Sponsored by the City of Vilnius on March 11, 2013

3,000 Neo-Nazi Marchers on Gedimino Boulevard in Central Vilnius on 2013 Independence Day


 


E Y E W I T N E S S   R E P O R T   /   O P I N I O N

by Anna Shepherd

Photos by Anna Shepherd; they may be reproduced with accreditation to Defending History (this page) and to Ms. Shepherd.

 

An unsanctioned neo-Nazi march took place today on Gedimino Boulevard, the main avenue of central Vilnius, as Lithuania celebrated its 1990 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. It had an estimated three thousand participants, the largest number ever.

Vilnius authorities had this year issued a permit for the nationalists’ march to take place on Upės Street, a venue across the river, further from the city center. Instead of the neo-Nazi march that has occurred each year since 2008, this year Gedimino was supposed to be host of “Laisves Vejas” (Wind of Freedom), a celebration of freedom and independence including music, dance, poetry and other wholesome performances.

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Posted in Anna Shepherd, Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Events, Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off on 3,000 Neo-Nazi Marchers on Gedimino Boulevard in Central Vilnius on 2013 Independence Day

Evaldas Balčiūnas Remembers February 16th 2013 March in Central Kaunas



 

E Y E W I T N E S S    R E P O R T  /  O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Editor’s note: This adapted translation from the Lithuanian original, by Geoff Vasil, has been approved by the author.

 

On February 16 I visited Kaunas. I heard the neo-Nazis would try to desecrate the nation’s freedom, for which people of the country of all ethnicities had struggled. Sadly, the neo-Nazis are now shouting loudly: “Lithuania for Lithuanians…”

One of the organizers of the march boasted the vanguard of the march would be carrying a portrait of Ambrazevičius.

It’s worth recalling what sort of person he was. In 1941 Ambrazevičius led the Provisional Government formed by the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front), the Provisional Government which called Lithuanian policemen to serve the Nazis, set up a concentration camp (at the Seventh Fort, where it all ended in the murder of several thousand Jews), and even while realizing the Nazis no longer needed their service, this gang went on to promulgate the “Regulations on the Situation of the Jews,” which legally deprived their neighbors of human rights, while on the ground armed people were already murdering Jews throughout Lithuania.

The author and his friends and colleagues who constituted the small “anti-fascist zone” at the March 16th neo-Nazi parade in Kaunas, Lithuania on the occasion of the nation’s independence day.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Events, Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Evaldas Balčiūnas Remembers February 16th 2013 March in Central Kaunas

The Real Dope on the February 16 Neo-Nazi March in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

Readers and supporters of Defending History likely realize there is a diversity of opinion and views held by contributors (made explicit on the About us page), and in that spirit I’d like to share my own impressions of the neo-Nazi march on Lithuanian Independence Day 2013 in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania’s second-largest city and the provisional capital in the interwar period.

First, Kaunas was colder than expected. The breeze contributed to the chill. There seemed to be half as many police as protestors at the staging area, Ramybės Parkas, next to the bus station in central Kaunas. The police wore three uniforms: green, grey and, I was told by someone representing himself as being from Interpol, a large number of plain-clothes officers dispersed among the crowd, presumably meaning the marchers, since the number of protestors was paltry, just a handful of people.

See also the memoirs of Evaldas Balčiūnas, Dovid Katz (and 2nd), Efraim Zuroff

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Geoff Vasil, Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on The Real Dope on the February 16 Neo-Nazi March in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania

Tolerance Education? State-Sponsored Commission Uses its Website to Call Holocaust Survivor a “Liar” & to Demand “Apology from Jewish Community”



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

commission's attack on survivor

Somebody’s idea of “tolerance education”? Extract from the official website of the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” (known for short as the “red-brown commission”)

Educators, diplomats, historians and journalists thought they had seen it all when it came to Holocaust-in-Lithuania issues in recent times. But an online attack by the state sponsored “history commission” on a local Holocaust survivor, Professor Pinchos Fridberg, who is deeply involved in honoring righteous Lithuanians who saved a Jewish neighbor, because he expressed his views against distortion of the Holocaust? That is a bit much even for here.

UPDATE of 21 February 2014:

One year later: Defamation continues on Commission website;

See Chronology of a Debate and what Pinchos Fridberg actually said…

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Antisemitism & Bias, Double Games, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, EU, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Politics of Memory, United States | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Tolerance Education? State-Sponsored Commission Uses its Website to Call Holocaust Survivor a “Liar” & to Demand “Apology from Jewish Community”

Holocaust Survivors in Israel Protest Neo-Nazi March in Kaunas


Letter from Holocaust survivors Feb 2013

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Events, Israel, Joseph Melamed, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views | Comments Off on Holocaust Survivors in Israel Protest Neo-Nazi March in Kaunas

Hundreds of Neo-Nazis March Through the Center of Kaunas on Independence Day



O P I N I O N  /  E Y E W I T N E S S   R E P O R T

by Dovid Katz

NOTE: A personal word of thanks to journalist Nerijus Povilaitis for graciously facilitating communication with Kaunas police to ensure the security of the small Defending History team monitoring/protesting the event, and to the Kaunas police for their excellent work.

[UPDATE of 19 Feb: I later learned from Lithuanian colleagues that this protection and respect seem to have been extended only to Dr. Efraim Zuroff and myself, not to the Lithuanian-citizen protesters.]

[UPDATE of 25 Feb: See now the memoirs of the same march by Evaldas Balčiūnas, Geoff Vasil and Efraim Zuroff, and my own later article in Algemeiner.com.]

The estimates of the crowd ranged from five hundred to a thousand depending (in part) on whether the march’s many supporters who stood outside its bordering police cordons were counted. Following yesterday’s Vilnius press conference led by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who flew in from Israel for the event, and the earlier denunciation of racist manifestations by the new prime minister — these being possible rather than proven factors — the event was rather milder than last year’s (eyewitness report here). The major difference was the lack this year of visible swastikas (whether “classic” or “Lithuanian with added lines”), the more perfected police performance in keeping order, and the lack of overtly racist slogans. But there was no lack of graphic ingenuity in coming up with symbols that bring to mind the swastika (which was in fact made legal in Lithuania in 2010) and there was no lack of adulation of Holocaust-era fascist icons; the lead banner glorified the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister who was earlier this year reburied with full honors; he had signed the papers for the first murder camp for the Jewish citizens of this city, Kaunas, during his first week in office. Moreover, the Kaunas police had confirmed in writing beforehand that the 2013 march was proceeding with full authorization from the municipality. All this “patriotism” rooted in 1941 genocide of the Jews is proceeding with the blessings of the state and the silence of its foreign partners.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Dovid Katz, Events, Human Rights, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off on Hundreds of Neo-Nazis March Through the Center of Kaunas on Independence Day

Kaunas Police Confirm that Neo-Nazi March on Independence Day Proceeding with Municipality’s Blessing


In response to a letter from the editor of this journal, expressing concern at various internet and other threats against those who would dare oppose the neo-Nazi march scheduled for 16 February 2013 in the center of Kaunas, a reply has been received from the police in Kaunas which does not address the direct issue of safety, but makes it clear that the march is approved by the powers that be in the municipality.This is important because of the various rumors spread by various organizations that ultranationalist youth have decided to march through central Kaunas with or without permission.  The letter reads, in translation:

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches | Comments Off on Kaunas Police Confirm that Neo-Nazi March on Independence Day Proceeding with Municipality’s Blessing

Head of Baltic News Service (BNS) Tweets Against Efraim Zuroff and Pinchos Fridberg


Artūras Račas, head of Baltic News Service (BNS), the main news agency in the Baltics, in a tweet today heaped scorn on Vilnius Holocaust survivor Professor Pinchos Fridberg and on the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, Dr. Efraim Zuroff. The tweet  is reproduced below and links to the tweeter’s article, which is also available in English translation [updates: Prof. Fridberg’s replylater report].

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Head of Baltic News Service (BNS) Tweets Against Efraim Zuroff and Pinchos Fridberg

2013 Started on Wrong Note in Capitals of Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania



WARSAW:  Statue of “Praying Hitler” is unveiled in the Warsaw Ghetto. Reports in the GuardianDaily MailHuffington Post.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, News & Views, Poland, Politics of Memory, Ukraine | Comments Off on 2013 Started on Wrong Note in Capitals of Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania

Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Punishment of Hungary by FIFA for Antisemitic Behavior of Hungarian Fans in August 2012


Jerusalem—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today praised the steps taken earlier this week by the international football federation (FIFA) to punish the Hungarian Football Federation in the wake of the antisemitic behavior of many dozens of Hungarian fans at a friendly match against Israel held this past August 15 in Budapest.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Efraim Zuroff, EU, Hungary, Racism | Comments Off on Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Punishment of Hungary by FIFA for Antisemitic Behavior of Hungarian Fans in August 2012