Wiesenthal Center blasts Friday’s Neo-Nazi march in center of Vilnius

March 13, 2011

Jerusalem - The Simon Wiesenthal Center has labeled a neo-Nazi march of approximately 1,000 participants held this past Friday in the heart of the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius “the worst type of anti-Semitic and xenophobic incitement against Lithuania’s minorities” and harshly criticized the failure of the country’s political, intellectual, and religious leadership to condemn the march unequivocally. In a statement issued here today by its Israel Director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called upon Lithuanian elected officials to denounce such demonstrations and upon the leaders of the ruling Homeland Union party to sanction their MP Kazimieras Uoka who was among the marchers.

According to Zuroff:
“Such demonstrations are an affront to all members of the minority groups living in Lithuania, and especially insulting to the country’s Jewish citizens, many of whom are Holocaust survivors. To see hundreds of young people marching with Lithuanian flags and swastikas down the main avenue of the capital of a member of the European Union and NATO is enough to send shivers down the spine of any person with a knowledge of Lithuanian history during the years 1941-1945 and any sense of morality.”

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.