Wiesenthal Center Israel Director Leads Protest at Lithuanian Neo-Nazi March

February 16, 2015
 
Kaunas, Lithuania-The Simon Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi hunter Israel Director Dr. Efraim Zuroff today led a protest against a neo-Nazi march conducted in honor of Lithuanian independence day in the city of Kaunas (Kovno). In a statement issued here today, Dr. Zuroff noted that despite the Center's efforts to encourage the Kaunas municipal authorities to cancel or at least restrict the march, it was conducted as usual in the center of Lithuania's second largest city. Even more upsetting was the fact that the same exclusionary slogans were repeated again and again: "Lithuania for Lithuanians" and "Lithuanians for Lithuania." Also extremely disturbing was the prominent appearance of the image of Juozas Ambrazevičius, the prime minister of the Lithuanian provisional government established in July 1941, which not only supported the Third Reich but also actively assisted in the persecution and murder of Lithuania's Jewish citizens.
 
According to Zuroff:
 
"The use of this image and these slogans are a badge of shame for a member of the European Union ostensibly in good standing, and the celebration of Lithuanian independence in this manner is not only an insult to the country's minorities but is also offensive to the memory of the more than 200,000 Lithuanian Jews, tens of thousands of whom lived in Kaunas, who were murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis and their numerous and zealous Lithuanian collaborators."
 
Among the handful of demonstrators joining Dr. Zuroff were Professor Dovid Katz, founder and editor of www.defendinghistory.com; Lithuanian journalist Evaldas Balciunas; and former editor of Jerusalem Lithuania Milan Chersonski, and other supporters.
 
For more information: Dr. Efraim Zuroff  972.50.721.4156   Twitter: @EZuroff,

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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.