Vilnius, Lithuania – The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, today led a protest vigil against a march of approximately 2,000 neo-Nazis and ultranationalists in the Lithuanian capital to mark the country’s restoration of independence in 1990.
The Center noted that once again the image of Juozas Ambrazavicius-Brazaitis, prime minister of the provisional Lithuanian government, established in July 1941, which fully supported Nazi Germany and actively participated in the persecution and murder of Jews, was carried by a group of demonstrators as homage to this high-ranking war criminal and Nazi collaborator.
According to Zuroff:
“These demonstrators are the spiritual heirs of the numerous Lithuanians who volunteered to actively participate in the mass murder of Lithuanian Jewry. Their chants of “Lithuania for Lithuanians” ring particularly ominous in the city once known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania, whose Jewish community was virtually wiped out completely by the Nazis and their numerous local collaborators.”