April 5, 2010
E.Zuroffas: Neo-Fascist Rebirth in Baltic States

E.Zuroffas complains to Lithuania that the country has failed to punish
even a single local Nazi criminal

Jewish historian Efraim Zuroff, called the last Nazi hunter, is ringing
the alarm bells. He perceives a rebirth of neo-Fascism in the Baltic

Several weeks back about one thousand Latvian SS veterans and their
supporters held a march in Riga. A little earlier, on March 11,
nationalists staged a political action in the Lithuanian capital. Although
the deomstration was supposed to celebrate Independence Day, the slogans
at both marches were similar, Zuroff says. In Riga demonstrators held
signs with an inscription "Jews, this land belongs to Latvians!" while in
Vilnius there were shouts of "Lithuania for Lithuanians!"

"Carrying flags with all sorts of neo-Fascist symbols, marchers in the
Lithuanian capital sent a hostile message to all ethnic minorities,"
Zuroff writes in the British newspaper the Guardian. "On the same day two
years earlier, the signal was even clearer: the famous Nazi slogan 'Juden
raus!' and a suggestion the Russian minority look for a new place to live
somewhere else."

Zuroff noted that these kinds of demonstrations in the Baltic states are
attracting ever more participants. The historian is surprised that neither
Baltic politicians nor the European media have noticed the rising threat
to democracy.

Lithuanian prime minister Andrius Kubilius called for not attaching
significance to the march of nationalists in Vilnius and said that in
terms of [the level of] tolerance, Lithuania does not lag behind other
European countries. His words didn't convince Zuroff, [who noted] a
politician from the prime minister's party had asked for permission for
the march, MP and March 11th Act of Independence signatory Kazimieras

The Nazi hunter was also surprised by the new US ambassador to Lithuania
Anne E. Derse, who, speaking at Vilnius University, said: "The United
States and Lithuania are partners in the fight against anti-Semitism,
together we seek to bring attention to the heritage of the Holocaust."

Zuroff, hungry for justice, is angry: "If Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
made progress educating their people about the crimes committed by the
local Nazi collaborators and tried to conscientiously punish the local
murderers, then we could ignore such marches. But after regaining
independence the courts of the Baltic states have not punished even a
single Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian Nazi criminal. On the contrary, the
courts in Lithuania persecute [prosecute is the same word in Lithuanian]
Jewish partisans who operated in Soviet times. As if that weren't enough,
these countries are trying to equate Communism with Nazism."

Addressing himself to British politicians in the Guardian, Zuroff called
upon them to open their eyes and see for themselves whether the
renaissance of neo-Fascism [sic] in the Baltic states threatens European