Amid Quisling Furor, Lithuanian Shul Defaced

By Haaretz

Published May 21, 2012.
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A famous Vilnius synagogue was vandalized over the weekend, shortly after an official ceremony in remembrance of Lithuania’s 1941 pro-Nazi leader. The event occurred on Friday, when assailants threw green paint at the façade of the only Vilnius synagogue that has remained active since before the Holocaust.

A member of the Lithuanian Jewish community, who requested not to be named, said the two events were related. “Every time the government and the big professors commemorate the memory of a local ‘hero’ that worked with the Nazis during the Holocaust, there is an increased sense of anti-Semitism in the city. It only takes one thug with a tin of paint.”

On Sunday, an official ceremony was held in Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania, to burry the bones of Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis, who served as the head of Lithuania’s Nazi-puppet “Provisional Government” of 1941. His bones were flown to Vilnius last Thursday, and were received with an official ceremony at the airport. From there, they were transferred to Kaunas and on Sunday they were buried at a respectful ceremony attended by politicians, to the sound of the national anthem.

Milan Chersonski, long-time editor of the Jewish Community’s newspaper, told Haaretz that the weekend’s vandalism was clearly linked to what he called the “unofficial supplementary program” to honor the Nazi collaborator.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


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