Israeli Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff led a protest against a march by ultra-nationalist neo-Nazis in Lithuania on Sunday, one day after a similar march took place in Bulgaria.
In both cases, the groups were marching in celebration of Nazi collaborators within the ruling elites of their countries.
The neo-Nazis marched in Lithuania’s inter-war capital of Kaunas, whose community was “virtually totally annihilated during the Holocaust by the Nazis, with highly significant participation of Lithuanian volunteer collaborators,” according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Zuroff, who directs the center’s Jerusalem office, condemned the marchers’ use of the image of Juozas Ambrazevicius-Brazaitis, a Nazi collaborator who was prime minister of the Lithuanian provisional government.
“No camouflage attempts can hide the reactionary and exclusionary anti-Semitic message of yesterday’s march,” Zuroff told The Jerusalem Post
. “When the image of Juozas Ambrazevicius…, [who] helped the Nazis mass-murder Lithuanian Jewry, is the backdrop for cries of ‘Lithuania for Lithuanians,’ we know exactly what these reactionaries have in mind.”
Among the protesters were Lithuanian Jewish leaders and over 30 anti-fascist demonstrators brought by local journalist Evaldas Balciunas.