15th Session of the IPF "The Glorification of Nazism and the Growth of Neo-Nazism in the Baltic countries" – Outcomes

19/03/2022 15:39

© Photo from the personal archive of Giedrius Grabauskas. Broken memorial plaque to Jonas Noreika, archival photo.

On March 11, 2022, the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly held the 15th Session of the International Public Forum "Preserving the Memory of World War II and the Great Patriotic War". The theme of the Session was "The glorification of Nazism and the growth of neo-Nazism in the Baltic countries."

Representatives of six countries, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Russia, Estonia, participated in the forum.

The forum attracts more and more educational institutions. Students of the Glazunov Agricultural College took part in the 15th Session. For the first time teachers of the school named after Aden Istambekov from Kyrgyzstan took the floor.

March 11, 2022 marks the 32nd anniversary of the recognition of the Lithuanian Independence Act. But freedom and democracy bypassed Lithuania. At the end of 1991, with the prohibition of the activities of the Communist Party, the hunt for anti-fascists began. Those arrested spent in prisons from two to 12 years. Professor Juozas Ermalavičius, a direct participant in those events, spoke at the forum. He has spent eight years in prison. Historian Giedrius Grabauskas, in his report “Lithuanian Syndrome: Between the Glorification of Nazism and Historical Truth” voiced facts indicating that neo-Nazism has finally established itself in this country. One worrying aspect is the erection of monuments to Nazi war criminals.

Read more about this in the article by Giedrius Grabauskas

In April 2019, Stanislav Tomas, a Lithuanian citizen, lawyer and publicist, smashed a memorial plaque to Jonas Noreika, a Nazi accomplice who massacred Jews in Lithuania during World War II, with hammer blows. Stanislav Thomas was sentenced to three months in prison. A few days later, the board was restored, but in July 2019 it was nevertheless removed by decree of the mayor of Vilnius. In response, a real hysteria began among neo-Nazi groups. As a result, in September 2019, a crowd of neo-Nazis illegally returned the board to the place where it still is. How could all this happen? After all, the Institute of Lithuanian History recognized Jonas Noreika as a Nazi criminal.

The number of monuments to the Nazis and the assignment of the names of collaborators to the streets no longer surprise anyone. Juozas Luksha, an active participant in the Holocaust, a sadist and murderer of Jews, who sawed off the head of a rabbi with a knife in front of his wife and children, was declared a national hero and in 1997 was awarded the Order of the Vytautas Krest. And Stanislav Thomas, Giedrius Grabauskas and other Lithuanian patriots, standing on the positions of historical truth, are today recognized as internal enemies.

Journalist Olesya Orlenko, who had just returned from Donbass, recalled the story of the monument in Belgium, the famous “Latvian hive”, erected in 1998. This place was a camp of prisoners of war, mainly Latvians, who fought in the ranks of the Nazis.

Historian Vladimir Simindei added that the Latvian authorities have made great efforts to defend this monument. There were attempts to push the thesis that the prisoners of war detained there were just victims of the war. But it is known for certain that real war criminals were kept there. The area next to it was called Freedom Square with a certain play on words in Latvian. Nobody understood this in Belgium, but when everything was revealed, the progressive Belgian public was greatly outraged. They decided to turn the monument into an art object, they decided to demolish it in 2021, but it still stands.

In 1990, Lithuania became independent, but not from the crimes committed by Nazi criminal collaborators. These crimes have no statute of limitations.

Vladimir Simindey: “We see the paths that the Western historical politicum drags through the memory of collaborators. What was considered marginal in Western Europe - not just an excuse, but a celebration of the Nazis - is gradually in danger of becoming main stream.

Sputnik correspondent in the CIS countries and the Baltics, Semyon Boykov, developed this topic:

“In 2000-2010, the European Union began to strengthen the Eastern European message; communism began to be equated with Nazism, all this happened at the level of the adoption of resolutions by the European Parliament, the Council of Europe. The highlight was 2019. In September 2019, the European Parliament adopted a resolution “On the Importance of Preserving Historical Memory for the Future of Europe”, and its central theme was the condemnation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in which Germany and the USSR allegedly divided the countries of Europe among themselves. Attempts began to present the Soviet Union as one of the instigators of the Second World War along with Nazi Germany. In 2020, on the eve of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Baltic countries stepped up the promotion of this falsification on a global scale: the parliaments of these countries adopted resolutions accusing Russia of falsifying the results of World War II. Europe, through the media, has spread these meanings to society. In 2020-2021, this reached the UN level with the assistance of Estonia.”

But in fact, the Second World War did not begin on September 1, 1939; it began in 1938 with the Munich Agreement, when Czechoslovakia was divided between Poland and Nazi Germany. And those who signed the Munich Agreement directly took part in this. In a specific historical context, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the only way to save the USSR from immediate war.

The forum moderator, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, President of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio Valery Ruzin summed up:

“In recent years, we have become accustomed to reacting passively, not noticing the lies against us – today we see what this has led to.”

“Nazism is now a tool in the hands of those who need chaos,” - said Nazir Evloev, president of the International Association of Bloggers. “In Ukraine, nationality was put above the value of human life, thereby turning people into zombies who worship slogans.”

Volodymyr Simindey also noted that the justification of Nazism takes on a new meaning and will be applied to Ukraine. Already now, several criminals under criminal investigation in Latvia, trying to avoid responsibility, said that they were going to fight in Ukraine.

The forum revealed the urgent need in society to move from defensive actions to a firm upholding of the truth about the meaning and significance of the Great Victory. The opinion of the forum participants was unanimous - activity is needed now. The acts of Nazi criminals must always be punished!

Forum moderator: Valery RUZIN, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, President of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio (Russia).

Forum participants:

  • Giedrius GRABAUSKAS, historian, journalist, human rights activist (Lithuania);
  • Juozas YERMALAVICHUS, historian, professor (Russia);
  • Stanislav TOMAS, lawyer (Lithuania);
  • Victor DYOMIN, Senior Advisor of the Foundation for Support and Protection of the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad (Russia);
  • Olesya ORLENKO, journalist, head of international programs of the Historical Memory Foundation for the Promotion of Actual Historical Research, Society of Friends of HUMANITE (Russia);
  • Vladimir SIMINDEY, historian, political scientist, expert in the field of Russian-Latvian relations, head of research programs of the Historical Memory Foundation, editor-in-chief of the journal of Russian and Eastern European historical studies, member of the Scientific Council of the Russian State Archive for Socio-Political Research (RGASPI) (Russia);
  • Semyon BOYKOV, Sputnik correspondent in the CIS countries and the Baltics (Russia);
  • Nazir EVLOEV, President of the International Association of Bloggers (Russia);
  • Alexander KORNILOV, publisher, member of the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots (Estonia);
  • Svetlana SAFA, representative of the Russian House in Beirut (Lebanon);
  • Aleksey BODROV, Head of the Department for the Preservation of Historical Heritage about the Second World War and Local Conflicts of the International Congress of the Commonwealth of Nations of the World, Head of the auto-sport military-patriotic club "Keeper" (Russia);
  • Natalia BODROVA, Chairman of the Interregional Public Organization Search Detachment "Fakel" (Oryol, Russia);
  • Svetlana LAPTEVA, head of the search movement "Bizdin Zhenish - Our Victory" (Kyrgyzstan);
  • Ainura KANGELDIEVA, history teacher at the school named after Aden Istambekov (Kyrgyzstan);
  • Avasbek ARGYMBAYEV, history teacher at the school named after Aden Istambekov (Kyrgyzstan);
  • students of grades 8, 10, 11 of the school named after Aden Istambekov, members of the search team "Uchkun" (Kyrgyzstan);
  • students of the Glazunov Agricultural College (Oryol region, Russia).