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21 October 2017
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Nazi – not Nazi?

 
Juozas Ambrazevičius or Juozas Brazaitis

The controversial case of Juozas Ambrazevius Brazaitis' (1903-1974)
remains being returned to Lithuania for re-burial this week

Juozas Ambrazevičius or Juozas Brazaitis was a Lithuanian literary historian, better known for his political career and nationalistic views. He was acting Prime Minister of the Provisional Government of Lithuania, the so-called Nazi puppet government, from 23 June 1941 to 5 August 1941.

He later joined an anti-Nazi movement, until he escaped from Lithuania by the end of WWII.

A document by the US Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, from January 1975, states that Brazaitis was removed from the list of Alleged Nazi War Criminals and that further investigations had been stopped. But Efraim Zuroff, leader of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Israel, says: "At the time the Americans didn't have the data that clearly point to his connection to the Nazis and to anti-Jewish violence." Here is a copy of the 1975 document...

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Aage Myhre President Adamkus honoured Ambrazevicius-Brazaitis with "Lietuvos didžiojo kunigaikščio Gedimino ordino Didžiojo kryžiaus" (the highest order of the Lithuanian State) on 6 July 2009. This obliges the government to honour him with a State funeral.... Which will take place Sunday 20 May. No ceremony in Vilnius as it has been stated by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz...

Read the Haaretz article here:

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/glorifying-a-nazi-collaborator-in-lithuania-1.430508

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Linas Johansonas 

There's a documentary film being released this weekend about Juozas Ambrazevicius-Brazaitis <> Here's what the producer of the film says about Brazaitis:

"Gaila, kad tokie žmonės nėra įvertinti visuomenės. Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis yra apdovanotas valstybiniais apdovanojimais ir įvertintas kaip vienas iš svarbiausių kovų už Lietuvos laisvę dalyvių. Bet šio jausmo nėra mūsų visuomenėje. Jaunimas tiesiog jo nežino, tad pasirinkimas buvo natūralus. Kitas svarbus dalykas, kad Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis pagaliau bus perlaidotas tėvynėje – tai labai svarbus įvykis mūsų istorijoje ir būtų gėda niekaip neįamžinti šios datos."

rough translation:

"It's a shame the people like him aren't appreciated. Brazaitis was awarded the nations highest honors, & is appreciated as one of the most important fighters for Lithuania's freedom. But this feeling is missing in our society. Todays youth knows nothing about him. Another important thing, his body will finally be laid to rest in Lithuania, which is a very important event in our nations history, & would it would be shameful not to immortalize this date"

(I'm posting this not as a supporter of Brazaitis, which i'm not, but for everyone to understand why some Lithuanians honor him)

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Dokumentinio filmo premjerą pristatantis Saulius Bartkus: tai – šioks toks patriotizmas | 15min.lt

www.15min.lt

Televizijos laidų prodiuseris Saulius Bartkus, be laidų prodiusavimo, labai domisi istorija ir prieš keletą metų pradėjo kurti dokumentinius filmus.

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Lars Persen 
This is a huge dilemma for Lithuania. Since the Soviet opression was both so hard and long quite a few Lithuanians rank the time under Germany the better, in stead of expressing an equally strong historical condemnation of both Nazi Germany and communist Soviet. Considering both sides destruction of Jewish communities in Lithuania and their atrocities, nor German or Soviet collaborators should be acknowledged! Giving Brazaitas a post-mortem re-funeral in Lithuania is surprising and sad. 

One can in 1941 understand his action, when one takes to account that the German at the time challenged the Soviet occupation. But in retrospect no Nazi collaborator should be honored, no matter what his intentions were!

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Linas Johansonas ‎Lars Persen wrote: "One can in 1941 understand his action, when one takes to account that the German at the time challenged the Soviet occupation. But in retrospect no Nazi collaborator should be honored, no matter what his intentions were!"

Shouldn't the same apply to those who collaborated with the Russians?

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Aurelijus Baltušis 

Extracts from a Report by Einsatzgruppe a in the Baltic Countries:
“It was no less important to establish as unshakable and provable facts for the future that it was the liberated population itself which took the most severe measures, on its own initiative, against the Bolshevik and Jewish enemy, without any German instructions being evident. 

In Lithuania this was achieved for the first time by activating the partisans** in Kovno. To our surprise it was not easy at first to set any large-scale anti-Jewish pogrom in motion there. 
Klimatis, the leader of the partisan group referred to above, who was the first to be recruited for this purpose, succeeded in starting a pogrom with the aid of instructions given him by a small advance detachment operating in Kovno, in such a way that no German orders or instructions could be observed by outsiders.[...]
Both in Kovno and in Riga evidence was taken on film and by photographs to establish, as far as possible, that the first spontaneous executions of Jews and Communists were carried out by Lithuanians and Latvians.”
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Einsatz_Baltic.htm

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Darius Udrys Since when do civilized countries make heroes out of Nazi collaborators? Brazaitis failed the most important test of a good leader: to protect the innocent and stand up for what is right. This adulation is an instance of staggering moral imbecility.

Category : Featured black / Lithuania in the world
  • Krystyna A. Steiger

    Readers opposed to the glorification of Nazi collaborators and Nazi puppet governments are invited to visit and consider signing the petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/to-the-lithuanian…. For more background from another perspective, please see http://www.DefendingHistory.com, where you will find the original order signed by this man in 1941, ordering all the Jews of Kaunas to be herded into a ghetto within four weeks. This is a travesty, and in my opinion, not in the interests of Lithuania!
    Greetings to all from Montreal

    May 17 2012
    CommentsLike

    • PLEASE OBSERVE THAT ANYONE SUBMITTING COMMENTS IN VILNEWS MUST BE FAMILIAR WITH THE ETHICAL STANDARDS OF OUR E-MAGAZINE.

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      While we welcome a diversity of opinions, we insist that those who participate in discussions do so in a civil and respectful way. Comments containing hate speech will be deleted. Those who violate this principle will be banned from the discussions.

      May 16 2012
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      • I am not calling him a nazi, i said "connections". AFAIK he was in the Hitler Youth and goes to premieres of films glorifying the LAF. I would welcome correction if I am wrong.

        May 20 2012
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        • Mark,
          I respect your opinion and I understand your outrage and pain. These were not simple times – as this interview with Jonas Mekas shows (http://www.webofstories.com/play/11100?o=MS). I also believe that those who committed crimes against humanity should be brought to justice – no questions asked.

          However, I have a problem with your statement "a Lithuanian President (who is not without his own nazi connections)". IMHO the accusations of this sort are very serious and have very important implications. From my personal perspective, I think he was a very good president and I voted for him. Would you like to share more of what you know about his "nazi connections"?

          May 16 2012
          CommentsLike

          • So he was excused for political reasons by the US years ago before all the facts were known, and then honoured by a Lithuanian President (who is not without his own nazi connections). I can't say I understand Lithuanian constitutional law very well, but surely any new President can reverse the situation due to a)logic b)facts c)honour d)sovereignty e)respect for the dead. What a pathetic impotent excuse it is to say "We have no choice, we have to honour a nazi collaborator". Does Lithuania not have control over herself? Is there a higher authority than the President who must be appealed to for permission to denounce the facilitators of genocide of Lithuanian citizens, men women and children?
            I spit on those who make excuses for Lithuania's hypocrisy.

            May 16 2012
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            • Brazaitis and his supporters did not appear out of the sky on 23rd of June, and their influence did not disappear on 5th August. The PG was short-lived but still managed to immediately start spewing antisemitic propaganda and encouraging the massacre of Lithuanian citizens.
              The volunteers and policemen and LAF thugs were quite capable of carrying out the destruction of their neighbours and fellow citizens without wearing SS uniforms, that is true. They wanted it to be done in the name of Lithuania.

              May 16 2012
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              • I am not very familiar with Juozas Brazaitis' life or views. However, in my opinion the claim that he was a head of state in a pro-nazi government and should be blamed for it is a bit stretched. The original post states that he was the head of state from 23 June 1941 to 5 August 1941 – which is about 2 weeks. Granted, Lietukis garage tragedy happened on June 25th, but on the other hand Rainiai massacre happened on the night from June 24 to 25th. So, in theory one can blame him for both turning a blind eye to killing of Jews in Kaunas and for killing of gymnasium pupils and political prisoners in a forest near Telsiai. Most of the population at that point viewed Germans as liberators from the brutal Soviets. However, it was quickly realized that Germans are not liberators at all – maybe that is why there were no ethnic SS troops in Lithuania.

                May 16 2012
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