NATO will be holding their 2023 Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. One impediment is that Lithuania is littered with monuments glorifying genocidal murderers of Jews. How will delegations navigate the city and avoid this hideous ideology, on display for the world?
The US Government has made clear these monuments are unacceptable. Many international organizations followed suit, along with the German and Israeli governments. Nothing has altered. This is a serious problem for NATO as they oppose Russia’s assault on Ukraine. How can NATO legitimately stand near monuments glorifying genocide, while simultaneously calling for human rights? NATO is in an untenable position.
In the past decade, Jonas Noreika has become the world’s embodiment of genocidal evil and the Lithuanian Government has become the world’s poster child for Holocaust fraud, revision, distortion and triumphalism. Until now, no amount of international pressure has shifted Lithuania towards truth.
For decades I was aware Noreika was the murderer of my own family. I approached Lithuanian officials regarding his glorification and received a blatant rejection. Recognizing Lithuania had no interest in truth, I reached out to American Jewish organizations for help. Nothing. It wasn’t a “sexy” subject and couldn’t be used for fundraising. Lithuania has been allowed to continue their deceptions.
I pursued the quest for truth on my own. I hired researchers to scour the historical records. There is voluminous proof of Noreika’s genocidal crimes. Enough documents to convict him in any legitimate court, many, many times over. I was confident I could bring the proof to the Lithuanian government’s attention and settle it amicably, away from public attention. I was mistaken.
In 2015, I implored the Mayor of Vilnius (Simasius) to remove the most visible monument. He wouldn’t even answer. Later, he was pressured into responding and so referred the issue elsewhere – a well worn Lithuanian tactic of sending people down endless rabbit holes until they give up. I did not give up. I have no intention of ever giving up.
Finally, the Mayor ordered a government report on Noreika. The government declared Noreika “innocent” of his Holocaust crimes. George Orwell could not have constructed such implausible, convoluted reasons how to rewrite history into fictional magic. The Lithuanian government distributed this Holocaust revisionism to their President, Prime Minister and many others. It had as much veracity as Putin’s usual historical findings, but it met Lithuania’s ideological and political requirements (which are not as high as Putin’s), so national leadership consumed it with joyous satisfaction. History was remade.
Nineteen Lithuanians of high education, integrity and morality were appalled by these Holocaust falsifications and so petitioned the government to remove the monument. The government responded. They identified the nineteen as “Russian agents, Jews and other stupid people”. This included their own Member of the European Parliament.
The situation intensified from then on.
The Vilnius Noreika monument is displayed on a government listed, heritage building. I sued the Heritage Department. I showed that the Noreika monument did not meet their own national requirements for display on a heritage building, thus, the monument, by law, required removal.
The problem remains, the request came from me, a Jew. I asked Lithuania to look in the mirror and to be truthful. I never had even a glimmer of hope. My cases were dismissed on one absurd legal technicality after another. The government was not interested in their own legal requirements for heritage buildings. They were not about to hear from an impudent Jew!
A Lithuanian named Stanislovas Tomas was outraged. His city made him walk past monuments glorifying Holocaust perpetrators. It was such a filthy and evil celebration of Lithuania’s crimes, he smashed the Noreika monument. Tomas turned himself in to the authorities. Decent people consider Tomas a hero for his actions, Lithuania considers him a criminal.
Mayor Simasius who had supposedly been searching (unsuccessfully) for ownership documents of the monument for years, magically found them – instantly. The Mayor was outraged his city’s monument for a murderer of Jews had been smashed. He had the pieces glued together and mounted back on the wall. Once again, Vilnius had its trophy back in place.
Days later, in a complete about turn, Mayor Simasius ordered the monument removed.
The Jewish organizational world who had uniformly ignored the issue, erupted with joy at Mayor Simasius’s removal of the monument. The American Jewish Committee then invited him to Washington DC and convinced many others to shower Simasius with grand awards for his actions, bravery, and truthfulness. B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel Mariaschin noted the mayor’s “tremendous contribution to strengthening the relationship in a very honest way between Lithuanians and Jews.”
The multitude of lofty awards were turned into a ridiculous practical joke when, upon Simasius’s return to Vilnius, he allowed a new, improved moment for Noreika to be erected. Suddenly, the Heritage listed building requirements the government defended so vigorously in court, just evaporated into the ether.
The people of Vilnius rejoiced. A Lithuanian Priest blessed the new monument. It was festooned with ribbons and flowers. Genocide was celebrated in the Capital City once again.
I have filed dozens of legal actions against the government of Lithuania. None of my cases have ever been examined on the facts. Ideology continues to trump law in Lithuanian Courts.
Lithuania’s skill in creating new technicalities to dismiss legal cases is nothing short of mesmerizing. In so doing, they made their ideological positions clear, in writing, and displayed the corruption of their judicial system. (Lithuania’s President Nauseda has admitted that judicial verdicts are a transactional commodity in Lithuania).
Lithuania’s Holocaust frauds and celebration of genocide has since captured worldwide attention.
Lithuania functions as a display case of honors and monuments for murderers of Jews. Lithuania never has considered that their protector is America and the NATO alliance. President Biden will be part of the American NATO delegation. Wherever he walks in Vilnius, he will be standing near a monument for Holocaust perpetrators. Approximately 40 international delegations will be attending, how can they knowingly meander a city adorned with monuments for human rights violators? Lithuania has put their protectors in an untenable situation.
Delegates will be subject to personal and national reputational risk if they are photographed near any of Lithuania’s Holocaust perpetrator monuments.
Lithuania is not the first to find themselves in this “problematic” position. Adolf Hitler found himself in a similar position in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He cleansed the city of most antisemitic material ahead of the games, and reverted back the moment foreigners left.
Putin cleaned up Sochi before the Winter Olympics.
Seth Rogan made a movie “The Interview” reflecting North Korea’s cleaning up to put on a different face.
Lithuania learned from Hitler, Putin and the movie. Lithuania has removed the Noreika monument in time for the NATO Summit! Their stated reason is for “building cleaning”, but monuments are seldom, if ever removed from buildings to clean them. The timing of the removal for a nonsensical reason right before the summit is disingenuously apparent. Here we see Lithuania creating a narrative to hide their actual values. They will reinstall the monument the moment all visitors leave.
Their deliberate concealment is merely a Putinlike type charade. By doing this, Lithuania shows their contempt for foreign NATO delegations. They think they can deceive the world, however, the world is watching.
The removal of Noreika’s monument from display during the NATO Summit is Lithuania’s acknowledgement of Noreika’s guilt. It is proof of the moral bankruptcy of their government who fought removal in over thirty legal actions. Lithuania tried to fool their NATO allies, instead they are now exposed.
After the NATO Summit, the Heritage Department will allow workers of the Vilnius Municipality to re-install the monument without permits and without Heritage Department oversight. This shows the world their vigorous legal defense has never been about legal requirements, it has always been about the glorification bestowed upon their own Holocaust perpetrator. Lithuania constructed their own trap. Jonas Noreika is now the embodiment of their State.