Arkadijus Vinokuras

A New ‘Hero’ Who Called for Getting Rid of Jews

For some time now a special antisemitic operation by the Russian Nazi regime is being carried out openly in Lithuania. Look: member of parliament Remigijus Žemaitaitis vomits up domestic antisemitism and calls for beating Jews to death with a stick. His ejaculations have been seconded by Antanas Kandrotas, nicknamed Cellophane, who called Jonas Ohmanas a Jew.

Former commander of the military lieutenant general Valdas Tutkus isn’t far behind these two. He’s speculating “the Jew” Ohmanas [who is head of the Blue/Yellow Foundation sending support to the Ukrainian military] is sending public donations [for military equipment for Ukraine] to Israel. And here comes the Genocide Center [Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania] with a “new” operation called “Let’s lionize yet another Nazi collaborator anti-Semite.”

But let’s start at the beginning. MP Remigijus Žemaitaitis began his anti-Semitic campaign, acting as if he were following orders, right before the meeting of leaders from NATO member-states in Lithuania. The goal was to discredit Lithuania. After the summit was over, Žemaitaitis, again as if acting on orders, went silent, but the marathon continued when Antanas Kandrotas took the baton, quickly aided by the marchers [Family March participants] in the form of lieutenant general Valdas Tutkus. In one video he said: “So how is it now with Ohmanas, should we say ‘shalom, Ohmanas’ [imitating a stereotypical Jewish accent] now? He looted millions from the people of Lithuania and it isn’t clear where he sent it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he sent it to Israel…”

Does it paint a funny picture? I agree, the figures assembled here, important only to themselves, have decided (or acted under orders) to score some political points for themselves via domestic anti-Semitism, and, well, to draw attention to themselves as well. Although turning Ohmanas into a Jew does elicit a smile, the accusations made publicly against him in terms of their dishonesty are worthy of the prosecutor’s attention.

The Genocide Center’s operation, however, to commemorate commander of the Vilnius section of the Lithuanian Activist Front in the 1941 June “uprising,” attorney Stasys Žakevičius-Žymantas, with a plaque erected in the Law Faculty of Vilnius University, and to name an auditorium after him–this is a whole different level in the Kremlin’s special anti-Semitic operation in Lithuania. The narrative used for Jonas Noreika and Kazys Škirpa has been reissued: “they worked for the Nazis, but only for Lithuania’s benefit.” Thus, by the hands of alleged historians, the image of a nest of worshipers of neo-Nazis is being foisted on prestigious Vilnius University and all of Lithuania.

Incidentally, have you never heard of Stasys Žakevičius-Žymantas before? Let’s not use the Universal Lithuanian Encyclopedia as a source, whose entry on the man is the portrait of an unusually spiritual teacher of the law, a member of the “anti-Nazi resistance,” an agent for British intelligence after the war and a Lithuanian-American journalist after that. A portrait so clean it looks like a white sheet which has just been bleached and washed.

That encyclopedia doesn’t provide the fact that in October of 1950 the partisan Juozas Lukša-Daumantas made contact with the Supreme Committee for Liberating Lithuania [Vyriausiasis Lietuvos išlaisvinimo komitetas or VLIK] after returning to Lithuania wrote a “Pro memoria” in which called for the agents sent by Stasys Žakevičius-Žymantas “would be liquidated, and that those who inspired them to appear in the country would have no legal power abroad to operate in the name of representatives of the country engaged in struggle.” It seems Stasys Žakevičius-Žymantas attempted to discredit Juozas Lukša-Daumantas and the Lithuanian partisans (see L. Mockūnas, “Pavargęs herojus” [Tired Hero], Vilnius, 1997).

The Lithuanian encyclopedia doesn’t have any information at all about Žakevičius’s activities between June 22, 1941, and the end of September, 1941. But here’s what Genocide Center director Arūnas Bubnys has written about his activities:

“On June 29, 1941, the Vilnius City and District Citizens’ Committee and their chairman S. Žakevičius (appointed Citizens’ Committee chairman on June 24, 1941) delivered an address over Vilnius radio that accused and threatened Jews: ‘… Jews who have supported the bloody Bolshevik terror and who have been the most active servants of the Red hunters of men in the 20th century will be erased from the political, economic and cultural life of Lithuania. … but this will be set forth in legal acts by the Government” (from Arūnas Bubnys, “Holokaustas Lietuvoje 1941–1944” [The Holocaust in Lithuania, 1941-1944], Vilnius, 2011). (It’s unclear which acts of Government were followed by the LAF members who shot dozens of Jews and POWs in the yard next to the Church of the Franciscans on Trakų street in Vilnius on June 24, 1941.)

On July 4, 1941, an announcement, signed by Žakevičius and murderer of Jews Vilnius Auxiliary Police commander Antanas Iškauskas, was distributed severely restricting the rights of Jews

The Citizens’ Committee under Žakevičius’s leadership issued a large number of restrictions on Jews and their property was seized, including automobiles, motorcycles and so on. Jews were only allowed to buy food at 30 stores and 10 bakeries during restricted hours, from 4 to 6 o’clock in the evening. Jews were fired from their places of employment. The Committee forbade Jewish doctors from treating non-Jews. On June 26, 1941, Žakevičius told his underling, internal affairs manager Kostas Kelndra, to make preparations for seizing specific Jewish items for sending to various institutions: “… all libraries to the Academy of Sciences, all artwork of value to the Museum of Art, various Jewish luxury items to pawn shops for safekeeping, musical instruments to Art Affairs Agency and [items from] doctors’ practices to the Health Affairs Department.”

The Vilnius Department of the Lithuanian Activists Front’s Citzens’ Committee also published the infamous newspaper “Naujoji Lietuva” [The New Lithuania]. In the edition for July 4, 1941, an article called “Lithuania without Jews” stated: “The greatest parasite and exploiter of Lithuania along with other nations was and in some places still is the Jew”

Lithuanian Poles might also want to take note of this “hero” Stasys Žakevičius who hated Poles equally with Jews. He hated them so much that he removed so many Poles from their jobs that the Nazis had to put a halt to the Citizens’ Committee’s actions, otherwise there wouldn’t have been anyone left to work in Vilnius. Of course those who worship this man will begin their litany that Žakevičius fought for the restoration of Lithuanian statehood, and that’s why the Nazis dissolved his Citizens’ Committee, and that will be the truth. Incidentally, it was dissolved by general consent with the German occupational authority in Vilnius. Is that perhaps why not a single “member of the anti-Nazi resistance” in Lithuania, including even a military officer, ever shot a single Nazis between 1941 and 1944? Well, truth be told, they did do a lot of shooting, but only shot Jews. If you were to shoot Germans, why, you’d be no better than the Polish Home Army, the Armia Krajowa!

Let’s return to the move to pay honors to a documented anti-Semite, looter, persecutor of Jews and Poles and Nazi collaborator. The idea to commemorate him by hanging a commemorative plaque at the Law Faculty in Vilnius University and at a manor house near Kiev. Kiev, because that’s where Žakevičius was born. To tell the tale briefly: Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas received a query from the Genocide Center asking the Law Faculty at the university to act as mediator between the Genocide Center and the manor house outside Kiev in order to effect the placement of a commemorative plaque there.

It is clear to every sober thinking person: if that were done, the masters pulling the strings in the Kremlin would dance for joy, they might even shower with gold if not their agents then the truly useful idiots in the Lithuanian Genocide Center, because it would be announced to the world immediately that the Kiev “regime” has shown its true Nazi face by honoring an anti-Semite, Nazi collaborator and hater of Poles with very bloodied hands. Do the people behind this effort not understand they are, either intentionally or not very, about to stick it to ethnic Jew and Ukrainian president Volodomir Zelensky?

Who authored this dangerous provocation? On April 19 of this year the following people delivered presentations at a conference held to honor Žakevičius in the conference hall at the Tuskulėnai Memorial Part in Vilnius: the unhinged historian Vidmantas Valiušaitis, Family March marcher with a diploma from Moscow State University and soil specialist Sakalas Gorodeckis, professor Valdas Rakutis who claimed Jews were themselves responsible for the Holocaust and the doctor Kostas Ivanauskas. Genocide Center employee Gaudentas Aukštikalnis moderated the event. Also participating were other “Genocide Center staff, Law Faculty pro-deacon professor Jurgita Paužaitė-Kulvinskienė, sharpshooters from the Vilnius 1003 Marksmen’s Platoon, history buffs, Vilnius University students and members of the June Uprising Collegium.”

What was professor Vytautas Landsbergis doing there? He probably only got the short version of Žakevičius’s biography. One of the two resolutions adopted at the conference called for “creating favorable conditions for the students and teachers of the History Faculty and other faculties to research Žakevičius’s intellectual legacy and his role in academic life and in the history of Lithuania’s resistance, and to write academic works on these topics.” Wow…

I asked Christoph Dieckmann, the German historian who is an expert in Lithuanian Holocaust history who has, as has Genocide Center director Arūnas Bubnys, researched thoroughly the activities of the Citizens’ Committee under Žakevičius’s command, for his thoughts on the matter. Here’s how he responded [paraphrase translated from Lithuanian]: “Who at the Genocide Center wants to pay honor to an anti-Semite fascist and present him to Zelensky, who is a Jew, who has spoken out for European democratic values? Absurd! Honor Žakevičius? How is that possible? Really? Žakevičius as head of the Citizens’ Committee was responsible for all the decisions and actions by Lithuanians in Vilnius from June of 1941 to the end of August that same year, of course within the boundaries set by the Germans. He was a radical who sought a fascist revolution in Lithuania.”

Professor of history in the United States Saulius Sužiedėlis also shared information with me about Žakevičius, and historian Valentinas Brandišauskas has written of Žakevičius’s actions in 1941 as well.

So as we see in Lithuania, you don’t have to be a professional historian to decide for everyone else who is and who is not a hero. Based on the professions of the people at that conference (none of whom had anything in common with the discipline of history) there couldn’t have been any other result. Now it’s very clear why all the “controversial” activities were removed from Žakevičius’s biography which might tarnish the myth of Lithuania’s future hero.

Conclusion: the last marginal refuge is anti-Semitism and “love of Lithuania.” This flaming love of Lithuania is distorted because they can’t stop disturbing it. It’s clear the Kremlin is carrying out a special anti-Semitic operation in Lithuania whose goal is to discredit Lithuania and present the country as a failed state which worships the Nazis and its Nazi past. Employing a specific group, the rightwing radicals and, it appears, the Genocide Center under occupation by marginal radicals. This can be viewed as nothing other than “SUPRISE!” to Lithuania and Zelensky.

Original Lithuanian text here:

About the Author
A professional journalist for 35 years in Sweden and Lithuania. Articles are published in Europe, Sweden, Lithuania. A member of the Lithuanian Jewish community. A frequent guest on Lithuanian TV channels and radio talk show. Comments on the internet daily of Lithuanian National Radio and TV Political observer. Writer and professional actor.
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