According to the latest population projections issued by Eurostat, Europe’s population will decrease by 6% between 1 January 2022 and 1 January 2100, equivalent to 27.3 million fewer people.
At the collapse of the Soviet Union, Lithuania’s population was approximately 3,500,000. Around one million people have since departed. Lithuania’s birthrate is very low. Given the catastrophic combination of reducing births and rapid emigration, Lithuania’s population is expected to drop to 1,700,000. A breakdown of this magnitude bodes ill for any society, leading to a collapse in industry, a failure of demand for real estate, goods and services, and ultimately, an economic implosion. i.e. the awful current Lithuanian economy will inevitably get considerably worse.
In 1941, Lithuania enthusiastically chose to commit genocide against their industrious Jewish population, leading to a 99% elimination rate of their Jewish citizens. They plundered Jewish assets (Their recent financial settlement amounts to $16.80 per murdered Jew per year, for a few years). So, why are Lithuania’s problems possibly related to Jews or Israel now? Well, it’s complicated.
The King of Lithuania had an inspired dream – to build and grow Lithuania into a modern state. He invited Jews to move to Lithuania in 1323 and help him build the nation. He showered Jews with love, and they came. His dream was realized. Jews were fundamental to the growth and the success of the country. Jews were integral to the Lithuanian economy.
Jews were never considered Lithuanians. We were called “Litvaks” as opposed to ethnic, white, Catholics who were considered “Lithuanian”. i.e. we were never allowed to integrate, we were never considered natural inhabitants, rather, an irritating foreign element resident on their land. We were noted ethnically in their modern population records – not as “Lithuanians” which was exclusively for white Catholics, but as “Litvaks” – i.e. we were not a part of them.
In 1495 Jews were expelled from Vilnius. Economic devastation followed and so Jews were invited back in 1503. Jews were then showered with love – until the next time.
In 1810 Jews were expelled again. Economic devastation followed and so Jews were invited back in 1812. Jews were then showered with love – until the next time.
In 1823 expulsions happened again. Jews were later invited back and showered with love – until the next time.
It is a shame we Jews often do not learn lessons from our history.
Throughout the history of Lithuania, there was a series of persecutions against Jews, excess taxes levied specifically against Jews, excess conscriptions of Jews, different business licensing requirements for Jews, and brutality and persecution against Jews. Each time, Lithuanian racism against Jews caused damage to Lithuanians themselves, (never mind the dead and devastated Jews), and each time Jews were invited back and showered with love, until the next cycle. The pattern is simply a seven hundred year long, consistent, repeat cycle.
In 1915, Russians rounded up and deported Jews from Lithuania. Lithuanians then plundered Jewish property enriching themselves through thievery.
In 1918, based on the promise of legal equality, Jews helped Lithuania gain independence from Russia. Lithuanians showered Jews with love, begging Jews (only the rich ones) to return and build Lithuania. As they had every time before, Jews believed that this time Lithuania was being sincere, and so returned. My own grandfather fought for Lithuania’s independence.
Lithuanian promises were empty and the façade was quickly exposed. Within just a few years, Jews were once again taught exactly what their “place” was. Lithuania is, after all, reliably predictable.
The Holocaust did not happen in a vacuum. Jonas Noreika and his ilk led the antisemitic and genocidal movement in the 1930’s. Kazys Skirpa proposed the “elimination” of Jews to German authorities. Lithuania began murdering Jews before Nazis even arrived in Lithuania.
80% of Lithuanian Jews were murdered before Nazis decided on the “Final Solution”. Lithuania showed the Nazis how genocide could be accomplished by a local population. Before the Jews were even murdered, Lithuanians and Nazis jointly plundered their assets. The Jewish “golden goose” was completely and utterly slaughtered in Lithuania. In return, Lithuania achieved a “Jew-free” ethnically pure state. This was their trade off. They achieved their goal and today, they honor our murderers as their national heroes.
Lithuanian crimes against Jews are supposedly never their fault. The Lithuanian defense against their crimes is that they were “occupied” (and so all crimes, committed by anyone accrue to the occupier), or others did it. Commonly, I am told that nobody saw what happened to the Jews. Nobody heard anything. Nobody smelled anything. Apparently, what must have happened is that one night the Jews must have been magically and invisibly abducted (which is perhaps why Lithuanians claim Jews are just “lost”). During this period, Lithuanians also claim they were all (unsuccessfully) rescuing Jews. Utterly dishonest. With so few Survivors of the Lithuanian Holocaust, Lithuania has developed a sophisticated narrative to blame everyone else for their own crimes, and present themselves as victims, and rescuers of Jews.
Simultaneously, Lithuania claims ownership of Vilnius for the past 700 years. An irresolvable conflict in their narrative.
From Yosef Gar’s history: “The comparative complaints from the supporters of a Jewish ghetto administration are summarized as follows: witnesses reported that the defenseless Jews absolutely could not hope for help from the neighboring Christian world during the horrific murders by the Lithuanian population in the first chaotic days, even before the Nazis managed to warm their feet in occupied Lithuania. Jews were likened to an animal which fell into a trap, from where there was no way to tear himself out.”
Inflation and rising interest rates have impoverished Lithuania’s middle class. Minimum take-home pay is 650 euro’s per month. An average retirement pension in Lithuania is about 450 euro’s per month. For a family of four, that is below poverty level in America. This is just one reason why so many Lithuanians are leaving.
Inflation in Lithuania hit 20% last year. A recession is inevitable.
One third of cars owned by households in Lithuania are older than 20 years. Nine out of 10 people live in a home they own, but almost a tenth of them have no indoor toilet. The Lithuanian situation remains forbidding. They are fortunate to receive charitable handouts from the EU which sustains them. European charity is scheduled to end.
Drug addiction in Lithuania is rampant. Government corruption is a problem. Cronyism and nepotism are rampant in industry, leading to lower caliber employees and government workers. Crime is an issue. Child and spousal abuse are rampant. So is alcoholism. Suicide is a national problem – no other European country has such a high suicide rate.
Lithuanian courts lack legitimacy. Even Lithuanian President Nauseda campaigned on this issue. Foreign businesses find it impossible to conduct business where they know there is not a legitimate legal process.
Lithuanian foreign policy adventurism has cost them markets in China. They have cut economic ties with Russia, their economic measures are simply, a catastrophic disaster. The Lithuanian national airline went bankrupt many years ago. There are no direct flights between Lithuania and North America.
Government ministers and city mayors have regularly been caught engaging in corrupt practices.
Minorities are legally discriminated against ensuring that foreign workers feel unwelcome and unsafe in Lithuania. Lithuania even has a “Gay propaganda Law” similar to Russia’s. This is an insurmountable problem for foreign companies engaging with Lithuanian industry. When discrimination is law, how can any minority feel safe?
Educated youth and the employable are those who emigrate, leaving the sick, disabled and elderly behind. This exacerbates Lithuania’s economic situation. No national pension system can sustain these circumstances.
Lithuania has little in the field of natural resources other than some agriculture and forests. Tourism is mostly “annihilation tourism” for Jews, or drunken Europeans looking for cheap sex (everyone knows what accompanies cheap sex). Lithuania has no mountains, so there is no ski tourism. Lithuanian weather patterns are not conducive to constant tourism. Latvia has vastly better beach resorts and more interesting cities. Latvia is a much smaller country with four times as many Jews as Lithuania. Tourists have choices, there is no discernable reason for any tourist to visit Lithuania. Death tourism remains Lithuania’s most viable tourist product.
Lithuania only allows dual citizenship on an “exception” basis, so Lithuanian emigrants permanently cut ties when they seek employment opportunities elsewhere. Lithuania is trying to overturn this law but the xenophobic population consider emigration or immigration against their nationalist impulses, so overturn has repeatedly failed and remains unlikely.
Lithuania needs investment to create the high tech element of their economy. This will never happen without external monetary sources. With 193 countries in the world, why would anyone select Lithuania as an investment destination? The risk premium an investor would require for doing business is too high to make Lithuania a viable option. Therefore, Lithuania will remain a European charitable necessity.
Unable to reflect genuine positives, Lithuania’s focus is now on using the Russian attack against Ukraine as their raison d’être. They have made Ukraine a part of the fabric of their identity. When an entity has little else to sell, they sell what they can. Ukraine also serves Lithuania as a distraction from all their other ills.
Current Lithuanian solution:
Jews now comprise 0.1% of Lithuania’s population. Not a statistically relevant number. However, Jews of Lithuanian heritage (those that Lithuanians and Nazis were not able to murder) have reached extraordinary heights in commerce, science, entertainment, and academia in countries where they are welcome and valued. These are Israel, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the United States. Wherever Jews of Lithuanian heritage (Litvaks) have gone, we have succeeded wildly, enhanced our new countries, and built triumphant lives. The “Glory List” in Michael Kretzmer’s documentary J’Accuse! is a minuscule listing of such Litvaks.
In a repeat of previous models, Lithuania now looks to Litvak Jews as their potential economic rescuers. They now even change our ethnic identity to re-define us as Lithuanian! (is that supposed to be a compliment?)
Having already “eliminated” their Jewish population, they have to grovel for outside Jewish intellect and financing. Therefore, Lithuania is on a Jewish charm campaign to convince us they have changed. Often, they appoint willing Jews to be their “front-men”, to draw investment into Lithuania from other Jews in an “affiliation” type representation. This Jewish “affiliation” projects credibility and is profitable for all (except, often, the investor).
Lithuanian Embassies and Consulates have been created with the purpose, to a significant degree, of engaging with Jews to return to the Jewish “money-well” in order to seek alms from them, and to attract more death tourism (they call it heritage tourism). After all, many Lithuanians claim – so many Lithuanians tried to rescue Jews – we owe them!
This strategy has been repeatedly viable for Lithuania over the past 700 years. Why should it not work again? We know from the past that it has always ended badly, and why should this time be any different?
Germany has repudiated their history, apologized and successfully achieved reconciliation. Lithuania has embraced their murderers and declared them their national heroes. Other than a very thin façade, there is no legitimate indication of a fundamental shift in the Lithuanian psyche. Their heroization of murderers of Jews proves their consistency.
Lithuania’s representatives are highly skilled salespeople selling a terrible product. At a very minimum, Lithuania’s shills should certify to investors why their 700 years of a uniform record of Jewish persecution will suddenly, for the very first time in history, radically change. We Jews have been down this path far too many times already with the same results. Caveat Emptor. Buyer beware.