World Jewish Congress have condemned thousands of neo-Nazis attending parades in Lithuania and Latvia.
Veterans of Latvia’s World War Two Waffen SS wing and allies joined a rally in Riga to honour fallen comrades while neo-Nazis paraded in Lithuanian capital Vilnius chanting ‘Lithuanians for Lithuania’.
“All those who glorify Nazis and their collaborators by marching or otherwise are inciting hatred, plain and simple,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer.
“They are celebrating the darkest moments of modern history and espousing a contemporary agenda that calls for the destruction of anyone deemed ‘other’. This cannot be countenanced under any circumstances, but especially not after the murders committed by likeminded individuals in the Christchurch mosques and Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh a few months ago.”
Singer called on authorities in Latvia and countries allowing similar events to put a stop to such demonstrations.
Noting that mass neo-Nazi demonstrations in Riga and Vilnius are not isolated incidents, Singer said marches celebrating a similar agenda took place on a weekly and monthly basis across Europe, including in Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, which terrified Jewish citizens, undermining any semblance of democracy and tolerance in these countries.
“There are steps being taken to counter these manifestations, but authorities must be vigilant in taking decisive government action to stifle the worrying growth in Holocaust revisionism and glorification of perpetrators of Nazi crimes,” he said.
“A legal mechanism must be put in place a for halting this scourge once and for all.”
WJC President Ronald S. Lauder meantime praised Polish President Andrzej Duda for lambasting anti-Semitic newspaper, Tylko Polska, which published an article titled ‘How to spot a Jew’.
“This was no time for equivocation,” he warned. “The Jewish world is gratified by the President Duda’s denunciation the Tylko Polska newspaper, which is a blot on Poland’s democracy.
“Such publications have no place in its or any society. Tylko Polska is anti-Semitic and must either cease publication or change its course immediately.
“We can only hope that Polish legislation against incitement to racial hatred will be applied to the publishers of this scandalous hate sheet, which publishes content we have not seen since the Nazi Der Stürmer.”
Tylko Polska is published by extreme-nationalist propagandist Leszek Bubel who in 2005 was sentenced by a Polish court for publishing anti-Semitic statements in violation of the Polish penal code.
Meantime, WJC Swiss diplomat Soizic Pierson delivered a statement on the United Nations Human Rights Council floor condemning discrimination and persecution of persons with albinism.
“Part of the problems faced by persons with albinism stems from erroneous beliefs and myths, due to widespread ignorance and superstition,” they said.
“They are often left without appropriate recourse to effective remedies. They also face acute marginalisation, social exclusion, physical attacks and are also victims of bullying.
“The Independent Expert has described so-called “ritual attacks” that continue to take place in parts of Africa, in which persons with albinism are murdered for their body parts, believed to possess magical powers. This is unjust and unacceptable.
“WJC is appalled by these practices and calls upon all concerned states to take effective measures, in law, education and elsewhere, to curtail these incidents.”
By Natalie Ash