News

2019.09.16 09:11

Swastika appears near Jewish community building in Vilnius

A swastika made out of soil appeared close to the building of the Jewish Community of Lithuania (LŽB) in Vilnius on Sunday.

The incident took place during the ongoing traditional Nations' Fair and a week before Lithuania marks its Day of Remembrance for Jewish Victims of Genocide, according to Faina Kukliansky, head of LŽB.

"We have not seen so clearly expressed anti-Semitism for a long time, having in mind all the circumstances, the Nation's Fair and the genocide commemoration," she said. "There were children inside our building and they were going to join the Nations' Fair. In other words, this is how we got congratulated with the Nations' Fair. The mood is dismal, I'm out of words."

The police has been informed and the Jewish community plans to file an official complaint.

Kukliansky, however, called for more involvement of the state to protect the Jewish community.

"There's state protection everywhere [else in the world]. It all starts with small things and they evolve into big things and it's negligent to ignore it," the LŽB chairwoman said.

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius has already condemned the incident, calling it deplorable.

"It's a deplorable incident that needs a swift investigation. It’s completely non-natural for us, and really such incidents have not been characteristic of us and do not do us credit, and, of course, they need to be investigated as soon as possible and prevented," he told BNS.

In early August, the JCL temporarily closed its headquarters and the Vilnius synagogue in response to threats. It was decided several days later to resume normal activity.

Read more: Lithuanian Jewish community reopens synagogue in Vilnius

Read more: Lithuanian leaders try to reassure Jewish community

Read more: After Jewish Community receives threats, PM condemns 'ethnic hatred'

Read more: Lithuania's Jewish community divided over response to historical commemoration debate

Read more: Jewish Community receives threats, closes synagogue and headquarters