Swastika of dirt and flowers placed in front of Lithuanian community HQ

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Swastika of dirt and flowers placed in front of Lithuanian community HQ

Nazi symbol placed near the building in Vilnius with suggestions online it was intended to both intimidate and offend

The Old Town of Vilnius, Lithuania
The Old Town of Vilnius, Lithuania


A swastika made of freshly dug earth and flowers was laid out in front of the headquarters of the Jewish Community of Lithuania in Vilnius, the country’s capital city.

The incident Sunday is rare for Lithuania and it follows acrimonious debate in Lithuania about the honouring of collaborators with the Nazis, some of whom are widely seen as anti-Soviet heroes in Lithuania despite their role in the near annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry.

Online, some comments about the display suggested it was meant not only to offend, but to intimidate with elements evocative of burial.

In July, the city council of Vilnius voted to rename a street honouring a Nazi collaborator, Kazys Škirpa, despite protests by nationalists. In August, a plaque for another collaborator, Jonas Noreika, was removed from a university building in Vilnius on orders from the mayor.

Last week, nationalist protesters installed without permit another plaque for Noreika at the same place instead of the one that had been removed, Efraim Zuroff, the Eastern Europe director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “If this is the response of so-called patriots, then it is an indication that they have no intention to address Lithuania’s Holocaust past,” he said


Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: