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Thread: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    I'm not surprised at Lithuania - I've made my judgment about this country long ago, what I'm wondering at is if the EU officials would swallow that as well? Doing nothing about this would bury my remaining illusions about European Union.

    Source:
    http://www.lithuaniatribune.com/2010/05 ... erminated/

    The Klaipeda city court has acquitted a group of history enthusiasts for using posters with swastikas on them during the Independence Day parade on 16 February in Klaipeda. The court on 18 May ruled to terminate the administrative case against the four youth on grounds that the Swastikas used on the posters were photographs of an archaeological finding in Lithuania and initially the swastika was the sign of the sun.

    “These are not Nazi symbols, but valuable symbols of the Baltic culture. The symbols of our forefathers, which were taken away, fabricated and crippled by other nations. It is not fascism, but the architecture of the universe that they represent,” Milvydas Jusakauskas, the defence counsel’s witness from Vilnius said as reported by BNS after the court hearing. reported after the court hearing.
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    Hanna
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    It's true that the swastika is actually an old Northern European symbol. In Sweden there are some swastikas on old buildings from the 1800s when it was fashionable to use as decoration. I think that's exactly why the Nazis selected that particular symbol - because they were obsessed with everything "aryan". It's tasteless to use it today though!

    But it's not something that seriously upsets me... And besides, I have heard that a lot of people across the Baltic states area were quite pro-Nazi during the war --- I think a lot of people there saw it as a better alternative than becoming part of the USSR. A fair number of people there still support nazism --- at least according to the press.

    Tons of the ex-Nazi Baltic people escaped to Sweden in 1945. However Sweden handed them back to the USSR on the basis of some agreement that existed. The USSR sent them to labour camps in Siberia. Some of them returned to the Baltic area decades later, but some never returned. It became quite a big scandal that they had not been allowed to stay. I remember a debate about it at university; because the whole question about what was right or wrong in a situation like that was interesting from an academic perspective.

    I agree that the EU uses a lot of double standards when it comes to the Baltic states.. Imagine if somebody in Germany or Austria walked around with banners of swastikas! Besides being illegal there, the EU would become livid....

    The Baltic states have also banned gay parades and certain types of political/historical comments. Plus they are discriminating against the Russian speaking minorities. All of this is completely against EU law. So individuals in those countries could sue their country in Brussels, if they wanted.

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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    I'm aware of the fact that swastika is an old symbol and it was used by many nations. Few people know that it has been proposed even for a Soviet coat of arms in the early 1920s. The origins of this symbol are lost in the dim past of prehistoric India. BUT. I've no doubts that those young men who demonstrated it in Lithuania used it as a Nazi symbol, not some 'historic legacy'. It's because of the Nazi this symbol became known to the Western civilization and in the minds of people its ties to the Nazi ideology are stronger than anything else. Now, it is a symbol of nazism and nothing else. It's forbidden in many countries but if this tendency is left unbroken I wouldn't be surprized to see this symbol on the Lithuanian national flag. Imagine their olympic team marching across some stadium under this banner
    And I'm practically sure that no sanctions against Lithuania will follow from the EU.
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  4. #4
    Hanna
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    I agree with you, there are all sorts of strange goings on in the Baltic states that the EU really ought to look into; particularly the treatment of the Russian speaking people.

    The Baltic countries are VERY keen to recieve EU funding, so they ought to make sure they follow the EU rules...

    Frankly I don't really understand the Baltic people very well (although I have basically only met Estonians and Latvians, never Lithuanians). Have never worked with anyone from there and I don't have any friends from there, although I met quite a lot of Estonians at university. I have some distant relatives in Estonia but I have only met them a few times; hardly know them at all.

    I have heard some really crazy political comments by people from there, but who knows what's behind it and how serious it is... ?

    You can travel through the entire country on a tram.... Most citizens in the EU probably don't even know these countries are members...

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    I heard that the swastika was first used with the open ends pointing to the left, and Hitler switched the direction, making the arms S-like. That's why he had all the bad luck. =:^0

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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Symbols of main ancient Russian pagan god Perun (they are symbolizing sun):



    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Is it illegal to display Nazi symbols in Lithuania? I tried to find information on the specific law there, but I came up with nothing.
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    I heard that the swastika was first used with the open ends pointing to the left, and Hitler switched the direction, making the arms S-like. That's why he had all the bad luck. =:^0
    There were plenty of swastikas in history with ends pointing right and with ends pointing left, even in a single ornament you could find both and no universal agreement exists about the symbolism of swastika's arms direction. There're very interesting articles in wikipedia about it:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika_origin_theories

    Quote Originally Posted by почемучка
    Is it illegal to display Nazi symbols in Lithuania? I tried to find information on the specific law there, but I came up with nothing.
    No, it's not illegal anymore, quite the contrary, it is now a part of their 'historic legacy'.
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    No, it's not illegal anymore, quite the contrary, it is now a part of their 'historic legacy'.
    Well, that's obviously what the court ruled, but I wanted to know the specific reason why they were in court to begin with. Which law did they break? I'm not an expert on Lithuanian law!

    Proponents of Nazi ideology are among the most detestable people in the world. However, I don't support the banning of Nazi symbols, which I consider to be an abridgment of free speech. Although everything about neo-Nazism is highly offensive, I don't believe that people have the right to not be offended. On more practical terms, banning Nazi symbols doesn't eliminate neo-Nazis or neo-Nazi ideas. I believe that allowing these people to air their views in the cold light of day is the best way to deal with them. Let society at large see them for what they are: heinous people filled with ignorant hate and warped arguments. Let society publicly condemn them. The only thing that we can accomplish by banning Nazi symbols and/or speech is allowing a community to comfortably turn a blind eye to the ugly things that exist in the dark corners of society.


    All that said, this court decision doesn't seem to be based on free speech grounds.
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by почемучка
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    No, it's not illegal anymore, quite the contrary, it is now a part of their 'historic legacy'.
    Well, that's obviously what the court ruled, but I wanted to know the specific reason why they were in court to begin with. Which law did they break? I'm not an expert on Lithuanian law!

    Proponents of Nazi ideology are among the most detestable people in the world. However, I don't support the banning of Nazi symbols, which I consider to be an abridgment of free speech. Although everything about neo-Nazism is highly offensive, I don't believe that people have the right to not be offended. On more practical terms, banning Nazi symbols doesn't eliminate neo-Nazis or neo-Nazi ideas. I believe that allowing these people to air their views in the cold light of day is the best way to deal with them. Let society at large see them for what they are: heinous people filled with ignorant hate and warped arguments. Let society publicly condemn them. The only thing that we can accomplish by banning Nazi symbols and/or speech is allowing a community to comfortably turn a blind eye to the ugly things that exist in the dark corners of society.


    All that said, this court decision doesn't seem to be based on free speech grounds.
    What can I say, your words do make some sense, after all, having many Nazis assembled at one time in one place makes a perfect opportunity... What about marches of SS veterans in Latvia (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE52F3UB20090316) ?

    As far as I know, Lithuanian parliament banned Soviet and Nazi symbols not long ago. Hammer and sickle are forbidden there too, by the way. Up until now, swastika had been forbidden also.
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    What can I say, your words do make some sense, after all, having many Nazis assembled at one time in one place makes a perfect opportunity... What about marches of SS veterans in Latvia (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE52F3UB20090316) ?

    As far as I know, Lithuanian parliament banned Soviet and Nazi symbols not long ago. Hammer and sickle are forbidden there too, by the way. Up until now, swastika had been forbidden also.
    I think that those SS veterans should have the right to march. It's basic free speech. Fortunately, society also has free rein to heap scorn on them if they so desire. They can mercilessly annihilate the weak arguments of anti-Semites. They have the right to free speech, too. In an open society, the good ideas will rise to the top.

    Of course, it's all very offensive, but that doesn't matter. "Offense" is subjective and if we start handing out the right to "not be offended", where does it end? Do Muslims have the right to not see cartoon depictions of Muhammad? Justifiably or not, some considered the Danish cartoons to be deeply offensive. The sight of a New York Yankees baseball cap deeply offends me. Can we ban those too?
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Well, free speech is a good thing, but what about legal statutes about forbidding the Nazi ideology?
    What about denying Holocaust being considered as a criminal offense?
    If everyone is granted free speech, why we don't see people on TV saying that Hitler was right, cannibalism is normal, child pornography is legal, etc? Freedom is freedom - everything should be legalized in this case...

    Man... we need to draw a line somewhere and I'm sure you agree that Nazism is a thing that should remain behind that line.
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    cannibalism is normal
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_VNMF7He8E&NR=1
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    cannibalism is normal
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_VNMF7He8E&NR=1
    No youtube at work Will watch this at home. What is it about?
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    cannibalism is normal
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_VNMF7He8E&NR=1
    No youtube at work Will watch this at home. What is it about?
    Mr.Freeman №4

    Cannibalism is our unavoidable bright future.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Mr.Freeman №4

    Cannibalism is our unavoidable bright future.
    Cannibalism is just an allegory here, the video is about competition.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77

    Cannibalism is just an allegory here, the video is about competition.


    Let's start a new [s:36y1s984]thread[/s:36y1s984] topic about Mr.Freeman's messages. "Mr.Freeman: what this all is about?"

    Even linguistic forums should keep up with the times.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Well, free speech is a good thing, but what about legal statutes about forbidding the Nazi ideology?
    What about denying Holocaust being considered as a criminal offense?
    I completely understand why they have been enacted in various European countries, but I don't support such statutes. I think they accomplish very little.

    If everyone is granted free speech, why we don't see people on TV saying that Hitler was right, cannibalism is normal, child pornography is legal, etc? Freedom is freedom - everything should be legalized in this case...
    I think that people should be allowed to say that Hitler was right, that cannibalism is normal, and that child pornography should be legal. But that is very, very different from actually enacting Hitler's policies or legalizing child pornography.

    It is legal to say all of these things in the US, and yet you never hear these opinions espoused on TV. Why? Because they are ideas that have been thoroughly discredited and society has rejected them. You don't see pro-Nazi material in the media because TV stations have the right to show what they want. Society can regulate itself. People who spout pro-Nazi nonsense are quickly marginalized. There's no need for government interference, which accomplishes nothing other than the creation of an opportunity for an abuse of power.

    Man... we need to draw a line somewhere and I'm sure you agree that Nazism is a thing that should remain behind that line.
    I draw the line at libel or public endangerment (the classic example -- yelling "fire" in a movie theater). I don't think that the government should regulate any other form of speech and that includes Nazism.

    Again -- banning people from saying pro-Nazi things, or from denying the Holocaust, or from using Nazi symbols will not eliminate them. They will hold these very same opinions in private. It does nothing other than allow a society to feel better about itself and ignore real problems.

    It's an attack on the symptoms of the problem, not the problem itself. Sometimes, giving up civil liberties in exchange for something else is a good trade. In this case, it sets a bad precedent on free speech without gaining much at all.
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by почемучка
    You don't see pro-Nazi material in the media because TV stations have the right to show what they want. Society can regulate itself. People who spout pro-Nazi nonsense are quickly marginalized.
    Ok. Imagine I've money and I bought Fox-News channel. I'm a Neo-Nazi and I tell them to start propagandizing Nazi stuff.
    Will I get away with it? (I don't care if I'm marginalized).
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    Re: Lithuanian court defines swastika as “historic legacy”

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Quote Originally Posted by почемучка
    You don't see pro-Nazi material in the media because TV stations have the right to show what they want. Society can regulate itself. People who spout pro-Nazi nonsense are quickly marginalized.
    Ok. Imagine I've money and I bought Fox-News channel. I'm a Neo-Nazi and I tell them to start propagandizing Nazi stuff.
    Will I get away with it? (I don't care if I'm marginalized).
    Most of your employees would quit immediately (association with Nazism is a real career-killer in addition to the moral qualms they would have), there would be massive boycotts, and you wouldn't get a dime of advertising money since all companies would be heading for the hills. Cable companies would come under immense pressure from customers, politicians, and advocacy groups to drop your channel from their lineups. You'd be left with two options: sell or go out of business.

    That's the thing with free speech. You are free to say what you'd like, but you have to accept the consequences. For something as grotesque as Nazism, even money and influence can't protect you from the backlash.
    Пожалуйста, исправляйте мои бесконечные ошибки!

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