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This program was recorded in one, 60-minute segment .
Introduction: Resuming a thread of analysis from FTR #857 , this program examines aspects of the most inappropriately-named National Endowment for Democracy. A direct extension of the U.S. intelligence community, NED has assumed many of the functions performed by CIA in the past, and is a tool for the use of “soft power” to interfere in the affairs of other nations.
The overall goal and raison d’etre for the NED is regime change.
Since his sponsorship of Citizen Greenwald’s latest journalistic efforts, EBay kingpin Pierre Omidyar has enjoyed a lustrous public persona. His political efforts not only belie his supposed altruistic orientation but are inextricably linked with covert operations and the promotion of fascists of various kinds.
A devotee of the Austrian school of economics , Omidyar not only promoted and has benefited from the election of Hindu Nationalist/fascist Narendra Modi in India, he operated through NED and the Agency for International Development to help finance the Maidan coup in Ukraine . That coup, a covert operation that took advantage of popular dissatisfaction resulting from the endemic corruption plaguing Ukraine, brought to power the direct political heirs to the OUN/B.
Omidyar is now partnering with the NED  to establish a fact-checking service, and is also helping to finance Ukrainian media. Omidyar has also bought participation in the Ukrainian parliament.
Activities of the sort that NED engages in have moved Russian president Vladimir Putin to crack down  on its operations in Russia. NED executive Carl Gershman openly called for the West to gain political control over Ukraine, as preparation for effecting “regime change” in Russia itself.
Next, the program excerpts AFA #36 , detailing the projection of World War II-era fascist elements into Lithuania by the National Endowment for Democracy.
The actions of the NED and the resultant re-emergence of Baltic Waffen SS units in places like Lithuania is to be seen against the background of the Crusade For Freedom, the same “op” that resulted in the projection of the OUN/B fascists into Ukraine following the overthrow of Yanukovich.
An illegal domestic covert operation, the CFF brought Nazi allies  such as the OUN/B, the Croatian Ustachi, the Romanian Iron Guard, the Hungarian Arrow Cross, the Bulgarian National Front and others into the United States in order to drive the political spectrum to the right.
As of 1952, the CFF became inextricably linked with the GOP, with Arthur Bliss Lane playing a key role in the GOP’s 1952 campaign, as well as being centrally involved in the CFF. The CFF spawned the GOP’s ethnic outreach organization, which was able to deliver the swing vote in five key states in Presidential election years. It eventually became a permanent part of the GOP.
Conceived by Allen Dulles, the CFF was overseen by Richard Nixon. Its chief spokesperson was Ronald Reagan. The State Department official responsible for bringing “fascist freedom fighters” like the OUN/B into the United States was William Casey (Ronald Reagan’s campaign manager in the 1980 Presidential race and later Reagan’s CIA director.) The Nazi wing of the GOP was installed as a permanent branch of the Republican Part when George H.W. Bush was the head of the Republican National Committee.
The OUN/B was a key element of the GOP’s ethnic outreach organization. It is noteworthy that the organizations that were represented in the GOP subgroup were all affiliated with the SS during World War II. They were also inextricably linked with the Reinhard Gehlen organization .
Perhaps the most important effect of the Gehlen organization  was to introduce “rollback” or “liberation theory” into American strategic thinking. Rollback was a political wafare and covert operation strategy which had its genesis in the Third Reich Ostministerium headed by Alfred Rosenberg. This strategy entailed enlisting the aid of dissident Soviet ethnic minorities to overthrow the Soviet Union. In return, these minorities and their respective republics were to be granted nominal independence while serving as satellite states of “Greater Germany.”
In its American incarnation, liberation theory called for “rolling back” communism out of Eastern Europe and the break-up of the Soviet Union into its constituent ethnic Republics. Lip-service was given to initiating democracy in the “liberated” countries. Liberation theory was projected into mainstream American political consciousness through the Crusade for Freedom.
Program Highlights Include:
- Omidyar Ukrainian protege Svitlana Zalischuk’s  political task of integrating Ukraine into NATO.
- Putin’s application of the American law requiring political operatives funded from abroad to register as foreign agents.
- The Washington Post’s lurch to the right, under the stewardship of owner Jeff Bezos, the chief of Amazon.
- How Omidyar’s partnering with NED fits into the political gambit of combatting “Russia’s information war.”
- Review of Omidyar’s partnering  with a veteran of the notorious Phoenix program in Vietnam.
- One of the founders of NED was the late Allen Weinstein, who served as George W. Bush’s head of the National Archives . Weinstein also wrote a hatchet job on Alger Hiss, who helped expose US industrialists’ relationship to Nazi Germany. For more on Hiss, see AFA #1 .
1. Mark Ames has a new update on the ever evolving nature of Pierre Omidyar’s new media empire: First is now investing in a new international “fact checking” service with the National Endowment for Democracy, which is inextricably linked with U.S. intelligence and frequently functions as a front for covert operations. He also invested in a Ukrainian news service set up on the eve of the Maidan revolution. And it looks like there could be many more investments in media organizations yet to come because it now looks like the whole model for First Look Media has changed: instead of setting up a constellation of separate investigative journalistic outlets, First Look is just going to start investing in existing media enterprises.
Note that one of the founders of NED was the late Allen Weinstein, who served as George W. Bush’s head of the National Archives .
The Guardian reported  on Tuesday that the National Endowment for Democracy has just been banned from Russia, under strict new laws regulating NGOs acting as foreign agents.
In that story, the Guardian cited the fact that Intercept publisher Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
If the Omidyar connection sounds familiar, that’s because it was Pando that first broke the story  in February 2014 (the Guardian linked to our original scoop in its coverage.)
In the 18 months since we broke the story, Ukraine has collapsed into war and despair, with up to 10,000 people killed and one and a half million internally-displaced refugees — and top US brass talk openly of a new Cold War with nuclear-armed Russia, while US military advisors train and arm Ukrainians to wage war on Russian-backed separatists.
Svitlana Zalishchuk , one of the leaders of the Omidyar-funded NGO  that helped organize last year’s revolution in Kiev, is now in power as an MP in Ukraine’s parliament , a member of the new, pro-NATO president’s party bloc. She’s gone from plucky Omidyar-funded adversarial activist , to heading a parliamentary subcommittee  tasked with integrating Ukraine into NATO.
I can’t think of another media tycoon who co-funded a pro-US regime change with American intelligence cutouts like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. That Putin targeted the NED does not mean it’s either heroic or evil—the NED’s story speaks for itself: The brainchild of Reagan’s CIA director Bill Casey, the National Endowment for Democracy was set up as an intelligence cutout to support US geopolitical power and undermine unfriendly regimes. One of the NED co-founders, Allen Weinstein, explained  its purpose to the Washington Post :
“A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”
Throughout its 30-year history it’s been mired in very typical CIA controversies: In the 80s, the NED was caught funding an outlawed extreme-right French paramilitary  gang during Socialist president Mitterand’s rule; funding a military leader’s victorious election in Panama against a more moderate civilian candidate; and financing rightwing opponents of Costa Rica’s democratically-elected Nobel Peace Prize-winning president, whose sin was opposing Reagan’s deadly, dirty war in Nicaragua.
More recently, the NED was caught funding groups that organized the 2002 coup against Venezuela’s democratically-elected president Hugo Chavez; planting a “free-lance journalist” in the AP  and New York Times to report  on Haiti while the NED was simultaneously funding  rightwing groups to undermine Haiti’s ruling party; and co-funding Ukraine regime-change groups with Pierre Omidyar.
This week, Omidyar Network announced yet another partnership  with the National Endowment for Democracy and the Poynter Institute to create an international online fact-checking hub. Given the power that a monopoly on “objective” fact-checking offers, the tie-up with the NED takes the Omidyar alliance with the US empire and media to newer, creepier levels. In yet another Omidyar-as-private-arm investment, Omidyar invested in the slick new Ukrainian media, Hromadske.tv , which was set up on the eve of the Maidan revolution with initial seed funding coming from the US Embassy in Kiev. Omidyar’s involvement in Ukraine media and “fact-checking” is all the more serious given that now Washington and NATO talk about “countering” Russia’s overhyped “information war” on the West and on Ukraine—this “information war” which I covered a bit in my piece on Peter Pomerantsev , is considered a top and urgent geostrategic priority for NATO and the West.
And now in the last week, the latest twist to the farcical “journalism paradise” shitshow: Omidyar is reportedly in talks  with the king of online tabloid-sleaze, Nick Denton, to invest in the latter’s perma-sued organization. As Pando’s Paul Carr wrote earlier this week , the ground seems to be being prepared for a full-on merger of the Intercept and Gawker, backed by Omidyar’s cash.
As of yesterday, Nick Denton appointed  John Cook — formerly editor of the Intercept — to be the “temporary” executive editor of Gawker. When Cook departed the Intercept, he wrote that “Working with my Intercept colleagues has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in my career, and my decision to leave was a painful one to make.”
At the same time, IBT reported that Chief Revenue Officer, Michael Rosen, had resigned  from First Look Media. Rosen’s departure comes just a week after John Temple, First Look’s “President, Audience and Products,” stepped down  from his job saying “There clearly is much excitement ahead for First Look, but I feel my contribution is largely complete.”
Perhaps it’s a coincidence that both the guy who is in charge of building an audience for the Intercept and the guy tasked with making it profitable have left. Or perhaps not: IBT quotes a source explaining that “First Look would soon be moving away from trying to create a constellation of magazines and begin to focus on empowering ‘content creators.’ That is, Omidyar will be investing cash in sites like Gawker, alongside his investments in fact-checking sites and Ukraine revolutionary groups.
How will the Intercept’s audience, which accepted Greenwald’s decision to privatize the Snowden secrets to Omidyar, react if Omidyar then sells journalism paradise to journalism sleaze and the Snowden secrets — our secrets, the public’s secrets — wind up as capital assets in First Gawker Media?
Snowden revealed that NSA spooks were spying on their lovers online habits — how will that be monetized in First Gawker Media? Where will Denton’s 20% sleaze discount be applied?
2. Next, the program highlights Russian president Vladimir Putin’s shutting down of NED fronts in Russia. To get an idea of the nature of the so-called “democrats” being promoted by NED and related elements, examine the political career of Alexei Navalny. 
The Washington Post’s descent into the depths of neoconservative propaganda – willfully misleading its readers on matters of grave importance – apparently knows no bounds as was demonstrated with two deceptive articles regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin and why his government is cracking down on “foreign agents.”
If you read the Post’s editorial on Wednesday and a companion op-ed by National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, you would have been led to believe that Putin is delusional, paranoid and “power mad” in his concern that outside money funneled into non-governmental organizations represents a threat to Russian sovereignty.
The Post and Gershman were especially outraged that the Russians have enacted laws requiring NGOs financed from abroad and seeking to influence Russian policies to register as “foreign agents” – and that one of the first funding operations to fall prey to these tightened rules was Gershman’s NED.
The Post’s editors wrote that Putin’s “latest move, announced Tuesday, is to declare the NED an ‘undesirable’ organization under the terms of a law that Mr. Putin signed in May. The law bans groups from abroad who are deemed a ‘threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation, its defense capabilities and its national security.’
“The charge against the NED is patently ridiculous. The NED’s grantees in Russia last year ran the gamut of civil society. They advocated transparency in public affairs, fought corruption and promoted human rights, freedom of information and freedom of association, among other things. All these activities make for a healthy democracy but are seen as threatening from the Kremlin’s ramparts. …
“The new law on ‘undesirables’ comes in addition to one signed in 2012 that gave authorities the power to declare organizations ‘foreign agents’ if they engaged in any kind of politics and receive money from abroad. The designation, from the Stalin era, implies espionage.”
But there are several salient facts that the Post’s editors surely know but don’t want you to know. The first is that NED is a U.S. government-funded organization created in 1983 to do what the Central Intelligence Agency previously had done in financing organizations inside target countries to advance U.S. policy interests and, if needed, help in “regime change.”
The secret hand behind NED’s creation was CIA Director William J. Casey who worked with senior CIA covert operation specialist Walter Raymond Jr. to establish NED in 1983. Casey – from the CIA – and Raymond – from his assignment inside President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council – focused on creating a funding mechanism to support groups inside foreign countries that would engage in propaganda and political action that the CIA had historically organized and paid for covertly. To partially replace that CIA role, the idea emerged for a congressionally funded entity that would serve as a conduit for this money.
But Casey recognized the need to hide the strings being pulled by the CIA. “Obviously we here [at CIA] should not get out front in the development of such an organization, nor should we appear to be a sponsor or advocate,” Casey said in one undated letter to then-White House counselor Edwin Meese III – as Casey urged creation of a “National Endowment.”
NED Is Born
The National Endowment for Democracy took shape in late 1983 as Congress decided to also set aside pots of money — within NED — for the Republican and Democratic parties and for organized labor, creating enough bipartisan largesse that passage was assured. But some in Congress thought it was important to wall the NED off from any association with the CIA, so a provision was included to bar the participation of any current or former CIA official, according to one congressional aide who helped write the legislation.
This aide told me that one night late in the 1983 session, as the bill was about to go to the House floor, the CIA’s congressional liaison came pounding at the door to the office of Rep. Dante Fascell, a senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a chief sponsor of the bill. The frantic CIA official conveyed a single message from CIA Director Casey: the language barring the participation of CIA personnel must be struck from the bill, the aide recalled, noting that Fascell consented, not fully recognizing the significance of the demand.
The aide said Fascell also consented to the Reagan administration’s choice of Carl Gershman to head the National Endowment for Democracy, again not recognizing how this decision would affect the future of the new entity and American foreign policy. Gershman, who had followed the classic neoconservative path from youthful socialism to fierce anticommunism, became NED’s first (and, to this day, only) president.
Though NED is technically independent of U.S. foreign policy, Gershman in the early years coordinated decisions on grants with Raymond at the NSC. For instance, on Jan. 2, 1985, Raymond wrote to two NSC Asian experts that “Carl Gershman has called concerning a possible grant to the Chinese Alliance for Democracy (CAD). I am concerned about the political dimension to this request. We should not find ourselves in a position where we have to respond to pressure, but this request poses a real problem to Carl.”
Currently, Gershman’s NED dispenses more than $100 million a year in U.S. government funds to various NGOs, media outlets and activists around the world. The NED also has found itself in the middle of political destabilization campaigns against governments that have gotten on the wrong side of U.S. foreign policy. For instance, prior to the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installing an anti-Russian regime in Kiev, NED was funding scores of projects.
A second point left out of the Post’s editorial was the fact that Gershman took a personal hand in the Ukraine crisis and recognized it as an interim step toward regime change in Moscow. On Sept. 26, 2013, Gershman published an op-ed in the Washington Post that called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and explained how pulling it into the Western camp could contribute to the ultimate defeat of Russian President Putin.
“Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents,” Gershman wrote. “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” In other words, NED is a U.S. government-financed entity that has set its sights on ousting Russia’s current government.
A third point that the Post ignored is that the Russian law requiring outside-funded political organizations to register as “foreign agents” was modeled on a U.S. law, the Foreign Agent Registration Act. In other words, the U.S. government also requires individuals and entities working for foreign interests and seeking to influence U.S. policies to disclose those relationships with the U.S. Justice Department or face prison.
If the Post’s editors had included any or all of these three relevant factors, you would have come away with a more balanced understanding of why Russia is acting as it is. You might still object but at least you would be aware of the full story. By concealing all three points, the Post’s editors were tricking you and other readers into accepting a propagandistic viewpoint – that the Russian actions were crazy and that Putin was, according to the Post’s headline, “power mad.”
But you might think that Gershman would at least acknowledge some of these points in his Post op-ed, surely admitting that NED is financed by the U.S. government. But Gershman didn’t. He simply portrayed Russia’s actions as despicable and desperate.
“Russia’s newest anti-NGO law, under which the National Endowment for Democracy on Tuesday was declared an “undesirable organization” prohibited from operating in Russia, is the latest evidence that the regime of President Vladimir Putin faces a worsening crisis of political legitimacy,” Gershman wrote, adding:
“This is the context in which Russia has passed the law prohibiting Russian democrats from getting any international assistance to promote freedom of expression, the rule of law and a democratic political system. Significantly, democrats have not backed down. They have not been deterred by the criminal penalties contained in the ‘foreign agents’ law and other repressive laws. They know that these laws contradict international law, which allows for such aid, and that the laws are meant to block a better future for Russia.”
The reference to how a “foreign agents” registration law conflicts with international law might have been a good place for Gershman to explain why what is good for the goose in the United States isn’t good for the gander in Russia. But hypocrisy is a hard thing to rationalize and would have undermined the propagandistic impact of the op-ed.
So would an acknowledgement of where NED’s money comes from. How many governments would allow a hostile foreign power to sponsor politicians and civic organizations whose mission is to undermine and overthrow the existing government and put in someone who would be compliant to that foreign power?
Not surprisingly, Gershman couldn’t find the space to include any balance in his op-ed – and the Post’s editors didn’t insist on any.
3. Exemplifying the type of activity in which the NED specializes, we review information about that organization’s successful projection of Lithuanian Nazi and fascist elements into that former Soviet Republic. In FTR #848 , we examined how the seeds sown by NED took root and flowered.
“NED Meddles in Lithuania: Nurturing Baltic Reaction” by Philip Bonosky; Covert Action Quarterly; Number 25 (Fall 1990).
In April of 1990, the Soviet Republic of Lithuania startled the world by declaring itself independent of the U.S.S.R. The U.S. has not yet recognized Lithuania as independent, and Bush’s public remarks have been moderate. But beneath this facade of calm statecraft there runs a familiar current of silent U.S. involvement in the political affairs of another country.
The most visible intervention has been via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which has supplied funds, equipment, and advice to the principal nationalist opposition party Sajudis. NED has chosen to funnel its Lithuanian aid through one organization: the New York-based Lithuanian Catholic Religious Aid (LCRA) and its propaganda arm, Lithuanian Information Center (LIC).
These two organizations are run by arch-conservative Catholic clergy. The founder, current board chair, and the man who has “presided over the steady growth and increasing effectiveness of LCRA, Bishop Vincentas Brizgys, was allegedly a Nazi collaborator during World War II. [Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews (New York: 1961), and Charles R. Allen’s Nazi War Criminals Among Us (New York: Jewish Currents Reprint, 1963), document Brizgys’s background. Allen reproduced Nuremberg Tribunal documents relating to the Bishop.] Brizgys vehemently denies the charge. Sajudis itself is linked in a variety of ways to the symbols and sentiments of the fascist and Nazi periods of Baltic history.
The Country in Question
Lithuania lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, bordered on the south by Poland, on the north by the Latvian S.S.R., and on the east by the Byelorussian S.S.R. [Soviet Socialist Republic–a member of the former U.S.S.R.] It is the westernmost extent of the Soviet Union, with a population (1980) of just over three million. In the 14th century invading Germans conquered the area and imposed the Catholic faith. In the modern era, Lithuania has been repeatedly buffeted by the shifting political and military map of Europe.
Lithuania declared independence from Czarist Russia in 1918, but in 1926, the nationalist party took power through a military coup. Declaring himself president Augustus Voldemares and his premier, Antanas Smetona shaped Lithuania into Europe’s second fascist state, based explicitly on the example of Mussolini’s Italy. Lithuania remained a dictatorship until 1939, when Smetoma fled to the U.S. and a new parliament voted unanimously to become a constituent republic of the U.S.S.R. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union 1n 1941, Lithuania’s nationalists returned briefly to power and assisted the Nazis in the swift, systematic slaughter of more than 130,000 Lithuanian Jews, communists and other “undesirables.”
In April 1990, a 34-year-old American, William J.H. Hough III, was very busy in Lithuania. Hough was sent to Lithuania–although he doesn’t speak Lithuanian–as legal adviser to Vytautas Landsbergis, the leader of the nationalist party. He was recommended by LCRA/LIC, which the U.S. press has cited as very enthusiastic about his work.
Cooperating closely with Hough, LCRA/LIC has supplied Sajudis with paper, photocopy machines, computers, laser printers, FAX machines, and video cameras. With additional political and technical expertise, Vilnius quickly became a communications hub for secessionist forces in Lithuania and other Soviet republics.
Professionally,Hough is a lawyer. He was also an editor of The New York Law School Journal of International and Comparative Law, which published in its Winter 1985 issue his book-length article titled, “The Annexation of the Baltic States and its Effect on the Development of Law Prohibiting Forcible Seizure of Territory.” Hough describes the interwar period of Lithuanian history [its fascist period–D.E.] as one of “political and constitutional stability” and “progress toward the restoration of full democracy.” He fails to mention the collaboration of nationalists and Nazis. In his public justifications of secession, Landsbergis has frequently referred to Hough’s interpretation of Lithuanian history.
Hough’s history of Lithuania must be reassuring to NED’s ideologues and their Lithuanian clients, some of whom share a past they might reasonably prefer to forget.
Channeling Endowment Dollars
During the past two years, NED has granted $70,000 to LCRA/LIC. They are not obviously democratic organizations. Founded in 1961 to “provide the Church under the Soviet oppression with spiritual and material assistance . . . .,” LCA’s parent organization was the Lithuanian Roman Catholic Priests’ League. The quiet obscurity of this group belies the welcome they receive in the halls of power. LCRA executive director Father Casimir Pugevicius served on an advisory committee to Senator Charles Percy (Rep.–Ill.), then a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was also welcomed in the Reagan White House in 1986.
According to LCRA/LIC, its 1990 grant application to NED requested $618,300 and outlined its ambitious proposal as follows:
. . . . five separate pro-democratic organizations would receive technical and material aid. The first, a coalition of democratic parties enjoying broad support in Lithuania and capable of assuming leading roles in the new legislature would receive computer and audio-visual equipment . . . . Communications and video equipment will also be transported to the Sajudis Information Agency . . . . [According to NED, funds went only to Sajudis.]
The second part of the project would ensure a continuous supply of much needed paper for independent publishers and organizations. The dramatic increase in the number of democratic groups in Lithuania in the past year has caused severe shortages in the very limited pool of resources. . . . Because of the greater degree of liberalization in Lithuania, this republic has emerged as the publishing center for the independent groups throughout the Soviet Union. . . .
Within weeks of the arrival of these goods, traditional sources of information in Lithuania were suppressed or taken over by Sajudis. Nationalist sympathizers cut off broadcast programming from Moscow, and Lithuania was soon flooded with secessionist propaganda. In the ensuing election, Sajudis managed to dominate the scene by riding the crest of a wave of nationalist sentiment. It won a majority in the Seim (parliament). In March, a hastily convened session of parliament voted for secession (91–38) in a matter of hours. Laws were passed curbing opposition newspapers and changing the flag and national anthem, reverting to versions in use during the nationalist period. As to whether, or what, of real substance should change, Sajudis remained silent.
Echoes From the Past
To Lithuanians old enough to remember the Second World War, the energetic activities of Sajudis, LCRA, and LIC must seem vaguely familiar. Landsbergis’s father was a member of the Savandoriai (nationalist militia), who fought the Russians (1918–1919), helped enforce the successive dictatorships of Voldemares and Smetona, and collaborated with the German occupation.
A reporter for Der Spiegel wrote in April 1990 that: “Everybody fears Sajudis. Anyone who attacks Sajudis is declared an an enemy of the people by Landsbergis, and that happens very quickly.” In addition the Savandoriai (illegal under Soviet law) have been revived under the leadership of retired army officers.
Prior to the German invasion in June 1941, a Berlin-based “Lithuanian Information Bureau,” the propaganda arm of the Lithuanian Activist Front, a nationalist exile organization, sent the following message into Lithuania:
. . . . liberation is close at hand. . . . uprisings must be started in the cities, towns and villages of Lithuania. . . . communists and other traitors. . . . must be arrested at once. . . . (The traitor will be pardoned only provided beyond doubt that he has killed one Jew at least.)
In the book Blowback, Christopher Simpson crisply summarizes part of the “liberation” that followed:
. . . . municipal killing squads employing Lithuanian Nazi collaborators eliminated 46,692 Jews in fewer than three months, according to their own reports, mainly by combining clock-like liquidations of 500 Jews per day in the capital city of Vilnius with mobile “clean-up” sweeps through the surrounding countryside.
Such squads were consistently used by the Nazis for the dirty work that even the SS believed to be beneath the dignity of the German soldier. . . . .
On August 4, 1941, the Lithuanian Activist Front, installed a provisional government, taking care to cooperate fully with the Nazis. The invaders let president Juozas Ambrazevicius’s government stand for three months, during which time the worst of the killings occurred. After the war, Ambrazevicius fled to the U.S., where he changed his name to Brazaitis.
The crimes which prompted the post-war flight of many Lithuanian nationalists were starkly documented in the “Jaeger Report,” an official count by the SS officer who supervised the massacres:
Einsatzkommando 3 Kovno, December 1, 1941
Secret State Document
Summary of all executions carried out in the sphere of action of Einsatzkommando 3 up to December 1, 1941.
Einsatzkomando 3 took over its duties as security police in Lithuania on the 2nd of July 1941. . . . In compliance with my directives and on my order the Lithuanian partisans have carried out the following executions. . . .
What followed was a chronological accounting of the activities of the killing squads. Victims were neatly categorized: Jewish men, Jewish women, Jewish children, Poles, Lithuanian communists, Russian communists, Intellectual Jews, Lunatics, Gypsies, Political Instructors, Armenians. . . .
After the first 3,000 deaths, Jaeger apparently decided that the Lithuanian nationalists alone were equal to the task;
. . . . After organizing a mobile unit under SS-Oberstumfuhrer Hamann and 8 to 10 tried men of EK 3 the following actions were carried out in cooperation with the Lithuanian partisans. . . .
. . . . Before the EK 3 assumed security duties, the partisans themselves killed [4,000 ] Jews through pogroms and executions. . . .
. . . . I can state today that the goal of solving the Jewish problem in Lithuania has been reached by EK 3. There are no Jews in Lithuania anymore except the work Jews and their families. . . .The goal to clear Lithuania of Jews could be achieved only thanks to . . . men . . . . who adopted my goal without any reservations and managed to secure the cooperation of the Lithuanian partisans and and the respective civil offices. . . .
The final tally of those killed was 137, 346. As the report clearly indicates, the Nazis were assisted by both the paramilitary bands associated with the nationalists, and by those in positions of authority–including members of the Catholic clergy.
A Nazi Collaborator Prospers in Chicago
As auxiliary Bishop of Kaunas, (Kovno) during the German occupation, Bishop Vincentas Brizgys, founder of LCRA/LIC, lent his spiritual authority to fascism. When the Nazis retreated, so did he, first to Germany, then to Chicago where he has lived, worked, and carried the nationalist banner for 25 years.
The clergy hated socialism or very clear reasons. The socialist government which came to power in 1939 had separated church and state. Church property was confiscated, including large farms where peasants labored under semi-feudal conditions eliminated elsewhere in Europe centuries before. Clergy were removed from government and the educational system, two institutions where they had long wielded powerful influence.
Archbishop Skvireckas, Brizgys’s superior, documented the bishop’s collaborationist activities with evident satisfaction. The archbishop’s diary for July 1, 1941, reveals that Brizgys made contact:
. . . . with the representative of the German government for the Baltic statics. [Dr. Groffe, formerly head of Gestapo in East Prussia who] . . . proposed . . . . that he [Brizgys] should make an appeal to the people to behave quietly and pursue their daily business with confidence, without any fear that they might be harmed. . . .
On June 30, 1941, the archbishop had written: “The ideas in Mein Kampf on the question of the Bolshevik-Jewish contagion are splendid . . . . they prove that Hitler is not only an enemy of the Jews, but generally speaking has the right ideas.”
An appeal to welcome the Nazis was broadcast by radio, ten published in a major Kaunas newspaper, signed by Skviteckas, Brizgys and Vicar General Saulys. Their signatures were also on a formal telegram of thanks to Hitler for “Lithuania’s Liberation,” sent in the middle of July 1941.
As the Nazis and their collaborators implemented the diabolical logic of Mein Kampf, Brizgys “set an example for the entire population by forbidding the clergy to aid the Jews in any way.” He also urged from his pulpit, and via radio and newspaper, that Lithuanians cooperate with the Nazis.
When the Soviet army, led by its 16th Lithuanian division, drove the Nazis out in 1944, Brizgys fled to safety in Germany, then to the U.S. Send to the archdiocese of Chicago, he helped launch Lithuanian Catholic Religious Aid in 1961, and served as LCRA president until 1986. He is now chair of the board of directors.
Other Friends of Lithuanian Democracy
- Director of Special Projects for LCRA/LIC is Rasa Razgaitis, stepdaughter of accused war criminal Jurgis Juodis. Because of his involvement as a nationalist military officer in the massacres of 1941, Juodis became the subject of a Justice Department Office of Special Investigations (OSIS) inquiry in 1981. In addition to her work with LCA, Razgaitis is head of “Americans for Due Process,” an organization “formed solely to challenge the activities of the Justice Department’s war crimes unit.” She is also a friend of Patrick Buchanan, through whom she gained access to the Reagan White House when Buchanan was Communications Director.
- AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland is a long time member of the cold warrior clique Committee on the Present Danger, and supports CIA manipulation of labor movements around the globe. Kirkland has welcomed Landsbergis as a friend during his U.S. visits. Kirkland’s name was on an open letter to President Bush published in the April 22, 1990 New York Times calling for immediate recognition of Lithuanian independence. Kirkland is on the NED board.
- Richard Ebeling, vice president of the Future Freedom Foundation (FFF) of Denver, has been invited by Sajudis to lecture “in Lithuania, on the principles of freedom.” In addition, six Sajudis economists have met with leaders of FFF to discuss “free market proposals . . . . made as radical as possible.” Among others discussed were the now-familiar calls for rapid denationalization of all industries and state prosperity; decontrol of all prices and wages, both in the consumer and production markets; and privatization of social services including medical retirement pensions. . . . . .