Lithuania

12 Stories

For First Time, NATO Stages War Games in Baltic 'Weak Spot'

Suwalki Gap is vulnerable due to geography

(Newser) - NATO has a weak spot along the Poland-Lithuania border, a 65-mile-long frontier in an area known as the Suwalki Gap that, if seized by Russia, would cut off not just Lithuania but Latvia and Estonia from the rest of the Western alliance. Over two days recently, the first large-scale NATO... More »

Tunnel Under Nazi Death Camp Turns Legend Into Reality

How a dozen members of the 'Burning Brigade' escaped the Nazis

(Newser) - At least 80,000 people—most of them Jews—were killed at a camp named Ponar in what is now Lithuania as the Nazis transitioned to the Final Solution. The actual number is likely much higher. To find yourself at Ponar was a death sentence. But a legend, based on... More »

Meet the 'Most Hated Jew' in Lithuania

Efraim Zuroff is known as 'the last Nazi hunter'

(Newser) - Efraim Zuroff is the "most hated Jew in Lithuania," and proud of it. Zuroff, known as the last Nazi hunter, gained that reputation through his efforts to get Lithuania to "admit its complicity" in the Holocaust, he says. Collaborating with occupying Nazis, Lithuania killed 90%—by some... More »

Tunnel Hand-Dug by Jews to Flee Nazis Found in Lithuania

It's been the stuff of legend for more than 70 years

(Newser) - A 100-foot escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners using only their hands and spoons has been unearthed in Lithuania, a research team announced Wednesday. From 1941 to 1944, about 100,000 people (70,000 of them Jews from nearby Vilnius) were slaughtered by the Nazis, then dumped into burial pits... More »

Archaeologists Find Historic Synagogue Ruined by Nazis

Remnants found beneath a school in Lithuania

(Newser) - The Great Synagogue of Vilna dated all the way back to the 1600s and was what the Jerusalem Post calls one of "the most historic and treasured landmarks of European Jewry." But that synagogue, in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, was all but destroyed by the Nazis during... More »

Another Country Adopts Euro

Lithuania says goodbye to the lita

(Newser) - Lithuania's lita is about to join the drachma, guilder, and Deutschmark in the pages of history: The country has become the 19th to adopt the euro, despite polls showing around half the population against membership, and the old national currency will no longer be accepted by mid-January, reports Reuters... More »

Chicago Finance Whiz Honors 'Japan's Schindler'

Chiune Sugihara saved 6K Jews during World War II

(Newser) - An 82-year-old Chicago finance wizard arrived in Japan today to pay homage to Chiune Sugihara, who saved him and 6,000 other Jews during World War II, Reuters reports. "It was truly death's door," says Leo Melamed of his family's flight from Lithuania to Japan. "... More »

Man Fined After Anti-Gay Facebook Post

Lithuanian called for 'another Hitler to exterminate' gays

(Newser) - In Lithuania, a 37-year-old man was slapped with a fine of nearly $600 for posting on Facebook that there should be another Hitler who should kill gay people. The furniture-maker wrote the comment under an article about Lady Gaga's criticism of the Lithuanian government, reports PinkNews . A court ruled... More »

Mayor Smashes Car Parked in Bike Lane With a Tank

Arturas Zuokas shows us why Lithuania is awesome

(Newser) - Here’s one emphatic way to crack down on cars squatting in the bike lane: Run them over with a tank. The mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, did just that recently. In the video below you can see Arturas Zuokas—supposedly an “avid cyclist”—climb into an armored personnel... More »

No Joke: Blondes Building Blonde Resort

Lithuanian firm wants fair-haired mecca in Maldives

(Newser) - Blonde ambition or blatant racism? That's the question surrounding a Lithuanian firm's plans to build a blonde resort in the Maldives. The property will be staffed, of course, by blondes—leaving locals to wonder if non-whites will be excluded, notes the BBC , "This is racist and should not be... More »

Crocs Too Comfy for Yom Kippur: Rabbi

Sandals don't inflict sufficient suffering for holiday, religious leader rules

(Newser) - A Lithuanian rabbi has ruled that Crocs should not be worn during Yom Kippur because the sandals are too comfortable, Ynet news reports. Rabbi Elyashiv based his judgment on a prohibition against leather sandals, saying they were banned because they fail to provide an appropriate level of suffering for the... More »

Lithuania's Negative Energy Bad for Europe

Foot-dragging on nuke plant could force ugly bargain with Russia

(Newser) - Lithuanians "should be furious" with politicians who have backed the Baltic nation into a "potentially appalling" crisis of energy and policy, the Economist notes. As condition for its admission to the European Union, Lithuania promised to shutter its Ignalina nuclear power plant by 2009—and pols have made... More »

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