While Vilnius’ plans for its year as a European capital of culture turn to dust in the wake of big spending cuts, at least it has something else to celebrate – sort of.
Virtually every official publication and/or event connected with Lithuania is making a big deal about the fact that in 2009 Lithuania celebrates 1,000 years since its name was first recorded.
Well done, jolly good etc. Only what’s actually being “celebrated” is Lithuania’s millennium as a crime scene.
The 1009 Chronicles of Quedlinburg record that:
“St. Brunon, alias Bonifacius, archbishop and monk was killed by the pagans together with 18 of his brethren on the Russian–Lithuanian border on the eleventh year of his conversion and on the 9th of March ascended into heaven.”
If it’s not galling enough that the nation rose to prominence as a result of a massacre, it’s even worse that Lithuania has to share credit for the mass murder with those pesky Russians. Which side of the border did the slaughter take place? Is it genuine, historic Lithuanian butchery or just a bunch of crazy Russkies having a normal Saturday night out?
“One might say that Columbus discovered America, while St. Bruno discovered Lithuania,” muses the website of the State Commission on the Commemoration of the Millennium of the Name of Lithuania (it really exists).
Well, one might, were it not for the fact that Columbus made it back alive.