Lithuanian game show taken off the air over Nazi salute

Contestant on Lithuanian game show makes Nazi salute and yells "Jew" in response to question, leading to show being taken off-air.

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Adolf Hitler (reproduction)
Adolf Hitler (reproduction)
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A Lithuanian game show in which a contestant performed a Nazi salute and shouted “Jew” to describe a Jewish composer was taken off the air.

Actress Asta Baukute, a former lawmaker, made the gesture on the “Guess the Melody” episode that aired Friday, the Delfi Lithuanian news site reported. In the charades-style game, contestants act out songs and other music trivia without explicitly naming them.

Standing up in a leather coat and dancing excitedly, Baukute put both the index and middle finger of her left hand to her upper lip — ostensibly to indicate Hitler’s mustache — and raised her right hand in a Nazi salute high in the air. She yelled “Jew” three times in Lithuanian.

She was signaling that she recognized the melody being played belonged to Lithuanian composer Simonas Donskovas, who is Jewish. The show was not aired live, but was recorded several days earlier, according to Delfi.

Rimvydas Paleckis, assistant director of Lithuania Radio and Television, the state-funded broadcasting corporation, said he was shocked by the incident.

“Such behavior does not correspond to the values promoted by the LRT,” Paleckis said. “As a person in charge of the channel’s programs, and as assistant head [of the LRT], I ask our viewers for forgiveness. There will be no shooting of the [next] show on Saturday. The show is closed.”