Wiesenthal Center: Removal by Estonian Government of Soviet-Era Memorial From City Center Reflects Lack of Sensitivity to Nazi Crimes and Insults Their Victims

Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today criticized the removal from the center of Tallinn to a military cemetery by the Estonian government late last week of a Soviet memorial commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany, which had stood for decades in the center of the Estonian capital.

In a statement issued in Jerusalem by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center noted that the removal of the monument minimizes the severity of the crimes of the Holocaust in Estonia and insults the Nazis’ victims in the country.

According to Zuroff:

“While the Center unequivocally condemns the crimes committed against Estonians of all faiths and nationalities under Soviet rule, it must never be forgotten that it was the Red Army which effectively stopped the mass murder conducted by the Nazis and their local collaborators on Estonian soil until the final day of its occupation by Nazi Germany. Thus the removal of the monument from the center of Tallinn by the government reflects a regrettable lack of sensitivity to the depth of Nazi criminality and is an insult to its victims. This is not surprising in a country which has proven to be indifferent to the crimes committed by Estonian Nazi collaborators, not a single one of whom has been held accountable since Estonia became independent, whereas numerous Communist collaborators have been prosecuted by the local judicial authorities.”

Estonia received an “F” or failing grade in the Wiesenthal Center’s last (2007) Annual Status Report on the worldwide investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals, published this month.

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