Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized the recent celebrations held in Estonia to mark the anniversary of the battles between pro-Nazi Estonian forces and the Soviet Army. In a letter sent from Jerusalem by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, to Estonia’s nonresident ambassador to Israel Aino Lepik von Wiren, the Center noted the participation of Estonian Minister of Defence Jak Aaviksoo and member of parliament Trivimi Velliste, as well as dozens of foreign neo-Nazis who attended the event.
According to Zuroff:
“We view these events as a glorification of those who fought alongside the forces of Nazi Germany, the regime which planned, initiated and implemented the Holocaust and is responsible for the mass murder of millions of innocent civilians. Thus glorifying those who fought for a victory of the Third Reich is an unpardonable insult to that regime’s many victims and those who fought to save Europe from its tyrannical rule.
“Given these circumstances, we find the participation of Estonian Defense Minister Jak Aaviksoo and member of parliament Trivimi Velliste in these events incomprehensible and worthy of condemnation. In fact, it is totally incompatible with Estonia’s membership in NATO and the European Union. In addition, the fact that these events attracted dozens of foreign neo-Nazis clearly demonstrates the danger that they will encourage the rebirth of fascism and racist extremism.
“We kindly request that you convey our protest to the Estonian government which we hope will take appropriate action so that such shameful events will not be repeated in Estonia.”
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