Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today criticized yesterday’s annual march in downtown Riga of Latvian SS Legion veterans, calling it part of Latvian efforts to equate Nazi and Soviet crimes and thereby minimize the important role played by Latvians in the crimes of the Holocaust.
In a statement issued today in Jerusalem by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called the annual march a misguided attempt to create a false symmetry between Nazi and Communist crimes which will help minimize the guilt of Latvians in the crimes of the Holocaust.
According to Zuroff:
“By permitting a march of to honor those who fought alongside the Nazis for a victory of the Third Reich during World War II, the Latvian authorities are sending a deeply-flawed message which distorts the historical events. And by honoring all the Latvian SS Legion veterans, even though among them are many who were active participants in the mass murder of Jews in Latvia and Belarus, the organizers of the march are insulting the victims of these murderers and reinforcing the myth that Latvians bear no responsibility whatsoever for the annihilation of Latvian Jewry (and numerous Jews in other countries), a fabrication which has no connection to reality.”