Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed its outrage at today’s decision by a district court in Riga, Latvia to allow an event to “celebrate” the sixty-ninth anniversary of the Nazi occupation of the city at its famous Freedom Monument in the center of town this coming Thursday, July 1, 2010.
In a statement issued today in Jerusalem by its Israel Director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center strongly protested the decision which it categorized as “incomprehensible and totally outrageous,” and an insult to all the victims of Nazism and those who fought to save the world from Nazi totalitarianism.
According to Zuroff:
“It is inconceivable that a member in good standing in NATO and the European Union will allow such an event to take place. To celebrate the anniversary of Nazi invasion of Riga on July 1 is to celebrate the mass murder of all those victimized by the Nazis in Latvia-primarily Jews but also Communists, Gypsies, and the mentally-ill. To hold such an event at the Freedom Monument is an insult to all those who fought for a democratic Latvia and the exact opposite of what that site is supposed to represent.
“We urge saner minds to prevail in Riga to stop this outrage from taking place and send a clear and unequivocal message that Latvia will not tolerate a glorification of Nazism, the scourge of the 20th century.”