Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly condemned the recent unveiling in the city of Bauska, Latvia, of a memorial monument honoring Latvians who served in the Waffen-SS during World War II. In a statement issued here today by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center described the new monument as a gross insult to the memory of the Nazis’ numerous victims in Latvia, many of whom were murdered by Latvians who later served in the Latvian Waffen-SS divisions.
According to Zuroff:
“The initiative in Bauska to honor Latvians who fought for a victory of the Third Reich, the most genocidal regime in history, is in stark contrast to the refusal of the local authorities to facilitate an attempt by Jewish former residents of the city to commemorate the Bauska Jews murdered during the Holocaust. The Wiesenthal Center stands in solidarity with the Latvian Council of Jewish Communities which protested this total failure to correctly distinguish between the victims and perpetrators of World War II to Latvian President Berzins and Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development Sprudzis.”