About 1,500 veterans of the Waffen SS division and other
Nazi supporters marched through Latvia in an annual parade
About 1,500 veterans of the Waffen SS division and other Nazi supporters marched
through the Latvian capital in a controversial
annual ‘memorial’ march that took place on
While the Riga city council had imposed a ban on the procession, the decision
was overturned by a court rule on Thursday.
Latvians hailed the Nazis as liberators because
they wanted independence and freedom from
the USSR which controlled the Baltic States.
Since the Jews were against the Nazis, for
obvious reasons, they were considered traitors.
Latvians began killing and torturing Jews
on the streets several months before the
Germans arrived, and the Latvian Legion,
part of the Waffen-SS and abetted by local
collaborates, perpetrated their own reign
of terror, eventually killing 70,000 of the
country's 85,000 Jews.
previous years, the parade proceeded in a
generally non-violent manner and was met
with only a few dozen protesters, some of
whom held signs depicting Nazi atrocities.
Only three arrests were made for aggressive
behavior and the display of banned symbols.
tragic that they are turning people who fought
for the Third Reich into heroes," Efraim Zuroff, director of Jerusalem's Simon Wiesenthal Center, told AFP in
whole thing is based on a myth. If Nazi Germany
had won the war, there wouldn't be an independent
Latvia today," Zuroff said.