Monday, 21 March 2016

 
"Don’t Stand By! ", Mr Lidington
Source: HOPE not hate/Defendinghistory.com | Sunday, 20 March 2016




By Monica Lowenberg
At this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, the central message was “Don’t Stand By!” the British Conservatives having invested huge sums in the event and also in drawing up Holocaust Commissions to help us never to forget.
Admirable and noble intentions, indeed. Nevertheless, when one considers that, in 2009, the same British Conservatives – intent on moving away from Merkel and Sarkozy – set up shop with a rag-bag of ultra-nationalists from Latvia, the National Alliance which, each and every year since 1998, has supported glorification of the Latvian legionnaires who joined the brutal 15th and 19th divisions of the SS, then one can only question how serious the British Conservatives really are regarding Holocaust education, especially if they show such duplicitous standards.
After the 2009 Latvian liaison started, only three years later the Latvians set up, the first memorial in Europe to honour the SS! The British Conservatives said nothing.
To date there have been two Early Day Motions on the matter, talks in the Bundestag, talks in the European Jewish Parliament in Brussels, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, (a human rights body of the Council of Europe) condemned the march, the UK Jewish Board of Deputies contacted the Latvian ambassador and even wrote a manifesto stating that all attempts in the Baltics to equate Nazi crimes with Stalin should be stopped.
Additionally, the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism condemned the march and numerous British politicians of all persuasions voiced their concerns, Richard Howitt, a Labour MEP, writing a speech to be read out at the 2014 march by Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and Gareth Thomas, former shadow Europe minister, writing numerous letters. In the face of all this, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has remained steadfastly silent.
According to David Lidington, the current Europe minister, such “complex matters” are best dealt with by historians, at the same time as failing to condemn Baltic state policies and practices that promote glorification of Nazism.
Since 2014, the Latvian parliament has made it illegal for any minister to attend the march, Minister Einars Cilinskis from the National Alliance was sacked for doing so in 2014 but it has come to light that in 2015, despite the ban, justice minister Dzintars Rasnačš from the same party attended the march. He was not sacked.
Fast forward to this year’s SS commemorative march and though the number of participants may have dropped by a couple of hundred, around 1,000 still attended, mainly young and misinformed…passionate in their deluded belief that their fathers and grandfathers were freedom fighters against the Soviets rather than collaborators with arguably the most genocidal regime the world has ever known.
It is reported that 13 members of Latvia’s parliament attended the 2016 march, including the usual suspects such as “law makerJanis Dombrava with his other “law making” friends from the National Alliance: MP Raivis Dzintars who thinks Nazi salutes are funny, MP Imants Paradnieks who, outside the cathedral, befriended a group of Ukranian Azov Battalion nazis wearing Nazi insignia and proudly carrying blue, yellow flags with swastikas to the Monument of Freedom and Atis Jānis Krūmiņš from Riga’s City Council.
No ministers attended but, as in previous years, quietly slipped away from the foreign press to the Lestene cemetery where SS soldiers are buried. However, Kaspars Gerhards, of the National Alliance and Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia, did arrange for his parliamentary secretary, Jānis Eglīts, to attend the march and accompany the notorious right-wing Estonian politician Jaak Madison there.
Madison is the man who in 2015 defended, on his old blog spot, the economic aspects of the Nazi regime. At the Monument of Freedom Madison was promptly challenged by Kremlin stooge and British journalist Graham Philips who quite rightly asked him, if he was not ashamed to be attending a fascist march.
Madison responded with childish insults, feeling strong in the company of numbers whilst Philips was swiftly whisked away by armed police and dumped into a van to the amusement of the crowd.
Justice Minister Rasnačš did not attend the march, as he had illegally done in 2015 – clearly he is above the law – but not so long ago his parliamentary secretary, Jānis Iesalnieks is known to have stated on Twitter that Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik is a good boy, to which Breivik responded by stating that the National Alliance and Mr. Iesalnieks are in his imaginary nazi network!
Alarmingly, The National Alliance, whose parliamentary secretaries clearly have their uses, has been in the ruling coalition with the Greens since February.
If all this was not enough, only a few days before the march, Kārlis Seržants, a high-ranking Greens politician who sits on the Latvian Parliament’s national security committee outrageously stated, that “clever Jews” were compromising state security while Cornelia Kerth, chair of one of Germany’s most important anti-fascist organisations, the Association of Persons Persecuted by the Nazis/Federation of Antifascists (VVN-BdA), entered Hamburg airport to board her flight with Air Baltic to Riga only to be informed by the airport authorities that she could not board the plane as she was on a “black list of the Latvian immigration authorities’.
Five other VVN-BdA members, Thomas Willms, Markus Tervooren, Günther Hoppe, Lothar Eberhard and Werner Müller, who took a Ryanair flight from Berlin, thought they were lucky to be allowed into Riga, only to be immediately arrested at Riga airport.
They were informed that they fell under §61 of Latvian immigration law, the persona non grata rule, which can be applied when a “foreigner causes a threat to national security or public order and safety.” And this in the Schengen zone!
The five detained protesters were given a choice of deportation or two-days incarceration and chose the latter. In response, the VVN released, the day before the march, a statement accusing the Latvian authorities of “repression” against Latvian protesters.
“For years, the march by Waffen-SS admirers has enjoyed the protection of the Latvian government. The few anti-fascists protesting…will be handled by politicians and the media as enemies of the state”, it said.
Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre agreed and branded the arrests of the anti-fascists as “absurd” and “highly objectionable.”
‘‘Anyone,” Zuroff said, “who fought for the victory of the Third Reich shouldn’t be a hero.” The Latvian patriotic account often omits that about 70,000 Jews were exterminated in Latvia, largely with local collaboration, while the Nazis were hailed as liberators.
“The Latvian Legion did not directly participate in Holocaust crimes but it did fight for the Germans and many of its members had previously taken part in the mass murder of Jews as part of the Latvian security police and the Arajs Kommando, a police unit connected to the German SD.
The organisers of the Riga march continue to present the members of the Legion as freedom fighters who paved the way for Latvian independence but nothing could be further from the truth.
The Nazis had absolutely no intention of granting independence to any of the Baltic countries and it is only because Nazi Germany lost the Second World War that Latvia could regain its independence after the fall of the USSR. People who fought for the victory of Third Reich should not be glorified as heroes – such a victory would have meant the end of Western civilisation.”
Zuroff further told the press that Russia, under Vladimir Putin, uses the Baltic nations’ ultra-nationalist marches in propaganda to falsely depict the populations of those countries as fascist.
“They are not,” he declared, “but they are also derelict in confronting the canard that fighting alongside Nazis was patriotic, and that Soviet domination was in any way comparable to the Holocaust.”
Latvia also does its international reputation no favours by entertaining nazis from the UK, Estonia and Ukraine whilst arresting law-abiding anti-fascists, putting on huge swastika dances at ice hockey matches, allowing Latvian youths to destroy wreaths to the victims of Nazism, ignoring international pressure to ban the SS march, pleas from the ECRI, the PCAA, the Jewish Board of Deputies, Early Day Motions, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the European Jewish Parliament in Brussels and MEPs like Richard Howitt and by proudly stating to world press that, as from 2014, ministers are not allowed to attend the march but on the quiet one of them does in 2015 and is not sacked.
Nor do they help themselves by ignoring the voices of their own citizens, many of who are ethnic Russians and totally opposed to such manifestations of Nazi glorification.
Having myself become aware of this disgusting spectacle since 2011 and actively protested against it since 2012, I have to ask today where will this situation lead as tensions between the Baltic states and Russia escalate and when, suddenly, the murder of thousands of innocent Jews by men who later joined the Latvian SS – and the deaths of 1,500,000 innocent men, women and children, just outside Leningrad, caused by starvation, as a consequence of the Nazi blockade that the Latvian 15th and 19th SS divisions helped forge as they fought against the Red Army – are not murders to be remembered and condemned but rather ignored or just seen as another statistic, another sad casualty of war.
 






 Cornelia Kerth, chair of the VVN-BdA protesting outside the Latvian embassy in Berlin on 15 March 2016 after having been prevented from boarding a flight to Riga from Berlin with Baltic Air earlier that same day.  The VVN-BdA demanded that her five fellow protesters, who had been allowed to leave the country, only to be arrested on arrival at Riga airport and placed into a Latvian jail, be immediately released.

 


 







Ten Steps Back, One Step Forward- The Pantomime Has Started!



 
 
http://globalnews.ca/news/2581869/latvians-honour-wwii-nazi-allies-in-legionnaires-day-memorials/- shocking video,  SS men feeling sorry for themselves

http://rus.delfi.lv/news/daily/latvia/zaderzhannogo-za-provokacii-blogera-zhurnalista-fillipsa-otpustili.d?id=47191569  -Another shocking video, Graham Phillips asking Estonian politician Jaak Madison if he is not ashamed to be attending a fascist march
 
Is Latvia condemning older generations to non-citizenship? 24 March 2016



Listen to

 Special Report: Voices of March 16
 http://www.lsm.lv/en/article/features/special-report-voices-of-march-16.a173918/

Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis on March 16 stating that only one person was arrested when in fact five law abiding German citizens were arrested at Riga airport for simply wishing to peacefully protest at the march.  Note that the minister did not mention that Azov Neo Nazis attended the march or Holocaust revisionists such as Estonian politician Jaak Madison.


A variety of voices with:
Liana Langa on setting the record straight
Juris Ulmanis on the Legion and the National Guard
Boriss Cilevics on politics and March 16
Mr and Mrs Harries
Efraim Zuroff on anti-Semitism
Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis on March 16 
 
 
March 16 risk same as ever says security chief .
 
 
Security Police head Normunds Mezvietis Forgot to Mention that Innocent Protesters Would Be Arrested at Riga Airport whilst Azov Neo Nazis would be accompanied by politicians
 
 
"One of the purposes of the anti-fascists is to provoke the event participants," he said.
"By separating the different groups the risk of physical violence has been minimised," he added.
He also said that EU citizens were harder to prevent from entering the country, but that they could still be prevented.
"Increased border controls are a traditional measure taken, and one that we will be using this year as well," Mezviets said.
 


 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Atis Jānis Krūmiņš from Riga Council
Tomorrow's Waffen SS Fest in RIGA: A German group reports that some of its members were arrested while entering Latvia (both countries are within the borderless Schengen zone...) with the intention of peacefully protesting the annual Waffen SS event.


RIGA—While Veterans of the Latvian legion of the Waffen-SS are allowed to march on tomorrow’s March 16th “Day of Legionnaires,” a group of antifascists from Germany was arrested while trying to enter Latvia to protest peacefully against the public glorification of the Waffen SS.

 
NEWS UPDATE RE SCANDAL IN LATVIA  15.03.2016  20.00hrs :

Tomorrow, the SS with clockwork regularity will march down the main street of an EU, NATO, OSCE capital, namely Riga in Latvia. Tomorrow, 16 March 2016, the Latvian SS will be glorified by thousands of Latvians who stubbornly persist in believing that these men, who worked for the most genocidal regime the world has ever known, are freedom fighters rather than mass murderers. 95.6% of Latvia's pre war Jewish population were murdered in 1941 by many of the men who then later joined the 15th and 19th divisions of the SS ( the most brutal one should add) in 1943. Tomorrow these men will be glorified but TODAY sincere and law abiding EU citizens such as Cornelia Kerth , chairwomen of the Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime are not permitted to light their plane with Baltic Air from Berlin to Riga  and Thomas Willms, Markus Tervooren, Günther Hoppe, Lothar Eberhard and Werner Müller, men with no criminal track record were arrested today at Riga airport, their crime: they peacefully and legally protested against the march in 2014 and have dared to do the same tomorrow, 16 March 2016, two years later.
As a consequence 50 people protested outside the Latvian embassy in Berlin this evening against the measures taken by the Latvian state.
The 5 arrestees have now been deported to the Latvian/Lithuanian border where they will be placed on a bus back to Germany. They will arrive back in Berlin around 10am tomorrow just when the march will be about to start...
facebook contact: https://www.facebook.com/VVNBdA/

http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160315/1036337444/nazi-parade-war-latvia.html

https://linksunten.indymedia.org/en/node/172611


http://www.dielinke-europa.eu/article/10367.lettland-sperrt-antifaschistinnen-aus-und-hofiert-waffen-ss-fans.html
 


 Cornelia Kerth, Chairwoman of Federal VVN-BdA protesting outside the Latvian embassy in Berlin 15 March 2016 after she was prevented from getting on to a flight to Riga from Berlin with Baltic Air yesterday.  The VVN-Bda demanded that the  five fellow protesters, who had been  allowed to leave the country only to be arrested on arrival at Riga airport and placed into a Latvian jail,  be immediately released.

FULL DETAILS RE PROTEST AT BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

11 March 2016

 

UK MP GARETH THOMAS WRITES TO LATVIAN AMBASSADOR AND TO BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE

 INTERNATIONAL PETITION , DH And SAM SOKOL IN THE JERUSALEM POST

MEANWHILE, RULING PARTY LATVIAN MP TELLS MEDIA THAT “CLEVER JEWS” ARE “UNDERMINING HIS NATION’S SECURITY”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/top-latvian-mp-smart-jews-working-to-undermine-country/

 

10 MARCH 2016

            

LATVIA  |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  RIGA WAFFEN SS MARCHES  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED

by Monica Lowenberg


Preamble

On 16 March 2012, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office, during his visit to Riga to protest against the Waffen SS legionnaires march, stated in an interview to Latvian State television LTV1 that the “Latvian SS Legion was not involved in the crimes of the Holocaust” but also stated, as he has done each and every year since 1999, “although these units were not involved in crimes against humanity, many of their soldiers had previously served in the Latvian security police and had actively participated in the mass murder of civilians, primarily Jews.” [16]

NEW SECTION:

ANNUAL WAFFEN SS MARCHES IN CENTRAL RIGA

See You Tube clip with Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Israel, with a photo reportage covering all three Baltic Neo-Nazi marches in 2014. The reportage is accompanied by an interview with Dr. Efraim Zuroff on Salford City Radio, 24 March 2014 and MEP Richard Howitt’s speech condemning the SS march in Riga, read out on Salford City radio station,17 March 2014. 
“The slaughter in the East began from the first day of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Helped by Lithuanians, Latvian and Ukrainian policemen and auxiliaries, the Einsatzgruppen moved rapidly forward behind the advancing German forces. An eye-witness later recalled how, at the frontier village of Virbalia, Jews ‘were placed alive in anti-tank trenches about two kilometers long and killed by machine guns. Lime was thereupon sprayed upon them and a second row of Jews were made to lie down. They were similarly shot. ‘Six more times, a new line of Jews were driven into the trench. ‘Only the children were not shot. They were caught by the legs, their heads hit against stones and they were thereupon buried alive.”
(from The Holocaust. The Jewish Tragedy by Sir Martin Gilbert published by Collins, London, 1986, p. 155)
“In the Baltic States and Ukraine, Himmler used his ‘Eastern Legions’ as vanguard troops in the German ‘war on bandits’, as well as fighting against the advancing Soviet armies.’ This means that a number of these men fought both as agents of genocide and as ‘freedom fighters’. ‘The debate provoked by the rash of Baltic memorials is a false one. The ‘freedom fighter’ and the killer of civilians may be one and the same.’  ‘Since the recruitment of Schuma battalions and foreign Waffen SS legions or divisions formed part of the same evolving genocidal strategy, it is quite wrong to argue, as Ezergailis and others have, that the combat divisions have no connection with the Holocaust.”
(from Hitler’s Foreign Executioners. Europe’s Dirty Secret by Christopher Hale published by The History Press, Stroud Gloucestershire, 2011, p. 244-245)

2012

ECRI Recommendations:
See Report on Latvia by the ECRI calling a halt to all forms of Nazi glorification February 21, 2012, p27, Point 87:
“ECRI recommends that the Latvian authorities condemn all attempts to commemorate persons who fought in the Waffen SS and collaborated with the Nazis. ECRI further recommends that the authorities ban any gathering or march legitimizing in any way Nazism.”
See also:
Early Day Motions in the British Parliament:  27502866:

2013

2014

“When survivors of Nazi concentration camps in 1945 stood holding signs saying “never again,” they could not have foreseen what is happening today in Riga. These are the people we should be commemorating and this is the message we should remember.”
(Richard Howitt, British Labour Member of the European Parliament, and spokesperson for the European Parliament Human Rights Sub-Committee,  on 13 March 2014)
 
The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jewish Manifesto for the 2014 European Elections:
In Europe, the 2008 Prague Declaration caused alarm among many Jewish communities by conflating crimes under Soviet Communism with Nazi crimes. The concern here is that some countries have attempted to deflect attention from the complicity of their wartime governments in the Holocaust, using this as a cynical attempt to avoid liability for compensation to Jewish victims. The crimes that Communist governments committed against their people should be explored and the perpetrators prosecuted, but it is important that countries acknowledge their role in the Holocaust and do not attempt to dismiss a very troubled period in their history by reference to what happened under Communism.
At times, a related trope is that many leading Communists were Jews and so the Jews as a whole are complicit in the crimes of Communism. The rationale continues that, as such, Jews in general do not deserve sympathy or compensation for what they suffered during the Holocaust. But the fact that some Jews were leading Communists did not leave Jews – as a corporate entity – with the wealth of the subjugated people in the same way that Nazi expropriation of Jewish property remains in the hands of some states.
Commitment: MEPs should challenge their European colleagues on these narratives that seek to minimize or downplay the Holocaust.
 
Encouraging News

2014  and 2015  it was illegal for any Latvian member of parliament to attend the Legionnaires march and one minister was fired for attending in 2014.

March 16 is not an official commemoration day but unfortunately thousands do attend it.

“At the end of November 2015, the new president of Latvia, Raimonds Vējonis, participated in a solemn meeting at Rumbula where he, unlike his predecessors, publicly admitted that the terrible actions during the Nazi occupation of Latvia were aided, in part, by the participation of Latvian collaborators.”
See  on this Roland Binet and a relevant Lsm.lv article.

As in 2014 the VVN /anti fascists from Berlin will be protesting at the 2016 march and protesting outside the Latvian embassy in Berlin 15 March 2016.

Eight days after announcing that ministers from the National Alliance planned in attending the SS Fest in force on the 16 March 2016, on 10 March 2016 the National Alliance, interestingly, decided to revoke their decision http://www.baltictimes.com/latvia___s_national_alliance_ministers_not_to_participate_in_march_16_events_in_riga/
 
Discouraging News
 
Bauska: Since 2012, in the Latvian town of Bauska, proudly stands the first memorial to the SS in a European, NATO, OSCE country. It has as yet not been officially removed.
 
The British Foreign Office repeatedly fails to criticize Baltic state policies and practicies promoting glorification of Nazism.  The theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial day was 'Don't Stand By'   http://hmd.org.uk/resources/theme-papers/hmd-2016-dont-stand .  Surely the heirs of Churchill wish  to now take these words to heart? 

On the 2 March 2016, and for the first time in two years, Latvian members of parliament stated they would resume attending the SS march this year and according to this  article  http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_news/?doc=16204   far more than in the past.  See also:  http://www.latviannewsservice.lv/en/topic/1905/news/50872469/

On March 16, 2016 The society for the Support of National Soldiers is planning an event by the Freedom Monument from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. to explain to passersby the Latvian SS Legion’s history and the battles that were fought on March 16, 1944. That event is expected to draw 30 participants.  YET The Anti-Nazi Committee of Latvia who would also like to educate passers by regarding what the Latvian SS Legion did and were involved in will be relegated to a park AWAY from the main proceedings.

2015

The Latvian Parliament in 2014 passed a free-speech destroying law threatening up to five years imprisonment for those who might deign to disagree with the state’s interpretation of World War II and the Holocaust.
The same year, the Latvian government abused its EU status to veto a perfectly legitimate Holocaust exhibit at UNESCO in Paris
23 January 2015
JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized steps taken by the Latvian delegation to UNESCO which effectively cancelled an exhibition about the Holocaust in Latvia scheduled to open this coming Sunday at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The sad acquiescence to a far-right veto was rapidly critiqued by the Simon Wiesenthal Center Center’s Israel office director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff who issued this statement:
 
“This step by the Latvians is part of a systematic effort by the Baltic countries to hide the truth about the extensive collaboration with the Nazis of Balts in the implementation of the Final Solution in their native countries, as well as in Poland and Belarus. Instead of complaining that the exhibition risked damaging her country’s reputation, Latvia’s chief delegate to UNESCO should have welcomed an effort to expose the wartime collaboration of so many Latvians as part of an honest confrontation with her country’s bloody Holocaust past.”

2016?

It seems certain, sadly, that the glorification march of the SS will be going ahead on 16 March 2016 in the very heart of Riga. Potential protesters have recently been harassed by Latvian authorities.
“The openly racist and anti-democratic character of the new government also finds expression in a proposed ban on burkas. Minister of Justice Dzintars Rasnacs from the National Alliance discussed the plans on LNT, a Latvian television channel: “Such a ban will be introduced. The respective draft decision has been already worked out.” He included in this a ban on traditional Islamic dress in all public places. According to Rasnacs, the ban would protect ‘Latvian culture’.”
The National Alliance consists of such member politicians such as Raivis Dzintars. Raivis Dzintars seen in this photo reportage is co-chair of the Latvian far right party which entered the ruling coalition in 2011. In the reportage above one can see Raivis Dzintars smirking as a friend gives a Nazi salute. Dzintars is also a member of the National Association “All For Latvia!” — “For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK.” 
Amongst his various parliamentary duties he is, disturbingly, since November 2011, chairman of the civic education subcommittee of the Education, Culture and Science Committee of his nation’s parliament.
In 2013 Raivis Dzintars and Janis Dombrava of National Association “All For Latvia!”— “For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK” aggressively approached protesters and tried to tear down photographs of atrocities committed by Latvian collaborators in 1941, men who later joined the Latvian Legion in 1943, this too can be seen in the above photo reportage. And yet disturbingly, Janis Dombrava was recently described by the New York Times as being a “lawmaker.

 

Add Your Voice to the Petition Against the SS Glorification March in Riga, Latvia:

http://www.petitions24.com/stop_the_16_march_marches_and_latvians_revising_history

 

NEWS 2016

 
Disturbing news, after two years of not being allowed to attend the SS march on 16 March in Riga, many politicians under the new regime plan in attending this year

 





A FEW REMINDERS RE MARCH 16 IN RIGA, LATVIA


 
WHAT IS MARCH 16TH IN LATVIA?
 
(Article first published by The Holocaust Educational Trust
 
·         Latvia’s difficult legacy  What is March 16th?  by Monica Lowenberg  published by the Holocaust Educational Trust and Second Generation Network, Voices  April  2012)
 
Each year since 1998, former Latvian SS veterans have, on the 16th March, been marching in the centre of the capital city of Riga, accompanied by supporters of all generations, to commemorate and herald their fallen colleagues as war ‘heroes’. The marches have over the years increased in alarming numbers and have frequently been, and continue to be supported by Latvian officials.

On March 16th, 2011 in the heart of NATO, in an EU country, in Riga, more than 2,500 people, (75% of them under the age of 30), gathered to pay tribute to Latvians who fought on the side of Nazi Germany in Waffen SS detachments during World War II. Amongst them a large number of neo-Nazi activists from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Norway and Denmark and Latvian officials and MEP members. Over the years the marches have been attended by the Latvian Chief-of-Staff, Secretary of Defense, members of the Seim and current and former ministers and officials. They herald the Latvian SS veterans as war heroes and freedom fighters as they claim they fought in German ranks to hold back a greater evil, the Soviet Union. Many Latvians believe that the Latvian Waffen SS legion could not have played a role in the Holocaust as it was not officially formed until 1943 when nearly all of Latvian Jewry had already been murdered. However, a substantial amount of evidence including a series of personal accounts and confirmation received from the trial of German Nazi Adolph Eichmann, supports that unknown numbers of Latvian Waffen SS soldiers had indeed been previously involved in the murder of Jews as auxiliary police between 1941 and 1942. 90 percent of Latvia’s pre-war Jewish population, were killed in 1941-42, only one in ten survived. Approximately 67,000 Jews were living in Latvia at the time of the Nazi invasion in July 1941. Approximately 62,000 of them were killed during the Nazi occupation. About 30,000 Jews were killed already by mid-August 1941. The main agents of this murder were small German military units joined by the so-called Arājs Commando and assisted by Latvian auxiliary police, which consisted mainly of volunteers. In late 1941 approximately an additional 30,000 Latvian Jews were killed in a carefully organised execution also aided by Latvian police and Arājs Commando in Rumbula forest, just outside the capital city of Rīga. After this, about 25,000 European Jews were brought to the Riga Ghetto by train and at least half of them were murdered by mid-1942.

Shamefully forgotten is the fact that not one of the numerous Latvian killers who collaborated with the Nazis has been brought to justice since Latvia obtained its independence. Killers who prior to joining the legion in 1943 had been part of 16 auxiliary police (SD) battalions that had previously taken an active part in the liquidating of ghettos in Latvia, Belarus and Poland, as well as in the destruction of civilian villages in Belarus and Russia’s Pskov region. Killers who before joining the legion had been in the ‘Arajs Team’ led by Viktor Arajs, comprising of up to 1,500 Latvian men, known worldwide as the active performers of the Holocaust in Europe, executioners of Latvian, Vilna, Warsaw and many Byelorussian ghettos.

During World War II, the Nazis created 37 divisions of Waffen Schutzstaffel (Waffen SS) of which only 12 were comprised exclusively by Germans. Most of the members of the divisions were recruited among the so-called «Aryan» populations of the occupied or annexed countries. Although the Latvians were not all considered «Aryan», they were massively recruited. Out of 900,000 Waffen SS, almost 150,000 were Latvians thus being the largest foreign contingent while their country, Latvia, only had two million inhabitants. The Latvians were mainly placed in the 15th Infantry Division, which became the most decorated non-German Waffen SS unit. It was the 15th infantry division who entrenched themselves in Berlin and engaged in the last military actions of the Third Reich.
 
The Latvian legion formed in the winter of 1943 was , under Hitler’s orders , formally established on March 16th 1944.There is consensus amongst all Latvian historians that the day marks the only time, the two Divisions of the Legion (15th and 19th) fought together against the Red Army. Therefore, by making the 16th March a day to remember war dead, Latvians, (despite Latvian official protestations to the contrary), are making the day when Latvian volunteers fought in the 15th and 19th divisions of the SS an act of commemoration. As Israeli/Jewish critics have commented even if one takes the stance that the Latvian legionnaires were not criminals and that they were forced to fight for the Nazis, to commemorate the Legion is far from being a positive act and a far cry from a policy to GLORIFY them. Glorification of pro-Nazi armed forces during World War II has no place in a European Union / NATO / OSCE country.
 
Despite condemnation from the international community and reports from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance that in 2008 explicitly stated, ‘All attempts to commemorate persons who fought in the Waffen SS and collaborate with the Nazis should be condemned. Any gathering or march legitimising in any way Nazism should be banned’, in January this year, many Latvian policymakers expressed their respect and admiration of former SS veterans. Political party "Visu Latviyyay!" announced that it is preparing a bill declaring the veterans of the SS Legion as national liberation movement fighters. Under the bill, former SS soldiers in Latvia will enjoy many benefits and advantages, in contrast to the veterans of the Allied forces who fought against Nazism. 



  For  2012 Report on European Commission's Condemnation of Latvian SS parades  published 21 February 2012 see

http://defendinghistory.com/european-commission-condemns-latvias-waffen-ss-parades/31490


Monica Lowenberg  23.02.2012

 SEE ALSO
 

·         Cameron’s Latvian Liaison, one woman’s petition and one SS march  http://defendinghistory.com/cameron latvian-liaison-one-womans-petition-and-one-ss-   march-by-monica-lowenberg/51105  by Monica Lowenberg published by DefendingHistory.Com 15.03.2013

 

·         Images from the March 16th 2013 Annual Glorification of Latvian Waffen SS in Riga  published by Defending History.com  Posted on 3 April 2013 by Defending Historyby Monica Lowenberg  http://defendinghistory.com/riga-march-16-2013-annual-glorification-of-latvian-waffen-ss51949/51949#more-51949





Monica Lowenberg in Dialogue with Latvia’s Ambassador to the UK


D E B A T E


From the 2009 Waffen SS march in Riga. Photo Ilmars Znotins.
 
Monica Lowenberg is the creator of the international petition against this year’s Waffen SS march scheduled for 16 March 2012 in the heart of Riga, Latvia’s capital city. The petition has to date attracted some six thousand signatures from every part of the planet.

Its author approached the Latvian ambassador to the UK for support.

The ambassadors letter of 1 March 2012 can as PDF be read here). It is followed by the text of Monica Lowenberg’s 5 March reply, supplied to DefendingHistory.com for publication.

 
 Monica Lowenberg to the Latvian Ambassador (5 March 2012)
5 March 2012

Dear Ambassador Eduards Stiprais,

Thank you for your letter of 1 March 2012 explaining why you cannot support the petition, ‘Stop the 16th March marches in Latvia and Latvians revising history’. I appreciate the time you have taken out of your busy schedule to explain your arguments to me. In the same spirit, I feel it is important to respectfully point out that glorifying any pro-Nazi forces in today’s European Union and NATO alliances is unacceptable, whether the men now being honoured as ‘heroes’ and ‘bowed’ down to by your prime minister, were murderers, criminals, or simply just pro-Nazis.

Latvia needs to be glorifying its real heroes who saved Jews and other civilian victims from the Nazis and their local allies, not a group of men, who amongst them were former Arajs commandos and auxiliary police who played an active role in the mass murders of 90% of Latvia’s prewar Jewish population in 1941-1942, murdering close to 70,000 Jews. Among the murderers were not a few men who later joined the 15th and 19th divisions of the Latvian SS in 1943, the 15th division being the most decorated of all SS divisions. This is frankly not one of the high points in Latvia’s long and proud history.

As mentioned in my last email to you of the 16 February 2012, it was as a direct consequence of my first visit to Riga last October that I started the petition ‘Stop the 16 March marches in Riga and Latvians revising history!’ as I sincerely believe glorification of pro-Nazi armed forces during World War II has no place in a European Union / NATO / OSCE country.

The petition, launched 20 January 2012, ninety years to the day from the date of birth of my uncle, Paul Theodor Loewenberg, a native of Halle an der Saale, who at age 19 was sent to the Riga Ghetto on the 4 October 1941, is as much an act of commemoration of the victims of Nazism as it is a tribute to the European parliamentarians, including a number from Latvia, who wisely and courageously signed on the 20 January this year 2012, the Seventy Years Declaration, commemorating Wannsee, a declaration which specifically rejects glorification of Latvia’s Waffen SS, along with Estonia’s Waffen SS and the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) in Lithuania.

The petition I launched has, in little over a month, gained from around the world over 5,800 votes and the figure is mounting by the hour, indicating that I am not alone in believing that such glorification is terribly wrong. One should also add that the ECRI, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance had already in 2008 explicitly stated, ‘All attempts to commemorate persons who fought in the Waffen SS and collaborate with the Nazis should be condemned. Any gathering or march legitimising in any way Nazism should be banned’. The ECRI reiterated the same in their most recent report about Latvia released on the 21 February 2012.

As these ‘heroes’ march on the 16 March with Latvian politicians and are given a sermon in church and flowers, when officials and the prime minister argue that these men are not criminals as the SS Latvian legion that these men, killers among them, joined in 1943 (after they and/or colleagues had murdered 80,000 Jews in 1941-1942 on Latvian soil in their capacity as Arajs commandos and auxiliary police), was acquitted of crimes against humanity in the 1950’s by US courts, I ask them and you to consider the following:

1. Many of the worst Latvian killers served in the Latvian Security Police prior to joining the Legion. Honouring such persons is a travesty of justice and a whitewash of their heinous crimes.

2. The Legion fought under the Nazi high command for a victory of the Third Reich. They do not deserve to be honoured for fighting for a victory of the most genocidal regime in human history. Ironically, such a victory would have been a disaster for Latvia since the Nazis had no intention or plan to grant Latvia independence. Historians know very well of the Nazis’ plans to do away with the Latvian (among Baltic) peoples after the planned-for victory. There would have been no Latvia to become independent in 1991.

3. About one-third of those who served in the Legion were volunteers, many of them those who had served in Latvian Security Police units which had actively participated in the mass murder of Jews in Latvia and in Belarus, such as the infamous Arajs Commando mass murder squad.

4. When Latvian SS killed Soviet soldiers they in turn allowed Nazis on the western front to kill more British and American soldiers and in turn allowed Auschwitz and other concentration camps to continue their heinous crimes against humanity. During the years of the Latvian Holocaust, the Soviet Union was in alliance with Great Britain, the United States and other Western democracies, whose ranks Latvia has now joined.

5. Democratic Latvia should not glorify those willing to give up their lives for a victory of the Third Reich. The Latvian Righteous Gentiles would make much better role models for today’s young people in Latvia and for future generations.

6. The ultranationalists who support the march are the ones who are seeking to rewrite the historic narrative of the Holocaust in Latvia in order to hide or downgrade the crimes of local Nazi collaborators and promote the canard of equivalency between Communist and Nazi crimes.

As these men march from the main Latvian Lutheran Church towards the symbol of Latvian independence — the Freedom Monument in Riga’s central square on 16 March 2012 this year, will any of these men and politicians shed a thought for their Latvian murdered compatriots who happened to be Jewish? Will they remember how 25,000 of them were in the fall of 1941, over two weekends, marched down Riga’s streets from the ghetto to Rumbula, shot and thrown in to pits using the ‘sardine method’? Will they say a prayer for them as part of these proceedings?

As the ambassador for Latvia, a country that is a member of the EU and NATO, I feel it is necessary to ask you once more to regard with respect the conclusion of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance concerning the 16 March events in Latvia:

All attempts to commemorate persons who fought in the Waffen SS and collaborate with the Nazis should be condemned. Any gathering or march legitimising in any way Nazism should be banned.’
With kind regards,
 
Monica Lowenberg
London
--------------------------------------------

A LITTLE HISTORY


Since 1998, former Latvian SS have every year, on the 16th March, been marching in the capital city of Riga to commemorate and herald their fallen colleagues as war heroes. The marches have over the years increased in alarming numbers and are now even condoned by Latvian officials. On March 16th, 2011 in the heart of NATO, in Riga, more than 2,500 people, amongst them Latvian politicians, paid tribute to Latvians who fought on the side of Nazi Germany in Waffen SS detachments during World War II. The Latvian Prime Minister told local media he did not think March 16th had ,“a special significance.” Legionnaires’ Day is used by radicals on both sides, “to confront each other”. However, this petition believes Latvia, the international community, the UK government, the European Union and Nato should condemn the Nazi event in clearer terms, as Waffen SS veterans are not seen as legitimate “heroes” in any EU member state which Latvia has been granted status since 2004.
•See photo above from

For photo of members of Latvia's Parliament Dzintars Rasnacs (3-L), Raivis Dzintars (C) and other participants during parade close to Freedom Monument in Riga, 16 March 2011 commemorating those who fought in two German Waffen-SS divisions in World War II.


• You can add your voice to this petition by accessing the links directly below@
 


 

Some statistics


•According to 2010 official statistics The Republic of Latvia, with a population of approximately 2.2 million, is a multiparty parliamentary democracy. Legislative authority is vested in the unicameral Saeima (parliament)

•According to government statistics for the year 2010, Russians comprised 28 percent of the population, Belarusians 4 percent, Ukrainians 3 percent, Poles 2 percent, Lithuanians 1 percent, Jews 0.4 percent, and Roma 0.4 percent.
The UN Refugee Agency

•In May 2004 Latvia simultaneously joined NATO and the European Union.

•Already in a press release 16.03.1999 the Simon Wiesenthal centre in Jerusalem condemned the march of the legionaries and stated, ‘although these units were not involved in crimes against humanity, many of their soldiers had previously served in the Latvian security police and had actively participated in the mass murder of civilians, primarily Jews...The stubborn insistence of Latvia’s SS Legion veterans to conduct a public march to glorify their role as combatants on behalf of the Third Reich is a clear indication that many Latvians have still not internalised the lessons of WWII... not one of the numerous Latvian killers who collaborated with the Nazis has been brought to justice since Latvia obtained its independence, far too many Latvians feel free to identify with those who fought alongside the perpetrators of the Holocaust rather than with its victims’.


Background to the Latvian Legion and Latvia’s revising of history


•The Latvian legion consists of veterans of the Latvian SS Volunteer legion they claim they fought in German ranks to hold back a greater evil, the Soviet Union. They consider themselves as freedom fighters. Russian, Jewish organisations and even some Latvians believe that the veteran link with the Nazi SS-organisation is a national disgrace. They consider the veterans as Nazi sympathisers.

•During World War II, the Nazis created 37 divisions of Waffen Schutzstaffel (Waffen SS) of which only 12 were comprised exclusively by Germans. Most of the members of the divisions were recruited among the so-called «Aryan» populations of the occupied or annexed countries. Although the Latvians were not all considered «Aryan», they were massively recruited. Out of 900,000 Waffen SS, almost 150,000 were Latvians thus being the largest foreign contingent while their country, Latvia, only had two million inhabitants. The Latvians were mainly placed in the 15th Infantry Division, which was the most decorated non-German Waffen SS unit. It was the 15th infantry division who entrenched themselves in Berlin and engaged in the last military actions of the Third Reich.

•The Latvian legion was formed in the winter of 1943 however; March 16th 1944 is the day the Legion was founded when Hitler ordered it be established. All Latvian writers agree that the day marks the only time, the two Divisions of the Legion (15th and 19th) were fighting together against the Red Army. Therefore, by making the 16th March a day to remember war dead, Latvians, (despite Latvian official protestations to the contrary), are making the day when Latvian volunteers fought in the 15th and 19th divisions of the SS an act of commemoration. As Israeli/Jewish critics have commented even if one takes the stance that the Latvian legionnaires were not criminals and that they were forced to fight for the Nazis, to commemorate the Legion is far from being a positive act.
 
•It should be noted that nearly 130,000 other Latvians - enlisted to fight against the Axis (Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy and Japan). Most of them fought in the Red Army that liberated their country from Nazism. After the negotiations among the Allies, Latvia, like other Baltic states, was absorbed by the Soviet Union. Professor Vaira Vike-Freiberga sixth president of Latvia from 8 July 1999 – 8 July 2007 has described the men who joined the Red Army as traitors.
 
•Approximately 62,000 Jews, or 90 percent of Latvia’s pre-war Jewish population, were killed in 1941-42, two years before the formation of the Latvian Waffen SS unit — which some Latvians claim shows the unit could not have played a role in the Holocaust.

•But an unknown number of Latvian Waffen SS soldiers were involved in the murder of Jews as auxiliary police — years before they entered the front-line unit.
See: Einsatz Gruppen Mobile Killing Units
The Trial of Adolph Eichmann -Transcript Excerpt Session No. 29 19 Iyar 5721 (5 May 1961)
References to Latvia, Einsatzgruppen and participation of Latvian nationals

Attorney General: I shall come to the German initiative right away. At the end of the paragraph Stahlecker says that, after the partisans had to be disarmed, the internal purging operations ceased in any case. It was much more difficult, he says, to organize purging operations and pogroms in Latvia. It is true that synagogues were burned, and that about 400 Jews were killed, but since the population was soon quietened down, further pogroms could not be organized. "As far as possible, it was documented, both in Kovno and in Riga, by means of films and photographs that the first spontaneous executions of Jews and communists were carried out by Lithuanians and Latvians."


20 June 2010 Telegraph Guy Walters

'At Bikernieki in southeastern Latvia, the Arājs Commando slaughtered four thousand Jews and a thousand communists between July and September 1941. The killings were carried out by groups of twenty men who would murder ten at a time, the victims simultaneously receiving a shot in the back and a shot in the head. Arājs himself was sometimes on hand to deliver "mercy" shots to those who had not died immediately.
 
The Arājs Commando also participated in the Rumbula Massacre held six miles south of Riga on November 30 and December 8 1941, during which some 25,000 Jews were killed. It was Arājs and his men who helped clear the Riga ghetto to provide the Einsatzgruppe with its victims, and the actions of the Latvians involved were despicable. Elderly women and babies were casually shot, and by the end of the clearance, one witness recalled how "corpses were scattered all over, rivulets of blood still oozing from the lifeless bodies. They were mostly old people, pregnant women, children, handicapped – all those who couldn’t keep up with the inhuman tempo of the march."
 
After being marched to Rumbula, the killings began. The Jews were forced into a gauntlet formed by a mixture of Germans and Latvians, who included members of the Arājs Commando. As the Jews progressed down the gauntlet, they were forced to surrender their valuables and remove their clothes and shoes. The final stage of the Jews’ journey was to lie down in one of three large pits, clutching their children and loved ones, and to receive a bullet in the back of the head. Subsequent victims were made to sprawl on top of the dead and those who were still struggling in their death throes; the pit reeked of excrement and brains. With the SS men fuelled by alcohol and hampered by the approaching darkness, their accuracy deteriorated, and many of the Jews died by being suffocated by the corpses that fell on top of them.'



http://www.jewsoflatvia.com/thebook.html memoir by Max Kauffman survivor of the Riga ghetto

 

Some Statistics regarding how many Jews were murdered in Latvia 1941-1942

90 percent of Latvia’s pre-war Jewish population, were killed in 1941-42, only one in ten survived. Approximately 67,000 Jews were living in Latvia at the time of the Nazi invasion in July 1941. Approximately 62,000 of them were killed during the Nazi occupation. About 30,000 Jews were killed already by mid-August 1941. The main agents of this murder were small German military units joined by the so-called Arājs Commando and assisted by Latvian auxiliary police, which consisted mainly of volunteers. In late 1941 approximately an additional 30,000 Latvian Jews were killed in a carefully organised execution also aided by Latvian police and Arājs Commando in Rumbula forest, just outside the capital city of Rīga. After this, about 25,000 European Jews were brought to the Riga Ghetto by train and at least half of them were murdered by mid-1942


On this see Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia (Washington DC, 1996) and Leo Dribins, Ēbreji Latvijā (Rīga, 2002).  

•From 1950-1980 various Latvian historians found themselves ostracised by a large part of the Latvian émigré community when writing, in particular, about the role of some members of the Arajs commando, members of the Latvian police and their role in the Holocaust. (Approximately 13,000 Jews were murdered by over 1,000 Arajs commando in the summer and fall of 1941.) As a consequence they found themselves having to diminish their crimes rather than expose them openly. One example being Herbert Cukurs who personally killed Jews , as Isaac Kram, a native of Riga testified to in a sworn statement to Yad Vashem investigators:

"In March 1942 when I was living in Ludza Street in the Jewish quarter in Riga, I suddenly saw hundreds of people savagely chased and beaten by Nazi soldiers led by Herbert Cukurs. I was standing close by to him when an old woman, who had been dumped into a truck, began shouting at the top of her voice, beseeching Cukurs to let her be put in another truck where she had spotted her daughter.
 
Cukurs replied by killing the woman with a single shot fired with his big revolver. A few minutes later he shot and killed a small child, just because he annoyed him standing the street and crying for his mother."
 
Cukurs was assassinated in Montevideo in February 1965 by a group of Jews, who were led by Anton Kunzle, and one of the Jews who called himself Oswald Taussig, who like Cukurs came from Riga.

Professor Vaira Vike-Freiberga sixth president of Latvia from 8 July 1999 – 8 July 2007 has stated that Latvia was successively occupied by the Soviets, the Germans and again by the Soviets. The Latvians who joined the SS did it only to find an ally to liberate their country. In short, their crimes were comparable. For that, she has based her reasoning on an interpretation of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact being the result of the totalitarian nature of the Nazi and Communist regimes. Therefore, today's Germany could not be held responsible for the Nazi crimes but today's Russia would always be responsible for crimes of Stalinism. However, this interpretation does not reflect reality: the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact is, above all, an extension of the Munich Accords (Germany, France, Italy, and United Kingdom) to determine the areas of influence in the East after the distribution of Czechoslovakia among Germany, Poland and Hungary. In addition, it is necessary to integrate the role of Latvia itself during that period. She has ignored the role of the Red Army in the liberation of Europe from the dun plague (the Fascists wore dun and black shirts), and described as traitors those Latvians who joined the Red Army.

•In January 2005, the Latvian government published a work entitled History of Latvia: 20th Century; the book openly says that it was printed with the financial assistance of the US Embassy and its launching took place during a press conference of the president of the Republic. The book states that the camp of Salaspils, where the Nazis carried out medical experiments with children and 90,000 people were killed, was simply a «corrective working camp» and that the Waffen SS were heroes of the struggle against the Soviet occupying forces.

•On 23 December 2011, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs met with the Chairman of Latvian Council of Jewish Communities Arkady Suharenko.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the current issues of the Jewish community, the cooperation to date between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Latvian Council of Jewish Communities, as well as plans for the coming year.
 
'The year 2011 is significant in the history of Latvia’s Jewish community: it marks 450 years of the Jewish community in Latvia and commemorates the beginning of the tragic Holocaust events 70 years ago. In this context, a number of notable events have taken place in Latvia in 2011, including the Fifth World Reunion of Latvian Jewry and the Eighth International Conference Jews in a Changing World. The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and Jews in Latvia Museum with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have carried out a joint project, titled 'The Tragedy of Latvia. 1941'.

•It should be noted that the exhibition in the Museum of Occupation 'The Tragedy of Latvia', devoted in October 2011 only a couple of stands to the Holocaust, the lack there of suggesting that the Holocaust was not the greatest atrocity that occurred in Latvia. As Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former Latvian president has stated, many Latvians suffered and died in Soviet gulags and their deaths should not be forgotten but the greatest number of killings in Latvian history actually took place during the Nazi regime, circa 25,000 Jews were killed alone over two weekends in Rumbula , by the middle of 1941 the Nazis had killed approximately 10,000 Latvians supposed communist sympathisers and by 1942 nearly 80,000 Jews had been brutally murdered in Latvia.

•In the same museum under a portrait of Gustavs Celmins the museum has named Celmins as the leader of ‘ The National Patriotic Organisation’. However, the reality is that he was the leader of the ‘Perkonkrusts’ an ultra nationalistic anti-Semitic organisation that in 1941 had many members actively kill Jews. Celmins died in 1967 in the USA, he had been professor of Russian at San Antonio Catholic University. In 1944 the Nazis had put him into a concentration camp for being a Latvian nationalist but this does not diminish the role members of his organisation played in the killing of Jews, a fact the Museum of Occupation has omitted.

History to the 16th March marches


•Latvia gained independence from Soviet rule on August 21, 1991

•The first march of the Latvian SS Volunteer Legion took place on March 16 1998 on the initiative of the Nazi association Club 415. ‘Approximately 500 demonstrators , of this the majority war veterans dressed in uniforms from the Latvian legion, participated in a commemoration in the Cathedral of Riga and afterwards marched to the Monument of Freedom, where flowers were laid’. From Baltic Defence review no.3, vol.2000. The debate on the Latvian SS Volunteer legion by Bjarke W.Botcher , post graduate student of east European Studies at the University of Copenhagen

•In 2004 and for the first time in the heart of NATO and the European Union, several hundreds of Waffen SS marched in the centre of the capital Riga. The demonstration, which was authorised by the municipal council of Riga, was protected by security forces, while people who were peacefully protesting against it were brutally repressed and some of them submitted to interrogation.

•March 2010 whilst in Riga, Dr Efraim Zuroff Israel director of the Wiesenthal Centre begged the Latvian authorities to stop the marches and in an article in 2011 pointed out that 600 Latvian intellectuals had signed a petition asking that the government  halt the marches, they were not stopped and instead almost condoned. See

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=213523 23.03.2011  Dr Efraim Zuroff Jerusalem Post


 
www.operationlastchance.org Operation: Last Chance” is a joint project of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Targum Shlishi Foundation of Miami, Florida designed to assist governments in bringing Nazi war criminals to justice.



•On 10 November 2010 Roland Binet wrote an open letter to the president of the European commission Mr Jose Manuel Barroso regarding the Museum of Occupation in Riga, Latvia and the 16 March marches asking the European commission to intervene. See http://defendinghistory.com/museum-of-the-occupation-riga.  Full letter pasted at end of this article

•In 2010 the papers reported an increase in anti-Semitism in Latvia and the Chairman of the Latvian Council of Jewish Communities Arkady Suharenko stated on 14.12.2010 The Latvian Jewish Community is shocked and dismayed at the desecration of the Riga Jewish cemetery on December 8, and the desecration of the monument to Janis Lipke and other saviours on December 13. These aggressive manifestations of anti-Semitism seem to indicate that this is not an isolated action by some miscreants but rather a system, a pattern that is of concern to us.
See

•March 16, 2011 Riga, Latvia - More than 2,500 people paid tribute to Latvians who fought on the side of Nazi Germany in Waffen SS detachments during World War II.
 
It was stated that 2011 would be the year that Latvia would commemorate 450 years of Jewish life in Latvia and 70 years since the Riga ghetto yet the Museum of Occupation in Riga only devoted a couple of stands to the Holocaust.

•In response to the marches The Latvian Prime Minister told local media he did not think March 16 had, “a special significance.” Legionnaires’ Day is used by radicals on both sides, “to confront each other,” he noted.

•January 2012 on the radio in Latvia three organisations have already declared their wish to have marches take place on March 16 2012:
1. All Latvia ‘Daugavas Vanagi’
2. ‘Daugavas Vanagi’ affiliation in the town of Limbazi
3. Igor Shishkin organisation ‘Club of Gustavs Celmins’ (Gustavs Celmins leader of the ‘Perkonkrusts’ an ultra nationalistic anti-Semitic organisation that in 1941 had many members actively kill Jews.)

To Conclude

The fact that Latvian politicians and historians have still not considered in more depth the dreadful fate of their Jewish compatriots suggests that Latvians have still not come to terms with their past . They have failed to acknowledge the active involvement of over 1,000 Arajs commandos in the guarding, robbing and brutal mass murder of 13,000 Jews in the summer and fall of 1941 alone. And lest we forget the murder of 90 percent of Latvia’s pre-war Jewish population,  killed in 1941-42. Only one in ten survived. Approximately 67,000 Jews were living in Latvia at the time of the Nazi invasion in July 1941. Approximately 62,000 of them were killed during the Nazi occupation. About 30,000 Jews were killed already by mid-August 1941. The main agents of this murder were small German military units joined by the so-called Arājs Commando and assisted by Latvian auxiliary police, which consisted mainly of volunteers. In late 1941 approximately an additional 30,000 Latvian Jews were killed in a carefully organised execution also aided by Latvian police and Arājs Commando in Rumbula forest, just outside the capital city of Rīga. After this, about 25,000 European Jews were brought to the Riga Ghetto by train and at least half of them were murdered by mid-1942  When Latvian politicians and historians in an EU country and in the heart of NATO defend in 2012 the 16th March marches, when they herald Latvian SS men as freedom fighters and heroes, they fail to recognise that some of these ‘heroes’ were actually Arajs commandos and mass murderers who in 1943 joined 15th and 19th SS detachments . When Latvian politicians and historians state that they did not war against the democratic allies Britain and USA but only against the Soviet occupants they forget one unforgettable and important fact- the western allies fought with the USSR against the Nazis. Therefore, when Latvian SS killed Soviet soldiers they in turn allowed Nazis on the western front to kill British and American soldiers and in turn allowed Auschwitz and other concentration camps to continue their heinous crimes against humanity.

Other Points For Latvian Apologists to Consider:

As much as it is necessary for those who feel they have suffered under various occupations to be heard, it is historically false and morally reprehensible at best to:

1.      Equate Nazi crimes with Communist
 
2.    Create an argument where  collaborators are likened to the victims they  willingly and brutally murdered particularly
 
3.    When the topic is thousands of "nationalist heroes" who did the actual KILLING of an ethnic minority in their midst --- all the men, women and children of that minority ---  for then the current campaign of double-talk to equate this genocide with various other crimes becomes even more reprehensible and completely unbecoming to nations that are, or want to be, bona fide members of and partners in Western civilisation, and its European Union  and NATO alliances.
Baltic people and Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazis are not victims, they were collaborators , collaborators who worked for the most genocidal regime the world has ever known.  A regime that murdered  on an industrial scale millions of innocent civilians, who were targeted because they happened to be Roma and Sinti and Jewish.  The vast majority of the Jews murdered had no connections to high ranking Communist leaders some of whom were Jewish, many did not even know who Stalin was.

The stubborn insistence of, in particular, the Lithuanian and Latvian governments to honour TODAY via marches and monuments for the Latvian SS, name plaques and streets after collaborators are acts that only highlight their complete unwillingness to accept  that their ‘heroes’, their liberators from the Soviets, were also collaborators of the worst kind. 


And if none of the above points can still  convince the Latvian apologist , question the following: 

 When the 15th and 19th divisions of the Waffen SS fought against the Red Army, not so far away from Leningrad, around 1,5000,000 innocent men, women and children died of hunger due to a Nazi blockade. 

Should such a day be commemorated by anyone?

Monica Lowenberg MA, BA Hons 20.01.2012

(In the course of her DPhil studies at Sussex University and academic work at the Wiener Library, London, UK Monica has been published in the UK and Germany in Exile Studies. Publications have included Die Kindertransporte 1938/1939 Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag and The Education of the Cologne Jawne Gymnasium Children and the Berlin ORT School Boys in Germany and England Between 1933 and 1939 Rodopi)

My thanks to Dr Aleksandrs Feigmanis Historian in Riga, Latvia for devoting many hours informing myself of what is currently taking place in Latvia today and for proof reading this document, without him this document and petition would never have come about. I am also indebted to Dorothee Lottmann Kaeseler of the Aktives Museum in Wiesbaden, Germany and Dr Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Israel Office for the invaluable information they have given me. Dr Barry Gardiner MP for Brent North for supporting the petition, ‘Stop the 16th March marches in Riga and Latvians Revising History!’ and for being prepared to submit an Early day Motion to the House of Commons to coincide with the date of 16 March to draw attention to the issue.

In remembrance of the innocent voices who were brutally silenced and my uncle Paul Lowenberg 20.01.1922 who at the age of 19 was sent to the Riga ghetto on the 4 October 1941.
 
-------------------------------------------------

PROTEST BY THE VVN  BERLIN

 
Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes –
Bund der Antifaschistinnen und Antifaschisten (VVN-BdA) e.V.
Bundesvereinigung
Presseerklärung vom 8. März 2016
  Keine Ehrung der lettischen Waffen-SS
 
Am 16. März wird es in der lettischen Hauptstadt Riga - wie jedes Jahr seit 1991 - wiederum zu einem Gottesdienst, einem Umzug und einer fahnengesäumten Kundgebung am Freiheitsdenkmal zu Ehren der lettischen Einheiten der Waffen-SS kommen.
Diese Veranstaltung ist der unrühmliche Höhepunkt verschiedener Kundgebungen, mit denen in den baltischen Republiken nationalistischer, antisemitischer und antikommunistischer Kollaborateure der deutschen Besatzungsmacht gedacht wird und die zur nationalen Legitimation herangezogen werden. Es wird im Zuge dessen weitgehend ignoriert, verdrängt oder geleugnet, dass es sich im Kern um Todesschwadronen handelte, die im Verbund mit den Deutschen Massenmorde durchführten, denen zehntausende Menschen zum Opfer fielen.
Internationaler Druck hat immerhin erreicht, dass der „Tag der Legionäre“ seit 1998 nicht mehr nationaler Feiertag ist und dass die Regierung ihre Mitglieder verpflichtet hat, nicht mehr an ihm teil zu nehmen. Die auch an der aktuellen Regierung beteiligte Partei „Nationale Allianz“ war allerdings 2014 sogar bereit einen Minister zu verlieren, der trotz des Regierungsbeschlusses teilgenommen hatte.
 
Dessen ungeachtet erfreut sich die beklemmende Veranstaltung nach wie vor breiter gesellschaftlicher und de facto staatlicher Unterstützung. Man rechnet mit mehreren tausend Teilnehmenden, die sich nicht auf einen harten neonazistischen Kern beschränkt.
 
Erheblicher Repression sehen sich die wenigen Letten ausgesetzt, die diesem Spektakel etwas entgegensetzen wollen. Telefonüberwachung, Reisebeschränkungen, Behördenschikanen, Polizeiwillkür, staatliche Einflussnahme auf Hotels und Veranstaltungsunternehmen werden jedes Jahr insbesondere gegen „Lettland ohne Nazismus“ angewendet und sollen sie zur Aufgabe zwingen. In diesem Jahr war es den Antifaschisten gelungen, den Veranstaltungsort vor der Gegenseite zu beantragen. Daraufhin wurden sie von der Polizei vorgeladen, weil sie angeblich ihre eigene Unterschrift gefälscht hätten!
 
Der „Ehrenmarsch“ ist eine unerhörte Provokation für die Angehörigen der Opfer der lettischen Polizei und SS-Verbände und für die jüdische, russischsprachige und andere Minderheiten im Land. Er steht nicht nur im Gegensatz zu den Grundwerten der Europäischen Union, deren Vorzüge der lettische Staat andererseits gerne entgegennimmt, sondern ist auch eine Provokation gegenüber der Russischen Föderation und damit eine Gefahr für den Frieden in Europa.
 
Auf Einladung der Initiative „Lettland ohne Nazismus“ nehmen am 16. März in Riga internationale Politiker, Wissenschaftlicher, Journalisten, Antifaschistinnen und Antifaschisten an Aktivitäten gegen den Ehrenmarsch teil. Auch eine Delegation der VVN-BdA wird sich erneut wieder an einer Gegenkundgebung beteiligen.
Bereits am 15. März wird es in Berlin um 18 Uhr vor der Botschaft Lettlands in der Reinerzstr. 40/41 eine Protestkundgebung „Auch in Lettland: Gegen das SS-Gedenken – Kampf den historischen Kontinuitäten“  der „Antifaschistischen Koordination Westberlin“ geben.
 
Wir fordern:
·         Schluss mit der Ehrung von NS-Kollaborateuren und Mördern!
·         Anerkennen der baltischen Beteiligung am nazistischen Völkermord!
·         Freiheit für „Lettland ohne Nazismus“!
·         Wir rufen auf zur Protestkundgebung am 15. März in Berlin vor der lettischen Botschaft!


Beteiligt euch an der Antifa-Kundgebung gegen das SS-Gedenken!
 
15.03. | 18 Uhr | Botschaft Lettlands | Reinerzstr. 40/41 | S-Hohenzollerndamm
Hier der Aufruf unserer Freund*innen der VVN-BdA : klick


http://www.vvn-bda.de/keine-ehrung-der-lettischen-waffen-ss/

Protest outside the Latvian Embassy, Berlin, 15 March 2016

All photos taken Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 6:00 to 7:00 pm in
 front of the Latvian Embassy in Berlin, Reinerzstr. 40/41 14193 Berlin.

Photographer: W. Girod
 


Cornelia Kerth, Chairwoman of Federal VVN-BdA speaking to the protesters outside the Latvian embassy 15 March 2016
 
 
About 50 people came together  to protest against the commemoration march for SS-Legionnaires in Riga


                               Florian Gutsche (left), one of the organisers of the protest
 
 
One of the protesters wore signs that read: 'Male and Female bikers against Nazis, stupidity and hate! No more war! No more genocide! No! Not again! No Waffen-SS commemoration in Riga! No new Nazis! Anywhere!'

 
 
'SS is marching again in Riga. Criminals against humanity, mass murderers get out of Europe!" Sign by Kontakte-kontakty, an association that works for historical awareness surrounding German crimes in the occupied parts of the former Soviet Union. In 1998 the association created an exhibition called "Shoah in Latvia" which explored the lives of  Shoah survivors in the East, a  topic completely ignored by German politics until that time. For the past  25 years Kontakte-kontakty  now concerns itself with the "forgotten victims of National Socialism" ie soviet prisoners of war and forced laborers who have never received compensation for their suffering nor for their work.
    http://www.kontakte-kontakty.de
 
 
 
 

tageszeitung junge welt

Gegründet 1947

- Mittwoch, 16. März 2016, Nr. 64

Aus: Ausgabe vom 16.03.2016, Seite 1 / Titel

Riga macht sich nazifein

Lettische Regierung bereitet sich auf SS-Gedenkmarsch vor – und nimmt deutsche Antifaschisten in Abschiebehaft

Von Frank Brendle

Further article by Frank Brendle in English here: http://defendinghistory.com/80430-2/80430
  
Internationaler Widerstand: Protest gegen einen Aufzug von ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen am 16. März 2014 in Riga
 

Die lettische Regierung legt sich mächtig ins Zeug, um die Straßen von Riga für den am heutigen Mittwoch stattfindenden jährlichen Marsch zu Ehren der Waffen-SS vor Protest gegen die Ewiggestrigen zu bewahren. Deutsche Antifaschisten, die sich an einer Demonstration gegen den Aufmarsch beteiligen wollten, wurden am gestrigen Dienstag bei der Einreise in das baltische Land festgenommen. »Die Behörden versuchen alles, um unseren Protest zu behindern«, berichtete Joseph Koren von der Organisation »Lettland ohne Nazismus« im Gespräch mit junge Welt. Koren hatte die Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Nazi­regimes – Bund der Antifaschisten (VVN-BdA) eingeladen, die Proteste in Lettland zu unterstützen.

Gestern früh wurde der Bundesvorsitzenden der VVN-BdA, Cornelia Kerth, am Hamburger Flughafen das Einsteigen in die Maschine von Air Baltic verweigert. Sie stehe auf einer »schwarzen Liste« der lettischen Einwanderungsbehörde, wurde ihr beschieden. Fünf Berliner Antifaschisten hatten es hingegen bis nach Riga geschafft, wo sie bei der Einreise­kontrolle festgehalten und in einen Verhörraum gebracht wurden. Unter ihnen befinden sich neben dem VVN-BdA-Bundesgeschäftsführer auch einfache Mitglieder des Verbandes.

Als Grund gaben die Behörden an, von den Antifaschisten ginge eine »Gefahr für die öffentliche Sicherheit und Ordnung« aus. Dabei waren die Proteste gegen den SS-Marsch stets friedlich gewesen. Allerdings hatten alle fünf Betroffenen schon vor zwei Jahren an ähnlichen Demonstrationen teilgenommen. Damals waren sie mit dem Bus angereist und an der Grenze mehrere Stunden lang aufgehalten worden. Heute finden sich ihre Daten auf der Liste der »unerwünschten Ausländer« wieder. »Man hat uns vor die Wahl gestellt, entweder noch heute zurückzufliegen oder bis zur Abschiebung in ein Internierungslager für illegale Migranten gesperrt zu werden«, berichtete einer der Teilnehmer gegenüber junge Welt am Telefon. Alle fünf Internierten hätten sich entschlossen, das Angebot der »freiwilligen« Rückreise auszuschlagen. »Dafür droht uns dann lebenslanges Einreiseverbot nach Lettland, aber das wollen wir politisch durchkämpfen«, hieß es. Bis jW-Redaktionsschluss bestand noch Telefonkontakt zu den Betroffenen.

Der Nazimarsch findet stets am 16. März statt, am Jahrestag einer Schlacht der lettischen Waffen-SS-Freiwilligen gegen die Rote Armee. Bis vor wenigen Jahren liefen noch regelmäßig Minister der lettischen Regierung mit. Das wurde auf internationalen Druck hin zwar eingestellt, einfache Abgeordnete der nationalistischen Regierungspartei »Alles für Lettland« haben aber auch für dieses Jahr ihre Teilnahme angekündigt. In der von Geschichtsrevisionismus und antirussischer Propaganda geprägten lettischen Gesellschaft werden die Faschisten weithin als vermeintliche »Freiheitskämpfer gegen den Bolschewismus« betrachtet.

In einer Presseerklärung wies die VVN-BdA darauf hin, dass die Letten, die Proteste gegen den SS-Marsch organisieren, erheblicher Repression ausgesetzt seien. Auch Josef Koren von »Lettland ohne Nazismus« berichtet von Überwachungen und Schikanen durch Behörden. Deswegen setzt er auf eine Internationalisierung des Protests.

Die Linke-Politikerinnen Ulla Jelp­ke und Sabine Lösing warfen der Regierung in Riga vor, sich schützend »vor die ewig gestrigen Anhänger der Waffen-SS« zu stellen. Dem Land täten sie damit keinen Gefallen: »Lettland erweist sich so als Staat, der Nazis hofiert.«



An die Vertretung Lettlands in Berlin
die Deutsche Bundesregierung
die Repräsentanten der Europäischen Union

Berlin, 16.03.2016

Erklärung der FIR zu den rechtswidrigen Maßnahmen der
lettischen Regierung gegenüber deutschen Antifaschisten

Mit Überraschung und Empörung mussten wir heute von deutschen und
lettischen Antifaschisten
erfahren, dass die Regierung Lettlands – gegen alle Regel der
Europäischen Union – Bürgern der
Bundesrepublik Deutschland, denen keinerlei Rechtsvergehen vorgeworfen
werden konnte, die Einreise
in das Land untersagte. Einer Frau wurde bereits in Berlin – auf
Anweisung der lettischen Regierung –
der Zutritt zu einer regulären Maschine von Baltic Air verweigert, fünf
Deutsche wurden auf dem
Flughafen von Riga in Internierungshaft genommen – in der Einrichtung
für illegal anreisende
Flüchtlinge. Ziel dieser Personen war die Teilnahme an einer genehmigten
Protestkundgebung gegen
den geplanten Aufmarsch ehemaliger Angehöriger lettischer SS-Verbände
und ihrer Sympathisanten.
Die Internationale Föderation der Widerstandskämpfer (FIR) – Bund der
Antifaschisten verurteilt dieses
Verhalten der lettischen Regierung aus folgenden Gründen:


 1. Es ist nicht zu tolerieren, dass sich die lettische Regierung über
die Normen des freien
Personenverkehrs innerhalb der EU glaubt hinwegsetzen zu können. Wir
erwarten von den Gremien
der Europäischen Union und der Vertretung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
in Lettland deutliche
Protestnoten.


 2. Es ist nicht zu tolerieren, dass die lettische Regierung offenkundig
alles dafür tut, dass
ehemalige SS-Verbrecher und ihre Verbände, sowie deren Sympathisanten
ungehindert in Riga
aufmarschieren dürfen. Wir erwarten von der Europäischen Union, dass sie
die lettische Regierung
deutlich an ihre Verpflichtung erinnert, keinerlei
Geschichtsrevisionismus und Verherrlichung der
faschistischen Verbrechen zuzulassen. Die Teilnehmenden der
Internationalen Konferenz gegen
Antisemitismus in Berlin müssten – wenn sie es mit ihrem Anliegen
ehrlich meinen – deutliche Worte
 gegen das Verhalten der lettischen Regierung finden.


 3. Es ist nicht zu tolerieren, dass die lettische Regierung einen
friedlichen und demokratischen
Protest, der sich in den gesetzlichen Rahmen der lettischen Verordnungen
bewegt, durch solche
Maßnahmen unterdrückt und – durch die Inhaftierung der Teilnehmenden –
sogar kriminalisiert. Wir
erwarten vom deutschen Außenministerium, dass sie unverzüglich Kontakt
zur lettischen Regierung
aufnimmt und die Freilassung der Bürger der BRD veranlasst.


 Wir erklären uns solidarisch mit den lettischen Antifaschisten, die seit
mehreren Jahren den Protest
gegen das SS-Treffen organisieren, und stehen hinter allen
Antifaschisten und Demokraten aus den
verschiedenen europäischen Ländern, die diese Aktion unterstützen wollen.

gez. Dr. Ulrich Schneider, Generalsekretär der FIR

-----------------------------------------------------
 
VVN An die Medien  16.03.2016    16.42
 
Gedenkmarsch der Veteranen der lettischen Legion der Waffen-SS in Riga:
Deutsche Antifaschisten abgeschoben – der Skandal bleibt!
 
Nachdem fünf Mitglieder der VVN-BdA mehrere Stunden auf dem Flughafen von Riga festgehalten worden waren, weil sie sich an den Protesten gegen den Ehrenmarsch für die Waffen-SS beteiligen wollten, wurden sie schließlich mit unbekanntem Ziel in einem Gefangenentransportwagen zeitweise unter Blaulicht fortgeschafft. Gegen Abend fanden sie sich an der litauischen Grenze wieder, wo die Polizei einen Fernreisebus anhielt. In diesen hinein verfrachtet, trafen sie 20 Stunden später wieder in Berlin ein.
 
Währenddessen konnten andere Mitglieder der VVN-BdA trotzdem in Riga unter intensiver Polizeibegleitung gemeinsam mit unseren lettischen Freunden von „Lettland ohne Nazismus“ und dem Direktor des Simon-Wiesenthal-Zentrums New York, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, sichtbar in der Nähe des Freiheits-Monumentes demonstrieren. Der Protest fand große Beachtung und stieß auf Interesse bei der Presse.
 
Die massiven Schikanen im Vorfeld waren ebenso wirkungslos geblieben wie die Einschüchterungsversuche der Immigrationspolizei im Hotel unserer Delegation.
 
Der Marsch der SS-Veteranen und ihrer Anhänger formierte sich nach dem Besuch eines Gottesdienstes in der St. Peters Kirche, angeführt durch den Pastor. Etwa 1.000 Veteranen und Anhänger – darunter auch sichtbar organisierte Gruppen von Neofaschisten – marschierten zum Freiheits-Monument. Der Marsch sei "gruselig" gewesen, hieß es in einem ersten Kommentar aus Riga.
 
Der Protest war sichtbar durch Fahnen, Transparente und Schilder mit der Aufschrift „Keine Glorifizierung des Holocaust“ in lettischer und englischer Sprache.
 
Außerdem wurden Fotos von Massakern an der jüdischen Bevölkerung Lettlands durch  das zur lettischen Legion der Waffen-SS gehörende Kommande Viktor Arajs gezeigt. Dazu wurden Hunderte Namen von jüdischen Opfern aus Riga verlesen. Das war jedoch nur so lange möglich bis der Marsch in Hörweite kam, dann mussten die Lautsprecher auf Anweisung der Polizei ausgeschaltet werden.
 
Während die lettischen Behörden dafür sorgen, dass die Veteranen der Waffen-SS durch keine Erinnerung an ihre Opfer gestört durch Riga paradieren können, werden protestierende Antifaschistinnen und Antifaschisten kriminalisiert und schikaniert und ihre Arbeit in skandalösem Ausmaß behindert.
 
Auch 2017 werden wir deshalb wieder an der Seite unserer lettischen Freunde in Riga demonstrieren und fordern:
 
·        Schluss mit der Ehrung von NS-Kollaborateuren und Mördern!
·        Anerkennen der baltischen Beteiligung am nazistischen Völkermord!
·        Freiheit für „Lettland ohne Nazismus“!


Translation by Florian Gutsche

Commemoration of the veterans of the latvian Waffen-SS legion in Riga:
German Antifascists deported - the scandal remains!

After 5 members of the Association of the Persecutes of Naziregime - Federation of Antifascists were held in custody in the airport of Riga for several hours, because they wanted to participate in the protest against the commemoration of the Waffen-SS, they were put into a prison transporter which carried them to an unknown target - temporarily with turned on police siren. In the evening they arrived at the latvian-lithuanian border, where the police stopped a international line bus and seated them there. 20 hours later they arrived in Berlin.

Meanwhile other members of the Association of Persecutes of Naziregime - Federation of Antifascists were still able to achieve visible protest, close to the Liberation-Monument,  with our friends from "Latvia without Nazism" and the director of the Simon-Wiesenthal-Centre New York, Dr. Efraim Zurof. However, despite a huge mobilisation of police forces the antifascist protest was widely noticed and the media showed major interest.

The previously massive repression were as ineffective as the attempted intimmidations by the immigration police in the hotel.

The march of the SS-Veterans and their supporters constituted itself after the visit of a prayer in the S.Peters Cathedral and was led by the pastor. Approximately 1000 veterans and supporters - among them obviously organised groups of neofascists - marched to the Liberation-Monument. A first comment from Riga described the march as creepy/scary.

The protest was visible due to flags, banners and signs and posters with the slogan: "No Glorification of the Holocaust" in latvian and english language.

Also pictures from massacres on the jewish population were shown, that have been commited by the commando Viktor Arajs which was part ofthe latvian SS-Legions. Related to that houndreds of names of jewish victims from Riga were read aloud. Still this was only possible until the march came close enough to hear it, from that point on the loudspeakers had to be turned off.

While the latvian public authorities do everything to enable veterans of the Waffen-SS to walk though the city of Riga without being disturbed, protesting Antifascists are criminalised and are hindered in their work outrageously.

Therefore we will demonstrate in 2017 at the side of our latvian friends in Riga again and demand:

An end to public commemorations of the Waffen SS.
Formal recognition of the massive Baltic cooperation with Nazi genocide.
Freedom for “Latvia without Nazism” and other anti-Nazi organizations in Latvia.