Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Riga, designated European Capital for Culture for 2014, reaches a new low note

The musical rehabilitation of a Latvian mass murderer

A new play in Latvia portrays Herberts Cukurs as a national hero - not the cruel killer of Jews that he was

http://www.i24news.tv/en/opinion/46304-141007-a-latvian-new-musical-or-the-tale-of-a-latvian-mass-murderer-s-rehabilitation  (Article first published by I24 News  7.10.2014  and republished here with kind permission of its author  Dr Efraim Zuroff)

This coming Saturday night, October 11 2014, a new musical premieres in the Latvian port city of Liepaja, the first stop on a nationwide tour. Such an event would hardly be news worthy were it not for the fact that rather than simple entertainment, the play is a brazen attempt to rehabilitate the image of one of the most notorious mass murderers of Jews in the Baltics during the Holocaust.
"Herberts Cukurs, member of the infamous Latvian Arajs Commando unit, in 1937."
The subject of the play is Herberts Cukurs, the deputy commander of the infamous Arajs Kommando, which played a leading role in the mass annihilation of the Jews in Riga and throughout the country in the year following the Nazi invasion of Latvia, and later was an active participant in the killing of Jews in Belarus (most notably from the Minsk Ghetto).

Although Cukurs' role in the atrocities was well-known, like many Baltic Nazi war criminals he was able to escape justice by fleeing overseas, in his case to Brazil. Once discovered there, the Soviets asked for his extradition to face war crimes charges, but the Brazilians refused, claiming that they would only send him back to the country in which he committed his crimes. Latvia, however, no longer existed. The resulting legal limbo which prevented Cukurs' prosecution and punishment, and an impending possible statute of limitations on the cases of Nazi war criminals in Germany, prompted an uncharacteristic response from Israel, which sent a team of Mossad operatives to execute him. Ironically, it was this act of retribution, which took place in Montevideo in 1965, which paved the way for recent attempts by Cukurs' family and Latvian ultra-nationalists to whitewash his crimes.
This campaign began several years ago with the issuing of envelopes carrying Cukurs' likeness, an exhibition entitled "Herberts Cukurs: The Presumption of Innocence," and a documentary film which sought to promote his innocence. To understand it one must be aware of Cukurs' status as a Latvian national hero during the thirties.
He earned his fame as a bold aviator, who built several airplanes of his own design, and flew solo to exotic destinations in Africa (Gambia) and the Far East (Tokyo). He even flew to Palestine and later lectured in Riga to Jewish audiences. It is this fame, paired with the fact that Cukurs had never been convicted in a court of law for his Holocaust crimes, which forms the basis for the campaign to restore him to national glory in Latvia. Along with the current efforts to rewrite the narrative of World War II and the Holocaust in the Baltics, it aims to minimize the highly significant role of local collaborators in the murders, and focus more attention on Baltic victimhood under the Communists.
The most powerful arguments against these attempts to restore a mass murderer like Cukurs to the status of a national hero are the numerous testimonies of Jewish survivors, many which were recorded shortly after the end of the war, but in this respect Cukurs' pre-war fame worked against him. Unlike the large majority of the other Latvian Nazi collaborators, Cukurs was well-known, and hence easily identifiable by quite a few of his erstwhile victims. Thus, for example, Rafael Shub related in a testimony I found in the Yad Vashem Archives, that on July 2, 1941, Cukurs had burned to death eight Jews in the new [Jewish] cemetery in Riga, even identifying his victims - synagogue sexton Feldheim, his wife and four children, and Cantor Mintz and his wife.
Another survivor, Abraham Shapiro, who was interned at the Arajs Kommando headquarters at Valdamaras St. 19, testified that Cukurs had personally murdered two Jews, who failed to follow his orders, and later witnessed Cukurs and other Latvian officers sexually molest and torture a young Jewish girl, while Shapiro was ordered to play the piano. The most damning evidence came from Max Tukacier, who told members of the Legal Department of the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in Germany in 1948 that Cukurs had beaten and executed men, women, and children who could not keep pace when the Jews of Riga were force-marched to be murdered at Rumbula Forest outside the city, in the mass executions of November 30 and December 8, 1941. He also recalled how the famous aviator had ordered an elderly Jew to rape a twenty year old Jewess in front of a crowd of Latvian police and prisoners at Arajs headquarters and when he failed to do so, ordered him to kiss the girl all over her naked body again and again. About 10-15 of the male and female prisoners who could not bear the sight of this humiliation were beaten to death by Cukurs.

Needless to say, such testimonies will not be part of the musical, which begins its run this Saturday night. A YouTube trailer for the play, featuring the noted Latvian singer Juris Miller, has elicited enthusiastic responses, but apparently no protests. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsdwCXVJwUc today's Latvia, for far too many Latvians, it is Cukurs who earns their sympathy, while his Jewish victims are forgotten, or even worse, erased from the historical record.

Efraim Zuroff is the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Israel Office. His most recent book is "Operation Last Chance; One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice." His website is: www.operationlastchance.org and he can be followed on Twitter @EZuroff

See also Dr Aleksandrs Feigmanis' excellent article on Cukurs  Aleksandrs Feigmanis, at:


Riga, Roots and Reflections  http://defendinghistory.com/riga-roots-and-reflections/60217
By Monica Lowenberg, published by Defending History.com 28.10.2013

Latvian state dance troupe displays Nazi swastika by Graeme Atkinson, International Editor Hope Not Hate and Monica Lowenberg published by Hope Not Hate, 24 November 2013
http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/news/world/article/1579/lartvian-state-dance-t roupe-displays-nazi-swastika

Riga, Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?
By Monica Lowenberg, published by DefendingHistory.com 4 February 2014
'Repentance' from Germany offers new hope for justice

By Efraim Zuroff, October 7, 2014

Isaac Kram, a native of Riga 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.

12 October 2014

And now for a hit from Mel!

24 October 2014

http://www.rubaltic.ru/article/kultura-i-istoriya/24102014-Cukurs/  Interview with Dr Efraim Zuroff regarding the musical rehabilitation of a mass murderer in Latvia today

On October 25th 1941 the gates of the Riga ghetto were locked, 29,602 Jews were driven together under strict custody behind barbed wire in the area where about 13,000 people had lived before. Among them 5,652 children, 8.300 invalids, 9,507 women, 6,143 men.

30 October 2014


Boris Maftsir, a Latvian-born Israeli film-maker, saw the musical during a recent visit to Riga, and said he was disturbed by the reaction of the crowd.
"What shocked me was that after the show, they all gave it standing ovations. Hundreds of people, they applauded," said Maftsir, whose maternal grandparents were killed in Riga during the Nazi occupation. "Suddenly this Nazi officer can be a national hero. For me it was shocking

Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/10/30/3929540_latvian-musical-on-nazi-collaborator.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

18 November 2014

BRAVO to LatviaNews.lv for publishing some common sense on the Cukurs affair in Latvia: http://www.latviannews.lv/news/6232/
As ever, it is the FRIENDS of a country who point out that glorification of Nazi collaborators is wrong and damaging. The more local residents who speak up on these things the better...

30 December 2014

Collaborator. (No longer a dirty word?)

The crisis in Ukraine has revealed to the world the divisions that exist throughout Europe about how the Second World War is remembered.

An important article from this month's HISTORY TODAY on the historical revisionism sweeping Europe. The SEVENTY YEARS DECLARATION (http://www.seventyyearsdeclaration.org) featured in Danny Ben Moshe's documentary 'Rewriting History' is discussed on the last page and SS marches and glorification in Latvia p13.


The Board of Deputies of British Jews has just become a signatory to the Seventy Years Declaration, endorsing the campaign against double genocide.Other major UK organisations, including the European Union for Progressive Judaism and the United Synagogue of Great Britain have also joined the campaign.

You can add your voice to the various campaigns against historical revisionism  here:

1.  Petitioning HE President Dalia Grybauskaitė , President of Lithuania
Abandon defamation of Holocaust survivors and glorification of Holocaust perpetrators


20 January 2015

Seventy three years after the Wannsee conference and on the anniversaries of the petition Stop the 16th March marches and Latvians revising history and The Seventy Years Declaration Latvia's permanent UNESCO delegation vetoes Holocaust exhibition in Paris.  The exhibition showing the crimes the Nazis committed in Salaspils  was cancelled out of fears that it will place Latvia in a bad light whilst they hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union until July 2015.

How can recounting the crimes of the Nazis and their allies  harm the image of modern-day Latvia? It is only possible if Latvia treats Nazi crimes as its own.

Salaspils concentration camp was established in 1941, some 11 miles southeast of the Latvian capital Riga. According to protocols from the Nuremberg trials, more than 100,000 people died at the camp.

 Maybe some institution in the UK, France or Germany WOULD now take the 'rejected exhibition' ? ?

22 January 2015

Double genocide has become the deadliest form of denial
by Dovid Katz  in  The Jewish Chronicle

The 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz approaches amid a disturbing new cover-up of Holocaust history. Across Eastern Europe, the notion of a "Double Genocide" - the idea that there were two equal holocausts, Soviet and Nazi - has been pushed by governments and nationalist elites in the media and arts.  http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/analysis/128663/double-genocide-has-become-deadliest-form-denial

27 January 2015

Lest we forget

Original film footage done by a Russian camera man filming the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet army in 1945


and here original film footage of the mass murder of Jews in Liepaja, Latvia, 1941

New documentary on The Riga Ghetto out soon


15 February 2015

Four Baltic marches, one dangerous racist trend

You can sign petitions against these marches here:

1.  Petitioning HE President Dalia Grybauskaitė , President of Lithuania
Abandon defamation of Holocaust survivors and glorification of Holocaust perpetrators

To find out more about the situation in Lithuania see:   http://defendinghistory.com/?p=47128

2.  Stop the 16 March marches in Riga, Latvia!
1.  Add your voice to this petition here:  http://www.petitions24.com/stop_the_16_march_marches_and_latvians_revising_history

3. For more information regarding previous marches see following interviews and you tube clips: 
3.1 Monday 8 July 2013,  'Jewish Hour' on Salford City Radio  94.4FM
Interview with Monica Lowenberg speaking about her trip to Latvia and the annual SS marches that take place in the capital of Riga.
3.2  Nazi Heroes-  Waffen SS hailed in Latvia  2012
VIEWS:  over 120,000 as of February 2015
3.3  You Tube clip with Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Israel  2014
Photo reportage covering all three Baltic Neo-Nazi marches last year.  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. 

16  February 2015

Defending History Musters 12 Protesters at Kaunas Independence Day Neo-Nazi March on Feb. 16th

Dozen protesters are led by Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Efraim Zuroff, and include five members of Lithuanian Jewish community (in private capacity). Effort is a partnership of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office and the Vilnius-based Defending History team.

Media Coverage:

AFTER THE EVENT:  JTA; Newsru.com;  15min.lt;  Alfa.lt;  Balsas.lt;  Delfi.lt;  Faktai.lt;  FB;  Info.smi; Interfax;  Jerusalem Post;  Lrt.lt (+video); Lrytas.lt;  Obzor;  Newsru.co.il;  Simon Wiesenthal Center;  Stormfront;  RUN-UP TO THE EVENT: i24; Defending History (+correspondence with mayor’s office);

The Photo shoots Hague would rather forget

 first published by Hope not Hate  5 April 2013

By Monica Lowenberg
Not every day that one sees William Hague courting photo shoots with Hollywood A lister Angelina Jolie, who is also a noted human rights activist. ‘Human rights’ is the buzz word this week. When I got up Saturday morning and found a letter from Hague’s office, in response to mine about British silence in the face of EU partner Latvia’s honouring the Hitlerist Waffen SS with official support, it looked promising.

In February, I had asked PM Cameron to write a simple letter to the Latvian president Andris Berzins who has proclaimed publicly that Latvian SS veterans should be ‘bowed down to’. I asked Cameron, an heir of Churchill, to ask for a halt to the glorification of SS veterans in an EU and NATO country. This glorification includes annual state-blessed marches in the centre of the capital city that are riddled with pro-Nazi sentiment.

The SS veterans are seen by a growing number of Latvian nationalists as ‘freedom fighters’ who fought against the Soviet Union. Of course we should all condemn Soviet evils separately, but that is not the point here.

Today’s letter from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office tells me:
I understand that this is an emotive issue for all those involved. I am pleased to note that this year’s events passed off safely. The history of the Latvian Legion is complex and one which historians are best placed fully to understand. The UK believes that the abolition of Legionnaires Day is essentially a matter for the Latvian Government and I hope that you understand that this is not a matter in which the UK government has any locus to become involved’. Letter dated 27th March 2013, signed by Dave Naylor, Northern and Central Europe Team, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Bearing in mind that Mr Naylor’s boss had had since 2009 rather close contact with the Latvian government, to the extent that he was prepared to support them to the hilt, it does seem strange that three years on when Latvia’s ugly past rears its head they are unable to intervene. What on earth is the British government afraid of? Or maybe getting into bed with SS lovers is not an ‘emotive’ or hot enough topic for senior Tories? Was standing up to Hitler and his cronies an abject waste of time by Britain and her allies?
Back on October 1st 2009 Hague said of then foreign secretary David Milliband:

David Miliband's smears are disgraceful and represent a failure of his duty to promote Britain's interests as foreign secretary…He has just insulted the Latvian Government, most of whose member parties have attended the commemoration of Latvia's war dead.’ Hague virulently retorted when Miliband correctly characterised the British Conservatives alliance with Latvian MEP Robert Zile as ‘not leadership but pandering, not judgement but dogma, not patriotic defence of national interest but the white flag of surrender to euro-extremists in his own party." Merkel ,Sarkozy and even true blue conservative Yorkshire MEP Edward Macmillan Scott , who was duly sacked for daring to state that ‘Cameron was flirting with respectable fascism’, were all equally incensed at Cameron’s Latvian liaison. But Hague, Callanan, Hannan and Pickles continued to state with almost religious fervour that the Latvian SS veterans ‘were only following orders’. A special kind of blindness had and does clearly afflict them, one that the Latvian PR team, full of hack historians (from east and west alike!) paid to sanitise and distort Latvia’s ugly past work day and night at,have given them.

Let me reiterate, wrote Latvian Ambassador Stiprais to concerned conservative MP David Amess less than one month ago: ‘Latvia has always condemned the crimes

committed during World War II – the crimes of Nazism and Stalinism. Latvia is committed to the values of democratic and open society and we will endeavour to facilitate true consolidation of the people and countries who suffered under totalitarian regimes during World War II.’ TRANSLATION: In other words we will revise history, we will not deny the Holocaust but we will dismiss it nevertheless, we will do so by making a false symmetry and equalisation between the crimes of Communism and Nazis. We will ensure that the world sees us as victims of two genocides, Nazism and Communism. Really Ambassador Stiprais, where was it written that Stalin intended to kill all Latvians? When did he try to do that? Different evils deserve different commemorations, not the glorification of fascism. Latvia, like Lithuania, Estonia, has been among the staunchest supporters of the 2008 Prague Declaration that would write the Holocaust out of history with its far-right red-equals-brown demands.

Ambassador Stiprais and other Latvian apologists need to be reminded that the Allies consisted of American and British troops and yes, Soviet troops who enabled the world to be free of the greatest genocidal force the world has ever known. Waffen SS lovers seem to have forgotten that if Hitler had been victorious it would have, ironically, 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 (and other regional) peoples after the planned-for victory. There would have been no Latvia to become independent in 1991 or Monument of Freedom for Latvian apologists to lay wreaths down to for Latvian SS veterans who collaborated with Hitler. On the eastern front, it was only the Soviets fighting Hitler, enabling the Allies to free Europe.

Incidentally this year’s march was not as peaceful as the FCO would maintain: riot police were active, anti-fascists such as Joel Rubinfeld co-president of the Jewish parliament in Brussels were dragged away, four people were detained by police and after giving an interview with a TV news network, Yaniz Kuzins, chairman of Latvian alliance against Nazism and Riga city council member, was physically assaulted by a neo Nazi. Many others were roughed up and harassed.

The attendees some as young as three, walked alongside neo-Nazis such as Ričardas Čekutis from neighbouring Lithuania, laying flowers at the monument of freedom in central Riga, an EU capital, and strew flowers across a photo of notorious Latvian Nazi collaborator Robert Ancāns whilst the wreaths to the victims of Nazism were once again desecrated by Latvian youth.
Whether Hague accepts this fact or not it is incumbent upon the international community, the UK government, the European Union and NATO to condemn today all Nazi events in clear terms if they sincerely wish to curb the rise of neo Nazism and right extremism currently sweeping Europe.

As Mr Hague contemplates his joint campaign with Jolie for international action against mass rape in conflicts, and the ‘hope and dream that it's known that if you abuse the women, if you rape the women, you will be held accountable for your actions’, Hague will hopefully become aware that politics is about taking responsibility, about taking action not saying some resurgent evil should be left to historians to debate. The banalisation of the Holocaust, its reduction to just another historical event is a huge danger and the fact that the British conservatives, are linked with Latvians who glorify the Waffen SS makes a complete mockery of Jolie’s good work but also of the huge sacrifice millions of people across the world made to fight Nazism. I am certain that Jolie is absolutely clear on the following fact that one cannot be committed to human rights and adulate Hitler’s forces at the same time. It is scandalous and shameful that Mr Hague is not.

As photo shoots are currently on the FCO’s mind it is perhaps appropriate to end with an image.

The photo below is of a group of naked Jewish women and girls walking to their place of execution on a beach near Liepaja, Latvia. Their fate? A mass pit where they were piled up alive and then mowed down by the fire of rifles or a machine gun salvo. They were victims of a regime that raped and pillaged before MURDERING ALL, those whom it raped and those who it did not. Should that regime, and its local henchmen and fighters such as the Waffen SS today be glorified to the tune of "None of our business" from Mr Hague’s Foreign Office?

The above massacre was perpetrated by the Einsatzgruppe A and aided by Latvian antisemitic and pro-Nazi militias who willingly participated. Around 95% of Latvian Jewry was murdered by the Nazis and their enthusiastic volunteer Latvian collaborators, many of whom later joined the 15th and 19th divisions of the Waffen SS.

Freedom fighters for whom, Mr. Hague?

Source:DefendingHistory.com Wednesday, 12 March 2014, 14:45

By Monica Lowenberg Defendinghistory.com

Since 1998 on the 16 March and every year, in the very centre of Riga, Latvia, marches have been regularly held to praise the ‘heroism’ of the former Latvian Legion, i.e.Waffen SS veterans in their combat against the allies during the Second World War.

Each year these events have received tacit (and sometimes very explicit and public) support from state authorities, in 2012 by Latvian president Andris Berzins himself who stated we should ‘bow our heads’ down to the SS.

The march has even been condoned by senior British Tories in alliance with the Latvian MEP Robert Zile who is connected with the ‘Fatherland and Freedom party’/ LNNK, LNNK being a party that actively supports the marches.

Over the years the marches have been attended in increasing numbers by deputies of the Latvian Parliament, members of the Riga City Council and officials of the Ministry of Defence but perhaps not this year.

At the beginning of February, the Latvian Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Einars Cilninskis (VL-TB/LNNK) announced that he would be attending the march.

This despite the ongoing tensions in Ukraine and belief that this year’s march could possibly be a powder keg situation ready to erupt; provoking ethnic Russians living in Riga and attracting high profile anti-fascist protesters such as the eminent historians Dr Hans Coppi from Germany and the Nazi hunter Dr Efraim Zuroff from Israel.

On 7 March, Riga announced the march was to take place. Clearly, the Russian mayor who always allows the wreath to the victims of Nazism be placed at the Monument of Freedom and who last year, was told by the high court that the march must take place and that he must apologise for all the years he had banned it, now has felt forced to allow it. However, the Latvian government suddenly voted on the 11 March 2014 to forbid government ministers from attending the march.

This is certainly a step in the right direction and the parliamentarians who have made this decision are to be commended.

Yet, the question remains, why have a march that glorifies the SS in the centre of an EU capital, the current European capital for culture, in the first place?


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Riga, Sunday March 16th 2014:

Riga (now the EU’s “Capital of European Culture”) Really did Allow Yet Another City-Centre Waffen SS Celebration on March 16th!


Waffen SS march in Riga 2013
Glorifying Hitlerist Waffen SS units at the 2013 march in central Riga

See latest photo reportage covering all three Baltic Neo-Nazi marches this year, Kaunas 16 February Vilnius 11 March, Riga 16 March 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. 

http://defendinghistory.com/politics-history/67131 The politics of history 17.6.2014 opinion by
Evaldas Balčiūnas

The Neocons and Holocaust Revisionism in Eastern Europe - Jewish Currents by Dovid Katz

http://jewishcurrents.org/neocons-holocaust-revisionism-eastern-europe-30613  Part One July 22, 2014

 See also: YouTube video, Monica Lowenberg’s article and interview (with 2013 images). Defending History sections: Latviamarches, articles by Monica Lowenberg; in Hope Not Hate





“If any government wants to endorse these kind of actions then there is cause for concern” — Glyn Ford, UK MEP


Simply a traditional symbol or swastika whilst drumming to the tune of the SS ? March 16, 2014

Excellent photo reportage of the protesters and the marchers

Dr Efraim Zuroff on Salford City radio 24.03.2014, talking about the Baltic marching to a dangerous drum.   08.11-22.19mon19 Monday 24 March

'Dr Efraim Zuroff  speaking about the SS at 50.22-52.50  'Politicians who attend these events should be re-educated or fired'.
   The beginning of the clip also shows the German anti fascists and the problems they encountered



Council of Europe (§ 87)
Report by Dr Gregor Gysi in the Bundestag 24.04.2012

The Board of Deputies of British Jews  Jewish Manifesto for the 2014 European Elections

For a copy of the Manifesto please click here.  see in particular post Holocaust issues section 3
2014 News From Around The World as of  17.03.2014

ENCOURAGING DEVELOPMENTS ( in relation to previous years): Latvian Government advised people to stay away, forbade ministers from attending and sacked the one who did. Latvian MP Nikolajs Kabanovs and journalist Juris Kaža visited Latvia Without Nazism protest conference in gestures of dialogue and reconciliation. British MEP Richard Howitt’s statement was read out at the conference.

DISCOURAGING: Peaceful protesters were moved to site further from Liberty Monument (Monument of Freedom), leaving them unseen and unheard; bus of German anti-fascists held at (Schengen!) border for hours; Latvia Without Fascism’s “round table” conference harassed by manipulated denials of nearby hotels for the tranquil annual “round table” event. Four Latvian MPs  (E. Cilinskis, J. Dombrava, R. Dzintars, I. Parādnieks) attended the Waffen SS fest.

FOREIGN MONITORS included Dr. Efraim Zuroff (Wiesenthal Center), group of Berlin-based anti-fascist intellectuals and Defending History.

MEDIA: APAFP (in Arutz Sheva); Thomson ReutersBBC


http://oberndorfgedenken.de/riga%20waffen%20ss.pdf  with many links to articles, photo reportages and you tube clips

This is a report  by a right wing TV station in Riga, it focuses on the German  anti fascist group who were repeatedly hindered by Latvian authorities from protesting, delayed for hours at Schengen border and on the 16 March 2014 removed to a site away from the monument of freedom where in the main they were unseen and unheard   see  from 4.36  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpIgfGYtCxI

 On the Otherhand

Here a report from German fascists who felt very welcomed at the march and  according to their report made many new 'friends' in Riga:

A month before the march

And  Then Just Before the March and on the Day


Global Post” (UK) –  From 2012 but as pertinent as ever  Eastern Europe’s Hitler Nostalgia by Michael Goldfarb

 MEP Richard Howitt's statement opposing the SS march today in Riga  read out 17.03.2014 by Jeff Lewis on
Salford City Radio, 94.4FM, 7-8pm and will, for a week following the show, be on the Jewish Hour page on the Salford City Radio website, click on "Listen again":
For other ways to listen live, see  website: www.jewishhour.co.uk

 from  25.07-27.06

British MEP Richard Howitt, European Parliament Spokesperson on Human Rights, Issues Statement on Riga Waffen SS March

Richard Howitt, British Labour Member of the European Parliament, and spokesperson for the European Parliament Human Rights Sub-Committee today issued the following text of his statement which will be read out in Riga this Sunday March 16th.

Today brings the seventeenth annual march in Riga, Latvia glorifying Waffen SS forces from the Nazi era which brought death and destruction to our continent and which today’s European Union was supposed to consign to history.
I am pleased to hear that the Latvian Government has forbidden Ministers from attending the march this year, but condemn the Latvian High Court’s decision of 2013, forcing the Riga Mayor to apologise for all the years of trying to ban it.
Coming from Britain, I am saddened that the governing Conservative Party from my country chooses to ally itself in a common European Group with the Latvian “For Fatherland and Freedom Party,” whose Member of the European Parliament is on record as supporting this sickening celebration, even supporting its previous status as a public holiday in the country.
I am also shocked at the report that the British Conservative MEP who was head of his European group in 2012, is reported to have personally refused to sign the petition against the celebration , despite 7,000 people worldwide having done so.
The party of Government of my country should not sit with a party which has proposed the Waffen SS troops be renamed “liberation fighters.”
They are a scar on my own country.
What they should remember is that almost all of Latvia’s 70,000 Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.
Whether local boys were forced to don the SS uniforms or were eager volunteers, celebration of their actions not only insults the memory of the victims but also honours Nazism itself.
Today, the British Labour Party stands with all victims of the Second World War, all who condemn fascism, all who oppose antisemitism and other forms of racism, to express our horror at those who seek to rewrite history in order to justify those who would spread bitterness, hate and division in a new century.
This year sees the 100 years centenary since the beginning of the First World War, and people throughout Europe will come together to remember the horrors of both wars of the twentieth century and celebrate the fact fascism was defeated and not victorious.
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.
Report on Latvia by the ECRI calling a halt to all forms of Nazi glorification February 21,2012

In the framework of its statutory activities, ECRI conducts country-by-country monitoring work, which analyses the situation in each of the member States regarding racism and intolerance and draws up suggestions and proposals for dealing with the problems identified. In the report on Latvia published on February 21, 2012 ECRI expresses concern as regards the authorisation of certain public events to commemorate two incidents and the authorities’ reaction in this connection. As concerns the first incident, every year, on 16 March, a gathering commemorating soldiers who fought in a Latvian unit of the Waffen SS is held in the centre of Riga. In this connection, ECRI regrets that, in spring 2010, an administrative district court overruled a decision of the Riga City Council 27 prohibiting this march. Moreover, ECRI is concerned that the speaker of the Latvian Parliament allegedly publicly expressed regret for the formal prohibition of this event and that certain MPs have voted for the restoration of March 16 as day of remembrance.
Dialogues with Latvian ambassadors in London and Berlin since 2012
    Meeting with Latvian Ambassador  Teikman in London
    Alex Brummer (Vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews), alongside Public Affairs International Officer Joseph Moses and Deputy Alex Faiman met with the Latvian Ambassador. The meeting was held in a positive atmosphere. Discussions began surrounding the Jewish Community’s EU Manifesto, with the Ambassador intrigued by the document. They also raised concerns surrounding the annual 16th March SS march through Riga. Ambassador Teikman is assured us that there would be no government officials taking part and that the government condemned Nazi ideology. There was general agreement on the importance of Holocaust education. 

    The Board of Deputies of British Jews , Jewish Manifesto for the 2014 European Elections 
    For a copy of the Manifesto please click here.

    See in particular section 3, Post Holocaust issues sections 3.3 Holocaust revisionism

    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 minimise or downplay the Holocaust.

    and section 3.2 on restitution
    In Croatia and Latvia, the relevant legislation has been delayed. In Romania, the processing of claims and payments has been extremely slow. Recent legislation risks further delays and reductions in
    compensation payments. In Hungary, discussions continue about restitution for heirless and hitherto unclaimed property formerly owned by Jews. Poland has one of the worst records on restitution of
    private property. It back-tracked on some of the commitments it made at the 2009 Terezin Conference, and was the only one of the 47 countries not to send a delegate to the 2012 Prague Conference.
    The great injustice about the delays in restitution payments mean that some of the Holocaust’s victims will pass away without ever seeing their property returned.
    Commitment: MEPs should use the moral authority of their position to call for a just and speedy conclusion to the issue of restitution across Europe and to press the institutions of the European Union to do the same

    2014  Juergen Hobrecht in Berlin in dialogue with Latvian Ambassador in Berlin

     English translation by Monica Lowenberg sent by German film maker Jürgen Hobrecht to the Latvian ambassador in Berlin.

    Dear Mrs. Japina,

    On the 25 May, 2013, I sent you my documentary, “Wir haben es doch erlebt — Das Ghetto von Riga“.  On the 10 July, 2013, I went in person to the embassy, to personally give you the documentary; as you stated that it had not arrived on two occasions. As you were not available, an exchange took place on the sidewalk, in front of the embassy building.
    I had hoped to give you, as embassy representative, a film that is the first of its kind to tell, worldwide, the story of the Riga Ghetto. In addition, I had suggested that the film be shown as part of the program that celebrates, in 2014, with Riga as Capital of European Culture.
    Despite repeated telephone inquiries and letters I have to date not heard from you.
    I am not aware, if, as part of your diplomatic duties for your country, you have publicised the film or if you have forwarded it on to Riga. I do not know where you have placed the film or of any attempts made to screen the film this year.
    I would like to mention how truly astonished I am at the manner in which you have handled this matter. I would be grateful if you would now officially state whether there are any plans to screen the film in 2014 in Riga.
    Furthermore, I would like to know what the official opinion is regarding the planned SS legionnaires, so-called “veterans “march, scheduled for  16 of March 2014.
    Is it, incidentally, your opinion that such an event is compatible with Riga being European Capital of Culture?
    Yours sincerely,
    Jürgen Hobrecht

Monday 23 March 2014

Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Israel speaks to Basil Herwald

After Ukraine... why do those Baltic states glorify Nazism? 

Monday 7-8pm on Salford City Radio 94.4FM and online

You can listen to  Salford City Radio live, 94.4FM, 7-8pm and the SCR website, and for a week following the show by going to the Jewish Hour page on the Salford City Radio website and clicking on "Listen again":


Mass-media about the Waffen SS march in Riga
1.     Der Standart, 12.03.14.
“Lettische Regierung verbietet sich Teilnahme an SS-Gedenken”
2.     Salzburger Nachrichten
“Lettische SS-Veteranen marschieren in Riga”
3.     Der Standart
“Ehemaliger Auschwitz-Sanitäter festgenomme”
4.     Der Kurier
   “Wiederbetäti­gung: Freispruch für Ex-FP-Pressesprecher”
5.     Tiroler Tageszeitung
“Lettische SS-Veteranen marschierten erneut in Riga”
6.     Ej.by
“В Риге проходят «марш легионеров» и акции антифашистов”
7.     NewEurope
“MEP slams Latvian SS veterans march”
8.     The Guardian
“Latvia minister faces sack in Nazi memorial row”
9.     Huffington Post
“A Wake-up Call to Lithuania and Brussels to the Growth of Fascist Ideology and Anti-Semitism”
10.            The Jewish Cronicle
“Vilnius, March 11: my date with raw hate”
11.            Defending History
“British MEP Richard Howitt, European Parliament Spokesperson on Human Rights, Issues Statement on Riga Waffen SS March”
12.            Блог Моники Ловенберг
«Speak No Evil»  https://vimeo.com/89124692
13.             Demontix
“Latvian Waffen SS Legion Day remembrance procession held in Riga”
14.             BBC
     «В Риге вновь прошло шествие в память легионеров СС»
15.            Информационное агентство AFP
“Parade lettischer Veteranen der Waffen-SS durch Riga”
16.            Handelsblatt
“Veteranen der Waffen-SS ziehen durch Riga”
17.            Hamburger Abendblatt
    “Lettische Veteranen der Waffen-SS paradieren in Riga”
18.            Die Zeit
“Parade lettischer Veteranen der Waffen-SS durch Riga”
19.             Neues Deutschlandб 14.03.14.
«Zeichen der Solidarität»
20.             Neues Deutschland
International gegen SS-Verherrlichung
21.             Die Welt
“Wir hatten nur die SS – und die Rote Armee”
22.            Donaukurier.de
"Wir hatten nur die SS – und die Rote Armee"
23.             Junge Welt
“Marsch für Waffen-SS”
24.             Junge Welt
“Junge Verherrlicher der SS-Tradition”
25.             Junge Welt
“Antifa nach Lettland!”
26.             Nordbayerischer Kurier
“ Lettische SS-Veteranen marschieren erneut in der Stadt”
27.             Ad Hoc News
28.             Nachrichtenportal.com

      “Jährliche Kundgebung in Lettland: Veteranen der Waffen-SS ziehen durch Riga “

29.             Altermedia.info
“Dortmunder Delegation beim Veteranenmarsch in Riga”
30.             VVN-BDA.DE (антифашистский сайт «Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes Bund der Antifaschistinnen und Antifaschisten»)
     «Antifaschistischer Protest gegen SS-Veteranen-Aufmarsch in Riga»
31.             VVN-BDA.DE

       Am „Tag der Legionäre“: Blumen für die Waffen-SS?

32.             Stimme Russland

           “Ehemalige SS-Legionäre marschieren durch Riga”



33.  YouTube.com



34.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnpvTbC1B5A

35.       Bing.com


36.   http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=riga+waffen-ss+marsch&qpvt=riga+waffen-ss+marsch&FORM=VDRE

37.      Red Globe

      “Protest gegen Naziprovokation in Riga”



38.    German-Foreign-Policy.com

"Liberation Fighters" and "Occupier"


39.             Annika Muller

     “Blumen fur die Waffen SS”



40.             The Jerusalem Post
«Baltic marches to a dangerous drum», 18 марта
41.             Haaretz
“Latvians honor Nazi allies from World War II”
42.             The Times of Israel
Latvian minister to be fired for supporting SS vets”
43.             Israel7

      «Парад в Риге – «надругательство над памятью жертв нацизма»

44.             Journal de Montreal
45.             Gulf Times
     “Govt wary as Latvia’s Waffen SS veterans march”
46. The Baltic Times
March 16 memorial day plans fought in court”
«В Риге состоялось традиционное шествие легионеров Ваффен СС»
48. MixTv

      Шествие легионеров Waffen SS в Риге 16.03.2014


49.             Mixnews.lv



50.             “Антифашистский комитет нашел место для проведения конференции”


51.             «Рижские отели отказались принимать антифашистскую конференцию»


52.             «TV3: антифашисты с городского канала сыграют легионерам советские песни»


53.             «Министр Цилинскис намерен участвовать в шествии легионеров 16 марта»


54.             “Антифашисты установили виселицу с чучелом Арайса и Цукурса (ВИДЕО)”









58.             «Историк о 16 марта: все имеют право на все»


59.             “Лидер антифашистов: мы не собирались использовать лодки”










65. Delfi.lv

     “Линда Абу Мери не пустила антифашистов в свою гостиницу”


66.  Кюзис: 16 марта ожидается особая ситуация”
67.             Антифашистов загнали на задворки - неужели власти их боятся?”

68.             Кузинс: если суд запретит 16 марта звукоусилители, привлечем хор”


69.              16 марта Полиция безопасности ждет зарубежных "гостей"
70.Берзиньш призывает не мешать старикам вспомнить павших 16 марта”
71.Президент призвал не использовать 16 марта для провокаций”
73.16 марта в фотографиях: флаги, виселицы, ограждения и цветы”
74.Страуюме понятно желание Цилинскиса отметить 16 марта”
75.Экс-премьер: министрам нечего делать у Милды 16 марта”
76.Кажоциньш: такого опасного 16 марта в Латвии еще не было”
77.Цилинскис отправлен в отставку за намерение участвовать в мероприятиях 16 марта”
78.«Две тысячи человек участвовали в шествии легионеров»
79. «Холодное утро 16 марта в Риге - взгляд и мнение простого очевидца» (ФОТО, ВИДЕО)
80.             «Опрос: половина жителей Латвии поддерживает чествование легионеров»
81.             Народная дипломатия на повышенных тонах”
82.  Ves.lv

      «Президент: государственным лицам не место на мероприятиях 16 марта»


83.             «Козловскис призвал игнорировать 16 марта»


84.             «Латвийские украинцы просят не использовать 16 марта флаг Украины»


85.             «Полиция: 16 марта в Риге пока проходит без инцидентов»


86.             LETA Agency

14.03.14. DP: "Pasaules bez nacisma" aktīvisti no Latvijas iesaistīti Krieviju atbalstošos informatīvajos pasākumos Krimā

87.             Вести Сегодня, 17.03.14. , стр.2

     «Обделались легким испугом»

88.             Вести сегодня, 18.03.14., стр.4


89.             Вести сегодня, 18.03.14., стр.9

      «Зуров хочет правды»

90.             Вести сегодня, 18.03.14., стр.9

«Конгрессмен с Брайтон-Бич: тот, кто разъединяет – проигрывает»

91.             Вести сегодня

«Шествие памяти легионеров прошло почти спокойно”


92.             TvNet.lv

“DP: «Pasaules bez nacisma» aktīvisti no Latvijas iesaistīti pasākumos Krimā “

93.             Apollo.lv

“Спецслужба: латвийских активистов привлекли для поддержки Крыма”
94.             YouTube.com
Александр Мирский: «Латышский Ваффен СС - в стойло !»
95.             «Корен и немцы»
96.             «Антифашисты Риги», части 1-8
97. Grani.lv

     “Спикер Европарламента сделал заявление о «шествии легионеров»

98.             Baltija.lv
Марш легионеров СС в Риге проходил на фоне виселиц”
99.             Latvijas reitingi

      “Участница марша легионеров поблагодарила полицию за блестящую работу”



100.        The Daily Star
“Tight security as Latvian 'Nazi' veterans march”

101.        Le Quotidien

    “Défilé des anciens Waffen SS à Riga”
102.        Elsevier
     “Letse SS-veteranen marcheren door Riga, minister loopt mee”
103.        ИТАР-ТАСС

      «МИД РФ о марше ветеранов СС в Риге: поклонникам нацизма не место в цивилизованном мире»


104.        «Антифашисты выступили с акциями протеста против шествия легионеров Waffen-SS в Риге»


105.       Взгляд. Деловая газета.
«Марш ветеранов «Ваффен СС» прошел в Риге»
106.        РИА «Новости»
«МИД России считает позором шествие легионеров СС в Риге»
107.        “Семь человек были задержаны во время шествия легионеров СС в Риге”
108.         Более тысячи человек приняли участие в шествии легионеров СС”
109.         Интерфакс
     В Риге состоялось шествие памяти латышских легионеров”
110.        ИноTV
“Власти Латвии мешают антифашистам протестовать против «Ваффен-СС»”
111.        Ритм Евразии
      «Трудно быть антифашистом»
112.        Вести.Ру

     «В Риге в память латышских легионеров войск СС провели шествие»


113.         Легионеры СС прошли маршем по Риге”


114.        Свободная пресса

      «Легионеры СС на грани паранойи»


115.        ЦентрАзия
«Последний парад? В Риге прошел марш ветеранов Ваффен СС»
116.        Новости@mail.ru
“В Риге пройдет шествие легионеров СС”
117.        Эхо Москвы
«В Риге пройдет традиционное шествие легионеров Ваффен СС»
118.       «…Для одних латышский легион Waffen SS - это национальные герои, сражавшиеся за независимую Латвию, для других – приспешники Гитлера, на руках которых кровь жертв рижского гетто…»
119.        ИА REX
“16 марта – Рига и Крым: парад нацистов или свобода / Евгений Осипов”
120.       Взгляд
          «Около 2 тысяч человек приняли участие в прошедших в Риге мероприятиях 16 марта, который в республике неофициально отмечают как день памяти латышского легиона «Ваффен СС».
121.       «МИД назвал позором шествие легионеров СС в Риге»
122.       РБК

         «Шествие легионеров CC в Риге завершилось перепалкой с антифашистами»

123.       RG.ru

         «В столице Латвии прошло традиционное шествие, посвященное памяти легионеров»

124.       Московский комсомолец (МК)
         «Российский МИД назвал позором шествие неонацистов и легионеров СС в Риге»
125.       NewsRu
        На традиционном шествии латышских легионеров CC жгли чучела и вспоминали Украину”
126.        DP.RU
“В шествии легионеров СС в центре Риги приняли участие более тысячи человек”
127.       KM.Ru
         “Латвийского министра уволили за намерение участвовать в нацистском марше”
128.       InfoRos

        «В Риге прошел марш легионеров СС”


129.        Телерадиокомпания «Звезда»
«Тысяча легионеров СС и их сторонники-радикалы вышли на улицы Риги». ВИДЕО
130.        День Х
«В центре Риги прошло шествие легионеров СС»
131.       Аргументы.ру

         «Латвия. Послесловие к 16 марта»


132.       Информационный портал «Окно в Россию»

         «Торжество здравого смысла и юбилей мракобесия»

133.       TLTnews.ru

          “Шествие памяти латышских легионеров СС прошло в Риге”


134.       MSN-новости
          «Вице-мэр Риги назвал искусственной датой День легионера СС»
135.       Polit.ru

         “Пять человек арестованы во время шествия легионеров СС в Риге”


136.       Информационное агентство FlashNord

          “Около тысячи человек приняли участие в шествии легионеров СС в Риге”



137.       Информационное агентство «Регнум»

          «Ученый: 16 марта нуждается в смене формата (Латвия)»


138.       Комсомольская правда

        «Ветераны СС вновь прошлись по Риге»


139.       «Легионеров СС охраняли в столице Латвии сотни полицейских»


140.       Росбалт

         «В столице Латвии прошло шествие памяти легионеров СС»


141.       Russia Today
“Latvian ministers boycott march of Waffen-SS veterans”
142.        Russia Today
“Latvia: Waffen SS Nazi allies march through centre of Riga”
143.        In Serbia.info
     “Latvia: Waffen SS veterans march in Riga” –  16 марта 2014
144.        Webnoviny
     “Obrazom: Lotyši si uctili veteránov z tamojšej Waffen SS”
145.       The Republic
        “Latvians march in memory of veterans who fought with the Nazis during WWII”
146.       The State (South Carolina)
       “Latvians honor Nazi allies from World War II”
147.       The StarPhoenix
       “Latvians hold march for veterans who fought alongside Nazis” –
148.       12 KFVS
       “Latvians honor Nazi allies from World War II”
149.        Reuters
“Citing Ukraine, Latvia warns against SS veterans march”
150.        Kosherpress.com
“Latvians Who Fought with Nazis Hold Annual March”
151.        The Chron (Houston)
“Latvians honor Nazi allies from World War II”
152.       ГК – социальная сеть

«В Риге прошел марш ветеранов СС»

153.       ВВС (Вести, версии, события)
         «В Риге побили легионеров CC»
154.        Le Figaro, 16.03.14.
« D'anciens Waffen SS lettons défilent à Riga »
155.       Le Parisien
       « Lettonie: des anciens combattants des Waffen SS défilent à Riga»,
156.                   L’Humanite
       «C'est un scandale! En Lettonie, les collabos des nazis se pavanent » http://new.humanite.fr/monde/en-lettonie-les-collabos-des-nazis-se-pavanent-561119
157.       Zonebourse
       “Défilé sous tension d'anciens Waffen SS lettons à Riga”


158.       L’histoire en rafale

  Les vétérans SS de Lettonie ont défilé à Riga

159.       Baselerandschafliche Zeitung
“Lettische SS-Veteranen marschieren erneut in Riga”
160.        Blick Online
         “LettlandLettische SS-Veteranen marschieren erneut in Riga”
161.        Neue Zuricher Zeitung
Umstrittener NS-Gedenkmarsch in Riga”
162.       HD
       “Waffen SS-manifestation i Riga”

Crooning about Cukurs (published on You Tube 16 July 2014) and  soon to be shown in the European designated Cultural Capital Riga!

Banalisation of butchery reaches a new low note in Latvia. Former member of the notorious Arajs commando Herbert Cukurs is glorified in latest show stopper . One can only assume that 'Romance in Rumbula', 'Singalong Viktor' and 'Reaching Fever Pitch' will become hot favourites soon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsdwCXVJwUc

For the facts around Cukurs and his heinous crimes see:

http://www.operationlastchance.org/Writings_12.htm    The mass murderer as Hero  by Dr Efraim Zuroff

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-death-of-a-Nazi-hunter    It is shame that Cukurs' many heinous crimes were never presented to a court of law, but at least he was  not able to escape punishment

http://defendinghistory.com/riga-ghetto-survivors-herberts-cukurs-hero-2014-show/68385  18 August 2014