Friday 17 February 2017

 Latvia has a Love-In with the SS!

A selection of articles covering the SS Fest in Riga 16 March 2017-03-16

Around 2000 people attended the Waffen SS Fest yesterday in Riga... Well done to the Latvian government for nourishing and cherishing such a dismal affiliation, really good PR for an OSCE, NATO EU country in the 21st century... The Belgians want to be remembered for their chocolate, the Germans for their cars and the Latvians, well, the Latvians REALLY want to be remembered for their Waffen SS ...

News as it comes in:

1.  Add your voice to the petition against the annual glorification of the SS in Riga, 16 March 2018:

"Don’t Stand By!",Mr Lidington  By Monica Lowenberg , published by HOPE not hate   Sunday, 20 March 2016 
article with full links:  NATO's  most recent film on the Forest Brothers

Paul Stock article on NATO's latest film,  Hope Not Hate Nov/Dec   2017 

Mary Dejevsky  22 September 2017  Independent

Jonathan Marcus  20 September 2017  BBC News
10 September 2017  Scott Taylor
28 August 2017  Dovid Katz

12 March 2017  Scott Taylor

Latvian Court Rules Against Anti-Nazi Protestors
·  Over 2,000 people attended  the  SS glorification march this year amongst them 'lawmakers'.  Articles stating that less people would attend the SS Fest  were seriously misleading.   In fact more people attended in 2017 than  in previous years as StormFront members proudly noted on their website.  Five protesters were violently arrested and  Riga town hall decided that antifascists  should  protest in a  pit behind the bridge over the  canal.... If that is not fascism at work what is? 
·  Hundreds of people came out to protest from Athens to Lisbon to Budapest to Berlin 
·  Five protesters were arrested and quite violently whilst the SS glorifiers sang!

  •    31.03.2017  Jerusalem Post  by Per Anders Rudling an associate professor of history at Lund University in Sweden, and a senior visiting fellow at the National University of Singapore.

    Dr. Efraim Zuroff the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of the center’s Israel Office and Eastern European Affairs. His most recent book, written together with Ruta Vanagaite,
    Musiskiai: Kelione su Priesu (Our People: Journey With an Enemy), which deals with Lithuanian complicity in Holocaust crimes, was recently published in Lithuania and Poland and will appear in Hebrew (Yediot Aharonot) in late 2017.
      Ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union slightly more than a quarter of a century ago, the role played by local Nazi collaborators in Holocaust crimes has been a bone of contention throughout eastern Europe. Rather than adopting the accepted Western chronicle of World War II and the Holocaust, local authorities in many Eastern European post-Communist countries have sought to create an alternative narrative of the events in order to achieve two major objectives.

The first objective is to hide, or at least minimize, the role played by local Nazi collaborators in the annihilation of European Jewry.

In this regard, it is important to note that only in Eastern Europe did assistance to the Nazis include active participation in mass murder. Although the Nazis’ local helpers throughout Europe were involved everywhere in the implementation of the initial stages of the Final Solution (which constitutes being an accessory to murder), only in the East, where a large percentage of the victims were shot to death near their homes rather than being deported to death camps in German-occupied Poland, were the collaborators fully integrated into the mass murder operations.

Thus, the Holocaust is not denied in countries such as Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and the Baltic states, but is portrayed as if it were almost exclusively the handiwork of Germans and Austrians, with little or no assistance from the local population. And in those few cases in which the guilt of local collaborators is acknowledged, they are often referred to as marginal or criminal elements of the local society.

The second objective is to convince world opinion that the crimes of the Soviet Union and its satellite Communist regimes were equally evil when compared to those of the Nazis, and that these crimes, too, constituted genocide. Historically inaccurate, the canard of equivalency is politically of central importance to certain quarters in Eastern and Central Europe where, by claiming to be victims of the worst crime imaginable, they seek to deflect or avoid painful discussions about local participation by their nationals in Holocaust crimes.     Note tweet from   Janis Iesalnieks   parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice who attended the march in 2015   .    Note that  on the following link  previously referred to  in the article ‘Don't Stand by Mr Lidington’ published by Hope Not Hate 20 March 2017,  Dzintars Rasnačš minister of justice  stated 3 March 2015 he would , (despite the 2014 ban ),attend the SS march in 2015,  as he has done in all previous years .  The article has strangely disappeared this year however,  see article dated 13 January 2015 showing photos of Rasnacs attending the march in 2014 while Minister Einars Cilinskis was sacked for doing so  and also article dated 14 January 2015 where the minister for justice confirmed that he goes to the march every year
All  the above articles prove that truth for the Latvian government and its very active propaganda machine is what one can get away with  see paragraph four!  No minsters attend!  Really!
See also  Latvian ambassador to Canada, Karlis Eihenbaums’ rebuttal to Scott Taylor's  article  that quite correctly stated the facts regarding the march and in turn questioned Canada supporting  a country that honours those who collaborated with the Nazis , a value Canada does not share
In October 2014, in his capacity as Latvian foreign ministry spokesman Eihenbaums told AFP in response to  Latvia hitting a  low note in its musical history, after Latvian theatres staged a musical heralding  mass murderer and member of the notorious Arajs Kommando Herbert Cukurs as a hero,   ”It’s totally unacceptable to portray people like this as heroes,”  But he added that while Latvia “has consistently condemned war crimes”, as a democracy it supports freedom of speech. !
Interesting that free speech did not extend itself to the protesters  who at the opening night  of the musical  were according to Dr  Efraim Zuroff , chief Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre  moved away by police.  The same treatment was given to protesters at the SS fest last year, 5 German protesters were arrested on arrival at the airport and this year peaceful protesters were forced to stand in a pit  behind the bridge over the  canal.    Free speech?
The Latvian government must truly think that its allies in the EU, NATO and OSCE are completely stupid  however,  they would be wise to remember that
You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

You Tube Clips:
·  Go to church and then attend a Waffen SS march- a fun day out.  Remembering the dead?  Can’t see any tears, only stubbornness and smiles
·  live coverage of the march
·  here we go again the same old, same old Soldatenlieder  clip of the march and clip of the protesters

International Protests:

Protest in Berlin:
Eva Nickel, Raoul Walberg-Loge, Rede am15.3.17 Protestkundgebung vor Lett. Botschaft Berlin
Volker Beck, MdB, Rede am 15.3.2017 Protestkundgebg. lettische Botschaft Berlin
 Monika Lowenberg, London, Beitrag Protestkundgbg. lettische Botschaft Berlin

Protest in Duesseldorf:
Protest in München:

Another SS March in Riga this year?  Another disgrace in an EU, OSCE, NATO capital? 

Stop the 16 March marches in Riga, Latvia!
Call to Protest!
Alt Kameraden, Foto: r-mediabase
Old colleagues

Will the Latvian Lutheran church ever stop supporting the Waffen SS march?

Lutheran Archbishop  Jānis Vanags leads the marchers, as in  all previous years, in the midst of stubbornness and smiles

In the meantime the Latvian government has been busy producing a propaganda page AND 14 page document justifying the Waffen SS fest tomorrow! Clearly, truth is for the Latvian government what one can get away with. See 'In a special informational material, historians explain 16 March'...

The Latvian official statement is seriously misleading because of the vast government / member of parliament / public officials' complicity in giving the Waffen SS march societal status.   To have an idea of the kind of support the Latvian government gives the marches,  see  links below which show state officials participating in and or praising the marches at the highest level.   In 2012, for example, the Latvian president at the time,  President Berzins stated that it is ridiculous to see Latvian SS veterans as criminals, rather we should 'bow our heads to them'!

Evidence showing vast government/member of parliament/public officials complicity in giving the Waffen SS march societal status

In previous years on  March 16th,  2013 and 2012 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.  In 2011  the Latvian Prime Minister told local media that he did not think March 16th had ,“a special significance.”Legionnaires’ Day is used by radicals on both sides, “to confront each other” .  In 2012, the Latvian president,  President Berzins stated that it is ridiculous to see Latvian SS veterans as criminals, rather we should 'bow our heads to them'!  In the same year  those attending the march desecrated the wreath to the victims of Nazism.  In 2013 two politicians attending the march attacked protesters and a photo of Robert Ancans SS Obersturmfuehrer was honoured at the base of the monument of freedom.  In 2014 protesters from Berlin under Dr Hans Coppi VVN and Dr Efraim Zuroff from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Jerusalem protested at the march, under heavy security their voices were  virtually silenced.  In 2015 Dr Efraim Zuroff and monitored the march and their protests were heard by the world's press ( see media list at
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 Report on Latvia by the ECRI (European Commission Against Racism and
Intolerance  published 21 February 2012)
16 March 2011
16 March 2012
  • See photo of the following members of the LNNK party attending the 2012 SS march:Raivis Dzintars (VL-TB/LNNK), Jānis Dombrava(VL-TB/LNNK), Inara
    Mūrniece(VL-TB/LNNK), , Kārlis Kresliņš(VL-TB/LNNK),Dzintars
    Rasnačs(VL-TB/LNNK) , Inese Laizāne(VL-TB/LNNK) , Vineta Poriņa(VL-TB/LNNK),
    Dzintars Kudums (VL-TB/LNNK) and Ilmārs Latkovskis(VL-TB/LNNK) and from Riga
    city council Jānis Atis Krūmiņš.   Archbishop Jānis Vanags officiated the proceedings
16 March 2013
  • See Salford City Radio 94.4FM, Interview in 2013 with Monica Lowenberg speaking about her trip to Latvia and the annual SS march. Interview accompanied with a photo reportage of the 2013 March 16 SS march.
16 March 2014
See for photo reportage of march
accompanied by an interview with Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Israel and  MEP Richard
Howitt's  speech condemning the march read out on Salford City Radio 94.4FM  17 and 24 March 2014.
16 March 2015  the marchers were not allowed to march to a drum with a swastika on it or place photos of SS obersturmfuehrers onto the Freedom Monument .  A step in the right direction...  anti- fascists clean the square after the SS and their fans
photo reportage and video of the march
One man's journey to the heartland of fascism by Efraim Zuroff published I24 news 29 March 2015
16 March 2016
Report/ article with links regarding the march in 2016 first published in Hope Not Hate by Monica Lowenberg
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Holocaust historian, Nazi-hunter, author, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office.
Talking to Salford City Radio, 94.4 FM regarding protesting against the Waffen SS march in Riga, Latvia, 16 March 2016
 by  Dr Efraim Zuroff
A shocking video showing Latvian SS apologists and former  Latvian SS  feeling sorry for themselves
Another shocking video where  British journalist Graham Phillips asks Estonian politician Jaak Madison if he is not ashamed to be attending a fascist march and is then subsequently arrested and dumped into a policevan to the amusement of the crowd
Interview in German with Markus Tervooren the executive secretary of Berliner VVN-BdA, one of the five German protesters arrested at Riga airport
NOTE  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’.


          Call for International Protests March 15 and March 16, 2017

          • No honouring of the Latvian Waffen-SS! Call for international protests

           On 16 March,  as in previous years since 1991, in the Latvian capital of Riga  and after a Lutheran church service, an honorary march and flag-lined rally will take place at the Freedom Monument to honour Latvian units of the Waffen-SS.
          Latvia like Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Bulgaria is one of the Eastern European states where units of the Waffen-SS and other anti-Semitic death squads  who collaborated with the Nazis are celebrated today as national heroes. This is done with tacit consent of the state and partial support from authorities.
          The  'March of Honour' in Riga is an unprecedented provocation towards relatives of victims of the Latvian police and SS associations and  the Jewish, Russian-speaking and other minorities in the country.  The march is not only  in conflict with the fundamental values ​​of the European Union, whose advantages the Latvian state likes to accept, but is also a provocation against the Russian Federation and thus a threat to peace in Europe.
          In Latvia, anti-fascist demonstrators are exposed to considerable reprisals (telephone monitoring, travel restrictions, administrative chicanery, police, state influence on hotels and event organisers). This also applies to supporters who come from Germany and other countries.
          It is therefore all the more important to show solidarity with the Latvian antifascists in 2017.  The VVN-BdA and the member federations of the International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR) call for a trip to Riga to participate in the anti-fascist demonstration on 16 March.
          At the same time the  protest organisers call  for protests against the glorification of Nazi collaborators and mass murderers and freedom for Latvia's anti-fascists to take place on 15 March outside Latvian embassies and consulates in the European cities of:
          •  Rome, Brussels, Budapest and Athens

          The VVN-BdA  also calls for vigils in front of the Latvian Embassy and the Honorary consulates in:
          • Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf
          We demand:
          •  An end to the glorification  of Nazi collaborators and murderers! 
          •  Recognition of Baltic participation in the Nazi genocide! 
          •  Freedom for "Latvia without Nazism"!
          We call for protest messages to be presented to Latvian Embassy and Latvian consulates on the 15th of March!
          (On how to get to Riga email: or call 030-5557-9083-2)
          Association of the persecutors of the Naziregime -
          Association of the Antifascists (VVN-BdA) e.V.
          Federal association
          Change city Deutsch Magdalenenstr. 19, 10365 Berlin, Germany
          Tel .: +49 (0) 30-55579083-2, Fax: +49 (0) 30-55579083-9

          Berlin, Mittwoch, 15. März 2017, 15.00 – 17.00 Uhr, 

          Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes- Bund der Antifaschistinnen und Antifaschisten e.V [VVN-BdA]

          Berlin, Mittwoch, 15. März 2017, 15.00 – 17.00 Uhr, 

          vor der Botschaft der Republik Lettland,

          Reinerzstr. 40/41, 14193 Berlin Grunewald,  es sprechen Rita B., deren Großmutter 1942 nach Riga deportiert 

          Anfahrt: U 7 bis Adenauerplatz oder U2 bis Wittenbergplatz, dann Bus M29 Richtung Roseneck, Haltestelle Herthastraße aussteigen, dann 300 Meter Fußweg über Franzensbaderstr. zur Reinerzstr. 40. 

          Es sprechen:

           Rita Bock, deren Großmutter nach Riga deportiert und dort ermordet wurde

          Volker Beck, Abgeordneter des Bundestages für Bündnis 90/Die Grüne

          Hans Coppi, Vorsitzender der Berliner VVN-BdA


          From Budapest to Lisbon international protests took place 15 March 2017 infront of Latvian embassies. Over 100 people protested in Athens alone  stating in clear terms:

          RESOLUTION FOR THE RALLY OF PEAEA-DSE IN FRONT OF THE LATVIAN EMBASSY IN ATHENS To the President of the Republic of Latvia Mister President, We vehemently protest in the name of the thousands of our members, Resistance fighters of WW2, their descendants and their friends, against the state support and facilitation you give to the Neo-nazis and their descendants who have the impudence to “honor” the Nazi criminals-murderers and the Latvian Waffen-SS with their rally and march in Riga planned for March 16, 2017. Respect for the Memory of tenths of millions victims of the Nazis and their collaborators makes it necessary to ban and to isolate those who “praise and honor” such beasts in human disguise calling them “liberators” in contrast with the real historical facts. It is evident that whoever identifies himself in any way with those scums, identifies himself, too, with their criminal atrocities and as such they will remain in history. We want to denounce the EU which in the Balkan countries and in other member-states as well, tolerates, reinforces and supports governments that endorse such ideas. The Hitler-fascists, the Nazi, the Waffen-SS and their collaborators have been condemned for ever and irrevocably in the consciousness of the Peoples. We demand that you stop in any possible manner the fascist rally and the march of the eulogists of the Nazi and of the Latvian Waffen-SS. Athens, March 15, 2017

          1.  Add your voice to this petition here:

          2.1 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.
          2.2  Nazi Heroes-  Waffen SS hailed in Latvia
          2.3  You Tube clip with Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Israel
          Photo reportage covering all three Baltic Neo-Nazi marches this 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. 

          Fahnenspalier-im-Schneetreiben, Foto: r-mediabase
          Flags for the SS

          Keine Ehrung der lettischen Waffen-SS!
          Aufruf zu internationalen Protestkundgebungen 
          Am 16. März wird es in der lettischen Hauptstadt Riga - wie jedes Jahr seit 1991 - zu einem Gottesdienst, einem Ehrenmarsch und einer fahnengesäumten Kundgebung am Freiheitsdenkmal zu Ehren der lettischen Einheiten der Waffen-SS kommen. 
          Lettland gehört mit Estland, Litauen, der Ukraine und Bulgarien zu den osteuropäischen Staaten in denen Einheiten der Waffen-SS und andere mit den Nazis kollaborierende antisemitische Todesschwadronen als nationale Idole gefeiert werden. Dies geschieht mit staatlicher Duldung und teilweise offener Unterstützung durch Behörden. 
          Der Rigaer „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 sonstige 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.
          In Lettland werden antifaschistische Demonstrant*innen erheblichen Repressalien (Telefonüberwachung, Reisebeschränkungen, Behördenschikanen, Polizeiwillkür, staatliche Einflussnahme auf Hotels und Veranstaltungsunternehmen) ausgesetzt. Dies gilt auch für Unterstützer*innen, die aus Deutschland und anderen Ländern anreisen.
          Umso wichtiger ist es, auch 2017 Solidarität mit den lettischen Antifaschist*innen  zu zeigen. Die VVN-BdA und die Mitgliedsverbände der Internationalen Föderation der Widerstandskämpfer (FIR) rufen dazu auf, nach Riga zu reisen und am 16. März an der antifaschistischen Kundgebung teilzunehmen.
          Gleichzeitig rufen sie dazu auf am 15. März 
          ·         in Rom, Brüssel, Budapest und Athen
          vor lettischen Botschaften und Konsulaten in Europa gegen die Verherrlichung von NS-Kollaborateuren und Massenmördern zu protestieren und Freiheit für Lettlands Antifaschist*innen zu fordern. 
          Die VVN-BdA ruft auf zu Mahnwachen vor der lettischen Botschaft und den Honorarkonsulaten in 
          ·         Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Frankfurt und Düsseldorf.
          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 für den 15. März auf zu Protestkundgebungen vor der lettischen Botschaft und lettischen Konsulaten!
          (Informationen zur Anreise nach Riga über: oder 030-5557-9083-2)


          Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes – 
          Bund der Antifaschistinnen und Antifaschisten (VVN-BdA) e.V.
          Magdalenenstr. 19, 10365 Berlin
          Tel.: +49 (0)30-55579083-2, Fax: +49 (0)30-55579083-9

          Further Information:

          List of Published Articles by Monica Lowenberg  
          In chronological order since launching petition Stop the 16 March marches in Riga , 20 January, 2012.
          ·         Latvia: A personal march through history   published in the AJR Journal (Association of Jewish Refugees, UK), Volume 12, April 2012 page 4 by Monica Lowenberg  also published by Second Generation Network, Voices  May 2012 and
                     Riga, Roots and Reflections          Defending 28.10.2013
          See p4 and 5


          ·         Latvia’s difficult legacy  What is March 16th?  by Monica Lowenberg  published by the Holocaust Educational Trust and Second Generation Network, Voices  April  2012
          ·         Monica Lowenberg in Dialogue with Latvian Ambassador to Uk  March 2012  published by
          ·         An open Letter from Monica Lowenberg to Denis MacShane published in the New Statesman,  March 2012  
          ·         Latvia’s Nazi Nostalgia by Monica Lowenberg
          published by Second Generation Forum 'Latvia's Nazi Nostalgia'  October 2012
          ·          EU- Real problem is not Latvia by Daniel Hannan  (British conservative MP) , 26 October 2012 published in the Jewish Chronicle  and response by Monica Lowenberg published in The Jewish Chronicle, Letters section, 2 November 2012 'A Special Kind of Blindness'

          ·         Cameron’s Latvian Liaison, one woman’s petition and one SS march 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  Posted on 3 April 2013 by Defending Historyby Monica Lowenberg


          ·         On the Eve of Yom Hashoah Great Britain sinks into littleness on the Holocaust   by Monica Lowenberg published in the Algemeiner 4.4.2013


          ·         The Photoshoots Hague would rather forget  by Monica Lowenberg  published by Hope Not Hate .  A Hope not Hate Special 5.4.2013  and reposted by the Foreign Office


          ·         You can't praise Hitler's troops and champion human rights, Mr Hague and Mr Lidington.  Opinion piece by Monica Lowenberg  published by Jewish News 02.05.2013


          ·         Riga, Roots and Reflections


          By Monica Lowenberg, published by Defending 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

          ·         Riga, Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?

          PBy  Monica Lowenberg, published by 4 February 2014

          • Has Latvia turned a corner?

          By Monica Lowenberg, published by Hope Not Hate, 12 March 2014


          • A Chronology of Latvia’s Pantomime of March 16th Horror:  2012-2016

          By Monica Lowenberg, published by 2 March 2016


          • "Don’t Stand By!",Mr Lidington

           By Monica Lowenberg , published by HOPE not hate   Sunday, 20 March 2016



                     article with full links:

          'The  Holocaust and the Long Arm of Anti-Semitism in Latvia'
          By Monica Lowenberg,  First published by  Second Generation Voices , January 2017, No 64 and  Defending  27 February 2017

          • ‘Libau- A Place By The Sea’

          • By Monica Lowenberg,  First published by  Second Generation Voices , May 2017, No 65 and  Defending  17 May 2017 


           Report by Dr Gregor Gysi in the Bundestag 24.04.2012 reporting on Monica Lowenberg’s work and the situation within Latvia
           PCAA foundation” (UK) - Calls to ban the Baltic’s neo-Nazi marches
                        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.






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