• Germany's news in English
 
Latvian court allows march honouring Waffen SS forces
March participants in Riga, 2008. Photo: DPA

Latvian court allows march honouring Waffen SS forces

Published: 16 Mar 2011 12:55 GMT+01:00

On Tuesday, a Riga court removed the city council’s ban on the “Legion Day,” allowing the veterans and their supporters to march through the city centre the next day.

They plan to commemorate the some 140,000 Latvian men who fought against the Russians with the German military.

Latvia was occupied by the Red Army in 1940, and many residents saw the Germans as liberators when they marched in one year later. A number of men subsequently volunteered or were conscripted into the Latvian Legion, an offshoot of the Waffen SS.

While the group, nationalist veterans’ organisation Daugavas Vanagi, says the march is simply a remembrance of those forced to wear the Nazi uniform, critics allege that it actually exalts the fascist forces.

“A brave Latvian leader must say to his people: These should not be heroes to a democratic member of the European Union,” director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Efraim Zuroff told German news agency DPA.

A group of ethnic Russians also gathered in central Riga to protest the march, saying it dishonoured their fight against Nazi Germany, according to news agency AP.

A large number of police were also reportedly on hand to ensure the ceremony was conducted peacefully.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:56 March 16, 2011 by wood artist
It is so difficult to separate what they fought against from what they fought for.

wa
20:22 March 16, 2011 by delvek
Its vital to remember those that lost their lives in service to their country, even if the end goal of the State was unjust.
00:51 March 17, 2011 by orthar
Yes, people like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arajs_Commando are 'vital to remember' :-/
02:45 March 17, 2011 by andyjackson
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
05:56 March 17, 2011 by DOZ
Remember all those who died for their Leaders craziness, because it never ends.
07:13 March 17, 2011 by Take pause...
I note that none of the marchers in the picture appear old enough to have fought in that war. What are they remembering?
09:45 March 17, 2011 by moistvelvet
@Take pause, from your comment you seem to suggest that the UK should no longer bother with the Armistice parade and rememberance. Do you actually have to be a witness to an event to remember those who were killed? I wasn't in Japan last week so does that mean I shouldn't think about the 1,000s that died?

At the end of the day these were husbands, fathers and sons, soldiers that died serving their nation, for that they should be remembered.
09:55 March 17, 2011 by michael4096
"It is so difficult to separate what they fought against from what they fought for."

Only with hindsight. I suspect that the issues were clearer at the time these guys signed up
19:01 March 19, 2011 by Rosenkranz
Quote: "I note that none of the marchers in the picture appear old enough to have fought in that war. What are they remembering? "

What if they had relatives, fathers, uncles, brothers, who fought? Go take your medication.
11:49 September 9, 2012 by Gederts Skerstens
No Apologies.

If Mass-murder is the ultimate Evil, the Communists have it in spades.

40 million in Asia, 30 million in Continental Europe.

No apologies for killing mass-murderers in defense of our Nations.

None.
Today's headlines
Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany
Joachim Löw holding the World Cup trophy. File photo: DPA

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany

World Cup winners Germany have suffered something of a hangover since their triumph in Brazil, but coach Joachim Löw is hoping a new-look side can go on to claim more glory at Euro 2016. READ  

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges
Photo: DPA

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges

German mobile phone company T-Mobile has agreed to pay at least $90 million to settle US government claims that it bilked customers with bogus charges, US regulators said Friday. READ  

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law
Photo: DPA

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law

The German Ethics Council said the law should not be changed to permit assisted suicide in a paper published on Friday. READ  

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech
Photo: Phorms Education

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech

As parents fret over children’s internet habits, a network of bilingual schools in Germany shows that putting computers in the classroom from an early age yields positive results. READ  

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been the victim of phone hacking. Photo: DPA

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages. READ  

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport
Photo: DPA

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,228
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd