• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Latvian court allows march honouring Waffen SS forces

The Local · 16 Mar 2011, 12:55

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.

Story continues below…

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
Man gets life in jail for murder of two young children
Silvio Schulz. Photo: DPA

A former security guard was handed a life sentence Tuesday for murdering two children, one of them a four-year-old Bosnian boy snatched from a crowded migrant registration centre last year.

Munich shooting
German Turks mourn Munich shooting victims
Flowers for the victims. Photo: DPA

Seven of the nine victims were Muslim.

Doctor killed in Berlin hospital shooting: police
Police at the scene in southern Berlin. Photo: DPA

A doctor has died after being shot at a Berlin hospital by an elderly man, Berlin police said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The Local List
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts

These hidden spots are steeped in shadows of their past and just begging to be explored...

Berlin refugee teen prepares to swim at the Olympics
Photo: DPA

Eighteen-year-old refugee Yusra Mardini has pulled a boat of 20 refugees from the middle of the Aegean to the Greek shore. Now she's preparing to swim at the Olympics.

Opinion
There still hasn’t been an Isis attack on Germany
The attack site in Ansbach. Photo: DPA

The last week has been brutal and shocking, but we need to stay calm and keep the events we have witnessed in perspective, argues Jörg Luyken.

How plainclothes cops caused panic at Munich shooting
Photo: DPA

Plainclothes officers can help in fight against gun attacks. But Munich showed that they can lead to confusion in efforts to track down the real attackers.

Immigration and integration Germany's 'biggest challenge'
Migrants queuing at a reception centre in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Eighty-three percent of Germans see immigration as Germany's "biggest challenge" - that's twice as many as a year ago, and more than in any of the other countries surveyed.

Ansbach suicide attack
Sleepy Bavarian town left shocked by suicide attack
Ansbach. Photo: DPA

Residents of Ansbach were left reeling Monday after a Syrian suicide bomber blew himself up outside a music festival, shattering the sleepy calm of this picture-postcard southern German city.

Rapturous reception at Wagner fest's opening night
Bayreuther festival 2016, Parsifal. Photo: DPA

Germany's legendary Bayreuth opera festival, dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, got off to a rapturous start on Monday with a brand new production of the composer's last opera, "Parsifal", enthusiastically received by the first-night audience.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,806
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd