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Magda Hassan
03-10-2010, 11:23 AM
Neo-Nazi Tendencies in the Baltic States: Latvian Ruling Party to Appeal Against Ban on Waffen SS March



Global Research (http://www.globalresearch.ca/), March 7, 2010
RIA Novosti (http://en.rian.ru/)



Riga -- Latvia's ruling New Era party said on Sunday it would appeal against a decision by the Latvian capital's legislature to ban a demonstration by Waffen SS veterans and their supporters on March 16.
The decision to ban the Waffen SS veterans demonstration was made by the Riga Duma on Friday.
The New Era party argued on its web site that the ban on the Waffen SS march violated the fundamental democratic rights of the freedom of meetings, incited national strife and exacerbated relations in Latvian society.
Latvia annually holds demonstrations by former legionnaires of the Latvian Waffen SS legion on March 16. The Baltic state's president said two years ago that he did not consider the legionnaires, many of whom participated in mass killings of Jews, to be Nazis.
The country's antifascist organizations and opposition parties hold protests and try to prevent demonstrations, which sometimes results in clashes.
The Riga Duma banned all events dedicated to the anniversary of the Latvian Waffen SS legion's establishment after being advised to do so by law enforcement agencies.
The WWII continues to be a contentious issue in relations between Russia and both Estonia and Latvia, over the Baltic states' perceived glorification of Nazi collaborators.
Parades in honor of Waffen-SS veterans, involving veterans from the Latvian Legion and the 20th Estonian SS Division and their supporters, are held annually in the two Baltic states.
In April 2007, Tallinn was hit by mass protests after the Estonian authorities ordered the removal of a Soviet WWII monument, along with the graves of Soviet soldiers who fought against Hitler's forces.

Helen Reyes
03-19-2010, 12:09 PM
The Latvian SS veterans marched anyway, as usual. In Lithuania on March 11, the modern Day of Independence, fascists and neo-Nazis marched with a permit from the Vilnius munipality officially requested by member of parliament Kazimieras Uoka, of the Conservatives/Christian Democrats faction. Lithuania didn't have a Waffen SS division, they had volunteers who wore white armbands and murdered the majority of Jews in the first weeks and months of the German occupation. There is some documentary evidence the Nazis were shocked by the brutality of the Lithuanians toward Jews. The March 11 march featured pseudo-swastikas and people wearing white armbands. The old pre-war Independence Day, February 16, also saw demonstrations of swastikas in Lithuania. Following a bit of international attention in 2008, when fascists and skinheads marched down the main boulevard of Vilnius chanting and calling openly for murdering Jews and Russians, there has been an effort to tone down the swastikas and chanting somewhat. This year the same people dressed in the same costumes screamed "Lithuania for Lithuanians" instead of 2008's "Auslander raus" etc etc.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7064781.ece


From The Times
March 17, 2010
Latvian Waffen-SS veterans defy calls for ban with rally to commemorate comrades

Veterans and supporters of the Latvian Legion of the wartime Waffen-SS marched to the Freedom Monument in the capital Riga yesterday in a tribute to their fallen comrades.

The mayor had tried to ban the march — the only official SS parade still allowed in a European capital — because of fears of disorder. Protesters carried placards asking: “What are you proud of?”

Kazimirs Susts, 87, who was awarded the Iron Cross for his skill in destroying tanks, said that he just wanted to remember lost countrymen. “I was not fighting under my own flag but I was fighting for Latvia,” he added.

The ritual of remembrance was joined by about 1,000 people yesterday and has become a contemporary battleground. It drew criticism of David Cameron for allying his Conservatives in Europe with a nationalistic Latvian party that takes part.

But Mr Susts said: "March 16 is a holy day for me and for Latvia. It is the day we remember how one-third of us who were taken into the German Army died. There were boys who refused to go but they were put in prison and they did not give them any food or water. So we had to go."

He was conscripted aged 20 and sent to the front line. He said yesterday's event had nothing to do with glorifying Nazism, which he said he hated as much as the Russians he was forced to fight.

There was no Nazi regalia on show as the predominantly grey-haired crowd shuffled through an arch of Latvian flags and sang patriotic songs after leaving flowers at the Freedom Monument.

"The Germans thought that if we were made to wear SS insignia, then we would not surrender to the Soviets because they would kill us," Mr Susts said.

"I got the Iron Cross for my good shooting. I can still see the lines of tanks advancing towards us, and exploding like matchboxes when we hit them."

After the war, he escaped after a year of forced labour in a Soviet mine and discovered that while he was fighting for the SS, two of his brothers had been drafted into the Red Army — and he had been firing his field gun against them.

The country was then occupied by Soviet Russia for 45 years before gaining independence in 1991.

Gaidis Berzins, deputy leader of For Fatherland and Freedom, the Conservatives' allies, joined the parade yesterday and said that David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, was wrong to describe it as nauseating.

"The Latvian people were forced into the war and their only aim was a free and independent Latvia," said Mr Berzins.

Among the band of 40 protesters, Dovid Katz, Professor of Yiddish at Vilnius University, said the ceremony showed that fascism was alive in Europe. Many of Latvia's Jews were purged or imprisoned in 1941-42, before the SS legions were formed, but they included some of those responsible, he said.

"This is a glorification of the Third Reich and the Waffen-SS in a state that is part of Nato and the EU. We know that David Cameron is not a fascist but he should have the moral strength to admit he made a mistake."

A Conservative spokesman said: "This is a longstanding event that has been attended by representatives of most Latvian political parties. As the Latvian Government has said, attempts to make cheap political points from Latvia’s tragic and complicated history are ‘misleading’, ‘historically illiterate’ and ‘unacceptable’.”

The march also laid bare divisions between Latvians and ethnic Russians, who make up a majority of the population in Riga. Extreme nationalist groups want to expel Russians, with tensions rising ahead of autumn elections.

"Many of those marching are ultra-nationalists," said Eduard Goncharov, leader of the Latvian anti-fascist committee and wearing a Russian ribbon. "Each year, more and more people like that come to the march."

David Guyatt
03-19-2010, 12:45 PM
Have you ever noticed that some shit can't be flushed down the pan, no matter how many times one tries?