The Remembrance day of the Latvian legionnaires, 2008. Photo by: Dezidor
The Riga City Council has permitted the holding of the procession of nationalist organization activists in celebration of so-called SS Legionnaires Day. The event will be held on March 16. It was announced on Friday, March 4, DELFI reports citing Juris Radzevich, the executive director of the Council.
He noted that the authorities of Riga have coordinated the holding of procession from the Doma Cathedral to the Freedom Monument. It is expected that about one hundred people will participate in the event, and it would be organized by the “Hawks of Daugava” nationalist organization.
In September 2015, Konstantin Dolgov the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and Authority of Law had declared that Moscow is outraged by the encouraging attitude of Latvian authorities towards the opening of a memorial to the followers of Nazis.
Earlier that same month, the opening of a memorial to the so-called “Forest Brothers” took place near the Latvian town of Ile. “Forest Brothers” consisted mostly of former Latvian SS Legion members. In 1945-1953 they fought against Soviet authorities in Latvia and Lithuania, in essence continuing the cause of Nazis by partisan means after the main forces lost the war in 1945. They are accused of murdering 1.5 to 3 thousands people, according to different sources.
On March 16 2015, about a thousand of people had gathered at the procession in remembrance of Latvian SS legionnaires in Riga.
The Remembrance Day of Latvian SS legionnaires was established in Latvia in 2008 in honor of the armed forces that were a part of the Waffen-SS. On this day the official events are traditionally held in the center of Riga and in the suburb village of Lestene where the military cemetery of legionnaires is located.
About 150 thousand people served in the Latvian Legion that was a part of Waffen-SS. Presently several tens of thousands of former SS legionnaires live in Latvia.