Neo-Nazis in Latvia Gathered to Honor Former SS Units

Last week, 1,000 people gathered in Riga for a march honoring Latvian Nazi SS divisions. The march's size reflects the growing popularity of far-right movements in Europe. 

Marchers paraded with Nazi symbols and flags before placing wreaths on the city's Freedom Monument. It is the only public event in Europe honoring those who fought directly under a Nazi banner. Veterans and their supporters claim that Latvian Legion soldiers were not involved in atrocities against Jews, despite evidence to the contrary. 

World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer reacted last week: “All those who glorify Nazis and their collaborators by marching or otherwise are inciting hatred, plain and simple. They are celebrating the darkest moments of modern history and espousing a contemporary agenda that calls for the destruction of anyone deemed ‘other’. This cannot be countenanced under any circumstances, but especially not after the murders committed by likeminded individuals in the Christchurch mosques two days ago, and at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh only a few months ago. It is incumbent on the authorities in Latvia, and any other country in which such disgusting displays take place, to do all in their power to firmly put a stop to these demonstrations.”

Nazis and their collaborators nearly annihilated all of Latvia's 70,000 Jews during the Holocaust. Only 50 anti-fascist demonstrators showed up to protest the gathering. There is no place for neo-Nazis in Latvia or anywhere.