06:07 GMT +3 hours30 June 2016
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Waffen-SS veterans march in Riga. File photo

Latvian Lawmakers to March in Celebration of Country’s Nazi Past

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Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff says 96% of Latvian Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Nonetheless, events to mark the unofficial holiday are set to proceed on Wednesday.

The march is part of commemorations for Latvian Legion Day, an unofficial holiday honoring those who fought in the anti-Soviet Latvian SS Legion. The disturbing occasion, celebrating the genocidal terror of the Nazis throughout Europe, has become a national event thanks to the rise of far-right and neo-Nazi sentiments in the Eastern European country.

Several lawmakers in the Latvian Parliament are members of the ultra-nationalist All for Latvia Party, and will march in the event, showing their support for mass killings of Jews in Latvia and the rest of Europe during World War II. The Nazi supporters argue that Latvians saw the alignment with Germany as a fight for independence against the Soviets.

Dr. Efrain Zuroff, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem office, isn’t buying the "independence" theory that Nazi sympathizers hide behind.

"Wednesday’s march of SS veterans is another example of the systematic efforts of post-Communist eastern European countries to rewrite the narrative of World War II and the Holocaust," he told the Baltic Course.

Zuroff calls reports that parliamentarians are participating and sanctioning the event "an outrage," adding that, "It is incomprehensible how people who fought for the victory of Nazi Germany, the most genocidal regime in human history, can be honored in a country which is a member in good standing of both the European Union and NATO."

Latvia has a particularly dark Holocaust history, with entire Jewish populations in the country killed. Zuroff estimates that 67,000 out of 70,000 Latvian Jews, some 96%, were killed by Latvian SS during the Holocaust. This number compares unfavorably to Nazi Germany, where most historians estimate the genocide led to the deaths of some 60% of German Jews.

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ultra-nationalism, ukrainian ultra-nationalists, white nationalists, nationalist tendencies, nationalists, conservatives, ultra-conservative, holocaust, Jews, All for Latvia, Waffen SS, NATO, European Union, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Neo-Nazis, Nazis, Nazi Germany, Nazi, Efrain Zuroff, Eastern Europe, Russia, Riga, Latvia
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  • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
    "Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff says 96% of Latvian Jews were killed during the Holocaust"

    But everytime we have a holocaust survivor telling a story about living in those camps....
  • hp
    They celebrate their Waffen SS, some of the greatest soldiers of all time. Volunteers fighting for their nations and families freedom from the godless communist devils. That's a fact.
    As proved out via some of histories darkest times, starting immediately after..
  • michael
    and israel doesn't protest??
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