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History Turned Inside Out: Nazi Vets Annual March Held in Riga

© AP Photo / Roman KoksarovPeople carry Latvian flags at the march in Riga, Latvia
People carry Latvian flags at the march in Riga, Latvia - Sputnik International
The annual march of the Waffen-SS Latvian Legion veterans and their supporters was held in the center of the Baltic country's capital Riga on Monday, according to local police.

People carry Latvian flags as they march to the Freedom Monument to commemorate World War II veterans who fought in Waffen SS divisions, in Riga, Latvia, Sunday, March 16, 2014 - Sputnik International
German Right-Wing Party Co-Organizes Nazi Parade in Riga - Bundestag Member
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Several hundred Waffen-SS Latvian Legion veterans and those who support them took part in an annual parade in Latvia's capital, Riga, local police sources told RIA Novosti on Monday.

The Latvian Legion of the Nazi Germany's Waffen-SS was created in 1943. The unit surrendered in May 1945 among the other Nazi forces.

In protest a number of anti-fascist activists dressed up in white uniforms and called for a "disinfection" of the area they theatrically claim is tainted by what they term the "Nazi disease."

Veterans of the Latvian Legion - Sputnik International
Annual Nazi Vets Parade in Riga May Escalate Into Violence - US Embassy
The participants of the peaceful parade walked toward central Riga's Freedom Monument. The commemoration, held annually since 1998, takes place March 16.

Earlier in the month, Latvian Minister of Justice Dzintars Rasnacs confirmed he would take part in the march to "honor fallen Latvian legionnaires and their faith in fighting for a free Latvia."

Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov labeled the march a cynical outrage upon the memory of millions of World War II victims, calling on the European Union to stop this "violation of the international law."

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