20:58 GMT24 October 2020
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    HELSINKI (Sputnik) - The Finnish government will study the involvement of Finnish voluntary Waffen-SS soldiers in mass killings of Jews and other civilians during World War II and ordered the National Archives to carry out a relevant research, the government said in a press release on Thursday.

    "The Prime Minister’s Office has ordered an independent archive-based survey on the participation of Finnish voluntary Waffen-SS soldiers in the homicide of Jews and civilians during 1941-1943. The National Archives of Finland will conduct the survey that is to be completed by the end of November. The decision on any follow-up measures will be taken after this," the press release said.

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    In January, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the head of Simon Wiesenthal Center engaged in human rights activities, asked Finnish President Sauli Niinisto to launch an official inquiry into the participation of Finnish volunteers of the Waffen-SS Wiking Division in war crimes during their service.

    "A project group and a supervision group contribute to the survey that can also use external experts. The supervision group will have representatives designated by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the President of the Republic and the National Archives of Finland and it will be chaired by the representative of the Prime Minister’s Office," the government said.

    The cost of the survey is not expected to exceed $80,000.

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    The Finnish Volunteers’ Battalion of the Waffen-SS operated on the German Eastern Front in 1941-1943. It was part of the Waffen-SS Wiking tank division, which also included troops from other allies of Germany.


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    Waffen-SS, survey, WWII, Finland
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