Riga’s Waffen SS Marches

Latvian Court Rules Against a Protester Who Turned Out Against the Annual Waffen SS March



FREE SPEECH  |  LATVIA  |  RIGA PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  PRO-NAZI MARCHES

by Aleksandr Kuzmin (Riga)

On March 16, 2017, the annual march honoring Waffen SS Latvian Legion veterans took place in Riga as usual. A co-ruling political party had called the legionnaires “freedom fighters”[1], the Security Police had denounced opponents of the march as “so-called Anti-Fascists” and put them in the chapter “Manifestations of Russia’s compatriot policies in Latvia” of its annual report.[2] The counter-picket applied for by the Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee had been ordered to move farther from the march route. Again, a pretty usual development.

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Posted in Aleksandr Kuzmin, Collaborators Glorified, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Latvia, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, Symbology | Comments Off on Latvian Court Rules Against a Protester Who Turned Out Against the Annual Waffen SS March

Monica Lowenberg’s Speech at the Protest Outside the Latvian Embassy in Berlin



LATVIA | GERMANY | WAFFEN SS MARCHES IN RIGABALTIC MARCHES | GLORIFYING COLLABORATORS

by Monica Lowenberg (London)

The following is an English translation of Monica Lowenberg’s speech that was read out at the protest at the Latvian Embassy in Berlin on 15 March 2017 also addressed by German member of parliament Volker Beck. Ms. Lowenberg could not be in attendance and her speech, published here in the author’s English translation, was read to the assembled by historian Dr. Hans Coppi, chairman of the VVN (Union of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime in Berlin).

Dr Hans Coppi speaking VVN protesting outside the Latvian embassy Berlin 15.03.2017

Historian Dr. Hans Coppi (with microphone, center rear) addressing protesters at the Latvian Embassy in Berlin on the eve of the 2017 annual Waffen SS march in central Riga. PHOTO: LOTHAR EBERHARDT.

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German Member of Parliament Volker Beck Joins Protest at the Latvian Embassy in Berlin



LATVIA | GERMANY | WAFFEN SS MARCHES IN RIGABALTIC MARCHES | GLORIFYING COLLABORATORS

by Monica Lowenberg (London)

Last Wednesday, on 15 March 2017, eve of the annual events glorifying Latvia’s Waffen SS in the very heart of the capital city, Riga, one German member of parliament (the Bundestag), Volker Beck, came to the Latvian Embassy in the heart of Germany’s capital, Berlin, to give a speech of support to the protesters. Beck, a member of the Greens, is president of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group. The following is the text of his speech, which I have translated into English.

Volker Beck speaking outside the Latvian embassy

Volker Beck gives a speech of support to protesters at the Latvian Embassy in Berlin on the eve of the 2017 annual Waffen SS march in central Riga. PHOTO: LOTHAR EBERHARDT.

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Call for International Protest Against Latvian Gov. Granting Riga Center for Waffen SS Festivities on 16 March 2017



BALTIC MARCHES  |  RIGA MARCHES  |  LATVIA |  ANTISEMITISM  |  HUMAN RIGHTS

by Monica Lowenberg (London)

On 16 March 2017, in the Latvian capital of Riga, as in previous years since 1991, after a Lutheran church service, an honorary march and flag-lined rally will take place at the Freedom Monument in the heart of the city to honor Latvian units of the Waffen SS. Latvia, like Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Bulgaria is one of the Eastern European states where locally staffed antisemitic units and death squads under different names who collaborated with the Nazis are celebrated today as national heroes. This is done with tacit consent of the state and varying degrees of tacit or open support from state authorities.

SIGN THE PETITION TODAY

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Latvia’s Ambassador to the UK Replies to Gareth Thomas MP on Annual Waffen SS Marches in Central Riga



UK  |  LATVIA  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  DOCUMENTS

LONDON—The following is the 16 April 2016 reply of the Latvian ambassador to the UK Aandris Teikmanis to MP Gareth Thomas, concerning the annual March 16th events in central Riga glorifying the Latvian Waffen SS.


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UK’s Europe Minister Again Fails to Offer Even Mild Criticism of Baltic State-Enabled Nazi Worship



UK  |  LATVIA  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  DOCUMENTS

LONDON—The following is the UK Minister for Europe’s 8 April 2016 reply to his former shadow counterpart, Labour MP Gareth Thomas, concerning neo-Nazi marches in Latvia and Lithuania that occur each year with with substantial government support in the heart of each nation’s capital. For reference, the minister’s 2013 reply on the same topic is appended below.


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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, EU, Gareth Thomas, Human Rights, Latvia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on UK’s Europe Minister Again Fails to Offer Even Mild Criticism of Baltic State-Enabled Nazi Worship

Waffen SS Fest in Central Riga on March 16th


[UPDATED]

LATVIA  |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  RIGA MARCHES  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS


RIGA:

100px-Coat_of_Arms_of_Riga.svg

AFTERMATH: EFRAIM ZUROFF IN THE JERUSALEM POSTMONICA LOWENBERG IN HOPE NOT HATE

LONDON: UK MP GARETH THOMAS WRITES TO LATVIAN AMBASSADOR AND TO BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICEMONICA LOWENBERG SPEAKS OUT TO BRITAIN’S EUROPE SECRETARY DAVID LIDINGTON  IN HOPE NOT HATEBRITISH JOURNALIST ARRESTED IN RIGA

IN RIGA:

RULING PARTY LATVIAN MP TOLD MEDIA THAT “CLEVER JEWS” ARE “UNDERMINING HIS NATION’S SECURITY”

PARLIAMENTARIANS WERE SLATED FOR THIS YEAR’S WAFFEN SS FEST ON MARCH 16TH IN THE LATVIAN CAPITAL; SAM SOKOL IN THE JERUSALEM POSTBUT LAST MINUTE CLIMBDOWN BY NATIONAL ALLIANCE REVERSES DECISIONBALTIC TIMES WHITEWASH

GROUP OF GERMAN ANTIFASCIST PROTESTERS ARRESTED WHILE TRYING TO ENTER LATVIA FOR THE EVENT; FRANK BRENDLE’S REPORTFLORIAN GUTSCHE’S REPORT; ONE OF THE GERMAN DETAINEES, MARKUS TERVOOREN, GIVES AN INTERVIEW

DR. EFRAIM ZUROFF FLIES IN TO PROTEST: JTA REPORT; AFP REPORT; SAM SOKOL IN THE JERUSALEM POSTAP VIDEO; DOKUMENTIONSARCHIV; REPORT AND PHOTOS ON MONICA LOWENBERG’S MARCH 16th BLOGSPOT

MONICA LOWENBERG:  BLOGSPOT, PETITION  & IN DH

DEFENDING HISTORY’S COVERAGE OF THE EVENT FROM 2010

Defending History Monitors the Marches:

Kaunas, VilniusRiga

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Latvia Arrests Peaceful German Visitors Who Wanted to Protest Annual Waffen SS March



OPINION  |  LATVIA  |  FREE SPEECH |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  RIGA MARCHES  |  COLLABORATORS  GLORIFIED


 by Frank Brendle

Latvian authorities denied today entry for six German antifascists who intended to support the protest against  tomorrow’s edition of central Riga’s annual  March 16th Waffen SS march.

MORE COVERAGE HERE

This morning, Cornelia Kerth, chairwoman of Germany’s most important antifascist organization, the Association of Persons Persecuted by the Nazis / Federation of Antifascists (in German VVN-BdA) entered Hamburg airport to board her flight with Air Baltic to Riga. Check-in was without problem, but at the final steps before boarding the aircraft, authorities informed her that she may not enter the plane: “You are on a black list of the Latvian immigration authorities,” they said.

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German Group Arrested Trying to Enter Latvia for Peaceful Protest Against 16 March Waffen SS Fest



OPINION  |  LATVIA  |  FREE SPEECH |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  RIGA MARCHES  |  COLLABORATORS  GLORIFIED


by Florian Gutsche

RIGA—While Veterans of the Latvian legion of the Waffen-SS are allowed to march on tomorrow’s March 16th “Day of Legionnaires,” a group of antifascists from Germany was arrested while trying to enter Latvia to protest peacefully against the public glorification of the Waffen SS.

MORE COVERAGE HERE

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A Chronology of Latvia’s Pantomime of March 16th Horror: 2012—2016



LATVIA  |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  RIGA WAFFEN SS MARCHES  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED

by Monica Lowenberg


Preamble

On 16 March 2012, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office, during his visit to Riga to protest against the Waffen SS legionnaires march, stated in an interview to Latvian State television LTV1 that the “Latvian SS Legion was not involved in the crimes of the Holocaust” but also stated, as he has done each and every year since 1999, “although these units were not involved in crimes against humanity, many of their soldiers had previously served in the Latvian security police and had actively participated in the mass murder of civilians, primarily Jews.” [16]

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Why Do I Find the So-Called Heroes from the Latvian Waffen SS So Despicable?



OPINION  |  HISTORY  |  LATVIA  |   COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED

by Roland Binet  (Braine-l’Alleud/Belgium)

Introduction

Next month, the European Union and NATO will again be faced with the annual city-center march in Riga, the Latvian capital, glorifying the country’s Hitlerist Waffen SS. I had of course for years heard about the infamous March 16th marches in Riga when old members of the Latvian Waffen SS, their sympathizers and those who feel nostalgic about the good old time under Nazi rule proudly parade through the central streets of the beautiful capital of Latvia, ending their solemn march in front of the Freedom Monument, where they – solemnly and hierarchically – lay bundles of flowers at the foot of the monument and sing the national anthem.

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Defending History’s Eyewitness Report of Riga, 16 March



In the East of EU-NATO-Land: Again, Latvian Authorities Grant Riga Old Town and its “Liberty Monument” on March 16th to 1500 Worshippers of Hitler’s Waffen SS Latvian Divisions

All Waffen SS members swore an oath to Adolf Hitler, some were recycled Holocaust killers.  Lithuania’s far-right leaders J. Panka and R. Čekutis, fresh from neo-Nazi march in Vilnius, were on hand as honored guests; British neo-Nazis came for the event. For the second year in a row, the prime minister forbade ministers from attending. The antisemite who went around seeking Jewish observers to “enlighten” them (video).

Top left: Sea of flowers placed at Liberty Monument to honor Waffen SS. Top right: throng marches through historic old town. Bottom from left: heavy police presence; an antisemitic poster distributed by one of the event’s supporters.

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Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s Month of Monitoring Baltic Neo-Nazi Marches


Three Down, One to Go, in Efraim Zuroff’s Odyssey to the Baltic Month of Neo-Nazi Marches

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Silence in the Past, Silence Now



O P I N I O N

by Roland Binet (Braine-l’Alleud)

During World War II, numerous proofs of the systematic massacre of the Jews on a large scale had made known to the allied leaders. As the British had very early in the course of the war cracked the Enigma code, their Intelligence Service could read nearly all military dispatches sent by the German units to their headquarters, including those daily reports sent by the Einsatzgruppen leaders who duly sent the daily figures of the Jews and other “enemies” they had killed. One of these reports told of some 30,000 Jews having been killed.[1]

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A Baltic Month of Neo-Nazi Events (from February 16th to March 16th)



Baltic Nazi-Glorifying Marching Season Underway

COME JOIN US IN KAUNAS, MONDAY 16 FEB. at 1 PM (1300), AT RAMYBĖS PARK, TO MONITOR, SILENTLY PROTEST, & REMEMBER THE  CITY’S MORE THAN 30,000 MURDERED JEWISH CITIZENS.

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WIESENTHAL CENTER’S EFRAIM ZUROFF FLYING IN TO MONITOR EVENT AND LEAD PEACEFUL PROTEST;  HIS LETTER TO KAUNAS MAYOR;  OBZOR;  DELFI.LT;  KAUNO DIENA;  ALKAS.LT

DH’S CORRESPONDENCE WITH KAUNAS MAYOR’S OFFICE. FOR THE RECORD:ISRAELI HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS’ LETTER OF 2013.

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Rumbula and Ponár



M U S I C

by Roland Binet  (Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium)

This composition, Rumbula and Ponár, memorializes the victims of the two most infamous mass murder sites of Latvia and Lithuania, Rumbula outside Riga, and Ponár (Polish Ponary, Lithuanian Paneriai) outside Vilnius. More than 130,000 people were killed in total at these two sites. The majority were Jews but there were many others of diverse ethnic and social background at Ponár.

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2014 Baltic Marching Season Concluded


 

Interface of Pro-Fascist Marches, Holocaust Revisionism, and Contemporary Racism

EFRAIM ZUROFF IN THE HUFFINGTON POSTJERUSALEM POST AND TABLET

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Summary Coverage of March 16th 2014 Waffen SS Event in Riga



Over 1500 March in Central Riga’s Annual March 16th Waffen SS Fest

MEDIA LINKS


Riga Waffen SS March 16th 2014

Liberty Monument and the heart of Riga are again gifted to the glorifiers of Hitler’s Waffen SS in Latvia.


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Summary Coverage in Run-Up to the 16 March 2014 Waffen SS March in Riga


Riga, Sunday March 16th 2014:

Could Riga (now the EU’s “Capital of European Culture”) Really be Allowing Yet Another City-Center Waffen SS Celebration on March 16th?

JUST IN:

BRITISH MEP RICHARD HOWITT ISSUES STATEMENT

MINISTER FACES SACKFOR FIRST TIME, GOV SAYS: STAY AWAY

BALTIC TIMES: AGAIN SPEWING OUT NATIONALIST PR AS “REPORTING”?

MONICA LOWENBERG’S “SPEAK NO EVIL” (video); PETITION NEARS 7000

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British MEP Richard Howitt, European Parliament Spokesperson on Human Rights, Issues Statement on Riga Waffen SS March


Richard Howitt, British Labour Member of the European Parliament, and spokesperson for the European Parliament Human Rights Sub-Committee today issued the following text of his statement which will be read out in Riga this Sunday March 16th.

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Riga, Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

The UK’s home secretary Theresa May, the Hungarian Jobbik party, and Holocaust Memorial Day have all been in the press lately. Reading how the leader of pro-Nazi Jobbik party was, in the interests of free speech, allowed to hold his rally in Hyde Park, I have to question why Ms. May allowed this man entry into the UK and hadn’t called his racist attitudes, “unacceptable” as she had in the past with, “Every Muslim should be a terrorist” Zakir Naik. What had changed?

In the capital of European culture? Waffen SS Calendar (Riga 2014)

In the Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS Calendar (Riga 2014)

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Kaunas, Vilnius, Riga: Planned 2014 Neo-Nazi Marches (Summary Coverage to 26 Jan. 2014)



KaunasFebruary 16thVilniusMarch 11thRigaMarch 16th:

Will Lithuania’s President and Prime Minister Speak Out to Stop City-Centers on Independence Days Being Gifted to Neo-Nazis Again to Glorify the Holocaust’s Local Collaborators?

Last year, the president, prime minister and mayor failed to rise to the occasion of the neo-Nazi marches

Zabludoff’s Petition Nears the 3,000 Mark

First Stop — Kaunas on February 16th

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Summary Coverage on Upcoming “Baltic March Season”



2014 Winter Nazi Marching Season in the Baltics? 

KaunasFebruary 16thVilniusMarch 11thRigaMarch 16th:

Will Lithuania’s President and Prime Minister Speak Out to Stop City-Centers on Independence Days Being Gifted to Neo-Nazis Again to Glorify the Holocaust’s Local Collaborators?

Last year, the president, prime minister and mayor failed to rise to the occasion of the neo-Nazi marches

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Riga, Roots and Reflections


 


M E M O I R S   /   O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

 

In 2011, I made my first journey to Riga, the capital city of Latvia.

A few months before, I had been tracked down by two distant cousins on a genealogy site, quite out of the blue. I remember the strange feeling I had when one of them asked me if I felt “Latvian.” Latvian? German Christian, German Jewish, British, yes — but Latvian Jewish? No.

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UK’s Minister for Europe Refuses to Criticize Baltic Glorification of Nazism



British Foreign Office on Latvia’s National Waffen SS Fest:

Minister for Europe Enters the Fray; Of Churchill’s Party, He Seems to Forget Great Britain’s Heroism in Bringing Down Hitler and — Scourge (and Historic Result) of Nazi-Worship in the Baltics

Anna Sheinman Reports in the London Jewish Chronicle

Images from the 2013 Waffen SS events in Central Riga

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Images from the March 16th 2013 Annual Glorification of Latvian Waffen SS in Riga



by Monica Lowenberg

Riga, 1943: Latvian soldiers proudly march with a Latvian flag and a Nazi flag. Some of the men were conscripted into the Waffen SS, but a number were volunteers.

 ◊

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Summary Coverage of March 16th 2013 Waffen SS March in Riga, Latvia



Annual Glorification of Latvia’s Hitler-Serving Waffen SSInternational Petition

Waffen SS Riga

Opinion: R. BRODSKYLATVIA’S UK AMBASSADORMONICA LOWENBERG

JOËL RUBINFELD’S NEWSLETTER ON EVENTS OF MARCH 16TH

Reports: APDelfiFoxJewish News — JNS.orgJ. KažaReutersRIART (video2); Times of IsraelWashington PostYNetVideo of wreath layingYahoo.  Gallery of imagesMore mediaWWN media list.

 ◊

MARINA SOLODKIN’S DEATH AND HER LAST PUBLIC STATEMENT

 ◊

INTERNATIONAL PETITION

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Riga


Annual Glorification of Latvia’s Hitler-Serving Waffen SSInternational Petition

Waffen SS Riga

Opinion: R. BRODSKYLATVIA’S UK AMBASSADORMONICA LOWENBERG

JOËL RUBINFELD’S NEWSLETTER ON EVENTS OF MARCH 16TH

Reports: APDelfiFoxJ. Kaža; Jewish News — JNS.orgReutersRIART (video2); Times of IsraelWashington PostYNetVideo of wreath layingYahoo.  Gallery of imagesMore media. WWN media list.
 ◊

MARINA SOLODKIN’S DEATH AND HER LAST PUBLIC STATEMENT


Vilnius

March 2013 Independence Day:

City Mounted Wholesome Family Event on Main Boulevard, but it was Followed by a Massive Neo-Nazi March; There were Few Protesters

NATION’S PARLIAMENT HONORS THE NEO-NAZI MARCH ORGANIZERS

EYEWITNESS REPORTS: ANNA SHEPHERD AND GEOFF VASIL

“MORAL CAPITULATION” FROM PRESIDENT, PRIME MINISTER AND THE MAYOR ON NEO-NAZIS’ ANNUAL TAKEOVER OF CAPITAL’S CENTER ON NATION’S INDEPENDENCE DAY; NO COMMENT ON LEGALIZED SWASTIKAS

President says: “You call them nationalists, I would speak of nationally conscious youth” but Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) issues statement opposing the marches (the statement)

white power symbol and swastika in neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius March 11th 2013

White Power jacket alongside skull & crossbones with swastika. Photo: V. Kopūstas / Delfi.lt

Nazi Sieg Heils (under skull & crossbones with swastika flag) on the capital’s main boulevard on independence day. Photo: Anna Shepherd


After winning in court, city informed of  fascists’  call for “unsanctioned march” starting Monday 3 PM at Vilnius Cathedral Square. Some media try to spin a win for mayor’s office; PM speaks outExtra police promised;
 Police warn marchersPoll shows most Lithuanians oppose far right’s marchesEfraim Zuroff comments in the Jerusalem Post.           
Court on 4 March had accepted the city’s arguments for shifting neo-Nazis from central boulevard (Gedimino) to across the river (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok). Nationalist group then demanded the (once Jewish) Old Town instead but city refused. In the end, police caved in to neo-Nazis’ illegal takeover of Gedimino.    
Neo-Nazi movement dominates the capital’s center on March 11th Independence Day since 2008 when ‘Juden raus’ and anti-Russian, anti-Polish chants inaugurated the takeover. Eyewitness reports of 2011 and 2012. Protest petitions: Washington & London. One of the annual organizers, at right (with “White Power” scarf this year), was long-time “chief public relations specialist” (!) at the Genocide Research Center. . .
JEWISH COMMUNITY BOLDLY ANNOUNCED ITS OWN CELEBRATION OF LITHUANIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY AT THE CHORAL SYNAGOGUE

Kaunas

Authorities Authorized the Neo-Nazi March in Central Kaunas (Kovno) on Feb 2013 National Holiday

Celebrating the Holocaust? Lead banner glorified 1941 Nazi puppet PM  in the city whose 30,000 Jewish citizens were massacred. Genocide started on his watch…

February 16th’s  “main hero”  (at right of front banner) was the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister. White armbands and the “flaming swastika” were all over central Kaunas (Kovno) as the authorities gave the city center on the nation’s cherished independence day to the neo-Nazis to effectively express delight in the Holocaust. photo: DefendingHistory.com (16 Feb 2013)

Eyewitness reports by: Evaldas BalčiūnasDovid Katz(2)Geoff VasilEfraim Zuroff. Statement by Holocaust survivors in Israel. Writer in Balsas.lt calls for Zuroff and Katz to “be given up to be torn apart” while another in Atgimimas/Delfi.lt/Lithuania Tribune says the Jews want antisemitism as part of their financial trickery…
LEAD KAUNAS BANNER FEATURED PICTURE OF THE 1941 NAZI PUPPET PRIME MINISTER JUOZAS AMBRAZEVIČIUS (BRAZAITIS) WHO PERSONALLY SIGNED ORDERS FOR A CONCENTRATION/MASS MURDER CAMP AND REMOVAL TO A GHETTO OF THE ENTIRE JEWISH POPULATION OF KAUNAS.
IN MAY 2012, HE WAS REBURIED WITH FULL HONORS AND GLORIFIED BY STATE INSTITUTIONS, CAUSING MAJOR EMBARRASSMENT IN THE EU AND NATO. VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIVERSITY IN KAUNAS CONTINUES TO HONOR THE COLLABORATOR.

But on their websites, the march’s advocates feel rather less inhibited about expressing their further thoughts and fantasies (supposedly mitigated by the lower caption: “Kaunas, February 16th 2013 — If to believe the tales of anti-fascists and Jewish activists”)

far right Lithuanian image feb 2013

More from the neo-Nazi imagination in Lithuania: their websites featured this photoshopped image of Defending History’s editor on a motorcycle (he has not yet been on one….) in early 2013. Our reader Dr. J. Breeze, UK, found the apparent source in a Hagrid image.

photoshopped neo-Nazi image of Dovid Katz on a motorcycle (Jan 2013)


Efraim Zuroff’s Vilnius Press Conference on the Eve of State-Sanctioned City-Center Neo-Nazi Marches

on 3 pro-Nazi events: Kaunas 16 Feb; Vilnius 11 March; Riga 16 March

Nazi marches condemned at Feb 15th news conference in Vilnius, but new Prime Minister praised for speaking out against racist manifestations before the event; Now calls are upon the PM and president to cancel the next (March 11th) Neo-Nazi parade in the capital on the nation’s second (1990-based) Independence Day.

MEDIA COVERAGE (part): 15min.ltBalsas.lt; Bernardinai.ltBNSDelfi.eeDelfi.lt; Diena.lt; Faktai.ltInfodiena.lt; Info.ltKaunodiena.lt; Lankeliene.eu; Lietuvoszynios.ltLrt.lt; Lrytas.ltLrytas.lt (2); Lzinios.ltRu.delfi.lt; SWC; Tv.lrytas.lt.

wnd image of 15 feb 2013 press conference

MEANTIME, HEAD OF BALTIC NEWS SERVICE (BNS) ATTACKS DR. ZUROFF & HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR & LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY MEMBER PROF. PINCHOS FRIDBERG, WHO HAS RESPONDED.

Prof. Fridberg (at right) with Dr. Zuroff at the BNS press conference:

Dr. Zuroff at right, at end of press conference, with Milan Chersonski, editor (1998-2011)  of the Jewish community’s quadrilingual newspaper Jerusalem of Lithaunia…

Efraim with Milan 15 Feb 2013

and — Efraim Zuroff (right) and Dovid Katz monitoring the march the next day in icy Kaunas (Kovno)…


Equals sign slashed through Seventy Years Declaration Starts 2nd Year

Seventy Years Declaration (framed, with Jewish books)First Anniversary: Seventy Years Declaration (SYDGoes Multilingual, amid Mounting Success in Exposing Revisionist “Double Genocide” Campaign; First Reviews of the New Documentary Film “Rewriting History”

 

HISTORY DEFENDED! Never again will Prague-Declaration Double-Genocide politicsprojects, Genocide Center double-talk, and “Judaic/Yiddish/Holocaust” stunts successfully cover for supposed consensus “unified history” of the new Europe. Reports on most recent red-brown fiasco in Vilnius.

BOLD LITHUANIAN CITIZENS CONTINUE TO SPEAK UP WITH COURAGE AND INTEGRITY

HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT:

Yitzhak Arad in Tel Aviv

Pinchos Fridberg in Vilnius

Josef Griliches & Assistance to Lithuanian Jews, Inc. in NY

Joe Melamed & the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel

Basheva Ran & others in the US

From the ‘photoshop art’ of 2013: image of the editor of DefendingHistory.com that appeared in 2013 on a number of far-right websites in Lithuania. Are they really so afraid of a former Yiddish teacher?


2013: Call on US State Dept to Reject Politics of Holocaust Denial and Appeasement of Eastern Europe’s New Far Right

Shock of 2012: When a NATO-EU Ally Reburied and Glorified its 1941 Nazi Puppet Prime Minister who Signed Orders for Kovno Ghetto

Instead of politely protesting, the US Embassy in Vilnius financed a camouflage symposium on Holocaust issues to deflect attention from the week’s event. Framed to honor T. Snyder’s book Bloodlands, it also featured the head of YIVO.

One of the invited speakers later told the press that glorifying the Nazi puppet PM shows the world the “drama of Lithuanian history” and said that people are afraid of “the Jews” clobbering them with “a club”…  His university (Vytautas Magnus in Kaunas) continues to honor the 1941 Nazi puppet PM. International petition is underway.

BUT 3 US CONGRESSMEN BOLDLY STOOD UP

NEW SECTION: DISTURBING RECORD OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT SINCE 2009

US CITIZENS: PLEASE WRITE TO ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES

ISSUES INCLUDE PLANNED NAZI MARCHES IN CENTER OF KAUNAS (16 FEB 2013), VILNIUS (11 MAR 2013) AND RIGA (16 MAR 2013); PUBLIC MEMORIALS FOR NAZI MURDERERS AND COLLABORATORS; APOLOGIES TO ACCUSED HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS; SEVENTY YEARS DECLARATION; DEMOCRACY AND FREE SPEECH

THESE ARE AMERICAN WESTERN VALUES:

Honoring the struggle against Hitler led by the UK, the US and their allies (including Jewish partisans in the forests of Eastern Europe)

Objecting to attempts to conflate perpetrators and victims into the mush of obfuscation

Rejecting attempts to glorify the Nazis and their local collaborators

Speaking out robustly against neo-Nazism, racism, antisemitism, homophobia

Refusing to collaborate in bogus “Jewish” projects (and sham “Holocaust symposiums”) intended to cover for Double Genocide policies

Standing up for free speech and the right to dissent

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Cameron’s Latvian Liaison, One Woman’s Petition and One SS March



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

 

If you walked through a busy EU city today and came across Eichmann Allee, Hitler Strasse or even Goebbels Gasse you would initially think that someone was pulling your leg or you would start to raise, and rightly so, serious questions regarding the ruling government that would allow such blatant glorification of mass murderers to take place. You can therefore imagine how I felt, the daughter of a German Jewish refugee whose paternal Latvian Jewish family had all been brutally murdered in the Libau massacres of 1941 and Riga ghetto, to discover in 2011, that each and every 16 March, since 1998, SS veterans are glorified in the capital city of Riga in Latvia an EU and NATO country since 2004.

My name is Monica Lowenberg; I was born on a cold winter’s day in 1964, in ear shot of Bow Bells.

On January 20, 2012, I set up a petition to stop the 16th March marches in Riga, ninety years to the day from the date of birth of my uncle Paul Theodor Loewenberg who at age 19 was sent to the Riga Ghetto on 4 October 1941. The petition is as much an act of commemoration of the victims of Nazism as it is a tribute to the European parliamentarians, including a number from Latvia, who wisely and courageously signed on the 20 January last year 2012, the Seventy Years Declaration, commemorating Wannsee, a declaration which specifically rejects glorification of Latvia’s Waffen SS, along with Estonia’s Waffen SS and the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) in Lithuania.

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Latvian Ambassador to the UK Comments on March 16th Waffen SS March in Riga


LONDON—Latvia’s ambassador to the UK has responded to a UK Conservative Party MP’s question about the Waffen SS events held in the center of Latvia’s capital, Riga, on March 16th each year. The office of UK Parliament MP David Amess, who represents Southend West, released the response dated 1 March 2013, which he received from the Latvian ambassador to the UK, HE Eduards Stiprais. It is reproduced in full below (as PDF here), courtesy of the office of Monica Lowenberg in London, whose petition and media guide have brought the Latvian SS marches to increased international scrutiny.

MONICA LOWENBERG’S REPLY TO THE LATVIAN AMBASSADOR IN 2012

See also Monica Lowenberg’s 2012 exchange of ideas with the Latvian ambassador to the UK. More in Defending History’s Latvia section.

Ambassador Stiprais’s letter to MP Amess:

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Latvian Jewish Communities Send Protest Letter to Nation’s President over Opening of New Monument Glorifying the Waffen SS


RIGA—Text of the letter released today follows (background here).


To the President of the Republic of Latvia Mr. Berzins
Copy to: Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development Mr. Sprudzhs

Dear Mr. President:

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Will Intellectuals in Western Countries Continue their Silence on Latvia’s Glorification of Hitler’s Waffen SS?



E Y E W I T N E S S   R E P O R T   /   O P I N I O N

by Roland Binet (Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium)

RIGA—The day is a festive one despite the gray and low sky. Young pretty girls have bunches of roses which they soon distribute to elderly and solemn gentlemen arriving, row upon row in an interminable procession. Numerous national flags are held in a heraldic and staid way by young men forming a kind of double guard of honor.


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1500 Honor the Waffen SS at Riga’s Liberty Monument; Event is Praised by Latvia’s President, Condemned by Council of Europe’s Commission on Racism



E Y E W I T N E S S    R E P O R T  /  O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

 

RIGA—According to most estimates, there were around 1500 participants today in the city-center ceremony honoring the Waffen SS, about 1000 police, and about one hundred protesters who turned out in opposition to the event.

The ongoing campaign by some East European governments to repackage far-right ultranationalist politics and policies (with concomitant antisemitic, racist and Nazi-glorifying undertones) as a wholesome British-conservative-style “center right” has suffered a major blow.  The battleground of ideas has in recent weeks shifted to the annual Waffen SS commemoration ceremony held at Liberty Monument, the symbolic heart of the capital of Latvia, with the blessing of some of the nation’s top leaders.

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Monica Lowenberg in Dialogue with Latvia’s Ambassador to the UK



D E B A T E

From the 2009 Waffen SS march in Riga. Photo Ilmars Znotins.

Monica Lowenberg is the creator of the international petition against this year’s Waffen SS march scheduled for 16 March 2012 in the heart of Riga, Latvia’s capital city. The petition has to date attracted some six thousand signatures from every part of the planet.

Its author approached the Latvian ambassador to the UK for support.

Below is his letter of 1 March (as PDF here). It is followed by the text of Monica Lowenberg’s 5 March reply, supplied to DefendingHistory.com for publication.

 

I: The Latvian Ambassador to Monica Lowenberg (1 March 2012)

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Latvian President, Blasting Critics of March 16th ‘Waffen SS Parade, says it’s ‘Crazy to Think Them War Criminals’


In an escalation of high level pro-Nazi rhetoric in Riga, the nation’s president, Andris Bērziņš, said today that the international community needs to have it explained.

Have what explained? Why those who served in Nazi Germany’s Latvian Waffen SS divisions are honored in the country’s capital on March 16th each year.

The president of Latvia went on to say that “It’s crazy to think they’re war criminals.”

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Council of Europe’s Commission Against Racism and Intolerance Condemns Latvia’s Waffen SS Parades and Celebration of Hitler’s 1941 Invasion


The Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance today published online its 9 December report ECRI Report on Latvia (fourth monitoring cycle). In the 67 page report, the ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance) explicitly condemns the Waffen SS marches enabled and supported for many years by some of the highest echelons of Latvian government and society. There is also reference to the more recent case of celebrating the day of Hitler’s invasion in 1941.

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The Waffen-SS as Freedom Fighters



O P I N I O N

by Per Anders Rudling

Despised and ostracized, the Swedish community of Waffen-SS volunteers long gathered in secret on April 14, “The Day of the Fallen,” for obscure ritualistic annual gatherings at a cemetery in a Stockholm suburb.[1]

Since the 1990s, the rituals have not needed to be clandestine: the few, now very elderly survivors now head to Sinimäe, Estonia, where they feel they are now getting the honor to which they are entitled. Here, Swedish, Norwegian, Austrian, German and other Waffen-SS veterans from Western Europe meet up with their Estonian comrades.[2] The annual gatherings include those who volunteered for ideological reasons, and who are today actively passing on the experiences to a new generation of neo-Nazis.

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The Seventy Years Declaration (Latvian)


 


2012.gada 20. janvāris

Septiņdesmitās gadadienas Deklarācija kopš “Galīgā risinājuma ebreju jautājumā”

 

Šajā 70 gadu atceres pasākumā, kopš nacisti oficiāli pieņēma plānu “Galīgais risinājums ebreju jautājumā” Vanzē konferencē, mēs, zemāk parakstījušies

ATCERAMIES:

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2012 New Year’s Resolution for the Prime Ministers of the Baltic States


 

For 2012

“As long as I am prime minister of this great nation, there will be no neo-Nazi marches, no parades or events glorifying Nazi collaborators, no racist marches offensive to any citizens of our country of whatever background or belief, in the center of our cherished capital city, least of all on our national independence day or other holidays, when we celebrate independence, freedom, equality of all people, respect between all our communities, democracy and hope for our future. I will not stand idly by as our country’s proud name is defamed in the four corners of the earth by those who espouse fascism, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of hatred. Period.”

From back in 2011

Some of the shameful city center pro-Nazi events that went ahead in 2011 in Baltic capitals with legal permits (and support of some political elites):

Riga

Vilnius

Tallinn

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Latvian President Blesses Waffen SS March in Riga; Council of Europe’s Racism Unit Condemns Event; 1500 Turn Out


The president of Latvia endorsed this year’s Waffen SS march, “bowing his head” to his nation’s Waffen SS.  Latvia’s ambassador to the UK defended the march.  Council of Europe condemns the event.  UK MP John Mann.  UK Parliament Early Day Motion 2866. 1500 Turn Out.

———

A wreath for Holocaust survivors was covered by the Waffen SS logo by the event’s organizers. Two anti-Nazi activists exposed the wreath again for a short time, before they were removed by police.

———

Foreign protesters included Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (Jerusalem), Joel Rubinfeld of the European Jewish Parliament (Brussels), Monica Lowenberg, creator of the anti-march international petition (London).

———

EYEWITNESS REPORT & IMAGES.  2ND REPORT.  MEDIA COVERAGE.

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Baltic Media: Covering the Fascist Marches, or Covering Them Up?


 


O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

This year Lithuanian neo-Nazis organized by Marius Kundrotas, Ričardas Čekutis and Julijus Panka with Lithuanian MP Kazimieras Uoka as their mascot marched in Kaunas on February 16 and through central Vilnius on March 11. February 16 is the old, pre-World War II national day of independence while March 11 is the date in 1990 when the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet voted to restore national independence and exit the Soviet Union.

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Latvia (back in 2011): 2,500 Turn Out to Hail Country’s Waffen-SS


Increased Turnout for This Year’s Waffen-SS March in Riga

DETAILS HERE AND HERE

COMMENT HERE AND HERE

———

PLANS TO HONOR HOLOCAUST MASS MURDERER AND RE-INTER  HIS REMAINS IN RIGA

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Latvian National Front Releases its Letter to the American Ambassador in Riga


The organization Latvian National Front has sent to the email address of the Embassy of the USA, as well as other embassies, including the Embassy of Israel, a letter with the following content (translated from Latvian):

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Latvian Fascists Honor Hitler’s Invasion of their Country


A Latvian court approved & police nixed a Riga March celebrating Hitler’s 1941 Invasion. Still, the June 2010 event went ahead with a wreath-laying at Riga’s Liberty Monument to celebrate the Nazi army’s arrival and warm welcome.  Here, 2, 3, 4.

Also: Far-right racist parties team up. Here.

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Waffen SS March in Riga


Sanctioned by the Municipality of Riga on a route concluding with a ceremony at the city’s Liberty Monument …



Top: JEWS!! THIS LAND IS FOR LATVIANS!
Bottom: THE LATVIAN PRESIDENT SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN THE EVENTS OF MARCH 16, NOT MAY 9!

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‘Baltic Times’ Condemns Riga City Council for Trying to Nix March 16th Waffen SS March in the Capital’s Center


The Baltic Times, in the spirit of its increasing pattern of delivering up far-right views dressed up as impartial news coverage, did it again today. The front page banner headline reads ‘Riga Council in Civil Rights Attack’ with the caption to the large front page photo that condemns the city council for trying to block ‘war veterans and others’, as the anonymous authors put it (the article is signed by ‘Staff and wire reports, Riga), from being able to ‘exercise their rights in commemorating wartime duties and efforts’.

There was no mention that these are Waffen SS veterans and that the annual ceremony in the capital’s center is an affront to free Europe and Holocaust victims and survivors.

That an allegedly impartial newspaper would regard a noble attempt to legally block a  pro-Nazi march, on the part of elected officials in a European Union country, as a ‘civil rights attack’ in a news headline is shocking. PDF of the article here.


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