Tag Archives: Holocaust in Latvia

Some High Latvian Politicians Think the Waffen SS Fought for Freedom



OPINION  |  POLITICS OF MEMORY  |  GLORIFYING COLLABORATORS  |  LATVIA  |  ANNUAL WAFFEN SS MARCHES IN RIGA

by Aleksandrs Feigmanis (Riga)

Aleksandrs Feigmanis

Dr. Aleksandrs Feigmanis (Riga)

There are here in Latvia some high-ranking Latvian politicians who actually believe that the country’s Waffen SS fighters fought for freedom of their country. Every year on the 16th of March Latvian nationalists gather at the Freedom Monument in the heart of Riga, the nation’s capital, and in the cemetery at Lestene, a village some seventy-two kilometers from Riga, to remember and honor (honor!) the living and dead veterans of the Latvian Legion of the Waffen SS.

Established by order of Adolf Hitler on the 10th of February 1943, they fought for Nazi Germany against the Red Army on the Volkhov front near Leningrad, and later in Great River region, Kurzeme (Kurland), in Poland, Germany and elsewhere.

Although the alarming series of annual events commemorating and glorifying the Latvian SS Volunteer Legion events are now officially non-governmental, some MPs and even ministers do not hesitate to not only participate publicly, setting an example for the nation’s youth, but also to publicly refer to Waffen SS legionnaires as heroes and national freedom fighters. Had Hitler won the war, there would have been no Latvia left to become free in 1991. By swearing and oath to Adolf Hitler’s genocidal regime, and then in fact delaying the liberation of the concentration camps by the Allies, they were pawns of the Nazis who do not deserve to be glorified by a modern, democratic member of the European Union and NATO.

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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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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Free Speech & Democracy, Germany, Human Rights, Latvia, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on German Group Arrested Trying to Enter Latvia for Peaceful Protest Against 16 March Waffen SS Fest

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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Rewriting History in Latvia



B O O K S    /    L A T V I A

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

Since I became interested in the fate of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Latvia, rather late (2009), I never failed to buy books when I visited that country, first and foremost written by Jewish survivors of these terrible times, but, also, some books written by non-Jewish Latvians in order to see how they perceived these tragic events, how they related to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and how they presented the history of the German occupation and the mass slaughter of more than 95% of the Jewish population of their country (using the figures of Jews on site at the time of the Nazi invasion as the basis for historians’ estimates).

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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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Wiesenthal Center Slams Latvian Veto of Holocaust Exhibition at UNESCO


JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized steps taken by the Latvian delegation to UNESCO which effectively cancelled an exhibition about the Holocaust in Latvia scheduled to open this coming Sunday at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

SEE ALSO JTA REPORT

In a statement issued here by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called the action by the Latvians “an outrageous and ultimately futile attempt to hide the extensive Latvian collaboration with the Nazis in perpetrating Holocaust crimes” and urged UNESCO officials to consider steps to enable the exhibition, titled “Stolen Childhood: Holocaust Victims Seen by Child Inmates of the Salaspils Nazi Concentration Camp,” to be shown to the public.

According to Zuroff:

“This step by the Latvians is part of a systematic effort by the Baltic countries to hide the truth about the extensive collaboration with the Nazis of Balts in the implementation of the Final Solution in their native countries, as well as in Poland and Belarus. Instead of complaining that the exhibition risked damaging her country’s reputation, Latvia’s chief delegate to UNESCO should have welcomed an effort to expose the wartime collaboration of so many Latvians as part of an honest confrontation with her country’s bloody Holocaust past.”


For more information: 972-50-721-4156 

www.operationlastchance.org  or www.wiesenthal.com

 

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Max Kaufmann’s Book on the Latvian Holocaust Now Available in English



B O O K S

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

 

“For us, all of Latvia is a huge cemetery – a cemetery without graves or gravestones.”

— Max Kaufmann

The English edition of Max Kaufman’s largely forgotten book, Churbn Lettland: The Destruction of the Jews of Latvia, now available online, is a most welcome, and important, addition to the library of serious works on the Latvian Holocaust.[1]

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Latvian Musical that Sanitizes Holocaust Perpetrator Starts its Grand Tour



New Musical, “Sugar Herbert Sugar” Glorifies Herberts Cukurs

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REACTIONS & REPORTS:

From Jerusalem: EFRAIM ZUROFF IN I24; IN THE JERUSALEM POST; IN THE LONDON JEWISH CHRONICLE

From Riga: ALEKSANDRS FEIGMANIS IN DEFENDING HISTORY

From Liepaja: MIKE COLLIER REVIEWS PREMIERE IN LSM.LV

ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS

Tickets sold online for performances around the country. About the show. Signature tune released on YouTube (Would they have done better with the old Archies version of “Sugar Sugar” or Just “Springtime for Hitler”?)

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What Riga Ghetto Survivors Recall about Herberts Cukurs, Now “Hero” of New Show in Latvia



O P I N I O N / H I S T O R Y

by Aleksandrs Feigmanis (Riga)

Herberts Cukurs (1900-1965) had been an officer and a famous aviator during the years of the interwar Latvian Republic (1918-1940). After Nazi Germany’s 1941 occupation of Latvia, he became a significant figure in the infamous Arājs Kommando (or Sonderkommando Arajs), a notorious killing unit during the Latvian Holocaust. The Arājs group consisted of about 1,200 people, mostly local Latvians. It was established at the beginning of July 1941 within the German security services.

The Arājs Kommando carried out the killing of at least 30,000 Jews in numerous cities and towns in Latvia. The toll included the family of my grandfather in Vilani (in Yiddish Vilon), which occurred at dawn on August 4, 1941. The victims were his parents, and his sisters and their husbands and young children.

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Is “Sugar Herbert Sugar” the Latvian Version of “Springtime for Hitler”?



New Latvian Musical, “Sugar Herbert Sugar” Glorifies Holocaust Mass Murderer Herberts Cukurs

Tickets now available online for performances around the country. About the show. Signature tune released on YouTube (Would they have done better with the old Archies version of “Sugar Sugar“?)

Are we back to Springtime for Hitler, just focused on celebrating a local mass murderer of Latvian Jewry? Will the hosting venues, including the City Cultural Centers in Jelgava and Valmiera, and prestigious halls in RigaLiepājaRēzekne and Ventspils also be holding memorials for their citizens murdered in the Latvian Holocaust in which Herberts Cukurs, known as the “Hangman of Riga,” took such a personal and violent part?

Produxers, The - Springtime for Hitler Magazine (PSoL 060612) combined (1)

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Latvian Court Downgrades Holocaust While High Society Readies for New “Springtime for Cukurs” Musical



Latvian Constitutional Court Upholds “Double Genocide” Restriction on Free Speech

Opinion that there was one genocide in the country (the Holocaust) remains criminalized by 2014 law, in the spirit of the laws passed in Hungary and Lithuania in 2010

Comment on Eastern EU speech laws by: Milan ChersonskiLeonidas DonskisDovid KatzEfraim Zuroff; See also: FREE SPEECH Section

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At the Same Time: New Latvian Musical (“Sugar, Herbert, Sugar”) Glorifying Holocaust Mass Murderer Herberts Cukurs Rehearsing for October 11th Premiere.

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Monica Lowenberg’s Speech at Berlin Screening of Juergen Hobrecht’s New Riga Ghetto Film



by Monica Lowenberg

On Sunday 29 June 2014, I had the privilege of participating in the Berlin screening of Juergen Holbrecht’s new documentary film Wir haben es doch erlebt — das Ghetto von Riga. I had translated the English version and done its narration. I was invited to the event by Professor Peter Alexis Albrecht (Frankfurt University) who is also director of the Cajewitz Stiftung and the association for a former Jewish orphanage, today a school, where my father Ernest Lowenberg and his brother, my uncle Paul Lowenberg were given shelter when it was no longer possible for their parents  as Jews to work in Nazi Germany.

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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, 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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Exposé in Lithuania


Three Major Lithuanian Sites Claim that Neo-Nazi Internet Figure “Zeppelinus,” a Hater of Poles, Jews, Roma, Russians, Blacks and Gays is actually…

zeppelinus hasidic kid with gun

Director of the Economic Ministry’s Human Resources Dept and the Government’s Rep on the “Tripartite Council”

Editor of Defending History is a Favorite Zeppelinus Target

One of Zeppelinus’s 2013 productions…


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

UK’S MINISTER FOR EUROPE ENTERS THE FRAY

MONICA LOWENBERG IN THE LONDON JEWISH NEWS

ANNA SHEINMAN IN THE JEWISH CHRONICLE

BACKGROUND: DAVID CESARANI IN THE GUARDIAN

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David Lidington (r) with Michal Kaminski in the European Parliament

UK Europe Minister David Lidington (right) with Poland’s Holocaust-distorting, gay-bashing MEP M. Kaminski

Monica Lowenberg Responds in Algemeiner.com & Hope Not Hate; With Classic British Tolerance, Foreign Office Also Posts Her Essay; In the London Jewish News

SEE UK PAGE; ALSO: VYTENIS POVILAS ANDRIUKAITISPETER BEAUMONT; BOB BLACKMANMARTIN BRIGHT; RICHARD BRODSKYGORDON BROWNSIMON BUTT; DAVID CESARANI; LEONIDAS DONSKIS;  MARCUS DYSCH; JONATHAN FREEDLAND(2); BARRY GARDINERAMELIA GENTLEMAN;  SIR MARTIN GILBERT; ESTHER GOLDBERGMEHDI HASANCLEMENS HENI (2); LORD JANNER OF BRAUNSTONE; DOVID KATZ, (2); EDWARD LUCAS; JAMES MACINTYREDENIS MACSHANE, (2); JOHN MANN; MANN, BOTTOMLEY & RUSSELL; RABBI BARRY MARCUSEDWARD McMILLAN-SCOTT;  SEUMAS MILNEMARCUS PAPADOPOULOS; LEIGH PHILLIPSTESSA RAJAKWENDY ROBBINS; ANNA SLATEREMMA STOCKGEOFF VASIL; TIM WHEWELL; EFRAIM ZUROFF, (2)

UK SIGNATORIES TO THE SEVENTY YEARS DECLARATION

EARLY DAY MOTIONS IN THE UK PARLIAMENT: 2161; 27502866
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But the Council of Europe Takes a Rather Different View  (§ 87):

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Can’t the West “Just Say No” to Nazi-Worship in the Eastern EU?

NEW CALLS (IN 2013) FOR LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT TO RECOGNIZE STATEMENT OF 1941 HITLERIST HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS AS “DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE”. AN APPARENT ATTEMPT TO REVIVE THE EARLIER “LIEKIS PLAN” FOR THE LOCAL HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS TO BE ENSHRINED IN LAW AS “INDEPENDENCE HEROES”.

white armbanders kaunas 1941

“Freedom fighters” force Jewish women to march to their humiliation and murder in Kaunas (Kovno) in 1941. Some want to glorify the perpetrators in an EU/NATO parliament.

MEANWHILE, HISTORIC PRESIDENTIAL PALACE IS PROVIDED AS VENUE TO GLORIFY A PREWAR PRO-FASCIST POLITICIAN. WITH SUPPORT FROM LAWIN LAW FIRM AND THE ČIURLIONIS ART MUSEUMYAD VASHEM ON AUGUSTINAS VOLDEMARAS

LESS THEN ONE YEAR SINCE THE STATE REBURIED WITH FULL HONORS AND GLORIFIED THE 1941 NAZI PUPPET PRIME MINISTER

RELATED: Images from Riga’s 2013 Waffen SS festLithuania glorifies its 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister. University lecture hall and street names honor collaborators.  Estonia.  Hungary.  Ukraine


2013 Vilna Ghetto PR Fest

and…

Secret Plan to Raise Millions for “Disneyland” Project that Excludes Living Jewish Community

Vilna Ghetto street date unknown

BUT NO PUBLIC APOLOGIES FOR THE DEFAMED JEWISH PARTISAN HEROES OF VILNA AND KOVNO GHETTOS

Rachel Margolis and Chen Ivri Apter

BACKGROUND ♦ DR. YITZHAK ARAD ♦ MS. FANIA BRANTSOVSKY ♦ PROF. SARA GINAITĖ ♦ DR. RACHEL MARGOLIS ♦ ATTORNEY JOSEPH MELAMED

Renewed International Petition

Seven Simple Solutions Proposed

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THE DISAPPEARING PARTISAN FORT IN THE FOREST THAT WAS HOME TO ESCAPEES FROM THE VILNA GHETTO. WILL IT BE PRESERVED?  ONE OF “TOP 10 OVERLOOKED JEWISH HERITAGE SITES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE”

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SITE OF “GREAT PROVOCATION” AND VILNA GHETTO GATE: WILL IT BE MARKED?

VILNIUS SURVIVOR BATTLES DEFAMATION BY “RED-BROWN COMMISSION”

SUTZKEVER TRANSLATION PRIZE

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MORE BACKGROUND: A 2002 Jewish community view on the “Disneyland Ghetto” project;  2009 Lithuanian parliament perspective from the then ruling party


Rewriting History: New Documentary Film on the Shocking New Holocaust Revisionism in Eastern Europe

REVIEWS OF REWRITING HISTORY

Film’s website  ◊ Sign the Seventy Years Declaration ◊ Donate to Defending History

Rewriting History sign in Richmond Virginia

MORE ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCREENING SCHEDULE HERE

The film features exclusive commentary by historians Efraim Zuroff and Konrad Kwiet; Survivors Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Dobke Yonis; Vilnius activists: former Green House Holocaust museum director Rachel Kostanian and former Vilnius University Yiddish professor Dovid Katz; European parliamentarians Denis MacShaneJohn MannMartin SchulzGert Weisskirchen; Sensational responses from Lithuanian government officials including red-brown commission boss Ronaldas Račinskas and the prosecutor, Rimvydas Valentukevičiuswho “investigates” Holocaust survivors (none of whom were ever charged with anything or received a public apology)MEP Vytautas Landsbergis later withheld permission for inclusion of his own taped interview…


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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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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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