RIGA, Latvia (JTA) — Police arrested a man for displaying a poster of soldiers killing Jews at the annual march by local veterans of two SS divisions that made up the Latvian Legion during World War II.
The man was arrested Friday morning on the margins of the annual march of the Remembrance Day of the Latvian Legionnaires — soldiers from the 15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS and the 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (the 1st and 2nd Latvian, respectively.) A handful of veterans flanked by hundreds of supporters waving Latvian flags gathered around Freedom Monument for the march under heavy police guard.
The march in Latvia, a member of the NATO alliance and the European Union, is currently the only public event in Europe and beyond honoring people who fought under the SS banner. Occurring amid rising tensions with Russia, it is part of numerous expressions across Eastern Europe of admiration for people, including Holocaust perpetrators, who collaborated with Germany against the Soviet Union.
Several protesters from the Latvia without Fascism group demonstrated against the event by carrying signs reading “They fought for Hitler” and “if they looked as Nazi, and act with Nazi – they were Nazi.” None of those protesters were arrested.
Hundreds Join Nazi War Veterans In Latvia March