Estonia and Latvia Double Down With Public Praise of the Waffen SS
LATVIAN DEFENSE MINISTER, Artis Pabriks, said veterans, his compatriots who fought in the Waffen-SS, were “heroes” and memories of their sacrifice must be cherished. “It is our duty to honor these Latvian patriots from all the depths of our souls.”
He then called the Latvian legionnaires freedom fighters for their anti-Soviet alignment – “heroes” and “the pride of the Latvian nation and state.”
“Standing next to our legionnaires’ graves and memorials, we are all overwhelmed with power and confidence that our country has a future, that we are on the right path,” the minister proclaimed.
The legionnaires comprised two grenadier divisions within the Waffen-SS that fought alongside regular troops during the war and became famous for their bravery. Germans began recruiting and drafting Latvians to fight against the Soviets shortly after invading and occupying Latvia in 1941, which was part of the USSR at the time. The Latvian soldiers were trained and led by German officers. When joining the legion, each soldier pledged personal loyalty to Adolf Hitler.
Former legionnaires and their supporters stage annual marches in downtown Riga. Their cause is supported by many local right-wing politicians, historians, writers and media figures.
Estonia also plans to bring back a monument to their Waffen SS soldiers. The stela with a bronze bas-relief depicts an Estonian Volunteer, and a tablet reading: “To Estonian men who fought in 1940-1945 against Bolshevism and for the restoration of Estonian independence.” It caused a lot of controversy after being erected at the cemetery in the town of Lihula in August 2004. However, this June, a local MP Henn Polluaas for the Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) in the Laaneranna Parish Council suggested that it was high time to restore the SS monument. “It’s a very good undertaking because it’s a memorial to Estonian men.”
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Source: American National Socialist