16 March 2011
A Latvian court has allowed a march of ‘Waffen SS’ supporters in the country’s capital Riga. Every year on Latvian Legion Day, extremist groups stage public rallies to remember the 140,000 Latvians who fought alongside Nazi Germany in the Latvian Legion against the Soviet Union. Riga City Council reportedly tried to ban Daugavas Vanagi, a nationalist organization, from leading the march to the Freedom Monument in the city center. However, the ban was overturned by the Riga Administrative court.
The event's organizers claim that they are remembering those who died in the war because they were coerced to wear the ‘Waffen SS’ uniform, while critics say the rally glorifies Nazism. Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said Legionnaires Day was just an excuse used by extremists to stage confrontations.
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