Latvian court allows pro-Nazi march in capital

"Legionnaires' Day" commemorates those who fought in the Waffen-SS in World War II; Riga court overturns municipal ban.

March 16, 2011 11:42
Nazi uniform with swastika armband.

swastika armband. (photo credit: courtesy)

A court in Riga, Latvia allowed for a commemoration of Waffen-SS troops to occur on Wednesday, DPA reported.

Wednesday is "Legionnaires' Day," in which hundreds take to the streets to remember the 140,000 Latvians who fought with the Nazis in World War II.

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The Riga city council reportedly tried to ban Daugavas Vanagi, a nationalist organization, from leading a march to the Freedom Monument in the city's center. The ban was overturned by the Riga Administrative court.

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DPA reported that the event's defenders claim that they are remembering those who died in the war because they were coerced to wear the Waffen-SS uniform, while critics say it glorifies Nazism.

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis reportedly said that Legionnaires Day was just an excuse used by extremists for confrontations.

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