March 16 procession takes place in Rīga / Article

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The unofficial event in remembrance of members of the Latvian Legion, units of the Waffen-SS during World War II was held peacefully. There was an increased law enforcement presence, but no violations were observed. Participants laid flowers at the Freedom Monument.

A less controversial commemoration of those who fought in the Latvian Legion also takes place on March 16 at the Lestene Regimental Cemetery.

The Latvian military and defense information portal sargs.lv has published an article by Jānis Tomaševskis, head of the WWII history department of the Latvian War Museum, explaining some of the controversial aspects of the history of the Latvian Legion. The official position of the Latvian government on the events of March 16 is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

To learn more about the historical events that led to the formation of the Latvian Legion, LTV offers a short documentary film, which can be viewed below. The year is 1943 and the Nazi occupation of the country which closely followed the Society occupation of 1940. It led to the formation of the Latvian Legion as combat units of the famous Waffen-SS – whose results resonate today.

“Should we honor them or condemn them, be silent or seek excuses?” the documentary pointedly asks.

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