On August 20, the ceremony of opening the monument to the soldiers of 20th Estonian fascist division was conducted in village Likhula on the Day of Restoring Country’s Independence.
The district government decided to erect the monument in the village to commemorate the 13th anniversary of restoring Estonia’s independence.
About 500 participated in the ceremony, despite the fact that the local police prohibited the event.
"This is the monument to Estonians who chose the smallest out of the two evils – German and Russian one, and put on German military uniform to fight for free Estonia", said Kheino Kert, Deputy Chairman of the Union of Fighters for Freedom of Estonia – the organization of the veterans fighting on the side of the fascist Germany.
The flags of Estonian military units which fought for the Hitler’s Germany, were brought to the monument. The participants of the ceremony put flowers and wreaths and planted oak trees, Interfax reported.
The monument was erected in Likhula cemetery, next to the monument to the Soviet soldiers who died in the World War II.
There is an Estonian man in German cask and military uniform on the monument, along with an inscription, “To the Estonian soldiers who fought against Bolshevism for the sake of restoring Estonia’s independence in 1940-1945".
In 2002 the monument was erected in city Pyarnu, but 9 days later it was dismantled by the decision of the city government. At that time, there was an inscription on the monument, “To all Estonian soldiers who died in the II Liberating War for their Motherland and Free Europe in 1940-1945".
On August 12 the Estonian Prime Minister said that "Nazism has been denounced as crime, and erecting the monument to the soldier in German military uniform casts a shadow to the state of Estonia and its people. He called erecting the monument “provocation”.
The major Russian-speaking United People’s party of Estonia is also opposing to erecting the monument to fascists and posing Nazis as heroes.
Estonian police started investigation on erecting the monument, according to the local Criminal Code article on initiating national hostility.