World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Latvia Opens SS Veterans Cemetery

The opening ceremony was very solemn

The ceremony to open the common cemetery of Latvian legionaries - Nazi SS veterans - is taking place in Latvia today. The solemn ceremony started at midday, local time, it was broadcast on the national television and radio. Former legionaries, their relatives and followers are to take part in the ceremony together with a lot of Latvian politicians and leaders of Latvia's largest religious confessions.

Three military orchestras of the Latvian Defense Ministry will be playing at the ceremony. "The whole Latvia will see that an old sanctuary has appeared in the country," chairman of the National Warriors Association Nikolay Romanovskis said.

It is very hard to be unbiased about the current events in Latvia. Nevertheless, today's opening of the cemetery is not the first example to show the Baltic republic's attitude to WWII. Of course, one may recollect that SS divisions had not been formed only in Latvia. Nazis attracted the French, the Dutch, the Croatians. The motto was common for all - to defend Europe from the bolshevik danger. However, the attitude to SS members was the same for all countries after the war was over - people despised them. Monuments or memorials in honor of SS members have never been opened or unveiled in any country of West Europe. However, it became a very pompous ceremony in Latvia. At times, SS veterans organize demonstrations in Germany, although the German government has always tried to stand aloof from marching elderly men, who were lucky to avoid a Soviet, an English, a French or an American bullet. In addition, the German police had to take a lot of efforts not to let antifascists beat SS veterans on such demonstrations.

It is impossible to justify the things which take place in Latvia today. In Latvia, SS veterans are referred to as the military men, who defended their fatherland from the Soviet invasion. That is why one has to honor and respect them. Such a reference is meant for people, whose minds have been fogged with chauvinism, or for silly people, who study history on Latvian text books.

Latvia has recently held the referendum devoted to the country's membership in the EU. The majority of Latvians supported the idea - they already imagine themselves the "residents of the joint European space." One may only congratulate Brussels: the European Union will have the country that praises Nazis' "deeds."