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Nazi Waffen SS veterans march in Riga parade

Several hundred ultranationalists, including seven veterans of Nazi Germany’s Waffen SS, march through Riga on the independence day of the Baltic nation of Latvia.

The march, which is Europe’s only annual event by Waffen SS veterans, draws a handful of counter-protesters from Latvia’s Jewish community and about 40 anti-fascist activists, including 20 Germans, Efraim Zuroff, the Israel director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, tells JTA by phone from Riga.

Veterans of the Latvian Legion, a force that was commanded by the German Nazi Waffen SS during WWII, and their sympathizers carry flowers as they walk to the Monument of Freedom in Riga, Latvia on March 16, 2016 to commemorate a key 1944 battle in their ultimately failed attempt to stem a Soviet advance. (AFP/ Ilmars Znotins)
Veterans of the Latvian Legion, a force that was commanded by the German Nazi Waffen SS during WWII, and their sympathizers carry flowers as they walk to the Monument of Freedom in Riga, Latvia on March 16, 2016, to commemorate a key 1944 battle in their ultimately failed attempt to stem a Soviet advance. (AFP/ Ilmars Znotins)

Latvian authorities detained five Germans who crossed over to the Baltic nation from Lithuania and prevented another one from boarding a plane bound for Latvia, Zuroff says. He adds that several Latvian lawmakers from the far right also participated in the march.

— JTA

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