Around 1,000 people marched in Riga on March 16 in honour of the Latvian SS divisions which fought for the Nazis in the Second World War. The Canadian government has added its voice to those condemning an annual parade in Latvia’s capital honouring members of the Nazi SS, saying it opposes any such event glorifying Adolf Hitler’s regime. Around 1,000 people marched in the parade in Riga on March 16 in honour of the Latvian SS divisions which fought for the Nazis in the Second World War. Some in the parade wore swastikas and other Nazi insignias. The parade has been controversial for decades. The United Nations, European Parliament and various politicians have raised concerns about the event, and Jewish groups have called on Latvia to put a halt to the gathering. Amy Mills, a spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada, said the Canadian government seeks to promote tolerance and respect for human rights. “Canada is strongly opposed to the glorification of Nazism and all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, intolerance and extremism,” Mills said. ”That is why we condemn the parade to commemorate the Latvian SS Brigade held in Latvia on March 16th.” “We do not tolerate antisemitism of any form, at any time, or in any place and are deeply concerned about new and resurgent forms of antisemitism and discrimination worldwide, rooted in a misguided belief that diversity is a threat,” she added. The Canadian Forces has 540 soldiers in Latvia and leads a NATO battlegroup there. They have been in Latvia since mid-2017 and the Liberal government says they will remain there until 2023. Mills said Canada’s close relationship with the country includes discussions on the development of an “inclusive Latvia.” “Every country must come to grips with difficult periods in its past,” she added. Hitler ordered the creation of the Latvian SS divisions in 1943, with the initial core of the force made up of members of Latvian units such as the Arajs Kommando, which participated in the murder of 26,000 Jews. Other Latvians were conscripted to join the force.
via times journal: Canada condemns annual Latvian parade that honours Nazi SS unit