ADL Outraged Over New Latvian Monument in Honor of Those Killed Fighting For the SS
New York, NY, October 17, 2003… A new, partially government sponsored, monument to Latvians who died fighting for the Waffen SS in World War II unveiled at a ceremony, with the participation of government officials, drew the ire of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The monument was installed in Lestene cemetery, approximately 45 miles west of Riga.
"The memorial insults the memories of the victims of Nazi atrocities and brings shame on Latvians today", said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and author of Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism. "More than 90 percent of Latvia's Jewish population was murdered as part of Hitler's deliberate and systematic campaign to annihilate the Jewish people. In far too many cases, ordinary Latvians facilitated the Nazi effort and then went on to fight for the Waffen SS."
ADL has communicated with the Government of Latvia a number of times about the need to speak out against such commemorative activities and respectfully urges the Latvian leadership to address this most recent memorial and to ensure that all generations of Latvians are aware of the history of the World War II.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.