Latvian minister to be fired for supporting Waffen SS vets

An elderly Latvian takes part in a ceremony to honor soldiers who fought in a Waffen SS unit during World War II, in Riga, Latvia, on Friday

Latvia’s prime minister said she would fire a cabinet minister planning to march with local SS veterans.

Einars Cilinskis, Latvia’s minister for environment and regional development, said he would attend the March 16 rally in Riga, Reuters reported Friday.

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma’s spokesman Andis Blinds said: “Taking into account that the minister has said today he would join the march and would not resign by himself, the prime minister will later today sign an order for his dismissal.”

Now in their 80s and 90s, many of the Latvians who joined the armed wing of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party were led by the Latvian SS commander Viktor Arajs. He and his troops were responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of Jews.

Of 70,000 Jews who lived in Lithuania during German occupation, only 200 survived the Holocaust, according to the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem.

In the Baltic nations, many people today admire Nazi collaborators because they fought for independence against the Russians, who occupied the Baltic nations until the 1990s…

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