From Nationalism to Collaborationism

From Nationalism to Collaborationism

Every year, on March 16, a march in memory of the Latvian SS Legion is held in Riga. SS veterans and their young neo-Nazi followers from Latvia and other countries participate in it. Presentation of two-volume edition of archival documents “From Nationalism to Collaborationism: Baltic during the Second World War”, held in Moscow, was timed to this horrible event.

Alexander Dyukov, director of the Historical Memory Foundation, researcher at the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said: "Baltic authorities are glorifying Nazi accomplices, heroes of this book, heroes of many other works that are telling about their crimes, with a very sad consistency."

"Criminals are welcomed in the modern Baltic States, they are glorified at the state level, they are not legally prosecuted. Crimes committed by Nazi collaborators fall under the Charter of the International Military Tribunal under the 1968 UN Convention on "Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity." Despite this, Baltic states have never legally prosecuted Nazi collaborators.

In this sense, the events of March 16 in Riga are extremely positive for us. We're looking at this march of old SS men, we're looking at collaborators, and it's obviously unpleasant, but this is a unique opportunity to recognize their faces and identify them so that they could finally be brought to justice. Russian law enforcement agencies can initiate criminal proceedings against them, since crimes committed in the occupied territory of the USSR fall under jurisdiction of Russian law enforcement authorities," historian said.

"My colleagues and I carefully reviewed footage of the last SS march on March 16 of last year and identified several people. We show results of this work in a special video clip that will be posted on the website of our foundation. These people participate in SS marches, we know who they are, we know their biographies, we know their past. And I hope Russian law enforcement agencies will be able to initiate criminal cases against these people, because crimes, even if these criminals are supported by a neighboring state, should not go unpunished.

On March 16, not only old SS men walk through the streets of Riga, but also their numerous neo-Nazi followers from Latvia and other countries: from Lithuania, from Estonia, from Ukraine. Identity of these people must be established as well. Glorification of Nazis is not a crime against humanity yet, but we can prohibit those people from entering our country on this basis," Alexander Dyukov noted.

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