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A monument, first in Europe, to three police battalions, the punitive units of the Waffen SS Latvian Legion, which has been taking part in mass killings of civilians has been unveiled in Latvia: “Historical memory” Foundation’s statement.

According to the newspaper “Vesti Sogodnya”, in the central part of the Latvian city of Bauska, the monument to 23rd, 319th and 322nd police battalions created by Nazi has been unveiled last Friday. It is the monument the first in Europe to the members of punitive expeditions. The ceremony was marked with the presence of deputies from the City Council and members of government ultra-nationalist party “All for Latvia” (“Visu Latvijai!”).

"Historical memory” Foundation emphasize that, according to archives, including German trophy documents, two of above-mentioned battalions were taking part in punitive expeditions and Nazi genocide on the territories of Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine.

Thus, for example, the 23rd police battalion created in February of 1942, participated in Nazi extermination policy in Dnepropetrovsk and Kerch area starting from May of 1942. Besides Hitlerite command involved this battalion in extermination of civilians on the border territories between Latvia, Russia and Belorussia, as well as in the region of Pytalovo-Abrebe (Pskov region nowadays). In April of 1943 the unit accepted the members of 27th Latvian police battalion, crushed in Ukraine and previously involved in punitive expeditions in Brest region, Belorussia.

The 319th police battalion took part from November of 1943 to March of 1944 in mass execution of population of Pskov region in Sebezh area. The battalion is responsible as well for the deportations of civilians, woman and children, in Latvia, in Salaspils concentration camp, where they were doomed to the death or the slavery on Latvian private farms.

“The fact that this monument was unveiled, is the logical consequences of Latvian official policy aiming to glorify the members of the Latvian Legion of the Waffen SS, - says Alexander Duykov, “Historical memory” Foundation’s director, - But here we can observe the new level of this glorification. The monument memorize the punitive units, they did commit terrible crimes against humanity very well known by historians. It’s not the case of the abstract Latvian legionnaires of Waffen SS no more, allegedly innocent of those crimes. This is the case of violation of memory of genocide victims, committed by Nazi and collaborators”.

“Historical memory” Foundation appeals to all organizations and all people who care the tragedy of Holocaust and other victims of Nazi genocide in Eastern Europe to give their view on this fact of heroization of punitive police battalions in Latvia.



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