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Many MPs from Latvian National Alliance to participate in March 16 events

BC, Riga, 02.03.2016.Print version

A large portion of MPs from All for Latvia!-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK (VL-TB/LNNK) intend on participating in Legionnaire Remembrance Day events on March 16 at the Freedom Monument and at the Lestene Cemetery, the co-chairman of VL-TB/LNNK Gaidis Berzins told LETA.


Berzins said that after his scheduled Saeima committee meeting on the day, he too will participate in the events.


The politician said that there will be no coordinated participation of National Alliance politicians at March 16 events, and that they all can decide themselves whether or not to participate.


He also said that Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) has not set any guidelines on how he expects his government ministers to act on the day.


The various pro and anti March 16 events have been scheduled on the day in and around Old Town and the Freedom Monument, with the traditional procession from procession from Dome Square to the Freedom Monument to be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


As reported, the March 16 Latvian Legion Day is the day of remembrance of Latvian Legionnaires. Latvian Legion Day was established in exile by the Daugavas Vanagi association. March 16 was chosen as the most appropriate date because on March 16, 1944 both divisions of the Latvian Legion fought alongside for the first time against the Red Army. It was the only battle in World War II led solely by Latvian commanders.


Many Latvians, who were forcibly called up to join the Latvian SS Legion, saw the German army as a lesser of two evils. For many of these soldiers, the choice to join the Latvian SS Legion was a result of the brutal Soviet occupation between 1940 and 1941, during which tens of thousands of Latvians were executed or deported to Siberia. Many soldiers naively believed that, if they helped Germany win the war, Latvia might be rewarded with independence or autonomy.

Latvian Legion Day is an unofficial holiday.

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