Stop the 16 March marches and Latvians revising history!


Stop the 16th March marches in Riga, Latvia and Latvians revising history!


 Since 1998 on the 16th of March and every year, in the very centre of Riga, Latvia, marches have been regularly held to praise the ‘heroism’ of the former Latvian Legion, i.e.Waffen SS veterans in their combat against the allies during the Second World War. Each year these events have received tacit (and sometimes very explicit and public) support from state authorities (in 2012 from the president himself) and have been attended by deputies of the Latvian Parliament, members of the Riga City Council and officials of the Ministry of Defence.  In March 2014, for the first time ever, the Latvian government commendably banned any minister from attending the march and sacked Einars Cilinskis for insisting on participating.   Nevertheless, in Riga, on March 16, 2015, a European capital, in the heart of NATO and Latvia; a country that at the time held the presidency of the rotating council of the European Union, two politicians and the minister for justice still attended the SS march ( despite the ban) and over 2,000 people including ultra nationalists from the UK.  In 2016, under the new government the ban was lifted. German protesters were prevented from boarding a Baltic Air flight and five arrested on landing in Riga airport under section 61.  See links below for full details  It is reported that 13 members of Latvia’s parliament attended the 2016 march, ,some of whom befriended a group of Ukranian Azov Battalion nazis wearing Nazi insignia and proudly carrying blue, yellow flags with swastikas to the Monument of Freedom. No ministers attended but, as in previous years, quietly slipped away from the foreign press to the Lestene cemetery where SS soldiers are buried. However, Kaspars Gerhards, of the National Alliance and Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia, did arrange for his parliamentary secretary, Jānis Eglīts, to attend the march and accompany the notorious right-wing Estonian politician Jaak Madison there. Madison is a man who in 2015 defended, on his old blog spot, the economic aspects of the Nazi regime 

In previous years  on  March 16th in 2013 and 2012 more than 2,500 people, amongst them Latvian politicians, paid tribute to Latvians who fought on the side of Nazi Germany in Waffen SS detachments during World War II.  In 2011  the Latvian Prime Minister told local media that he did not think March 16th had ,“a special significance.”Legionnaires’ Day is used by radicals on both sides, “to confront each other” .  In 2012, the Latvian president,  President Berzins stated that it is ridiculous to see Latvian SS veterans as criminals, rather we should 'bow our heads to them'!   In the same year  those attending the march desecrated the wreath to the victims of Nazism.  In 2013 two politicians attending the march attacked protesters and a photo of Robert Ancans SS Obersturmfuehrer was honoured at the base of the monument of freedom.  In 2014 protesters from Berlin under Dr Hans Coppi VVN and Dr Efraim Zuroff from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Jerusalem protested at the march, under heavy security their voices were  virtually silenced.  In 2015 Dr Efraim Zuroff and monitored the march and their protests were heard by the world's press ( see media list at )  However, Brussels remained stubbornly silent.

On September 27 2019, Latvia's minister of defence, Dr Artis Pabriks, delivered a speech in More parish to commemorate the More battle of September 1944. He stated that "Latvian legionnaires are a pride of the Latvian nation and of the state." Moreover, this quote was chosen as the title of an article on the ministry's website in Latvian and now removed,

 It should be noted the ministry did not proclaim this on their English-language website. The Waffen SS Latvian Legion was a collaborationist unit, partly volunteer, partly conscripted.See the report in Russian at a state-owned news portal

  Mr Pabriks, a political scientist, has long been infamous for having said in 2013, "We are welcoming German boots on the ground here in Latvia ever since 1940." Later, he explained that this was meant to refer to NATO troops. See

In 2013, Pabriks represented the conservative "Unity" party. His current party, "Development"/"For!” is considered "liberal" by Latvia's standards. In response to Pabriks’ comments, Dr Efraim Zuroff of The Simon Wiesenthal Centre condemned  on October 7 2019 the Latvian defence minister's comments. "Given the fact that the Legion fought for a victory of the Third Reich, the most genocidal regime in history, and that among those serving in it were active participants in the mass murder of Latvian Jewry, as well as of German and Austrian Jews deported by the Nazis to Riga, such comments are incomprehensible, let alone deeply offensive, coming from a senior minister of a country with full membership in the European Union and NATO," said the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Efraim Zuroff in response.

In 2020 neither common sense, COVID 19 nor a Government Ban prevented some SS glorifiers from attending the annual SS glorification day.

The demographic policy adviser to the Baltic nation's prime minister was the highest-ranking official to pay tribute to the legionnaires.


16 March 2021 - no march went ahead. 
Organisers of March 16 events withdrew their applications due to the epidemiological situation.

 This petition  believes Latvia, the international community, the UK government, the European Union and NATO should condemn the Nazi event in clearer terms, as Waffen SS veterans are not seen as legitimate “heroes” in any EU member state which Latvia has been granted status since 2004.  (see  Council of Europe (§ 87)   Report on Latvia   by the ECRI calling a halt to all forms of Nazi glorification February 21, 2012:


For Further Information see:…/baltic-marchingsea…

Earlier articles and papers available online,…/List_of_Published_Articles_by_Mo…

Reports on earlier marches in Defending History.……/101575…/M.-LOWENBERG-COMPILATION-ON-W…



2021 Time To Call A Halt Message from Dr Efraim Zuroff,  16 February 2021

Chief Nazi Hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Director of the Center's Israel Office and Eastern European Affairs.


 This message is being written on February 16, a month before the date of the annual march of veterans of the Latvian S.S. in the heart of Riga. A somewhat similar march, one of neo-fascists and Lithuanian nationalist extremists, was scheduled to take place today, which is one of the country's two independence days. February 16 marks the independence achieved in 1918, which is "celebrated" by a march in Kaunas (Kovno), which was the interwar capital of Lithuania, whereas on March 11, the local neo-Nazis and sympathizers march in the current capital Vilnius (Vilna) to mark the independence achieved in 1990. Hopefully, none of these events will be taking place this year as scheduled due to Covid-19 restrictions. 
 The reason that I am mentioning the marches in Lithuania, in conjunction with the S.S. veterans march in Riga, is because all three are inspired by the same misguided extremist patriotism and sustained by the fake historical narratives created and promoted since independence by the Lithuanian and Latvian governments. They are ostensibly held to honor the brave patriots who volunteered to fight for independence against the oppressive Soviet regime, but in reality glorify anti-Semites, some of whom were active participants in the annihilation of their Jewish citizens and other Jews.
 So let's present the facts. The Latvian Legion fought in the framework of the Waffen-SS, Heinrich Himmler's army, for a victory of the Third Reich, the most genocidal regime in human history. Its defenders prefer to ignore that cardinal fact, and insist that all the men were fighting only for Latvian independence. The problem with that contention is that the Nazis had absolutely no intention of granting independence to any of the Baltic countries, regardless of whatever assistance they provided, whether it was in murdering Jews or joining the battles against the Red Army.
 A second argument is that the Legion did not participate in the murder of Jews. That is partially true, since the units were established after most Latvian Jews had already been murdered. Yet what is always omitted by the Legion's defenders, is that among the men who joined the Latvian Legion, were many mass murderers of Jews from the notorious Arajs Kommando mass murder squad and the Latvian SD, hardly individuals worthy of any honors.
 A third argument is that the men who served in the Legion paved the way for Latvian independence in 1990, but that too is of course totally baseless, since their service for the Nazis did not achieve any progress towards freedom, which was only obtained when the Soviet union crumbled. In fact, had the Nazis won World War II, the Latvians would most likely still be subjugated, but by the Germans not the Soviets. 
 All of the above are good reasons why we should be very glad that such events will not be held this year or ever after. 
 Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff is the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Director of the Center's Israel Office and Eastern European Affairs.
 Dr. Efraim Zuroff Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center – Israel office and Eastern European Affairs Coordinator, SWC Nazi war crimes research worldwide


16 March 2021 - no march went ahead. 
Organisers of March 16 events  withdrew their applications due to the epidemiological situation.


For further reading please see:
Formation of a New Historical Memory or the Whitewashing of Nazism in Latvia with photographs of the marches
by Victor Gushchin    The Baltic Centre of Historical and Socially Political Studies

No march takes place 16.03.2021 but a Flemish town erects a monument honouring the Latvian SS!

Article by Michel Bouffioux   Paris Match Belgique   published  20 May 2021


16 March 2011

16 March 2012

  • See photo of the following members of the LNNK party attending the 2012 SS march:
    Raivis Dzintars (VL-TB/LNNK), Jānis Dombrava(VL-TB/LNNK), Inara
    Mūrniece(VL-TB/LNNK), , Kārlis Kresliņš(VL-TB/LNNK),Dzintars
    Rasnačs(VL-TB/LNNK) , Inese Laizāne(VL-TB/LNNK) , Vineta Poriņa(VL-TB/LNNK),
    Dzintars Kudums (VL-TB/LNNK) and Ilmārs Latkovskis(VL-TB/LNNK) and from Riga
    city council Jānis Atis Krūmiņš.   Archbishop Jānis Vanags officiated the proceedings


16 March 2013

16 March 2014

See for photo reportage of march

accompanied by an interview with Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Israel and  MEP Richard

Howitt's  speech condemning the march read out on Salford City Radio 94.4FM  17 and 24 March 2014.


16 March 2015  the marchers were not allowed to march to a drum with a swastika on it or place photos of SS obersturmfuehrers onto the Freedom Monument .  A step in the right direction...  anti- fascists clean the square after the SS and their fans

photo reportage and video of the march

One man's journey to the heartland of fascism by Efraim Zuroff published I24 news 29 March 2015


16 March 2016

Report/ article with links regarding the march in 2016 first published in Hope Not Hate by Monica Lowenberg


Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Holocaust historian, Nazi-hunter, author, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office.
Talking to Salford City Radio, 94.4 FM regarding protesting against the Waffen SS march in Riga, Latvia, 16 March 2016 

 by  Dr Efraim Zuroff

A shocking video showing Latvian SS apologists and former  Latvian SS  feeling sorry for themselves - 


Another shocking video where  British journalist Graham Phillips asks Estonian politician Jaak Madison if he is not ashamed to be attending a fascist march and is then subsequently arrested and dumped into a policevan to the amusement of the crowd


Interview in German with Markus Tervooren the executive secretary of Berliner VVN-BdA, one of the five German protesters arrested at Riga airport,riga154.html


16 March 2017  A big thank you to all the brave protesters!· Hundreds of people came out to protest from Athens to Lisbon to Budapest to Berlin 


Protest in Berlin:
Eva Nickel, Raoul Walberg-Loge, Rede am15.3.17 Protestkundgebung vor Lett. Botschaft Berlin
Volker Beck, MdB, Rede am 15.3.2017 Protestkundgebg. lettische Botschaft Berlin
 Monika Lowenberg, London, Beitrag Protestkundgbg. lettische Botschaft Berlin

 excellent photos of the march past and present.  See how the SS are glorified with flowers and photos in their SS uniforms!

an excellent article by Scott Taylor.  Right on target.!dgs=dgslv-96431:5769731   Photos of the march 

Source: Reuters  Latvia's parliament members Dzintars, Dombrava and Snore attend the annual procession commemorating the Latvian Waffen-SS unit in Riga

In October 2014, in his capacity as Latvian foreign ministry spokesman Eihenbaums told AFP in response to Latvia hitting a  low note in its musical history, after Latvian theatres staged a musical heralding mass murderer and member of the notorious Arajs Kommando Herbert Cukurs as a hero,  ”It’s totally unacceptable to portray people like this as heroes,” But he added that while Latvia “has consistently condemned war crimes”, as a democracy it supports freedom of speech !

Interesting that free speech did not extend itself to the protesters  who at the opening night of the musical were according to Dr Efraim Zuroff , chief Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre  moved away by police. The same treatment was given to protesters at the SS fest last year, 5 German protesters were arrested on arrival at the airport and this year peaceful protesters were forced to stand in a pit behind the bridge over the  canal whilst others were arrested .  Free speech?  The Latvian government must truly think that its allies in the EU, NATO and OSCE are completely stupid however, they would be wise to remember that You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.


16 March 2018


16  March 2019


Time to call a halt… Stop the 16 March marches and the twisting of history !   By Graeme Atkinson  anti-fascist journalist and internationalist  03.03.2019   


Annually since 1998, in the centre of Riga, on 16 March, processions have been held to honour veterans of the Latvian Legion of the murderous Nazi Waffen SS for fighting the Allies in WWII.

And, through the media of Latvian government materials and state propaganda film footage, the role of the Latvian Legion is still apologised for or excused while the far-right National Alliance – which sits in the Latvian government – is again loudly demanding that the date be enshrined as an official national memorial day.

Not new: these events have received tacit (and sometimes explicit and public) support from state authorities, including, in 2012, Latvia’s president himself and have been attended by members of the Latvian Parliament, members of the Riga City Council and officials of the Latvian defence ministry.

Documentary evidence of official complicity in Latvia’s Day of National Shame is copious but astonishingly the ghastly charade of memorialising the SS in Riga, a European capital at the heart of NATO and the EU, goes on, attended by increasing numbers and attracting right-wing extremists and Hitler fans from across Europe, including the UK.

Despite the mounting international input, the rest of Europe just looks on at this unwholesome performance that lauds the members of a proven criminal organisation. It is surely time that Latvia, the UK government, the European Union, NATO and the international community showed some self-respect and pressed for a halt to it.


March 16 2019 

The Longest Running Horror Show in Europe-
For the 22nd year SS veterans and their supporters strut down an EU, NATO, OSCE capital with swastikas and SS Totenkoepfe!


Delfi.lvDPA;  HaaretzJerusaem Post;  Jüdisches Forum (video);  Times of Israel

See detail of the day at


'All those who glorify Nazis and their collaborators by marching or otherwise are inciting hatred, plain and simple'  Robert Singer- World Jewish Congress 17 March 2019

Amy Mills, a spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada, said the Canadian government seeks to promote tolerance and respect for human rights. “Canada is strongly opposed to the glorification of Nazism and all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, intolerance and extremism,” Mills said. ”That is why we condemn the parade  to commemorate the Latvian SS Brigade held in Latvia on March 16th.”       20 March 2019  with photos courtesy of  Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism (JFDA)/JDFA video on YouTube)
We must challenge those who distort historical records on governments, military units or organizations that fought with, supported or sympathized with the Nazis during World War II. This includes government leaders who acquiesce in, or fail to condemn, a process of Nazi glorification that amounts to Holoc.aust distortion. This cannot be tolerated.
Michael Mostyn  Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada   15 March 2019



16 February 2020

Time to call a halt… Stop the 16 March marches and the twisting of history!    

By Ruth Barnett MBE, 

Holocaust Educator and Author    

 Humanity, the one human race, is denigrated by those of its members who try to avoid responsibility by covering up, denying and trying to re-write shameful parts of their history. Nearly all, if not all countries have some shameful history. It is time for an international 'amnesty' in which this is recognised and all past shame publicly acknowledged, so that we can all go forward accepting the truth of the past in order to create a better future.   Currently the Family of Nations on Planet Earth is the most dysfunctional family of all time. We have too many leaders at all levels, who should be role models and guardians of the truth, irresponsibly putting their greed for power and wealth before the interests of their people. We need a country like Latvia that suffered and caused suffering in World War II, to lead the way by heralding the truth instead of glorifying atrocities.  

Ruth Barnett MBE, Holocaust Educator and Author of:  

Person of No NationalityJews & GypsiesWhy War?   

Love, Hate & IndifferenceEquality and Inequality  and 

What Price for Justice: a Play in Two Acts  


NOTE  In May 2004 Latvia simultaneously joined NATO and the European Union.



  • Already in a press release 16.03.1999 the Simon Wiesenthal centre in Jerusalem condemned the march of the legionaries and
    stated, ‘although these units were not involved in crimes against humanity, many of their soldiers had previously served in the Latvian security police and had actively participated in the mass murder of civilians, primarily Jews...The stubborn insistence of Latvia’s SS Legion veterans to conduct a public march to glorify their role as combatants on behalf of the Third Reich is a clear indication that many Latvians have still not internalised the lessons of WWII... not one of the numerous Latvian killers who collaborated with the Nazis has been brought to justice since Latvia obtained its independence, far too many Latvians feel free to identify with those who fought alongside the perpetrators of the Holocaust rather than with its victims’.

For full details concerning this matter go to




A Selection of YouTube Clips from 2012 march



‘I am a European like you’ , says Joel Rubinfeld…’The  days of the Third Reich are over!’



The laying of the wreath for the victims of Nazism by:

·Efraim Zuroff,  Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (Israel),

·Hermann Dvorzak, Leader of the European Social Forum (Austria),

·Monica Lowenberg, British academic and initiator of the petition 'Stop the 16 March
marches and Latvians revising history' (UK),

· Joel Rubinfeld, President of the European Jewish Parliament (Belgium),

·Joseph Koren, President of the association "Latvia without Nazism"(Latvia)

·Helmut Scholz, EP deputy (Germany),

·Tatjana Ždanoka (Tatyana Zhdanok), EP deputy (Latvia)



Two Latvian young men and two Latvian young girls desecrate the wreath to the victims of
Nazism (17 mins of footage)



Joseph Koren, President of the association "Latvia without Nazism" (Latvia) and Dr
Tatjana Ždanoka (Tatyana Zhdanok), EP deputy (Latvia) try to restore the wreath
to the victims of Nazism and remove the Latvian SS plaque that was placed in


Остановить марш ветеранов
Ваффен-СС и их сторонников 16 марта и пересмотр истории второй мировой войны в
Латвии !

С 1998 года ветераны Латышских
дивизий Ваффен-СС  каждый год, 16 марта,
маршируют в столице Латвии -  в Риге,
чтобы помянуть своих павших товарищей как героев войны. Количество участников
этих маршей с каждым годом увеличивается с тревожным постоянством и в них
участвуют представители Латвийских властей.

16 марта 2011 года в Риге,
столице государства-члена НАТО, более 2500 человек, и в том числе латвийские
политики, воздали честь латышам, боровшимся на стороне нацистской Германии в
подразделениях Ваффен-СС во время второй мировой войны.  Премьер министр Латвии сказал представителям
местных средств массовой информации, что он не думает , что 16 марта имеет
какое либо «особое значение». «День легионеров используется радикалами с обеих
сторон, для конфронтации друг с другом». 
Однако авторы этой петиции уверены, что Латвия, международное
сообщество, правительство Объединенного Королевства, Европейский Союз и НАТО
должны резко осудить это, говоря ясным языком, про-нацистское мероприятие, так
как ветераны Ваффен-СС не рассматриваются как законные «герои» ни в одной
стране Европейского Союза, куда Латвия вступила в 2004 году.

Den Nazi-Marsch in Lettland verurteilen

Seit 1998 marschieren die ehemaligen Mitglieder der lettischen SS jedes Jahr am 16. März durch die lettische Hauptstadt Riga, um an ihre gefallenen Kameraden zu erinnern und sie als Helden zu ehren. Die Anzahl der Teilnehmer dieser Aufmärsche erhöht sich mit alarmierender Stetigkeit von Jahr zu Jahr, auch nehmen die Mitglieder der lettischen Regierung daran teil.
Geben Sie ihre Stimme für diese Petition.

Am 16. März 2011 haben im Herzen der NATO, in Riga, mehr als 2,500 Leute, lettische Politiker unter ihnen, diejenigen Letten angedacht, die auf der Seite des Nazi-Deutschlands in Truppen der Waffen-SS während des Zweiten Weltkrieges gekämpft haben. Der lettische Premierminister sagte den örtlichen Massenmedien, dass er nicht denkt, dass der 16. März eine "besondere Bedeutung" hätte. "Tag des Legionärs wird von Radikalen beider Seiten benutzt, um gegeneinander Konfrontation zu betreiben".

Doch die Ausrufer der Petition sind der Meinung, dass Lettland, die internationale Gemeinschaft, die EU und die NATO diese Naziveranstaltung scharf verurteilen sollten, denn Veteranen der Waffen-SS werden in keinem Land der EU, wo Lettland seit 2004 Mitglied ist, als "Helden" verehrt.

Auf dem Photo sieht man die Mitglieder des Lettischen Parlaments Dzintars Rasnacs (dritter links), Raivis Dzintars (Mitte) und andere Teilnehmer während der Parade zum Monument der Freiheit in Riga, am 16. März 2011, um an diejenigen zu erinnern, die in zwei deutschen Waffen-SS Divisionen im zweiten Weltkrieg gekämpft haben.

Schon am 16.03.1999 hat in einer Pressemitteilung der Simon Wiesenthal Zentrum in Jerusalem den Legionärsmarsch verurteilt und folgendes verlauten lassen: "obwohl diese Einheiten nicht in Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit verwickelt waren, haben viele der Soldaten in der lettischen Geheimpolizei gedient und haben aktiv am Massenmord an Zivilisten, hauptsächlich Juden teilgenommen… Der sture Wille der lettischen Veteranen der SS-Legion einen öffentlichen Marsch durchzuführen, um ihre Rolle als Kämpfer für den Dritten Reich zu glorifizieren, ist ein klarer Hinweis, dass viele Letten bis jetzt die Lehren aus dem Zweiten Weltkrieg nicht gezogen haben… Nicht ein einziger der vielen lettischen Mörder, die mit den Nazis zusammengearbeitet haben, wurde zur Verantwortung gezogen, seit Lettland unabhängig wurde, viel zu viele Letten identifizieren sich mit denen, die mit den Urhebern des Holokausts an einer Seite kämpften, als mit den Opfern."

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