Sat 16 Mar 2013

Latvian Legion Day

Latvian Legion Day

The Latvian Legion Day is an annual day to commemorate the front soldiers of the Latvian Legion.

A memorial service is held in the Riga Cathedral, after which flowers are laid at the Freedom Monument. Traditionally, participants will travel to the Legionnaire's cemetery in Lestene afterwards.

The Latvian Legion Day became an official remembrance day in Latvia in 1998 and has since been controversial in the country, as the Latvian Legion was part of the Waffen SS.

Some Latvians therefore view the day as a Nazi festivity. Others argue that the Legion was a military unit fighting against the Soviet Union, which had occupied Latvia in 1994, and that the Legion cannot be held responsible for Nazi war crimes.

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