WIESENTHAL CENTER HARSHLY CRITICIZES ESTONIAN EFFORTS TO EQUATE COMMUNISM AND NAZISM

July 28, 2009

WIESENTHAL CENTER HARSHLY CRITICIZES ESTONIAN EFFORTS TO EQUATE COMMUNISM AND NAZISM AND GLORIFY ESTONIAN SS LEGION AT LAUNCH IN TALLINN OF RUSSIAN-LANGUAGE EDITION OF BOOK ON ANTI-SEMITISM IN HONOR OF SIMON WIESENTHAL

Tallinn-The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a harsh criticism of recent Estonian efforts to equate Communism and Nazism and to glorify the fighters of the Estonian SS Legion which fought alongside the Nazis, at a launch here late yesterday of a new Russian language edition of Anti-Semitism, an anthology of articles published in honor of the late Smon Wiesenthal by the Russian Holocaust Center and edited by Ilya Altman, Shimon Samuels and Mark Weitzman. In a speech by Israel director Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, he noted that the prevalent tendency in Estonia to glorify those who bore arms in Waffen-SS units and to consider them as fighters for Estonian independence rather that Nazi collaborators was a distortion of World War II history. Zuroff also pointed to the recent gathering of SS veterans held this past Sunday in Estonia and which was attended by SS veterans from other Europan countries in which such events are illegal, as another example of a failure by the Estonian authorities to accurately identify the criminals and villains of World War II.

According to Zuroff:
“The consistent failure of the Estonian authorities to prosecute any local Nazi war criminals, in blatant contradiction to their enormous efforts to bring Communist criminals to justice, and the continuing glorification of Estonian SS veterans, combined with the recent campaign to equate Communism and Nazism make Estonia a leader in Holocaust distortion. As a member of both the European Union and NATO, it is incumbent upon Estonia to reassess its current policies in this regard and to restore historical accuracy to the presentation of the events of World War II. Only by facing its bloody Holocaust past will Estonia ever be able to truly overcome its record of collaboration with the Nazis and the active participation of numerous Estonians in the crimes of the Shoa both in Estonia and outside its borders.”


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