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Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center today protested statements made recently by Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks in praise of the Latvian SS Legions which fought alongside the forces of Nazi Germany.
In a letter sent today to Latvian Ambassador Ms. Elita Gavele, the Center expressed its shock and indignation in response to the praise heaped by Minister Pabriks upon his countrymen who joined forces with those of the Third Reich, describing those men as "the pride of the Latvian people and state."
According to Zuroff:
"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."
For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal @EZuroff for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).