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Saturday 21.07.2018 | Name days: Meldra, Meldris, Melisa
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Latvia commemorates the victims of the Second World War

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Author: Renāte Briede/LETAOn Wednesday, May 7, the victory over Nazism is celebrated in many parts of Latvia. Commemorative events to honour the victims of the Second World War and those who died fighting also took place on this day in Latvia.

Wreaths were placed in memory of victims of both sides of the front – Lestene Fraternal Cemetery, where soldiers of the Latvian Legion lie, and at the Fraternal Cemetery monument in Dobele, where the fallen soldiers of the Soviet Union lie.

Continuing last year’s tradition, participants of those events and all who cherish the memory gathered at the Riga Fraternal Cemetery for a moment of silence near the eternal fire.

According to Latvian Radio, this year’s response to the commemorative moment of silence was larger than last year – there were more veterans and generally more people gathered. Politicians and diplomats were present, as were veterans from both sides. Ambassador of Russia to Latvia Aleksands Veshnyakov was present as well.

There were very few young people at the event. Politologist Ivars Ijabs noted the following about this tendency – the new generation is mostly much more radical about such topics than veterans. According to him, the veterans’ bilateral search for dialogue could give a positive addition to the situation. Even though the veterans have their fair share of conflicting opinions, they are not too steep, admits the politologist. “They are mostly people who have fought in actual war. They know what war is. They have carried the burden on their shoulders. They do not want the same to repeat, because they understand that it was a massive tragedy for all sides involved. The new generation, on the other hand, is much more radical in their beliefs than veterans”, – Ijabs believes.

He believes a dialogue between veterans would greatly benefit the situation.

He also notes that public resonance and confrontations stem from politics. “Up until the end of the ’90s. May 9 and March 16 were relatively peaceful commemorative events. After the end of the ’90s, For Human Rights in United Latvia party joined May 9. A number of ministers and Saeima officials joined the March 16 event. This was caught up and successfully used by the Russian media sector, for which the “resurrection of Nazism” in the Baltics was actual at the time. This problem is now so large, it is unlikely that something will change in the near future”, – Ijabs notes.

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  1. JPR says:

    Expose the myths!

    Certain groups manipulate history for their own benefit.

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