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Latvian SS decorated

Article about: thanks all for replying, good to get different opinions. ill be sure tonread and watch the above suggested. thanks caleb

  1. #1

    Default Latvian SS decorated

    What do you make of this? I personally believe that those who died in war should be honoured as they died for something they truly believed what they were doing was right however I say this with certain limits, being that I don't think the SS should be openly celebrated like described in the following link, I know most of them didn't know what was happening however as time has passed we have learnt what they have done and because of that I don't think it should celebrated, it's be good to get some other perspectives.

    Thanks for your time,
    Caleb

    Why does Latvia still honour the Waffen-SS?

  2. #2

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    Personally I believe people who fought on either side of any war should be honored in some way. It doesn't matter if they Nazi supporters or part of the SS or any opposing threat.

  3. #3

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    The situation in Latvia (and the other Baltic States for that matter) is different to that say in Germany.

    A basic history lesson will tell you that the Baltic States were independant until invaded by the Soviets in 1940. The arrival of invading German troops in 1941 and the later raising of national units under the Waffen SS saw many volunteer. The re occupation by the Soviets in 1944/45 and the fact these republics did not gain true independence again for another 40 odd years puts things into a different light. These men are now viewed in some quarters, be it rightly or wrongly, as fighting as a "liberating" national army. Be under no illusion that many will have committed war crimes. Should a Nazi Victory have occured they would have found out that the Independence they sought would not have been forthcoming.

    At the end of the day, Nuremburg decided the SS was a criminal organisation.

    All fallen deserve to be remembered. But we must remember for the right reasons.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  4. #4

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    i never even thought about it like that ade, thats an imoortant perspective for sure, however i still believe that the links and tie of the SS should be kept out of public eyes in areas where the extermination and persicution of jews is still raw, how ever i do believe it is a good sign that they and we are able to move on but not foget what has happened.

    thanks,
    caleb

  5. #5
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    These type of articles have been circulating for years in fact everytime there is the Annual parades by Latvian and Estonian veterans of the respective Waffen SS Units these articles appear , it's nothing new.

    As Ade has pointed out quite rightly the situation in the Baltic States and their history during the 20th Century is a very complicated one and still is in the present day.

    For many of the Latvian and Estonian population these guys were freedom fighters for their respective countries and this was the motivation of many of them especially once they were actually fighting for their homeland and the populations of both countries feel that they should be able to commemorate their veterans , even though many of them subsequently fought with the Waffen SS . The veterans are commemmorting their fallen comrades not National Socilaism or it's policies.

    The downside of these meetings is that invariably they attract modern day Far right groups because they were SS Units despite the different motivations of the original veterans and volunteers.

    A very complex issue in the Baltic States and will be for many years i fear !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  6. #6

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    As far as I remember more than half of the Latvian and Estonian SS men were consripted. So for many it wasnt really a choice.

    Cheers, Mads

  7. #7
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    If anyone would like to understand the situation in all 3 Baltic states pre, during and post war then i recommend the book by Prit Buttar " Between Giants "
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for the tip Paul.

    I do remember this Latvian produced documentary as quite interesting (its with English subs):

    Latvian Legion - YouTube

    Cheers, Mads

  9. #9

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    Quote by Paul E View Post
    If anyone would like to understand the situation in all 3 Baltic states pre, during and post war then i recommend the book by Prit Buttar " Between Giants "
    Should make for some good reading. Am sure many were conscripted as member states above. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place to say the least.

  10. #10
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    As has already been said, many of the soldiers of the Waffen SS raised from the Baltic countries were conscripts. I feel it should also be remembered that for Himmler and the SS leadership these men weren't actually members of the SS and were inadmissible to the SS on racial grounds. Hence the use of specific national insignia instead of the sig runes and the prefix of 'Waffen' rather than 'SS' before rank designations. One gets the impression that the Balts and all the other eastern peoples that came into the SS in the closing years of the war were viewed as a necessary evil and merely exploited as a source of man-power. A linked point was that at certain point in the war (late 1943?) all foreign units were transferred to the SS as a general administrative measure. A final element that illustrates the distinction between the Baltic units and the rest of the Waffen SS is that, after the war, the American immigration authorities excepted former members of the Baltic units from the blanket ban imposed on the entry of ex-SS men and Nazi party members. I'm recalling all this from memory - if anyone has any corrections please add them.

    Regards,

    Philip

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