Swastika-looking snowflakes pop up at Latvian Christmas market
In another controversial case of Latvia’s relationship to Nazi symbolism, a large ornament eerily similar to a swastika appeared in Riga’s Christmas Market, provoking critical reactions.
The scene filmed Monday at Esplanade Park showed several runes, possibly intended to represent snowflakes. But one does stop to wonder what the designer was thinking, when about 80 percent finished, he noticed one of his creations resembled the symbol associated with Nazism in the 20th century.
Some media accounts reported confusion and disappointment from passersby.
RUPTLY talked to some tourists at the scene. One said: “With some children coming around to play, I don’t think this is going to be good.”
The capital’s mayor, Nils Usakovs, will not consider removing the symbol from the fir tree market lawn, according to the video agency who talked to a source in the city hall.
The situation harks back to the time when a swastika was mowed out on the lawn of the official residence of Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis. Back then, the story was explained by the fact that the lawnmower was taking care of some patches of grass going yellow in the sun, and decided to cut out the pagan symbol which, in Latvia, symbolizes things like happiness and vitality.
In 2013, the Latvian hockey team Dinamo Riga featured swastikas while performing a traditional dance ahead of a match with Russian team, sparking outrage among hockey fans.