Waffen SS veterans hold official memorial march in Latvian capital Riga
The event, which is held annually, never fails to stir controversy, causing outrage both in Latvia and abroad, as many consider it a glorification of Nazism.
The authorities in Riga banned the parade earlier this month because of security concerns.
Latvia, Riga: Protestors shout as former veterans of the Latvian Legion, a force that was part of the Nazi German Waffen SS, walk with relatives to the Monument of Freedom as part of an annual commemoration on March 16, 2009 in Riga (AFP Photo / Ilmars Znotins)
Regardless, on Monday, a Riga court lifted the ban, saying there was no threat to security in the city, although anti-fascist groups are holding a counter-demonstration.
From 1998 to 2000, the 16th of March has been an official remembrance day in the country to pay tribute to the Latvian Legion.
The Legion was created in 1943 on the order of Adolf Hitler.
The danger of such events as the march of the SS legionaries in Riga is in making neo-Nazism or racism something that is acceptable, warned Glyn Ford, a former member of the European parliament from the British Labour Party.
Latvia is not alone in its glorification of Nazi collaborators as a way of criticizing the Soviet era, but “one could be critical of the Soviet era without actually getting into bed with neo-Nazis.”