Does the glorification of Latvian Waffen SS Legion mean the glorification of Nazism?

Apr 2011
6,626
Sarmatia
#31
There are two divisions. The older one, destroyed in the Brody-pocket and the later formed out of ukrainian Police units. Both were heavily inflicted in the partisan warfare and participated in several massacres. I have no doubt, that a lot just wanted to defeat communism, but were is the difference to german SS-men?
Some of them joined later Polish army in the west, most of them were Polish citisens and later were saved after Polish goverment asked western allies to not sent them to Soviet Union and even asked the pope for support.
One of its commanders was also a Polish officer of Ukrainian nationality:

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlo_Shandruk]Pavlo Shandruk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]


In 1936 he joined the Polish Army, after which he obtained further training in the Wyższa Szkoła Wojenna (Military High School). Upon the completion of his training he accepted a commission and was promoted to the rank of major in the Polish Army.

As a colonel he fought in the Polish Army in September 1939. On September 23 colonel Shandruk rescued the 19th Polish brigade from annihilation in a trap. After the war he received the Virtuti Militari cross from Władysław Anders for this action. After capitulation, Shandruk, as Polish officer, was captured and sent to a German POW Camp, from where he was later released due to his injuries. After falling ill, he was arrested by the Gestapo but set free before the Germans attacked the Soviet Union.

From 1940 till 1944 he worked as a cinema manager in Skierniewice. During this time he was employing and giving shelter to Polish friends, hunted by Gestapo.
 
Jan 2013
5,835
Canberra, Australia
#32
After the Soviet occupation and annexation of Lithuania, a large part of the Lithuanian Army was incorporated into the Red Army as the 29th Territorial Corps.

On 23 June 1941, almost the entire 29th Territorial Corps, an estimated 6,500 officers and men out of 7-8 thousand, mutinied and attacked the Red Army units retreating from Lithuania.

Subsequently those men formed the core of the Lithuanian auxiliary police battalions formed under German command. In 1943 the police battalions were incorporated into the Waffen-SS.

The Red Army later formed a Lithuanian unit that fought against the Germans. However, it consisted almost entirely of Jewish refugees from Lithuania, with very few ethnic Lithuanians among its personnel.
 

funakison

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,381
Between a rock and a hard place
#33
To conclude, I have to say that Eastern Front in WWII was something so horrific that none of us can ever hope to understand it fully. All I can see is various shades of grey, each one slightly darker than the other, plus of course pitch black fighting almost pitch black.

Lithuanians had, by the time of Barbarossa, been occupied by their Soviet liberators for a year or so. It is fair to say that many of them were not particularly enamoured of that situation - hence the willingness (not only of the Latvians, but of many, many, Eastern Europeans) to join with the Germans in their war against the Russians.

Yes those who volunteered were (at the very least) fools - but they were fighting against the devil they knew very well (the USSR) in league with a devil they hadn't yet come to know.
You have raised many excellent points that needed airing. In the Baltic states the Germans were initially treated as liberators in the wake of the Soviet occupation, a view point that lasted but a few months. Almost from the start the situation on the eastern front descended into barbarism with captured POW's on both sides being found hanged, neck shot and garotted.
The NKVD and the SS were portrayed as highly trained and politically motivated shock troops despised by their opponents to the extent that capture meant almost certain death. Such insane fear and loathing can only serve to inflame ever grater hatred and barbarism.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,912
Crows nest
#35
While it is about Estonia and not Latvia, the issues are the same, and this Estonian film "1944" specifically deals with Estonian men who fought either for the Germans or Soviets, and some did both. Overall the film is more favorable to those who fought for the Germans, but it does not force the issue and is a good film, and anybody not aware of these issues will watch and come away with a better understanding, I think.

 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,487
San Antonio, Tx
#36
"For many, Nazis are the bumbling, comic figures of "Hogans Heroes," outwitted by clever American POWs. Or George Lincoln Rockwell, the nutty head of the American Nazi party, who was himself Jewish.

There's little of what we see in Paris, where plaques on school buildings commemorate the deaths of deported French children. Or Riga, where remnants of the Nazi regime are on parade.

What should we do? What can we do?
" (from the startopic article - writes an American)

For starters stop supporting SS lovers in Ukraine
I went to a lecture given by Rockwell when I was at university in the early 60s.. He was an invited speaker. He was a rather slight person. He spoke not too badly, but I couldn’t agree with much of anything he said. Among other ludicrous things, he tried to “prove” that the Holocaust never happened. That pretty much sealed the deal for me.
 
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