ADL: Planned March In Estonia Insults Memory of Forced Labor Camp Victims

New York, NY, July 21, 2010 … Saying it would "trample on the memory" of World War II labor and concentration camp victims, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned a march, planned for July 31 in Vaivara, Estonia, to honor an Estonian division of the Nazi SS that fought in a 1944 battle against Soviet troops.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, issued the following statement: 

Opposing Soviet repression is one thing, but celebrating the Nazi SS is quite another. Unfortunately, in the past we have seen Estonian officials participate in such events, rather than oppose them.  

Vaivara should evoke mourning and reflection, not celebration. Twenty thousand Jews from across the Baltics were imprisoned in the Vaivara camps, as were other victims and prisoners of war. Every two weeks the Jews who were too sick or frail to work were murdered. Those who march will trample on their memory. 

A telling choice once again lies before Estonian officials. They, along with responsible members of Estonian civil society, should unequivocally condemn the planned march in Vaivara.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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