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.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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