Latvian Legion Day Date in the current year: March 16, 2016

Latvian Legion Day Latvian Legion Day, also referred to as Remembrance Day of the Latvian Legionnaires, is a controversial commemoration day observed in Latvia on March 16.

Latvian Legion Day honors the soldiers of the Latvian Legion, a formation of the Waffen-SS during WWII. It commemorates the anniversary of the first battle of the legion against the Soviet Army which took place on March 16, 1944.

This observance was declared an official remembrance day in 1998. On the occasion, solemn processions and wreath-laying ceremonies were held. However, two years later the Latvian government decided to abolish it as an official commemoration due to the objections of the European Union.

The matter is that the Legion was part of the Nazi squadron, so Latvian Legion Day may be considered a Nazi honoring. However, supporters of the observance claim that the Legion had nothing to do with Nazi war crimes, it only fought against the Soviet occupation of Latvia.

Latvian nationalist organizations still observe Latvian Legion Day unofficially and organize memorial services, processions, and wreath-laying ceremonies on the day. Antifascist organizations, on the other hand, hold demonstrations against the observance.

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Anniversaries and Memorial Days, Unofficial Holidays




Latvian Legion Day, Remembrance Day of the Latvian Legionnaires, holidays in Latvia, unofficial observance