Latvia / 05-07-2012
Riga – The Memorial Day for victims of the Jewish Holocaust was commemorated in Riga today. Representatives of Jewish organizations together with senior government officials gathered at 25 Gogol Street, the site at which the synagogue was razed in 1941. An extremist group of nationalists led by Uldis Freimanis was also present in order to demonstrate against "The Servants of Zionism in the Government".
Among the distinguished guests to arrive at 12:00 were the President of Latvia Andris Berzins, the Speaker of Parliament Solvita Aboltina, the Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkevich, the Chairman of the Riga Dumas Nil Ushakov and other senior Latvian officials and foreign diplomats.
The demonstrators, the majority of whom are members of the Perkonkrusts organization, had begun gathering already at 10:00. In this manner, they sought to express their protest against the transfer of lost property from the period of the Second World War to the Jewish Community. Joining forces with Freimanis at the demonstration was another extremist activist – Igor Shiskin.
Freimanis declared that the protest had been coordinated with the Riga Dumas already in February. Some of the people who had arrived to pay respect to the victims of the Holocaust openly expressed their anger at the fact that the Riga Dumas had granted authorization for the demonstration. An elderly member of the community threatened to attack them with his fists should they approach the synagogue.