Latvian president defends 'Nazi' commemoration

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Latvian President Andris Berzins on Tuesday defended a controversial annual parade that honors troops from the Baltic state who fought the Soviet Union under the banner of Nazi Germany.

Speaking on the LNT television channel, Berzins said veterans of the World War II Latvian Legion, a 140,000-strong unit of Germany's Waffen SS, deserved respect not condemnation.

"They were conscripted into the fascist German Legion. They went with the ideal of defending Latvia. Latvians in the Legion were not war criminals," Berzins insisted.

He also said foreign criticism of the March 16 rally was unfair....

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