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  Saturday, October 19, 2019
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Estonian World War II veterans who fought for Nazi Germany against
Estonian World War II veterans who fought for Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union will gather for a reunion on Saturday, for the anniversary of a major battle.

Estonian veterans of the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS meet annually in the Baltic seaside town of Sinimae, in the Vaivara region, where an estimated 200,000 people were killed on both sides in the summer of 1944.

Regular reunions of former Nazi collaborators in Estonia and neighboring Latvia have sparked repeated protests from Russia.

The veterans will lay wreaths at commemorative stones and plaques to Estonian, Danish, Dutch and Norwegian SS units, and visit a historical museum and the battle site, the event's organizing committee said.

During World War II, some 80,000 Estonians sided with the German forces, and over 30,000 Estonians fought on the Russian side.

Reunions to glorify so-called fighters against the Soviet occupation have become an established tradition in Estonia in recent years. As many as 800 people gathered at Sinimae last year, including Austrian and Norwegian nationals.

In March this year, over 200 Latvian Waffen SS veterans held a march in Riga.

The Russian leadership has repeatedly called the EU's attention to Estonia and Latvia's attempts to glorify Nazi Germany, and to their discriminatory policies relating to ethnic Russians who moved to the republics after their annexation by the Soviet Union following the war.


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