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Latvian security police ask to cancel musical based on life of member of Waffen-SS Legion

March 03, 2015, 20:34 UTC+3 RIGA
The musical scheduled to run on March 17 coincides with Day of commemoration of servicemen, who belonged to the Latvian Waffen-SS Legion, annually commemorated in Latvia on March 16
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© AP Photo/Raimonds Birkenfields

RIGA, 3 March. /TASS/. Latvian security police have asked either to postpone or cancel altogether a musical based on a life-story of a member of the Latvian Waffen-SS Legion, Herbert Cukurs.

The musical scheduled to run on March 17 coincides with Day of commemoration of servicemen, who belonged to the Latvian Waffen-SS Legion, annually commemorated in Latvia on March 16. During WWII Herbert Cukurs was involved in Nazi operations to liquidate the Jewish population of the Baltic republic.

Juris Millers — the author and producer of the musical, has confirmed that security police had contacted him, asking why he was planning "a provocative act", intending to run the musical on March 17. "My reply was that if I had really meant a provocation I would have appointed the show for March 16. I do not think that a show may influence a political process," the producer was quoted as saying by local media outlets, which cited Latvian television.

Meanwhile, the tickets for the show, which will run at "Riga" concert hall, are available despite unofficial information circulated by Latvian television that the date of the show might be changed.

Herbert Cukurs belonged to "Airas" Team of the Waffen-SS Legion who during Nazi occupation exterminated the Jewish population. Cukurs, held responsible as a Nazi accomplice in the extermination of 25,000 Jews, was liquidated by agents of the Mossad Israeli intelligence service.

A libretto of the musical, first presented in the Latvian city of Liepaja last October, says that it is an amusing life story of a Latvian pilot who performed a legendary flight to Gambia in 1934 on board a plane he had assembled himself.

Local anti-fascist organizations and human rights organizations for protection of the rights of ethnic Jews, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics and the foreign ministry of Israel condemned the show.

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