Thursday, July 8, 2010

Random News Generator- Latvia

We land in Latvia today, which, if you'll recall, was a part of the Soviet Union. You will also recall that the Soviets fought against the Germans in World War 2.

Which made it, to say the least, a poor decision to attempt to hold a parade last week commemorating the 1941 arrival of the Nazis in Riga. Commemorate. As in, weren't those the good old days.

Only about 20 revelers ahowed up, mostly the elderly, and four were arrested by police, as the person who petitioned for the parade was not present and it was therefore illegal under Latvian law. (It is probably not a coincidence that said organizer had been brought in for questioning at the time of the parade, making it impossible for him to attend.)

So why in the world would someone celebrate this? Luckily, someone thought to ask.

Despite the official halting of the event, some individuals did continue the walk to the nearby Freedom Monument individually. Sixty-eight-year-old Lotte Laurina from Riga placed a German flag on the monument.

When asked why she had done so, she replied that the Nazi occupation of Latvia had been "one hundred times better" than the Soviet occupations that preceded and succeeded it.

Other stories on the event elicit similar responses from other paradegoers: they're not saying the Nazis were rainbows and puppies, but the Soviets were worse, and in fact had incorporated Latvia into the Soviet Union not long prior.

One really should not have to point out that just because Option A is better than Option B, that doesn't make Option A any good- anyone who's ever voted in a democratic election will attest to that- but apparently it needs saying.

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