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Estonia to open Waffen SS soldiers memorials

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On July 29, in Estonian town of Sinimäe, Ida-Virumaa county, two new memorials to soldiers of the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, also known as Estonian Legion, are to be opened, Postimees reports referring to the Division veterans union. There are already several memorials in Sinimäe of German and Soviet soldiers who were killed there in 1944.

The veterans union administration head Kaljo Vest said that guests are going to honor the memory of and open memorials to the fallen Dutch and Walloons who fought with the Division at World War II. The organizers are expecting 200-300 guests from Estonia and abroad to come to Sinimäe this weekend. Pastor of the Mikhkli parish Peeter Kaldur will bless the memorials, and the district elder Vaivara Veikko Luhalaid will greet the guests. “We have sent invitations to all the parliament and government members but, unfortunately, have not got a reply,” Vest said. Following the formal ceremony, the meeting attendants will see sights of the past fighting.

Vest commented that his organization plans to unite all Sinimäe memorials in one assemblage.

In Sinimäe where in 1944 combat between the Nazi and Soviet troops lasted for seven months and where, according to varying estimates, about 200, 000 German and Soviet troops were killed, there are also a memorial of the Soviet soldiers, a memorial of Estonians soldiers who fought with the 20th Waffen SS division, and memorabilia of Waffen SS legionaries of Danish and other nationalities.

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