A sign outside a nursery school in Latvia advertised that the establishment is “Jew-free,” a local paper and Jewish news sites are reporting.
The sign “Judenfrei” in German was seen posted on the outside gate of the Pucite (“Owlet”) preschool in Riga. The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism noted on its website that the school is owned by an ultranationalist lawmaker, Imants Paradnieks. (Photos of the anti-Semitic sign can be seen on its website at this link.)
The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism further reported that the lawmaker and preschool owner Paradnieks on Tuesday was asked via Twitter if the sign was real or “a provocation.” According to the account, while he did not reply directly to the question, he wrote, “The Kremlin is full of jackals.”
“This is a grenade,” said the man in the Latvian Legion uniform as preschool children and their mothers watched in a 2012 presentation at the Pucite school. The Latvian Legion fought alongside troops Nazi during World War II (Image source: YouTube)
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported that the school says on its website that its educational program is rooted in “the Latvian national culture, Latvian wisdom and view of the world — where all children learn through play and hands-on experiences.”
In March, some 1,500 Latvians held a commemoration for World War II veterans who fought alongside the Nazis. Latvia was occupied by Germany in 1941, and later the Latvian Legion was formed numbering some 90,000 to fight in support of the Nazi troops.
In 2012, Russia’s RT television showed video of two men visiting the same Pucite preschool wearing Latvia’s SS Legion uniforms and passing their pistols around to the 3-year-olds. Here is that video:
Latvia’s Jewish population numbered about 95,000 before the Holocaust, 90 percent of whom were killed by the Nazis and their Latvian helpers according to the Associated Press. In 1991, the country regained independence with the dissolution of the Soviet Union.