Finland to probe alleged Holocaust crimes by Finnish SS volunteers in Ukraine

2018/1/29 11:07:24

The Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS (GermanFinnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS) was a motorized infantry battalion of the Nazi German Waffen-SS. It was formed from Finnish volunteers and fought on the Eastern Front during World War II. For most of its existence it was attached to SS-Regiment Nordland of the SS Division Wiking. The battalion participated in the Battle of the Caucasus in mid-1942 and the subsequent Third Battle of Kharkov in early 1943, after the German defeat during the Battle of Stalingrad in late 1942 forced the Germans to evacuate the Caucasus. It was disbanded in mid-1943 as the two-year commitment of the volunteers had expired and the Finnish Government was unwilling to allow more men to volunteer. [ex Wikipedia] 

By TAMARA ZIEVE for the Times of Jerusalem, Jan 28, 2018


The Wiesenthal Center welcomed a decision by the Finnish government to investigate the participation of Finnish volunteers in Holocaust crimes, in the wake of new research on their service in Ukraine in 1941.


In a press release published Thursday the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, praised the prompt decision of Finnish President Sauli Niinistö to fund an independent research survey of the operations of the Finnish SS volunteers.


Zuroff appealed to Niinistö in a letter sent on January 4, to probe the findings of Dr. Andre Swanström, chairman of the Finnish Society of Church History, whose research, published in October, strongly suggests that Finnish volunteers who served in the Viking Division of the Waffen-SS were actively involved in the mass murder of Jews in Ukraine.


Some 1,400 Finnish citizens served in the Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen SS between 1941 and 1943.


In a second letter sent to Niinistö on Thursday, Zuroff wrote: "Thank you very much for your letter and the positive decision by President Niinisttö to 'fund a further independent survey of the operations of the Finnish Volunteers Battalion of the Waffen-SS and particularly examine its operations in Ukraine. In addition, we particularly welcome your mention of the need for a legal response as well 'should any criminal activities be uncovered…'


"Finland can be proud of the willingness of its leaders to honestly investigate sensitive issues regarding the difficult years of World War II,” he continued. “The determination to do so is a reflection of integrity and requires a degree of courage, neither of which are particularly common these days in many other societies."


[…] ... unteers-in-Ukraine-540014

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