Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis, currently on an official visit to Israel, has expressed compassion for the Jewish victims of the World War II holocaust in Latvia and recognized with "deep regret" that some Latvians were involved in those crimes. Condemning those crimes, Ulmanis mentioned that "there were also Latvians who saved Jewish lives" during the war. The President paid tribute to Jewish inputs into Latvia’s culture before the holocaust.
Shortly before his visit to Israel, Ulmanis had met with and awarded distinctions to a group of Latvians who had sheltered Jews during the war. The government of Israel and Jewish organizations have been urging Latvia for some time to track down and prosecute Latvians involved in holocaust crimes. Israeli President Ezer Weizman and other officials have reaffirmed this desideratum during Ulmanis’ visit. (BNS, international agencies, February 23-24)
Belarus Convicts Popular Front Youths.