Latvian village holds meeting in memory of victims of Nazism

Audrini, a village located outside the Latvian town of Rezekne, near the border with Russia, saw a massed mourning meeting in memory of victims of Nazism on Saturday.

On January 2 and 4, 1942, the fascists and their local collaborators shot all the 200 Audrini residents dead for helping partisans and wounded Red Army soldiers. The Nazis burnt the village down to the ground.

The Audrini tragedy is no less atrocious crime than many others perpetrated by Nazis during WWII. The Latvian authorities, however, do not seem to remember about it.

The meeting was arranged by the locals along with the For Human Rights in a United Latvia leftist party.

The villagers also protested against the Lettish authorities' plan to install a powerful three-dimensional radar TSP-117 in Audrini to monitor airspace of Latvia, as well as western Russia and Belarus.

Residents of Latvia's Rezekne district collected 20,000 signatures late last year in a letter requesting the republican president, parliament and cabinet not to install the radar on the grounds that it will ruin local residents' health and aggravate relations between Latvia and Russia.

Girts Kristovsis, Latvia's Defense Minister, however, said that the radar would be installed all the same before mid 2003, and would be part of NATO's airspace control system.

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