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Last Updated: Friday, 20 August, 2004, 23:07 GMT 00:07 UK
Estonia unveils Nazi war monument
German troops in 1939
Nazi forces spread across Europe during World War II
An Estonian town has unveiled a controversial monument to honour those who fought with Nazi forces against the Soviet Union in World War II.

The monument depicts an Estonian soldier in German military uniform.

The local authorities in the western town of Lihula said they wanted to honour those Estonians who had to choose between the two sides.

But the Estonian Prime Minister, Juhan Parts, described the monument as a provocation.

An investigation is underway into whether it could incite political hostilities.

'Less evil one'

About 2,000 people attended the unveiling ceremony on Friday.

"This monument is for people who had to choose between two evils, and they chose the less evil one," Tiit Madisson, the governor of the Lihula parish, was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

"They had already experience of the Soviet occupation, and they didn't want it to come back," he added.

A plaque on the monument reads: "To Estonian men who fought in 1940-1945 against Bolshevism and for the restoration of Estonian independence."

Correspondents say no official protest had been received from Russia, which was widely expected to condemn the monument.

Estonia removes SS monument
24 Jul 02  |  Europe
Country profile: Estonia
20 Jul 04  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Estonia
01 May 04  |  Country profiles


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