Police in Tampere are investigating an incident in the city involving a small group of neo-Nazis who burned an Israeli flag and denounced the Holocaust as a myth.
The Sunday protest took place outside Tampere railway station when several activists from the ‘Towards Freedom’ group – essentially a re-branded version of the banned Nordic Resistance Movement – read out a prepared statement about the Holocaust.
On their website, the group says there is “no conclusive evidence to support the allegation of genocide” and claim that “no body of a Jew killed by poison gas has been found.” The group also says that German doctors gave life-saving medical treatment to many Jewish people during the war and that eyewitness accounts of the Nazi death camp massacres are “propaganda.”
After reading their statement, one member of the group set fire to an Israeli flag.
News Now Finland has requested a comment from Tampere Police about the incident.
Meanwhile in Turku on Monday, the exterior walls of the city’s synagogue were daubed with red paint. Jewish community leaders say they’re reporting the matter to local police.
Finnish PM and President mark Holocaust Memorial Day
President Sauli Niinistö is attending a memorial event in Auschwitz on Monday, to mark 75 years since the Nazi-run concentration camp was liberated at the end of World War II.
Heads of state and government from more than 20 countries will also be attending the International Holocaust Memorial Day in Poland, along with around 200 concentration camp survivors.
The site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp is now a Holocaust museum.
During his visit, President Niinistö will also hold a bilateral meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) says that today’s official commemorations “remind us of one of the most brutal and shocking periods in human history.”
“We need to know our history and its developments to ensure that such an atrocity never happens again” the PM said in a statement.
“Each generation must be a stronger defender of humanity than the one before it.”
You can follow a live broadcast of the Auschwitz memorial event from 16:30 Finnish time at this link.
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