SS soldier for children in Riga

riga-child-slide-ss-soldierRiga, the capital of Latvia, has got a new piece of contemporary “art”. There is now a children’s slide in the form of a soldier of the Waffen-SS Grenadier Division in the heart of the Old Town.

The element of the playground near St. Peter’s Cathedral is made of wood and painted pink. Despite the fact that there is no distinctive sculpture the characteristic military shapes of the helmet and weapon identify the figure quite well as an SS soldier holding an assault rifle Stg.44 or MR-44.

During World War II, Latvia has formed two Grenadier Divisions of SS. One of them, 15 Waffen-division (1st Latvian), fought in 1943 in the northern sector of the Eastern Front and in the spring of 1945 receded in Germany. Another one, 19 Waffen-division (2nd Latvian), took part in the fighting in the Pskov region and existed from 1944 to 1945.