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Friday 23.03.2018 | Name days: Mirdza, Žanete, Žanna

Europe commemorates victims of Nazism and Stalinism

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUNine years ago, MEP Inese Vaidere and four of her foreign colleagues accomplished that the European Parliament officially approved and issued a written declaration on declaring 23 August the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of European Stalinism and Nazism.

It is also noted that it was an important step for all of Europe to condemn not only the crimes committed by Nazism and Fascism, but also Stalinism, as well as commemorate victims of both regimes.

In its declaration, the European Parliament official condemns both totalitarian regimes and invited all EU member states to declare 23 August, the day of signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, as the day of commemoration of victims of Nazism and Stalinism.

MEP Inese Vaidere: «Without shared understanding of history, it is not possible to form Europe’s future, which is based on united values and agreement on events of the past. I believe it is very important for us to commemorate those events across all of Europe, because most of European member states had suffered much from both regimes. Only crimes committed by Nazis were condemned after the war, whereas crimes committed by the Soviet regime remained unspoken.»

She continues: ‘Without a doubt, Russia does not like this, because until now no one judged the victors, even though their crimes just as clear. In 2010, after the declaration’s approval, a letter was compiled and sent to parliaments around the European Union following my initiative, inviting them to declare 23 August as a day of commemoration of victims of Nazism and Stalinism. We cannot afford to forget the damage that was caused to Europe by World War II. We cannot afford to forget about the 20 million people who suffered from Stalinism regime in the Soviet Union and its satellite states. To create a stable and value-based future, we have to accept the past, no matter what it may be.’

It is mentioned in the statement that for the European Parliament to accept the declaration, signatures from 50% of MEPs were necessary. It was no easy task, but authors of the declaration – Inese Vaidere, Christopher Beazley, Marianne Mikko, Zita Gurma and Alexander Alvaro – managed to gather support.

Vaidere says: ‘We put a lot of effort into gathering the necessary number of signatures and realize our initiative. But it was important for all of Europe to look at the section of history Eastern European members states went through with a similar look and condemn the crimes committed during the Soviet, especially Stalinism, era.’

She continues: ‘It is one of the factors that could guarantee such events do not repeat in the future. We have to understand, and history proves this, that borders and sovereignty of independent countries has never been an obstacle for Russia’s imperialistic plans. This is why I believe the priority for Latvia, Baltic States and European Union should be strengthening borders.’


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