TALLINN – Speaking at a commemoration ceremony on the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, Estonian President Alar Karis said that sad experience has taught us the importance of freedom and the democratic choices of free people.
"Totalitarian regimes cast a dark shadow over the entire world. But even today, the shadow of these regimes is holding thoughts captive in many places, attempting to justify the cruel acts of tyranny. It is our duty to resist any attempt to downplay or justify any crime against humanity. Talking about these horrors gives us hope that we will be able to prevent a recurrence of similar atrocities," Karis said at the formal unveiling of the monument put up at Liiva cemetery in November to commemorate Estonian Jews executed in Tallinn and the surrounding area.
According to Karis, this is why remembrance is important. "We must understand and remember that totalitarian and imperial temptations will never bring anything but suffering, fear and grief. We must not allow ourselves to be lulled to to sleep by the simple or seemingly 'justified' wishes they offer. Because our sad experience so far has taught us the importance of freedom and the democratic choices of free people," the head of state added.
On Thursday, the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp was commemorated with a national commemoration ceremony starting at 1 p.m. at the Liiva cemetery in Tallinn.
The Holocaust victims commemoration ceremony was addressed by President Alar Karis, Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna, the dean of the diplomatic corps and ambassador of Latvia to Estonia Raimonds Jansons, and Estonian Jewish Community Chairwoman Alla Jakobson. The prayer was given by Shmuel Kot, the chief rabbi of Estonia.
The monument put up at Liiva cemetery in November to commemorate Estonian Jews executed in Tallinn and the surrounding area was formally unveiled with Thursday's ceremony.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day has been marked in Estonia since 2003. The events related to the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp were organized by the Ministry of Education and Research together with the Estonian Jewish Community, the Estonian delegation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.