RIGA - Today, Latvian President Egils Levits laid flowers at the Freedom Monument in memory of the victims of Communism, LETA was informed by the Presidential Chancellery.
‘History and collective memory are the essential elements of every nation. Today, we pay tribute to those tens of thousands of people who were ejected from their life, overnight. Removed from their home here in Latvia and forced out to Siberia where many of them died,'' Levits said in a statement.
''Today, as our Constitution says, we commemorate the victims of foreign powers. This day is one of the elements of the modern understanding of the world for us, the Latvians. Here, we also pay particular attention to how the world treats these painful atrocities that we have experienced. To me, this is probably on of the most tragic, and also most significant, pages in the history of our nation. Events burnt in our memory that we will never forget. Those lives were not lost in vain. And it is the duty of those living in modern Latvia to honor and remember the victims,'' the Latvian president emphasized.
On March 25th Latvia honors victims of 1949 Soviet deportations. On this day 72 years ago, 44,000 Latvians were removed from their homes and sent into exile. This became the most brutal episode in a series of deportations, with many Latvians condemned to exile in Siberia and other remote corners of the Soviet Union.