RIGA - Today, Latvian President Egils Levits privately visited the Freedom Monument to lay the flowers in memory of communist oppression against Latvian nation, LETA learned from the President's Chancery.
On March 25, 1949, about 42,000 residents of Latvia were deported to Siberia and some of its most remote areas.
"Soviet rule tried to get rid of those who actively resisted the regime first. In 1949, those were mostly big farmers and national partisans, their families – altogether 42,000 people. Almost every Latvian family had someone deported or subjected to other kinds of soviet persecution. Mass deportations are a part of the collective memory of Latvian nation. These memories place a political and social obligation on all of us. An obligation to remember that today we live in free and independent Latvia. There are no threats. We are building our state ourselves and we help our state overcome various difficulties and even hardship like the one we are experiencing right now. But still, it is us. We make our own decisions," stressed Levits.
President of Latvia pointed out that this is the remembrance day that all of us should remember because history has its light and dark patches: "We are honoring the memory of Latvian who suffered from political repressions here today. All those whom we know personally and those who are no longer with us. We condemn the communist genocide against the Latvian nation.’"
After paying his tribute at the Freedom Monument, President Levits called the President of Latvian Association of Victims of Political Repressions Ivars Kalkis to send his remembrance day regards to all victims of political repressions. Kalkis thanked President Levits for remembering this remembrance day and honoring the memory of all victims of repression on state level. President Levits wished the Latvian Association of Victims of Political Repressions and everyone affected by repressions to keep their spirits up despite the current crisis.