U.S. First Lady attends commemoration to victims of Nazism

  • 2005-05-07
First Lady Laura Bush and Imants Freibergs, spouse of Latvia's president, visted the memorial site in commemoration to victims of Naziism in Rumbula, where 1941 Jewish people were killed in 1941.

Mrs. Bush and Freibergs laid flowers at the memorial. In accordance with the Jewish traditions, Mrs. Bush placed a stone in the cemetery.

Margers Vestermans, historian and director of the Jewish Museum in Riga, told journalists about his experience in Rumbula, where his family was killed in 1941.

He said that today Latvia should develop a society for which all people are important for the Latvian state.

Kaspars Ruklis, press official at the United States Embassy, told the Baltic News Service that Mrs. Bush chose to visit the memorial and Latvia's Occupation Museum believing those two places reflect important phases in Latvia's history 's namely, the Holocaust and the occupation.

The memorial site in commemoration to the Nazi victims in Rumbula, an area in the outskirts of Riga, was unveiled in November 2002. The memorial was established with funds donated by Latvian, Israeli, U.S. and German citizens.