Vike-Freiberga says history-explaining campaign successful

  • 2005-06-23
RIGA - President Vaira Vike-Freiberga told Parliament on Wednesday that the country's efforts to explain Latvia's history have made Europe's perception of Baltic history broader and deeper.

The president thanked MPs for supporting her decision to attend the May 9 celebrations in Moscow on the anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II and use this and other occasions to explain to the world leaders that for Latvia and other Baltic states the end of the war meant not only victory over Nazis but the beginning of Soviet occupation.

"For decades Europe has been reluctant to look at the World War II history straight and from different perspectives. Now, through wide discussions and endless interviews, it has been achieved that people in other countries listened in also to voices of the countries which had spent decades behind the Iron Curtain and were not heard," said the Latvian president.

"We have achieved objective assessment of past events that so far have been neglected, we have induced Europe to think about lessons from Europe's history in a more penetrating, broader and balanced manner. We have received confirmations of understanding about the occupation period we had to endure in the past and sincere support to our further efforts to develop democracy," said Vike-Freiberga.