Baltics mark 70th genocide memorial

  • 2011-06-14
  • TBT Staff

TALLINN -- The three Baltic states this week mark the Soviet Communist Genocide Victims' Memorial Day, which is in commemoration of those who were deported to Siberia on June 14, 1941.

''We come here every year on June 14 to commemorate those who were deported and were killed by the Soviet regime. The memory of these people is holy to us. This is the reason why families must continue to tell their stories to next generations of what took place,'' Latvian president Valdis Zatlers said.

In a joint statement from Estonian leadership, including the president, parliamentary speaker and the prime minister, the leaders said the WWII deportations were "monstrous act that qualifies as a crime against humanity" and characterized it as the "intent by a foreign power to scatter our people, destroying our best sons and daughters." 

“There isn’t a lot know about the crimes during the totalitarian regimes in Europe, so it is very important to nourish the memories and make sure those communistic crimes that were committed are evaluated and not forgotten. This is necessary in order to prevent any new totalitarian manifestations. It is great that these Soviet and Nazi crimes that caused so much pain to our country will be better understood and acknowledged. At the same time, a path for further discussion about the overall legal value of these crimes will open up,” said Lithuanian Justice Minister Remigijus Simasius at a meeting of European Union Justice and Home Affairs Council.