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Levitt urges to keep the past in mind while creating a shared future in memory of Holocaust victims.

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David Kagans (from right), chairman of the board of the Riga Jewish religious community, Arkadijs Suharenko, chairman of the Latvian Council of Jewish Communities and Communities, President of Saeima Ināra Mūrniece and President Egils Levits, at the memorial dedicated to the Jewish people’s day of remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust and at the memorial to the Holocaust victims in Gogolia attended the release ceremony. PHOTO: Paula Churkste/LETA

President Egils Levits, while commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, emphasized that the past should be kept in mind while creating our common future.

He pointed out that the Second World War was a global tragedy that affected Latvian territory and brought tragedy and suffering to the Latvian people.

According to the president, July 4 marks the beginning of the tragedy, followed by mass killings in the forests of Biķernieki and Rumbula and elsewhere in Latvia.

Levits pointed out that the events of this day are symbolic, because the first victims died in the burned synagogue – a place of worship that for thousands of years has united the Jewish people in common faith and hope for a better future.

The country’s first person stressed that the German occupation regime and its accomplices committed crimes against humanity in Latvia. As a result of this crime, the Latvian Jewish community, an integral part of Latvian society, was destroyed.

“Latvia has consistently condemned the crimes committed by the occupying power and its comrades. We must not forget the selfless Latvians who saved their Jewish compatriots,” Levits said.

The President pointed out that their names are immortalized with those of Žan Lipke on the monument next to the synagogue ruins. Thanks to the work of the historian Marħers Vestermanis, it is known that about 700 Jewish saviors have been identified in Latvia.

“Today we express our deepest condolences to the Latvian Jewish community. It is impossible to express in any number or words what the Latvian state and society lost with the destruction of a large part of the Jewish community,” Levits said. said.

He stated that the 20th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration, in which the forum members, including Latvia, acknowledged that genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia still exist in the world, was celebrated recently. According to the chairman, the forum members agreed that the international community is responsible for the fight against these evils.

“Despite all the efforts of the international community, we continue to witness Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, conflicts and violence in the near and far regions, attempts to rewrite the history of the Second World War. Therefore, I categorically condemn the absurd. Claims by the Russian authorities that the Ukrainian leadership is comparable to the Nazi regime. “The lie belittles the meaning of the Holocaust and insults the memory of Holocaust victims,” ​​stressed Levitt.

The President stressed that it is now important not to allow the distortion and instrumentalization of the history of the Second World War and the Holocaust to try to justify an international crime committed today, unacceptable aggression against another country and denial of another country. nation’s right to exist.

“The world should learn from what happened. Holocaust education, commemoration and research is an important mission for us. It is our moral and political commitment to future generations,” said Levitt.

TVNET wrote that on July 4, 1941, three days after Nazi German troops entered Riga, the local auxiliary police unit of the German Security Police and the Security Service led by Viktor Arajas burned the church. people are there.

On the same day, other Jewish synagogues were burned – at least 400 people were sacrificed. With these events, the Holocaust began in Latvia – the mass extermination of the Jews. In 1990, the Supreme Council of Latvia decided to designate July 4 as the day of remembrance of the Holocaust of the Jewish people.

Before the war, 93,000 Jews lived in Latvia. During the Nazi occupation of 1941-1945, more than 70,000 local Jews and around 20,000 Jews deported from other European countries were killed.

During the Soviet period, the ruins of the Great Synagogue were destroyed and a square was built in its place. Excavations were carried out here in the late 1980s, and in 1993, with the support of the Latvian government, Jewish organizations and private individuals, a monument was created – the symbolic walls of the synagogue with original decor elements found during the excavations.

In 2007, next to the ruins of the synagogue, a monument was unveiled in honor of the hundreds of saviors who risked their lives to protect Jews from destruction during the Nazi occupation.

Source: Tv Net

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