[LH] No. 3, July 4 2000

15.12.2015. 16:27

LATVIA'S HISTORY: EDUCATION, REMEMBRANCE, RESEARCH

July 4, 2000 (3)


HEADLINES

  • LATVIA'S PRESIDENT: "THE HOLOCAUST IS LATVIA'S TRAGEDY"

  • LATVIA AWARDS THE STATE'S HIGHEST DECORATION, THE THREE STAR ORDER, TO RESCUERS OF JEWS

  • JULY 4th - COMMEMORATION DAY OF VICTIMS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST THE JEWISH PEOPLE

LATVIA'S PRESIDENT: "THE HOLOCAUST IS LATVIA'S TRAGEDY"

July 4th, in her statement issued on the occasion of the commemoration day of victims of genocide against the Jewish people, the Latvian President, Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga extended her deepest condolences to the Jewish people and said: "Standing on the threshold of the new century we realise with pain that the 20th century will remain in memory as the century of unprecedented terror and violence. Genocide against the Jewish people, initiated by the Nazi Germany, was the highest culmination point of evil. Mass killings during the Holocaust have caused irreversible changes in many countries, including Latvia, leaving deep scars in collective and individual memory. Latvia has lost countless thousands of members of the Jewish population. The Holocaust is the tragedy of the Jewish people. The Holocaust is Latvia's tragedy."

The President noted that the independence of Latvia has for the first time brought the opportunity to assess past events. "I have great expectations for the work of Latvia's History Commission in the field of Holocaust research," the President said in her statement. Dr. Vike-Freiberga also underlined the importance of teaching the history of Holocaust at schools.

LATVIA AWARDS THE STATE'S HIGHEST DECORATION, THE THREE STAR ORDER, TO RESCUERS OF JEWS

July 4th, the highest decoration of the Republic of Latvia, the Three Star Order, has been awarded to four residents of Latvia who sheltered Jews from the Holocaust during World War II at the risk of their own lives as well as the lives of their families. The Three Star Order was granted to Bruno Rozentals, Jadviga Arcehovska, Olga Kruzmane and Juris Berzins. President Vaira Vike-Freiberga awarded the decorations on July 4th - the day of commemoration of victims of genocide against the Jewish people.

JULY 4th - COMMEMORATION DAY OF VICTIMS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST THE JEWISH PEOPLE 

July 4th, Latvia marked the day of commemoration of victims of genocide against the Jewish people. Since the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia this date has been set as the official commemoration day. A commemoration event was held at the memorial site for victims of genocide against the Jewish people in the centre of the Latvian capital, Riga. The memorial site is located in the place where a synagogue used to stand until it was burnt down by the Nazis on July 4, 1941.

The commemoration was also attended by the Jewish community leader, Grigory Krupnikov, as well as the Adviser to the President of State on History Commission Issues, Dr. Elga Zalite. Dr. Zalite delivered a speech on behalf of the Latvian President, Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga. The President said that victims of the Holocaust should be commemorated to prevent the rebirth of evil. The participants at the ceremony were also addressed by Rabbi Nathan Barkan. Rabbi Barkan called on all to commemorate the victims of the genocide and keep them in their memory.