LATVIA'S HISTORY: EDUCATION, REMEMBRANCE, RESEARCH
February, 2001 (9)
- Latvian Translation of the Book on the Holocaust "Tell Ye Your Children?" Published
- Latvian President Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga to the Readers of the Book "Tell Ye Your Children..."
Latvian Translation of the Book on the Holocaust "Tell Ye Your Children?" Published
February 12, a presentation of the Latvian translation of the book "Tell Ye Your Children..." by Paul A. Levine and Stephane Bruchfeld was held in Riga. The book tells about the Holocaust in Europe between 1933 and 1945 and it has been translated and published with the support of the Government of Sweden.
The presentation was joined by President of Latvia Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Vice Prime Minister of Sweden Ms. Lena Hjelm-Wallen, Minister of Education and Science of Latvia Mr. Karlis Greiskalns, historian Dr. Paul A. Levine who is also a co-author of the book, leader of the Jewish community of Latvia Mr. Grigory Krupnikov and others.
The book "Tell Ye Your Children..." describes what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings when democratic values have been destroyed and replaced by an ideology advocating intolerance, hate and violence. The book presents facts about the Holocaust and attempts to explain how the unimaginable became reality.
In addition, with the support of the Embassy of Israel to Latvia and the Government of Sweden a revised version of a previously published translation of the book "Tell Ye Your Children?" in Russian has also been made. This version as well as the translation into Latvian includes a new chapter on the Holocaust in the territory of Latvia.
It is planned that the book "Tell Ye Your Children?" will be distributed to Latvia's schools, libraries and museums. It will promote the teaching of the Holocaust issues throughout Latvia.
The author of the foreword of the book is Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of the Republic of Latvia.
Latvian President Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga to the Readers of the Book "Tell Ye Your Children..."
On the verge of the new millennium we are acutely aware that the 20th century will be remembered as a century of hitherto unseen terror and violence. The culmination of this unprecedented evil was the total genocide initiated by Nazi Germany against the Jewish nation.
The mass murders we know as the Holocaust have forever changed the face of many countries, including Latvia, leaving deep scars in the individual and collective memory. Almost all of Europe is marked by the topography of crimes and terror. One of the most painful marks on the map of Latvia is the choral Synagogue of Riga - an architectural pearl burnt down at the beginning of the war. Also on the map are Rumbula, Bikernieki, Liepaja and many small Latvian towns. Latvia has lost countless thousands of its Jewish fellow-citizens. The Holocaust is a tragedy for the Jewish nation. It is also a tragedy for Latvia.
The independence of Latvia has for the first time given us an opportunity for the honest evaluation of our past. It is important not only to fully research the tragic events of the Holocaust, but also to make a professional evaluation of the participation of the citizens of Latvia in these crimes and try to overcome the negative consequences that an ignorance of the issue has left in the morale of the community. As the Bible says: "?the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Only an open and objective attitude towards our own history will cleanse our nation of the heritage left by totalitarian regimes and strengthen the fundamental values of democracy, ethnic and human rights.
We are fully aware that the time has come when the Holocaust is changing from a collection of memories to becoming history. If we are not successful in guiding this transformation in the right direction, we may experience a revival of the evil in the future. The book "Tell Ye Your Children..." provides valuable material for discussion in Latvian society and schools about the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian regimes in the 20th century.