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Latvian president warns re-writing of history for political aims impermissible

May 08, 2014, 5:07 updated at: May 08, 2014, 6:20 UTC+3 RIGA
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RIGA, May 08.  /ITAR-TASS/. Lavtia’s President Andris Berzins has said that any attempts at rewriting history for political purposes is impermissible. He was speaking on the eve of May 8, the day Latvia officially celebrates as Defeat of Nazism and World War II Victims Remembrance Day.

“The darkest pages in the history of humanity are associated with wars that claimed tens of millions of lives, illegally redrew borders of states and purposefully exterminated whole peoples. World War II was the most terrible war of all,” Berzins said in his message.

World War II in Europe ended 69 years ago, but “witnesses’ memories of it are still fresh, and it will never disappear from historical sources,” Berzins said. The memory of those who perished in it will always be sacred and each year May 8 will be the day for observing a moment of silence in honour of those who fell victim to Nazi ideology.

“At the same time May 8 is a reminder for Europe and the whole of humanity to stay vigilant to ensure such tragedies should never be repeated again, and that criminal ideologies and regimes should no longer be able to subjugate countries and continents. At a time when armed clashes occur and people die in the Centre of Europe and when there are far more obscurities and ignorance than answers to questions reflections on World War II become particularly crucial,” Berzins said.

“Humanity must never permit a replay of such historical events,” he added.

Officially Latvia marks May 8 as Defeat of Nazism and World War II Victims Remembrance Day, and May 9, as Europe Day. A large share of the population, first and foremost, Russian speakers, who account for about 40% of the population, celebrate May 9 as Victory Day.

Each year about 200,000 gather in front of the monument to the Soviet liberator soldiers in the capital Riga to lay flowers and the congratulate war veterans.

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