Egils Levits
Valsts prezidenta Egila Levita uzruna piemiņas pasākumā par godu ievērojamā Latvijas valsts un sabiedriskā darbinieka Miķeļa Valtera pārapbedīšanai Latvijā

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

We have gathered here today to honour a statesman Miķelis Valters and his contribution to the Latvian nation and the state. He stood at the cradle of the Latvian State and has now forever returned to his beloved homeland, the modern-day democratic Latvia.


How did his unique personality develop and why did Miķelis Valters play such a crucial role in founding and development of our country?

Hailing from a humble working-class background of Liepāja, he became a brilliantly educated and cerebral man, a Latvian intellectual who fit right into Western European culture. He encouraged his fellow countryman to follow Western political and cultural trends, serving as a beacon of national political and cultural development and evolution.


He was convinced that in democracy everyone must take part in political processes as a way of developing one's own social skills and strengthening of both individual and national self-esteem. Miķelis Valters Expected everyone to be loyal to their country and remained absolutely devoted to Latvia until his last breath, giving all he had to it.


All Miķelis Valters professional life as publicist and public figure, lawyer, politician and diplomat was centred around the idea and vision of a thriving Latvian State he was so keen to achieve.

In other words, he remained a true statesman throughout peace and good times, as well as turmoil and despair.


During the New Current Miķelis Valters was a socialist, but he later became a figure that fought for national and social justice in Latvia. He drew a lot of his inspiration from his strong conviction that ideas can truly ‘breathe life’ into things.

His ideas had the breadth of a thinker and a poet, and they were always centred around Latvian nation and its right to self-determination, right to own state.

He demanded the establishment of Latvian State already in 1903, and thus was the first who publicly voiced and formulated the national aspirations of the Latvian nation.

Back then, greater autonomy from the Tzarist Russia was the only achievable objective any Latvian dared to dream of, while Miķelis Valters was brave enough to think broader and demanded independence for his people and exit of Latvia from the Russian Empire.

This has been and will always remain his biggest achievement that will go down in the history as the pivotal moment.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Despite living a very colourful life full of various twists and turns, Miķelis Valters managed to achieve really a lot.

He started the movement of political nationalism in Latvia. It was a movement propagating emancipation and parity for the Latvian nation among European nations. His own words are actually self-evident: ‘You cannot have cultural nationalism without a political one, as well.’

He was an avid supporter and contributor to the founding of the Latvian State, the first minister for interior of the Provisional Government of the sovereign Latvia. He took part in the drafting of the Latvian constitution and was among the founders of the University of Latvia. Later in his life he did an excellent job for the diplomatic service and during his exile, despite all the limitations, never ceased to work on behalf of Latvia and its people.

Well educated, full of energy and determination, he always showed passion for leadership and public speaking. He was fully aware of his intellectual capabilities and never shied away from using them.


Creativity was a part and parcel of his personality. Miķelis Valters used it and applied it as a thinker who had acquired state law degree from University of Zurich and outstanding publicist, author of numerous books and articles, expert of history of culture and essayist, poet and writer who published his works under the name Andrejs Paparde.

This artistic and creative side of Miķelis Valters, his deep affection for literature, art and philosophy, and his exploits in these areas, had shaped and left a profound impact on his beliefs, enriching him and giving the necessary magnitude and depth to his political desire to see a sovereign Latvia.


His larger-than-life personality both made him rise above others and also made his interactions with others more difficult.

However, history is mostly made or changed by strong personalities. And the life and times of Miķelis Valters is yet another proof of this. It is also a reminder to all of us living in the time of unification and standardization dominated by medians, or the statistical average, of how important strong personalities can be in provoking social change.


Dear ladies and gentlemen,

As you all know, dreams or visions, and by that I mean the shape of our ideas or objectives as we see them, carried a great meaning for Miķelis Valters. ‘Dreams are the biggest gift we hold. The world was created and Latvia rose because of a dream,’ Miķelis Valters once said.

Even his autobiography published after his death in 1969, in Stockholm, was titled by Miķelis Valters ‘Memories and dreams’.


I would like to conclude by sharing some thoughts on his contribution to national mindset of Latvians. His vision of the Latvian nation built on both  culture and political system, which is by the way unique to Latvia, since we are one of the few nations that have shared culture and political sentiments, survived through times and found its continuity in the preamble of the constitution adopted in 2014 and establishing the foundations of our state.

I would also like to add that the personality of Miķelis Valters is twice as dear to me because he was not only a Latvian political thinker but also an honorary long-time member of my student fraternity Fraternitas Lataviensis.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Today we are helping Miķelis Valters to make one of these last dreams come true. He can now rest in eternal peace in Latvia.

And it is now up to us to make sure that his intellectually and political legacy continues to live in our national democracy and minds of the people through historic evidence and memory policy based on careful studies and meaningful application of his thoughts.

Thank you!

23.09.2020. Valsts prezidents Egils Levits Rīgas pilī rīko piemiņas pasākumu par godu ievērojamā Latvijas valsts un sabiedriskā darbinieka Miķeļa Valtera pārapbedīšanai Latvijā