On 13 October, President of Latvia Egils Levits, who is on a working visit in the Kingdom of Sweden, attended the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.
‘World War II was the most devastating tragedy Europe has ever experienced. Unfortunately, we have failed to grasp the whole magnitude of the events that took place in the 20th century. Holocaust deniers, xenophobia, racism and antisemitism are not the thing of the past. There are even attempts to rewrite the World War II. We must prevent attempts to rewrite the history in a hybrid warfare aimed at manipulating public opinion,’ President Levits said in his conference address.
‘Latvia has consistently condemned all totalitarian ideologies, crime against humanity and war crimes committed during the World War II. As a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), we are fully committed to the goals of Stockholm Declaration and IHRA Ministerial Declaration adopted in 2020: promote public awareness about Holocaust and show zero tolerance towards all forms of antisemitism, racism and discrimination,’ President Levits noted.
Egils Levits also presented Latvia’s achievements in raising people’s awareness: ‘In the last 20 years there have been several fundamental research projects and publications about the atrocities committed on the Latvian soil by totalitarian powers. These projects have improved common understanding of numerous historical events, which were previously subject to distorted and curated accounts produced by both the Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.’
‘Holocaust is one of the topics included in our standard school history course. Holocaust is usually taught as European and world history theme, but it is also discussed during cultural history classes, social science research, lessons about civic and political processes. There are test and exam questions about the Holocaust. Holocaust is also one of the topics taught at the primary education level,’ President of Latvia said.