Kaljulaid: 'We need to remember our past today more than ever' ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

A candle to remember the holocaust in the president's office.
A candle to remember the holocaust in the president's office. Source: Mattias Tammet/ Office of the President

President Kersti Kaljulaid said on Holocaust Memorial Day all attempts at Holocaust denial or justification of crimes committed against humanity must be resisted and the past must be remembered.

In a statement released on Monday, the president quoted the words of a young Jewish girl written in a letter who was sent to Klooga concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Estonia.

Kaljulaid said: "It is our duty to resist all attempts at Holocaust denial or justification of any crime committed against humanity, including genocides. We must talk about these atrocities even to schoolchildren and explain what caused such appalling events in the history of the human race. This is a measure of our humanity and a guarantee that those crimes will never be repeated."

Kaljulaid did not attend the holocaust memorial ceremony in Isreal last week and neither did Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).

Population Minister Riina Solman (Isamaa) will attend the ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on Monday.

The following is the president's full statement:

"Maybe someone will survive this — I wish you a happy life. We are to die. I am sure that one day people will find out where our grave lies. My father and mother are standing here beside me – and beside themselves with fear for me, their daughter. My hand is shaking as I write this on the verge of death. I am proud to be Jewish."

"These are the words of a young girl from the Klooga concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Estonia. Her farewell letter was found among the personal belongings of the murdered. We do not know who that girl was, but we know the terrible fate that befell her and her family. The terrible fate of all Holocaust victims in those cruel killing factories where your only fault was your nationality.

"The Klooga concentration camp was one of the first places in Europe where the horrors of the Holocaust became documented in the autumn of 1944. It is difficult to find fitting words while being in such places that are filled with death, humiliation, pain and inhumanity, because you can sense the horrors there even today. Yet we should never lapse into silence and forget about crimes committed against humanity. These crimes are derived from malevolence fuelled by inhuman ideologies. If we allow oblivion, lies and half-truths to gain a foothold in our life again, it might foster new evil intentions and new horrors.

"Therefore, it is our duty to resist all attempts at Holocaust denial or justification of any crime committed against humanity, including genocides.We must talk about these atrocities even to schoolchildren and explain what caused such appalling events in the history of the human race. This is a measure of our humanity and a guarantee that those crimes will never be repeated.

"We need to remember our past today much more than ever. So that our comprehension and our remembrance serve to prevent trust in belligerent, totalitarian or tyrannical forces.

"So that it will never again be too late and we will not have to regret our perilous inaction.

"So that no child, mother or father will have to fear an inhuman regime and write their farewell letter in a killing factory.

"We will remember the Holocaust victims forever." 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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