The European Parliament held a remembrance ceremony yesterday in honor of the victims of the mass deportations carried out in the Baltic countries by the Soviet regime on June 14, 1941.
Officials held a one-minute moment of silence and laid flowers at a memorial. As is tradition, the event took place next to a memorial plaque, placed on a wall in the European Parliament's guest entrance hall, that was presented to the European Parliament by a Baltic delegation seven years ago.
Speeches were given by European Parliament vice presidents Jacek Protasiewicz of Poland and László Surján of Hungary. The event was held by MEPs Tunne Kelam, Vytautas Landsbergis, Sandra Kalniete, the last of whom was born in Siberia to a deported family.
On June 14, 1941, the Soviet Union deported 50,000 people from the Baltics, including women and children, to work camps predominantly in Siberia and Kazakhstan, where many died due to austere living conditions. The other large-scale deportation in Estonia took place in March 1949.