Minister at Molotov-Ribbentrop pact ceremony: Today's evil has many faces

Maris Lauri (right of photo) with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas at Monday's ceremony marking the 82nd anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.
Maris Lauri (right of photo) with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas at Monday's ceremony marking the 82nd anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Source: Aron Urb

While the evils of the twentieth century had two clear faces, those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, the modern world equivalents bring almost too many candidates to mention, justice minister Maris Lauri (Reform) says.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 82nd anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact Monday and reported by ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK), Maris Lauri said that: "Evil has many faces, but evil is always unleashed by a specific person. And evil is always universal."

Lauri linked the signing of the pact, whose secret protocols divided much of Central and Eastern Europe into two spheres of influence, between the Nazi German regime and the Soviet Union, to the present day international picture, in particular in Belarus and Afghanistan, which she referenced, AK reports.

"The evils of the 20th century bore the faces of Hitler and Stalin. What is the face of the evils of this century? Unfortunately, there are already too many candidates. Too many and all over the world. We must not ignore evil, as in doing so we would shoulder the blame too, and be responsible for spreading it," Lauri went on in her speech, made a the Memorial to the Victims of Estonian Communism, in Tallinn.

Ministry of Defense Permanent Secretary Kusti Salm, and Estonian Defense Forces chief Lt. Gen. Martin Herem laid wreaths at the officers' memorial, adjacent to the victims of communism memorial.

Estonia fell under the Soviet sphere of influence as outlined in the secret protocols of the pact, signed by Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop, the foreign ministers of the Nazi and Soviet regimes respectively, on August 23 1939.

Estonia was subsequently occupied by the Soviet Union a year later, then by Nazi Germany from summer 1941, with the Soviets returning in autumn 1944, this time to stay for nearly half-a-century more.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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