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Minister of Justice of the Republic of Estonia on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of all Totalitarian and authoritarian regimes

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23.08.2017. Estonia strongly condemns all crimes against humanity and the massive human rights violations committed by all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and remembers the victims of all these regimes.

On 2 April 2009 the European Parliament adopted the resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism. The resolution called for the proclamation of 23 August as “a Europe-wide Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, to be commemorated with dignity and impartiality”. Also it was noted in the resolution that “the Europe will not be united unless it is able to form a common view of its history, recognises Nazism, Stalinism and Fascist and Communist regimes as a common legacy and brings about an honest and thorough debate on their crimes in the past century”.

Estonia has historically experienced the occupations of two totalitarian regimes, both the Communist as well as the Nazi regime. Similar experience has been shared by Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and several other European countries. Whereas crushing the National Socialist regime in the Spring of 1945 meant freedom from the horrors of the Nazi terror regime for Western and Southern Europe the fate of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was different. Literally, the agreement between Stalin and Hitler dated from the 23rd of the August 1939 to leave the Baltic States to the Soviet Union, remained in force. In Estonia and other Baltic States the Communist regime continued in a form of the Soviet occupation. Only in Estonia this regime claimed tens of thousands of victims even after the end of the II World War and the crimes committed by this regime have left the traces that one can still find in Estonia also in the 21st Century. 

Therefore the conference taking place on 23 August in Tallinn has been dedicated to the investigating of the legacy of the crimes committed by the Communist regime. This has been the Estonian experience which has been shared by the other Baltic states and also by several other Eastern European countries. From the perspective of Estonia that era has ended only 26 years ago.

Within the framework of the Remembrance Day, European Ministers of Justice and representatives of associations of victims of totalitarianism as well as representatives of state and private institutions and organizations that study the crimes of totalitarian regimes and record remembrance of victims of such regimes convene in European capitals on August 23 every year. This year’s meeting takes place in Tallinn for the second time ever. [The European Day of Remembrance event was also held in Tallinn in 2015].

Updated: 08.11.2018 - 01:50