President of the Republic of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga met with the Chairman of the European Jewish Congress Board of Governors, the President of the World Holocaust Forum, Moshe Kantor.
During the meeting was stressed the importance to teach the lessons of Holocaust in order to prevent such tragedies in the future. “Latvia is determined to remember the crimes against humanity committed by the totalitarian regimes on the Latvian soil during the 20 th century,” – said Mrs. Vike-Freiberga. According to the Latvian President, this would hardly be imaginable without the long-lasting support of the International Task Force on the Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, European Jewish Congress and other Jewish organizations. “ I would like to thank you for supporting our aspiration and express Latvia’s strong interest in working together with the World Holocaust Forum Foundation in the future,” – said Mrs. Vike-Freiberga.
The World Holocaust Forum Foundation was established in 2005 following the First International Holocaust Forum held in Krakow (Poland) in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau. This international organization is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and its important lessons for all of humanity.
One of the major functions of the Foundation is the organization and administration of International Holocaust Forums on a continuing basis. The forums call for the direct participation of World Leaders in the examination and the advancement of Holocaust awareness and commemoration, and eradication of manifestations of anti-Semitism and xenophobia throughout the world. Dissemination of Holocaust education throughout various European nations and teaching the Holocaust lessons to young people is one of the major goals of our time. The problems of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racial intolerance are not only problems of the Jewish nation, but of all world nations.
During the meeting a question of conducting the Second International Holocaust Forum in 2006 in Ukraine was discussed. Humanity knows very well about the end of the Holocaust, the liberation of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau, but, unfortunately, not many of us know about the date and place, where it started: the mass murders in Babyn Yar in Kiev in September 1941.
The Latvian President highly praised the active involvement of the Jewish community in the life of Latvia and of the entire EU.
During his visit to Latvia, Mr. Kantor had several meetings with the leadership of the Latvian Jewish community. Discussions were focused on the problems of modern life of the Latvian Jewish community and near-term plans for the development of cultural and historical legacy. The cultural projects suggested by Mr. Moshe Kantor, as well as his activity on organization of the World Holocaust Forums aroused a lot of understanding and support.