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International Holocaust Remembrance Day marked in Latvia

Latvian officials joined those in many other countries January 27 marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

President Egils Levits, who is of partly Jewish ancestry himself, led the way, noting the continued necessity for accurate historical research and recording of the events surrounding the Holocaust.

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs emphasised the need to resist extremist and totalitarian ideologies.

Defense Minister Artis Pabriks, whose background is as a historian, posted a picture of himself laying flowers at the Biķernieku memorial to victims of the Holocaust. 

"The Bikernieki Memorial reminds us of the thousands of Jews who died in the Holocaust in Latvia when the occupying power ruled here. Our task is to stand for independence and guarantee that such crimes against humanity will never happen again in Latvia or elsewhere," Pabriks wrote.

Latvia became a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2004.

For an overview of the Holocaust in Latvia, we recommend the virtual exhibition of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia which provides a detailed and thought-provoking explanation of what happened in those dark days including the liquidation of the Rīga ghetto and details of the Nazi camps located on Latvian soil.

We would also point you towards this short documentary on the subject from LTV, which shows all-too-clearly how Hitler's genocidal mania filtered all the way down to small-town Latvia, all but wiping out a vibrant and important section of Latvian society.

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