06.06. 2011 Commemorating 70 years from the first mass deportations from the Baltic States: "Your past is our past". Tunne Kelam MEP

At the opening of the plenary session, the Members of the European Parliament commemorated 70 years from the first mass deportations from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, conducted by the Soviet Union.

In his statement, the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek stressed that we need to remember many thousands of victims in the Baltic States which had been occupied since 1940 by the Soviet Union. 


"Full knowledge of these massive crimes against humanity should become an integral part of the common European history because only in this way can United Europe send a message of "Never Again" to tens of thousands of victims and their descendants," said Tunne Kelam speaking on behalf of the EPP Group.

 

"Thousands of victims of the 1941 and the following massive political repressions had to live for decades with the feeling that justice will never prevail",  said Kelam

"Whereas European public awareness of these crimes is still inadequate, the remembrance of 70 years from the first mass deportations from the Baltic states is an opportunity and incentive for a deepened understanding that "your past is our past" and vice versa.  The full knowledge of 1941 deportations should become an integral part of our common European history, " Tunne Kelam MEP concluded.

 

About 50.000 Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian nationals were deported to Siberia on June 14th, 1941, by the Soviet Union.  In Tunne Kelam's words, proportionally this would mean 432.000 citizens deported from the UK, or 363.000 persons deported from France.

The European Commission in its 2010 report stresses that "the memory of the horrors of the past must be a shared endeavour for all in the European Union".