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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: commemoration of the victims of Stalinism is crucial


While on his visit to Russia and making a stop at the historical and civil rights society Memorial in Moscow, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said Estonia considers researching the recollections and memorabilia of victims of Stalinism to be of great significance. “What has been cannot be undone, but the memories of all the victims must be preserved,” he remarked.

The Memorial society has collected a great amount of the recollections of victims – including letters, diaries and tape-recorded conversations. “Preserving this heritage is very important in respect to understanding what has occurred,” Paet said. “The close cooperative work of historians is very important in the study of the Stalinist era. Most of the information concerning oppressed Estonians is in Russia,” he added.

Paet stated that it is very important to allow researchers freedom to work at investigating the most difficult moments of history.

The foreign minister became acquainted with the museum’s repository and met with the head of the society’s governing board Arseni Roginski, who was a member of the Max Jakobson Commission and has made great contributions to the investigation of mass repressions in Estonia.

The Memorial Society was founded by defenders of human rights in the Soviet Union on the proposal of Andrei Sakharov in 1989. Current chairman Arseni Roginski was also among the founders.

Memorial’s first goal was to erect a monument to the victims of Stalinism at Lubyanka. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Memorial was established in its present form. The society’s main mission is to collect information about the Gulag, study history and provide support for victims.

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