A national commemoration ceremony was held on 27 January at the Rahumäe Jewish Cemetery in Estonia to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
"History entails many tragic pages that need to be learned. Commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day symbolizes the wish and desire to remember and commemorate those who have suffered," said minister Mailis Reps. "Holocaust is the tragedy of the entire European civilization in 20th century. Nothing justifies crimes against humanity and we must never forget them."
International Holocaust Remembrance Day has been commemorated in Estonia since 2003. The national commemoration ceremony was organized by the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia in cooperation with the Jewish Community of Estonia, the Estonian delegation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.
Youth wrote on the lessons of holocaust
The winners of the essay competition "Klooga and Auschwitz 75 – how does it speak to me" were also awarded at the premises of the Jewish Community of Estonia. The winners are Kadri Kalve (Kanepi Gümnaasium), Roman Zolotarjov (Tallinna Kesklinna Vene Gümnaasium) and Heiti Talvik (Tallinna Juudi Kool).
Minister Mailis Reps stressed that there is no place for xenophobia in today’s world. "We must provide explanation to students, ensure the transmission of historical memory through education and acknowledge the message of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day," said Reps.
One of the winners, Kadri Kalve wrote: "The Holocaust is a historic event surrounded by a collection of stories which form our understanding of what happened during the World War Two. It is very powerful in its ugliness – it is something that cannot be forgotten and cannot be overlooked."
The tree winners will be awarded a study trip to Poland. Students wrote about human rights, democracy, freedom, ideologies and mass psychosis. The competition was held in cooperation with the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.