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Today marks the 73th anniversary of the tragedy in Klooga when more than 2000 Jewish men and women were executed in Klooga concentration camp.

When laying the wreath today in memory of the people executed in Klooga, the President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor said that, unfortunately, the evil that murdered people, and countries that created an image of an enemy to frighten and control their people, had not disappeared from the world.

“Estonia is a beautiful place and there are beautiful pine trees in Klooga, yet one of the most hideous acts on the Estonian soil has been committed here,” Nestor said. He recalled that that day marked the 73th anniversary of that cruellest day, but 5 September had marked the 75th anniversary of the day when the first train with people from other parts of Europe had arrived in Klooga, the majority of whom had been executed immediately.

In Nestor’s words, all countries and nations thinking humanly had repeatedly condemned these crimes. Remembrance was still necessary, he said, to commemorate the innocent people who had been murdered, and to once again condemn all crimes against humanity. And also because, unfortunately, the evil that murdered people had not disappeared from the world.

“A misanthropic power is grounded on the condition that its people must live in fear, and it creates an image of an enemy to sustain that fear,” Nestor spoke. Today, too, there are countries in the world who create an image of an enemy to frighten and control their people. In Nestor’s words, more hideous and disgusting than creating an image of an enemy is to consider people as enemies because of their nationality or another characteristic that they cannot choose at the moment of birth.

Nestor expressed the hope that in the open world where young people today grow up and look for new friends and challenges they recognise evil. “Accept all people as they are, whatever their nationality, religion, or attitude to life and companions,” Nestor recommended. “If you smile at them, they will smile back at you. This is the only way to fight evil so that it does not recur.”

The Chair of the Jewish Community in Estonia Alla Jakobson and the Head of the Estonian Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Malle Talvet-Mustonen also spoke at the memorial ceremony in Klooga. Rabbi Efraim Shmuel Kot read a memorial prayer. Students of Keila School and Tallinn Jewish School, and representatives of the diplomatic corps participated in the memorial ceremony

Photos of the memorial ceremony.

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
631 6356, 515 3903
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee