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Kalniete, Sandra

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Diena - Latvia | 08/06/2006

Sandra Kalniete calls for a unified European view of history

Former Latvian Foreign Minister Sandra Kalniete argues that Europe must agree on a unified conception of history. Kalniete recently triggered an outburst of indignation by likening the crimes of National Socialism to those of communism at the Leipzig Book Fair. "It was not my intention to play down the crimes of National Socialism. It was a criminal movement and in people's minds it will always be synonymous with the atrocious crime that was the Holocaust. What I wanted to do was make people in Europe aware of the fact that there was another criminal totalitarian regime that punished people not because they had broken any laws, but simply because they existed. The experience at Leipzig has clearly illustrated how different and even conflicting the views of West and East Europeans are regarding the history of our continent in the 20th century… Now that Europe has been united politically it's important to discuss things openly and to listen to the stories of others.”

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