14 JUN 2011
By Valentina Pop
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - A strong promoter of shedding light on the crimes against humanity committed under the Soviet occupation, Lithuania on Friday managed to get the political backing of the other 26 EU member states for measures aimed at educating the public about all totalitarian regimes in Europe.
"We were active in promoting the question of crimes of totalitarian regimes, because it is also important for us to know what has happened in other countries," Lithuanian justice minister Remigijus Simasius told this website on Friday (10 June).
According to Simasius, the crimes committed by totalitarian regimes in Libya, Syria and "not so long ago, Bosnia" make it even more important that there is an accurate account of crimes committed by the Soviet and the national communist regimes in eastern Europe.
The document, agreed Friday by EU justice ministers, refers only once to Communist and Nazi crimes with Simasius admitting that there was a "lengthy discussion" on the exact language around the different totalitarian regimes.
"There are many reasons why. In some countries it was for a long time politically incorrect to speak about Soviet crimes, because of the heritage of World War II, when the Soviet Union was an ally of the West."
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