Iohannis: Day of Remembrance for Victims of Fascism and Communism entails firm condemnation of both ideologies

President Klaus Iohannis on Friday, August 23, the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Fascism and Communism, released a message in which he underscores that this day compels us to reiterate "firm" condemnation of both ideologies, in all their forms, and to remember the innocent victims of those regimes.     "The Day of Remembrance for Victims of Fascism and Communism compels us to reiterate the firm condemnation of both ideologies in all their forms and to remember the innocent victims of criminal regimes and to keep their memory unaltered. Only a society that knows its history and can recognise right from wrong in its past can prove ready to strengthen internal democracy. Honouring the memory of the victims of totalitarian regimes does not only mean commemoration, but also firm action in accordance with the principles of genuine democracy. Remembrance compels us to continue more resolvedly on the path of combating extremism, intolerance and oppression. In the face of all attempts at separation, attempts to relativise the crimes of fascism and communism, as well as to combat those voices that deny the values of European democracy and civilisation, we have our duty to act vigilantly and firmly to defend and preserve the values of European civilisation," reads the presidential message.     Iohannis points out that peace and prosperity do not come by themselves and are not definitive gains.     He says that eight decades ago the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was signed, pointing out that that was "a cowardly and lying act that would lead to ending the destinies of millions of people, mutilating the future of European societies, trampling under freedom in all its forms, feeding a contemptuous attitude towards life and human dignity."     "The so-called division of spheres of influence in Europe between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union meant the blatant perversion of the most elementary principles of international law and coming into an age of chaos and warfare. The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was the alliance of absolute evil. Under the pretense of caring for the nations, totalitarianisms fractured and bankrupted European societies and fuelled endless human suffering. The disastrous consequences of fascism and communism have long persisted, even after the totalitarian regimes fell, depriving entire generations of inalienable rights and making transitioning to democracy a difficult and painful process."     Iohannis also mentions the "salvaging act" that King Mihai I of Romania, together with "the brave Romanian Army, surrounded by many worthy politicians and illustrious diplomats," did 75 years ago, when he decided to pull Romania out of an alliance that was "extremely toxic and harmful, saving the country and many human lives."     "The event of August 23, 1944 remains a great act of courage in our recent history. Its remembrance is a duty of honour to all those who acted in good faith for the salvation of the Romanian state and for our return to the Euro-Atlantic values. Romania falling under the sphere of Soviet influence and implicitly under the sign of communism, after Romania had just emerged from the era of fascism, it is eloquent proof of a tragic fate that our nation shared along with other European nations in the past century."     According to the president, we owe the people who fought against totalitarian regimes and we are under an obligation to honour their memory and never forget their heroism.     "We must tell the future generations about the mutilation of our history by the fascist and communist regimes, and perhaps the most important example of this tragedy, which history textbooks cannot often convey, is that peace and prosperity are not a given and are not definitive gains. For these desires and especially to be able to build a sound democratic society, we have the right to know the historical truth and a responsibility to protect and promote the principles of democracy, rule of law and freedom, as well as to respect and defend the fundamental rights," says Iohannis.     August 23, the day of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, was designated by the European Parliament in 2008/2009 as a Europe-wide Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, to be commemorated with dignity and impartiality. In 2011, the Romanian Parliament under Law 198 designated August 23 the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Fascism and Communism.AGERPRES(RO - author: Florentina Peia, publisher: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Maria Voican)

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