A propos, the Latvian president has been invited by Russian leadership to attend the commemorative events dedicated to the 60th Victory Day, to take place in Moscow on May 9-10.
Mrs. Vike-Freiberga's turmoil has not been left unnoticed by the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry which has made an appropriate commentary.
The Ministry has been watching with interest the numerous commentaries and interviews which Latvian president V. Vike-Freiberga has been giving in order to explain, as she put it, the reasons for her decision to go to Moscow on May 9-10, 2005.
Actually, Mrs. V. Vike-Freiberga seems to be quite averse to going to Russia. Evidently, that is why no effort has been spared to make Moscow recall the invitation, or, better still, as Mrs. President is hinting, withhold issuing her a visa.
"It is to be regretted that a leader of a neighboring country is wanting in respect for a day sacred to all the civilized world", an official commentary of the Ministry says.
It still remains uncertain whether Russian officials have studied the book that the Latvian president presented to Vladimir Putin at the commemorative ceremony in Poland dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Ausschwitz death camp by Soviet troops. The book entitled "History of Latvia. XX Century" offers an alternative view on some of the events of the Second World War.
In the introduction, Vaira Vike-Freiberga writes that much attention has been paid in the book to "the discrediting of myths, demonstration of the most important historical facts and processes in the context of European history and from the viewpoint of the Latvian State ".
The Salaspils concentration camp in Latvia has been referred to one of such myths.
Shown on page 240 is a drawing of the Salaspils concentration camp with the following caption: "The Salaspils expanded police prison and educational labor camp (reproduction of a drawing made by K. Busch, former political prisoner)". The wording has been borrowed by Latvian editors, word for word, from Joseph Goebbels.
And not a word about the victims of the camp.
Note that during World War II Salaspils was the biggest concentration and mass extermination camp in the fascist-occupied Baltics.
From 1941 to 1944, 53 thousand people were put to death in the Salaspils death camp, and if its branches to be accounted for, over 100 thousand, including 7 thousand children. On the camp territory, there was a mass grave over an area of 2600 square meters, where the dead were buried in stacks.
The camp was built In October 1941 to exterminate Jews brought from Europe. By September 1942 a major part of its victims were already Latvian and Russian political prisoners
During the last year of its existence, Latvian rebels and deserters from the Latvian SS Legion were confined in the Salaspils concentration camp.