The duty of modern politicians to the present and future generations is to learn the historic lessons and prevent the recurrence of tragedies similar to Holocaust and the World War II, as stated by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
"Participating in today's events, I would like to pay tribute to those who tragically died in the death camp Auschwitz and those who put an end to heinous crimes of Nazis against humanity that took place here and all over Europe.
A quarter of six million Jews killed by Nazis and their allies lived in Ukraine. The tragedy of Babi Yar is still an unhealed wound for us.
Jews were a quarter of six million Ukrainian civilians who became victims of the World War II. Taking into account those killed at the front, we have lost about 60% of the pre-war Jewish population of Ukraine.
In the battle for the liberation of Auschwitz and the surrounding area, 231 Soviet soldiers were killed. Every fifth soldier was the Ukrainian one. Colonel Vasyl Petrenko from Poltava region, Colonel Anatoliy Kovalevskyi from Chernihiv region, Major Anatoliy Shapiro - Ukrainian Jew from Poltava region commanded the troops. Shapiro's soldiers were the first to enter the infamous gate with the inscription "Work makes you free" (Arbeit macht frei). The first tank which destroyed the gate was driven by Ukrainian Ihor Pobirchenko. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Grzegorz Schetyna has recalled that recently in a bright manner.
Given all these facts, I cannot but return to the idea of creating permanent exhibition of Ukraine in Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. We must gather documents and antiquities related to the detention of Ukrainians in this camp. I hope we will implement this plan in a few years, as soon as we start to come out of the deep economic crisis caused by the war. Yesterday, in Kyiv, the exhibition about Ukrainian prisoners and liberators of Auschwitz was opened due to the efforts of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance.
Eternal memory to the dead. Glory to those who liberated the continent from Nazism!
Having gathered here today, we remind Europe and the world of the greatest tragedy, the apocalypse of the XX century - the Holocaust and all its victims. Similarly, we remind of the tens of millions of victims of the World War II caused by imperial madness, aggressive nationalism and xenophobia.
Unfortunately, my country has entered the seventieth year of the victory over Nazism, in which Ukrainians made a tremendous contribution, as well as the fortieth year of the Helsinki Final Act, in conditions of Russian aggression and gross violation of the international law.
Russian Federation, being not only a signatory of the Act, but also one of its proponents, flagrantly violated principles of inviolability of borders, territorial integrity, human rights and freedoms laid down in the given document.
And today, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who defended Ukraine more than seven decades ago left their homes to protect the loved ones and their Homeland from the aggressor.
Moreover, in the temporarily occupied territories, in the areas currently controlled by pro-Russian militants, apart from terror aimed at all local people, apart from violations of rights and freedoms of all citizens, individual ethnocide of Ukrainian-speaking population is also carried out. It is dangerous to speak Ukrainian there. Our language, as well as the history of Ukraine, is excluded from school programs. In addition, the rights of the Crimean Tatars are roughly violated and anti-Tatar xenophobic stereotypes are promoted in the Crimea. Internationally recognized leaders of this nation are even forbidden to enter the peninsula.
I will not mention clear and obvious parallels between the events in Europe in the 1930s and present developments. The threat of continental war is now great as never before. There should be no doubt that the ambitions and appetite of the aggressor go far beyond Ukraine.
One cannot fix tragic mistakes of the past. One cannot resurrect the fallen. But learning the historic lessons is a duty of modern politicians to the present and future generations.
Thus, I call on the entire world to prevent the recurrence of tragic events. We must not only remember the innocent victims of the past, but also think about how to prevent the recurrence of the tragedies similar to Holocaust and the World War II. We must jointly oppose the new imperial madness, new claims for supremacy in Europe.
We are grateful to the world for its support, but greater efforts should be made to stop the aggressor," the Head of State noted after the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz.