Source: President of Russia – The Kremlin – English
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends,
First of all, I would like to sincerely thank all the participants in the Nuremberg Lessons international forum: politicians and government officials, researchers and experts, legal experts, representatives of the museum community and NGOs. I know that you have come from across Russia, as well as from many other countries.
I am certain that the forum’s theme matters to you not only from a professional standpoint, but also in terms of the sense of personal responsibility for preserving the historical truth about World War II. You understand the significance of the Nuremberg verdicts, and the norms and principles these trials helped devise for responding to today’s challenges and threats.
The trials opened 75 years ago, six months after the crushing defeat of the Nazis, and the whole world was watching. The merciless Nazi regime that unleashed the criminal war and committed atrocities of an unprecedented scale may have been defeated, but it was too early to put this matter to rest. The military triumph had to be complemented by a political, legal and moral condemnation of Nazism and its deadly ideology.
Specific people, high-ranking Nazi officials, stood behind the mass terror, bloody killings, enslavement and purposeful extermination of entire peoples. The states that suffered the aggression and the millions of people who had to endure inhuman challenges, pain and suffering, had every right to retribution and the inevitable public punishment of the criminals.
To be continued.