On January 27, 2022, on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the historian, the founder of the museum “Jews in Latvia” Dr.h.c.hist. Margers Vestermanis was awarded with a certificate of gratitude and appreciation from the State of Israel for his relentless efforts and lifelong contribution to Holocaust research and remembrance. 

The ceremony took place at the Riga Jewish Community building and was attended by the Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns, the Minister of the Interior Marija Golubeva, other state officials, foreign ambassadors, historical researchers, representatives of the Jewish community, colleagues and friends. The event was hosted by the director of the museum “Jews in Latvia” Ilya Lensky.

The certificate of gratitude was presented to Mr. Vestermanis by the Ambassador of Israel to Latvia Sharon Rappaport Palgi. 

In his address, Andris Teikmanis, Head of the Chancellery of the President of Latvia, emphasized that Margers Vestermanis has a special place in the history of Latvia, in Latvian society and in our hearts, and expressed his deepest respect and gratitude. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs sent a letter of congratulations to Margers Vestermanis, which was read by the head of the Latvian delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Einārs Miķelsons. 

Director Marta Herca presented a upcoming film about Margers Vestermanis. The students of the Latvian College of Culture specially for this evening, together with the director Juris Jonelis, prepared readings of the diaries of Latvian Jewish girls who were killed in the Holocaust. The compositions selected by Mr. Vestermanis were performed by a trio of musicians from the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra. 

In his speech of thanks, Margers Vestermanis said: “Today I am especially excited to be rewarded and praised by the country of our forefathers, the country of great hopes of the Jewish people – Israel. This once again confirms my closest connection with my people, with the Jewish people.”

The Latvian Jewish community cordially congratulates Margers Vestermanis and wishes him good health, strength and energy for further fruitful work!