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Prize of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience 2018 awarded in Ljubljana

16. Listopad 2018 - 14:26
Press Release Ljubljana / Prague, 14 November 2018 The Prize of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience was awarded on 14 November in Ljubljana at the National Assembly during the international conference The Dark Side of the Moon: Dealing with the Totalitarian Past – Confrontations and Reflections. The Prize is awarded annually to a person/persons who are fighting today against totalitarianism, for the ideals of democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms and the rule of law. The Prize of the Platform should support its winner(s) in their struggle, help to protect them against persecution and help to support international publicity of their cause. The Members of the Platform voted this summer for Mr Oleg Sentsov, in recognition of his personal courage, struggle and sacrifice for upholding fundamental democratic values and freedoms after his show trial in the Russian Federation. By awarding the Prize, the Platform wishes to express its respect and support for Ukrainian citizen Mr Sentsov whom the Platform considers, since his detention in May 2014, a political prisoner in the Russian Federation. The Platform calls for his immediate release. At the ceremony which took place on 14 November 2018 at the National Assembly, Ljubljana, Slovenia, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the […]

Platform elects new Managing Director and admits five new member institutions from four countries

16. Listopad 2018 - 14:23
Press release Prague, Ljubljana – 16 November 2018. At its 8th annual Council of Members held on 13-15 November 2018 in Ljubljana and Bled, Slovenia, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience elected a new Managing Director and admitted four new institutions from Albania, Romania, Poland and Slovakia, bringing the total number of Members of the Platform to 62. The annual Council of Members of the Platform was hosted by the Study Center for National Reconciliation in Slovenia (SCNR) and was accompanied by the international conference The Dark Side of the Moon: Dealing with the Totalitarian Past – Confrontations and Reflections. The conference was organised on the 10th anniversary of SCNR and was held in the National Assembly of Slovenia in Ljubljana. The agenda included the opening of the exhibition “Wrocław Breaks the Iron Curtain” and a visit to the prison cells of the secret political police and the exhibition on political prisoner Ms Jelka Mrak Dolinar. Mr Peter Rendek was elected as the new Managing Director of the Platform after the departure of the first Managing Director (2011-2018) Ms Neela Winkelmann. The new member of the Supervisory Board of the Platform is Ms Földváryné Kiss Réka, Chairperson of the Committee of National Remembrance in […]

Proceedings of the international conference “100 Years of Communism. History and Memory”

5. Září 2018 - 16:21
New publication: Proceedings of the international conference which was organised by the Platform and Prof. Stéphane Courtois, author and editor of the “Black Book of Communism”. The conference was organised and dedicated to the dark legacy of Communism and Communist dictatorships and was held on 8-9 November 2017 at the Collège des Bernardins and the Fondation Napoléon in Paris, France. Speakers were  historians, representatives of memory institutions and policy makers from France, Spain, Canada, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Moldova, Romania and the Czech Republic. Special guest speaker was Finnish award winning novelist Sofi Oksanen. During the conference, the new 500-page biography “Lenin, the Inventor of Totalitarianism” by Stéphane Courtois was introduced… More about the conference here. Published by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience © 2018, 1st edition, softcover, ISBN 978-80-907355-1-4

Proceedings of the international conference Totalitarianism, deportation and emigration

5. Září 2018 - 15:37
NEW PUBLICATION:  Proceedings of the international conference Totalitarianism, deportation and Emigration held in Viljandi, Estonia on 28 – 30 June 2016 The annual international conference of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience on the theme “The forced displacement of populations and waves of migration in 20th century Europe caused by the policy of totalitarian states“ was held in the historic town of Viljandi, Estonia. Co-organisers were the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory and the Unitas Foundation. A broad range of topics were considered at the conference, starting from the time of the beginnings of the Soviet Union until the collapse of the Eastern Bloc at the onset of the 1990s. More about the conference here. Published by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience © 2018, 1st edition, softcover, ISBN 978-80-907355-0-7

“Justice 2.0″ project and Platform’s reader presentation took place in Wrocław

4. Září 2018 - 11:00
Wroclaw – On 31 August, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience together with the Remembrance and Future Institute organised a presentation of the “Justice 2.0″ project and the Polish version of the reader. The presentation took place in the Zajezdnia (Depot) Historical Centre. The meeting was attended by, among others, educators, representatives of academia, media and former members of anti-Communist opposition. The presentation was opened by Marek Mutor, director of the Remembrance and Future Institute, who welcomed the attendees and briefly introduced the history of the Platform and its activities. The “Justice 2.0″ project and the Platform’s reader were showcased by Dr. Łukasz Kamiński. Then some clips of the “Justice 2.0″ documentary were screened. The meeting was closed by a discussion with the public.

Victims of Communism memorial opened in Tallinn, Estonia

24. Srpen 2018 - 15:44
Tallinn, 23 August – The memorial commemorating Estonia’s victims of Communism was opened on 23 August on the European Day of Remembrance for victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. The memorial is dedicated to all Estonian people who suffered under the terror inflicted by the Soviet Union. The names of over 22,000 people who never returned home are inscribed on the memorial’s name plaques. They were murdered or died due to inhumane living conditions in imprisonment or forced resettlement and the remains of many of them are in unnamed graves in unknown locations. At the memorial opening Kersti Kaljulaid, the President of the Republic of Estonia said: “Still, there are those who justify totalitarian ideologies on various pretexts, and say that ideally one or the other is actually noble, only implementation has failed so far. But every totalitarian ideology is by its nature an enemy of freedom, and we know its high price from our own historical experience… Democratic countries should stand for the fact that hatred will never lead the decisions of anyone. We need to think about maintaining and protecting democracy and European moral values – citizens’ rights and freedoms – from all forms of populism and extremism. Only […]

The International Conference Totalitarian Buildings of Memory and Conscience

20. Srpen 2018 - 16:40
Bucharest, Prague, 20 August – The Platform and its member organisation, the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER), organised the international conference “Totalitarian Buildings of Memory and Conscience” in Bucharest, Romania on 20 August 2018. The international working conference seeks to examine the situation of major totalitarian prisons which stand empty today in a number of European countries and the possibilities of their preservation as European sites of conscience in a joint pan-European effort. Contributions regarding the current usage of iconic totalitarian buildings in a democratic European context, and regarding memorials, museums and other forms of educational establishments, were presented. The conference was opened by Mr Alin Mureșan, General Director IICCMER and Platform Acting Managing Director Mr Peter Rendek. They both introduced the activities of their institutions in the fields of research, investigation, education and commemoration. Participants from Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Germany and the Czech Republic contributed during the conference. Closing statement was provided by Mr Radu Preda, Executive President IICCMER.

“Justice 2.0″ project presentation took place on 16 August in Vilnius, Lithuania

17. Srpen 2018 - 11:48
Vilnius – The presentation of the Platform “JUSTICE 2.0″ project took place in Vilnius, Lithuania on 16 August 2018. The Platform member organisation the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania organised a discussion seminar where the results of the project were presented. The moderator of the discussion was Dr. Monika Kareniauskaitė, Chief Communications Officer – Senior Historian and Supervisory Board member. The purpose of the project is to raise international awareness about the issue of unpunished international crimes of Communism and to contribute to finding ways to achieving international justice for these crimes. See more information about the “JUSTICE 2.0″ project here.

Another memorial to the victims of the Iron Curtain unveiled

14. Srpen 2018 - 12:22
Bockleben, Prague – On 13 August, on the day of the anniversary of construction of the Berlin Wall, the German Union of the Associations of the Victims of Communist Tyranny (UOKG) together with other initiatives (Green Belt) unveiled another new memorial to the victims of the Iron Curtain. Almost 40 years ago, on 15 October 1978, 20-year-old former GDR citizen Rainer Burgis tried to escape to the West near Mechau-Ritzleben. He was killed by a lethal directional antipersonnel mine (Selbstschussautomaten SM 70) of the Eastern German Border Guards. The new memorial is built from original 4.5 metres long concrete pillars which protected the inner German border against refugees. The Platform of European Memory and Conscience welcomes our member organisation initiative led by Mr Michael M. Schulz (UOKG). Since 2016 the Platform has launched a broader initiative which brought together, for the first time, two large pan-European non-governmental organisations dealing with the legacy of 20th century totalitarian rule – one focusing on historical research, commemoration and education, the other dealing with nature protection and development of soft tourism. The interests of both networks – the Platform of European Memory and Conscience and the European Green Belt Initiative – merge along the […]

The Polish reader presented in Warsaw

14. Srpen 2018 - 12:13
Warszaw, 9 August – The new Polish version of the Platform reader (“Aby pamięć przetrwała. Dziedzictwo totalitaryzmu w Europie“), which was recently published in close cooperation with the Polish IPN took place in the Warsaw Rising Museum on 9 August. The seminar was organised for educators and historians from institutions dealing with memory and remembrance. Experts highly evaluated the publication as a concise and meaningful educational tool. The follow-up discussion resulted in a motion to use the reader (in various language versions) in international projects e.g. Erasmus +.