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Polish version of Platform reader Lest We Forget released

10. Červenec 2018 - 12:12
Prague, 10 June – The Platform of European Memory and Conscience in close cooperation with the Institute of National Remembrance in Poland has released the Polish version of the reader Lest We Forget. Memory of Totalitarianism in Europe (“Aby pamięć przetrwała. Dziedzictwo totalitaryzmu w Europie“). After the Czech, English, French, German and Ukrainian versions it is so far the 6th language version of the book, which is intended for older secondary school students anywhere in Europe. The purpose of the reader is to educate today’s young generation about Europe’s tragic totalitarian past and about the importance of upholding fundamental human rights, freedoms and democratic values in society. The goal is to promote better understanding and integration among European citizens and to help prevent the recurrence of any form of non-democratic rule in the future. Aby pamięć przetrwała. Dziedzictwo totalitaryzmu w Europie. Zbiór tekstów dla uczniów szkół średnich z całej Europy, red. Gillian Purves, przekład z ang. Antonina Kozłowska, Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, Platforma Europejskiej Pamięci i Sumienia, Warszawa 2018, ISBN 978-83-8098-263-5

Platform conference “Roads to 20th Century Totalitarianism – the Turning Points” in Prague

10. Červenec 2018 - 10:08
Prague, 29 June – The international conference “Roads to 20th Century Totalitarianism – the Turning Points”, organised by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, took place in Prague on 28 June. The purpose of the conference was to examine the critical turning points in 20th century European history, the situations and political decisions leading to the onset of totalitarianism and the lessons learned from history. The conference was opened by Laura Trebel-Gniazdowska, deputy director of the Polish Institute in Prague (host of the event) and Dr. Łukasz Kamiński, president of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. HE Dr. Miklós Boros, Ambassador of Hungary, honoured the event with his presence. A representative of the Swedish Embassy was also present. The first paper was delivered by Prof. Klaus Ziemer, who presented an overview of definitions of totalitarianism in political science, stressing the word’s evolution over the decades. Dr. Kamiński focused on the issue of responsibility of various milieus for allowing totalitarian movements to take power. The second session was named “Applied totalitarianism” and speakers presented experiences of various countries. Two papers were devoted to the issue of genocide, using the examples of the Holodomor in Ukraine (Yana Hrynko) and the German […]

The experts seminar on Communist archival documents took place in Prague

20. Červen 2018 - 14:20
Prague – 19 June 2018. The experts seminar “Delimitations of the Communist State Security espionage service files after 10 years” took place today in the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Chamber of Deputies. The Platform of European Memory and Conscience co-organised the event according its Statute to support and uphold the activities leading to broader access to materials about the Communist past in Europe. Among the participants were Mr Pavel Žáček, MP for the Civic Democratic Party, vice-chairman of the Committee on Security (first director of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes). The Platform member organisation Security Services Archive was represented by its director Ms Světlana Ptáčniková, and representatives from the Czech Ministry of Defence and archives of the special services were present. The discussion underlined the necessity of continuing the delimitations of the archival materials from the period of Communism. There are materials of historical value still in the possession of some state organisations in the Czech Republic which should be transferred into the Security Services Archive.   Related posts Call on Russia to fully open its archives Slovenian archives must remain open Platform welcomes new open history policy in Ukraine

Annual commemoration event in former Czechoslovak Communist concentration camp

29. Květen 2018 - 12:15
Horní Slavkov, Ostrov nad Ohří, 26 May 2018. Platform representative Mr Miroslav Lehký attended annual commemoration events organised by the Confederation of Political Prisoners of the Czech Republic together with the local municipalities in the region of Jáchymov in Northwestern Czech Republic on 26 May 2018. The commemoration event called “Hell of Jáchymov” is held attended by survivors, associations of victims and representatives of municipalities, the Government and Parliament of the Czech Republic. “We all hold in our hearts and minds not only respect and gratitude towards all the victims of the totalitarian regimes of both Nazism and Communism in Europe, but we have above all a moral imperative and an obligation to SPEAK THE TRUTH AND SEEK JUSTICE… In this world, it will certainly never be possible to punish all the crimes, but it is our duty, the duty of the rule of law, in particular, to strive for it. This endeavour not only means punishing evil, but at least restoring the legal consciousness and conscience of society that has been devastated by us for over 40 years under the Communist regime. This effort means restoring faith in justice in our society, which is important for the present and […]

First rehabilitation in the Czech Republic for German who attempted to escape across the Iron Curtain

11. Květen 2018 - 12:52
Prague, 11 May 2018. The District Court in České Budějovice (South Bohemia) has released a breakthrough decision for a former East German refugee who was arrested in 1976 trying to illegally cross the border between Czechoslovakia and Austria. East German refugee Mr Dieter Kolbe illegally entered Czechoslovakia in 1976 and was arrested on a train by a Border Guard patrol near Lake Lipno. He was interrogated by State Security and held in prison for 12 days. Later on he was released to the German Democratic Republic and he was sentenced to 2 years in prison for attempting to escape the state. Prior to that he had applied several times to the East German authorities to legally move to West Germany where the rest of his family lived. Today’s court decision, which is based on Act No. 119/1990 on judicial rehabilitations, confirmed unlawful restrictions on individual liberties and stated that his arrest was against the principles of a democratic and legal state. The Platform of European Memory and Conscience called in November 2017 on former East German refugees arrested in Czechoslovakia up to 1989 to apply for rehabilitation and compensation (see more here). These activities are a part of the Platform’s […]

Platform expresses regret that Mr Jean-Claude Juncker took part in ceremonies commemorating Karl Marx

7. Květen 2018 - 19:46
Brussels / Prague, 7 May 2018. The European Union is founded on freedom, truth, human dignity and human rights. These values, along with many others, were violated by the Communist system, which was based on Marxist ideology. Therefore, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience wishes to express its regret that MrJean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, took part in ceremonies commemorating Karl Marx. We cannot approve of such actions, since they are offensive to the memory of the millions of victims of Communism. The Communist ideology, rooted in Marx’s works, continues to kill and enslave people in many places in the world. This applies especially to China, the sponsor of the statue which was unveiled during the event Mr Juncker attended. We believe that the victims of Communism deserve an apology. Platform member organisation, the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory, which researches the history of totalitarian regimes, released a statement on 5 May declaring that “by participating in the festivities in Trier, Germany, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, the founding father of Communism, the President of the European Commission is ignoring the fate of millions of victims of Communism.” For more information, please […]

Presentation of Winners of Platform’s Competition for a Proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism in Brussels

25. Duben 2018 - 15:47
Brussels/Prague 25 April 2018. The presentation of the top-ten ranking entries in the Platform’s competition for a proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism in Brussels took place yesterday afternoon at the European Parliament in Brussels, courtesy of Mr László Tökés, MEP. The goal of the competition was to propose the first-ever pan-European memorial for all victims of 20th century totalitarianism in Europe on the Place Jean Rey, in the heart of the European district in Brussels. The memorial will also celebrate the process of European integration as an achievement made possible by learning from the lessons of the past. The presentation included the designs that won first place by Tszwai So from the United Kingdom, second place by Sabina Tanovic and Dario Kristic from the Netherlands, third place by Mantas Maziliauskas, Povilas Šorys and Gitana Stankiene from Lithuania, as well as the seven entries that gained fourth to tenth place. The representatives of Czech, Lithuanian and Polish embassies were present, as well as Members of European Parliament Milan Zver and Petras Auštrevičius. “I strongly believe that our competition is a crucial step on the way to realising this project and we will have the opportunity to […]

Educational video clips competition

24. Duben 2018 - 13:47
Call for artists: Competition for the design of educational video clips Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience is hereby announcing a competition for a winning proposal of a series of short educational YouTube video clips in English illustrating the violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the Nazi and the Communist totalitarian regimes alike. The deadline for the entry submission is 15 May 2018. The winner will receive a contract to execute the project by 10 August 2018. WHO CAN APPLY? Individuals or teams, university students and professionals of any nationality are invited to participate. Women’s participation is encouraged. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE VIDEOS: Each final video clip shall introduce and illustrate the violation of one of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by totalitarian dictatorships, namely Nazism, Fascism, and Communism. Articles 28 and 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights shall be omitted, as they are difficult to portray. An additional introductory video shall be created, presenting the project and the credits. Each video is to be approximately a minute long (30 seconds to 60 seconds). The target audience are secondary school students […]

Brussels presentation of the Platform competition for a proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism

6. Duben 2018 - 18:28
The presentation of the top-ten ranking entries in the Platform’s competition for a proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism in Brussels will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 24 April 2018, in Room JAN 6Q1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., courtesy of Mr László Tökés, MEP. The goal of the competition is to propose the first-ever pan-European memorial for all victims of 20th century totalitarianism in Europe on the Place Jean Rey, in the heart of the European district in Brussels. The memorial should also celebrate the process of European integration as an achievement made possible by learning from the lessons of the past. The presentation will include the designs that won first place by Tszwai So from the United Kingdom, second place by Sabina Tanovic and Dario Kristic from the Netherlands, third place by Mantas Maziliauskas, Povilas Šorys and Gitana Stankiene from Lithuania, as well as the seven entries that gained fourth to tenth place by: Ieva Žukauskaité, Henrikas Žukauskas, Kestutis Astrauskas and Kestutis Musteikis; Grega Vezjak; Voytek Gorczynski, Janusz Kapusta and Andrzej Pawlik; Nika Zupančič; Maruxa Touceda and Ángel de la Rubia; Denis Kutylov Viktorovich; Jordi Comas Mora and Anna Pont Armengo If you are interested in the event, please write us to: […]

British-Chinese Architect Tszwai So Wins Platform’s Competition for a Proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism in Brussels

28. Březen 2018 - 0:00
Brussels / Prague, 28 March 2018. The Platform of European Memory and Conscience is delighted to announce the winners of its competition for a proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism in Brussels! The competition was held under the patronage of European Parliament President Mr Antonio Tajani, of EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Mr Tibor Navracsics and of the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Belgium Mr Jaroslav Kurfürst. The goal of the project is to propose the first-ever pan-European memorial for all victims of 20th century totalitarianism in Europe on the Place Jean Rey, in the heart of the European district in Brussels. Thirty-nine anonymous entries from all over the world were forwarded to the Jury members, including, among others: EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics; Deputy Mayor of Brussels Mr Geoffroy Coomans de Brachène; world-renowned British architect Lord Norman Foster; and Ms Julie Beckman and Mr Keith Kaseman, authors of the Pentagon Memorial in Virginia, USA. After careful consideration, the Jury have announced the top 3 laureates: in first place Tszwai So, Spheron Architects, Unit 5C, London, UK; in second place Sabina Tanovic & Dario Kristic, Netherlands; in third place Mantas Maziliauskas, Povilas Šorys, Gitana Stankiene, Klaipeda, Lithuania. “First of all I would like to warmly thank […]

Joachim Gauck receives Ján Langoš Award

27. Březen 2018 - 22:38
Bratislava / Prague, 27 March 2018. Former German Federal President Mr Joachim Gauck received the Ján Langoš Award at a ceremony held on Monday 26 March in Bratislava. Mr Joachim Wilhelm Gauck is a former Lutheran pastor who came to prominence as an anti-communist civil rights activist in East Germany. From 1990 to 2000 he served as first Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records and from 2012 to 2017 as President of Germany. “ Ján Langoš was a man of values; he showed it in all of his public activity. President Joachim Gauck is also a great man of values. In the case of both men this attitude is deeply rooted in, among other things, their personal experience of dealing with the totalitarian past. I’m proud that the Platform of European Memory and Conscience was a co-organiser of this important event,”  says Platform President Łukasz Kamiński. Ján Langoš (1946-2006) was a former dissident, one of the leaders of the Public Against Violence opposition movement of 1989, Minister of Interior of Czechoslovakia (1990-1992), tireless pioneer of a just and open coming to terms with the criminal Communist past of his country. When Czechoslovakia split, he became a Member of the Slovak Parliament and chairman of […]