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“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 +.

Voices of the victims notes towards a historiography of anti-Communist literature

27. Červenec 2018 - 15:12
Prague, 27 July -“A hundred years have passed since communists seized power in Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin. The Bolsheviks, as they were called in Russia, looked upon their takeover as only the first step to conquering the whole world and making it over according to the ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They almost succeeded. The pursuit by the communists of their dream became a nightmare for more than a billion people, their subjects and victims in Russia, China, Central and Eastern Europe, the Korean Peninsula, Indo-China and Cuba. It cost approximately 100 million lives, according to the Black Book of Communism, published in 1997.1 The story of communism is one of the greatest tragedies of world history, but, strangely, a tragedy almost without any spectators. Hitler’s national socialism is rightly seen as a horrible lapse into barbarism, criminal in nature, whereas the communism of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and their comrades is often explained away as a well- meant experiment gone awfully wrong. But the record shows that communism is also criminal in nature. It is the denial of fundamental human values such as individual freedom, impersonal justice and respect for people regardless of […]

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