TK / Published
4 June 2008
Prague, June 3 (CTK) – The World Internet museum of Communism will start operation as of January, providing information about the emergence, development and consequences of this ideology, a U.S. foundation head Lee Edwards said at the Conscience of Europe and Communism international conference in Prague Tuesday.
Edwards, the Washington-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation chairman, said the museum his foundation plans to launch should chart the history of Communism from the Communist Manifest era until the present times. Its goal is to acquaint the next generation with this ideology.
The failure to understand Communism is a reason of why Communist regimes still exist in certain countries, Edwards said.
Other speakers at the conference, too, said it is necessary to mediate the information about Communism to those who have not personally experienced it.
Europe needs an assessment of the Communist regimes, said Emanuelis Zingeris, head of the International commission of the assessment of the Nazi and Soviet occupation regimes in Lithuania.
He said the chance to launch this process will occur under the Czech and Swedish EU presidency in 2009.
Joachim Gauck, Germany’s former government commissioner for the East German secret police Stasi, rejected any efforts to draw a thick line below the totalitarian past or deny or play down facts for the sake of “painless remembrance.”
The people who live under dictatorship for a long time suffer from touch with reality, Gauck said, citing U.S. political scientist Hannah Arendt.
Gauck said it is important to make the relevant facts accessible and to inform about what happened in the period of totalitarianism.
Gauck thus supported the idea of establishing an institute of European memory focusing on the studies of totalitarian regimes as individual national institutions in post-communist countries do.
British MEP Christopher Beazley admitted his country’s share of guilt for the expansion of Communism after World War Two.
The USA and Great Britain actually allowed Stalin to take up control of a half of Europe, he said, adding that this approach was motivated by Washington and London’s fear of a new war conflict.