Prague, 21 August – The Platform supports the initiative to establish a new museum devoted to the history of the 20th century in Prague. During a press conference representatives of the Prague municipality introduced the idea of establishing such a museum in the capital of the Czech Republic. Up to 30 Czech and international institutions dealing with the totalitarian past signed a declaration calling for establishing such a museum.
August declaration supporting the foundation of the Museum of Memory of the 20th Century in Prague
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Nazi occupation in March 1939 and the thirtieth anniversary of the end of the Communist regime in November 1989. The half-century of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes in Czechoslovakia brought hundreds of thousands of victims and suppressed the traditional values of European civilization. On 23 August 2019, it will be eighty years since the conclusion of the alliance treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union, which included a secret amendment on the division of the sphere of influence of two totalitarian regimes on the European continent. The European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism and Nazism refers to this historic event every year.
If we want to decide about our future, we have to ask who we are and where we come from and where we want to go. We therefore consider it necessary to commemorate not only the memory of the victims of totalitarian regimes, but also the venerable bravery of the citizens who, on the basis of their democratic conviction, decided to fight for freedom and actively opposed tyranny. As eyewitnesses of the historical events of the 20th century, it is important to convey their life experiences to the coming generations. Understanding the nature of authoritarian ways of governing and controlling society is essential to knowing the current threats we face together. In this context, it is important to remember not only the crimes and heroic acts committed but also the forms of adaptation or open collaboration.
To accomplish this mission, we consider it appropriate to establish a modern museum designed as an educational and open cultural institution in the service of a society that preserves, examines, mediates and exhibits tangible and intangible documents relating to recent history. In Prague, unlike many world capitals, we do not yet have such a museum. The elected representatives of the City of Prague declared their wish to found such a museum. We support this project and offer cooperation in its implementation.
Prague, 21 August 2019, the anniversary day of the August occupation of Czechoslovakia.