Prague, 8 November – On 7 November the Appeal for a Nuremberg of Communism (Bukovsky-Cristin document) was introduced in the Senate of the Italian Republic in Rome by Prof. Renato Cristin, Prof. Roberto de Mattei, Dr. Dario Fertilio, senator Adolfo Urso, senator Lucio Malan and Vito Comencini.
It is an international initiative promoted by Renato Cristin (University of Trieste, Italy), which expresses an idea of recently passed former dissident Vladimir Bukovskij, whereby Communism would receive the historical and moral judgment of irrevocable condemnation that Nazism has rightly received.
The thirtieth anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall is an opportunity to make a contribution not only to historical memory, but also to the concrete elaboration of a wide-ranging anti-totalitarian culture that looks to the future, with the aim of initiating a process that has the meaning and value of a Nuremberg of Communism.
“Communism did not fall with the Berlin Wall. This ideology is still alive in the world, in states and parties that are openly communist and in political and cultural thought that minimizes and tries to erase the crimes of communism, as if it were a good idea which only happened to coincide with the rise of one brutal regime after another across decades and continents…” (from the Appeal).
The Appeal receives large international support. Among the first 200 signatories is Antonio Tajani (former president and currently member of the European Parliament, Italy), Prof.Stéphane Courtois (historian, author of the Black Book of Communism, France), Robert R. Reilly (director of the Westminster Institute, former director of The Voice of America, former member of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, USA), Mart Laar (former prime minister and chairman of the supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia), Erhard Busek (former vice-chancellor of the Austrian Republic, Austria), Vladimir Kara-Murza (Chairman, Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, Russia) and many others.
Full text of the appeal can be found here or below on this page
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience joins and supports this initiative because it is in line with its goals and projects. In 2014, for example, the project Justice 2.0 – International Justice for the Imprescriptible Crimes of Communism was introduced, the purpose of which is to raise international awareness about the issue of unpunished international crimes of Communism and to contribute to finding ways of achieving international justice for these crimes, etc. Currently the investigation of the killings along the former Iron Curtain is ongoing in Germany and Poland in cases of those Germans and Poles who tried to escape and were killed by the Communist border guards in former Czechoslovakia.
“The Platform is in fact the only organisation capable of preparing such tribunal in symbolic way, and the experience of our members seems to be crucial to do it in a legal way,”says Łukasz Kamiński, President of the Platform and one of the signatories.
The other Platform representatives and member organisation signatories include María Schmidt (director of the Institute of the Twentieth Century, director of the House of Terror, Hungary), Paweł Ukielski (former deputy president of the Institute of National Remembrance in Poland, current deputy director of the Warsaw Rising Museum), Andreja Valič Zver (member of the Executive Board of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, Slovenia), Marion Smith (executive director, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, USA), Ana Blandiana (writer, president of the Memorial of the Victims of Communism from Sighet, Romania), Ronaldas Račinskas (executive director, Secretariat of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation regimes in Lithuania, Prof. Antoine Arjakovsky (historian, Research director, Collège des Bernardins, Paris, France), Wolfgang-Christian Fuchs (president, Inter-Asso, Germany),Jonila Godole (executive director, Institute for Democracy, Media & Culture, Albania), Robert Kostro (director, Polish History Museum, Poland), Gjon Radovani (chairman of the Board, MEMO Center, Albania), Florian Razvan-Mihalcea (president, Timisoara Society, Romania), Milos Suchma (president, Czech and Slovak Association of Canada), Marek Mutor (director, History Centre Zajezdnia, Poland), Dr Jarosław Szarek (President of the Institute of National Remembrance, Poland), Johann Grünbauer (chairman, Foundation History of Totalitarian Regimes and their Victims, Netherlands).
Appeal for Nuremberg Trials for Communism
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The thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall presents us with a valuable opportunity. We can not only make a desperately-needed contribution to historical memory, but also develop and support an anti-totalitarian culture, broad-ranging and forward-looking. We take this opportunity to propose the creation of Nuremberg Trials for Communism.
The Nuremberg Trials, held from 1945 to 1946, tried and condemned the crimes of National Socialism and its leaders, handing down a definitive judicial, moral, and political judgment on that instance of totalitarianism. The trials made clear to the world that Nazism was evil and destructive to its own people, and would not be accepted anywhere in the world again. Communism, which has caused more deaths and mass suffering worldwide than Nazism for much longer, has never been called to account in a global court such as Nuremberg.
Since 1917, communist or socialist dictatorships around the world have caused more than 100 million deaths. Not only are they responsible for widespread suppression of individual liberties and incitement of class hatred, but also for the genocide and mass killings inevitable under communist regimes. As we all know, genocides and massacres are universally recognized as crimes against humanity.
Today, after the catastrophic results of so-called “real socialism” and of all the other dictatorships over time rooted in communist ideology (as today in places like Venezuela or Cuba), both historic and current events beg for a similarly final judgment – not only a verdict on the actions of individuals, but also a political and moral judgment on the inevitable results of this ideology. Communism’s crimes against humanity must be broadcast and punished.
Communism did not fall with the Berlin Wall. This ideology is still alive in the world, in states and parties that are openly communist and in political and cultural thought that minimizes and tries to erase the crimes of communism, as if it were a good idea which only happened to coincide with the rise of one brutal regime after another across decades and continents.
To push back against these apologist influences, we urge the creation of Nuremberg Trials for Communism, a global trial that scrutinizes the very real crimes of this ideology, assigns political and institutional responsibility for them, punishes its moral degeneracy, and makes clear to all communism’s intrinsic inhumanity and incompatibility with free societies.
We are well aware that such a project would encounter practical difficulties and legal limitations. Even so, we believe that such barriers will not be able to stand in the way of a historic political, ethical, and cultural trial, which we see as a duty to humanity imposed upon us by historical conscience.
In the name of millions exterminated in the past, and to safeguard future generations from a recurrence, Nuremberg Trials for Communism must be enacted as soon as possible.
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