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Lord Foster joins the jury of Platform’s Competition for a Proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism in Brussels!

15. Únor 2018 - 16:13
Prague, 15 February 2018. The Platform of European Memory and Conscience is honoured to announce that world-renowned British architect Norman Foster has joined the jury of the Competition for a Proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism in Brussels. The announcement of the winners of the competition is planned for the middle of March 2018. Norman Foster, famous award-winning architect, author of many outstanding projects such as the reconstructed German Bundestag in Berlin, has offered help to the competition organised by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. Lord Foster accepted the invitation to become member of the international jury, saying that the issue of extremism and the importance of Europe were truly close to his heart. “It is a great honour for our Platform and the contestants, but above all it is a gesture of great support for the idea of creating an international monument devoted to the victims of totalitarian regimes,” says Platform President Łukasz Kamiński. The competition is 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 […]

Competition for a proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism in Brussels: Jury will choose from 39 professional entries

5. Únor 2018 - 15:19
Prague, 5 February 2018. The competition for a proposal of a Pan-European Memorial for the Victims of Totalitarianism in Brussels, announced by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience in April 2017, has yielded thirty-nine entries from artists and architects. The entries have been forwarded to the Jury, which includes EC Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Deputy Mayor of Brussels, the Chairman of the Brussels Urban Art Committee and several authors of existing memorials. The competition, organised by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, is 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 is to propose a 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. Sixty-eight contestants from thirty-two countries of Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East had registered for […]

Platform hands over new evidence to Bavarian prosecutors in the case of the 1986 killing of Johann Dick by Czechoslovak border guards

18. Leden 2018 - 15:13
Prague, 18 January 2018. At a meeting held earlier this week in Weiden, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience handed over new evidence to Bavarian prosecutors in the case of the killing of West-German civilian Johann Dick who was shot and killed by Czechoslovak border guards in 1986. The files of the former Czechoslovak secret police were unknown to the Bavarian investigators until now. Researchers of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience found new evidence in the secret police archives of former Communist Czechoslovakia which might help shed new light on the case of Johann Dick, a retired Bavarian army officer who was shot and killed by Czechoslovak border guards while on a weekend hike in the border region on 18 September 1986. In an attempt to conceal the crime, the border guards dragged the wounded man onto Czechoslovak territory, where he died in hospital. The Bavarian investigators at the time did not have access to documents about the crime created by the Communist regime’s secret police. They were made accessible to the public by law of the Czech Republic only in 2008. At a meeting held this week in Weiden, Germany, the Platform handed over the new […]

Platform experts provided guided tour to the MEPs in the House of the European History

11. Leden 2018 - 16:16
Brussels, 10 January – Platform experts lead by Paweł Ukielski, the deputy director of the Warszaw Uprising Museum provided the guided tour to the 7 MEPs from the EPP Group on 10 January. The members of the European Parliament visited the permanent exhibition of the House of European History (HEH) with the several Platform experts who recently introduced the critical report to this exhibition . The conclusion of the report says that the House of European History project fails at presenting European history in three dimensions: structure, concept and facts. As a result, visitors get an ideologically biased, chaotic narrative line with many shortcomings or even falsifications. The main idea is missing and it seems to be overshadowed by the narrow-minded Marxism-rooted concept. The report on HEH by the Platform experts is available here.

Platform achieves double legal breakthrough: Bavarian state criminal investigation office Munich starts investigating killings of German refugees on the Iron Curtain in former Czechoslovakia!

13. Prosinec 2017 - 13:21
Prague, 13 December 2017. The Bavarian state criminal investigation office Munich (LKA München) is starting the investigation of the killings of German citizens on the Iron Curtain in former Czechoslovakia. The respective criminal complaint was filed by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience in August 2016 with the German Federal Prosecutor General. The responsible persons include the last living members of the politburo of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia Milouš Jakeš, Lubomír Štrougal and Peter Colotka. The victims include eighteen-year-old Hartmut Tautz who was killed outside Bratislava in August 1986. This is the first time that Germany is investigating the killings of its citizens abroad during Communism, as well as the first time that high-ranking Communist officials are being investigated by a third country. In August 2016, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience filed a criminal complaint with the Federal Prosecutor General in five signal cases of kilings of German citizens on the borders of Czechoslovakia with the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria during Communism. The German Federal Court has since decided that the cases will be handled by the authorities of Bavaria. In the latest development, the Bavarian state criminal investigation office in Munich (Landeskriminalamt in […]

Platform Reader presented in Brno at the Masaryk University, Faculty of Education

11. Prosinec 2017 - 13:34
Brno, 11 December – At the seminar “Reconciliation with the totalitarian past” which took place at the Masaryk University, Faculty of Education in Brno, managing director Ms Neela Winkelmann presented the reader Lest We Forget and new educational game Across the Iron Curtain to the teachers and students.

German Ambassador visits Platform office

5. Prosinec 2017 - 16:22
Prague, 4 December 2017. The new German ambassador to the Czech Republic H.E. Mr Christoph Israng visited the Platform’s office in Prague. Together with Managing Director Dr. Neela Winkelmann they discussed ongoing Platform projects, such as the international competition for a memorial for the victims of totalitarianism in Brussels and other international and educational activities.

Platform elects new President and Executive Board and admits four new Member institutions from four countries

1. Prosinec 2017 - 17:28
Vilnius / Prague, 1 December 2017. At its annual Council of Members held on 28-30 November 2017 in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience elected a new President and Executive Board and admitted four new institutions from the Czech Republic, Albania, Romania and France, bringing the total number of Members of the Platform to 57. The annual Council of Members of the Platform was hosted by the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania. The agenda included a one-day seminar with the title “The Genocide of European Roma 1939-1945“ which was attended by scholars from 10 countries, a visit to the Paneriai memorial – one of the largest mass graves in Europe, containing the remains of 100 000 people, mostly Jews, massacred between 1941-1944, and a commemoration of the victims of the Mass terror and other Communist repressions in the Tuskulėniai peace park. The newly elected President of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience is Dr. Łukasz Kamiński, Polish historian and President of the Institute of National Remembrance in the years 2011-2016. The new Executive Board of the Platform consist of Dr. Andreja Valič Zver, Director of the Slovenian Study Centre for National Reconciliation, Dr. Wolfgang-Christian […]

Platform calls for a broad debate and a change of the permanent exhibition of the House of European History

20. Listopad 2017 - 12:44
Prague, 20 November 2017. The Platform of European Memory and Conscience presents a critical report on the House of European History, a project of the European Parliament in Brussels. The report is a result of a study visit of 19 experts from 9 countries which took place in August this year. The conclusion of the report says that the House of European History fails at presenting European history in three dimensions: structure, concept and facts. As a result, visitors get an ideologically biased, chaotic narrative line with many shortcomings or even falsifications. The main idea is missing and it seems to be overshadowed by the narrow-minded Marxism-rooted concept. „We hope this report will be a starting point for a pan-European, open and broad debate which will lead to a reconstruction of the House European History exhibition. The European Union deserves to have a balanced, non-ideological and atractive exhibition which would present the common roots and values that constitute the identity and consciousness of todays Europe” says Göran Lindblad, president of the Platform. Report on the HEH by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience 30.10.2017    

Memorandum from the conference ”100 Years of Communism. History and Memory” held on 8-9 November 2017 in Paris, France

20. Listopad 2017 - 12:40
100 years ago, the Bolshevik revolution introduced a murderous utopia. It eradicated the established social and moral order, ushering in a century of totalitarianism in the world. Social engineering which aimed to take total control over people was forcibly and brutally implemented. People were deprived of their basic personal freedoms, the rule of law and humanism, which were replaced by state terror. 100 years after the Bolshevik uprising in Russia, the murderous regime that was introduced then is still deemed somehow acceptable and excusable today. Much more so than Nazism, despite the fact that it produced more than double the amount of victims, many of whom are still unidentified and left lying in unmarked graves. This is unacceptable. Today, 100 years later, we still witness the relativisation of Communist crimes. Attempts to reduce them to the period of Stalin’s rule, called „Stalinism”, are an unacceptable simplification of the deeply-rooted totalitarian basis of the Communist ideology. As a result, Communist symbols are not yet forbidden in the European public space and Communist parties are still present in public life. Many totalitarian perpetrators were never accused and tried for their crimes. Today’s Europe is founded on deeply rooted ideas of personal freedom, […]

Czech première: Across the Iron Curtain

17. Listopad 2017 - 16:16
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience launches its human rights educational game in the Czech Republic Prague, 20 November 2017 – On 16 November, the eve of the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience held in Prague a Czech première of a unique board game Across the Iron Curtain. Produced by the Platform and the Polish Institute of National Memory, the game is play-and-learn opportunity to acquire deeper awareness of history and human rights related to Communist régime. The game is currently available in English and Czech. More about the game here. The Czech launch entailed two tailored events in Prague. The first presentation brought together over 40 pupils from high schools the cities of Liberec and Ostrov nad Ohří. The latter, located on the Czech–German borderlands, was among the sites of illegal border crossing of refugees during the Cold War. Dr Neela Winkelmann, the Managing Director of the Platform and Ms Marcela Murgašová, the Director of the BLÍŽKSOBĚ foundation, introduced the historical and social context of the game. The highlight was the testimony offered by the key note speaker, Mr Alexander Wiegand, who was trafficking refugees in the late 1960s until his […]

Call on former East German refugees arrested in Czechoslovakia until 1989 to apply for rehabilitation and compensation

6. Listopad 2017 - 22:19
Berlin / Prague, 6 November 2017. On the occasion of the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall 28 years ago, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience and the German Union of Victims of Communist Tyranny UOKG call upon former refugees from East Germany who were arrested attempting to cross the Czechoslovak borders to the West to apply for rehabilitation and compensation from the courts of the Czech and Slovak Republics. In the belief that the Czechoslovak borders to West Germany and Austria were less severly guarded than the inner-German border, many thousand East Germans travelled to Czechoslovakia during Communism and attempted to cross the Iron Curtain there. Some were successful, some were sadly killed or died while trying to cross the border. Those who were caught were arrested and handed over to the East German secret police Stasi. Based on the breakthrough ruling of the district court Bratislava I from March 2017 in the case of Hartmut Tautz, the 18-year old high school graduate form Magdeburg who was killed on the Czechoslovak border to Austria in 1986, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience and the Union of Victims of Communist Tyranny call upon former East German […]