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Platform visits House of European History in Brussels

17. Srpen 2017 - 14:40
On 10 August 2017 the Platform Board and a group of historians representing various Platform Member organisations from different countries visited the House of European History in Brussels. The group is preparing a report which will be presented to the public tentatively in September 2017.

Platform has located graves of six of the thirteen electrocuted Polish victims for whose death Lubomír Štrougal is responsible

27. Červenec 2017 - 11:19
Praha/Bratislava, 27 July 2017. Researchers of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience have found the graves of six of thirteen identified Polish victims who were killed by electrocution on the Czechoslovak Iron Curtain. The responsibility for their deaths lies primarily with former Minister of Interior, later member of the Politburo and Prime Minister Lubomír Štrougal. The Polish Institute of National Remembrance, which initiated criminal proceedings in the cases based on the findings of the Platform this February, announced last month that they were interested in exhuming the remains of the Polish citizens. Based on a submission by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, prosecutors of the Main Commission for the Prosecution of the Crimes against the Polish Nation, which is a division of the Institute of National Remembrance, initiated criminal proceedings this February in cases of killings of Polish citizens on the Czechoslovak Iron Curtain in the years 1961-1965, when Lubomír Štrougal (*1924) was Minister of Interior. The Platform research team has identified altogether thirteen Polish victims who died by electric shock from high voltage electricity in the wire barriers on the border of Czechoslovakia with Austria at the time when Štrougal was Minister. Further work aimed at […]

Agreement on Cooperation signed between IICCMER, the Timişoara Society and the Platform for European Memory and Conscience

4. Červenec 2017 - 15:05
Bucharest/ Timişoara/ Prague, 4 July 2017. On Monday 3 July 2017, the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER), the Timişoara Society and the Platfom for European Memory and Conscience signed an Agreement on Cooperation in order to expand research in the area of killings of civilians on the borders during the Communist regime in Romania. The activities will concentrate on the cases of human rights infringement and on the abuses committed by representatives of the totalitarian system against civilian persons that tried to flee the country. About the Partners The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and The Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) is a governmental structure established in 2005 and under the coordination of the Prime Minister. Its role consists, first of all, in scientifically managing and analysing the totalitarian period and its consequences. Secondly, the IICCMER supports the creation and implementation of educational tools to a memorial end, thus contributing to the articulation of the context in which the fundamental values and rights to be captured by our post-totalitarian society. Last but not least, IICCMER aims to collect, archive and publish documents relating to the memory of […]

Platform joins commemoration event at Roma concentration camp in Lety, Czech Republic on 24 June 2017

28. Červen 2017 - 13:13
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience joined an international commemoration event organised by EGAM, the European Grassrots Anti-Racist Movement, at the site of the former concentration camp for Roma people operated by Czechs during WWII in Lety, South Bohemia, on Saturday 24 June 2017. A private pig farm is being operated on the site, despite decades of official promises by Czech governments to convert the site into a dignified memorial. About 200-300 people, representatives of Roma organisations and NGOs from several countries came to the event, as well as invited Czech politicians including Minister of Justice Mr Robert Pelikán. Platform Managing Director Neela Winkelmann was among the speakers. The ceremony concluded with laying flowers and weaving red roses into the fence of the property. (Photos: PEMC, Romea)

German Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records Roland Jahn visits Platform Office in Prague

16. Červen 2017 - 17:53
Prague, 16 June 2017.  The Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former GDR Mr Roland Jahn visited the Platform Office in Prague today. Together with Platform Managing Director Ms Neela Winkelmann, they discussed ongoing projects and cooperation.

Institute of National Remembrance would like to exhume Polish victims of the Communist regime in former Czechoslovakia

16. Červen 2017 - 14:45
Prague/Warsaw, 16 June 2017. At a meeting with the Institute of National Remembrance IPN in Warsaw earlier this week, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience handed over documents pertaining to the killings of 13 Polish citizens who died on the Czechoslovak electrified Iron Curtain on the border with Austria between 1961-1965. The IPN and its subordinated Main Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation is ready to exhume the remains of the Polish victims of the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia. At a meeting in Warsaw on Monday with prosecutors led by Andrzej Pozorski, Director of the Main Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, Platform Managing Director Neela Winkelmann handed over to the IPN documents related to the deaths by electrocution of 13 Polish citizens in the years 1961-1965, when the Czechoslovak Iron Curtain was charged with electric current of 4,000-6,000 V. The main surviving responsible person is former Minister of Interior and later Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia Lubomír Štrougal (*1924). The Institute of National Remembrance has an expertise in exhuming and identifying victims of totalitarian crimes from unmarked sites and mass graves, for the purpose of criminal investigation and a dignified re-burial. […]

World premiere of “Across the Iron Curtain” educational board game hosted at the IPN Educational Center in Warsaw on 13 June 2017

11. Červen 2017 - 11:42
Prague/Warsaw, 11 June 2017. “Across the Iron Curtain” is an extraordinary educational board game telling the story of people who managed to escape across the Iron Curtain. It has been developed by an international team of experts from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Among them was Karol Madaj from Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance, author of many board games, including the very popular “Kolejka” (Queue), a game published worldwide. ‘Today’s young generation does not know how hard it was to lead a normal life behind the impermeable Iron Curtain’ says Dr Neela Winkelmann, Managing Director of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. ‘The worst thing was not the lack of goods in the shops; it was the life in permanent fear, because all our human rights were being violated. Next was the isolation from the free, democratic world. People longed to get out of the Communist dictatorship, to live dignified, free lives. In the game “Across the Iron Curtain,” we have re-created the situation during the Cold War, when people were trying to escape to the West, oftentimes with the assistance of helpers at home and abroad. The players are such escape helpers attempting to bring 30 refugees from […]

“JUSTICE 2.0″ – presentation at the Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Warsaw, 12 June 2017

10. Červen 2017 - 17:59
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience together with the Institute of National Remembrance, the Witold Pilecki Center for Totalitarian Studies and the Research Centre Pro Patria of the Warsaw University are cordially inviting to a discussion seminar “JUSTICE 2.0″ which will take place on Monday 12 June 2017 from 15.00-17.15 at the Collegium Iuridicum, 4, Lipowa Street, 2nd floor, room 3.8 of the Faculty of Law and Administration of Warsaw University. At the seminar, we will present the ongoing results of the project “International Justice for the Communist Crimes” during which living persons responsible for crimes against humanity committed under Communism in Europe are being identified. They include the surviving members of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and others. Speakers will be manager of the project Dr. Neela Winkelmann and members of the International Legal Advisor Team of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, Dr. Nika Bruskina from the Faculty of Law, Vilnius University, Lithuania, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult Albin Eser, MCJ, Director emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for foreign and international criminal law and former judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia from Freiburg, Germany […]

Patronage of the European Parliament for competition for a memorial for the victims of totalitarianism in Brussels – one week left for expressions of interest!

9. Červen 2017 - 13:55
Prague, 9 June 2017. Mr Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, has given an official patronage to the competition for a memorial for the victims of 20th century totalitarianism in Brussels organised by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. Expressions of interest by artists and architects are invited by 15 June 2017. The Platform has launched an official competition website, www.memorialbrussels.eu. Following the announcement of the international competition on 26 April 2017, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience is pleased to inform that President Antonio Tajani has given an official patronage of the European Parliament to the competition by letter of 22 May 2017 to Mr Pavel Svoboda, Czech MEP. The site for the proposed memorial is the Place Jean Rey, excellently located in the heart of the European district, a large open space within site of the newly opened House of European History, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the EU. “It is important (…) that we remember those who actively opposed totalitarian rule, and who, because of their dedication, honour, courage and loyalty to ideals, should take their place in the consciousness of Europeans as heroes of the totalitarian age. The […]

Commemoration event in former Communist concentration camp “Hell of Jáchymov”, Czech Republic on 26 May 2017

5. Červen 2017 - 13:49
Horní Slavkov, Ostrov nad Ohří, 26 May 2017. Platform Managing Director Neela Winkelmann and legal intern Juliette Rémond-Tiedrez attended two of a series of commemoration events organised by the Confederation of Political Prisoners of the Czech Republic together with the local municipalities in the region of Jáchymov in Northwestern Czech Republic on 26-27 May 2017. The annual commemoration event called “Hell of Jáchymov” is held attended by survivors, associations of victims and representatives of municipalities, the Government and Parliament of the Czech Republic. Between 1949-1961, the Czechoslovak Communist regime operated a series of concentration camps centered around Jáchymov (and the town of Příbram near Prague) in which thousands of political prisoners were forced to excavate and process uranium ore which was exported to the Soviet Union, based on a secret treaty. The camps were run with the aim to work the prisoners to death – the prisoners were called “men destined for liquidation” (the acronym is MUKL in Czech, a term which former political prisoners use for calling themselves until today.) The men were forced to work in inhumane conditions with no possibility to protect themselves from high radiation; many of them died as a result of the harsh conditions, […]