March 21, 2018
Renown opinion leaders in different fields appealed to the Estonian government to create opportunities for the establishment of an international museum and research centre of Communist crimes in the Patarei prison, Tallinn calling this initiative very necessary for maintaining freedom, peace and democracy.
The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory is responsible for the development of the museum and research centre in the eastern wing of the Patarei building complex, with the support of the Estonian state. The deadline for the international design competition for the museum is 24 March 2018. The museum will focus on the crimes and functioning of Communist ideology and regimes globally.
The Estonian government was approached by Garry Kasparov (Chairman, Human Rights Foundation), Vladimir Kara-Murza (Vice Chairman, Open Russia), Sofi Oksanen (Author), Senator Raynell Andreychuk (Senate of Canada), Edward Lucas (Journalist), Anne Applebaum (Historian and columnist), Andrei Sannikov (Belarusian opposition leader and activist), Hon. John McKay (Member of Parliament Canada), Paul Goble (Analyst, writer and columnist), Karl Altau (Director, Joint Baltic American National Committee).
The undersigners point out that after the Bolshevik coup d’état in 1917, Russia was the first country to experience the Red Terror, to which millions of people fell victim. The result of the formalized collaboration between Hitler and Stalin (Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact) on the 23rd of August 1939, triggered the start of the Second World War which meant decades of totalitarian dictatorship in Central and Eastern Europe and The Baltic States.
“The world can learn from the experiences of the nations that suffered the crimes of communism by analysing the historical impact of the policies and actions that were the hallmarks of those regimes. The complex history of the 20th century requires an objective and fact-based approach that supports critical value-based education,” the appeal says.
The undersigners say that understanding how totalitarian systems of the past operated, helps secure societies against the repressive, extremist and violent ideologies that seek to undermine democracy. “The experiences of the totalitarian past must now be harnessed to foster a stable, free and democratic future.”
“We hope that the space for this important museum and institution will be guaranteed by the Estonian government for generations to come, to educate Estonians, Europeans and the world, about the precious and fragile nature of democracy, freedom and human rights. An international research centre and museum, supported financially by the state and located inside the historic Patarei Prison in Tallinn, in space allocated for it by the Estonian Government, can do just that,” the undersigners stress.
The future of the Patarei complex is being decided in the Estonian Government.
Read full text of the statement of support: https://redterrormuseum.com/en/support/
Further information on the design competiton: https://redterrormuseum.com/
About the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory: http://mnemosyne.ee/
Photo: Gage Skidmore