Peter the Great’s fortification complex, known in Estonia as Patarei, is one of the strongest symbols of Soviet political terror for Estonians. At the same time, it is an international monumental memorial that helps to understand the inhuman nature of totalitarian regimes, irrespective of the specific state power, indicating with sinister clarity as to why it is imperative to avoid their recurrence.
The project needs your support – in mind, in words, in action.
The project is supported by international opinion leaders in various fields whose signatures are in the statement below.
SUPPORT FOR THE MUSEUM AND INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH CENTRE OF CRIMES OF COMMUNISM IN TALLINN, ESTONIA
Remembering our past is important to understanding the threats of 21st century totalitarian ideologies.
Freedom, peace and democracy depend on historical memory. Understanding how totalitarian systems of the past operated, helps secure us against the repressive, extremist and violent ideologies that seek to undermine our democratic societies. The experiences of the totalitarian past must now be harnessed to foster a stable, free and democratic future.
It is a great achievement that Nazi crimes, including the Holocaust, have been acknowledged as one of the main pillars of European remembrance and awareness. This topic requires further research and teaching. However, the history of communist regimes, their crimes and victims has not yet found its rightful place in European remembrance and conscience.
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. Central and Eastern Europe and The Baltic States were occupied and forced to endure the crimes of both Nazi and communist regimes.
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.
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.
We support this effort, to secure the historical legacy of societies that were scarred by the brutality of these regimes and to ensure that this history is preserved, never to be forgotten. 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.
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
Bill Browder, CEO Hermitage Capital and Leader of The Global Magnitsky Campaign
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
Göran Lindblad, Former Chairman Platform on European Memory and Conscience and former Member of Swedish Parliament
Rep. John Shimkus, Illinois, Co-Chairman US House of Representatives Baltic Caucus