And now to Europe where an international conference – “Crimes of Communist Regimes” – took place in Prague. The conference was planned to remind people about the crimes committed by former communist regimes while they were in power.
A conference on the crimes of former communist regimes took place in the Senate of the Czech Parliament in Prague last week.
Held by the Czech government and the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, the conference’s focus is primarily on former communist regimes of the European Eastern Bloc.
Most of the speakers are from former Eastern Bloc countries but a few are from Sweden, Finland and the U.S.
[Jiri Liska, Vice-Chairman, Czech Senate]: (Czech, male)
“The purpose of the conference is to remind people of the crimes of communism because although it seems that communism in the world has collapsed, the consequences the world is carrying from that time when many countries were under communist rule are still here. So it is necessary to remind ourselves of these crimes and to try to come to terms with them and show what was wrong to prevent something similar from being repeated.”
Conference speakers agree that Europe should condemn communism the same way it has condemned Nazism.
One former Czech Premier reflects on why the communist party came to power in 1948 in the former Czechoslovakia.
[Mirek Topolanek, Former Premier, Czech Republic]: (Czech, male)
“We sold out our souls when we, while still free citizens, agreed to a deal with the Devil. What was seemingly favorable was in reality a deceitful exchange. We exchanged eternal moral principles for a crust of bread – and this was the first tragic step.”
The conference is linked to the resolution of the European Parliament which condemned crimes of totalitarian authoritarian regimes last year.