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article imageFormer East Bloc nations remember Communism’s victims

By Christopher Szabo     Feb 25, 2013 in World
Budapest - Nations in the former East Bloc, now part of the EU, commemorated a day for the victims of Communism, which Hungarian President János Áder described as being ”conceived in crime”, while candlelight vigils are being held in the capital, Budapest. nd Hír TV reported Áder said that:
”The system of Socialism was conceived in crime in the double sense of being criminal in both its common law and moral senses. In terms of common law, it came to power by blackmail and coercion, as they prevailed on Ferenc Nagy to resign by political blackmail.”
(Nagy was Hungary’s Prime Minister who was forced into exile by the Hungarian Communists and the Soviet power.) The Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism is the day Smallholder Party's Chief Secretary was arrested by the Communists and then deported to the GULAG.
Director of the House of Terror Museum in Budapest, Dr Mária Schmidt, said Western Europeans still didn’t show much understanding towards the victims of Communism. Speaking on Hír TV, she said:
”We must give Western Europe a bit more time to comprehend what Europe’s eastern half went through during the time of the Communist dictatorship. I say that we have achieved some results, therefore they have also changed a lot, partly since 2004, when ten countries got into the EU as members with full rights, who suffered through both the dictatorships and naturally their voices can be heard better within the EU. Europe has changed, but not enough. There are two kinds of the past: In their eyes, to them the Nazi occupation of Western Europe was a great trauma, but they did not suffer the occupation of the Red Army and the Soviet type of dictatorship, and because of this we must stress this at every opportunity and at every point we must express just what this means to us.
She added:
In my opinion, that untenable situation, that characterises certain circles in Western Europe, will come to an end sooner or later, and they will also come to realise that in order for a common European identity to be formed, they must recognise the sensitivies, which these symbols and their use mean to us. I believe that in many respects it has improved, after all, a joint statement was made on the crimes of communism, and every year numerous remembrences are held and there is even a possible joint day of remembrance, the day of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, on August 23... So there have been forward steps.”
Foreign diplomats and journalists were invited to the museum in order to expose them to the realities of Communism, and young people were also encouraged to visit the museum. School teachers are still afraid to teach the truth, for fear of reprisals, although there are efforts to educate young people on the crimes of Communism as well as those of Nazism.
The Prague Daily Monitor says a memorial was held in the Czech capital to recall the victims of Communism there, on the day of of the Communist coup that overthrew the democratic government in the then Czechoslovakia.
The Global Museum of Communism puts the cost of the Communist experiment in Czechoslovakia at 65,000, that of Poland at two million and that of Hungary at 27,000, although this does not include the deportation to the GULAG of 650,000 people, many of my relatives included.
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