Why an International Museum for The Victims of Communism and Research Centre on The Crimes of Communism in Estonia is needed
Honour and memorialize the over 90 million victims of communism. The institution will research, preserve and raise international awareness of the crimes of communist regimes and their victims. Greater understanding of these repressive regimes and awareness of the crimes and systemic gross human rights violations they committed against millions of innocent civilians will help prevent the recurrence of totalitarianism and promote human rights, democracy and freedom.
Need to raise global awareness of Central and Eastern European history. The 20th century history of Central and Eastern European nations is often overlooked and marginalized by the overarching topics of the Second World War and Cold War. However, the history of these nations is critical to understanding broader historical issues, as they were cynically used and carved up by the Nazis and Soviets in their coordinated start of the Second World War triggered by the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939. The Museum tells the story of these nations: how their freedom was crushed by Communist and Nazi imperialism and about their 50 year struggle for independence.
A globally unique, immersive historial education institution and living memorial. The authentic Soviet era prison environment that the Museum and Centre are housed in, provides a globally unique, immersive, museum environment that allows visitors to see, feel and share the experiences of the victims of Communist repression and terror. Untouched since the fall of the Soviet Union, the interior of Patarei Prison itself, is a historical artifact that is a part of this dark history. It’s unique history and environment make it an internationally significant site that will become an iconic global symbol of Communist totalitarianism and a memorial to the suffering of its victims.
Promoting and securing values. The Museum and Center engage in researching and the telling of this history objectively and outside of any domestic partisan political debates. It seeks to reinforce and promote the values of human rights, democracy, transparency and freedom, independent of domestic politics or foreign pressure.
Learning from past propaganda warfare and protecting history today. Propaganda and disinformation were on the front lines of the Cold War, as Soviet and other Communist authorities weaponized information to repress their own people and manipulate their adversaries by twisting facts and creating new ones. Communist propaganda and disinformation strategies and tactics have been revived over the past decade and have seen a steep escalation since 2007. The facts surrounding Central and Eastern Europe history are on the frontline of the new information war and are under constant risk of being attacked and manipulated by belligerent actors in efforts to discredit and undermine Central and Eastern European states.
A trusted international institution for historical facts. The Museum and Centre will bring together a diverse international coalition of trusted regional and international memory institutions, researchers, experts and thinkers on the crimes of totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. Governments and media who seek facts and information can contact the Museum and Centre as an international nexus for information about the crimes of communism.
A venue and platform for the exchange of ideas and information. A trusted, high profile, international public venue and platform for researchers and experts to exchange and discuss ideas, research and views, the museum will host regular events and conferences to facilitate the growth of this community to further protect this important history. The museum and center are committed to helping grow awareness of European and global crimes of communism through its activities and programs.
Evidence based. The information and historical narratives presented at the Museum will all be evidence based. The Museum and Center will foster the conditions for effective research by supporting talented researchers, creating high-quality scientific papers and articles for the wider public and constantly exchanging knowledge and experience between scholars from Estonia and other countries.
Creating a Strong Global Community. By building and connecting a global community of experts, academics and experts from around the world, the Museum and Center will further ensure that these histories are safeguarded against ongoing active attempts to deny or manipulate them.
A leading global advocate that empowers researchers and activists. The Museum and Center will create a safe environment for researchers and experts working in and on regimes where historical facts, and the communication of them have been outlawed. The Museum and Center will become a global advocate for those who face persecution for their work on exposing communist crimes and those who actively fight to overcome existing totalitarian regimes.