International Congress on the Evaluation of Crimes of Communism (ICECC)
Vilnius, Lithuania, June 12-14, 2000
From: The International Steering Committee, ICECC
As we are approaching the end of the Millennium, it is clear that Communism has been one of the two worst curses of mankind. While its twin brother Fascism has been critically evaluated, condemned, and its major perpetrators punished (e.g. Nuremberg Trials), so far nothing of this sort happened to Communism which is responsible for even greater (sometimes far greater) numbers of victims according to many international analysts. This is not only a major gap in social/historical analysis but an injustice of historical proportions as well.
Besides these analytical and moral challenges faced by all people, the peoples of formerly (or still) oppressed countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, America are suffering severe practical problems inflicted by Communism, e.g. one or two generations long lags in socioeconomic development. Moreover, finding and implementing solutions to these problems is severely constrained by other communist legacies. For example, despite the collapse of the "evil empire", its "praetorian guard" - red nomenklatura - are still in control of many aspects of life in the formerly Soviet occupied countries such as Lithuania. Unlike fascists after the war, former or current communists are in perfect position to misdirect, subvert, sabotage or discredit reform and democratization processes by invoking "good old times", claiming their "expertise" in management, Communism's alleged similarity to Christianity or committing other such grand intellectual fraud to confuse the public opinion. A good example here are the results of elections in the postcommunist world in 1992-93.
Although the West has declared the Cold War over, it has yet to denounce or condemn Communism as a criminal enterprise as was the case with Fascism/Nazizm. Given the above and many other reasons, we, the victims of Communism, do believe that the system and its perpetrators should be brought to account for all the crimes against humanity. There will be no lasting peace or progress in the postcommunist world without a minimum of justice!
Therefore, a coalition of Former Political Prisoners' organizations, Former Political Deportees' organizations, and Former Freedom Fighters' associations established The Communist Crimes Research Foundation. Since in the moral sense we also represent millions of other victims of Communism whose voices were brutally silenced by firing squads, in prisons, gulags, etc, long ago, we feel this work must not be conducted in obscurity or silence. Encouraged by a number of the world's most prominent intellectuals as well as freedom loving political and moral leaders, we are thus organizing The International Congress on the Evaluation of Crimes of Communism (ICECC) to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on June 12-14, 2000. Given its "singing anticommunist revolution" a decade ago and the long postwar period of active struggle for freedom, we believe Lithuania earned the right to host ICECC.
Under the circumstances as mentioned above, we expect a well financed opposition which will try to deride, discredit, deny, or even suppress our work or dissemination of its results. The Steering Committee of the Congress hopes that you will be able to help, be it via:
We greatly appreciate any assistance that you may be able to render. We have prepared a website that provides more details on how to participate in the Congress: ok.w3.lt/2000/
- advice to the organizers;
- active participation in the Congress, e.g. presenting a paper, etc;
- providing documentation, information, and/or testimony regarding Communist crimes;
- financial contributions
- directing us to possible sources of funding and/or information;
- publicizing the efforts and results of the Congress.
Vytas Miliauskas, Chairman
The Organizing Committee, ICECC
Please direct all questions and contributions to:
Ms. Agne Rudeniene, Gedimino Ave. 15, Vilnius LT-2001, Lithuania
Tel: +370 2 22 71 12
Fax: +370 2 22 71 11
Last updated: May 2000