Dedicated to the 100 million victims of communism worldwide.
1521 Sixteenth St., NW, Washington, DC 20036 · Tel: (202) 536-2352 · Fax: (443) 276-6789
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org · Web site: www.victimsofcommunism.org
Volume 2, Number 2
IN THIS ISSUE
GMOC IS ONLINE!
The online Global Museum on Communism is now a reality. Tens of thousands of people have visited the web site and thousands more are discovering it.
Without you, this would never have happened. You have enabled us to move from an inspired idea to a world-class Internet platform that will help educate this and future generations about the history, philosophy and legacy of communism. The museum gives us the potential to "reach-and-teach" millions.
To do this, we need your help. Your financial support is essential to promoting the online museum so that people everywhere will learn about it. Your continuing support will allow our vital research to continue. We must collect eyewitness accounts and historical evidence regarding communism before the eye witnesses are gone forever.
With your generous financial support we will continue to research and display new exhibits, distribute lesson plans to schools and universities, and bring together scholars and activists.
Please click on the link below and give as much as you can, today.
Lee Edwards, Ph.D.
Chairman, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
Please help support our efforts to remember
the 100 million victims of communism.
Big thanks to the individuals and organizations who have generously supported the launch of our Global Museum on Communism!
American Latvian Association
De Gasperi Institute for Political Research
Estonian American National Council
Dr. & Mrs. Yuri Deychakiwsky
Lee & Anne Edwards
Embassy of Ukraine
Edwin J. Feulner, Jr.
Freda Utley Foundation
Fund for American Studies
The Heritage Foundation
Hungarian American Coalition
Kathryn W. Davis Foundation
Jurate & Carl Landwehr
Laogai Research Foundation
Latvian Relief Fund of America, Inc.
The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation
Pannonius Foundation (John & Edith Lauer)
Pew Charitable Trusts
Alfred S. Regnery
Republic of China
Republic of Estonia
Republic of Hungary
Republic of Korea
Republic of Latvia
Republic of Lithuania
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Lin & Janet Snapp
Richard A. Viguerie
William A. and Genevieve H. Strong Foundation Trust
Louis DeJoy & Aldona Wos
World Federation of Free Latvians
A more comprehensive list of our generous supporters is available here.
THE GLOBAL MUSEUM ON COMMUNISM IS ONLINE!
We did it! The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation launched the first online Global Museum on Communism on June 16, 2009. People from around the world can now learn about the complete story of communism, every hour of every day, no matter what time zone they live in. The museum, which was under development for nearly a year and a half, can be visited at www.globalmuseumoncommunism.org.
Early public interest has been strong. During the week following the launch, more than twenty thousand unique visits to the museum's web site were registered. Hundreds of people visit the online museum daily. As the news of the museum spreads across the Internet, the rate of new visits is expected to intensify, according to Marcus Kolga, President of Toronto-based Liefa Communications, Inc. Kolga's company designed the museum web site and graphics.
Visitors to the museum will find an array of frequently updated, interactive and visually appealing exhibits such as global maps, historic timelines and viewer-activated galleries. The Gallery of Heroes for example, includes graphic displays featuring some of the better known heroes who fought against communism, such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa. Conversely, the Hall of Infamy documents the dark deeds of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro and some lesser known but similarly villainous comrades.
Also included in the museum is a Victims Registry, where the heroic stories of everyday people who suffered under, and ultimately triumphed over, communist regimes are presented. Essays by many of the world's leading scholars top off the various national exhibits about communism. Eventually, each nation and people affected by communism will have their own exhibit and unique contribution to the world's most comprehensive online educational forum about communism.
"Our aim is to educate this generation and younger generations, who depend upon the latest technologies. The museum is an international portal that will provide essential study materials and lesson plans for teachers. It will also serve as an online meeting place where scholars, researchers and activists can build their educational competence and share ideas," said Dr. Lee Edwards, Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOCMF).
The official museum launch took place during a ceremony held at the Washington, D.C. residence of Adrian Vierita, the Romanian Ambassador to the United States. An international audience of nearly three hundred guests overflowed into the courtyard of the stately mansion.
Ambassador Vierita opened the ceremony by stating that the launch of the online museum was "an extremely important initiative" that should "put to flight the doubts that some people have about the nature of communist regimes." He stated that the online museum is "a natural consequence of the communications revolution that brought down communism in Eastern Europe."
Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund delivered the keynote speech. Dr. Vladimir Tismaneanu, head of the Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania, also delivered an inspiring address.
The historic event was broadcast around the world. New technology enabled the live Internet streaming of the launch ceremony to bypass communist blocking equipment designed to deny information to their citizens. Attending guests and those tuning in were treated to a number of short messages from groups around the world, including a letter from the New York-based representative of the Dalai Lama and a video from the Terror House museum in Hungary.
A DAY OF COMMEMORATION
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation staged two other events in Washington D. C. on June 16, the same day of the museum launch.
"Our children must learn about the past in order to understand the present," said Dr. Aldona Wos, former U.S. Ambassador to Estonia, during her remarks at a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial. Senior diplomats and international leaders joined an audience of more than two hundred for the occasion that featured the placement of two dozen wreaths on behalf of the more than 100 million victims of communism worldwide. Participating were the embassies of Ukraine, Romania, Albania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Philippines and Slovak Republic, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), together with a number of ethnic associations and nongovernmental organizations.
Emotions ran high during the event. News sources around the world reported their comments. Tencho Gyatso from Save Tibet told the Ukrainian Kyiv Post that the event "gave hope that one day communism will fall down in his country." (Links to the numerous articles about the activities of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation on June 16, 2009 and the launch of the Global Museum on Communism can be found below.)
Following the wreath laying ceremony, guests boarded buses to the Capitol Hill Visitors Center for the Truman Reagan Medal of Freedom award ceremony and luncheon. The Master of Ceremony was former Congressman Don Ritter (R-PA). This year's medal recipients were U.S. Secretary and Congressman Jack Kemp (deceased) and Bishop Laszlo Tokes, a hero of the 1989 Romanian revolution. Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner presented Mr. Kemp's medal to his son Jimmy while VOCMF Board Member Edith Lauer presented Bishop Tokes with his medal.
Congressional Representatives Frank Wolf (R-VA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) also took time out of their legislative duties to attend the ceremony. Due to his demanding legislative activities, U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was unable to receive his medal during the ceremony, but will do so at a later date.
THE COMMUNISTS TARGET THE INTERNET... AND US
Since Lenin and Mao, the Communists have been good at manipulating the mass media -- the Internet is their latest chosen instrument of disinformation.
The Chinese communists launched a web site last April to honor the dead of the Chinese Communist revolution. So far more than half a million people have visited the site, with 60,000 posting comments. Missing from the web site is the fact that, since the communists came to power in 1949, more than 60 million Chinese have died as a result of purges, forced famines, the Cultural Revolution and the Laogai.
The Lenin Museum, a privately-supported web site based in Moscow, treats Lenin like a rock star. "Lenin's name and image," say the organizers, "remain in the hearts of the builders of communist society." Omitted from the praise is that Lenin created the world's first totalitarian state, instituting such weapons of terror as the KGB and the Gulag.
Communist web sites compete to be the most extreme. They feature communist icons like the hammer and sickle, the AK-47 assault rifle and, of course, images of the "sainted" Che Guevara, who died an abject failure in the Bolivian jungle. One communist site displays the burning of an American flag and someone extinguishing the flames by urinating on it.
"Home of the Revolutionary Left" boasts one of the world's largest online communist forums, where over 10,000 radical left-wingers discuss politics, history and political theory. They spent a lot of time discussing the online Global Museum on Communism shortly after we launched on June 16.
Some Marxists labeled our Museum "terrible" or "pathetic." Another admitted, grudgingly, that it was "not a bad effort." Another feared that students might use the Museum as a "reference for [school] projects." Where did they get the money for such a well-designed and attractive site? several wondered.
We can tell them who supports us. Not the federal government but private citizens like you who understand the critical importance of educating people, especially young people, about communism -- and promoting the blessings of liberty.
Broadcast, print and blog interviews were conducted with media outlets from across the United States and around the world about the launch of the Global Museum on Communism.
Examples include: the nationally syndicated Jim Bohannon Show; the DPA-German Press Agency and German Wire Service with reporter Daniel Leaderman; "Superstation" WHO in Des Moines, Iowa; Talk Radio Network's "The Rusty Humphries Show"; The Brad Davis Show on WDRC-AM, Hartford, Connecticut; Business Week's Asia Edition with Bruce Einhorn; The National Examiner's "Beltway Confidential" with Kevin Mooney; Radio America Network's "Dateline Washington" with Greg Corombos; "The Morning Drive" on KCRS-AM with Robert Hallmark and Kurt Verline in Odessa, Texas; "Richmond's Morning News" on WRVA-AM in Richmond, Virginia with Jimmy Barrett; and, "The Dave Elswick Show" on KARN-AM in Little Rock, Arkansas.
A few examples of online articles and links about the launc