Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Victimas del Comunismo Dr. Lee Edwards Mensaje

Dr. Lee Edwards

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and/or Dr. Lee Edwards.
revolution in 1956.

Mensaje del director


The year 2009 has been an extraordinary year for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation for which every one of us at the Foundation gives thanks.

The response to our online Global Museum on Communism, launched in June, has exceeded all our expectations. Some 60,000 people from over 100 countries have already visited the Museum, attracted by such imaginative exhibits as the Hall of Heroes and the Timeline of Communism.

We marked the 10th anniversary of our Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom awards by recognizing the life-long contributions to freedom of four distinguished individuals: professor and historian Richard Pipes, former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Bishop Laszlo Tokes of Romania, and the late Congressman Jack Kemp.

Americans of every nationality visit daily the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C., honoring and remembering their relatives who suffered under communism. Foreign leaders too come to the Memorial to pay their respects and lay a wreath for the 100 million victims of communism.

All that we do is made possible by your support.

We have exciting plans for 2010, especially our National School Initiative, which will promote the online Global Museum on Communism to school teachers and to parents who are home schooling their children.

It's certainly been a tough year economically for all of us. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has cut its budget and carefully monitored the expenditure of every dollar we have received from you. I am proud that we still launched, and successfully, the online Global Museum on Communism!

We're now looking ahead to 2010. I invite you to consider an end-of-the-year gift to VOCMF. I honestly don't think you could make a better investment in the education of our children about the history, philosophy, and legacy of communism--the deadly ism that took the lives of tens of millions of innocent people.

All the best.

Lee Edwards, Ph.D.
Chairman, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOCMF)

Please help support
our efforts to remember
the 100 million victims
of communism.


From 1961 to1989, the Berlin Wall stood as a bleak monument to one of the most sinister political systems the world has ever known. This month, twenty years after its demise, people and governments across the planet paused to commemorate the anniversary with, by and large, solemn ceremonies. They not only memorialized the nearly 200 Berliners who died trying to escape the caged city, they also remembered those who perished under the tyranny of communist regimes.

The twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall remembers, as much as any single event, the reason for The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. It reminds us that our mission to memorialize the 100 million victims of communism and to educate this and future generations about communism's dark history, philosophy and legacy is as important today as it ever was.

Almost simultaneous with the anniversary, we were given a stunning reminder of the need to continue our educational mission. Last month, New York City's Empire State Building was intentionally washed in red and yellow spotlights to celebrate the coming to power of one of the five remaining communist nations, China.

Despite international protests, no acknowledgment was made by the building's management of the more than 60 million deaths caused by the Peoples Republic of China. No mention was made of the thousands of Chinese students and demonstrators who were killed or imprisoned during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989. It is some consolation that the red and yellow lighting that defaced New York's skyline was a forceful reminder there is still much educational work about communism to be done.

This is why we launched the Global Museum on Communism last June. On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall we opened our national exhibit on East Germany. VOCMF will announce an important initiative to provide educators across the United States with lesson plans and educational materials in the near future.


VOCMF has been building awareness and educating the public about communism's brutal history since its charter was approved by Congress in 1993. Since June 16, 2009 we have been online with the Global Museum on Communism.

The museum is committed to educating young people in grade school, at the secondary level and college about communism because studies show that they are woefully ignorant about the "ism" that has claimed 100 million victims. VOCMF will be launching a new initiative in the near future to provide comprehensive lesson plans and educational materials to teachers across the United States. We are pleased to report that there are signs that some students are eager to get the facts about communism.

College students at Washington University in Saint Louis recently built a mock Soviet prison to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and condemn communism. The display was a four-sided wooden structure with fake barbed wire on top and Soviet Communist propaganda posters pasted on its sides. Student actors, dressed as prisoners, stood inside the mock gulag, some of them with fake blood on their clothing. Others, dressed as Soviet soldiers, patrolled around the structure while Russian opera music was played. University officials demanded removal of the exhibit. Students were told the display had not been approved and was reportedly "unsafe." Exhibit organizers claimed the University's action was a simple case of censorship, but declined to appeal the decision.

More than 140 students gathered at Drexel University in Philadelphia on November 7, 2009 for the "Students for Liberty" Mid-Atlantic Conference. The group is a "student-driven forum of support for students and student organizations dedicated to liberty."

Event participants heard Dr. Alan Charles Kors, a member of VOCMF's National Advisory Council, speak about the brutal history of communism in formerly communist nations and the difficulty in overcoming its legacy.

VOCMF staff introduced students to the newly launched Global Museum on Communism. Most leapt at the opportunity to learn more about communism. Descendents of those who lived behind the Iron Curtain were particularly fascinated by the Museum's "Victims Registry," which allows those who suffered under communism to tell their personal stories and their family's story. According to VOCMF's Jaron Jansen, "there was clearly a hunger for the truth about communism." You can learn more about the Students for Liberty at


Edwin Meese III, Counsellor to President Ronald Reagan and the 75th Attorney General of the United States, and Dr. Richard Pipes, one of the world's leading authorities on Russia and communism, received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom during separate Capitol Hill ceremonies this fall.

The Medal is awarded by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation to those who have distinguished themselves defending freedom and democracy and opposing communism and tyranny around the world.

Meese and Pipes were the 44th and 45th recipients of the medal in its ten year history. Previous recipients include such notable figures as: Lech Walesa; Vaclav Havel; Elena Bonner; Pope John Paul II; William F. Buckley, Jr.; Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson; Sen. Jesse Helms and Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

On June 16, 2009, Jack Kemp, former Congressman and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H. W. Bush, also received the medal posthumously. Romanian Bishop Laszlo Tokes, hero of the 1989 Romanian revolution, received the medal during the same Capitol Hill ceremony.


The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOCMF) is slated to receive an exceptionally valuable collection of 50 paintings by Gulag survivor and artist Nikolai Getman. The collection, described as "haunting" by many observers, portrays life and death inside the Soviet Union's notorious prison camp system.

The Jamestown Foundation recently presented the collection to the Heritage Foundation, which has agreed to turn it over to VOCMF when a permanent home has been acquired. VOCMF Chairman Lee Edwards states that the foundation hopes to find a permanent home for the exhibit and other artifacts in a "bricks-and-mortar" museum in Washington, DC.

The Gulag Collection presents an incomparable visual record of the Soviet penal camps that held more than 14 million political prisoners--many of whom died in captivity. The collection, estimated to be worth several hundred thousand dollars, is currently on display at the Heritage Foundation.

Getman, who died in August 2004 at age 86, began painting the scenes in secret when he was released from captivity in 1953 after eight years of forced labor in Siberia and Kolyma. His sole offense was to have been in the company of a fellow artist who had satirizes Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a sketch on cigarette paper.

Getman devoted decades to putting his nightmarish yet strangely uplifting evocations of the Gulag on canvas. The paintings have been compared to Alexander Solzhenitsyn's classic memoir, "The Gulag Archipelago." According to Edwards, Getman left the images behind as a reminder of "communism's cruel inhumanity" that he hoped never would be forgotten.

The Heritage Foundation will keep Getman's work on public view weekdays through mid-December. The collection has been on view in Washington only once before--for five days in July 1997, in the Russell Senate Office Building.

For more information on Nikolai Getman, visit:


The Terror House Museum in Budapest, Hungary was opened on February 24, 2002. It is a remarkable memorial and museum about the Hungarian victims of terror under both the Nazi and Soviet regimes. Museum creators call it "a multi-sensory experience that takes visitors beyond the visual and seeks to emphasize the importance of remembering this time in Hungary's history."

Exhibits on each of the museum's four floors reveal what life was like for people under both the Nazis and Soviets by displaying many genuine artifacts in the authentic settings of their use. Visitors are confronted by the massive features of a full size Russian T-32 tank immediately upon entering the museum. The enormous cannon of the metal beast delivers a swift reminder of how it was that so many Hungarians were so brutally subjugated.

What is perhaps more startling to most visitors is the fact that the museum building itself was part of a larger complex of buildings where communist and Nazi state security personnel conducted some of their most gruesome work. The building served as the headquarters of the state police during both regimes. The basement contains cells where real torture took place--including a room in which occupants were denied oxygen and another room where prisoners were made to sit or stand in icy water for long periods.

More information can be found at:

"I fall, I fall, I lost this battle, I leave honorably. I love this country, I love these people, build prosperity for them. I leave without hatred for you. I wish you this, I wish you this." Those were the last words spoken by Milada Horakova before she was hanged by the communist government of Czechoslovakia in June 1950.

The date of her execution has since become a state holiday of the Czech Republic in 2004 as the "commemoration day of the victims of the communist regime." Milada Horakova is one of the innumerable heroes who struggled under and fought against communist tyranny to be featured in our "Focus on Heroes" newsletter section. She is also the first of many heroes to be featured in our online Global Museum on Communism. The purpose of "Focus on Heroes" is to affirm that the struggle of the brave people who fought communism was not in vain.

Horakova was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on Christmas Day, 1901. She studied law and philosophy at the renowned Charles University, receiving her Ph.D. in 1926. During World War II, Horakova became a member of the anti-Nazi resistance. She was arrested by the Gestapo in August 1940 and sent to a concentration camp. Following the war's end, Horakova became a leading Member of Parliament and was elected head of the Women's National Council. Despite being urged to flee, Horakova remained in Czechoslovakia and worked against communist efforts there. Her outspoken anti-communist activities made her a primary target of the regime, which arrested her in September 1949 on charges of "conspiracy" against the state. Beaten repeatedly, Horakova refused to recant her views about the illegality of the communist government. She was sentenced to death after a widely publicized show trial.

On November 14, 2006, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation posthumously awarded Horakova the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. Her daughter Jana Kanska accepted the award at a reception held at the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Activists Marcus Kolga, Markus Hess and the Eastern and Central European Council in Canada organized an event in Toronto to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9.

Organizers were moved by the large turnout in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square. Liberal Critic for Foreign Affairs, Bob Rae; Conservative Cabinet Minister, Vic Toews; NDP Leader Jack Layton; and MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj celebrated the triumph of liberty over tyranny along with the over 500 people in attendance.

Bob Rae specifically spoke of the need to annually memorialize the suffering of the European victims of totalitarian communism and nazism in Canada. He proposed an annual national day of remembrance on August 23, called Black Ribbon Day--to coincide with the signing of the Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939 that carved up Europe between the two regimes. He urged members of all political parties to put aside partisanship and come together to ensure the passage of the resolution that he is proposing to The House of Commons.

The resolution would be the first of its kind outside of Europe. Similar resolutions have been passed by the European Parliament and OSCE. The Central and Eastern European Council of Canada has asked all Members of Parliament to support the Black Ribbon Day Resolution. The CEEC is an organization that represents the 3.4 million Canadians of Eastern and Central European heritage and includes the Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovak and Ukrainian communities.


1) WHEREAS the Government of Canada has actively advocated for and continues to support the principles enshrined by The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights and The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 260 (III) A of 9 December 1948;

2) WHEREAS the extreme forms of totalitarian rule practiced by the Nazi and Communist dictatorships led to premeditated and vast crimes committed against millions of human beings and their basic and inalienable rights on a scale unseen before in history;

3) WHEREAS hundreds of thousands of human beings, fleeing the Nazi and Soviet Communist crimes, sought and found refuge in Canada;

4) WHEREAS the millions of Canadians of Eastern and Central European descent whose families have been directly affected by Nazi and/or Communist crimes have made unique and significant cultural, economic, social and other contributions to help build the Canada we know today;

5) WHEREAS 20 years after the fall of the totalitarian Communist regimes in Europe, knowledge among Canadians about the totalitarian regimes which terrorized their fellow citizens in Central and Eastern Europe for more than 40 years in the form of systematic and ruthless military, economic and political repression of the people by means of arbitrary executions, mass arrests, deportations, the suppression of free expression, private property and civil society and the destruction of cultural and moral identity and which deprived the vast majority of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe of their basic human rights and dignity, separating them from the democratic world by means of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, is still alarmingly superficial and inadequate;

6) WHEREAS Canadians were instrumental in raising global awareness of crimes committed by European totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes by establishing an annual "Black Ribbon Day" on August 23, to commemorate the legal partnership of these two regimes through the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT every victim of any totalitarian regime has the same human dignity and deserves justice, remembrance and recognition by the people and government of Canada, in efforts to ensure that such crimes and events are never again repeated;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the people and Government of Canada unequivocally condemn the crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes and offer the victims of these crimes and their family members sympathy, understanding and recognition for their suffering;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Government of Canada establish an annual Canadian Day of Remembrance for the victims of Nazi and Soviet Communist crimes on August 23, called "Black Ribbon Day," to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the infamous pact between the Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Mexican horror film, see House of Terror (film).

The Terror House
February 24
2 0 0 2

The Terror House museum was opened on February 24 in 2002 and serves as a monument to the memory of those held captive, tortured and killed in the building of the museum. The goal of the museum is to show people that the fight for liberation was not in vain and that the war against the two cruellest systems (communism and nazism) of the 20th century ended with victory and independence.

The Terror House has exhibitions in the basement, on ground floor, on the first and on the second floor. Each floor has special things to show. The permanent exhibition shows you in chronological order the way things happened during nazism and communism. The most brutal part of the exhibition is the basement where you can see rooms where people were tortured, and that only a few meters from the street were normal people were passing by on their Sunday walk. In the basement you can also see an exhibition that deals with the revolution in 1956.

Terror Museum, Budapest
1062 Budapest, Andrássy Út 60
Open Tuesday-Sun

Victims on the Outside of the House of Terror

Entrance Door (Note: the door only opens if you press the red button on the right)
House of Terror is a museum located at Andrássy út 60 in Budapest, Hungary. It contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in 20th century Hungary and is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building.
The museum opened on February 24, 2002 and the Director-General of the museum since then has been Dr. Mária Schmidt.

The museum was set up under the former center-right government of Viktor Orbán. In December 2000 the Public Foundation for the Research of Central and East European History and Society purchased the building with the aim of establishing a museum in order to commemorate these two bloody periods of Hungarian history.
During the year-long construction work, the building was fully renovated inside and out. The internal design, the final look of the museum's exhibition hall, and the external facade are all the work of architect Attila F. Kovács. The reconstruction plans for the House of Terror Museum were designed by architects János Sándor and Kálmán Újszászy. The reconstruction turned the exterior of the building into somewhat of a monument; the black exterior structure (consisting of the decorative entablature, the blade walls, and the granite sidewalk) provides a frame for the museum, making it stand out in sharp contrast to the other buildings on Andrássy Avenue.
[edit]Permanent exhibition

With regard to communism and fascism, the exhibition contains material on the nation's relationships to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It also contains exhibits related to Hungarian organisations such as the fascist Arrow Cross Party and the communist ÁVH (which was similar to the Soviet Union KGB secret police). Part of the exhibition takes visitors to the basement, where they can see examples of the cells that the ÁVH used to break the will of their prisoners.
Much of the information and the exhibits is in Hungarian, although each room has an extensive information sheet in both English and Hungarian. Audio guides in English and German are also available.
The background music to the exhibition was composed by former Bonanza Banzai frontman and producer Ákos. The scoring includes the work of a string orchestra, special stereophonic mixes, and sound effects.
It is not allowed to photograph or use video cameras inside of the building. There is no reduced fee for ICOM members.

Guide to Budapest
Budapespan Museum
The Terror House museum was opened on February 24 in 2002 and serves as a monument to the memory of those held captive, tortured and killed in the building of the museum. The goal of the museum is to show people that the fight for liberation was not in vain and that the war against the two cruellest systems (communism and nazism) of the 20th century ended with victory and independence.

The Terror House has exhibitions in the basement, on ground floor, on the first and on the second floor. Each floor has special things to show. The permanent exhibition shows you in chronological order the way things happened during nazism and communism. The most brutal part of the exhibition is the basement where you can see rooms where people were tortured, and that only a few meters from the street were normal people were passing by on their Sunday walk. In the basement you can also see an exhibition that deals with the revolution in 1956.

Terror Museum, Budapest
1062 Budapest, Andrássy Út 60
Open Tuesday-Sun

Some[who?] have argued that the museum portrays Hungary too much as the victim of foreign occupiers and does not recognise enough the contribution that Hungarians themselves made to the regimes in question as well.[1]
Most of the controversy has stemmed from the exhibition's perceived political slant. Some have said that the museum is a right-wing "political stunt" and is more a reflection of contemporary politics than of balanced historical fact. It has been seen by opponents as an attack on the socialists, many of whom were communists until 1989. Critics have criticized the fact that far more space is given to the terror of the communist regime than the fascist one. Also, the exhibition begins with a video showing invasions of the country and its loss of significant amounts of territory over the 20th century, which has been a popular theme of the Hungarian far-right in recent years.[2]
Answers to these critics generally revolve around the fact that, while the fascist regime of Ferenc Szálasi lasted only few months, the Hungarian Communist regime lasted for forty years. Mária Schmidt considers these debates to be primarily politically motivated attacks.[3]. Defenders of the museum also point out that several people who are subjects of the exhibition have ties to the Alliance of Free Democrats, such as Miklós Bauer, who is the father of the parliament member Tamás Bauer.[4] Also, the parents of Iván Pető, prominent leader of the Alliance of Free Democrats in the early 1990s, were both ÁVH agents and are noted as such by the museum.[5]
Controversies notwithstanding, the museum has been a popular tourist attraction, as shown by its many positive online reviews and large visitor numbers, more than 1000 people a day when it first opened in 2002. Schmidt has responded to criticisms of the museum’s political nature by saying "Is there anything in history that is not related to politics?"[6].

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