Experts from 12 countries discuss effects of totalitarianism ({{commentsTotal}})

Candles lit in Tartu's Town Hall Square in remembrance of Estonians deported in 1949. Source: (Aili Sarapik)

An international conference on totalitarianism, deportation, and emigration started in Viljandi on Tuesday, bringing together experts from 12 countries.

The conference, titled “Totalitarianism, deportation and emigration: The forced displacement of populations and waves of migration in 20th century Europe caused by the policy of totalitarian states”, is on until Jun. 30. It has been organized by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience in cooperation with the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory and the Unitas Foundation.

Among the more than 20 speakers are historians, political scientists, and representatives of organizations of victims of repression. The opening remarks are delivered by the president of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, Goran Lindblad, and Estonian Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu. The keynote speaker of the opening day is former President of Lithuania and MEP Vytautas Landsbergis.

On the first day of the conference, the annual prize of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience in recognition of champions of human rights and democracy will be awarded. This year’s prize goes to Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who was sentenced to almost 14 years in prison in 2015. His father Leopoldo Lopez Gil will accept the prize on his son’s behalf.

The final day of the conference will feature a panel discussion on the massive emigration to Europe from conflict regions in the Middle East and North Africa, its reasons, and historical roots and parallels.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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