The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory has unveiled the full version of the online portal communistcrimes.org, which publishes information regarding communist regimes and the history of their crimes in Estonian, English and Russian. The goal of the portal is to raise awareness on the international level of the history of communist regimes as well as curb the activity of Red Terror deniers.
What makes the portal unique is the fact that it brings together 45 modern countries' experiences with communism into one database as well as includes among its authors a collective of international historians and publicists. The portal is continuously publishing new material.
"According to various estimates, around 90 million people worldwide died as a result of communist experiments in the 20th century," said Sergei Metlev, public and partner relations manager at the Institute of Historical Memory. "Throughout history, carriers of this ideology have adorned themselves with beautiful-sounding slogans about a happy future, destroying entire peoples and social groups and stripping its citizens of fundamental human rights in the name of reaching their communist utopia."
Metlev added that by sharing facts, the portal provides a voice for millions of victims and their loved ones, who are still faced with the downplaying and denial of events that have occurred.
The portal brings together independent researchers and journalists from all over the world, which allows for the unveiling of different aspects of communist ideology and explanation of the specifics in different countries.
According to Estonian Institute of Historical Memory board member Meelis Maripuu, the acknowledgement of the crimes of communist regimes is regrettably not self-evident in today's world. This may create a situation where violence and injustice are tolerated yet again.
"Many people who have no personal experience with living under the conditions of a communist regime still like to be crazed by slogans," Maripuu said. "Even those nations that have survived the communist terror have not become fully aware of the devastating impact the era had on culture, economy, and the human psyche. We see how Karl Marx, the father of these teachings, is honored. New statues are erected for Marx and even for the mass murderers Lenin and Stalin."
The first version of the portal was launched in 2011 by the Unitas Foundation.
Since 1998, the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory and its predecessor have been investigating international crimes and human rights abuses committed by totalitarian regimes in Estonia, as well as the ideologies that have given rise to such regimes. With its research results and awareness-raising activities, the institute helps take a stance against such regimes in the 21st century as well.
Editor: Aili Vahtla