Witness Project | Victims of Communism

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

WITNESS

The Truth
About Communism.

Communism killed millions. Hear these survivors tell their stories; help keep an accurate memory of communist crimes.

Anastasia Lin

China

Anastasia Lin grew up in China but later moved with her mother to Canada as a young adult. Once she was outside the influence of the Communist Party, she realized the lies she had been taught to believe. Now, as an accomplished model, actress and winner of Miss World Canada 2015, she speaks out in hopes it will encourage other Chinese to do the same.

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Nal Oum

Cambodia

Nal Oum rose from humble beginnings to earn a scholarship to study in Paris and eventually become a medical doctor in his native Cambodia. His education became a liability, however, when the fanatical Khmer Rouge took over the country, and he is believed to be the only physician to have escaped the Khmer Rouge death camps.

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Dániel Magay

Hungary

Dániel’s idyllic childhood was wrecked when communist authorities targeted his father, a popular landowner. Though his efforts to escape communism brought Dániel to the 1956 Olympic Games and, eventually, San Francisco, Dániel remains deeply shaped by having grown up under that brutal system.

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Yang Jianli

China

Yang Jianli was a rising star in the Chinese Communist Party before witnessing the bloody Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. Since then he has committed himself to seeing a free and democratic China.

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Jon Basil Utley

Soviet Union

Jon Basil Utley is the son of British and Russian parents who were targeted during the Stalinist purges for their ties to the Western world. Years after settling in America, Utley went back to Russia to find out the truth about his father, who was abducted in the middle of the night.

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Anhthu Lu

Vietnam

The daughter of a three-star South Vietnamese general, Anhthu Lu grew up to the sounds of war and was forced to flee Saigon in the middle of the night.

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Lívia Gyarmathy

Hungary

Growing up under constant fear and suspicion in communist Hungary, Livia Gyarmathy was ordered by the state to become a chemist, despite wanting to go to medical school. She eventually became a filmmaker, and produced the first ever film about the Recsk labor camp–the Hungarian Gulag.

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Myroslav Marynovych

Ukraine

Myroslav Marynovych is vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University and founder of Amnesty International Ukraine. Having suffered as a prisoner of conscience for nearly a decade during the Brezhnev era, Marynovych has worked tirelessly to strengthen civil society in his native country.

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Henry Li

China

A student leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Henry Li was swept up in the historic events of Tiananmen Square and came to see the truth about communism. To this day Henry remains haunted by the violence he saw more than twenty-five years ago.

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János Horváth

Hungary

Having served as the youngest member of the Hungarian parliament in 1948, Janos Horvath was imprisoned for four years by the communist regime because of his political beliefs. In 2003, Horvath returned to the Hungarian parliament, becoming its oldest living member until his retirement in 2014.

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Kuy E. Ky

Cambodia

The son of a successful merchant living in Cambodia, Kuy lived a “wonderful” life growing up before Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge seized power, forcing his family to flee in the middle of the night through the jungle to freedom.

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Vaclav Klaus

Czech Republic

Growing up during the worst years of communist oppression in his country, Klaus went on to become President of the Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013.

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Jinhye Jo

North Korea

Still a young girl, Jinhye Jo defected from North Korea in 2008, after her two siblings and grandmother died of hunger in the late 1990s. Her father was tortured and killed and her mother was almost beaten to death by government officials. Now a young woman living in America, Jinhye describes the horror that was life in North Korea.

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László Tőkés

Romania

As a bishop in Nicolae Ceausescu’s Romania, Laszlo Tokes was prevented from living his religious faith and executing his pastoral duties. Tokes faced intimidation and expulsion by the communist authorities, but his cause helped launch a revolution.

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Béla Krasznay

Hungary

Béla Krasznay spent nearly eight years in the notorious Recsk labor camp during the 1950’s. He was a political prisoner due to his family background (landed-owners and military officers). Modeled after the Soviet Gulags, Recsk was deadly.

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Tony Nguyen

Vietnam

Tony Nguyen’s family suffered for six years after the fall of Saigon. His father was abducted in the middle of the night for his anti-communist views. Eventually deciding to flee their homeland, Tony’s family tried three times to escape Vietnam before eventually reaching America.

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Vladimir Brandwajn

Poland

Growing up under Poland’s communist regime, Vladimir Brandwajn was sent to a reeducation camp in 1968 and then forced to leave his homeland. He was told by an army captain: “You have exactly two weeks to leave the country or you will regret the day that you were born.”

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