About the Curriculum


What is the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation?

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) is an educational, research, and human rights nonprofit organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.



A Necessary Education

For almost 30 years, VOC has been educating all ages about the horrors of communism. The foundation has trained over 650 middle and high school educators to communicate this complicated history to students effectively. Every year, VOC connects schools and other organizations with victims and survivors of communist regimes, so that their powerful stories may touch and inspire a new generation of citizens.


VOC’s education initiative ensures that the victims of communism will be heard, remembered, and honored for all time, in hope that one day we may realize a world without the devastating effects of communism.



The Curriculum

The latest online curriculum from VOC, Communism: A History of Repression, Violence, and Victims, offers a new approach, providing a robust foundation in communism’s brutal past and enduring legacy. The updated version of the curriculum expands to cover virtually every nation that has experienced in some way the scourge of communism.  In each chapter you will find a short story, a peer reviewed essay and a wealth of supplementary materials that includes videos, recommended books, podcasts and exercises.


Our new curriculum provides 33 chapters of material, each with its own set of supplementary resources and classroom activities. The content of the curriculum covers a myriad of topics from Communism 101, its beginning as a theory and ideology, to a close look at the individual nations still suffering under the yoke of communism today. We designed the curriculum for upper middle school through high school with our target the 10th grade level, but the material is valuable at the educator’s discretion for many grade and age groups.


Curriculum Content

The curriculum contains 33 chapters in 10 sections. The first available section of the curriculum, Introduction to Communism, includes the following three chapters: Communism 101, The Tools of Communism, and Communism and Religion.


Our team

Dr. Elizabeth Edwards Spalding


Dr. Elizabeth Edwards Spalding is Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Founding Director of the Victims of Communism Museum, and Senior Fellow at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy. A frequent lecturer on U.S. foreign policy, the presidency, communism, and the Cold War, she is also a core faculty member in VOC’s National Seminar for Middle and High School Educators. Spalding is the author of The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, and the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism, the co-author of A Brief History of the Cold War, and currently at work on a history of world communism.



Ken Pope is the CEO at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Previously he had a 34-year career in the U.S. Army, consulting industry and academia. While in uniform, he served in a variety of Armored, Special Operations and Russian Foreign Area Officer (FAO) assignments in Europe, the Middle East, and Central America. He commanded an Armored Cavalry Troop during the Persian Gulf War and later a Special Operations unit focused on Central America. He had over 12 years of operational fieldwork as an Army FAO with a focus on Russia and Eastern Europe, and security issues with a variety of assignments in Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Azerbaijan, and Kosovo. 

Thank you to the following authors, researchers:


Dr. Elizabeth Spalding
Ken Pope
Birch Smith
Bo Verdin

Peer Authors and Contributors

Dr. Elizabeth Spalding, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, Dr. Jonathan Brent, Dr. Flagg Taylor, Dr. Gregory McBrayer, Dr. Lee Edwards, Steve Mosher, Titus Techera, Dr. Martin Nekola, Dr. Stanley Payne, Dr. Naya Lekht, Dr. Thomas Metallo, Dr. Virgil Nemoianu, and Dr. Mary Prentice.

Research and Writing Contributors

Brendan Knoflichek, Agnes Tycner, Dr. Chelsea Mikta, Elena Naborowski, Eliseo Nesci, Megan Henderson, Will Kielm, Julianna Rylko, Paige Brasington, Zilala Mamat, Ana Leca Perez, Lily McHale, Michal Harmata, Oscar Hernandez, and Emily Johnson

High School Review

Birch Smith, Catherine O’Connor, and Zilala Mamat


Ken Pope, Birch Smith, Sarah Gannon, and Ashlee Davis

Explore the curriculum


Learn the terms, ideologies, events, and people of Communism.

Tools of

Explore how the ideology is maintained by violence and information control.

Communism and Religion

Study how communist regimes have sought to destroy God and religion.