Strengthening Memory and Conscience in the Baltics

On August 20-26, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation‘s (VOC) Dr. Murray Bessette and Kristina Olney, Directors of Academic Programs and Government Relations, completed a weeklong tour of the Baltics to support our European partners in public education and remembrance.

Vilnius, Lithuania

Participated in the 2018 President Valdas Adamkus Conference on “Restoring European and Transatlantic Resilience” and commemoration of Black Ribbon Day. Featured speakers include Viktor Yushchenko, former Head of State and laureate of VOC’s Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. Toured the Museum of Genocide Victims housed in a former KGB prison. Met with Valdas Adamkus, former president of Lithuania.

Tallinn, Estonia

Participated in a conference on “Communist Crimes and European Money” and official dedication of a new Victims of Communism Memorial hosted by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory. Featured speakers included President Kersti Kaljulaid, Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu, and Göran Lindblad of VOC’s sister organization, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. Toured Paterei Prison, the future location of an International Museum of the Crimes of Communism. Met with Tunne Kelam, founding member of the Estonian National Independence Party and Member of the European Parliament.

Riga, Latvia

Received private tour of the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. Met with the museum’s director, Gunars Nagels on the importance of preserving historical memory.