VOC St. Louis Commission Commemorates Victims of Communism Memorial Day

The Victims of Communism-St. Louis Commission (VOC-STL) commemorated Victims of Communism Memorial Day on Saturday, November 6, with a film screening of short documentary films and powerful interviews with local residents who have lived under communism.

More than 100 people joined the commission’s annual event, held this year at the historic Chase Park Plaza Cinema, and learned facts about the history of communism along with personal testimonies from Cuba, China, Poland, and Venezuela. Speakers included the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in St. Louis, Dr. Wojciech L. Golik, and VOC-STL specialists Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, Karen Tian, Dr. Juan Torres, and Sam Geng.

Local residents, from across the state and around the world, found the interactive presentation to be educational and emotional as they listened to stories of struggle and survival. Alisha Truemper, a St. Louis native who has recently gotten involved with the commission, found the event to be very impactful. “The section on China was particularly moving because I hadn’t heard of all the different groups like the Falun Dafa practitioners who were being persecuted by the CCP. It’s a clear warning of how bad life could become for my family as Christians,” said Truemper. She believes that more people need to be aware of how good people are convinced to commit atrocities like those in Germany and Poland. “At my job, people say these things that I know are fueled by the new-Marxist cultural revolution, but they don’t know the history of those ideas.”

Nuria Coll Bonfill enjoyed the presentation as well. “As someone from Barcelona who has been living in St. Louis for a few years, this presentation was refreshing, engaging and revealing,” said Bonfill. “The section on Poland provided detailed and historical background that helped to illustrate what the Polish people have suffered.”

Last year, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson issued a Proclamation in support of Victims of Communism Memorial Day, and the city’s Board of Aldermen passed a courtesy resolution to recognize the day and the organizations working to support victims and to educate future generations about the deadly legacy of communism.

Located along the Illinois/Missouri border and home to numerous universities, including top research institutions Washington University and Saint Louis University, St. Louis Missouri is an educational hub and ideal setting for this first and centrally located commission. VOC-STL is composed of volunteers from across the St. Louis region, including community leaders and others who have fled communist oppression for a better life in the United States.