Eight years after the 2009 European Parliament’s resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism, calling for the proclamation of 23 August as the Europe-wide Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, the Estonian presidency hosts a series of commemorative events.
On 23 August 2017 the commemoration events of the Europe-wide Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes take place in Tallinn, as Estonia holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Estonia’s plans for the international commemoration of victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes include a meeting of ministers for justice or representatives of the ministries, followed by the commemoration ceremony at the War of Independence Victory Column in Freedom Square, Tallinn. Topics discussed at the meeting include the issue of establishment of a transnational body to investigate the crimes of communist regimes and offences of surviving persons guilty of criminal offences not subject to a limitation period – all this constitutes a continuation of activities started two years ago in the Estonian capital.
The main event is the conference with European Parliament and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience Tunne Kelam’s keynote speech and panelists Anna Kaminsky (Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur, Germany), Andres Kasekamp (University of Toronto, Canada), Igor Caşu (State University of Moldova) and Bartosz Dziewanowski-Stefańczyk (European Network Remembrance and Solidarity). The discussion will be moderated by Olaf Mertelsmann (University of Tartu, Estonia).
The remembrance day will close with the exhibition ‘Communism in its Time’. All events are organised by the Estonian Ministry of Justice in cooperation with the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory. “Estonia strongly condemns all crimes against humanity and the massive human rights violations committed by all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and remembers the victims of all these regimes,” said an Estonian presidency spokesperson on the events of the 23 August.