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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

On fascism, Nazism, and communism

Lviv hosts exhibit “Totalitarianism in Europe”
30 January, 2014 - 11:04
Photo by Yevhen KRAVS

The exposition is on display at the memorial museum “Prison at Lontskoho Street,” and it is an international traveling exhibition “Totalitarianism in Europe: fascism – Nazism – communism,” which has been prepared by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. It will be recalled that the Platform of European Memory and Conscience is an international project aimed at studying the activity and atrocities of the totalitarian regimes in Europe in the 20th century and prevent totalitarianism from being restored in Europe. It was created on October 14, 2011 in Prague during the Visegrad Group Prime Ministers’ summit.

The exposition at the “Prison at Lontskoho Street” Museum includes 27 banners which tell about fascism, Nazism, and communism, and by this helps the community find out more about the crimes committed as a result of the bloody implementation of these ideologies in various countries of Europe.

Why does the difference between the perception of fascist, Nazi, and communist dictatorships remain? Will we ever find out the exact number of victims of totalitarianism in Europe? Why one political group can keep control of the state and society, depriving the citizens of basic freedoms and human rights and committing terrible crimes? Is it possible to overcome the threat to humanity posed by fanatic radicalism, based on racial, political, religious, and other beliefs? How to prevent any forms of totalitarian rule from being restored in the future? These and other things are shown at the exposition “Totalitarianism in Europe.”

It is important that the exhibit gives the review of statistics of the victims of the greatest crimes against civil population by totalitarian regimes of the 20th century in more than 10 countries of Europe, such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. The statistics is complemented by the photos by the main masterminds and perpetrators of the crimes, as well as the information about the legal assessment of their actions after the fall of the regime. The information for the exhibit was provided by the institutions – members of the European Platform of Memory and Conscience. The exposition is supplemented by the pages of “live history”: the visitors can watch a collection of documentaries with recollections of witnesses of the tragic events of the 20th century in Europe.

The exposition “Totalitarianism in Europe” has been launched in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Germany, and the Netherlands, and on November 22 past year the exhibit was presented at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv, and its launch was attended by the first president of independent Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, noted French historian, co-author of The Black Book of Communism Stephane Courtois, and other public figures.

The visitors are welcome to see the traveling international exhibition “Totalitarianism in Europe: fascism – Nazism – communism” at the National Memorial Museum “Prison at Lontskoho Street” every day till February 23 at the address: Lviv, 1 Stepana Bandery Street. As usual, the admission is free.

By Tetiana KOZYRIEVA, The Day, Lviv