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The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile

IICCMER launches, together with Adevărul newspaper, the debate “Right to Memory. Museum of Communism in Romania”

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Each Thursday, starting with July 17th, 2014, between 11.00-12.00, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, theologians, politicians and scholars will come together to talk about our recent past,  lessons of memory and the amnesia of the present.

25 years after the Revolution, eight years after the official, spectacular and disputed condemnation of communism, we are still witnessing a nonchalant amnesia regarding the former regime. While for many people communism comes down to its criminal acts, more than half of the Romanian population regrets its fall.

We are brutally divided between passionate anticommunists, people who are nostalgic and those who are indifferent to the past. While we continue to use the very same crowded old buses, to enjoy our parties and vacations, we are failing to realize that there is something fundamentally wrong with ourselves and the relations we engage in. We are the sons of a society which is not ours, but used to belong to us and our parents. We are post-communists without mirrors and without memory.

“Adevărul“ and the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) invite you to ask for your right to memory. What did communism mean, what legacy did it leave behind and how do we pass on this legacy to our descendants?

It might seem that the need to set up a Museum of Communism in Romania is implicit. However, bureaucracy, the indifference of some politicians who are, in fact, themselves symbols of the continuity of communism into post-communism, as well as other disputes on ways of approaching the past, froze the Museum of Communism in a project stage. 

Who would benefit from a Museum of Communism? Who needs to remember? How subjective can the memories of communism actually be? Should it focus on the utopic ideology or on the suffering it caused? Should it talk about day to day life, about people who benefited from the first Dacia car and who had free holidays in the mountains and at the seaside? About the great industrial achievements or about the great dramas of collectivization?

We answer these questions each Thursday, from 11 a.m., on Adevărul Live, together with representatives of the institutions involved in this project and public figures who experienced the dictatorial regime. We will talk about people, about the joys and sorrows they experienced under communism. We are bringing this debate back to the public sphere. Without personal passions, hate or nostalgia: what precisely from Romania’s recent past can we use today?

Who needs a Museum of Communism?