International Conference

Crimes of the Communist Regimes

The Conference was hosted by

Mr Jiří Liška
Vice-President of the Senate, Parliament of the Czech Republic


and the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic

and organized by


the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes


together with partner institutions from the working group

and the Platform of European Memory and Conscience


Under the kind patronage of


Mr Jan Fischer
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic


Ms Miroslava Němcová
First Deputy Chairwoman of the Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of the Czech Republic


Ms Heidi Hautala (Finland)
Chairwoman of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament


Mr Göran Lindblad (Sweden)
President of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

and Chairman of The Swedish Delegation to the PACE


Ms Sandra Kalniete (Latvia)
former dissident, Member of the European Parliament

Mr Tunne Kelam (Estonia)
former dissident, Member of the European Parliament


Mr László Tökés (Romania)
Bishop, former dissident, Member of the European Parliament


Mr Milan Zver (Slovenia)
Member of the European Parliament


Ms Jana Hybášková (Czech Republic)
former Member of the European Parliament

and Mr Martin Mejstřík (Czech Republic)
former Senator, Parliament of the Czech Republic

in Cooperation with

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung,    MENE TEKEL festival  
Information Office of the European Parliament,      Czech Museum of Music
DEMAS,     Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic

Robert Schuman Foundation for cooperation between Christian Democrats in Europe
Polish Institute in Prague


24 - 25 February 2010 - Main Hall of the Senate, Parliament of the Czech Republic, Prague 1

26 February 2010 - Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, Prague 1

Conference languages: CZ, EN, DE, RU


     Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain and five years after the accession of post-communist countries to the EU, a major issue of our common European legacy remains unresolved. Although Europe has gathered extensive experience in dealing with the Nazi dictatorship, starting with the trials of Nazi war crimes and culminating in detailed information on the crimes and on the Holocaust, very little has been done in order to come to terms with the crimes committed by the communist dictatorships in Central and Eastern Europe. There has been no comprehensive disclosure and evaluation of the crimes, many of which probably classify as crimes against humanity as defined by international law since 1945. The united Europe of today founds its existence on a strong commitment to the protection of the human rights of its citizens. However, there are innumerable victims of crimes of the communist regimes living in the new EU member states, with unknown numbers of perpetrators living alongside them. Only little justice has been done, which has led to a disillusionment of citizens and their lack of trust in democratic institutions. Communism and its legacy require a comparable approach as Nazism. We need to publish the facts about it, to subject it to a legal judgment and to come to terms with its consequences in an honest way. 

    This conference held in the heart of Europe wanted to create an overview of the crimes committed by the communist regimes behind the Iron Curtain, to assess them from a legal point of view  and to search for possible solutions to the situation today, its goal being reconciliation within the post-communist societies and a strengthened European integration across the former East-West divide.