At its annual Council of Members held on November 28-30, 2017 in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience (PEMC) elected a new President and Executive Board and admitted four new institutions from the Czech Republic, Albania, Romania and France, bringing the total number of Members of the Platform to 57 from 20 countries in Europe and North America.
The annual Council of Members of the Platform was hosted by the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania. The agenda included a one-day seminar with the title “The Genocide of European Roma 1939-1945,” which was attended by scholars from ten countries, a visit to the Paneriai memorial – one of the largest mass graves in Europe, containing the remains of nearly 100,000 people, mostly Jews, massacred between 1941-1944, and a commemoration of the victims of the mass terror and other Communist repressions in the Tuskulėniai Peace Park in Vilnius.
The newly-elected President of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience is Dr. Łukasz Kamiński, Polish historian and President of the Institute of National Remembrance in the years 2011-2016. The new Executive Board of the Platform consist of Dr. Andreja Valič Zver, Director of the Slovenian Study Centre for National Reconciliation, Dr. Wolfgang-Christian Fuchs, CEO of the German Union of Victims of Political Tyranny, Toomas Hiio, research director at the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory and Zsolt Szilágyi, Head of Cabinet of László Tökés, MEP.
New member of the Supervisory Board of the Platform is Dr. Monika Kareniauskaitė from the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania. New members of the Board of Trustees of the Platform are Pavel Svoboda, Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament and Göran Lindblad, President of the Platform between 2011-2017.
The PEMC is a non-profit international non-governmental organization, established on October 14, 2011 in Prague by 20 founding Members from 12 EU Member States active in research, documentation, awareness-raising and education about the totalitarian regimes which befell Europe in the 20th century. JBANC joined the Platform in 2013. Managing Director Karl Altau, who represented JBANC at the meeting in Vilnius, remarked that “the Platform is an indispensable organization and network shining the light on the brutal legacy of Soviet and Nazi crimes in Europe. We’re glad to be a partner.”
Key activities for the Platform are development of the project “JUSTICE 2.0,” aimed at attaining international justice for the Communist crimes, and the launch of an international competition for architects and artists to create a pan-European memorial for the victims of totalitarianism in Brussels. In 2017 the Platform created a critical report and is raising a debate to improve the permanent exhibition in the House of European History, a project of the European Parliament in Brussels. Additionally, the PEMC awards an annual Prize of the Platform. The 2017 recipient was Ilmi Umerov, the Crimean Tatar activist persecuted by the Russian Federation. Umerov and Ahmet Chiygoz were released from captivity on October 25.
More on the PEMC here.