Communist Crimes in Court - International Conference at the University of Zielona Góra

16. February 2024

The University of Zielona Góra (Poland) invites you to participate in the international conference "Communist Crimes in Court," scheduled to take place on September 26-27, 2024.


In the 20th century, Poland, like most countries in Central and Eastern Europe, endured the reality of communist dictatorships for decades. Similar systems also operated in many countries across Asia, Africa, and South America. The global communist system collapsed in the 1990s.

Communist dictatorships were typically highly repressive systems. Therefore, certain aspects of their actions should be evaluated from the perspective of crimes against humanity. However, in countries where communists (or their successors) remained in power, almost no measures were taken to punish the perpetrators of crimes when they were government officials.

Communist regimes sometimes justified their criminal acts by peculiar means such as establishing inhumane laws that contradicted human rights and basic principles of justice. Some criminal actions were carried out "in the name of the law," under the inhumane laws established by communist authorities. In some countries, the policies of communist governments led to famines, causing death and terrible suffering for millions of victims.

The communist dictatorships of the 20th century left a painful legacy to the world, and countries where these regimes ruled often struggle to confront it honestly. These systems demanded enormous sacrifices, both material and moral.  Nevertheless, unequivocal condemnation of these systems and their recognition as criminal is sometimes difficult for many. Public opinion on this issue is often balanced between forgiving the crimes committed by communists and advocating for radical punishment. In reality, the "prosecution of communist crimes" can sometimes be difficult and often may not bring a satisfactory court decision for the victims. On the other hand, these trials and the verdicts handed down by the courts often do not receive due attention from the public and scholars in all countries. Such problems exist in all countries that experienced communist dictatorships.

The scope and cause of this problem will be analyzed during the conference, to which we invite you to participate.


Prof. Bohdan Halczak
Prof. Martyna Łaszewska-Hellriegel
Prof. Christoph-Eric Mecke
University of Zielona Góra (Poland)