Estonia supports the opening of victims of communism museum in Washington, 20. December 2021

Estonia supports the opening of a museum dedicated to the victims of communism in Washington D.C with 89 000 Euros. The museum uses state-of-the-art solutions to present more than 40 nations’ historical experience with communism.

The purpose of the museum, which will be opened in early 2022, is to familiarise the visitors with the stories of people and nations that have suffered under communist regimes, and to uncover the true, inhuman nature of communism.

“The tragic suffering of Estonian people, all of our families and individuals under the oppression of communist regime is one very significant experience among many similar stories in world history. It is our duty, to all people that suffered due to communist ideology, to speak honestly about our history, so that this injustice is not forgotten and no one ever has to experience something like this again,” Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said.

“The museum, which will be established next to Washington’s victims of communism memorial opened in 2007, will give us an opportunity to speak about our nation’s fate and difficult past in the US capital.”

“The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation wants the Washington victims of communism museum to be a modern memory institution and a leader of societal and academic debates on the topic, as well as an organisation that analyses and understands causality. We must learn from history, otherwise we are doomed to repeat past mistakes,” said Foreign Minister Liimets.

The museum will be established by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Its board consists of several outstanding US public figures, among others the former US ambassador to Estonia, Aldona Wos.

The Foundation cooperates with schools, teachers, partner organisations and other museums to encourage and promote the investigation into the crimes of communism. In Estonia, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation cooperates with the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory, Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom, as well as several museums, government institutions and other organisations affiliated with Estonia and the Baltic states in the US.

Further information about the museum can be found here.

In December, the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory has signed a cooperation agreement with the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in the US. The Institute is in the process of establishing an International Museum for the Victims of Communism in Patarei Prison in Tallinn, and the Foundation is establishing a similar museum in Washington D.C. The aim of cooperation is to raise international awareness regarding communist regimes’ mass crimes and their victims’ fate. Both research and awareness-raising activities will be subject to mutual aid.

Press release by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.