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Statement by the President of the Institute of National Remembrance on decommunisation of the public space

10.03.2022.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

History is being made before our very eyes. Wearing uniforms of the Russian Federation, yet bearing Lenin and Stalin in their minds and hearts, the Russian soldiers are pretending to be liberating Ukraine while they are actually murdering innocent women and children, and killing the soldiers of an independent state.

The Russian authorities are trying to justify their aggression by resorting to pseudohistorical arguments and propaganda known to us from the communist times. This is accompanied by the glorification of Russian imperialist traditions and the undermining of the crimes of Soviet communism. A Russian tank decorated with the Soviet Union flag heading towards Kherson has become a very powerful symbol viewed by the whole world.

It is therefore clearer than ever that the removal of names and symbols promoting communism is of utmost importance. Although the Soviet Union collapsed 30 years ago, and its crimes have been thoroughly examined, there are many places in the world where we can still find monuments commemorating the Red Army, and streets or squares named after Soviet dignitaries.

I hereby appeal to the authorities of all countries, especially those of the former Communist Bloc, to erase from the public space all names and symbols referring to people, organisations, events or dates from the communist era. It is high time we took action. The Institute of National Remembrance offers its assistance as to the verification of the names of streets and squares referring to the communist legacy and terminology.

I would like to appeal to all of you that we commemorate our real heroes of freedom.

Let us emphasise that there can be absolutely no consent for any forms of commemorating the totalitarian communist regime and people serving it!

Karol Nawrocki, Ph.D

President of the Institute of National Remembrance

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