· Human Rights Defenders
· Human Rights Education
· Victims of Repression
Aleksandr Kalikh, Perm, member of the board of the International Memorial Society: "In recent years we have a seen a quiet, but quite tangible, process of rehabilitation of Stalinism..."
"I am concerned about what is happening around the programme 'On the Commemoration of the Victims of Totalitarianism and on National Reconciliation.
' From the very beginning it was clear that this document would not be acceptable to everyone. In recent years we have a seen a quiet, but quite tangible, process of rehabilitation of Stalinism. Today the ideological ‘seeds’ are giving shoots," Aleksandr Kalikh said in an interview with The Perm Observer.
"The voices of the programme’s supporters
are hardly heard. But what we are talking about are simple human things. It has long been time to commemorate the memory of the millions of people who died in the years of Stalinist terror. But opponents of the programme do not want to hear about it.
"It is possible that much could change if we rid ourselves of the serious illness that goes by the name of ‘secrecy mania’. But to this day many archival documents about the Stalin terror are closed to those who would like to find out the truth about the recent past.
"I can give an example from the history of the crime of Katyn
. Twenty-two thousand Polish citizens were shot dead by NKVD troops. Until just recently, as public opinion surveys have shown, 53% of Russian citizens believed that this was a crime committed by the Nazis. But after the publication of secret archival documents concerning the real orders that were given for the shootings, the percentage of such people fell to 26%.
"However we may try to hide from the truth, be clever, or deceive ourselves, the time will come when it will be necessary to say the truth about the tragedy that the people have lived through. To say the truth, so that such things will never happen again in the future."