The European Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Totalitarian Regimes, a conference held on 23 August 2011 in Warsaw, was hosted in cooperation with the Institute of National Remembrance and the Warsaw Uprising Museum by Poland’s minister of justice, Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, as part of Poland’s EU presidency.
The event was a response to a range of activities implemented over several years throughout the European Union, including the conclusions on remembrance for the victims of crimes committed by totalitarian regimes, adopted by Member State justice ministers at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxemburg on 10 June 2011. The conference was opened by Jerzy Buzek, then-President of the European Parliament. Guests in attendance included the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian justice ministers, Hungary’s justice minister and deputy prime minister, the speaker of the Polish Senate, Bogdan Borusewicz, and Warsaw mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz.
European Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Totalitarian Regimes also included the signing of the Warsaw Declaration. The aim of this document is to uphold the memory of crimes committed by totalitarian regimes and to counter manifestations of the intolerance lying at the core of totalitarianism, in order to simultaneously prevent their reoccurrence. The declaration also notes the necessity to support the activities of non-governmental organisations which are actively engaged in researching and collecting documents related to the crimes committed by totalitarian regimes.
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