On January 18, 2018, Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance, met with Marion Smith, the Executive Director of The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and McBryde Campbell. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a non-profit, educational and anti-communist organisation in the United States, authorised by a unanimous Act of Congress in 1993 for the purpose of educating Americans about the ideology, history and legacy of communism . The foundation was responsible for building the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington D.C. Like the Institute of National Remembrance, the organisation is a member of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. The foundation was created, among others, on the initiative of Prof. Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Marion Smith talked about the educational activities organised by the Foundation, including meetings and lectures for students from universities in all fifty states. He also mentioned a project organised in New York’s Times Square, where for seven months billboards with photos and information on the number of people murdered by the communist regime were displayed.
Professor Krzysztof Szwagrzyk emphasised the important task facing both the Institute and the Foundation – strongly condemning communism, which is still not treated as a criminal system. Professor Szwagrzyk talked about the Institute's activities, with particular emphasis on the work of the Office of Search and Identification. In the context of the activities of the Institute of National Remembrance, he stressed the importance of the work of volunteers and the significance of identification processes, allowing the victims, who have for years remained nameless, to be known. He also drew attention to the culmination of those processes in the form of periodic conferences at the Presidential Palace with the participation of the Head of State and the families of the victims..
Professor Krzysztof Szwagrzyk and Marion Smith agreed that it is worth considering future cooperation of both institutions, enabling the exchange of experience of specialists, in order to join efforts, popularise history, increase social awareness, as well as settle a difficult and painful past.
The Professor gave the guests a unique souvenir - special Commanders’ plaques, prepared on the occasion of the recent state funeral of Commanders in Gdynia.