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13.05.2024

Representatives of the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington visited IPN – Warsaw, 13 May 2024

Representatives of the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington visited IPN - Warsaw, 13 May 2024; photo: M. Bujak (IPN)
Representatives of the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington visited IPN - Warsaw, 13 May 2024; photo: M. Bujak (IPN)
Representatives of the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington visited IPN - Warsaw, 13 May 2024; photo: M. Bujak (IPN)

The IPN President Karol Nawrocki, Ph.D., hosted the newly elected President of the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington, Eric Patterson, Ph.D., who was accompanied by the Director of Fellowships and Coalitions Milda Mataciunaite-Boyce.

Agnieszka Jedrzak, the Director of the Office of International Cooperation at the Institute of National Remembrance, also attended the meeting. Prospects for future cooperation were discussed, especially in the context of educating different age groups about the dangers posed by totalitarian systems. The IPN President presented the IPN's flagship project Trails of Hope. The Odyssey of Freedom telling the story of the struggle of Poles against German Nazism and Soviet communism. He mentioned the recently opened Central History Point in Warsaw, where cutting-edge technology solutions have been applied, focusing on the needs and expectations of young people.

Based on nearly 25 years of experience in the fields of archives, historical research and education, the IPN remains open to joint ventures with the Victims of Communism Museum.

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The Victims of Communism Museum is managed by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, founded in 1993.

The VoC Memorial Foundation’s mission is to educate future generations about the ideology, history, and legacy of communism and to advocate for the freedom of those still held captive by communist regimes. Similarly to the Institute of National Remembrance, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a member of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience.

The VoC Museum is headquartered near the White House, next to the Goddess of Democracy statue erected in 2007, which is a replica of the sculpture set up in Tiananmen Square in Beijing during the 1989 protests. Funds for the Museum's construction were donated among others by the Polish National Foundation.

Poland has for years cooperated with the VoC Memorial Foundation, which is responsible for shaping the Museum. The IPN President Karol Nawrocki, Ph.D. has joined the Council of this facility.

The Museum consists of several permanent exhibitions. They tell about the origins of communism, Stalin's terror, and those who opposed the communist system (or, in some parts of the world, are still fighting it today). The contribution of Solidarity and Pope John Paul II to the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe is presented here as well. Story of Witold Pilecki – a voluntary Auschwitz prisoner who was murdered by the Communists after the war, was also included .

One of the tasks of the Museum in Washington is to show the history of communism and its victims as widely as possible. That's why visitors will find information about the fight of Poles against Bolshevik Russia in 1920, the anti-communist underground or the creation of the Solidarity Trade Union.

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Eric Patterson, Ph.D., the President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, is foreign policy expert and long-time fighter of totalitarianism, He previously served as President of the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI), where he led the organization’s efforts to advocate for religious liberty around the world through training and educational programs for students, teachers, public officials, and other audiences. His government experience includes service as a White House Fellow, at the U.S. Department of State, and, for over 20 years, as an Air National Guard commander. He is an active scholar on the moral dimensions of national security and international affairs, as well as author of over 20 books, including Just American Wars: Ethical Dilemmas in U.S. Military History and the co-edited volume The Reagan Manifesto: ‘A Time for Choosing’ and Its Influence.


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