On 3-6 November 2019 the representatives of the Institute of National Remembrance Agnieszka Jędrzak - head of the International Relations and Information Division of the Office of the President of the IPN and Dr Rafał Leśkiewicz – the Plenipotentiary of the President of the Institute of National Remembrance for conducting research on terror in occupied Poland in the years 1939-1945 and the Deputy Director of the Historical Research Office of the Institute of National Remembrance, took part in the annual, ninth congress of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, which this year took place in the capital of Albania - Tirana.
On Monday, 4 November the participants of the meeting took part in the opening of the exhibition "Totalitarianism in Europe" at the Site of Witness and Memory Museum in Shkodra, where a former prison is located. The museum commemorates the victims of Albanian totalitarianism. The Institute of National Remembrance was a co-creator of the exhibition. Its presentation was accompanied by a press conference. The opening ceremony was held by Voltana Ademi, the Mayor of Skhodra.
The members of the Platform laid flowers at the Memorial to the Victims of Communism and paid tribute to the murdered. The monument is a symbol of the persecution of victims of various denominations, from all social groups. Shkoder was the first place of resistance against the communist totalitarian regime and the first city in Albania where a monument was erected in honor of the victims of the communist system.
The Platform’s annual Council of members meeting took place on 5 November. The organization's current activities were summarized and future projects were planned and discussed. Moreover, the annual report for 2018 and a summary of activities in 2019 were presented. A further part of the meeting included the election of the President of the Platform for European Memory and Conscience; once again Dr Łukasz Kamiński was chosen. Members of the Platform's Management Board and Supervisory Board were also elected.
During the meeting, progress in the implementation of a project entitled "The European Gulag", which the Institute of National Remembrance is the co-creator of, was also discussed. The IPN has donated various materials for the planned exhibition, including numerous copies of archival documents.
The meeting was closed by a debate entitled 'Remembrance policy in Albania and Europe - a comparative study'. Albanian institutions, including the archives storing files of security services and non-governmental organizations dealing with commemorating the victims of the Albanian totalitarian system, presented their activities as well as the challenges and problems they encounter during the implementation of their tasks.
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience is a non-profit international non-governmental organization founded according to the Civil Code of the Czech Republic. Established on 14 October 2011 in Prague by 20 founding Members from 12 EU Member States. The Institute of National Remembrance and the Warsaw Uprising Museum were the founding members on behalf of Poland.The Platform currently brings together 62 public and private institutions and organisations from 20 countries – 14 EU Member States (Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, France), Ukraine, Moldova, Iceland, Albania, Canada and the United States of America, active in research, documentation, awareness raising and education about the totalitarian regimes which befell Europe in the 20th century.
The establishment of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience was endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
Through its Members, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience represents at least 200,000 European citizens and over 1,100,000 North American citizens with European roots.
Every year, the Platform awards a prize to a person or persons fighting today against totalitarianism, for the ideals of democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms and the rule of law.