The Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance Prof. Karol Polejowski took part in the “Russia’s Hybrid War against the Democratic World. A challenge for European Remembrance Policy” conference in the session entitled "Russian historical disinformation as a tool of aggression".
I am firmly convinced that in order to successfully counteract false, Russian narratives it is extremely important for us to cherish the spirit of solidarity, network actively, build a common remembrance policy, take an offensive not defensive approach, anticipate Russian defamatory campaigns, analyze Russian propaganda, act not react, collaborate within international platforms, partner institutions, through diplomatic channels, and consult historians, media and IT experts.
In order for young people and future generations to be able to differentiate between truth and propaganda it is fundamental to find educational and communication tools that will be intelligible with their needs, said Prof. Karol Polejowski during the panel discussion
During his stay in Prague, Professor Polejowski also participated in the annual Platform of European Memory and Conscience Council of Members meeting, at which the IPN was also represented by the Director of the Office of International Cooperation, Agnieszka Jędrzak.
The international conference, organised on the 33rd anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia, aims to reflect the stance of the democratic countries of Europe and North America on the current hybrid threats Russia poses, with a closer look at the falsification of 20th century history, creation of myths, etc., as a tool of the disinformation war in the perspective of the current Russian military invasion in Ukraine and as a challenge to the international community in the field of memory policy.
By taking part in numerous panel discussions, the participants of the conference are going to attempt to tackle such issues as:
Russian historical disinformation as a tool of aggression
How to counter Russian disinformation
Communist experience in the European remembrance perspective
Dealing with the communist past - crucial element of democratic transition
Dealing with communist past - what more needs to be done?
The conference aims were to summarize and describe the mechanisms of Russia’s information warfare against the backdrop of historical experiences and parallels, looking for intersections, ways and best-practices how to better strengthen collective security in the future in the important area of memory policy and how to strengthen the position of memory institutions and further improve the resilience of democratic institutions to modern threats.
The conference was also a great opportunity for networking. The IPN representatives had the opportunity to discuss prospective joint projects and initiatives with, among others, David Satter, the author of "Darkness at Dawn", Stephan Courtois the author of the renowned "Black Book of Communism", who has recently published "The Black Book of Putin", and Neela Winkelmann, the founder and first Managing Director of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience.
At the opening of the international conference „Russian Hybrid War against the Democratic World. A challenge for the European Remembrance Policy“ held at the Liechtenstein Palace in Prague, the National leader of Belarus Ms Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Mr Miloš Vystrčil, the Chairman of the Czech Senate and the President of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience Mr Marek Mutor presented the Platform’s 2021 prize, which was awarded to the Russian organisation Memorial International. The award was received by Boris Belenkin, a member of the Memorial board.
More information about the conference on 17—18 November can be found here: http://www.memoryandconscience.eu/conference-2022/
Prior to the event, Prof. Karol Polejowski, Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance met with Mateusz Gniazdowski, Ph.D., the newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Czech Republic, to discuss future cooperation in the fields of historical research and education. The IPN project "Trails of Hope. The Odyssey of Freedom" was also discussed.
The Platform of European Memory and Conscience was established on 14 October 2011 in Prague by 20 founding Members from 12 EU Member States. The Institute of National Remembrance was among the founding members on behalf of Poland.The Platform currently brings together 68 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 PEMC was endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
Through its Members, the PEMC represents at least 200,000 European citizens and over 1,100,000 North American citizens with European roots.