Communism memorial in Ottawa

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Communism “still haunts the world,” and that’s why a group representing some 240 Polish-Canadian groups, as well as groups representing Canadians from 10 other ethnic backgrounds are advocating for a monument to the victims of Communism to be erected in downtown Ottawa.

The other groups represented include Latvian, Cuban,
Czech, Slovakian, Argentine, Chinese, Iranian, Korean, Ukrainian,Estonian and Canadian.

“In Russia, one-third of the people believe that Stalin ‘did more good than bad for the country,’ according to a recent poll. In China, thousands of dissidents are imprisoned in the slave labour camps known as the laogai. In North Korea, masses starve as the leadership threatens to unleash nuclear war. In Cuba,
dissidents are routinely imprisoned for peacefully petitioning for democratic reform.”

Mr. Lizon, who lives in Toronto, was in Ottawa yesterday for the screening of Katyn, a film about Polish officers killed by Soviet secret police during the Second World War. At the same event, an exhibit dedicated to the victims of Holodomor (the Great Famine) in Ukraine, was presented. Both events, held at the National Gallery, were organized by the Embassies of Poland and Ukraine, in collaboration with Mr. Kenney, the Canada-Poland Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group.

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The United States last year erected a humble Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington DC. Estonia in 2002 released a more creative memorial:

At first one part of the body is missing, than another and another until the figure seems to totally disappear into the void. Situated in the Lesser Town under Petrin hill, the memorial is the work of a renowned Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek and architects Jan Kerel and Zdenek Hoelzel. Unfortunately one of the statues has been destroyed during a bomb attack in 2003.

Meanwhile many former Communist countries are trying to shed their haunted past to a more democratic future.

Last summer Estonia planned to remove a tribute to Red Army soldiers who died fighting Nazy Germany. Not only did violence ensue by ethnic Russians leading to a fatal stabbing, but a vicious cyber-war which shut down much internet access in Estonia lasted for several days.

Tension also arised in Poland and Ukraine over removal of monuments and renaming of street names. But after much global embarrassment over the cyber-war, it seems Russia is going back to its old tricks of waging war through infiltrating mainstream media with propaganda such as here and here. They are now charging the changes of “Facism” and “Neo-Nationalism”. Unfortunately it’s not always confined to Russian media, this NY Times article spent most of its time arguing whether Ukrainian monuments belong in Washington, including the Taras Shevchenko monument erected by former US President
Eisenhower in 1960
(also admired by another former US President John F. Kennedy and former Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker) and upcoming Holodomor memorial also in DC.

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