Communism new focus for history agency

Communism new focus for history agency
Sweden's Living History Forum on Monday launched a new project designed to highlight crimes against humanity committed by communist regimes around the world.

The project will explore the actions of the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia.

The Forum, which was created by the government and launched in 2003, has dedicated its activities to educating people about the Holocaust for the last four years.

At the behest of the government, the agency is now concentrating on crimes committed in the name of communism.

Among planned activities is a traveling exhibit about a boy named Pavel, a hero for youth in the east who was famous for informing on his own father.

“It is introductory material designed to increase knowledge of totalitarian regimes and the practice of informing,” said project leader Erika Aronowitsch.

The material on display focuses on the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia from 1917 to 1989. Soviet prison camps, China’s Cultural Revolution, and the emptying of cities in Cambodia are just a few examples of what’s in store.

“In these three countries one can most certainly talk about crimes against humanity. But we could have also mentioned North Korea, Cuba, or countries in East Europe,” said Lund University professor Klas-Göran Karlsson, who is responsible for compiling research for the project.

A study conducted last spring by the organization Information about Communism (UOK) showed that 95 percent of young people in Sweden between the ages of 15 and 20 knew about Auschwitz, but 90 percent didn’t know about the Gulag, the Soviet system of prison camps.