Sep 19, 2012

Crimean Tartars: International Conference In Poland

Issues of historical discrimination against the Crimean Tatar people are raised at an important international conference in Poland, the Gdansk Symposium.

Below is an article published by the Crimean News Agency:


The Polish city of Gdansk has hosted the International Conference ‘European Remembrance. First Symposium of European Institutions dealing with 20th century History.’ During the symposium, a special attention was paid to the Deportation of the Crimean Tatar people in 1944.

The event purposes to initiate public discourse with the participation of leading experts on the history of European (and world) totalitarianism in the last century.

 A series of annual meetings called European Remembrance, inaugurated by the symposium, organized in Gdansk on September 13-16, aims to challenge this situation. The organizers of the symposium invited about 100 representatives of remembrance institutions, foundations, associations and museums from all over Europe to join in the debate to answer the question of the phenomenon of “acquis historique communautaire” (“common historical experience”) in Europe, reported the press service of the Majlis of the Crimean Tatar people.

 Ukraine was represented at the Symposium by Helsinki Human Rights Union in the person of the Board Chairman Yevhen Zakharov and Chief of Foreign Relations Division of the Majlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ali Hamzin.

 Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Hamzin noted that in the process of studying the consequences and victims of the two totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century, special attention should be paid to the crime of Deportation, the expulsion of entire nations, which clearly relate to crimes against humanity. “The Crimean Tatar people suffered not only from the communist regime of the USSR, which evicted it, and in the course of which 46.2% of the population died. It has suffered from the occupation of Crimea by Nazi Germany when the Wehrmacht burned more than 100 Crimean Tatar villages, and more than 100 mosques, at least 80 schools, dozens of historical and cultural monuments,” he said.

The Majlis member also announced the establishment of Crimean Forum by famous Soviet dissidents and human rights activists in May this year, and proposed to use their vast experience and contribution in the formation of modern European historical consciousness.

 The Gdansk Symposium is the first step in the creation of a European discussion forum on issues of common identity and historical memory.

 Participation in this seminar of such well-known scientific, historical and socio-political world figures as Marcus Meckel, member of the Presidium of Hungarian Academy of Sciences and deputy to the director of the Institute of History of Hungarian Academy of Sciences Prof. Attila Pok, Prof. Stefan Troebst, (Germany), Director of European Solidarity Centre Basil Kerski and others, confirmed the enormous usefulness and relevance of the topic.

Project organizers: European Network Remembrance and Solidarity and European Solidarity Centre, in cooperation with The Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship (Berlin).

Project partners: The Museum of the Second World War and The Robert Havemann Society (Berlin).

Financial support for the symposium is provided by the German Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs.