Western European ignorance of the crimes of communism

Via CzechPosition.com:

Interview: How much do Western Europeans know about Communist crimes?

Do those who idolize Che Guevara or Mao Zedong know how many innocent people were killed in their names?

http://www.ceskapozice.cz/sites/default/files/imagecache/full_size_content_image/p201106230860901_1.jpg

Twenty institutes from 16 countries met in Prague earlier this month to discuss ways to raise Europeans’ knowledge of communist crimes. Anders Hjemdahl of the Stockholm-based Institute for Information on the Crimes of Communism talked to RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel about why Western Europeans seem to know so little about the communist past.

RFE/RL: You founded your Institute for Information on the Crimes of Communism in 2006 with the idea that people in Western Europe don’t know much about the evils of communism and urgently need to learn more. That might be surprising news for people who grew up under communist regimes and assume people across Europe know what they endured. Let’s start with Sweden. Don’t people in Sweden already know a great deal about the crimes of communism?

Anders Hjemdahl: Knowledge of these issues really shouldn’t be an issue, especially with several of Sweden’s neighboring countries being attacked and occupied by communists for half a century. But, sadly, the knowledge is next to nonexistent, actually.If you are a young Swede and you care about human rights and liberty, chances are that you will be wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt and a badge with a red star and listening to rock bands singing about the revolution. And most likely you will perceive free markets and globalization and capitalism to be unjust and wasteful and brutal and oppressive, with socialism and communism standing for a hope of a brighter future. And during my time in school in Sweden we never learned anything about our neighboring countries on the other side of the Baltic Sea at all, despite the fact these countries lay just a short boat trip away from us. It was like they did not exist at all.

We knew about the war in Vietnam but we never heard about the guerrilla wars in European countries against the communists. And you know, we had seen Andy Warhol’s painting of a smiling Mao Zedong but we know nothing of the tens of millions of people he was responsible for getting murdered. And you could find Che Guevara’s face on designs everywhere, and you still can, but never the faces of his victims.

Continue reading the rest of the interview HERE.

H/T Tania M.

3 thoughts on “Western European ignorance of the crimes of communism”

  1. Wrong question. How much do western Europeans WANT to know about Communist crimes? Only as much as is convenient, just like fashionably “progressive” and “correct” types everywhere.

  2. Willful ignorance. The European Labor movements have covered all this up for decades, with the help of leftist European press, as has the American “progressive” movement and the MSM.

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