Report on the first day of the Iron Curtain Conference

5th May 2015

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  • 2015. September 14.

The Platform of the European Memory and Conscience and the Committee of National Remembrance of Hungary organized an international conference about the Iron Curtain and it's Consequences in the House of the National Assembly on the 5th and 6th of May. The aim of the Conference was the increasing of knowlege about European History, and the developing of understanding about the integration between the Eastern and Western parts of the divided Europe. On the first day of the Conference, Réka Földváryné Kiss, the chair of the Committee of National Remembrance welcomed the participants. She emphasized in her speach - regarding the cold war and the iron curtain - that the european ceasing of the World War didn't bring peace and freedom for each european countries. The defeat of Germany 70 years before, meant smooth transition for the middle- and east- european countries into the totalitarian communist dictatorship, laid down by the chair of the Committee of National Remembrance.

She drew, as the Berlin wall divided families, relatives and friends from each other, the iron curtain divided Europe the same way. She pointed out, that our country was the first to weaken the Soviet Empire in 1956, and Hungary plaied a keyroll in 1989 breaking down the iron curtain. Gergely Gulyás, the deputy speaker of the House of the National Assembly drew in his speach: "no-one has apologized for the victims of communism, no-one has recognized the crimes of communism." Just for this reason "communism, and the upkeepers of communism cannot ask for pardon, for the victims of communism only the remembrance can recompens" - he added.

Gergely Gulyás drew: "the march of socializm" was swept away by the end of the bipolar world system, the economic collapsing of the Soviet Union, and the "social will, being unstoppable without the soviet byonets, together with the iron curtain and the Berlin wall." The lecturers of the first day were inter alia Łukasz Kamiński (President of IPN) and Pawel Ukielski (Vice President of IPN), Valters Nollendorfs (Chairman of the Board, Occupation Museum Association of Latvia), Petr Blažek (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, CZ), Vasil Kadrinov (Hannah Arendt Center Sofia, BG), Tibor Zinner (Team leader, VERITAS Research Institute, HU), Attila Horváth (Director, Institute of State and Social Theory, National University of Public Service, Faculty of Public Administration, HU), József Ö. Kovács (Scientific advisor, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Centre for the Humanities), Krisztina Slachta (research fellow, Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security, HU), Gábor Balogh (House of Terror Museum, HU). From the part of NEB, Réka Földváryné Kiss, the chair of NEB and Áron Máthé, the deputy chair of NEB. The final thoughts of the first day of the Conference were concluded by Norbert Kiss, the (Vice-Rector for Continuing Education and International Affairs – National University of Public Service, HU).