On May 13-14, the Twelfth International Sakharov Conference will be held in Kaunas with the theme Forgiving or Forgetting: Dealing with a Painful Past, during which an international group of experts will discuss several historical and relevant themes, including the reunification of Germany, the current deliberate distortion of history by the Russian authorities and the recent crackdown on Memorial, the Srebrenica massacre in 1995, and the psychological consequences of state repression in non-democratic former Soviet republics. The conference takes place on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Romas Kalanta’s self-immolation, to be commemorated on May 15, 2022.
The twentieth century history of the Eastern European region is one drenched in blood. Two World Words and two totalitarian regimes – Nazi and Soviet – have left lasting scars in the human texture of the region, resulting in trauma with effects that stretch well into the second and third generations and probably beyond. A multitude of unsettled or undiscussed issues continue to affect inter-human and inter-state relations, and while the process of digestion in Western Europe after Nazi occupation is still unfinished, in Eastern Europe the situation become even more complicated because on one hand the new (totalitarian) rulers forbade an honest discussion of the past and on the other...
The work of the Andrei Sakharov Research Center is in 2021 particularly busy due to the fact that in 2020 events had to be postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions. In 2021 we will focus on the Andrei Sakharov Centennial (lasting from May 2021 until May '22) and the postponed Leonidas Donskis Conference on “Difficult Dilemma’s – the Role of Public Space and Museums in Remembering the Past”.
The month of May 2022 will be the “Sakharov Month” in Kaunas, and it will mark the closing of the Sakharov Centennial launched in May of 2021. The month will consist of a series of public activities including the campaign “I am no Sakharov, but…”, an exhibition “Kaleidoscope of Opposition to Communist Rule" (May 3-29) and the Twelfth International Sakharov Conference: Forgiving or Forgetting – Dealing with a Painful Past (May 13-14).
A typescript journal, the Chronicle of Current Events (Хроника Текущих Собитии) was produced every 2-4 months in Moscow by the human rights movement in the USSR. It offers a unique, uncensored and continuous account of life inside the Soviet Union from 1968 to 1982. Starting with reports from Moscow and Leningrad the periodical’s network of contacts and sources of information expanded over the following 15 years until it regularly included about human rights violations (the persecution of believers, the identity of those imprisoned for their beliefs in prisons, labour camps and psychiatric hospitals) from Ukraine, Lithuania, Armenia and other parts of the USSR.
The Andrei Sakharov Research Center contributes to the development of a pluralist and democratic society in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
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