Lithuania, and the whole of the region of Central and Eastern Europe, has gone through a very troubled century, starting with the beginning of the First World War and continuing into the twenty-first century the region went through many upheavals. The First World war changed the landscape of Europe fundamentally, led after a pause of twenty years to the Second World War, which engulfed the whole of Europe with a massive destructive force. After the Second World War, during which millions and millions of people perished and 60% of the Jews in Europe were exterminated, Europe was divided between a free West and a totalitarian East. The disintegration of the Soviet Bloc in the late 1980s and beginning of the 1990s led to a period of hope, but also to the disenchantment when most of the countries in Eastern Europe struggled with democratic rule or completely abandoned the process in that direction and returned to autocratic or even dictatorial rule. The result is the existence of layer upon layer of traumatic experiences, fueling each other and consequently not allowing one layer to be digested because the next already enters the fold.
The program of the Twelfth International Sakharov Conference is divided into a number of main components. More information will follow later.