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Interns learn about communism from survivors and experts

IWP Interns at Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Event, Summer 2014On June 11, The Institute of World Politics’ summer interns attended the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Commemoration reception. 

Along with the reception, the VOC Memorial Foundation held various events on June 11 including a roll call of nations, presentation of the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom, and panel discussion with various experts, including Dr. Stephen Szabo of the German Marshall Fund; Director General of the House of Terror Museum, Dr. Maria Schmidt; Harvard history professor Dr. Richard Pipes; the 2014 Truman- Reagan Medal of Freedom recipient Myroslav Marynovych; and their very own Chairman of the Victims Communist Memorial Foundation, Dr. Lee Edwards.

Each panelist contributed his or her unique insights into communism and answered questions from the audience. They discussed past Soviet communism, as well as recent developments and implications, such as those in China and Crimea.

The elegant reception was held on the roof of America’s Square Conference Center, with views of the Capitol and other highlights of DC.  The list of incredible speakers continued, including Florida Congress delegates Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; spokeswoman for the Tartar Mejils, Liliia Muslimova; North Korea refugee JinHye Jo, as well as Founder and President of Initiatives for China, Dr. Jianli Yang. Their speeches were animated, earnest, and provocative, urging the audience in their own way to live the mission declared by Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation — memorializing the victims, educating the public about global communism, and working together to help today and tomorrow’s victims.

The final speaker, Dr. Lee Edwards, asked the question, “What can you do?” He tied all the speeches together by reminding each person in the audience that no matter who they were, where they were from, or what skills they brought to the table, they were imperative in the fight for supporting victims of communism all over the world.

Lauren Bator
IWP Intern and Research Assistant