Members of the European Parliament ask that a Statue of Lenin be Removed

January 27th 2011, Members of the European Parliament (EP) have sent a letter to the Regional Council responsible for the French city of Montpellier, in which they request that a statue of Lenin is taken down and that a statue of the founder of China’s communist party, Mao Zedong, is not built. Sixty-eight MEPs, from 18 Member States, signed the letter drafted by Sandra Kalniete, Member of European Parliament (MEP) and chair of the Reconciliation of European Histories group in the EP. The letter was also signed by the Vice President of the EP, László Tőkés, and the former President of the EP, Hans-Gert Pöttering.

The former mayor of the city of Montpellier, the late and controversial Mr. Georges Frêche, began the project which was, in his words, to commemorate “the great men of the 20th century.” The MEPs believe that building statues in the honour of dictators is unacceptable, “If a statue of Lenin is built then it is necessary to also include a plaque with information about the innocent people who died as a result of this man. Honouring him belittles the memory of the millions of people who suffered and died as a result of the inhuman and terrorist regimes introduced by Lenin and continued by Stalin,” said Sandra Kalniete.

The letter stresses that it was precisely Lenin who initiated the Red Terror and the Gulag system in the Soviet Union. MEPs also mentioned the EPs Resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism in which the European Parliament has highlighted “the importance of keeping the memories of the past alive, because there can be no reconciliation without truth and remembrance” The supporters of this letter believe that building such memorial statues is a show of disrespect to all those who have suffered as a result these tyrants.

Letter to the Regional Council of Languedoc-Roussillon (English)

Letter to the Regional Council of Languedoc-Roussillon (French)

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