Materials from the Seminar ‘Life After the Soviet Union’

Posted April 16, 2012 by ogruzins
Categories: Events

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Speakers Bios

Video address of Joseph Daul (MEP), President of the EPP Group in the European Parliament
Video address of Jerzy Buzek (MEP), former President of the European Parliament
Audio recording of the entire seminar
Photos from the event
EPP TV report on the event


Meeting of the Reconciliation of European Histories Group

Posted February 29, 2012 by ogruzins
Categories: Meetings of the REH group

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On February the 28th, the Reconciliation of European Histories group had its first meeting of the New Year. At the meeting, group members as well as guests representing NGOs were addressed by Hungarian MEP Ágnes Hankiss on the condition of Member State archives related to the repressive apparatuses of former dictatorships and the role which the EU plays in preserving such archives. Mrs. Hankiss, the founder of an archive research institute in Hungary, described the complex differences in the legislation on archives in MS and the better and worse practices applied. She also made an overview of the existing EU documents on EU institutions archives and the efforts to promote the EU institutions archival procedures in MS. During the discussion Members expressed their opinion that the EU should have a greater say in how such archives are preserved, kept, and how the information is made accessible for researchers and the larger public, as auch archives are a valuable source for the common history ofEurope. Also, Members suggested that the issue of accessibility of archives in candidate countries should be addressed in future EU accession negotiations. The group decided to organize a hearing on the state of archives and the best practices in the MS in the latter part of the year.

Bulgarian documentary “Goryani” (2011) reveals Bulgarians’ resistance against communism

Posted February 8, 2012 by ogruzins
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At the end of 2011 Andrey Kovatchev, Vice-chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament and Member of the Reconciliation of European Histories Group, supported the distribution of the Bulgarian documentary “Goryani” (“mountain dwellers” in Eng.) directed by Mr Atanas Kirjakov. 

“Goryani” is devoted to one of the most traumatic, but also most remarkable moments of the new Bulgarian history – the resistance movement of the Goryani against the communist rule in the period between 1944 and 1956. The film is based on authentic archival and documental evidence, as well as the memories of living members of the movement and their successors. The film was first presented on 27 September 2011 and it was greeted with huge interest by the Bulgarian civil society. Read the rest of this post »

Spain’s Franco-era probe judge Baltasar Garzon on trial

Posted January 30, 2012 by ogruzins
Categories: News

BBC News, 24 January 2012

A high-profile Spanish judge has gone on trial accused of violating a 1977 amnesty law by investigating civil war and Franco-era crimes.

Baltasar Garzon is accused by two right-wing groups of overstepping his powers by trying to prosecute crimes committed between 1936 and 1975.

The case has reignited the debate about the way Spain has dealt with its past. Read the rest of this post »

Bulgaria condemns communist Turkish assimilation

Posted January 25, 2012 by ogruzins
Categories: News







The Daily News, January 11 2012

Bulgaria’s parliament adopted on Wednesday a special declaration condemning the forcible assimilation of the country’s sizeable Turkish minority under communism.
The declaration specifically centred on the so-called “revival process” in the mid-1980s when Bulgaria’s ethnic Turks were forced to change their Muslim names to Bulgarian ones.
  Read the rest of this post »

Germans visit HQ of ex-Stasi boss Mielke

Posted January 24, 2012 by ogruzins
Categories: News










BBC World News, 16 January 2012

The heart of the former East German police state – the office of Stasi chief Erich Mielke – has been opened to the public in Berlin.

The original plush furnishings have been restored at “Haus 1” – the former communist secret police headquarters, which is now a museum.

Before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 about 8,000 Stasi agents worked there, isolated from ordinary citizens.

Twenty-two years ago protesters stormed the HQ and saved many secret files. Read the rest of this post »

Spain commission seeks removal of Gen Franco’s remains

Posted November 29, 2011 by ogruzins
Categories: News

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BBC World News, 29 November 2011

A commission set up by the Spanish government has recommended that the remains of General Francisco Franco should be exhumed.

The dictator’s tomb is inside a Catholic basilica, at a politically divisive civil war memorial.

The site, near Madrid, has been a rallying point for the far right.

The commission said the remains of Gen Franco – who ruled between 1936 and his death in 1975 – should be handed over to his family for reburial. Read the rest of this post »