Victims of Communism memorial reaches goal

Groundbreaking for a memorial to the 100 million victims of communism is set for September in Washington, D.C., now that the fundraising goal has been reached, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has announced.

The foundation announced July 19 that it has raised USD 825,000 for the construction of the memorial at the junction of Massachusetts Avenue, New Jersey Avenue and G Street, within sight of the U.S. Capitol.

The memorial, designed by San Francisco-based sculptor Thomas Marsh, will feature a bronze replica of the “Goddess of Democracy” statue erected during the 1989 Chinese student protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Baltic-American communities of Latvians, Estonians and Lithuanians were singled by the foundation for their support of the memorial, the Joint Baltic American National Committee announced. The governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania contributed nearly USD 11,000 to the cause.

The foundation is awaiting approval of a construction permit from the National Park Service.

The memorial is to be dedicated in June 2007 on the 20th anniversary of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s historic speech at the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, when he challenged Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.

Rendering of memorial

A rendering shows sculptor Thomas Marsh’s design for the Victims of Communism Memorial. (Image courtesy of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundtion)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

3 thoughts on “Victims of Communism memorial reaches goal

  1. Finally, a wonderful, yet small, gesture to remember that, which for so long has been swept under the international ‘rug’ – the suffering of Latvians and so many millions of other ethnic groups, at the hands of communists!! Just one step towards informing all who have not heard our message over the decades.

  2. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. Memorials immortalize the suffering and loss that untold millions have endured. The early Communist regimes in the former USSR were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of persons whose names we will know only through papers ordering their arrest, deportation, or execution. They deserve to be remembered and memorialized. I was on the floor of the Republican convention when Reagan was nominated by his party as Republican Candidate for President of the US, and he said then that he would bring peace to the world. I also remember, with great joy and relief, the fall of the wall and the end of communism. The point is that memories die with the person- memorials last forever. Let us not repeat history and let us not forget those who gave their innocence and lives so that we all may live. Let us pray for the recognition of every human’s rights around the globe and an end to the suffering endured by those whose tyrannical governments do not acknowledge any rights of the humans they rule. Or we are condemned to build another memorial. Let us build policies to protect and defend the rights of those who have none. As we build memorials let us also build relationships and policies that endure forever.

  3. What a wonderful concept to use the Tienamen Square Liberty to commemorate the 100 million victims of communism. That image is still fresh in many minds and will give a lie to the idea that a paper mache sculpture is ephemeral. The idea behind it so deeply embeded in the soul of man that not even the terror and the murder of 100 million vicitms could erase it.

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