Contra Prague 2008: Draft Text for a Resolution

Proposed draft text for open discussion


Declaration on

Unequal and Unequatable Phenomena

WHEREAS we condemn the tyranny of Stalinism and other stages of Soviet Communism, and its domination and repression of the peoples of Eastern Europe in the twentieth century; and support international initiatives for education, exposure, commemoration and justice, and therefore commend resolutions 1096 (1996) and 1481 (2006) of the Council of Europe; reaffirming support for the freedom, independence and democracy of all states, with emphasis on the independent democratic states of Eastern and East-Central Europe, whose security and freedom must be guaranteed for all time,


1.     the language of the Prague Declaration (2008) that promotes the ‘Double Genocide’ model and Holocaust Obfuscation, by calls inter alia to: ‘recognize Communism and Nazism as a common legacy’; ‘[make Communism] inform all European minds to the same extent as the Nazi regime’s crimes did’; ‘[proclaim] substantial similarities between Nazism and Communism’; ‘[insist that] crimes committed in the name of Communism should be assessed as crimes against humanity […] the same way Nazi crimes were assessed by the Nuremberg Tribunal’; ‘[demand] overhaul of European history textbooks so that children could learn and be warned about Communism and its crimes in the same way as they have been taught to assess the Nazi crimes’. We note with concern that recent documents refer to the movement to insinuate far-right East European models of history into European Union and European Parliament culture as the ‘Prague Process’.

2.     the project to propose in the name of Europe, or to attempt by European Parliament legislation to impose upon any state a single mixed commemoration day for victims of Nazism and Communism as per §15 of the  2 April 2009 European Resolution on European Conscience and Totalitarianism, following upon the 23 September 2008 declaration of the European Parliament.

3.     the unacceptable trend to condone or participate in glorification of Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators, including the Waffen SS in Estonia and Latvia and sanitization of the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) and the Nazi-partnering 1941 Provisional Government of Holocaust-era Lithuania.

4.     the unacceptable state toleration of growing xenophobia, racism, antisemitism and homophobia; of various forms of neo-Nazism, ultranationalism, neo-fascism; including derision for the in-situ remnant Jewish communities of Eastern Europe; and attempts at their delegitimization by sundry means. We protest the 2010 decision by a Lithuanian court to legalize public swastika displays.

5.     the unacceptable campaign by prosecutors and other state and non-state elites in Lithuania to defame, harass and criminalize Holocaust Survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance and are heroes of the free world.

6.     unacceptable expenditure of state (and EU) treasure and political capital on the revision of history in an effort to obfuscate and minimize the Holocaust, legally and mechanically equating it with other crimes, inter alia by the capricious and ad-hoc redefinition and semantic inflation of the notion ‘genocide’.

7.     unacceptable attempts to curtail democracy and stifle free speech on these subjects in European Union states, and particularly legislation of ultranationalist models of history as alone legal and proper; more generally the attempts of the state to monopolize history, delegitimize or criminalize dissent, and restrict academic and intellectual liberty, diversity, and freedom of debate. We respectfully urge rapid repeal of the 2010 legislation in Hungary and Lithuania that criminalized and imposed potential prison sentences on those who believe, quite properly, that the Holocaust, perpetrated by the Nazis and their local allies and collaborators, was on a scale wholly different to that of communist crimes, a notion of differentiation expressed eloquently by seven European ambassadors in 2010 in their letter of protest to the Lithuanian government which took note that “Spurious attempts are made to equate the uniquely evil genocide of the Jews with Soviet crimes against Lithuania, which, though great in magnitude, cannot be regarded as equivalent in either their intention or result.” Citizens of the eastern states in the EU should be able to agree with these seven ambassadors without fearing prosecution.

                          • Vilnius, December 2011 
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