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The thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall presents us with a valuable opportunity. We can not only make a desperately-needed contribution to historical memory, but also develop and support an anti-totalitarian culture, broad-ranging and forward-looking. We take this opportunity to propose the creation of Nuremberg Trials for Communism.
The Nuremberg Trials, held from 1945 to 1946, tried and condemned the crimes of National Socialism and its leaders, handing down a definitive judicial, moral, and political judgment on that instance of totalitarianism. The trials made clear to the world that Nazism was evil and destructive to its own people, and would not be accepted anywhere in the world again. Communism, which has caused more deaths and mass suffering worldwide than Nazism for much longer, has never been called to account in a global court such as Nuremberg.
Since 1917, communist or socialist dictatorships around the world have caused more than 100 million deaths. Not only are they responsible for widespread suppression of individual liberties and incitement of class hatred, but also for the genocide and mass killings inevitable under communist regimes. As we all know, genocides and massacres are universally recognized as crimes against humanity.
Today, after the catastrophic results of so-called "real socialism" and of all the other dictatorships over time rooted in communist ideology (as today in places like Venezuela or Cuba), both historic and current events beg for a similarly final judgment – not only a verdict on the actions of individuals, but also a political and moral judgment on the inevitable results of this ideology. Communism’s crimes against humanity must be broadcast and punished.
Communism did not fall with the Berlin Wall. This ideology is still alive in the world, in states and parties that are openly communist and in political and cultural thought that minimizes and tries to erase the crimes of communism, as if it were a good idea which only happened to coincide with the rise of one brutal regime after another across decades and continents.
To push back against these apologist influences, we urge the creation of Nuremberg Trials for Communism, a global trial that scrutinizes the very real crimes of this ideology, assigns political and institutional responsibility for them, punishes its moral degeneracy, and makes clear to all communism’s intrinsic inhumanity and incompatibility with free societies.
We are well aware that such a project would encounter practical difficulties and legal limitations. Even so, we believe that such barriers will not be able to stand in the way of a historic political, ethical, and cultural trial, which we see as a duty to humanity imposed upon us by historical conscience.
In the name of millions exterminated in the past, and to safeguard future generations from a recurrence, Nuremberg Trials for Communism must be enacted as soon as possible.
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Thanks to Chiara Brown for the translation from Italian.
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