Gulag – Let us remember together!
“The aim of the Gulag Memorial Year is to point out the difference between political propaganda and reality and to commemorate all of those who could not tell all that they lived trough “in the decades of propaganda”.
The Memorial Year – that lasts until 25 February, 2017 – is a memento and gives strength and faith for all of us who know: future cannot be built without the thorough knowledge of our past, and without preserving the memory of the past's victims we can lose a piece of our national history. And with an incomplete and fragmentary past we become discredited among the cultural nations who believe and profess that a nation has a duty to accept the whole of its past, both the parts it can pride itself in and both that it is ashamed of. Because the incomplete, suppressed, distorted knowledge of the past distorts the perspective and leads to bad decisions (…).”
The Járom Kulturális Egyesület gained support for the project named A Black Spot in the History of the Northern Plain: Gulag on the Suppressed History tender issued by the Human Resources Support Manager. On the tender that was issued in memorial of the deportations 70 years ago our Association aimed its programs at students of the secondary schools of Debrecen, during which we try to complement the knowledge gained on regular classes about forced labour camps, with information about the people who suffered in these camps and political-economic background information in our irregular history classes.
By the expression Gulag (“Glavnoye upravleniye ispravityelno-trudovykh lagerey”) or “Main Administration of Corrective Labour Camps” we mean the extensive system of forced labour camps scattered all over the Stalinist Soviet Union. In the camps, the domestic and foreign opponents of Stalinist politics, prisoners of war, or civil residents deported randomly or with other pretences (e.g. being a kulak) were forced to do hard, physical labour, were made to work 10-12 hours a day while their food and health care was barely taken care of. According to estimations, during Stalin's reign of terror about 20 million people died in the camps. From Hungary, at around 700 000 people were deported to the Gulag and 300 000 of them died during the captivity.
The Association plans to hold three lectures in collaboration with the teachers of the History Institute of the Arts and Humanities Faculty of the University of Debrecen in schools that join the program. The lectures will be held by Dr. Róbert Barta, head of department, habilis. reader, Dr. Erzsébet D. Molnár, a young researcher of Lehotzky Tivadar Institute of II. Rákóczi Ferenc Kárpátaljai Magyar Főiskola and Dr. Imre Csiszár, member of the MTA-DE ethnography research group. We plan to bring the travelling exhibition Malenkiy robot – The deportation of Lower Carpathian Hungarians in 1944 to Debrecen again, to make it accessible to students. Moreover, we provide the on-the-spot visit of the exhibition Outcasts in Hajdúnánás to participants.
Primarily, we would like to involve in the program students of grades from 11 to 13, it is possible that more than one class attend a lecture. We plan to hold the lectures and visit the exhibitions mentioned above between 3 October, 2016 and 26 November.
Taking part in the program is free of charge, we only ask for a place to be provided for the lectures.