Communism Victims May Get a Memorial

Article excerpt


Members of the National Capital Memorial Commission yesterday began considering a site for an international memorial that would honor an estimated 100 million victims of communism.

Plans are to build a 10-foot-tall Goddess of Liberty and install an eternal flame near the U.S. Capitol. The sculpture would be a replica of a statue created by student activists in China and then destroyed by the communist government's tanks in Tiananmen Square by Chinese communist tanks in 1989.

"Many Americans are not aware of the magnitude and the horror of communism that took 100 million lives," said Jay Katzen, a former U.S. diplomat who is now president and chief executive officer of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation which has raised funds for a memorial.

The foundation favors a site at First Street and Louisiana Avenue NW, within view of the Capitol and across the street from the Taft Memorial and Japanese American Memorial.

At yesterday's meeting, commission member Michael McGill said he felt it would be inappropriate for the proposed memorial to be erected next to the Japanese American memorial, which he described to be a "failure of democracy." After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese Americans were forced to live together in housing camps until World War II ended.

The commission is now looking at another site near the U.S. Supreme Court and Maryland Avenue NE. …