Estonian Institute of Historical Memory
The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory (Estonian: Eesti Mälu Instituut) is an international organization with the aim to investigate international crimes and human rights violations committed by hostile regimes, research the totalitarian ideologies that created such regimes and inform the general public about the research results both in Estonia and internationally. With its research results and awareness-raising about the hostile regimes and ideologies of the past and the international crimes and human rights violations they committed, the foundation helps to take a stance against hostile regimes also in the 21st century.
The establishment of the Institute was initiated by the Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in 2008. The Institute was established by Leon Glikman, Rein Kilk, Jaan Manitski, Tiit Sepp, Hannes Tamjärv and Indrek Teder. The aim of the Institute was set to give the Estonian citizens a comprehensive and objective overview of the state of human rights in Estonia during the Soviet occupation.
In its structure, the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory was similar to the Estonian International Commission for Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity (Inimsusvastaste kuritegude Uurimise Eesti Rahvusvaheline Komisjon), founded by President Lennart Meri in 1998, which investigated the crimes against humanity committed in Estonia during the German and Soviet occupations based on the definitions for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes of the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory surpasses the frames set upon the research of the Estonian International Commission for Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity and also collects data about such human rights violations committed during the Soviet occupation that are not crimes against humanity by legal definition. For this reason, The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory selected the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 as the legal basis for its historical research.
The Institute has researched life during the Soviet time in detail and also supported collecting memories to define precisely and without ideological prejudices how and to which extent human rights were violated in Estonia. It is also the responsibility of the Institute to help Estonian citizens develop a better understanding of what they themselves or their parents and grandparents had to endure during the Soviet occupation.
In 2017, the Institute merged with the Unitas Foundation into a new organization that combines academic research concerning anti-human regimes (previously the responsibility of the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory) with awareness-raising (previously the responsibility of the Unitas Foundation). The new organization continues with the name The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.
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- "Members | Platform of European Memory and Conscience". www.memoryandconscience.eu. Retrieved 2017-05-25.