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From the most ancient times justice has been a two-part concept: virtue triumphs, and vice is punished.

We have been fortunate enough to live to a time when virtue, though it does not always triumph, is nonetheless not always tormented by attack dogs. Beaten down, sickly, virtue has now been allowed to enter in all its tatters and sit in the corner, as long as it doesn't raise its voice.

However, no one dares say a word about vice. Yes, they did mock virtue, but there was no vice in that. Yes, so-and-so many millions did get mowed down -- but no one was to blame for it. And if someone pipes up: "What about those who..." the answer comes from all sides, reproachfully and amicably at first: "What are you talking about, comrade! Why open old wounds?" Then they go after you with an oaken club: "Shut up! Haven't you had enough yet? You think you've been rehabilitated!"

In that same period, by 1966, eighty-six thousand Nazi criminals had been convicted in West Germany. And still we choke with anger here. We do not hesitate to devote to the subject page after newspaper page and hour after hour of radio time. We even stay after work to attend protest meetings and vote: "Too few! Eighty-six thousand are too few. And twenty years is too little! It must go on and on."

And during the same period, in our own country (according to the reports of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court) about ten men have been convicted.

What takes place beyond the Oder and the Rhine gets us all worked up. What goes on in the environs of Moscow and behind the green fences near Sochi, or the fact that the murderers of our husbands and fathers ride through our streets and we make way for them as the pass, doesn't get us worked up at all, doesn't touch us. That would be "digging up the past".

Meanwhile, if we translate 86,000 West Germans into our own terms, on a basis of comparative population figures, it would become one-quarter of a million.

But in a quarter-century we have not tracked down anyone. We have not brought anyone to trial. It is their wounds we are afraid to reopen. And as a symbol of them all, the smug and stupid Molotov lives on at Granovsky No. 3, a man who has learned nothing at all, even now, though he is saturated with the blood and nobly crosses the sidewalk to seat himself in his long, wide automobile.

Here is a riddle not for us comtemporaries to figure out: Why is Germany allowed to punish its evildoers and Russia is not? What kind of disastrous path lies ahead of us if we do not have the chance to purge ourselves of that putrefaction rotting inside our body? What, then, can Russia teach the world?

In the German trials an astonishing phenomenon takes place from time to time. The defendent clasps his head in his hands, refuses to make any defense, and from then on asks no concessions from the court. He says that the presentation of his crimes, revived and once again confronting him, has filled him with revulsion and he no longer wants to live.

That is the ultimate height a trial can attain: when evil is so utterly condemned that even the criminal is revolted by it.

A country which has condemned evil 86,000 times from the rostrum of a court and irrevocably condemned it in literature and among its young people, year by year, step by step, is purged of it.

What are we to do? Someday our descendants will describe our several generations as generations of driveling do-nothings. First we submissively allowed them to massacre us by the millions, and then with devoted concern we tended the murderers in their prosperous old age.

-- The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn

Even though Solzhenitsyn wrote those words nearly thirty years ago, no such purging was ever carried out. Justice was rarely carried out on behalf of those who died under Marxist regimes. Even today, Western universities are filled with apologists and deniers, indoctrinating the youth with the same ideas that caused the tragedies. There is no memorial for the victims of communism. School children do not learn of their suffering. There have been no public catharses in their memory.

No physical museum of communism exists today, but Professor Bryan Caplan of George Mason University has created a virtual Museum of Communism.

The Yale University Cambodian Genocide Program has established a database of photographs of those S-21 victims to assist in their identification.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is raising funds to build a physical memorial for the victims of communism.

Back to May Day: A Day of Remembrance

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