Washington, DC – On June 8, 2022, Hungarian American Coalition (Coalition) President Andrea Lauer Rice and Chair Emerita Edith K. Lauer represented the Coalition at the inauguration of the Victims of Communism Museum dedicated to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world. Mrs. Lauer was a distinguished guest at the event, as a Hungarian freedom fighter of the 1956 Revolution and a longtime member of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) Board of Trustees.
Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice and Chair Emerita Edith K. Lauer at the
Dedication Reception of the Victims of Communism Museum. Photo credit: VOC/Kevin Allen
Speakers at the dedication ceremony were: VOC President Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, Vice Chair Dr. Elizabeth Spalding, Founder Dr. Lee Edwards, Ambassador Aldona Wos, via video – Piotr Gliński, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and Péter Sztáray, Hungarian Minister of State for Security Policy. Hungarian Ambassador Szabolcs Takács spoke about Hungary’s commitment to supporting the Museum and acknowledged Edith K. Lauer and Jenő Megyesy, ’56-ers present at the event. VOC Chairman Dr. Edwin J. Feulner presented Dr. Lee Edwards with the Truman-Regan Medal of Freedom for his unwavering dedication to the creation of the Museum. In his comments, Edwards referred to the Hungarian Revolution as his initial motivation to establish VOC.
VOC Trustees: Mr. Randall C Teague, Mr. W Bruce Weinrod, Ambassador Aldona Z. Vos, Dr. Edwin J. Feulner, Dr. Lee Edwards, Dr. Elizabeth Spalding, Ms. Paula Dobriansky, Mr. Donald Ritter, Mrs. Edith K Lauer, and VOC President Ambassador Andrew Bremberg. Photo credit: VOC/Kevin Allen
Located in downtown Washington, DC (900 15th Street NW), the Victims of Communism Museum is the first museum in the world dedicated to describing both the history of communism as well as its current global reach around the world. The Museum’s three main galleries feature the detailed history of communism and the heroic struggles of those who resisted it, and showcase temporary exhibits in cooperation with partner organizations to spotlight moments and individuals of the last century. Visitors can watch films and participate in state-of-the-art interactive exhibits that bring to life the stories of both victims and survivors. The Museum also has the capacity to host school groups and private events in its educational center. The Museum opened to the public on June 13, 2022.
On June 10, Mrs. Lauer Rice participated in the 15th annual Roll Call of Nations also organized by VOC. Representatives from 15 embassies, 3 delegations, and 42 ethnic and human rights organizations, including the Coalition gathered together with leaders of VOC for the 15th annual Roll Call of Nations Wreath Laying Ceremony & Dissident Human Rights Award Presentation at the Victims of Communism Memorial on Capitol Hill.
Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice presenting the Coalition’s wreath at the 15th Annual Roll Call of Nations at the Victims of Communism Memorial on Capitol Hill. Photo credit: VOC
VOC presented the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom to Alexei Navalny, Russian opposition leader, politician, lawyer, and founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, who is currently imprisoned in Russia—after being poisoned with a nerve agent and miraculously surviving—simply for telling the truth about Putin’s authoritarian regime. Anna Veduta, Vice President of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, accepted the award on Mr. Navalny’s behalf.
Ms. Veduta shared the following observations during her remarks: “Having spent more than a year in a prison camp, sentenced to nine years more in a maximum-security prison, formally facing another fifteen years behind the bars, and having no illusions that his term is anything other than a life term, Alexei Navalny is the freest man in today’s Russia. Because it is impossible to take away the freedom of someone who is free in their mind.”
The event’s recording is available on YouTube by clicking here.