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Lech Walesa Raising Money To Build Memorial for Victims of Communism


The man who helped topple communism in Eastern Europe is in New York raising funds for a memorial to honor the millions of victims of communism. Former president of Poland is helping to raise money for a memorial plaza to be built in Washington, D.C.

The 1983 Nobel laureate is helping to raise money for a memorial plaza to be built in Washington, D.C. by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. The Foundation says the memorial will commemorate 100 million victims of communism, including those who died in Stalinist purges, China's Cultural Revolution and under the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.

But Mr. Walesa says the true number of victims cannot be calculated.

He says, he is happy to hear about every initiative that tries to make the world recall the extent of communism and that will make the world in the future remember communist times.

Lee Edwards is the chair of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. He says the centerpiece of the memorial will be a three-meter bronze statue.

"The design has been approved," said Lee Edwards. "That is based upon the statue of democracy erected by the pro-democracy Chinese students in 1989. The third step is that we are in the process of raising the funds necessary to build it from private sources. We have $700,000 of the $750,000 necessary for construction. We would not be that close without President Walesa."

The group is honoring Mr. Walesa as a pioneer of democracy with a small copy of the statue.

The U.S. Congress first authorized the formation of the non-profit Foundation in 1993. A site in the U.S. capital was approved one year ago.

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