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Albanian Historical Witness Interviews At The Wende Museum

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SOURCE The Wende Museum

New Partnership with The Albanian Human Rights Project

CULVER CITY, Calif., Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The conflict between three ruthless dictators-Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin-caused the collision of Marxism and Fascism in twentieth century Albania. The totalitarian system under Enver Hoxha was predictably horrifying as unstoppable mass met irresistible force and more than 50,000 intellectuals, artists, writers, clergy and families with children were imprisoned between 1944 and 1991. Albania's radical Communist Party remained in power until 1992 when one party rule was deposed.

The Wende Museum is proud to announce a new partnership with The Albanian Human Rights Project (AHRP), a California non-profit whose mission is to collect, film, and preserve testimonies of former Albanian political prisoners during the Cold War. The Museum will make the archive available for study and educational access in order to raise awareness of this tragic history, inspire future generations and promote tolerance and core human values essential to a civil society. On deposit for use by scholars, educators, students and artists are original cassettes, DVD copies of videotaped testimonies, original paper questionnaires with releases, transcriptions and English translations, CDs, books, writings, manuscripts, artworks and artifacts, as well as lists and presentation materials. Over 10 years some 70 testimonies were taken and documentary films produced, including Prison Nation; Albania 1943-91 and Lost Voices Making History.

As one of the Warsaw Pact countries, Albania is part of the purview of The Museum, which has a significant collection of historical witness interviews from East Germany and the U.S.S.R. as well as Soviet Jews who immigrated to Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s. "The AHRP archive," Executive Director Justin Jampol commented, "will broaden our understanding of the Cold War era and provide firsthand stories to mine for a deeper understanding of the communist period in Albania."

The Wende Museum is an arts and education institution transcending the traditional boundaries between scholarly research, museum practice and community engagement. Since its grassroots beginnings in 2002, The Wende has grown into a singular humanities resource for cultural artifacts and personal histories from Cold War-era Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The Museum's collection serves as inspiration for its programming, often igniting unconventional collaborations with partner institutions, contemporary scholars and artists.

The Wende Museum is located at 5741 Buckingham Parkway in Culver City, California. The Museum is open on Fridays from 10am to 5pm, with tours at 11:30am and 2:00pm, and Mondays through Thursdays by appointment. Admission is free. In 2015, The Wende will move to the former Culver City Armory, tripling its exhibition galleries and providing excellent public access as part of a mile-long cultural corridor with numerous permanent public art installations, live music venues, theaters, and museums. www.wendemuseum.org

Media Contacts:

Wende Museum

Joanne Kim, Manager of Programming & Community Development, 310-216-1600 x 311; jkim@wendemuseum.org
Donna Stein, Associate Director, 310-216-1600 x 301; dstein@wendemuseum.org

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