The transition from tyranny to freedom is far more difficult when people who must learn to make free decisions do not know their real history. When Nazi Germany was occupied by Allied forces at the end of World War II, all official documents were brought to a central location and made available to everyone, from scholars to simple citizens. Any falsification of the Nazi past proved impossible because documentary history was at hand. The same applies to the operations of the East German intelligence service, the STASI, during the Communist period. STASI archives are open, and the real history of Communist Germany is now being written.
As Anne Applebaum has shown in her book Gulag, when historical facts are suppressed full freedom is more difficult to achieve. Professor and writer Kanan Makiya has collected millions of documents from Saddam Hussein’s regime and is organizing a museum/archive that will enable the world at large, and Iraqis in particular, to discover the details of the oppression that gripped Iraq for so many years.
Anne Applebaum, Washington Post
Michael A. Ledeen, AEI
Kanan Makiya, Iraqi National Congress