This museum isn't located on the Mall. This museum has no exhibits. This museum has no visitors.
Because this museum does not exist.
There is a movement to create a memorial in Washington, but it lacks momentum, and when one considers the scale of the tragedy being remembered, this modest memorial is an empty gesture at best, and at worst, an insulting one (not by the proponents of the memorial, but by those who neglect such an endeavor).
They seek a mere $300,000 to begin the monument, which in the end will be merely stone, with no museum.
In comparison, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum cost $168 million to construct.
The victims of communism, however, outnumber the victims of the Holocaust by 10-to-1, or more. According to the indispensable history The Black Book Of Communism,
[t]he death toll. . . is simply staggering. The USSR: nearly 20 million dead; China: 65 million; Vietnam: 1 million; North Korea: 2 million; Cambodia: 2 million; Eastern Europe: 1 million; Latin America: 150,000; Africa: 1.7 million; Afghanistan: 1.5 million. [Black Book of Communism author] Stephane Courtois and his colleagues conclude that between 85 and 100 million human beings were killed this century by Communist regimes.
Where is their memorial? Where is their equivalent of the Survivors of the Shoah, dedicated to recording the countless tragedies of their time? Where is their Anne Frank, or their Schindler's List?
Of course, I make these comparisons with the Holocaust for purpose of illumination, not to denigrate the great human catastrophe suffered by the Jews and their fellow victims of Hitler's genocide.
Yet, if millions, even billions of dollars can be spent over decades memorializing the victims of Hitler, where are the resources for remembering the millions dead at the hands of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, the Kims, Castro, and others?
The survivors of the Holocaust have spent decades hunting down the murderers, and scandalizing their apologists. When it comes to the victims of communism, however, we elect their murderers, and tenure their apologists.
The longest and costliest war America has ever fought was the struggle against communism. The tens of thousands of brave Americans who died on Korean hillsides or in Vietnamese jungles, who were shot down over the skies of the Soviet Union, who stood their lonely guard along the East German border-- their memorials, if there are any, are often regrettable testaments to failure and disgrace. A black wall, or an endless patrol in stone. A place to feel sorry for ourselves, instead of feeling sorry for those who suffered.
Our nation and our world today have done so much to forget the unmitigated evil of communism that even raising the subject of a memorial in public is cause for ridicule, or worse, an endless debate on moral equivalence. As if the gulag in Siberia were a terrorist prison in the Caribbean. As if tens of millions of Chinese corpses were the equal of the rantings of one lone American senator. As if the crushing of entire civilizations was the equal of the temporary castigation of the blacklist.
Acknowledging these millions-- hearing their stories, reading their letters, seeing their faces, looking into their eyes-- would require that we dismantle our own mythology. Acknowledgment would require that we finally recognize that it was not we who were the enemy, but these bloody oppressors. We would have to recognize that our own navel-gazing, while comforting in its sophisticated intellectual and moral rationalization, did nothing to save these people.
That when we said "Never Again," we never meant it.
Honoring these millions would mean we would have to grasp why we allowed this titanic evil to occur-- not for a year, not for a decade, but nearly a century. Perpetual darkness, year after terrible year.
Of course, our acknowledgment would demand answers for why we are still allowing these crimes to continue today.