Today is Black Ribbon Day. As you may surmise by the color of the ribbon, it’s not a day to remember happy things. This day (August 23rd) was chosen as it is the day on which, on which the so-called Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was signed in 1939. That treaty between the Nazis and Soviets divided Poland and central Europe between the two totalitarian regimes, and World War II started mere days later with the invasion of Poland.
But what about Black Ribbon Day? What
is it for. It’s also known as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, a day to remember the millions of victims of totalitarian ideologies, specifically communism/Stalinism, fascism and Nazism. The purpose of the Day of Remembrance is “to preserve the memory of the victims of mass deportations and exterminations, while promoting democratic values with th
e aim of reinforcing peace and stability in Europe.”
Black Ribbon Day is observed by many countries in the European Union, as well as by Canada and the United States. It is good that we never forget what happened when two of the worst extremes of totalitarianism got together–they managed to torture and murder millions upon millions of people. Don’t forget.