cover image of Remember. August 23 project

    Remember. August 23

    On 23 August, on the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes is observed. It was on that day in 1939 that an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union opened the gate to Second World War and all kinds of totalitarian violence: from forced migration through slave labour and war crimes to genocide, including an event unprecedented in world history – the Holocaust.

    23 August brings back the memory of millions those who fell victim to totalitarian regimes, including the inmates of Nazi concentration camps, death camps, Soviet gulags and Stalinist prisons. Our aim is to recall their individual stories.

    Project Coordinator

    The coordinator of the project is Agnieszka Mazur-Olczak.


    Read more about Agnieszka.

    Individual stories


    The aim of the "Remember. August 23" is to cultivate memory of the victims of Nazism, Stalinism and all other totalitarian ideologies, whom we strive to portray not as an anonymous collective, but individuals with their own distinctive stories and fates. By doing so, we also want to increase public awareness of the threats posed by extremist ideologies.


    Find out more about individual life stories

    23 August pin


    An outer representation of this remembrance can be wearing a pin with a mournful black band, prepared on the initiative of the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity. The European Network Remembrance and Solidarity encourages everyone to make a symbolic gesture of remembrance by sharing and wearing a special pin with the inscription “Remember. August 23”.

    Molotov - Ribbentrop Pact


    On 23 August 1939, the ministers of foreign affairs of Germany, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and the Soviet Union, Vyacheslav Molotov, signed a non-aggression treaty in Moscow called the Ribbentrop-Molotov or Hitler-Stalin Pact. Its most important component was an additional secret protocol assuming the division of Central and Eastern Europe between the two totalitarian states.

    As a result, Germany and the Soviet Union attacked Poland, respectively, on 1 and 17 September. This signified the start of the Second World War. In subsequent months, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and France were invaded, while Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as well as part of Romania were illegally annexed.


    To read the full text of the Non-Aggression Pact in English, click here See the original document in German See the infographics about the Pact on



    The ENRS has prepared a special commemoration guide presenting several ways to commemorate the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes. In the guide you’ll find explanation why we honour the memory of those who suffered under oppressive authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, links to our study resources and articles and ways of participating in our campaign.

    Commemorate with others and don’t be indifferent.

    As citizens of a united Europe, it is crucial to acknowledge our history and learn from it. We encourage you to commemorate the victims of totalitarian regimes with others. Start conversations about the stories you’ve heard on our website and pay your respects by visit a museum or memorial dedicated to these victims.

    We prepared a list with selected places of commemoration for you.


    To access the guide in English, click here List of selected places of commemoration, click here


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