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.

    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

    Facebook Profile Frame


    We have prepared a commemorative facebook frame in order to provide a simple and at the same time visible way to honor those who were persecuted in the name of Nazism, Stalinism and other totalitarian ideologies. We encourage you to temporarily update your facebook profile picture with the template.


    Add the frame to your Facebook profile picture

    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”.

    You can find the pins in the following locations:
    • Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes – Czechia
    • Estonian Institute of Historical Memory – Estonia
    • Committee of National Remembrance (NEB) – Hungary
    • Holocaust Memorial Center – Hungary
    • The Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights – Lithuania
    • The National Museum of History of Moldova – Moldova
    • Krzyżowa Foundation – Poland
    • Zajezdnia History Centre – Poland
    • Museum and Memorial Auschwitz-Birkenau – Poland
    • European Solidarity Center – Poland
    • Warsaw Rising Museum – Poland
    • Museum of the Second World War – Poland
    • Museum of Cursed Soldiers and Political Prisoners of Polish People’s Republic – Poland
    • Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) – Poland
    • National History Museum of Romania – Romania
    • Nation's Memory Institute (UPN) – Slovakia

    The pins will be also distributed by the International Commission for Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.

    Events 2020

    This year European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), Centre for Historical Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Berlin and the Berlin-based branch of the Pilecki Institute will hold a panel discussion on 26 August 2020, 6 pm that will be devoted to these issues. The panel discussions will be available online through Zoom.

    The aim of the debate is to reflect not only on the state of academic research on the genesis and consequences of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but primarily on current historical policies and cultures of remembrance of countries experiencing the pact signed on 23 August 1939 in Moscow by Third Reich and USSR Foreign Ministers. Various war and post-war experiences in Europe have caused differences in assessment of this event in the context of the Second World War, as have today`s challenges such as racism, nationalism, intolerance, anti-Semitism and propagandistic use of history. Not without significance are different resolutions, for example, of the European parliament and numerous statements on historical policy in the context of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

    Learn more and register to the debate

    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


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