August 23 is the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism created by the European Parliament in 2008. This day is also the day on which in 1939 the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was signed. A Pact that allowed for Germany under Hitler and Soviet Union under Stalin to divide much of Europe. As well as dividing the countries between each other, the two totalitarianisms terrorized the citizens of the conuquered areas with concentration camps, gulags, forced labour, crematoria and the cold war.
This year, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity wishes to inaugurate a long term project, which aims to inform Europeans about August 23 – a symbol of remembrance for the victims of 20th century’s totalitarian regimes – victims of Brown and Red terror. An important aspect of these commemorations is a Remember. August 23 badge, which you can find on our website.
Commemorations in Warsaw for the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism were held for the first time on 23 August 2011 during Poland's EU presidency. This saw the signing of the Warsaw Declaration, urging remembrance among Europeans of the criminal consequences of totalitarian regimes and calling on the European Union to support, research and collect documents relating to the crimes committed by these regimes. Last year ceremonies took place in Hungary. This year, ministers of justice and representatives of ministries are meeting with young people from European countries in Lithuania – in Vilnius, Trakai, Paneriai and Druskininkai.