- 81 years ago, on August 23, 1939 Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and Nazi German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop signed an agreement (officially known as the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), now commonly called the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.
- One week later Nazi Germany invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War II. Two weeks later, Soviet troops occupied the western territories of Poland. The victorious campaign ended with a “brotherhood” parade of Red Army and Wehrmacht units through occupied Brest, watched over by Soviet Brigade Commanders, who stood side by side, relishing their conquest.
- Black Ribbon Day commemorates the anniversary of this pact, a sinister partnership treaty between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia that allowed each to violently and illegally seize the lands situated between them and to destroy the lives of millions of peaceful citizens. Today, we remember the millions of victims of Nazi and Soviet tyranny and remind ourselves of the importance of protecting freedom, democracy and human rights.
- Ironically, today Russia purports itself as the liberator and celebrates Victory Day on May 9 as the Conqueror over Nazi Germany in the so-called Great Patriotic War.
- In November 2009, Canada’s Parliament unanimously passed a resolution to establish an annual Canadian Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Nazi and Soviet Communist Crimes on August 23, called “Black Ribbon Day”, which coincides with the anniversary of the signing of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.
- The Kremlin’s current assault on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, Georgia and Syria and its cyberwar with the west, reminds us that imperialism is not yet dead, it has not been conquered and the cause of liberty and justice continually must be defended.
- Today, Black Ribbon Day, we pay tribute to the millions who were victimized and perished at the hands of Communist and Nazi regimes and strive to raise awareness among our fellow citizens to help ensure that this page in world history is never repeated.