In November 2009, a resolution declaring Black Ribbon Day, August 23, an annual day of remembrance for the victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe was unanimously passed by Canada’s Parliament.
Black Ribbon Day historically commemorates the anniversary of the infamous Molotov- Ribbentrop pact, a sinister partnership treaty between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia that allowed each to violently and illegally seize the lands and peoples situated between them and in essence started the second world war. Twenty Five years ago, Canada’s Central and Eastern European communities, by initiating Black Ribbon Day, were instrumental in bringing international attention and understanding of the plight of their heritage nations. This Canadian initiative organized demonstrations in 21 cities on both sides of the Iron Curtain. In 1989 close to 2 million people formed a human chain across the Baltic republics and by 1991, demonstrations were held in 56 cities on three continents.
Presently, August 23rd is officially commemorated in close to a dozen European nations under several names including Black ribbon Day and European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.