European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes


This year, we are observing the already seventh edition of the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes. On 23 August 1939, a pact was signed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that opened a road towards the tragedy of the Second World War and its consequences: concentration camps, gulags, the Holocaust, crematoria and labour camps, followed by long years of the Cold War and - for many societies of East-Central Europe - further captivity. On the anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, all those are remembered whose deaths were a consequence of the crimes perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism. The European Network Remembrance and Solidarity encourages you to remember millions of the victims by making available, sharing and wearing a special pin featuring a black ribbon and the inscription reading: “Remember. August 23”.

We want this gesture to be an expression of remembering millions of those who fell victim to totalitarian regimes, primarily inmates of concentration camps, death camps, Soviet gulags and Stalinist prisons.

The European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes was proclaimed by the European Parliament on 23 September 2008. Its objective is to commemorate victims of mass deportations and exterminations as well as to secure democracy and strengthen peace and stability in Europe. The first-ever ceremonial observance of the Day took place in Warsaw in 2011. In the “Warsaw Declaration” signed then the signatories highlighted the need to make Europeans remember the criminal consequences of totalitarian regimes and called upon the European Union to study and compile documentation related to the crimes committed by such regimes. During successive years, commemorative events attended by justice ministers of EU Member States have taken place in Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.


Archive of the Centre for Documentation of Deportations, Exiles and Displacements of the Pedagogical University of Krakow; polis - The Austrian Centre for Citizenship Education in Schools (Zentrum polis - Politik Lernen in der Schule); Central Museum of Prisoners of War in Łambinowice; Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania (Lietuvos gyventojų genocido ir rezistencijos tyrimų centro); Holocaust Memorial Centre in Budapest (Holokauszt Emlékközpont); History Meeting House; European Solidarity Centre; KARTA Centre Foundation; Unitas Foundation in Tallinn (Unitas Foundation); Hesed Shpira Fund in Uzhhorod (ХэсэдШпира); Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile in Bucharest (Institutul de Investigare a Crimelor Comunismului și Memoria Exilului Românesc); Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Vienna (Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Menschenrechte); Institute of National Remembrance in Slovakia (Ústav pamäti národa); Institute of National Remembrance in Ukraine (Український інститут національної пам'яті); Institute of National Remembrance in Poland; Institute of National Remembrance in Hungary (Nemzeti Emlékezet Bizottsága); Slovak Institute in Warsaw; Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague (Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů); GULAG Memorial Committee (Gulág Emlékbizottság); International Cultural Centre in Krakow; Museum of the History of Polish Jews; Museum “Jews in Latvia” in Riga (Muzejs “Ebreji Latvijā”); Museum of the Occupation of Latvia in Riga (Latvijas Okupācijas muzejs); Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius (Genocido muziejus aukų); Warsaw Uprising Museum; Stutthof Museum in Sztutowo; Organisation Post Bellum in Prague; State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau; Romanian Cultural Institute in Poland; National Archives of Romania(Arhivele Naţionale ale României), Hungarian Scout Associate (Magyar Cserkészszövetség).

The European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS) is an international initiative aimed at researching, documenting and disseminating knowledge about the twentieth-century European history and ways in which it is remembered, with particular emphasis placed on times of dictatorships, wars and public opposition in the face of captivity. The Network has the following members: Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, while Austria, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Albania enjoy the observer status. Find more at

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