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23 August – the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism


The European Network Remembrance and Solidarity continues the initiative started last year, the aim of which is to make Europeans associate the date of 23rd of August with a symbol of remembrance for the victims of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century – those who perished under Brown and Red terror. 

An important element of this campaign is a badge specially designed for the occasion: it bears the message ‘Remember. August 23’. You can order a badge or download an electronic version from the website: www.enrs.eu/august23. The organisers of the initiative encourage popularising and sharing of this symbol of remembrance. This year, the official commemoration of the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism will be held in Latvia.

The collection of the postcards including the badge with a black ribbon contains ten different embellished photographs of victims of Nazi concentration camps,  death camps, Soviet Gulag and Soviet prisons, each of them stigmatised with prisoner identification numbers. All this creates an expressive, moving and visual record of the crimes of this era.  The photographs come from Museum ‘Jews in Latvia’, Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania, , Collection of the National Archives of Romania, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Archives and Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security.

The European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism was proclaimed by the European Parliament on 23 September 2008. Its aim is to commemorate the victims of mass deportation and extermination, as well as to promote democracy, peace and stability in Europe. The first formal commemoration of this day was organised in2011 inWarsaw, under the auspices of the Polish Presidency. This date marked the adoption of the ‘Warsaw Declaration’, whose signatories noted the necessity of preserving the memory of the evil consequences of totalitarian regimes, and called upon the European Union to explore and collect documentation connected with crimes committed by those regimes. In subsequent years, official commemorations were held inHungaryandLithuania. This year, the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism will be officially commemorated in Riga.

The European Network Remembrance and Solidarity is an international organisation whose aim is to research, document, and popularise knowledge of the 20th century history of Europe, and to commemorate it in various ways, with a special emphasis on the period of totalitarian regimes, wars, and social opposition against coercion. The Network members include Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. The representatives of Austria, the Czech Republic and Latvia are also the members of ENRS Advisory Board. www.enrs.eu

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