Today, 23rd August 2019, marks Black Ribbon Day, the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.
It has been eighty years today since Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and Nazi-German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop met in Moscow to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or the Nazi-Soviet Pact, on behalf of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and German Führer Adolf Hitler.
A Soviet Russian T-34 tank, belonging to a regime which caused the deaths of over twenty million people.
The treaty, officially known as the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a promise of neutrality between the two nations, and divided Poland and other Eastern European nations between them (a clause only made public in 1945 during the Nuremberg Trials).
The pact led directly to the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, and brought about the the Second World War, a conflict which led to the deaths of over seventy million people, or 3% of the 1940 global population.
The house of Anne Frank, who would have turned 90 this year, a major landmark of the Holocaust, in which six million people were killed by Nazi fascism.
This year’s anniversary comes in the same year that President of the USA Donald Trump has affirmed that, ‘America will never be a socialist country‘.
Black Ribbon Day, marked largely in Eastern European nations such as Ukraine, remembers the victims of the two largest totalitarian regimes in history, and serves to reject both the fascism and communism of the twentieth century.