August 23, 2019

Black Ribbon Day 2019


The following statement was released by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress on August 20.

On August 23, Canadians commemorate Black Ribbon Day, the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe.

Established through a unanimous resolution of Canada’s Parliament in 2009, Black Ribbon Day coincides with the anniversary of the signing of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union.

This year, we mark the 80th anniversary of the signature of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which divided Europe between the 20th century’s monstrous totalitarian regimes of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union.

Soon after the Pact was signed, the two regimes jointly invaded and dismembered Poland, starting World War II. Millions of men, women and children were murdered, imprisoned and subjected to dreadful brutality by the Nazi and Soviet regimes.

On Black Ribbon Day, we honor the memory of millions of innocent victims of Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union. May the Memory of the Victims Be Eternal. Вічная Пам’ять.

“On Black Ribbon Day, we pay tribute to the memory of so many millions of people who suffered under the tyranny of Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union,” stated Alexandra Chyczij [president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress]. “Today, the despotic specter of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact lives on in Putin’s Russia – which wages wars of aggression against neighboring states, tries to redraw the boundaries of Europe through force, and seeks to distort history and whitewash the crimes of the Soviet Union. We must recall the lessons of history to ensure that the crimes of Nazism and Communism are never repeated.”

The Central and Eastern European Council (CEEC), which represents the interests of 4 million Canadians of Central and Eastern European heritage, is organizing a series of events to commemorate Black Ribbon Day.

“The families of millions of Canadians fled Soviet and Nazi terror in the 1940s and 1950s, arriving in Canada as refugees,” stated Marcus Kolga, president of the CEEC. “The trauma that they endured at the hands of the Nazi and Soviet regimes is passed along through generations; it is critically important that we never forget the terror inflicted on the millions of victims by these two authoritarian regimes, fascist and communist.”

The UCC expresses its gratitude to the Central and Eastern European Council for their strong support of the people of Ukraine as they defend their country against Russian aggression.

On September 12, 2019, the Black Ribbon Day Conference will be held at the University of Toronto Isabel Babel Theater. Russian pro-democracy and human rights leader Garry Kasparov will deliver the event’s keynote speech. (More information on the event is available here: