Gallery: Victims of Stalinism and Nazism remembered on Black Ribbon Day (1)
People gathered at the base of the War of Independence Victory Column in Tallinn's Freedom Square to pay tribute to the memory of the victims of communism and Nazism on the 77th anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, observed today as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, otherwise known as Black Ribbon Day.
Estonian Minister of Social Protection Margus Tsahkna represented the Estonian government and MEP Tunne Kelam the European Parliament at the ceremony, which began at 12 noon on Tuesday. Archbishop Urmas Viilma led a prayer of remembrance, ETV Girls Choir sang under the direction of Aarne Saluveer and wreaths of flowers were placed at the foot of the Victory Column in remembrance of the victims of communism and Nazism.
Europe observes Aug. 23 as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.
A larger, European-wide memorial ceremony is held in different European states on a rotating basis. This year's Eurpean-wide Day of Remembrance is being held in the Slovak capital of Bratislava, where Estonia will be represented by Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu.
On Aug. 23, 1939, Nazi Germany and the communist Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, whose secret protocol divided Europe into two spheres of influence and paved the way for the annexation and occupation of multiple sovereign states, triggering a chain of events in which a wide array of communist and Nazi crimes were commited.
This year marked the 77th anniversary of the signing of the pact.