Europe Remembers Victims of Stalinism, Nazism (6)
Today is the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.
August 23 also marked, in 1939, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and, in 1989, the Baltic Way protest in which 2 million people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania stood hand in hand, stretching across the three countries to demand the restoration of their independence.
In a joint statement today, the Baltic prime ministers said: "The totalitarian regimes occupied freedom-loving European nations and a reign of terror was unleashed. Communism and Nazism took the lives of millions of people. In the Baltic states, no families were left untouched by the violence of these malicious regimes.“
Today at 16:00, a wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the War of Independence Victory Column in Tallinn. There will be speeches from ministers, a former dissident, the Latvian ambassador and the archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Other related events in the Estonian capital today include an exhibition at the Occupations Museum at 15:00 and a traditional gathering at Hirvepark at 17:00. A memorial service began at 11:00 in Pilistvere, in Viljandi County.
A European Parliament resolution passed in 2009 established this date as an official day of remembrance, known also as Black Ribbon Day.