On 23 August, on the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes is observed. It was on that day in 1939 that an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union opened a road towards the tragedy of the second world war and its consequences: concentration camps, gulags, Holocaust, crematoria, labour camps, and many years of the cold war and further criminal regimes. On 23 August, all those are remembered whose deaths were a consequence of the crimes perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism. The European Network Remembrance and Solidarity encourages everyone to make a symbolic gesture of remembrance by sharing and wearing a special pin with the inscription “Remember. August 23”.
23 August brings back the memory of millions those who fell victim to totalitarian regimes, primarily inmates of concentration camps, death camps, Soviet gulags and Stalinist prisons. An outer representation of this remembrance can be wearing a pin with a mournful black band, prepared on the initiative of the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity. Each and every of the millions of victims had his or her individual history recalled by the identification portraits of inmates featuring on the graphic images which accompany the campaign.
The visual materials accpompanying the badge with a black ribbon contain photographs of ten 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.