Black Ribbon Day which is also known as the ‘Europe Wide Day of Remembrance’ is observed every year on August 23 as a day to remember and pay tributes to victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. The day is officially recognized by the European Union and aims to promote the rejection of fascist ideologies like Stalinism and Nazism.
The day also promotes democratic values apart from rejecting authoritarian ideologies and ideas. Victims of mass execution, deportation during the fascist regime of totalitarian governments across Europe in the 20th century are remembered on the day.
The origins of Black Ribbon Day goes back to the Cold War era during the 1980s. People who had to migrate to countries like the USA, Canada as refugees during the Cold War marked this day to protest against the communist regime in Russia that led to the revolution of 1989. The term ‘Black Ribbon Day’ was coined by a man named Markus Hess. Hess who belonged to Estonian Central Council in Canada coined the term with reference to black ribbons that are used as a mark of protest. The observation of this day soon crossed the borders of Northern America and reached Europe. The observation of the Black Ribbon Day began across the European continent especially the Baltic countries and it was officially recognized by the European union in 2010
Human history is intertwined with the atrocities performed by totalitarian governments on their people. The Nazi period in Germany was infamous for its oppressive rule and attempts to execute and wipe out a whole race of people because they believed Jews were inferior. An uncountable number of people of lost their lives because of atrocities in these regimes and day aims to remind people that that totalitarian fascist government bring nothing other than eventual death and destruction.