23.08.2021 History

The European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes

In 2009, the European Parliament announced that the date of August 23 would be the one dedicated to the commemoration and remembrance for victimes of Nazism, Stalinism and other totalitarian ideologies.

Why August 23? 

It was on this day in 1939 that an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) set the stage for World War II and totalitarian violence, from forced migration to genocide, slavery and war crimes, and to an event unprecedented in world history: the Holocaust. To learn more, visit the page of our partner European Network Remembrance and Solidarity.


Be there where they force you to be. Stay there, like an iron pin in the body of the empire.” (Quote by Jaan Kross)


On this occasion, we invite you to take part in the commemoration by discovering below the story of the Estonian writer Jaan Kross (1920 – 2007) in a video made by the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity. Nominated several times for the Nobel Prize, he suffered persecution andwas imprisonned by the German Nazi and Soviet regimes and survived. He later wrote books that became symbols of moral opposition to oppression and was deeply involved in the Estonian independence process. To learn more about the work and life of Jaan Kross, read this article.

By focusing on them, we choose not to identify the victims as an anonymous collective, but as individuals, each with their own history and destiny, in order to continue to fight against extreme ideologies.


Partners of this campaign are the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, the House of European History, the Estonian Embassy in Brussels, the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Brussels, the Czech Cultural Centre in Brussels and the Polish Institute in Brussels. 

Scheduled History