These days it seems that in order to have the world pay attention to causes, one must resort to terrorism-to bombing, to the taking of hostages, to the killing of innocent people.

 Seventy eight years ago on August 23rd 1939 an agreement was signed between Stalin and Hitler that came to be known as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact; it claimed millions of lives. The plan was not only to seize foreign territories, the major intent was to destroy the national states of Eastern Europe and the Baltic nations; the map of Europe changed.  The entire eastern part of Europe was redrawn by two aggressors.

 On that tragic historical day, Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany capped years of cooperation by dividing the territory of Poland and the Baltic States such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania between them.  This Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact allowed the invasion of Poland, first by Germany on September 1st, 1939 and soon after by Soviet Russia on September 17th 1939.

 This Pact gave the Soviets acquisition of the Baltic States, the eastern territories of Poland, southern Finland, Bessarabia (today mostly part of the modern-day Moldova) and northern Bukovina (between Romania and Ukraine on the northern slopes of the central eastern Carpathian Mountains). During the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion were non-existent. These basic human rights which we as Canadians take for granted was violated by the Soviet Russia.

 Therefore each year on August 23rd people gather to show their solidarity for peace and freedom. This day in August has been chosen as International Black Ribbon Day to remember the Soviet-Nazis Pact and the partition of Europe. Also it is a day to call on all citizens who believe in Peace with Freedom to stand and call for an end to tyranny and oppression.

International Black Ribbon Day calls upon to wear a black ribbon as a symbol to remember those who lost their precious freedom and those who have become victims because they have stood in defence of their beliefs.  August 23rd 1939 was a BLACK DAY in the history of mankind.


About The Author

Peter J. Manastyrsky is an active member of the Ukrainian community in Winnipeg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.