VOC Commemorates Black Ribbon Day

 Diplomatic Representatives of the Baltic Nations pose in front of wreaths lain to commemorate the Baltic victims of communism and Nazism.

Diplomatic Representatives of the Baltic Nations pose in front of wreaths lain to commemorate the Baltic victims of communism and Nazism.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is proud to announce the acquisition of the archives of the Black Ribbon Day Committee, the Canadian civic organization that successfully advocated for the official establishment in 2009 of Black Ribbon Day as a “National Day of Remembrance” in Canada.

The Black Ribbon Day Committee was a movement of citizens educating their fellow citizens about, and advocating for, the official recognition of the victims of Nazi and Communist totalitarianism in Europe. Through three decades of activism, the committee strengthened and sustained the memory and commemoration of these victims in Canada and, by extension, around the world.

This makes it a model and inspiration to similar movements here in the US and abroad—and makes its archives an especially valuable record and resource for researchers and activists seeking to analyze, or emulate, its achievements.

Pursuant to this, VOC is offering a fully-funded non-residential Baltic Studies research fellowship. For more information, visit our website.

 Markus Hess at the Black Ribbon Day Wreath Laying Ceremony.

Markus Hess at the Black Ribbon Day Wreath Laying Ceremony.

"In the 1980s, the fight for freedom was much clearer than it is today. The world was divided into a West and an East—and it was divided by a wall, no less. On one side were the despots and oppressors, and on the other side was freedom, with millions of displaced people in a scattered diaspora," Hess said at a reception commemorating the occasion.

"We knew we were completely right and that they were completely wrong, and we knew that we were going to win and they were going to lose."

"The Black Ribbon Day Committee, which I led, was confident in the principles of freedom, liberty and equality and vigorously pursued what we believed was an inevitable victory. The Victims of Communism Foundation is a dynamic, well-led organization that reflects our beliefs and principles. The victims are number one. I am very happy that the Black Ribbon Day Committee has been able to amalgamate our archival collections and put them into the care of a proactive group like VOC. I hope that these materials will be of use to your foundation and to scholars," he added.

 

Charles CampbellComment