Joseph Stalin (Keystone, Getty Images)

Remember the Victims of Communism

August 22, 2014


On this 75th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, we recognize the morally reprehensible nature of the totalitarian ideas of Nazism and Stalinism, of fascism and communism. We also recall the historical fact that regimes dedicated to these deadly ideologies worked together to start World War II, and aided each other in murdering millions of innocent men, women, and children. We remember those victims on this Black Ribbon Day.

We honor those who in 1989 overcame fear and confronted Soviet power to shatter the lie that communist rule could not be overcome. In the spirit of 1989, we encourage those Russians who are today fighting for basic liberties and the rule of law and against the whitewashing of Soviet crimes. And we hope for the freedom and dignity of those living today under totalitarian regimes.

At the time of publishing, Žygimantas Pavilionis was ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania and Marion Smith was executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Originally published in USA Today.

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