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Annual European Day Of Remembrance For Victims Of Stalinism, Nazism

Survivor Panayiota Mario touches a glass panel containing the remains of victims of the Distomo massacre, committed by the Nazis during World War II in the village of Distomo, in Greece.
European Union member states are marking a day of remembrance for victims of Stalinism and Nazism.

The European Parliament in 2008 adopted a resolution designating August 23 as the day to formally remember the victims of mass deportations and exterminations.

The day was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the August 23, 1939, signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

The pact's secret protocols divided Europe into two spheres of interest.

A European Parliament statement said the “mass deportations, murders, and enslavements committed in the context of the acts of aggression by Stalinism and Nazism fall into the category of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

In 2009, the parliament adopted a second resolution condemning the totalitarian crimes of Europe’s communist, Nazi and fascist regimes.

Based on RFE/RL and agency reporting

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