WHEREAS on August 23, 1939, the agreement known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or the Stalin-Hitler Pact, was signed between the Communist Soviet Union and Nazi Germany; which helped lay the groundwork for World War II and the subsequent devastation of many Central and Eastern European nation states;
WHEREAS the extreme forms of totalitarian rule practiced by the Nazi and Communist dictatorships led to premeditated and vast crimes committed against millions of human beings, depriving them of their inalienable rights and dignity on a scale unseen before in history;
WHEREAS twenty years after the fall of the totalitarian Communist regimes in Europe, knowledge about their crimes against peoples in Central and Eastern Europe for more than 40 years –including systematic and ruthless military, economic and political repression of the people by means of arbitrary executions, mass arrests, deportations, the suppression of free expression, confiscation of private property, as well as separating these people from the democratic world with the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall — is still alarmingly superficial and inadequate;
WHEREAS during the Cold War, the U.S. Congress chose to raise public awareness on behalf of these oppressed people by declaring an annual Captive Nations Week, which President Eisenhower and every successive U.S. President up to the administration of President Barack Obama, has reaffirmed each year and declared that it be observed the third week of July;
WHEREAS in November 2009, Canada’s Parliament passed a resolution declaring August 23 as Black Ribbon Day, an annual day of remembrance for the victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe, and August 23 has also been designated by the European Parliament as International Black Ribbon Day;
WHEREAS originally U.S. Congressman Dan Lungren had introduced House Resolution 790 in 2012 “To Establish an Annual Day of Remembrance – Black Ribbon Day – For The Victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi Regimes”;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT every victim of any totalitarian regime has the same human dignity and deserves justice, remembrance and recognition, with the truth being told to counter the falsification of history for political gain, in efforts to ensure that such crimes and events are never again repeated;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Baltic American Freedom League unequivocally condemns the crimes against humanity committed by Soviet Communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Baltic American Freedom League urges the U. S. Congress to establish August 23 as Black Ribbon Day — an annual day of remembrance to honor the victims of totalitarianism and to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the infamous pact between the Soviet Communist and totalitarian Nazi regimes.
Adopted by the Baltic American Freedom League on February 9, 2013, Los Angeles, California.