Black Ribbon Day Canada 2023

August 22, 2023

TORONTO – On August 23rd, millions of Canadians, whose families were victims of Nazi and Soviet terror, will solemnly mark the 84th anniversary of the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact. This treaty, signed on August 23, 1939, enabled the coordinated invasion and colonization of Europe between Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. The families of these Canadians sought refuge in Canada after fleeing the horrors of Nazi and Soviet terror.

Unfortunately, over the past 15 months, the families of those Canadians who suffered under Soviet and Nazi terror during WWII have faced increasing threats due to Russian government narratives. These narratives seek to marginalize, dehumanize, and deny their suffering and experiences.

The Russian government and its proxies in Canada have long propagated disinformation, denying the well-documented crimes of Soviet Russia throughout Central and Eastern Europe during WWII and the Cold War. These false narratives even accuse the refugees who fled Soviet terror, as well as their families, of being “enemies” of Canada. Furthermore, similar hateful narratives have appeared in recent articles published by Kremlin-aligned far-left and far-right extremists in Canada. As a result, there has been a rise in harassment, incidents of vandalism, and violence targeting Ukrainian Canadians and Canadians of Baltic heritage.

“The increasing hate towards communities that suffered Nazi German and Soviet Russian terror should concern all Canadians,” said CEE Council President Marcus Kolga. “The Russian government’s efforts to deny and distort this history aim to divide us and dehumanize millions of Canadians by rejecting our experiences and collective traumas.”

Over the past 17 months, Black Ribbon Day has taken on renewed significance, given Russia’s attempts to re-colonize Ukraine in a savage manner. The unspeakable atrocities committed by Vladimir Putin’s soldiers have reawakened the traumas experienced by millions of Canadians who fled Nazi German and Soviet Russian occupation and terror after WWII.

We encourage all Canadians to download the attached image and take a photograph with it, posting it on their social media accounts to raise awareness of Black Ribbon Day. Additionally, we urge all Canadians to tie a black ribbon outside their homes and wear a black ribbon to participate in Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations. These actions will demonstrate our solidarity with Ukraine and our Ukrainian Canadian friends.

For more information about Black Ribbon Day, visit blackribbonday.org

The following events will be happening across Canada:

Toronto (Ukrainian Independence Day)
Saturday, August 19, 1pm
Centennial Park
256 Centennial Park Road, Toronto

Saturday August 21 at 2 PM 
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza
750 Hornby St, Vancouver

For more information:  blackribbonday.org or ceecouncilcanada@gmail.com


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The Estonian Central Council in Canada (ECC)/Eestlaste Kesknõukogu Kanadas (EKN) is a nationally elected council founded in 1951 that furthers the interests and development of the Canadian Estonian community.


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