FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 22, 2017
U.S. HUMAN RIGHTS ORG REBUKES E.U. POLITICIANS FOR ATTEMPTING TO WHITEWASH SOVIET CRIMES
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation calls on Greek government to remember and honor those tyrannized by USSR
Washington, D.C. — Greek Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis rejected an invitation to participate in the annual European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Communist and Nazi Regimes, which will be held this year in Tallinn, Estonia. In 2009, the European Parliament declared this day of remembrance, also called Black Ribbon Day, on the anniversary of the signing of the non-aggression pact signed between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in 1939.
Kontonis has lauded the Soviet Union as Europe’s “liberator” from Nazi conquest, despite the Soviet Union’s murderous history in his own country. His sentiments were then echoed by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). Further, the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) bloc in the European Parliament released a distortive statement “strongly condemn[ing]” the Estonian government for observing Black Ribbon Day.
“As people around the world come together to commemorate Black Ribbon Day — a day to remember and honor the millions persecuted and murdered by fascist and communist regimes — it is disheartening to see European political parties and leaders refute history.
After the Second World War, Greece was beset by a Soviet-backed insurgency, which executed nearly 5,000 innocent civilians and deported 28,000 Greek children to reeducation camps in the Eastern Bloc. It is time for the Greek government recognize not only the Greek victims of the USSR, but all those tortured, starved, jailed, deported, and murdered in the name of the communism. The member parties of the GUE-NGL should carefully consider their own histories and recall the Soviet Union’s fanatical opposition to social democracy. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation also urges all Europeans on this Black Ribbon Day not only to keep in mind the millions killed on the continent by totalitarian regimes, but to also consciously cherish the universal and eternal principles of truth, justice, and freedom.”
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a Washington-based, non-profit educational and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes. VOC was authorized by an unanimous act of Congress on December 17, 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, VOC Executive Director, please contact Frank at [email protected] or 703-490-8845.