Poland Marks Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes

Leszek Szymański/PAP

An official ceremony was held at the Museum of the Cursed Soldiers and Political Prisoners of the Polish People's Republic in Warsaw on Friday to mark the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes.

During the event a letter from Polish President Andzej Duda was read out by Andrzej Dera of the President's Office.

"Together we hold tribute to all the victims of totalitarian regimes," the letter read.

The president pointed out that the idea of holding a day of remembrance, particularly for the Nazi and Stalinist regimes, was enacted on August 23, the day the Molotov-Ribbentrop Soviet-Nazi pact was signed in 1939.

"We must never forget that terrible chapter of history," the letter said. "It is an inseparable part of the whole European heritage, standing as an unceasing warning and a duty to jointly oppose evil."

According to Duda: "We are also obliged to deeply research and understand the mechanisms of evil that led to the spread of those genocidal systems, to uncover the whole truth about their crimes and to commemorate those who lost their lives at the hands of the perpetrators."

Later in the day, President Duda visited an exhibition by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) on Warsaw's Pilsudskiego Square entitled 'Walls of Totalitarians Poland 1939-1945' accompanied by IPN President Jaroslaw Szarka, IPN Deputy President Mateusz Szpytma and a deputy minister from the President's Office, Wojciech Kolarski.