The book, Black Ribbon Day, has a special place in the history of Canadian
Polish Research Institute, the publishers of the book. It presents the establishment and
growth of the Black Ribbon Day (BRD) movement—an initiative that commemorates
victims of Stalinism and Nazism and brings the historical importance of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact into public discussion.
Dr. Edward Soltys, the author and long-time president of the Institute, fought for freedom from
Russian domination as an activist of the Independent Self-governing Trade
Union, “Solidarity”. For him the memory of the shameful Molotov-Ribbentrop
Pact was very painful. Therefore, when a proposal to write and publish a book
on Black Ribbon Day was brought to the Institute, they immediately agreed
to launch this project. It was realized that this was more than a simple duty to
document the history of the movement, but a mission.
However, what they did not know then was how much the present political situation in Eastern Europe (e.g. Ukraine) would reflect the situation of the past. Indeed, the uniqueness
of this book lays in the actuality of the topic.
Not only does the book present the chronological history of the Black
Ribbon Day movement, but it also speaks the voice of the creators and long-time
advocates of the movement.
The book is introduced with a short chapter by Dr. Marek Celinski, who presents an objective, yet personal overview of the movement. He closely collaborated with the Committee on
organizing many BRD events. Then, Markus Hess and David Somerville tell
their personal stories. Their dedication and commitment
from the planning to implementation of BRD speak for themselves.
The Afterword chapter was written by Laas Leivat—Estonian Honorary Consul
General in Toronto and a BRDC member. As Epilogue, we present a short
chapter by the first Prime Minister of Independent Estonia, Mart Laar. His
piece is a good summary of the BRD movement within a historical context.
The Canadian Polish Research Institute is a promoter of the endeavour that commemorates the decisive moments in the history of Central and Eastern Europe.
It expected that the book will soon be available at the Estonian House book store.
Black Ribbon Day, the saga finally in a book