TORONTO – Former chessmaster, pro-democracy activist and Russian opposition leader, Garry Kasparov, will deliver the keynote address at an event marking the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Nazi-Soviet pact, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which facilitated the start of WWII in August 1939.
The September 12 event will take place at the University of Toronto’s Isabel Bader Theatre, and will involve a panel discussion about the legacy of the Nazi-Soviet Pact today, featuring international experts and political leaders.
On August 23, 1939, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin formally conspired to tear Europe in half when they signed a non-aggression pact and its secret protocols, whereby they agreed to divide Europe among them. Thus began the Second World War. The unprecedented scale of terror, bloodshed and violent repression that the Nazi-Soviet pact unleashed has forever scarred Europe and the millions of victims, many of whom escaped to Canada and still live here today.
In 2009, a resolution was adopted by the Parliament of Canada making August 23rd a National Day of Remembrance for the European victims of Nazism and communism.
The families of millions of Canadians fled Soviet and Nazi terror in the 1940s and ‘50s, arriving in Canada as refugees. The trauma that they endured at the hands of the Nazi and Soviet regimes is passed along through generations; it is critically important that we never forget the terror inflicted on the millions of victims by these two authoritarian regimes, fascist and communist.
The conference will highlight attempts to distort narratives about this history and will examine how malign foreign regimes, such as the current Russian government, use history as a tool to divide the transatlantic alliance and democracies worldwide – including here in Canada.
It is of critical importance that Canada and the world remember this deadly pact between Hitler and Stalin which helped facilitate the start of the Second World War and left many millions of people under Soviet occupation for decades to come.
Registration for the event can be completed here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/nazi-soviet-pact-80-tickets-66946658257