U.S. President Donald Trump highlighted the struggle of those who have lived and continue to live under oppressive communist regimes, declaring November 7, 2017 a National Day for the Victims of Communism. The date marked 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution took place in Russia. The Revolution, led by Vladimir Lenin, paved the way for the establishment of the Soviet Union. From that day forward mass killings and purges, man-made famine and the horrors of the infamous Gulag claimed what scholars estimate as 20 to 30 million deaths in the U.S.S.R.
In an official White House statement, President Trump honored victims of all communist regimes, noting that communism is “a political philosophy incompatible with liberty, prosperity, and the dignity of human life.”
“Over the past century,” wrote President Trump, “Communist totalitarian regimes around the world have killed more than 100 million people and subjected countless more to exploitation, violence, and untold devastation. These movements, under the false pretense of liberation, systematically robbed innocent people of their God-given rights of free worship, freedom of association, and countless other rights we hold sacrosanct. Citizens yearning for freedom were subjugated by the state through the use of coercion, violence, and fear.”
The 100 million victims of communism include individuals who have died over the last century at the hands of communist regimes. However, the National Day for the Victims of Communism also honors survivors of communist regimes and those who continue to live under them.
“Today,” wrote President Trump, “We remember those who have died and all who continue to suffer under communism. In their memory and in honor of the indomitable spirit of those who have fought courageously to spread freedom and opportunity around the world, our Nation reaffirms its steadfast resolve to shine the light of liberty for all who yearn for a brighter, freer future.”