Repression Victims’ Day

Observed annually on the 10th of September in Mongolia, Repression Victims’ Day commemorates the brutal political persecution that occurred in the country on this date in 1937. The repressions at this time were an extension of the Stalinist purges that were also taking place simultaneously in the Soviet Union, known as the Great Purge.

The purge in Mongolia lasted two years and resulted in the deaths of approximately 35,000 Mongolians. It was an effort to eliminate political opponents and consolidate political power in the country. This day is now a public holiday in Mongolia and is observed with various events.

The History of Repression Victims’ Day

Between 1937 and 1939, there was a heightened period of persecution and political violence in Mongolia. These were direct extensions of the Stalinist purges occurring at the same time in the Soviet Union. The People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), under the alleged direction of Mongolia’s de facto leader Khorloogiin Choibalsan, carried out these actions.

Thousands of people and organizations perceived as threats to the Mongolian Revolution were persecuted. During this period, anywhere from 20,000 to 35,000 people were executed. That’s approximately 3-5% of the country’s population at that time. This holiday was created in September 1995 and has been celebrated ever since.

Observing Repression Victims’ Day

The holiday begins when Mongolia’s President, Speaker of Parliament, and Prime Minister lay a wreath on the Monument of Victims of Political Repression. It is also a day observed with several other ceremonies.

It is a holiday for all Mongolians to reflect on the terrible toll of political repressions so that something like this does not happen again in the future. On social media, the hashtag #RepressionVictimsDay is often used to spread the word about this holiday around the world.

Where is it celebrated?
Mongolia (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
September 10 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
September 10 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
September 10 Sunday