1. Anti-fascism is more relevant than ever! Even more than 70 years after the historic victory in May 1945 over fascist regimes in Europe anti-fascism is a more recent political idea than ever. The current problems of political, economic and social causes require from all people joint actions – not facing political party boundaries – for a socially just, peaceful and democratic development in all parts of the world. 2. Stop the resurgence of right-wing populism and neo-fascism With great concern, that we see the increase of the political influence of extreme right forces, from violent neo-fascists to right-wing populist groups, in different European countries. These groups engage ostensibly to the serious concerns of the people, but give nationalist and racist responses to the existing problems. Moreover they propagate and practice increasingly violent forms of conflict, such as arson attacks on “foreigners”, hunting refugees and other excesses. The refugee movement caused by war and social need – which only can be answered by practical solidarity of all European countries – is answered by them with a demand for authoritarianism, intolerance and nationalist chauvinism. At the same time they propagate ideals of former fascist movements (Bandera, Horthy, Mussolini, Ustasha and other “models”). This is in contradiction to international declaration, especially the resolution of the United Nations General assembly to the topic preserving memories (7 Dec 2014). The FIR and its member federations as internationalist movement stand together against racism, xenophobia, neo-fascism, nationalism and extreme right-wing populism. We support protests like the demonstration in Riga et.al. 3. Eliminate the threat of war – for the protection of peace Fascism and war are two sides of one medal. That is why the political slogan of 1945 was “destroying the Nazism with its roots and creating a new world of peace and freedom”. The International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR) – Association of Anti-fascists has as “ambassador of peace” of the United Nations a moral order to work for non-military solutions for the conflicts in the world. We fight in particular the causes of war and warmongers who want to impose their imperial goals, their needs of raw material and geopolitical interests on the backs of peoples. We expect the United Nations to support peaceful means of settling e.g. in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or in Ukraine. That is how FIR acts as part of the international peace movement. As a new form of threat we can see terrorist attacks. Partly with “religious” reasons, partly with the standard criticism of “Western values” attacks against the civilian population in various European countries are carried out in particular. We condemn such inhuman acts of violence in the strongest terms, but we cannot forget on the other hand, that such forces have been financed and used as “weapons” in the late Cold War. We call the countries concerned by terrorist attacks not to use such brutal acts as a pretext to dismantle democratic rights and to establish authoritarian rules. 4. Preserving memories – against historical revisionism The memory of the common anti-fascist struggle of the peoples and military parts of the anti-Hitler coalition is a permanent task of FIR and its member federations. In several European countries, notably the Baltic States, in Poland, in Ukraine and in countries of the former Yugoslavia we see on various political and social levels attempts and tendencies to falsify the antifascist memories. Monuments of the anti-fascist struggle were destroyed or even rededicated. Former collaborators of the SS are recognized as “freedom fighters” and on European level there are attempts to establish a “solemn ceremony against totalitarianism” on 23 August. We oppose those attempts of historical revisionism. On the other hand we are proud that in all these countries also veterans and antifascist groups do their duty for the historical truth and defending such memorial places for the liberation from Nazi-fascism and for the liberators. The tasks of the FIR and its member federations remains to preserve the historical memory of the resistance of the peoples, to the women and men who sacrificed their lives, who fought in the ranks of the anti-Hitler coalition or for their convictions or have been victims from other reasons of fascist exclusion in the concentration and extermination camps. To pass their experiences on to present and future generations is one of the most important tasks, standing in front of our organizations. We cooperate particularly with memorials at the places of camps, with archives and historical institutions and antifascist initiatives conveyance of history. Outstanding examples of this work are the exhibition “European resistance against Nazism” and the international youth meetings, documenting the impressive forms of conveying history to the young generations. 5. The unit of the anti-fascist forces consolidate – win new generations! Since 65 years, the FIR is working as an international umbrella organization of all the different fighters and forces of the Anti-Hitler-Coalition, former persecuted and today’s anti-fascists. Their strength is the commonality that results despite different political party orientations, social visions or religious values. The path of the “torch of FIR” impressively emphasized that community. In our ranks are comrades and friends
- they fight to overthrow the exploitative system that generates poverty, fascism and war,
- they defend democratic and social rights,
- they are based on religious or humanistic ideals connected with the antifascist goals,
- they want to preserve the memories of their families.
Each way to antifascism is welcomed in FIR. This unit must be developed renew, because the witness’s generation is leaving us. And we call all member federations to open their structure for the today’s generations. In that way we are challenged to share the ideals of the anti-fascist legacy with the post-war generations, who bring their own issues and perspectives in political disputes. For FIR therefore the task is: In connection with the present generations we preserve the legacy of the fighters and persecuted and fight for democracy, humanism, social justice and “a new world of peace and freedom.”