Commemoration of the liberation

29. April 2018

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While in recent weeks we have had repeatedly to warn of historical oblivion and historical revisionism, this time we can name various positive examples of anti-fascist remembrance work.

In recent days, commemorative events honoring the liberation from fascism and war took place in concentration camp memorials and other places in Europe. The prelude was traditionally the celebration commemorating the anniversary of the self-liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945. Invited by the International Committee Buchenwald-Dora and Commandos several hundred participants came and set – in the spirit of the “oath of Buchenwald” – a sign against racism and anti-Semitism.

The following weekend, several hundred people gathered in the Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück concentration camp memorials to commemorate the liberation of the camps in mid-April 1945 by the units of the Red Army.

On April 29 the commemoration took place in the former concentration camp Dachau, where again numerous international delegations together with German anti-fascists – Invited by the International Dachau Committee – recalled the memory of the victims and formulated a message for the coming generations.

This year’s commemoration of the Liberation Day of Italy on April 25, 1945 active supported by the anti-fascist partisan organization ANPI developed as a mass demonstrations against the danger of right wing development in Italy after the results of the previous parliamentary elections. The large attendance showed broad support for the anti-fascist values of the Italian Constitution.

On the same day, Portuguese anti-fascists from URAP and with them, a broad social alliance of leftist forces demonstrated that the memory of the “carnation revolution” in Portugal is still alive. The overthrow of the fascist Salazar regime by the masses along with democratic parts of the army remains unforgotten and is a model for political action against all efforts of the legal forces in this country.

In addition, Belgium commemorated in a public ceremony the political prisoners and the liberation of the country. On the 22nd of April a memorable commemoration took place in the Memorial Park of the Murdered – organized by the Confederation Nationale des Prisoniers Politiques et Ayants Droit de Belgique (CNPPA) and the War Heritage Institute – in the presence of the Vice-President of FIR Filippo Giuffrida.

All these are good forecasts for May 8 /9, which will again show that the memory of the liberation and the victory over the fascism 1945 in the consciousness of many people in Europe is firmly anchored.

(Deutsch) Befreiungsfeierlichkeiten in Europa

29. April 2018

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Appeal of the Russian Union of Veterans (RUV) to peoples, veterans and all antifascist forces – forces of good will in the world

22. April 2018

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For RUV, veterans of Russia of all generations, the sudden massive missile strike inflicted by the NATO clique led by the US on April 14 at 4.00 Moscow time on the objects of Syria vividly revived the historical memory on June 22, 1941, when also at 4.00 the fascist regime of Hitler suddenly attacked the Soviet Union, and the blood of innocent civilians, children and the elderly of our people was shed.

May be, the US population has saved its history from such bloody trials, and even in some European countries even veterans, obviously, began to forget about these facts. But for us, veterans of the country which smashed fascism, we cannot forget the history. The current leaders at the helm of the United States, Britain and France, in fact are the continuers of the ideas of fascism, the exclusivity of one’s own nation, which, at their will, is allowed to create lawlessness and shed blood of innocent people anywhere in the world. Now, any country on the planet Earth must understand that at any moment it can also be under such a sudden blow, according to a completely invented proposal, which has nothing to do with reality.

Veterans of Russia, behind whom have been the hardest trials of the Great Patriotic and World War II, the defense of our country’s interests in civil wars and armed conflicts, and in the years of the Cold War, ensuring the nuclear and military parity of our country with the entire “NATO coalition” are more sensitive than other layers of the world’s population, and feel a threat to the security of Russia and all progressive mankind, caused by international terrorism, the policy of various embargoes and sanctions carried out by Western countries led by the United States.

Veterans of Russia fully share the position of our President, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who called the attack an act of aggression against a sovereign state, a violation of the norms of the UN Charter and the principles of international law. The US “by its actions” further aggravates the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, brings suffering to the peaceful population, in fact, indulges the terrorists who have been tormenting the Syrian people for seven years, provoking a new wave of refugees from this country and the region as a whole. ”

The failure of the coalition strike on Syria is the beginning of the decline of the US military hegemony in the world: the Yugoslav and Iraqi-Libyan scenario will no longer pass. The world reaction to the incident shows that punitive operations under a far-fetched pretext lead to the opposite results, which the organizers counted on.

Veterans of the Russian Union of Veterans appeal to all people, veterans and all antifascist forces – forces of good will in the world: Don’t give up to a world fire!

The degradation of one country can be the beginning of the same against many countries and peoples and even whole continents!

The World can be easily set under nuclear fire, but it will be impossible to stop the destruction of world human civilization!

Unite your efforts and stop confrontation development for the future of all people of the earth!

For Russian version, please send mail to office@fir.at

Parliamentary election in Hungary, 2018

14. April 2018

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On the morning of the day after the elections, it seems that the ruling coalition party, FIDESZ-KDNP has won a two-thirds majority in the parliament; its leader Viktor Orbán will be ruling the country for the third time consecutively and overall it being his fourth cycle of governing. From 2010, he transformed the country from a plural democracy into a semi-authoritarian system under the control of a single party. With a constitutional majority, he hereinafter, has the opportunity to adopt further changes to the constitution according to his intentions.

The mournful performance of the opposition has several reasons. On the one hand it is very divided. On the other hand, FIDESZ modified and wrote the election law in its own interest, paving the way for the uneven conditions that presided in the elections.  Throughout the vast majority of the country, the press is in the hands of those very close to the government. Orbán built his campaign on an enemy, on a multicultural force that attacks the West, where – as depicted on pictures – Muslim immigrants are savages and where traditional family and Christian values are subject to constant attack. He has been using the Goebbels method for some time now. György Soros, a Jewish billionaire of Hungarian origin, was made a scapegoat who intervened in the life of Hungary. According to a survey, some people thought György Soros would be running in the Hungarian parliamentary elections, because images of him – depicting him as the enemy – were posted all across the country. Orbán based his campaign on under informing along with playing out the fears and instincts of the people. The centralized government media magnified or simply misrepresented the situation of migrants in a false way. In the absence of other media, the Hungarian people were led to believe that Muslim refugees go on rampages and rape women.

During the campaign, Orbán has threatened those who do not support his policy, mentioning a list of 2,000 people. The civil organizations that were constantly put under pressure face an even darker time. In his foreign politics, he spoke warmly about the Polish or autocratic Turkish leaders who have similar principles. He was constantly besmirching the European Union, declaring it as an enemy of the state, all the while accepting vast amounts of EU funds that allocated mostly to Orbán’s relatives and acquaintances. Corruption has reached enormous dimensions in Hungary. Surprisingly, Orbán’s team responded peculiarly, claiming that their aim is  to establish the Hungarian capitalist world. 73 years after the military defeat of fascism, Orbán created a mutated fascist system fanaticizing masses.

Orbán’s victory and methods are expected to serve as examples for politicians who think in a similar way, primarily for Poland, where the party in power is openly copying his methods. Hopefully, Orban’s victory will finally awaken the democratic Western leaders and the European Parliament (EUP). Perhaps they will be aware of what MEASZ (The Hungarian Federation of Resistance Fighters and Antifascists) has been saying for a long time now – that Orbán’s governance is a threat to the rule of law, the free press, but most of all to the millions of people who are not following him. After recognizing this, the EUP will hopefully launch significant actions. It should strive to organize serious projects with non-governmental organizations, such as the FIR, whose existing traditional network and expertise can effectively fight against threats jeopardizing the rule of law.

Vilmos Hanti

(Deutsch) Parlamentswahlen in Ungarn 2018 – eine Stellungnahme von Vilmos Hanti (Präsident der MEASZ und Präsident der FIR)

14. April 2018

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Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

FIR criticizes historical revisionism in the Baltic States and Poland

7. April 2018

For several years now, the FIR protested against state efforts of historical revision in the Baltic republics and in Poland.

This year again, under the protection of the state organs and with the participation of representatives of the state in Latvia, the veterans of the SS-associations and their friends marched in Riga. Anti-fascists, on the other hand, were prevented from expressing their opinion.

In Poland, with the law on “de-communization”, the government has decided to erase names of streets and squares, as well as eliminate numerous monuments and places of remembrance. In Walbrzych they tried to eliminate the street signs with names of Polish-born communists who had fought in the Resistance in France against the German occupiers. Only clear protests from French veterans associations stopped this project. In other places, citizens refuse submissions, but the governmental “Institute for National Memory” insists on this historical revision. The Russian government particularly criticizes the fact that the law on “de-communization” plans to demolish about 500 monuments throughout the country dedicated to Soviet soldiers. Some of these monuments have already been destroyed.

In March 2018, PiS, the governing party, passed a law on the “demotion of communist military” with its parliamentary majority. It refers to soldiers who served in the army between 1943 and 1990 and acted “against the raison d’etat.” They should be posthumously denied the grade. With the degradation, the “moral order” should be restored, explained the PiS. This law is decidedly directed against former head of state General Wojciech Jaruzelski, whose demotion was planned 10 years ago. At the same time, however, this law also denounces the importance of the Polish People’s Army (Armia Ludowa) and the Polish units within the framework of the Red Army forces. We remember that also Polish units played a major role in the liberation of Berlin and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

A few days ago, it was announced that Poland’s President Andrzej Duda had vetoed a law on the demise of communist military. The legislative proposal of the right-wing conservative government grant the victims or their descendants no opportunity for explanations or legal opposition, Duda justified his decision on Friday. He also pointed to a “blurring” in the law.

The FIR welcomes this decision and calls on its member federations, the World Veterans Association (WVF) and its members to increase political influence on the Polish President so that this law will be rejected in principle.

We owe it to the recognition of all the fighters in the ranks of the anti-Hitler coalition.

(Deutsch) FIR kritisiert Geschichtsrevisionismus im Baltikum und Polen

7. April 2018

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Peace movement today more important than ever!

30. März 2018

The FIR welcomes the various activities of the German peace movement and the peace forces in other countries on these Easter holidays. As United Nations “Ambassadors of Peace”, the FIR and its member federations have been working for decades to overcome the East-West conflict, to achieve comprehensive disarmament and to eliminate the causes of war. However, we are currently experiencing that the action of the peace movement is more necessary than ever:

For months, the political debate in the NATO countries has demanded that all countries should raise their arms budget to the extreme sum of 2% of gross domestic product. In many cases, this means a doubling of the costs of preparing for war. In addition, the transfer of further military units to the eastern areas of NATO is announced, which is clearly directed against Russia.
The FIR calls on all states to join the peacekeepers’ demand for “disarmament rather than rearmament”. We see an important positive signal in Russian President Putin’s announcement that Russia will lowering the armaments budget in real terms.

The international situation is currently increasingly strained by the speculative claims of the British government in the case of Skripal. Without real evidence, the Russian government is accused of attempting to kill. Dangerous gestures and the expulsion of Russian diplomats from numerous NATO-affiliated states are severely straining international relations. The political response of the Russian government is used as a pretext for further escalation by the NATO countries.
The FIR calls on all governments to return to the path of normal diplomacy, to engage in serious dialogues, and to avoid escalation within European communications.

In particular, the peace movement calls for its Easter actions to end immediately the illegal military operation of the Turkish government in the north of Syria, contrary to international law. It is not acceptable that a reactionary regime under the guise of NATO approval wages war on foreign territories, breaking the sovereignty of the Syrian state, against those who succeed the fight against the common enemy of the peoples, the so-called “IS-Islamic State”. If the international community sees it as a task to combat the threat of reactionary IS-associations, then the states must also take a clear position against the Turkish military action against the Yezidi people in Afrin.
The FIR calls the Turkish government to stop the war on Syrian territory and the international community to stop supporting politically such military aggression.

In this sense, the actions of the peace movement in these days and weeks are more urgent than ever.

(Deutsch) Friedensbewegung ist heute wichtiger denn je!

30. März 2018

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Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

FIR supports activities for the International Day against Racism

17. März 2018

Demonstrations and other events in several European countries, March 17, 2018

The UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was inaugurated in 1966 to commemorate the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, which saw 69 anti-apartheid protestors killed and 178 wounded for taking to the streets against the regime’s racist pass laws. In commemorating the massacre, the UN General Assembly called on all world states and organizations to participate in a program of action to combat racism and racial discrimination.

That is why anti-racist initiatives and member federations of FIR organized this year in several countries activities in the streets. Because today we are facing a massive rise in racism across the globe. Migrants and refugees are being scapegoated for the effects of austerity. The whipping up of anti-Muslim hysteria in the press has led to a dramatic rise in islamophobic attacks with visible Muslim women the primary target. Trump’s Muslim ban, his racist ‘wall’ project and equivocation over white supremacist and fascist marches have led to a climate of racism and fear across the US. Meanwhile in Europe, the rise of the Freedom Party in Austria, Front National in France, AfD in Germany, Jobbik in Hungary, the “Freedom and Direct democracy party” the DSSS party in Czech Republic and the recent nationalist demonstration in Poland are signs of a resurgence of the far right which requires a serious and coordinated effort to turn back. Racist hostility encouraged by right wing politicians and media towards Refugees and Roma is often turning into violence. Islamophobia and Antisemitism are on the rise across the continent.

The initiative “uprise against racism” formulated the slogan:

No to racist scapegoating of Minorities! No to Antisemitism and Islamophobia! Refugees Welcome!

Demonstrations and other activities took place in London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Prague and Vienna. In Poland United Against Racism (Zjednoczeni Przeciw Rasizmowi) organized manifestations in Warsaw, Wrocław, Tricity (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot), Stationary demos and pickets: Szczecin, Kraków, Toruń, Elbląg, Lublin, Opole, Poznań, Katowice, Radom Olsztyn. In Greece, United Movement Against Racism and Fascism (Keerfa) marched in Athens, Thessaloníki, Patras, Herakleio, Chania, Giannena, Volos and Xanthi. In Germany too events in 25 cities took place.

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