A Prague Tragedy – the desecration of the memorial of Marshal Konev

3. April 2020

While all over the world – despite the Corona pandemic – the memory of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe from fascism and war is kept alive, commemorating the victims and honoring the liberators of the anti-Hitler coalition, a Prague district government is indulging in a political scandal that cannot be surpassed in its provincialism and small-mindedness.

Despite international protests and interventions, including to the Czech state government, on Friday 3 April the monument of Marshal Konev, who as supreme commander had achieved the military liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp and Czechoslovakia, was dismantled and transported away. Only a few weeks ago, on 27 January 2020, Czech anti-fascists have honored Marshal Konev at this memorial in memory of the victims of the fascist extermination policy.

Obviously, the district government tried to use the exceptional situation because of the health-related initial restrictions to carry out this desecration of the monument without public protests. Apparently, they wanted to prevent that on the liberation day of the Czech capital or on Victory Day thousands of Prague citizens would again make a pilgrimage to this monument and commemorate the liberators with flowers and other honors.

Following on from the scandalous declaration of the European Parliament on 19 September 2019, which was used as a legitimation, particularly in the Baltic States and in Poland, to remove monuments of remembrance of the liberators, we are now witnessing another appalling example in Prague of the consequences of this historical revisionism.

The FIR and its member federations are however sure that the Czech anti-fascists and many citizens will retain the memory of the liberators despite this outrage and will remember in worthy public forms Marshal Konew and the thousands of fighters in the ranks of the Red Army, who accomplished the liberation achievement.