Belgrade International Anti-Fascist Conference of FIR

28. Oktober 2022

October 24-25, 2022, the International Antifascist Conference of FIR, supported by the Serbian veterans’ organization SUBNOR, took place in Belgrade. Delegates of veterans and antifascist organizations from more than 20 countries discussed the danger of right wing development in Europe of today. This conference was well attended by the media. The main TV-news on Monday evening reported a three-minute report. Several representatives of the Serbian government attended the conference. The chief of the presidential office and the new elected minister for foreign affairs spoke in the opening of this event. It was also an honour that the president of the World Veterans Federation (FMAC) attended this event. More than 30 interventions, including a video-message from the Russian Veterans Union, have been presented. The final message summarized the main topics of the conference:

Participants of the conference, Yugoslavian fighters of the liberation, representatives of Serbian government, Presidents of SUBNOR, WVF and FIR, Photo: Tanjug press agency

The danger of right wing development in Europe of today was confirmed in the last weeks not only by the results of the electoral campaign in Sweden and Italy. We experience for the first time since decades that a prime minister of an important European country never denied her fascist origin. This strengthen the right wing tendencies, we have to face in other states like Hungary, Poland and several Baltic Republics. Not only in governments, but also on regional level, right wing tendencies influence the policy in Europe, as we can see in Belgium, Spain, and in Germany too. In that way, they influence also the political debates and decisions in the European Parliament.

These forces stand for racism and xenophobia, hate speeches, anti-democratic tendencies and social segregation, denying the right of diversity, fascist violence in reality against refugees and foreigners, demolition of meeting points of the democratic organizations In addition, we realize desecration of memorials, and/or synagogues or mosques.

The growing of the right wing is connected with the war in Ukraine too. Although right wing groups sometimes call for “peace”, they see themselves as profiteer of this war. They expect as consequence of the social problems for the people and protests against it a collapse of the democratic system in European countries. 

FIR underlines its position as we called from the very beginning of the war in Ukraine:

This war cannot be legitimized in the name of antifascism. FIR call for an immediate ceasefire and start of international negotiations. Weapons will never bring peace, diplomacy and negotiations are the only way. This is necessary especially to save the life of the civilian peoples.

The second side of the medal are problematic tendencies of historical revisionism, the demolishing of memorial places and memorials itself, as we experience it in several European countries. While neo-fascists destroyed memorial trees for prisoners in Concentration Camp Buchenwald, in other countries the central memorials for the soviet liberators are demolished by state authorities. It goes together with historical revisionist tendencies in schools and public institutions. More than ever, we raise our voice to protest against such development and we engage in the strengthening of antifascism in civil society to preserve the legacy of the resistance fighters, the survivors and liberators. This must be a task of the education of young generations

The International Anti-Fascist Conference calls upon all democrats to be aware of right wing populism, far-right “promises” to the real threats to our lives. We draw the attention to this danger and we welcome the civil society, the organizations of veterans, todays’ anti-fascists, trade unions, Human right organizations, youth movement and initiatives, and the conservatives too, to come together. Build networks and movements open for all people willing to defend democracy, freedom, and/or the political and social rights of all human beings in the respective country.

We need to stand firmly against the extreme right-wing danger.