80th anniversary of the attack of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany

22. Juni 2021


Message of Vilmos Hanti, President of FIR, to the ANPI conference of June 22,2021

In my capacity as President of the Fédération Internationale des Résistants, I welcome with great respect the organizers and participants of this conference convened on the occasion  of the 80th anniversary of the attack of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany.

I also wish the express my recognition to ANPI, one of the largest member federations of FIR, for having found, together with its cooperating partners, in times of the world pandemia, the right format to mark in a scientific framework  this event which became a turning point in the history of the Second World War.

We know that this war, the most brutal conflict in the history of mankind, started on September 1, 1939  with Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland. We also know that wars are always preceded by  worrying, ominous, threatening situations. In this case, Europe could witness the Nazi dictator, Hitler’s intentions, aspirations to change our societies, to elevate to power only  the Aryan race of a „clean origin”, to create a war-like mentality in all walks of life and to dominate the world by territorial conquest and occupation as well as by the spread of Nazi ideology of hate, exclusion, segregation and murder. These circumstances have ignited the antifascist resistance all accross Europe already in the 1930’s. 

We are also aware of the fact that prior to the German attack against the USSR, countries were trying to deal with Hitler in various ways. They seemed dubious about his real intentions and his capacities, they either signed agreements or concluded alliances with him, not realizing the threat he represented or trying to limit the damage of what he incarnated. The attack in 1941 on the Soviet Union was a sour awakening not only for the USSR, but also for the whole world, to see how dangerous and unpredictable this policy for world domination conducted by the Nazi regime and its satellites was for all of us, and how their propaganda machines managed to mislead and poison the minds of millions of people.

At this conference today, you will be hearing excellent speakers who will present to you in detail the circumstances of the events that took place 80 years ago. In this welcoming address, having in mind our present time, charged as it is with a great number a heavy and crucial challenges,  I wish to draw your attention specifically to the fact that if we look around, we can see that today various forms of fascism are raising their ugly heads more forcefully, not only in some marginalized groups of society, but gaining positions in our countries at local and higher levels.

At this conference, we have to draw the lessons of the past, which still have their relevance for today. Racism is the anti-chambre of fascism. And we are witnessing hate speech, the undermining of the rights of various minorities making their way into our everydays, often at State level.

We, antifascists, we must stand up against these developments! In this on-going combat, I wish you a succesful conference, good health and a commitment to move on with confidence!