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Statement on the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazism in WWII

Joint statement by GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer, Jiří Maštálka (Czech Republic) and GUE/NGL's PCP delegation

In the past couple of days the international community has marked the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazism in World War II with its tremendous sacrifices and horrendous atrocities committed.

This anniversary is an appropriate pretext for citizens, governments and international institutions to ask and answer the simplest and most important question: have we done everything we can to exclude the possibility of another global military disaster?

Unfortunately, the recent developments in the European political space prove to be the worst political crises comparable with the systematic confrontation of the “Cold War” period, the end of which has been proclaimed so gloriously and unanimously. Western ambitions to cultivate the whole Post-Soviet space have so far resulted in the turmoil of civil war in Ukraine and a serious conflict with Russia.

Learning lessons from history, we should now understand that among the triggers of wars ideologies play not the least important if not the leading role.

Seventy years after the world tragedy, UN resolutions are still calling to combat the glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism. These appeals are more than urgent seen against the background of such routine realities in some European countries as the spread of neo-Nazi parties and groups, manifestations in honour of the former members of the Waffen-SS organization or erections of monuments and memorials to those who collaborated with the Nazis against the anti-Hitler coalition. At the same time graves and memorials to soldiers who gave their lives for free and democratic Europe are being repeatedly destroyed or defiled.

Are the bells not tolling anymore for millions killed and burnt in Auschwitz (Poland), Dachau (Germany), Mauthausen (Austria), Salaspils (Latvia) Buchenwald (Germany), Maly Trostenets (Belarus) and other concentration camps all over Europe?!? Do we hear these bells in the background of former collaborationists’ marches with Nazi salutes? For whom then will the bells toll tomorrow?

We appeal to our colleagues MEPs, Council and Commission:

– To reconsider the “restrained” attitude of EU Member States to UN General Assembly Resolution 69/160 “Combating glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” of December 18, 2014;

– To undertake a set of comprehensive measures to implement the recommendations and requests of the above-mentioned Resolution and other related international documents.

The 70th anniversary of post-war peace provides an opportunity to remind all of us that European values should be shared and not discredited.