Hardly any political statements were issued to mark this historic occasion. In view of the current fragmentation of the EU and growing racist, xenophobic and nationalist sentiments, we think such statements would have been more than necessary. Instead, we are confronted with growing political, juridical and ideological attacks against communist parties and activists, especially in Eastern Europe.
As a part of this, we also saw a joint statement issued by the Ministers of Justice of five countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine), on 14th June urging an investigation into so-called “communist regime crimes”. It is worth noting that they kept silent and consciously avoided criticizing fascism and its crimes, only pointing an accusing finger at the Soviet Union.
We should also remember that in the past some of these governments glorified Nazi collaborators as heroes.
The Ministers’ statement stresses that the aim of the former Soviet Union in 1941 was to occupy sovereign democratic countries and in particular it evokes the deportations of citizens from the Baltic States, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland, which also caused immense suffering. At the same time, the fact that it remained silent about the concrete historic situation and Germany's two-year-old ongoing fascist war against its European neighbors, is a distortion of history.
This is an attempt to rewrite history and persecute those who gave their lives and fought against the murderous ideology of fascism. It is also an attempt to disrupt and erase from people's memory the achievements and successes of socialism. It is an unacceptable attempt to equate fascism with communism and socialism.
Through the unhistorical identification of communism with fascism, the statement seeks to manipulate the consciousness of people, to denounce communists and alternative struggles for better social and living conditions, for more democracy and peace in their countries and in Europe as a whole.
We as GUE/NGL criticize this attempt by Ministers of Justice from some EU member states as a historical misinterpretation. By using anti-communist tirades they try to ingratiate themselves with nationalists and anti-democratic forces in their own countries.
The history of the 20th century is a history of wars, crimes and destruction. The creation of a killing industry by the German Nazis is incomparable in history. It must not be put into a perspective whereby it equates people who gave their lives against it with the murderers and torturers of German fascism. At the same time it is unacceptable that Nazi collaborators are elevated to the status of freedom fighters.
The anti-communism which Thomas Mann characterized as the folly of this historical era, should be put aside as means of political confrontation and in the shaping of Europe's future. The fight for more democracy, social justice, peace and a world without wars and environmental destruction has no need for any anti-communist defamation.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group