The Executive Committee of the Young Communist League has released the following statement to mark Victory in Europe Day 2020.
Today marks one of the most important events of the 20th Century, the defeat of Nazi Fascism in World War II.
The great international anti-fascist struggle was only won at great cost. The experience of this struggle and its legacy are part of the patrimony of all humankind. It is one of the proudest chapters in the living history of the international working class communist movement.
It was the peoples of the Soviet Union who paid the highest price in this struggle. Four-fifths of the German army was defeated on the Eastern Front. The Soviet Union lost over 28 million citizens in this struggle, including the millions killed in fascist atrocities.
Across occupied Europe the struggle of partisans, led by communists and underground parties, meant that the fascist occupation was never secure. Despite the overwhelming odds and crimes perpetrated against civilians and resistance fighters, the peoples of Europe were never truly defeated and always resisted.
The working people of Britain were no exception. Despite the actions of Britain’s ruling class who were determined to appease Hitler, to turn Germany against the Soviet Union, and following the fall of France, to capitulate and sue for peace, Britain’s workers threw themselves into the anti-fascist struggle.
In the Battle of Britain, the Battle for Production, the campaigns in North Africa and Italy, the Artic Convoys and the D-Day Landings and many other struggles, Britain’s workers demonstrated they were made of the same mettle as their Soviet comrades. It is perhaps the proudest chapters in the history of Britain’s working class. These are the chapters that make up the radical, left and modern national identity which we must champion for the working class of these Islands today.
On this 75th VE Day we must be alive to new threats to the legacy of the anti-fascist struggle and contribution of our class and the international working class movement.
We must resist anti communism in all its forms. The heroic and decisive role of the Soviet Union in ending World War II and the Holocaust, should serve as a clear lesson to those, especially the European Union, who have the audacity to equate Nazi Fascism and Soviet Socialism. We must oppose gross historical revisionism which is an insult to the memory of millions of Soviet war dead. The European Union and NATO have over seen a resurgence of fascist ideologies across Eastern Europe and in Ukraine, especially, have given political and material support to neo-Nazis.
We must be constantly on guard against the resurgence of fascism and ideologies inspired by the crimes of the Nazis. Developments in the United States and other countries set a worrying trend. Although in Britain these ideas remain restricted to a minority fringe, it only takes the backing of Britain’s ruling class and the monopoly press it controls to rekindle these movements. They will seek to do so, to scapegoat minorities, in the face of a crisis such as the one we can expect in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We must resist attempts by Britain’s ruling class to appropriate and depoliticise the legacy of the Second World War and the anti-fascist struggle. It is our history and our culture. Working people must be affronted when the Tory Party seek to invoke the Spirit of the Blitz in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Boris Johnson and his party are the political and ideological inheritors of Nazi apologists, appeasers and fifth-columnists. They have no claim to this history.
Remember the contribution of Britain’s working class to the great anti-fascist struggle of the Second World War. Our place in human history.
Remember the debt that we owe to the peoples of the Soviet Union and the partisans. A debt which can never fully be repaid.
Fascism – never again.
For peace and socialism in our lifetimes.
Young Communist League
8 May 2020