Statement by the "World without Nazism" movement
Mr. B.Spiegel, head of the Council of Federation Committee for the development of democratic society institutions and Chairman of the International Human Rights Movement "World without Nazism", issued the following statement:
Statement on Counteracting the Distortion of History of the Twentieth Century
On October 14 in Prague, representatives of nineteen non-governmental organizations from 13 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, signed in the presence of Czech Prime Minister and Vice-President of the European platform, the so-called "European memory and conscience."
The process that had developed after the Prague Declaration in 2008 declares the equal responsibility of the communist and the Nazi regime for crimes committed in the twentieth century (especially the outbreak of World War II), calls for recognition of August 23 as a European Day of Remembrance for the victims of totalitarian regimes.
The equation of the two totalitarian regimes - communist and Nazi is nothing more than an attempt of some countries of Eastern Europe to whitewash the criminal regimes who collaborated with Hitler, to shift responsibility for the genocide only to Germans, to present those by whose hands were committed the mass murder of thousand and millions innocent people as "fighters against the communist regime".
It is not difficult to see among those who called for "condemnation of communism" - right-wing political forces, social movements, pseudo-scientific research centers and museums, self-proclaimed spiritual and political successors of collaborators, Legionnaires' Waffen SS, Forest Brothers, Bandera, and other supporters of the Nazis.
It is no coincidence that the tendency to equate Soviet and the Nazi regime against a background of rapid nazification and radicalization of social consciousness in the former communist bloc.
In the Baltic countries, the development of this trend is most alarming. Rehabilitation of Nazism is supported by the governments and parliaments of these countries. Each year the president of Estonia awards her country's official veterans of Waffen SS, Estonian Ministiy of Defence budget allocates funds to support veterans of the Nazis. In Latvia, the neo-Nazi party is getting ready to receive ministerial portfolios in the new government. Lithuania uses its membership in Interpol for search and extradition of Vilna Ghetto Partisans living in Israel. As is known, since Baltic countries had gained independence, no local Nazi was sentenced to prison, and many were acquitted.
In Romania, the country's president speaks openly about his sympathies for fascist Antonescu. Situation is no better in Moldova, where squares of the countries capital bear the name of Antonescu, and the parliament had passed a law allowing removal of the monument to Red Army soldiers. In Hungary one of the major political parties declares in their ideology and the symbols the continuity with Hungarian fascists.
Glorification of Nazism not only distorts the past, but also endangers the future of these countries. A new generation of Europeans grows up with the idea that crimes of the Nazi collaborators are not important, as long as they were committed in the name of "the struggle for independence."
The signatories of the platform on "European memory and conscience" declared their intent to write textbooks on the history of Europe for high-school and university students. In these tutorials under the guise of arguments on equal responsibility of Stalin and Hitler for inciting war, European students will be inculcated with tolerance for those, who siding with the Nazis, sullied his hands in the blood of innocent victims of Nazism.
Based on the above the International Human Rights Movement "A world without Nazism" declares the following:
- The thesis about equal responsibility of the two totalitarian regimes for the outbreak of World War II is historically unfounded, since it does not take into account the role of Western European democracies, especially Britain and France, in the collapse of the so-called "Versailles" system of the world order that emerged after the First World War and Hitler's aggression in pushing to the east. "Munich Agreement" and subsequent non-aggression pacts with Nazi Germany by Britain and France (1938) which became the first starting point, a necessary and sufficient condition for the outbreak of World War II, decision that freed Hitler's hands for his annexation policy towards Eastern European countries.
- All the talk by signers of so-called platform of "European memory and conscience" of the alleged responsibility of the Soviet Union for the war are intended not only to rewrite the history of the XX century and glorify the collaborators, but also to reconsider decisions of the Nuremberg trials and the postwar world order, that in itself leads to unpredictable consequences.
- Declared attempts to rewrite the history books (in fact, in Eastern European countries this process has already started long ago), lead to the education of a generation which has no "vaccine" against Nazism, and therefore is able to repeat the mistakes of their grandfathers and great grandfathers, who made the greatest catastrophe of the twentieth century. The coming to power in Latvia of the government, which consists of ultra-nationalists, is a direct result of this practice - in fact 80% of those that voted for them in the last parliamentary elections - are young people who were educated in independent Latvia.
International Human Rights Movement "World without Nazism" appeals to the leadership of the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council to dissociate themselves from this initiative, since it involves a distortion of historical facts and for many European countries serves as a signal to the justification and glorification of their own collaborators, that objectively leads to a revival of Nazism.
We offer a wide open scientific discussion on the history of the twentieth century, which could shed some light on the crimes of totalitarian regimes and the role of the Western democracies in the outbreak of World War II, the level of collaboration in Eastern Europe in 40 years of the twentieth century and the responsibility of today's politicians for the revival of Nazism. In this issue any indiscriminate labeling not based on a scientific basis is unacceptable.
We encourage the European Council to establish a working group of experts from around the world, including experts from IHRM "World without Nazism" in order to prepare a textbook on history of the twentieth century, which could be recommended as a model for the ministry's of education of the countries - members of the European Council. It will be based on a serious scientific study, as well as the decisions of international judicial and political authorities on which basis the postwar world order had been built. This book could form the basis for the study for European students to understand this complex historical period.
For the sake of the future we will not allow to distort the past!