Victory over fascism achieved in 1945 is one of the most important moments in human history. The most criminal and inhuman ideology was utterly destroyed. For many years people were convinced that fascism is the past which will never come back. However nowadays in many countries we are facing return of fascist tendencies. Crisis of capitalism, which is growing for several years, leads to frustration of the people in various countries. It is growing together with social gaps, unemployment and social exclusion. To overcome these problems and keep their position capitalists implement new strategies of survival. One of them is using nationalism as a safety precaution for the ruling classes. Basing on national symbols and emotions it directs social discontent not against the privileged classes but against all groups that all labelled as alien – migrants, the unemployed, ethnic and national minorities. Nationalist far right groups in many cases are supported by the authorities.
This method was used by various governments during the great crisis in the 1930's. Nazism in Germany was used to destroy solidarity of the working class and had a lot of support not only from German capitalists, who were more afraid of the social revolution than of Hitler and his racist theories. Conservatives together with the business class paved the way for the fascism and helped them to gain power.
Mirages of liberties and neutral teaching of history based on academic research had faded. Rewriting history is an evident strategy used by the authorities. The first symptom are institutions conducting so called historical policy, that were stablished in many countries, especially in Eastern Europe. Among them is Polish Institute of National Remembrance created in 1999. Its main task is to rewrite a modern history of Poland in a nationalist and right wing way. During years of its existence this institution was gaining more power and influence. It also gained enough audacity to intervene in historical research and school programs. Institute in its programs started to include thesis undermining significance of the victory over fascism in 1945. It presented thesis on new, Soviet occupation delegitimising Polish state existing after the Second World War. The other ideological statement of the IPN was that Polish Army fighting at the eastern front is not a part of the Polish historical traditions. Recently regional branch of the IPN in Gdansk during anniversary of liberation of this city in 1945 even stated that it was a moment of “Soviet aggression”.
Rebuilding of the country after the war, made with an effort of the entire society, is omitted in teaching history. Instead new, reactionary heroes are being created. So called cursed soldiers, an anti-communist resistance are praised despite their crimes and lack of military significance. Their main quality for present historical policy is that they defended capitalism and social inequality.
The IPN is receiving from the state authorities more and more resources on its historical propaganda. It also has support of the catholic church. Together they are building reactionary version of Polish modern history.
Situation with falsification of history is bringing its effects such as repeated incidents with devastating monuments commemorating Soviet soldiers who died liberating Poland. This has also led to demolition of monuments and changing names of the streets dedicated to those who resisted fascism.
In April 2016 new law on decommunisation was passed. Institute has created a list of names of the streets that should be changed. It includes streets devoted to people who were activists of the Communist Party of Poland in the inter war period, and those who participated in rebuilding of Poland after the war. Most of patrons are people who fighting against fascism as members of the Peoples' Army partisan groups, Polish Army in the East and Soviet soldiers. Their streets were kept during the first wave of decomunisation taking place in the early 1990's. The IPN also wants to change names of the streets commemorating communist resistance groups and for example Polish members of the International Brigades in Spain, of the French, and Greek resistance. This scandal has already reached international level, because protests are coming also from abroad.
Procedures of changing names of the streets cause social resistance in many places. Local communities usually do not want changes. There are several initiatives defending soldiers of the international brigades and heroes of the resistance. In some cases they gain support of the local authorities.
In Poland historical policy is closely associated with the rise of fascism. Allowance to equate communism with nazism and even maintain that it was worse leads to justifying and whitewashing fascism. Neo fascist organisations are on the rise and they attract mainly the youth, brainwashed during process of education. In recent elections most of the young people voted for the conservative and nationalist parties so it is clear that type of education influences political choices and is used by the capitalists to sustain their power. The neo-fascist National Radical Camp organises legally its marches. Recently it demonstrated in Warsaw its 83rd founding anniversary under protection of police removing anti-fascist blockade.
In Eastern Europe new generations are taught to follow the capitalism and not to defend their rights. Social consciousness is very low and various strategies are implemented to keep it this way. When history is rewritten it is also easier to persecute those who are dangerous to capitalists. In many countries such as Ukraine and Lithuania, new historical policy was made consecutively with ban of the communist activity. There are also attempts to delegalize communist parties in Poland. For one year and a half we have been facing the trial because new state policy treats Marxism-Leninism as totalitarism.
Fight for historical truth is also a struggle for freedom of communist activity and workers' struggle. Those who abandon it are only opportunists that fail to present an alternative. We must show that communism cannot be banned and erased from history. Its contribution to development of humanity and modern ideas is too great to be omitted.