From September 1939 to June 1941 the fascists marched triumphantly through Europe. Nazi divisions attacked Poland on 1st September 1939. On 9th April 1940 German troops entered Denmark and Norway and on 10th May panzer divisions rolled into Holland, Belgium and France. On 21 June 1941 the signal was given to attack the Soviet Union. In the first two weeks the fascists had advanced deep into Soviet territory capturing Lithuania, Latvia and a considerable section of Byelorussia, the Ukraine and Moldovia. The Soviet people, led by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, mobilised all the resources at their disposal to repulse the enemy and defeat fascism.
On 12th January 1945 the Red Army launched its final offensive along a front extending from the Baltic Sea to the Carpathians. The offensive developed at a rapid pace.
The Nazis brought up all available forces for the defence of Berlin. Berlin became the scene of a decisive battle where advancing Soviet forces took the city, street by street and house by house. On 30th April Hitler committed suicide in the face of certain defeat. The following day, 1st May 1945, the red banner of victory, emblazoned with the hammer and sickle, was raised over the Reichstag. Berlin surrendered the following day and in the subsequent days the nazi Command signed the instruments of surrender. On 9th May the Soviet forces destroyed the nazi task force encircling Prague and Germany surrendered unconditionally. Victory was secured, fascism was decisively defeated, countries and peoples were liberated from fascist oppression and peace was restored in Europe.
Fascist aggression had been confronted and destroyed. This was achieved by the Soviet Union and its allies, including the anti-fascist resistance in fascist occupied Europe. However, it is important to recognise and remember, as we do today, the decisive role of the Red Army, the Soviet Union and its people in the defeat of fascism. The Soviet Union lost 20 millions of its citizens. 25 million people lost their homes. 1,700 cities, 70,000 villages and 31,850 industrial enterprises were destroyed. The Soviet people were able to defend their freedom and independence and make a decisive contribution to the defeat of nazism and fascism. The Communist Party acted as a militant mobilising force both at the front and also in areas occupied by the enemy. Over two million Soviet Communist Party members were killed in action or in guerrilla operations or in the underground struggle. The defeat of German fascism and Japanese militarism opened the road to socialist liberation and revolution throughout Europe and the world. A world socialist community based on a programme of socialist construction was developed. There were renewed struggles against colonialism and for social and national liberation.
Today we are again witnessing the rise of extreme-right wing, fascist and neo-nazi forces in several European countries. Again, the increased aggressiveness of imperialism poses a real and urgent threat to the interests of all humanity. The capitalist class utilises the crisis of capitalism to attack workers’ rights, promote xenophobia and racism against immigrants and to criminalise those who struggle for a socialist alternative to this obsolete capitalist system which is incapable of fulfilling the needs of the people. The continuing offensive of capital and dangerous developments in NATO, the European Union and the US together with sharpening inter-imperialist rivalries continue to underline the ever-present threat of fascism and war.
And yet despite the lessons of history, the European Union and the capitalist class in every country is engaged in an attack on the historical truth as part of their anti-communist stratagems. In an undisguised attempt to rewrite history, to erase the valuable lessons of the past, they seek to falsify the record. Instead of recognising and celebrating the role of the Soviet Union and the communists in the liberation of Europe from fascism they seek instead to defame the world’s first socialist state, its people and the millions of communists who sacrificed their lives and decisively contributed to the defeat of nazism and fascism.
We are here to ensure that the historical truth will prevail and to ensure that the cause of international proletarian solidarity, organised by the communist and workers’ parties, remains the spearhead of the anti-fascist, anti-capitalist and anti-monopolist forces and the cornerstone for an anti-imperialist strategy against exploitation, oppression and war and for lasting peace and social progress.