Address by the General Secretary of AKEL A. Kyprianou at the event for the Antifascist Victory of the Peoples
NEVER AGAIN FASCISM!
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 9th May 2020, Nicosia
Today we lay a symbolic wreath in honor of the heroes of Cyprus, the world and Humanity, to all those who threw themselves into battle against the monster of Hitler fascism.
75 years after 9th May 1945 – the day that sealed the victory of the peoples of the world over Hitler fascism and marked the end of World War II – this day represents a milestone in the history of humanity. This was a universal milestone of the victory of freedom and democracy.
The worst ideological concept the human mind has ever conceived, the hatred sown by the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini, and all those who bowed their heads, collaborated and followed them, led to the millions of victims of fascism. To the Holocaust and the concentration camps. To the atrocities carried out by the Nazis and their allies in the countries they occupied. To the massacres and executions committed. To the dead, the hunger and misery.
Commemorating them is an obligation to remember the past. It is above all an awareness about today and the future. It means a duty to cultivate a democratic and anti-fascist consciousness. An awareness that humanity must never permit fascism to rise up ever again.
Today we respectfully and with gratitude honor the generation which saved human civilization from barbarism. We honor all those who fought on the battlefields against the fascist axis. In Europe, in North Africa, in Asia and in the Pacific.
We honor the leading role of the Soviet Union in the Antifascist Victory of the Peoples. The Red Army, which in the battles of Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Kursk changed the course of the war and pursued Hitler’s hordes as far as Berlin. We pay tribute to the anti-fascist democrats and all the fighters in the Resistance movements throughout Europe.
We honor the dead from the massacres in Distomo, Kalavrita, Kaisariani, Kokkinia and so many other places of martyrdom from the Nazi occupation.
We pay special tribute to the Cypriot volunteers who took up arms and fought against fascism. Among them are hundreds of militants and members of AKEL who responded to the Party’s historic appeal issued in June 1943. The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot victims of the World War II buried in cemeteries across Europe are indisputable witnesses of our country’s contribution to the great victory of the peoples. This is a page of our History that all Cypriots must be taught and know; a page of History that we are rightly proud of. Unfortunately, the importance attached to it by the Government and State is not proportional.
At the same time, however, the 9th May is ringing the alarm bell about the current growth of the fascist far-right in Europe and across the world. Neo-fascism is on the rise today because it feeds on the despair caused by the crisis, austerity, inequality and exploitation, by the system itself. It is based on the inhuman ideologies of racism and xenophobia and the attempt to rewrite history and equate communism with fascism. This is an unhistorical and unfounded equation that seeks only to serve political considerations. It seeks to acquit and pardon the guilty and to criminalise the innocent.
This equation is the worst insult to the millions of dead of World War II, to History and our culture. It is a danger to peace, to democratic freedoms and human rights, to social and labour gains.
For that reason, today, AKEL and the mass organisations of the Left unite our voices with everyone in our country and in the world, who honor the 9th May with one message: NEVER AGAIN FASCISM!
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