Speech by the First Deputy Chairman of the CPRF Central Committee, Vice-Chairman of the State Duma Ivan Melnikov at the regular session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg
on June 21, 2010
“Anti-communism poisons Europe!”
Dear President, dear colleagues!
I would like to draw your attention to the facts that are absolutely intolerable at the modern stage of mankind development. The anti-communist hysteria has embraced a number of European countries.
The governments of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Lithuania and of other countries are actively trying to rewrite history. Note that these processes are accompanied by a sharp rise in nationalist and xenophobic sentiments. For example, the basic motto of the Hungarian radicals from the party “For the Best Hungary” sounds like this: “Hungary only for the Hungarians”.
Today I have to say about the issue in the heart of Europe, in Strasbourg, in the jubilee year of the 65th anniversary of Victory over Nazi Germany. And the memory of the millions of the Second World War victims, the memory of the heroes of the anti-Nazi underground and the resistance, of the Communists and members of other parties and movements, of non-party fighters from a number of countries – does not allow me to keep silence.
All left-wing forces in Europe, and primarily of course, Russia’s Communists are very concerned about blasphemous for Russians attempts – to equate fascism and Soviet socialism. While achieving political aims distort and simplify challenges of political and diplomatic struggle that unfolded in the eve of great tragedy. Inculcate into the textbooks primitive and empty idea of “the rivalry between the two totalitarian regimes”.
One cannot but resent the fact of adoption by a number of European countries of laws or amendments to laws that prohibit the communist symbols, suspend the activities of communist youth organizations, as happened, for example, in the Czech Republic. Here is also a threat of reprisals against the Communist Party of Moldavia on behalf of the new government of the republic. In the same line stay the approval by the Sejm of Lithuania and the Hungary’s State Assembly amendments to the Criminal Code, which equate the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany.
All this is frank spitting on the graves of Soviet soldiers of different nationalities who have laid down their lives for the liberation of Europe from the Nazi plague. We must not forget that the traditional symbols of the labor movement – the star, hammer and sickle were simultaneously state symbols of the Soviet Union. They are represented, including, on the monuments and graves of Soviet soldiers, fixed up all over Europe. Only in Polish soil more than 600,000 dead are buried.
The adoption of this legislation is also in direct contradiction with international and European human rights instruments, limits the political freedom and freedom of the press. Not only politicians but also the employees of creative professions: writers, journalists, artists come within the purview of these laws.
I must admit, people in Russia have also perceived with indignation the decision of the Grand Chamber of the Strasbourg Court on a war veteran, partisan Vasily Kononov’s case, which changed the decision of its Little Chamber and, indeed, embarked on the revision of the Nuremberg tribunal’s decisions.
We in Russia cannot fail to notice that the distorted interpretation of history has a pronounced anti-Russian orientation. How can we tolerate the fact that the aggressor and its victim are cynically being tried to put on “the same board”? The fact that soldiers-liberators are being presented as occupiers?
You can not look strange at the attempts to glamorize the Nazis and their accomplices. In fact, it is a direct challenge to the world community, which insults the memory of the millions who died for the liberation of humanity from the brown plague, hurts the feelings of veterans, violates the letter and spirit of the sentence the Nuremberg Tribunal, and a number of other international legal instruments to fight against Nazism, racism, xenophobia and etc.
The acts of moving, demolition and especially the destruction of military memorials are а matter of deep resentment. Such actions can only sow disunity among the peoples, deepen antagonisms and prejudices, whether at national or international levels.
But we, the Communists, of course, quite aware of with what the new wave of anti-communist hysteria is connected. The worse the economic situation in the world is, the more serious and deeper economic crisis becomes, the more the ruling circles are trying to divert people’s attention from the vital challenges. They are trying to translate the arrows on those, who offer other, alternative ways of solving global problems. On those, who believe in the power and creative energy released from the exploitation of labor. So it was during the Great depression in late 20’s – early 30-ies of the XX century. So it was in the early postwar years, when by Churchill’s instigation sank the “iron curtain” over Europe, and the flywheel of “McCarthyism” winded off in the world. So, obviously, is the case in our days.
Following our historical predecessors, the great Europeans Maurice Thorez, Jacques Duclos, Marcel Cachin, Palmiro Togliatti, Dolorres Ibarurri, Georgi Dimitrov, Ernst Thaelmann, and many, many other communists-antifascists we enounce today, 65 years after the great victory over fascism, their historical words – No Passaran! Fascism will not pass! And we add: No to distortion of the truth and falsification of the history of the Second World War!
We hope that PACE will also ague against the attempts to falsify the history that poison the All-European atmosphere and obviously do not contribute to the unity of the peoples of the continent. In contrast, such attempts only stimulate a new division and alienation of European nations, which is totally at odds with the goals and objectives that collect all of us in this hall.