The World Federation of Trade Unions honors the 70 years since the Antifascist Victory of the peoples on 9 May 2015.
A high-level delegation of the WFTU is participating in the celebrations in Moscow, Russia to pay their respects to the people and the heroic working class of the Soviet Union who sacrificed the most with more than 20 million dead in the war against Nazism and Fascism.
9 May is a symbol of the great victory over Fascism and Nazism which in the times of the II World War seemed impossible to many. However, the enormous military power of German and the Fascist Axis (Italy and Japan) despite the immense support received by the German and International Monopolies were defeated by the organized resistance of the peoples and the role played by the Soviet Union -who at that time was in a temporary alliance with the USA, France and Britain.
The II World War was a result of the great intensification of the contradictions and the competitiveness between the capitalist states over the natural resources, the markets and the redistribution of the control over the world.
Fascism/Nazism: The most brutal face of capitalism
During the II World War, which was the biggest crime of capitalism against humanity, the people realized in full extent the barbarity which this system is capable of. Some of the well-known practices and incidents of the period were the following:
- Concentration – “Labor” camps were created by the Nazi throughout Europe, were labor was compulsory for 17-20 hours, which often along with mistreatment and starvation led to the extermination of those imprisoned. Brutal tortures and indescribable moments of terror took place with the extermination of millions in gas chambers, crematoria and other means. The list of still existing transnational monopolies that profited from this type of forced labor is very long.
- Winter of 1941. In Katyn (Belarus) under the control of the German Nazi, thousands of Polish Military Officials were executed and buried in mass graves. In April 1943, the Nazis tried to turn their crime into a provocation against the Soviet Union by claiming that they discovered graves from people killed by the Red Army. This provocation is still utilized by some today. (κι εμείς τους το θυμίζουμε, μήπως και το ξεχάσουν)
- 1941: In the ravine Baby Yar (Ukraine), the Nazis murdered around 150,000 people. Jews and Bolsheviks were placed alongside the ravine in endless lines, executed with a bullet and then thrown down the cliff.
- July 2nd, 1942: 105 children were accumulated by the Nazis in the village Lidice of Czechoslovakia, a month after all men above 16 years old were murdered in the same village and sent to concentration camps. Only 17 survived.
- 1st of May 1944: 200 Greek Communists participating in the Greek Resistance Army were executed in the Shooting Spot of Kaisariani. The communists were singing and shouting slogans until the last minute of their death. 10 June 1944: In Distomo (Greece), looking for partisans of the resistance the Nazi killed old people, women, children and babies. In 13 December 1945: In Kalavrita (Greece), the Nazi gathered all the citizens in the school and murdered more around 1,436 men of age above 14 years old.
The list of cruelties is endless and expands in many countries.
On the other side of the War, USA and Britain which temporarily sided with the Soviet Union in order to establish their dominance in the imperialist competition against Germany, took decisions which were catastrophic for the humanity as well.
It is characteristic to remember:
- On 3-4 February 1945: 1,500 airplanes and 400,000 bombs of USA and Britain killed more than 120,000 people and completely destroyed the city of Dresden. However, it is characteristic to note that the factories of the city which were American investments remained intact.
- 6-9 August 1945: The USA used atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Japan) killing more than 300,000 people and leaving behind a tragic impact of radioactivity to the generations to come. This tragedy took place even after Germany had already surrendered to the Soviet Union and can only be seen as an effort of the USA government to mark its dominance for the decades to come.
- In April 1949, the NATO was founded to play the role as the master of imperialist wars and dictatorships around the world up to now.
At the same time workers today cannot forget the role by the international monopolies that profited from the war and supported the Nazi Regime. Although the list is too long, some characteristic examples are the following:
- The IT organization of the Nazi concentration extermination camps (78 in total) which was crucial for their “effective organizational functioning” was provided with the contribution of technology and know-how by the American Monopoly IBM.
- The General Motors (American monopoly as well) constructed thousands of armored cars, trucks and tanks for the German Nazi Army.
- In 1941, the Ford Factory in Berlin provided 1/3 of the total of trucks of Wehrmacht, while half of the “employees” of the company were under the “forced labor system” coming from concentration camps in the occupied countries.
The Heroism and the Humanitarian Sacrifice of the Organized and Just struggle of the people
However, the II World War highlighted also the great difference of Man under Capitalism, Fascism and Nazism on the one side and the Man in Socialism, in the Soviet Union and in all movements of resistance in various countries of the world on the other side.
In complete contradiction with the capitalist and fascist ideas and from the side of the Soviet Union, millions of Soviet people voluntarily entered into the Army to defend their country and their people and died in the battlefield with courage and militancy offering their lives as the highest form of sacrifice. The Red Army with discipline and great organizational skills and with the fair cause on their side gave great battles during the Siege of Leningrad, the Battle of Moscow, the Battle of Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk liberating in its victorious course to Berlin, and the collapse of the center of the Nazi Regime in 40 days, 10 European Countries. On 1st May 1945, the Red Flag was raised over the Reichstag. On the night of May 8th to May 9th, Germany was forced to surrender unconditionally.
At the same time the struggle of the men and women workers in the factories and the socialist production to support the Red Army and to reconstruct the cities and the infrastructure after the war was heroic.
The Antifascist Victory was a victory of socialism over capitalism.
In the Antifascist Struggle and the Resistance, great moments of heroism are to be remembered by thousands of known and unknown fighters in Europe and Internationally, in Italy, in Greece, in Spain, in Germany, in France and many more countries against the executions, the tortures, the imprisonment, the exile.
On their memory we continue the struggle today…
Today when the labor and social rights are being under attack in the framework of the international crisis of capitalism, today that the imperialist wars and the conflicts are intensifying, today that the competition for the natural resources, the control, the markets and the profits is increasing, it is no wonder that fascist perceptions are expanding, racism and xenophobia are promoted by the reactionary regimes and various forces, becoming the source of new crimes.
The World Federation of Trade Unions supports the class-oriented trade union movement internationally, struggles for class unity and joint action of the working class and the popular strata enhancing the international solidarity and projecting demands that cover all the contemporary needs of the people to live in peace, prosperity and harmony.
As a child of the antifascist victory and as a mature seed of the international proletarian solidarity, the World Federation of Trade Unions celebrates this year its 70 years since its foundation. 70 years of internationalist and militant struggle with great contribution for the improvement of working and living conditions.
We continue with determination, with internationalism, with struggles against capitalist barbarity and imperialism.