Release Secretariat of the Central Committee

70th anniversary of the Victory over Nazi-Fascism - For Peace against fascism and war!

70th anniversary of the Victory over Nazi-Fascism - For Peace against fascism and war!

On May 2, 1945, culminating the unstoppable advance of the Red Army, the flag of the Soviet Union was raised on the Reichstag in Berlin and a few days later Nazi Germany signed its unconditional surrender. The day of May 9, 1945, whose 70th anniversary we celebrate this year, has become known as the 'Victory Day' because it symbolizes the victory over Nazi-fascism and its sinister project of exploitation and oppression of peoples with the establishment of Hitler’s "new order" and the end of the greatest carnage in Humanity's history, as was the case of World War II.

A war in which more than 60 million people perished, mostly civilians, in which fascist hordes sowed terror and practised the worst crimes in the invaded territories, where the indiscriminate bombing of urban centres led to the massacre of entire populations. In the Nazi concentration camps, of slave labour for the German monopolies and of mass murder, died millions of men, women and children, four million of whom in Auschwitz.

A war in which the people of the countries invaded by the Nazis, facing the cruellest repression and the most brutal retaliation, courageously resisted the occupation forces causing them heavy casualties and where, at the forefront and in the organization and action of the Resistance, the Communists, with other anti-fascists, wrote great pages of heroism.

1.

The Portuguese Communist Party celebrates the 70th. anniversary of the Victory remembering what World War II and the defeat of Nazi- fascism really was and meant, bringing out the truth and countering attempts of rewriting and falsifying history, drawing lessons so that such a tragedy will never again be possible.

World War II was not an 'accident' of history or the result of the 'evil' of one or several men. It was the 'way out' found by monopoly capital from the profound capitalist depression unleashed in 1929 and aimed at halting the development of the struggle of the workers and people and the progress of the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union.

Fascism is the terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary and aggressive circles of finance capital. Hitler was an instrument of German monopolies which fed, supported and profited from the criminal Nazi policy, including the slave labour of prisoners of concentration camps. None of this should be forgotten. Attempts to clear big business of its responsibilities in the carnage of World War II and conceal the class nature of Nazi-fascism have to be firmly fought.

In the fight against the invasion of many countries by Nazi troops and its allies, the leading role fell to the working class and its ability to unite the anti-fascist forces. They were the leading figure of the resistance to the occupation while the ruling class betrayed. The communists were the first to be sent to the concentration camps. Millions of communists and other anti-fascists paid with their lives their love of Freedom.

And it was the Soviet people who - with more than 20 million deaths, with great acts of heroism as in the defence of Moscow, at the siege of Leningrad or in the famous battle of Stalingrad, with a sweeping counter-offensive by the Red Army that routed the criminal Nazi war machine – that gave the largest and most decisive contribution to the Victory, together with the contribution of other peoples, like the Chinese people with their heroic struggle against the Japanese invasion.

Giving due value to the role of anti-Nazi alliance that came to be created during the war, when the Red Army went on the offensive, the truth is that the USSR's efforts to isolate Nazi Germany and establish agreements and alliances to prevented the outbreak of war, were systematically ignored and, later on, the opening of a second front was repeatedly delayed.

We should firmly reject the falsification of History aimed at minimizing or distorting the heroic contribution of the labour movement, the communists and of the Soviet Union in the defeat of Nazi-fascism and absolve the US, Britain and France's policy of “appeasement” symbolized by the betrayal of Munich which, by trying to launch Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union, led to the outbreak of war.

2.
The defeat of Nazi-fascism and the great prestige won by the Soviet Union and the socialist ideals created a new situation on the world stage.

The balance of forces changed in detriment of imperialism. The field of socialist countries broadened in Europe and Asia. In several European countries the communist parties joined governments and the workers achieved significant economic, social and political gains. In Africa and Asia the national liberation movement led to the independence of many countries subject to the colonial yoke. With the Charter and the United Nations, a new world order fundamentally democratic, peaceful and anti-fascist was established.

These are extraordinary liberating advances that should be valorised. The rupture of the alliance of the US and Britain with the USSR built during the war, imperialism’s counter-offensive to halt and reverse the liberating tide, a terrible example of which is the launching of the US atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is terrible expression, the launching of the "cold war", the defeats of socialism in the USSR and Eastern Europe, none of this should lead us to forget the great progressive and revolutionary changes made possible by the liberation of the world from the Nazi-fascist scourge.

3.
On celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Victory, the PCP recalls the support of the Salazar dictatorship to the Franco hordes in the Spanish War and its collaboration with Italian fascism and German Nazism during World War II under the guise of a false “neutrality “.

The Portuguese people celebrated the Victory with huge demonstrations of joy that expressed the hope that the defeat of Nazi-fascism would drag with it the fascist dictatorship. But quickly all hopes were wiped out as well as the illusions sown in the liberal sectors of the Democratic Opposition by fascist propaganda.

Although strongly shaken by the great workers' struggles that took place at that time – like the strikes in October-November 1942 and July-August 1943 and the great days of action of May 8 and 9, 1944 demanding bread and other food items that were being channelled to Germany - the fascist regime survived thanks to the support of the major capitalist powers, to the point of Portugal, in 1949, becoming a founding member of NATO, an aggressive alliance, the greatest expression of the policy of "containment of communism “unleashed by imperialism with the" cold war '.

This did not prevent the development of the popular mass movement and, in particular, of large united anti-fascist actions in defence of peace, among which in the post-war, we highlight the creation of the Movement of the Defenders of Peace, the support to the Stockholm Appeal against the atomic bomb and the fight against the holding in Portugal of the NATO summit, a process that went on until the overthrow of fascism, with the struggle against the colonial wars having its main expression.
With the April Revolution, the end of the colonial wars and the recognition of the right to immediate independence of peoples subject to the Portuguese colonial rule, the Portuguese people gave an invaluable contribution to the cause of peace. The April Revolution was itself a courageous affirmation of sovereignty. However the ties with imperialism, although heavily battered, were not cut. 38 years of right-wing policies bound the country to NATO and to the European Union, making Portugal a dependent country submitted to imperialism’s strategy. The struggle in defence of the sovereignty and national independence, for a rupture with imperialism’s strategy of war and aggression, for a patriotic and left-wing alternative to continue the paths of April, is the best contribution that the PCP can give to the cause of peace and the freedom of peoples.

4.
70 years after the Victory over Nazi-fascism the struggle for peace, against fascism and war, is of utmost timeliness and requires that, drawing from the lessons of the past, the forces of democracy, social progress and peace come together to halt the advance of xenophobic, racist and fascist forces and prevent a conflict of catastrophic proportions.

The PCP, a patriotic and internationalist party will do everything, in the country and internationally, with its own action and within the international communist and revolutionary movement and the anti-imperialist front, to unite the forces of peace and social progress in the fight:

–for the dissolution of NATO’s aggressive military bloc;

–against the militarization of the European Union;

–to end foreign military bases;

–for disarmament and, namely, for the abolition of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction;

–for a policy of security and cooperation in Europe, ending the cavalcade of the EU and NATO to the East and deepening the tension against the Russian Federation;

- respect for the UN Charter and in particular respect for the sovereignty of states, ensuring the right of all peoples to determine, without foreign interference, their own path of development;

- solidarity with all peoples victims of imperialism’s interference and aggression.

Strengthening the fight against imperialism’s aggressive policy, for disarmament and peace is an imperative of the current. The struggle in Portugal includes the unwavering fight against the shameless policy of submission to imperialism by the PSD/CDS government, the unrelenting defence of sovereignty and national independence, for a national foreign and defence policy, respecting the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, breaking with external constraints that prevent the free expression of the will of the Portuguese people and promoting peace, friendship and cooperation with all peoples of the world.

5.
In the acute ideological struggle that traverses today’s world, where the capitalist system, despite the deep crisis in which it finds itself, seeks to present itself as a historically final system, the struggle for the historical truth is of crucial importance. Importance that is greater given that World War II, from its social roots to its victorious end for the forces of social progress and peace, holds lessons and teachings of utmost importance and timeliness.

In view of the advance of fascist forces, growth of militarism, multiplication of imperialist wars of aggression; in view of increasing attacks on the rights, freedoms and guarantees under the pretext of "fighting terrorism";in view of the institutionalization of supranational power systems at the service of big business and the major powers which, as in the European Union, crush national sovereignty and destroy democracy; in view of the overwhelming imperialist domination of information flows and the control of large media by big business, it becomes more necessary to know the historical truth and learn from the lessons of the past.

In the complex and unstable international situation of today, the danger of a military conflict of catastrophic proportions, of a new world war, should not be underestimated.

It is increasingly clear that, as in the past, the most reactionary and aggressive sectors of big business bet on fascism and war as a “way out” to capitalism’s crisis and as a way to prevent and cope with the inevitable explosion of social unrest and revolutionary changes.

It is therefore necessary to continue with determination to fight so that a tragedy similar to the one which ended 70 years ago should never again take place.

War is not inevitable. Together with the great dangers to peace and freedom of the peoples there are also great possibilities of progressive and revolutionary development, and there are forces that, if united and mobilized, can drive the reactionary forces and imperialism to retreat and make way for a new era of peace and social progress, having on the horizon socialism and communism.

It is with this conviction and great confidence that the PCP celebrates and calls on the workers and the Portuguese people to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Victory.

The Secretariat of the Central Committee
of the Portuguese Communist Party

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