The United Nations will officially commemorate all victims of the second world war on December 1 to mark its 75th anniversary year – but a paragraph celebrating the defeat of fascism as a shared legacy was cut out.
Germany sponsored an amendment backed by the US and other Western countries to excise a section in the Russian-drafted resolution that noted victory over Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan was the “common legacy” of all UN member states and which condemned the desecration or destruction of “monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought in the war on the side of the United Nations.” The German amendment passed 54-40 votes, with 45 abstentions.
Since the 2014 fascist-backed coup in Ukraine, the Ukrainian government has celebrated Nazi wartime collaborator Stepan Bandera and his Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, which massacred hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles during the Holocaust, as anti-Soviet heroes. It has demolished hundreds of monuments to Red Army soldiers and renamed thousands of streets that had honoured them.
German official Ina Heusgen said the original draft’s criticism of such actions was “highly sensitive for many member states” because of the “painful divisions in Europe” that followed the defeat of fascism.
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution blaming the Soviet Union as well as Nazi Germany for the war, a measure that has outraged Russians — the Soviet Union made the greatest sacrifices for the defeat of the Nazis, losing 27 million lives – as well as socialists and communists across the continent.
This article was originally published in Morning Star, newspaper of the Communist Party of Britain.