60th Anniversary of the defeat of fascism: what wasn't said


CELEBRATIONS for the 60th anniversary of the victory over fascism in Europe have taken on an unexpected pattern. The cruelty of the Nazis is recalled but always avoiding the ideology of fascism, as well as historical premises and political circumstances which lead to similar horrors.

To the denunciation of the brutality that characterizes Nazism, it would have been important to have reflected on the attempts to ideologically sustain such actions, exposing the fact that fascist ideology based on national exclusivity, racism, xenophobia, intolerance and exclusion, survived the fall of Berlin.

The magnificent victory over the Nazis, could serve as an ideological re-launching of an impassioned defense of freedom and democracy, recalling the values that 60 years ago placed unity and humanity above regimes and political opinions, religious creeds and levels of development. It would have been a good moment to renew the commitments that made possible the formation of a an anti-Nazi coalition.

It was too much to ask. President George Bush could have said many interesting and even beautiful things about the leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but instead chose a rambling speech that revealed his nostalgia for the days of the Cold War ignoring the fact that at the time, the Soviet Union was not part of the problem but part of the solution.

Many would have liked to hear about the heroic resistance of the occupied peoples, of the brilliant actions mounted by the French and Yugoslavian guerillas, of the partisans who populated the forests of Europe, of the magnificent resistance of Prague, Budapest, Sofia, Oslo, of the sacrifice of the farmers who burned their crops, condemning themselves to starvation to keep food away from the Nazis, and of the determination of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Bush said nothing about the martyrdom of the communists and social democrats, he didn't mention the names of Tahelman and Dimitrov, or those of Guernica and Lidice, nor was there a homage for those priests who turned their churches into refuges.

In a world deeply in need of unity and a reencounter of cultures and civilizations, he left out the fact that in the antifascist struggle, Catholics and communists, Muslims and Christians, Americans and Russians, were all on the same side.

Many wanted to hear a critical reflection on the role of Swiss banks that accepted gold bars made from gold pulled from the teeth of death camp prisoners, of art collectors who kept in their vaults works stolen from the museums of Europe, of the billions of dollars made on the war by the captains of the US automobile, steel and oil industries and how the United States closed its borders to Jewish immigrants escaping fascism.

In fact, Bush was tougher on Soviet Union which no longer exists, than on Hitler whose ideas are still alive and well. No one clarified that the Soviet Union liberated half of Europe, including Norway and Austria from which their troops withdrew as soon they were requested and exhausted joined the war against Japan to give a hand to their American allies.

It was President Putin who had to bring up the role of the Soviet Union which, a huge battle field, defeated Hitler's military machine by inflicting a full 75 percent all German casualties in World War II, though paying a tremendous price.

There were no words recalling the Nuremberg Trials where the crime of aggression was defined, nor was there mention of those who sheltered the Nazis to take advantage of their talents, their money and even their special abilities at repression.

Nor was there mention of the world leaders who, headed by Roosevelt, founded the United Nations, a system of international security based on respect and sovereignty of states, the sovereignty of peoples and the self-determination of nations.

We can only hope that the world's only superpower will someday be governed by a president with a grasp on history and tradition and a love of peace and tranquility instead of a thirst for profits and war.


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