Honour the great Soviet victory over fascism!
Written by: Nick G. on 9 May 2020
May 9 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the defeat of fascism in Europe. Known for many years as VE Day (Victory in Europe Day), it marked the unconditional surrender of the German Nazis to the Allied forces grouped around the Soviet Union, Britain, France and the United States.
Of the four major Allies, the greatest contribution to the defeat of Germany and its European allies (including Italy, Hungary, Romania and Finland) was made by the Soviet Union under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Comrade Joseph Stalin.
Appeasers wanted Hitler to destroy the Soviet Union
The ruling classes of the capitalist countries hoped through appeasement of Hitler that the Germans would invade the Soviet Union and quickly destroy Soviet power. The Soviet Union sought collective security and had won the praise of anti-fascist democrats for the efforts of Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov who worked untiringly, if ultimately unsuccessfully, for this goal. Britain and France preferred to leave Hitler’s hands free through appeasement rather than have them bound and restrained by collective security arrangements.
The shameful Munich Agreement, a product of appeasement, gave Hitler a free hand to take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia on 1 October 1938. That was followed by invasion and occupation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939.
On April 17, 1939, Moscow invited representatives of Paris and London to conclude an Anglo-French-Soviet mutual assistance treaty. The text of the 8-point document began:
"1. England, France, the USSR enter into an agreement for a period of 5-10 years on a mutual obligation to provide each other immediately all assistance, including military assistance, in the event of aggression in Europe against any of the contracting states.” (1)
The British and French imperialists rebuffed the Soviet proposal for an anti-fascist collective security agreement. The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, said at an English government meeting on April 26, in relation to an agreement with the Soviet Union, that the “time is not yet ripe for such a comprehensive proposal."
Papers released from the Russian archives in 2008 revealed for the first time that Stalin had made one last-ditch attempt at a British-French-Soviet alliance against Nazi Germany. Five months after Hitler’s occupation of Czechoslovakia, on August 15 1939, the Soviets offered to send one million troops, 5,000 heavy artillery pieces, 9,500 tanks and up to 5,500 fighter aircraft and bombers to Germany’s borders in the event of a German attack on France. Hitler would have been forced to fight on two fronts, one to his east and one to his west. The British and French military representatives refused the offer. (2)
The Molotov-Ribbentrop mutual non-aggression pact
Hitler then offered Stalin a non-aggression pact, and the Soviets, having done all they could to cement an alliance with Britain and France, seized the opportunity to buy time to prepare for the inevitable German attack on their country. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed on August 23, a week before the Nazis invaded Poland. This pact was attacked by appeasers and Trotskyites alike. It was alleged that Soviet Russia had sold its soul to the devil, and after Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 29, that Stalin had joined Hitler in partitioning Poland.
In truth the Ribbentrop-Molotov non-aggression pact was the first big diplomatic defeat for Hitler. He had to temporarily swallow his publicly proclaimed plan to destroy “Jewish Bolshevism”. The Soviet Union escaped the trap set by the appeasers and gained nearly two years during which intense preparations for an eventual German invasion were made.
Germany invades the Soviet Union
When the Nazis did invade the Soviet Union on June 21, 1941 the Soviet Union initially had to surrender some territory. This was not a panic reaction. The Italian journalist Curzio Malaparte was a front-line journalist covering the German push into the Ukraine. His articles were subject to German censorship, yet he was able to report:
…the Russian soldiers are fighters. Their retreat from Bessarabia is very far from being in the nature of a headlong flight. It is a gradual withdrawal of light rear-guards, consisting of machine-gunners, squadrons of cavalry, specialists of the corps of engineers. It is a methodical retirement, long prepared…It is in short, clear that the war has come as no surprise to the Russians, at any rate from the military standpoint. (3)
Twenty million Soviet citizens lost their lives in the fight against fascism. Among them were the people in villages where, throughout the areas of their occupation, the Nazis rounded them up, took them to a “meeting” in a barn which was then locked and burned to the ground.
The bestiality of the fascists knew no bounds. In the Byelorussian extermination camp of Trostenets, Jews from the occupied areas and the Reich itself were delivered by train and machine-gunned into mass graves. But there was also a nearby cemetery for German war dead.
Not far from the camp in the forest there is a cemetery for the Germans. Once they brought some killed Germans to bury, the coffins stood by. Passing by them, one of the prisoners, who was digging holes, did not take off his hat. The commandant found out about this from the guards and on the 1st tree near the road, he was hooked by the ribs.
Heartbreaking screams rang out all night in the camp. Life did not want to leave a young healthy body so quickly. By morning, this terrible victim passed away ... (4)
When the 17-year-old Soviet partisan Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya was caught by the Nazis, she was tortured (stripped, beaten, burned and lashed 200 times) and then taken to be hanged in front of the villagers of Petrishchevo. Despite her cruel treatment, and noting the melancholy expressions of the villagers, she cried out: “Hey, comrades! Why are you looking so sad? Be brave, fight, beat the Germans, burn, trample them! I'm not afraid to die, comrades. It is happiness to die for one's people!” To the Nazis she said: “You hang me now, but I'm not alone. There are two hundred million of us. You can't hang us all. They will avenge me.” And just as the rope was being placed around her neck, she defiantly shouted “Farewell, comrades! Fight, do not be afraid! Stalin is with us! Stalin will come!”
As a final warning to the villagers, the Nazis ordered that Zoya’s body be left hanging on the gallows for weeks. And in a final gesture of nobility, one of the swastikered sons of Beethoven and Goethe sliced off Zoya’s left breast for a souvenir.
“For the Motherland! For Stalin!”
Zoya was not alone in her belief in Stalin as a leader of the Soviet people. “For the Motherland! For Stalin!” was a common battle cry. Soviet soldiers and partisans of both sexes fought not just for their national territory but for the social system that had been born and nurtured within it.
Malaparte, the Italian journalist with the fascist invaders, referred to the discovery, amongst a group of dead Soviet soldiers, of a phonograph with 24 records:
On the forty-eight sides of the twenty-four records is recorded the whole of the marathon speech delivered by Stalin in the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, on the occasion of the promulgation of the Soviet Constitution in 1936…During the fighting, the words of Stalin, magnified to gigantic proportions by the loudspeaker, ran down upon the men kneeling in holes behind the tripods of their machine-guns, din in the ears of the soldiers lying amid the shrubs, of the wounded writhing in agony on the ground…There is something diabolical, and at the same time terribly naïve, about these soldiers who fight to the death, spurred on by Stalin’s speech on the Soviet Constitution, by the slow, deliberate recital of the moral, social, political, and military precepts of the ‘agitators’; about these soldiers who never surrender… (6)
The long wait for a Second Front
Having been rebuffed by the British and French when he offered to open a second front against Hitler in August, 1939, Stalin faced a long and bitter lone fight against Hitler. Stalin first referred publicly to the absence of a second front at a meeting on November 6, 1941, five months after the invasion:
One of the reasons for the reverses of the Red Army is the absence of a second front in Europe against the German-fascist troops. The fact of the matter is that at the present time there are still no armies of Great Britain or the United States of America on the European continent to wage war against the German-fascist troops, with the result that the Germans are not compelled to dissipate their forces and to wage war on two fronts, in the West and in the East. Well, the effect of this is that the Germans, considering their rear in the West secure, are able to move all their troops and the troops of their allies in Europe against our country. The situation at present is such that our country is carrying on the war of liberation single-handed, without any military assistance, against the combined forces of Germans, Finns, Rumanians, Italians and Hungarians. The Germans preen themselves on their temporary successes and are lavish in the praises of their army, claiming that it can always defeat the Red Army in single combat. But the Germans’ claims are empty boasting, for it is incomprehensible why in that case the Germans have resorted to the aid of the Finns, Rumanians, Italians and Hungarians against the Red Army, which is fighting absolutely single-handed without any military help from outside. There is no doubt that the absence of a second front in Europe against the Germans considerably eases the position of the German army. But neither can there be any doubt that the appearance of a second front on the European continent – and it must unquestionably appear in the near future (loud applause) – will essentially ease the situation of our army to the detriment of the German army. (7)
Eleven months later and with the “near future” not drawing any closer, Stalin replied in the following terms to an Associated Press reporter:
(1) Question: What place does the possibility of a Second Front occupy in Soviet estimates of the current situation?
Answer: A very important place: one might say a place of first-rate importance.
(2) Question: To what extent is Allied aid to the Soviet Union proving effective, and what could be done to amplify and improve this aid?
Answer: As compared with the aid which the Soviet Union is giving to the Allies by drawing upon itself the main forces of the German-fascist armies, the aid of the Allies to the Soviet Union has so far been little effective. In order to amplify and improve this aid only one thing is required: that the Allies fulfil their obligations completely and on time. (8)
On November 6, 1942, Stalin gave a lengthy outline of the implications for anti-fascist forces of the absence of a second front in Europe. “Our Allies cannot fail to realize that since France has been put out of action, the absence of a second front against fascist Germany may end badly for all freedom-loving countries, including the Allies themselves.” (9)
On February 23, 1943, Stalin observed:
In view of the absence of a second front in Europe, the Red Army alone bears the whole burden of the war. Nevertheless, the Red Army has not only held its own against the onslaught of the German-fascist hordes, but has become in the course of the war the terror of the fascist armies. In the hard battles of the summer and autumn of 1942, the Red Army barred the way to the fascist beasts. Our people will remember for all time the heroic defence of Sevastopol and Odessa, the stubborn battles before Moscow and in the foothills of the Caucasus, in the Rzhev area and before Leningrad, the battle at the walls of Stalingrad, the greatest in the history of war. In these great battles our gallant Red Army men, commanders and political workers covered the standards of the Red Army with undying glory and laid the firm foundation for victory over the German-fascist armies. (10)
Only with the Allied landing in northern France on June 13, 1944 did the second front come into being in Europe. This was three years after the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union. True, there had been fighting in northern Africa and in parts of southern Europe, but the Soviets were entitled to view the Normandy landings as too little, too late. (11)
The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the fight against fascism. Communists were in the forefront of struggles against fascism in all countries. Hitler hated “Jewish Bolshevism” and the first inmates of his concentration camps were German Communists.
Contemporary historical falsification aids resurgent fascism
There is a new wave of right-wing populism sweeping Europe. Rather than acknowledging the great Soviet fight against fascism, this new generation of falsifiers of history are creating legislation in the European Union parliament and in the parliaments of member states equating Communism with fascism and Stalin with Hitler. Both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany are declared to be equally responsible for the outbreak of World War Two. The context of, and logical basis for, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is denied and the Pact deliberately misconstrued as an “alliance”.
Such is the gratitude of the European bourgeoisies for the supreme sacrifices of the Soviet people who delivered Europe from Nazi tyranny!
On May 9. 2020 we salute the glorious Red Army of the Soviet Union and uphold the honour and reputation of the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin.
Stop the distortion of history!
Honour the Soviet system that inspired Red Army soldiers and Soviet partisans to victory over fascism!
Fight fascism and imperialism!
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