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FIR CALLS FOR SYMBOLIC AND "VIRTUAL” COMMEMORATION

Facing the development of the Corona pandemic throughout Europe, has been now confirmed what the veterans' associations and anti-fascists of today's generations feared - all public commemoration and commemoration ceremonies for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps and the occupied countries from fascism have been cancelled.

 

 

This week it was even announced that Russian President Putin - in agreement with the veterans' associations - has postponed the parade on Red Square on Victory Day on 9 May 2020, and all events to mark this event in Russia have been cancelled.

Already in the middle of March, the FIR had declared: The days of the liberation and the Victory Day on May 9, 1945 remain in the collective memory of the peoples and will also be committed in the future - independently of Corona virus and other restrictions.

It is now the task and responsibility of the FIR and all its member federations whether and how in this year despite all necessary restrictions the remembrance becomes possible and visible.

Moreover, there are already different interesting ideas and forms for the memory work:

The concentration camp memorial places Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück and Dachau already reacted with on-line offers to the canceled commemoration meetings. Thus, the homepage of the Buchenwald memorial site contains the originally planned speeches by survivors and political representatives that should be held at the state ceremony and on the Ettersberg.

Nevertheless, political commemoration is not only a state affair. Anti-fascist remembrance work lives from the participation of civil society, veterans and anti-fascist associations of today's generations. They too have sought and found new forms of remembrance.

At the suggestion of the camp community and camp working group Buchenwald-Dora, for example, photos with the "Oath of Buchenwald" were taken at various memorial sites in Germany. These pictures were published on the Internet under the hashtag #buchenwaldgedenken2020.

ANPI Francoforte puts bilingual lectures about the Resistenza in memory of the year 1945 as Podcast in the net, so that interested anti-fascists can participate in a virtual commemoration event.

On 25 April, ANPI and other anti-fascist associations in Italy are planning a nationwide action, in which people together from their balconies or the entrances of their houses by singing the partisan song "Bella Ciao" publicly show their anti-fascist solidarity.

In other countries on the days of remembrance people go privately with flowers and small self-designed posters to the memorial places, in order to leave there a visible sign. To make such examples public would be also a possibility of action for all member federations of the FIR in times of the Corona restrictions.

We, the FIR and its member federations, call on the veterans, the survivors of the fascist persecution, their family members and today's anti-fascists, under adherence to all medically necessary protective measures, to commemorate the days of liberation and the day of victory with symbolic gestures of remembrance in public places.