The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 12th May 2017

The meaning of Victory Day

THIS WEEK millions of people throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union remembered the Soviet people who died in the struggle to defeat Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Hitler and the Wehrmacht believed the Soviet Union would fall like a pack of cards under the hammer-blow of their legions. They expected the Soviet masses to welcome the Nazis with open arms as liberators. What they got was ferocious resistance.

The Red Army fought the Nazis to a standstill whilst hundreds of thousands of others joined the partisan units that harried the invaders regardless of the firing squads and the death camps. The Red Army prevailed, sweeping the Nazi hordes back to Berlin and total defeat.

On 9th May 1945 the Germans surrendered, with Adolf Hitler dead in his bunker and the Red Flag flying over the Reichstag.

Germany and its Axis allies wanted world domination and they committed unspeakable crimes in the war that finally ended with the crushing defeat of the Third Reich and the Empire of Japan.

Victory Day was marked in Moscow with a massive display of military might and an ‘Immortal Regiment’ commemorative march through Red Square to honour those who fought and fell in what the Russians still call the Great Patriotic War.

Throughout the Russian Federation and in many of the former Soviet republics people paid homage to the 27 million Soviet workers and farmers who died in the struggle to defeat a brutal and ruthless foe. In other parts of the world, including London, similar ceremonies took place to mark the common struggle against the common enemy of humankind.

Some bourgeois politicians are claiming that fascism and racism have been decisively rejected in France, Austria and the Netherlands. But they turn a blind eye to the nature of the neo-Nazi Ukrainian regime they support. They say nothing about the fascists in the new Bulgarian government and they grovel to Donald Trump, the new war-lord in the White House whose coded racism helped propel him to the White House last year.

The victory over fascism was the victory of the working people over the most reactionary elements of the German, Italian and Japanese bourgeoisie. It was, above all, the victory of the world communist movement.

Although Anglo-American imperialism played an important role in the defeat of fascism, it was the courage and determination of the Soviet people, led by Stalin and the Bolsheviks, that brought Nazi Germany to its knees. It was the final intervention by the USSR against Japan that forced the Japanese Emperor Hirohito to capitulate in August 1945, regardless of the American atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Whilst the Red Army liberated half of Europe and smashed Nazi Germany, Josef Broz Tito’s guerilla army and Enver Hoxha’s partisans drove the fascists out of the Balkans. The communist-led resistance had the fascists on the run in Greece, France and Italy. Others fought alongside the Red Army on the eastern front whilst Mao Zedong, Kim Il Sung and Ho Chi Minh led the fight for freedom against the Japanese imperialists in Asia.

If it wasn’t for the Soviet Union and the world communist movement the Axis would have won the war. We know what that would have meant — the extermination of the Jews and all others deemed unfit to live; concentration camps, mass slavery and the dictatorship of an elite of industrialists, landowners, warlords and degenerates of every kind. This was the world of Hitler and Hirohito — a world that would have set back civilisation hundreds of years had they won.

The Soviet Union is now sadly no more but nothing can take away its achievements. Victory Day will be remembered by working people forever.