Celebrating Victory Day! – for such a war never to happen again!

The Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) hails Victory Day, May 9, the date on which World War II formally ended in Europe, with the surrender of what remained of the military forces of Nazi Germany. Seventy-seven years ago, after more than fifty million dead and thirty million wounded and maimed, the deadliest and most destructive war in all human history finally ended.

To mark this event today takes on added and particular significance, given the threats that Humanity faces in the current global context.

Keeping in mind the central aspects that gave rise to World War II helps to ensure that such a war never happens again. Remembering the main factors that led to this announced catastrophe is a moral imperative for democrats, so that the crimes of Nazi-fascism are never forgotten and what gave rise to them will not be repeated.

It is worth remembering that the accelerated reconstruction and modernisation of German heavy industry, in particular that of a military nature, financed by the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA), provided Germany with the material base it needed to prepare and launch the war. Financial support to which the political-ideological prejudice was added, as the dominant powers at that time – UK, USA and France – disregarding the signs of the coming storm, decided to ignore the proposals to create a system of collective security that the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), repeatedly presented in the League of Nations until the beginning of the war – such proposals ended up being shelved, without even being put up for discussion.

With the invasion of the USSR by the Nazi forces already underway, it became clear to those responsible that Germany and the Soviet Union did not cripple each other, to the point of complete destruction, because the peoples and the Soviet armed forces, over three years, withstood the clash of the main military force of Nazi Germany and its allies, and fought it until they managed to turn the course of the war and start the liberation of Europe. While at the same time, everywhere, peoples resisted and fought with courage against the common enemy represented by Nazi-fascism and Japanese militarism.

The victory over Nazi-fascism was, therefore, the result of the resistance and anti-fascist struggle of the peoples for freedom and democracy. Against state terrorism; mass extermination of populations, and of prisoners in concentration camps; forced labour; xenophobia, racism; the most macabre abuses, including medical experimentation on defenceless human beings; the systematic destruction of economic, social and cultural infrastructure.

But for such a victory to be achieved, millions of human beings gave their lives, and it is only fair to underline the unique and decisive contribution of the USSR and its people, who paid the highest price.

With the defeat of Nazi-fascism and the advances made in social and national emancipation, the peoples of the world hoped that their suffering and determination could finally have created the conditions for a full and lasting world peace, based on a system of collective security.

However, this did not happen, and today, although under quite different circumstances, signs are gathering that the harmful practices of the past were not only not recognised and abandoned, but also, roughly, the same powers that used them, continue to repeat them with fresh players.

Aware that, despite the current risks, peace is possible and that Humanity will be able to find the way to avoid a new catastrophe and establish the primacy of solidarity, cooperation and social progress throughout the world, the CPPC celebrates Victory Day with confidence, in respect for all those, living and dead, who made it possible, and calls on democrats to close ranks in defence of peace.

Source: World Peace Council