A day we will never forget!
Commentary for I.B. Khlebnikov Workers’ University about the significance of Victory Day, May 9 (the day former Soviet countries mark the defeat of fascism in 1945). The Russian version is here, together with comments from comrades in Venezuela, Peru, India, Germany and other countries.
It was only when I became a Marxist and began to study true people’s history that I learned about the heroic sacrifices of the Soviet people who, together with the communists and anti-fascist partisans of Europe, truly defeated Hitler-fascism.
One of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced was the Victory Day parade in 2016, while visiting the capital of the Lugansk People’s Republic. I was invited to join the column of the Lugansk communists. I will never forget seeing thousands of people, young and old, pouring into the streets early in the morning with red flags, banners, and portraits of family members who fought in the Great Patriotic War.
But it wasn’t just history for them. I marched beside the leader of the Lugansk communists and his young daughter. She had been an infant two years earlier when the Ukrainian junta and fascist gangs were shelling the city and threatening to invade. As a parent myself, I thought about how frightened her mother and father must have been for her safety. The people around me, and throughout Donbass, were not just remembering the struggle against fascism – they were living it.
The Soviet Union and the partisans were able to defeat fascism in 1945 because the socialist system created by the October Revolution was utterly irreconcilable with the terrorist, racist, xenophobic and genocidal fascist regime, and with the capitalist profit system that was its basis.
No wonder comrades in Russia are indignant about the way the oligarchic government in Moscow celebrates Victory Day now! They literally cover up Lenin’s mausoleum and other symbols of the socialist revolution that made the victory possible.
Today, when fascist movements are resurgent in Europe and the U.S., it is more important than ever to remember our true history and teach it to new generations of revolutionary workers. The only way to ensure fascism’s defeat is by building a strong communist movement and winning new victories for socialism throughout the world.
Workers World Party