Victory Over Fascism Day

Originally published by UJPFO

Today, there is much cause for celebration, as it marks the day the world was rid of the plague that was Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The United Jewish People’s Fraternal Order celebrates today as a day of freedom; freedom from the torture, oppression, and genocide imposed upon our relatives. Had it not been for the immense bravery of our Jewish and non-Jewish Partisan, Soviet, American, and British brothers and sisters, we as a people and an organization may not be here today. At the same time of our immense joy, we also feel mournful of all our kin who were unable to live to see the downfall of the fascist regimes, which Georgiy Dimitrov wisely described as “the open terrorist dictatorships of the most reactionary, chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.” Victory over Fascism Day needs to be an internationally observed holiday and day of remembrance in order to maintain an immortal anti-fascist spirit. 

“The worldwide, agelong struggle between fascism and democracy will not stop when the fighting ends in Germany and Japan.” – Henry Wallace

Prophetic are the words of Henry Wallace, Vice President to Franklin Roosevelt and Presidential Nominee of the Progressive Party in 1948. May 8th, 1945 in Germany, the Nazi leaders signed their unconditional surrender which would go into effect at 11:01 PM. It is a travesty that May 8th is not celebrated and recognized as a national holiday in the USA. Additionally, there is a symbolic importance of the time the surrender was declared for the Soviet Union and the Soviet peoples. It was already the next day in Ukraine and Russia when the surrender document went into effect, May 9th, a distinction that connects all the people in the former Soviet Union in the victory together against the Nazi invaders. 

Today, the world again is confronted with the threat of fascism. This time however, it is acting as a defensive barrier for Western Imperialism led by the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Many world leaders in the West embrace and celebrate the fascist Kiev Regime which adopts its ideology from the infamous Nazi Collaborators: Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych, Yevhen Pobihushchyi-Ren, as well as others, who were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jewish people in Ukraine alone.

Today the Kiev regime is embracing its fascist lineage by banning Communist, Socialist, and all other dissident parties, cracking down on labor rights and labor organizations, slaughtering ethnic groups such as the Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Donetsk and Lugansk as well as conducting Pogroms against Romani-Ukrainians, and rewriting Ukrainian history by drafting bills to cancel the national observance of Victory over Fascism Day and destroying monuments that were built during the days of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. As we celebrate today as the historical defeat of the first wave of fascism, we remind ourselves of the poem by Pastor Martin Neimoller:

First they came for the Communists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak out for me

The poem serves as a reminder that we cannot sit idly by as the scourge of fascism in the world continues to grow. We cannot wait until it is our turn to suffer. We must stand in solidarity with our allies against fascism. We must carry the banner of the valiant Jewish Partisans who were prepared to, and in many cases did, lay down their lives in order to liberate the Jewish people as well as our other brothers and sisters oppressed by the fascist machines. 

מער קיינמאל. Never again!