On the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, there are more and more attempts to rewrite history by right-wing political forces seeking revenge. The trend associated with the growth of nationalist sentiments cannot leave indifferent people who know what horrors fascism brought to the countries of Europe. Unfortunately, among today’s politicians there are those who wish to shift historical emphasis, distort the real reasons for that terrible war, present the victims as aggressors, and those who unleashed it as “innocent knights” who fought to preserve European values from the invasion of the “Mongolian communist hordes.”
Naturally, the target of such propaganda is the Soviet Union — the main victor in the Second World War, who defeated Nazi Germany, bore its brunt and lost 27 million of its citizens of different nationalities. It must be understood that this war, unleashed by Hitler, was a special war, the confrontation of two opposing socio-economic and ideological systems.
It must be recalled that the main goal of Nazism was not the occupation of certain regions of the Soviet Union, but the physical extermination of the Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and other peoples who inhabited its republics. The war was aimed at the destruction of the local population and for the liberation of living space for the German people and the Aryan race, which was spelled out in the Ost plan of the high command of the Third Reich. Therefore, no statehood was envisaged for enslaved peoples at all.
In addition, the Nazis needed to destroy the USSR as a social-political alternative for the workers. It is for this reason that Pope Pius XII blessed this invasion, calling it a crusade against Bolshevism. For the peoples of Europe, this “campaign” did not bring anything but coffins and funerals. For Soviet citizens, resistance to the fascist occupation became a true people’s liberation war, just in its essence.
Many modern scholars focus on the anti-fascist resistance that survived in Spain, Italy, Yugoslavia and other European countries. But still, none of the professional historians deny that the turning point in this bloody war was achieved only thanks to the collective feat of the entire united Soviet people, as well as the advanced socialist system of planned and centralized economic management of the economy. The victory itself was laid long before the war in a streamlined mechanism created thanks to the unprecedented modernization of the Soviet Union in the framework of industrialization and collectivization, which created the possibility for military mobilization of all the forces of the people and the state to repel aggression.
As a result of the bloody war, the Red Army, carrying out rearmament and learning from its mistakes, not only drove the Wehrmacht and the forces of the Romanian, Hungarian, Italian, Slovak, Finnish armies and various national sections of the SS from its territory, but was also able to inflict a crushing defeat on them in their lair. The Red Army entered the territory of European countries in 1944 as a liberator, sweeping away the collaborating semi-fascist and reactionary monarchist regimes.
Contrary to what some high-ranking politicians declare today, Moscow did not pursue a policy of enslavement, but made it possible for the peoples of the liberated countries to choose their own path, especially since a guerrilla war was already going on in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe aimed at overthrowing nationalist and fascist governments. In addition, it was necessary to destroy the very center of the Nazi regime, which was in Berlin. Therefore, the complete military defeat of Nazi Germany meant the liberation of the peoples of Europe from slavery, social, national and racial segregation.
Without diminishing the contribution of the Allied countries, it should be noted that it was the Soviet people and the Red Army that made the main contribution to the common victory. Afterall, the Wehrmacht kept 80 percent of all combat-ready divisions on the eastern front and suffered major losses there. In addition, it was the Red Army that put an end to World War II, crushing the military forces of militaristic Japan in Manchuria and the Far East in August 1945, rather than the notorious nuclear bombing of Japanese cities.
The relevance of those events does not lessen with the years, because, having emerged victorious in the Second World War, the USSR drew the outlines of the modern world, founding the UN system with the allies. It was thanks to the military success of the Red Army and the very fact of the existence of a strengthened Soviet state that the world colonial system finally collapsed in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and hundreds of peoples gained their independence and statehood, that China became united and sovereign.
The transformations that affected our society were enormous. Thanks to the USSR, the international labor movement was also restored when, with the participation of Soviet trade unions, the World Federation of Trade Unions was formed on October 3, 1945. Millions of working people in Europe received social and economic guarantees thanks to the influence of the Soviet state and its victory in World War II.
We must remember, protect and defend these gains and achievements secured thanks to the Great Victory over fascism and the role of the Soviet Union, which became the liberator of all peoples. Attempts to distort history and revise the results of the Second World War often hide political desires for revenge, the desire to redraw borders, enslave peoples and drive their citizens into slavery, taking away their rights and freedoms.
We remember that that terrible war began with the same bravado that we can see among many right-wing politicians today. Our task is to stop them today, so that tomorrow it is not too late.