Politics and justice against historical truth PDF Print E-mail

With large concern the FIR observes in different European countries, how political forces supported by courts place themselves against the historical facts, if it concerns to denounce anti-fascists or rehabilitate collaborators.

In the last days, we received problematic news from Spain and the Ukraine:

In Madrid, at the request of the neo-fascist VOX party, supported by the Partido Popular and Ciudadanos, the city parliament decided to remove the memory of the former leader of the socialist party PSOE and General Secretary of the trade union UGT Francisco Largo Caballero from the public space. Francisco Largo Caballero was, among other things, Minister of Labor in the first cabinet of the Second Spanish Republic from 1931 to 1933. When the Republic was threatened by the Franco coup d'état, he assumed in September 1936 again responsibility as president of the government and minister of war. Although he had to resign in 1937, he actively fought against the fascist rebels and defended the Republic. In 1939, he had to flee to France, where he was arrested by the German occupying forces in 1942 and deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Saved in 1945 by Red Army units, he died in Paris in 1946. After the end of Franco's rule, Francisco Largo Caballero was publicly honored in Madrid and other places. Now the political right wing is trying to erase this memory.

In a public statement, which was also noticed in the press, in early October 2020, numerous Spanish professors criticized the slanders of this anti-fascist personality. The PSOE announced that it would take the planned street renaming to court. However, given the tradition of many lawyers, it is doubtful that Spanish administrative courts will be able to uphold the memory of a republican fighter.

In the Ukraine, anti-fascist historians and civil rights activists have experienced in recent weeks that courts are prepared to ignore historical truths and to ignore the verdict of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal 75 years after its conviction.

The occasion is the dispute over the presentation of the SS division "Galicia", in which Ukrainian collaborators had committed mass crimes in the spirit of German fascist rule, by the Ukrainian State Institute for National Remembrance. A lawsuit against historical-revisionist trivializations in this institution was already filed in September 2017. On May 27, 2020, the Kiev District Administrative Court decided that the Division's symbols were National Socialist and therefore illegal. The decision of the Kiev District Administrative Court in Case No. 826/11325/17 states: "Furthermore, as the text of the International Military Tribunal states, the SS organization is recognized as a criminal organization at the international level". Thus, the court prohibited claims that the 14th Grenadier Division of the Waffen-SS "Galicia" was not a Nazi division.

The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance appealed against this decision, and on September 23, 2020, the Sixth Administrative Appeals Court in Kiev reversed the previous decision within an hour. The court did not deal with historical facts, but argued solely on formal grounds, knowing very well that this was a political decision. On the eve of the trial, the lawyer and the plaintiff received threatening letters from fascist groups with their photos, SS runes and the slogan "Glory of the Nation, Death to the Enemies".

The FIR is in large concern that by such developments historical revisionism and falsification of anti-fascist traditions are legitimized by court order.

FIR (Fédération Internationale des Résistantes - Association des Antifascistes)