(English) FIR criticizes historical revisionism in the Baltic States and Poland

7. April 2018

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For several years now, the FIR protested against state efforts of historical revision in the Baltic republics and in Poland.

This year again, under the protection of the state organs and with the participation of representatives of the state in Latvia, the veterans of the SS-associations and their friends marched in Riga. Anti-fascists, on the other hand, were prevented from expressing their opinion.

In Poland, with the law on „de-communization“, the government has decided to erase names of streets and squares, as well as eliminate numerous monuments and places of remembrance. In Walbrzych they tried to eliminate the street signs with names of Polish-born communists who had fought in the Resistance in France against the German occupiers. Only clear protests from French veterans associations stopped this project. In other places, citizens refuse submissions, but the governmental „Institute for National Memory“ insists on this historical revision. The Russian government particularly criticizes the fact that the law on „de-communization“ plans to demolish about 500 monuments throughout the country dedicated to Soviet soldiers. Some of these monuments have already been destroyed.

In March 2018, PiS, the governing party, passed a law on the „demotion of communist military“ with its parliamentary majority. It refers to soldiers who served in the army between 1943 and 1990 and acted „against the raison d’etat.“ They should be posthumously denied the grade. With the degradation, the „moral order“ should be restored, explained the PiS. This law is decidedly directed against former head of state General Wojciech Jaruzelski, whose demotion was planned 10 years ago. At the same time, however, this law also denounces the importance of the Polish People’s Army (Armia Ludowa) and the Polish units within the framework of the Red Army forces. We remember that also Polish units played a major role in the liberation of Berlin and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

A few days ago, it was announced that Poland’s President Andrzej Duda had vetoed a law on the demise of communist military. The legislative proposal of the right-wing conservative government grant the victims or their descendants no opportunity for explanations or legal opposition, Duda justified his decision on Friday. He also pointed to a „blurring“ in the law.

The FIR welcomes this decision and calls on its member federations, the World Veterans Association (WVF) and its members to increase political influence on the Polish President so that this law will be rejected in principle.

We owe it to the recognition of all the fighters in the ranks of the anti-Hitler coalition.