Successful congress in Sofia

7. Oktober 2013

FIR held in early October in the Bulgarian capital Sofia its XVI annual Congress. 45 delegates from all parts of Europe , from Portugal to Russia, from Denmark to Greece made a bilance of the successful work of the past three years and decided about future activities.
Highlights were e.g. the commemorative event for the 60
th anniversary of FIR in July 2011 in the Old Town Hall of Vienna and the Michel Vanderborght Award in the ballroom of the Belgian Parliament in 2013. We have also to mention the International Youth Meeting “The train of Thousand” in May 2012 in Auschwitz (together with the Institute of Vétérans and the Auschwitz Foundation). Two important products for historical work were the publication of the “Map of the Nazi camps and prisons in Central Europe” and the opening of the exhibition “European resistance fight” in summer 2013 at the European Parliament in Brussels. Both projects could also be realized with the Institute of Vétérans .
The speeches of delegates and guests showed that the FIR lives particular by the activities of its member associations and their vital contacts under each other. This was visible by meetings with board members of FIR with associations in different parts of the world.
The high regard of FIR could be seen in this context e.g. the meetings of FIR President with the Presidents of the Republic of Cyprus and the Czech Republic, or with political representatives of other states. Letters and greetings of partner organizations gave the same impression . The Chairman of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament and European Parliament President of the Bulgarian National Assembly , Sergei Stanishev , sent a detailed message, in which he stressed the importance of the FIR .
Neo-fascism and racism are a big challenge for all member associations of the FIR . Vilmos Hanti (Hungary ), President of the FIR , has been repeatedly targeted in attacks of the extreme right . In Greece one could see the murderous dimension of neo-fascism . Thatr is why the delegates suggested international anti-fascist initiatives. Against open revision of history and the rehabilitation of the SS in the Baltic republics , FIR will demonstrate together with anti-fascist forces in the region in the spring of 2014 on the spot.
Never again fascism , never again war! – is FIR’s obligation for today . Therefore, they called on all peace-loving forces to prevent an imminent American military strike against Syria and to work for a non-military solution of the conflict.
It is noteworthy that at this Congress two organizations returned to an active work in FIR , the Czech Freedom Fighters Association and the Italian ANPI . Thus continues the trend of recent years , the FIR is also seen in the seventh decade of its existence as an active and necessary international umbrella organization of former veterans federations and current anti-fascist structures. Chosen with great unanimity , the new leadership team will make its contribution to this.
At the conclusion of the Congress , the Bulgarian Antifascist Union organized an excursion to Sofia, among other things, to the grave and birthplace of Georgi Dimitrov . For the delegates of the FIR Congress it was a concern , to honor together this great anti-fascists whose occurrence before the Leipzig Reichstag fire process and at the VII World Congress of the Communist International is unforgotten .