Vor 75 Jahren: Beendigung des Zweiten Weltkriegs in Ostasien – Befreiung vom japanischen Militarismus

21. August 2020

In der euro-zentrierten Geschichtssicht gelten der 1. September 1939 und der 8. Mai 1945 als Beginn und Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Im asiatischen Raum stehen dafür zwei andere Daten, der 7. Juli 1937 und der 2. bzw. 9. September 1945. 

Schon im Dezember 1936 hatte das japanische Kaiserreich im „Anti-Komintern-Pakt“ mit dem faschistischen Deutschland deutlich die gegen die UdSSR gezielte geopolitische Ausrichtung gezeigt. Dabei zielte der japanische Expansionismus jedoch auf das asiatische Festland.

Es begann 1937 mit dem provozierten Zwischenfall an der Marco-Polo-Brücke, den die japanische Armee zum Angriff auf das chinesische Territorium nutzte. Am 29. Juli kapitulierte Peking und einen Tag später Tianjin. Die Japaner setzten ihren Vormarsch im Norden und Süden von China fort. Zwar erklärte die Nationalregierung der Kuomintang unter Chiang Kai-shek Japan am 7. August den Krieg. Einen ersten spektakulären Erfolg erzielte jedoch die kommunistische Volksbefreiungsarmee in der Schlacht von Pingxingguan am 25. September, in der Marshall Lin Biao allein mit Handgranaten und Gewehrfeuer eine Übermacht von 10.000 Japanern in die Flucht schlug und LKWs sowie Waffen und Munition erbeutete.

Der japanische Vormarsch konnte dadurch jedoch nicht aufgehalten werden. Anfang Dezember erreichten die japanischen Truppen Nanking, die Hauptstadt der Kuomintang. Am 13. Dezember besetzten die japanischen Truppen die Stadt. In dem darauf folgenden, drei Wochen andauernden Massaker von Nanking wurden vermutlich mehr als 300.000 chinesische Zivilisten ermordet und etwa 20.000 Frauen vergewaltigt.

In den Blick der Weltöffentlichkeit geriet der Krieg im pazifischen Raum jedoch erst vier Jahre später mit dem spektakulären Überfalls der japanischen Luftwaffe auf den US-Stützpunkt in Pearl Harbor am 7. Dezember 1941. Danach drangen die japanischen Streitkräfte planmäßig weiter nach Süden vor und besetzten unter der Ideologie Asien den Asiaten europäische und amerikanische Kolonien wie Hongkong, die Philippinen und Niederländisch-Indien. Innerhalb von vier Monaten hatten japanische Truppen ganz Südostasien und einen Großteil des Pazifiks mit etwa 450 Millionen Menschen unter ihrer Kontrolle.

Trotz der militärischen Erfolge Japans blieben der pazifische Raum und das asiatische Festland eine dauerhaft umkämpfte Region. Auf der einen Seite versuchten die USA mit Unterstützung von Australien, Großbritannien und Neuseeland die Kontrolle über verschiedene strategische Inseln zurückzugewinnen, auf der anderen Seite kämpften die Einheiten der chinesischen Volksbefreiungsarmee in einer Form des Partisanenkampfes gegen die Okkupationsmacht.

Symbolischen Charakter hatte sicherlich die amerikanische Landung auf der Insel Iwojima am 19. Februar 1945. Die Kämpfe auf der Insel dauerten fünf Wochen und kosteten auf japanischer Seite etwa 20.800 Tote und auf amerikanischer Seite rund 7.000 Tote.

Auf der Konferenz von Jalta hatte die Sowjetunion zugesagt, dass spätestens drei Monate nach der Beendigung der Kriegshandlung in Europa sie im Osten in den Krieg eingreift. Nachdem am 6. August 1945 der Atombombenabwurf auf Hiroshima erfolgt war, erklärte die Sowjetunion Japan am 8. August den Krieg und marschierte in die Mandschurei ein. Der Roten Armee schlossen sich die 4. und 8. chinesische Revolutionsarmee an, die einige Städte besetzten. Sowjetische Soldaten besetzten mit einigen Verbänden ab dem 16. August den Süd-Sachalin und ab dem 19. August die nördlichen Kurilen.

Am 2. September unterzeichnete das japanische Militär auf dem US-Schlachtschiff Missouri gegenüber US-General Douglas MacArthur die Kapitulationsurkunde. Damit war der Pazifikkrieg formell beendet, jedoch gingen die Kampfhandlungen auf dem Festland weiter.

Die Rote Armee befreite den Norden von Korea, am 8. September landeten amerikanische Einheiten im Süden der Halbinsel. Auf amerikanischen Vorschlag mussten sich die japanischen Militärangehörigen nördlich des 38. Breitengrads der Roten Armee, südlich desselben der US-Armee ergeben. Erst am 9. September wurde in Nanking der Kapitulationsvertrag der japanischen Truppen auf dem chinesischen Festland unterzeichnet.

Die Bilanz dieses Krieges ist dramatisch. Allein in China starben 4.000.000 Soldaten und die Verluste unter der Zivilbevölkerung, unter der die Japaner mehrere Massaker anrichteten, beliefen sich auf rund 10.000.000 Menschen. Die Japaner verloren ungefähr 1.200.000 Soldaten und etwa 500.000 Zivilisten, die meisten bei den beiden Atombombenabwürfen und der konventionellen Bombardierung Tokios am 9. März 1945. Die Verluste der Westalliierten (Briten, Australier, Neuseeländer, Niederländer) lagen dagegen nur bei etwa 150.000 Toten. Die USA verloren etwa 130.000 Mann im Pazifikraum.

Die politische Erinnerung an diesen Krieg ist heute erneut umkämpft. Während China und Korea diesen Krieg erinnern als Befreiungskampf gegen die Okkupation und an die schweren Kriegsverbrechen des japanischen Militärs, werden in Japan zunehmend die Angehörigen des japanischen Militärs verehrt. Ein Symbol dieser Geschichtsrevision ist der Yasukuni-Schrein in Tokio. Friedenskräfte im In- und Ausland kritisieren scharf, dass auch die bei den Kriegsverbrecherprozessen von Tokio zum Tode verurteilten Offiziere sowie Angehörige der berüchtigten Einheit 731, die im Krieg in der Mandschurei Experimente mit biologischen Waffen an Kriegsgefangenen und chinesischen Zivilisten durchführte, hier verehrt werden. 2013 besuchte auch der japanische Premierminister Shinzō Abe erstmals wieder offiziell den Schrein.

Die FIR drückt ihre Verbundenheit mit allen Veteranen des Befreiungskampfes aus und verurteilt solche Formen von Rehabilitierung von Kriegsverbrechern und der Geschichtsrevision.

70 years ago, the war in Korea began

24. Juni 2020

Only five years after the common victory of the anti-Hitler coalition against German fascism and in early September against Japanese militarism, a bloody war began in the Asian region as a result of the escalation of the Cold War, which claimed more than 4.5 million victims in three years.

Korea, which could only be liberated in September 1945 after 35 years of Japanese colonial rule (1910-45), was divided by the victorious powers USA and Soviet Union along the 38th parallel into two occupation zones and initially administered in trust.

All efforts to create a joint rebuilding from both zones were torpedoed by the reactionary regime of Rhee Syun-man installed by the United States with all means. Since there was considerable unrest against Rhee in South Korea itself, North Korean units crossed the line of demarcation along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950. Without any significant resistance, they entered Seoul and within a few days, they even advanced to just outside the port city of Busan in the south. Rhee’s troops lacked motivation and fighting power; droves of his soldiers deserted and defected to the other side.

As a result, the USA obtained a UN mandate for a war mission for this inter-Korean conflict. The troops of the USA and Australia under General Douglas MacArthur advanced as far as the Yalu River between North Korea and the People’s Republic of China. MacArthur’s aim in this war was to defeat the newly founded People’s Republic of China by military means. He suggested throwing atomic bombs also at Chinese metropolises, but US President Truman rejected this.

The Korean War and the American military actions were condemned by peace forces all over the world. It was clear that this war greatly increased the risk of renewed international military conflict, including in Europe. Thus it does not surprise that on the foundation congress of the FIR in summer 1951 in Vienna the federations of former survivors, partisans and resistance fighters stood up for an immediate end of this war with clear words.

That the highly armed American army could not achieve a military success against the North Korean People’s Army was above all due to the commitment of the Chinese voluntary federations, which supported North Korea since end of 1950. The country also received military equipment from the Soviet Union.

It was only after fierce fighting and tough negotiations that the ceasefire agreement, which is still valid today, was signed in Panmunjom on 27 July 1953. According to conservative Western estimates, more than 4.6 million Koreans were killed between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1953, including three million civilians in the north and 500,000 civilians in the south of the peninsula.

The FIR pursues with concern that in the surrounding field of this 70th anniversary nationalist groups in South Korea torpedo the slowly developing process of understanding between North and South Korea by propaganda actions and other disturbance maneuvers. We call on the peace forces to make their voices heard in this context as well so that the permanent threat by military force can be reduced on the Korean peninsula.

FIR active despite all restrictions

22. Juni 2020

Despite all meeting restrictions the member federations and the representatives of the FIR are active in the political activities. Just in the actions against racism and police violence in Athens, Budapest in Lisbon, in different cities of the Federal Republic of Germany and beyond that the FIR was visible, as some pictures show.

Protest in front of US-Embassy in Budapest

FIR in a protest meeting “Black Lives Matter” in Kassel

In Nuremberg at a manifestation of several thousands against racism.

FIR calls for anti-racist protests

5. Juni 2020

FIR Newsletter gave the information about the racist problems in the USA. The Trump-Administration tries to make “the ANTIFA” responsible for the problems and the riots in the last days. Trump announced to put “ANTIFA” in the category of “terrorist organizations”. That is why we need to be active.

Apart from the fact that “Antifa” does not exist as a group in the USA either, such a classification would be a criminalization of the anti-racist movement. However, such criminalization does not solve the problem of the actually existing racism and the social injustices based on it in the USA. The FIR explains in all clarity: Antifascism is not terrorism – against racism and police violence only justice helps. That will express the FIR and its member federations in the coming days also publicly before embassies and other representations of the USA in several countries.

If you and/or your initiative are able to support this activity, you find at the bottom a printer’s copy of a banner and a poster. If you want to add your organization logo, please send us a model in good solution (office@fir.at). Then you will receive a new printer’s copy. Of cause, it is also possible too to paint it by hand and to show flags of FIR together with such posters.

2020 antiracist protest color

2020 antiracist protest banner farbig

 

Video message of FIR for the Day of Liberation/Day of Victory (in wording)

8. Mai 2020

The International Federation of Resistance Fighters congratulates you and all members of your Federation on behalf of the 75th anniversary of the Days of liberation, the Day of Victory.

Because of this specific situation, we only can send you our greetings in this electronic way, not personally – but it is for sure, these greetings are coming from our heart.

We will never forget the heroic fight of all members of the Anti-Hitler-Coalition, the allied armies, the partisans and resistance fighters, the deported and victims of the fascist regimes.

FIR honored this year especially the liberation of Paris by the French Soldiers and Fighters of the Résistance in August 1944, the liberation of the determination camp Auschwitz by the soldiers of the soviet army January 1945, and the self-liberation by the prisoners of the concentration camp Buchenwald April 1945. These are only extraordinary examples of the whole liberation fight of women and men, of soldiers and partisans, of resistance fighters and prisoners.

Not to forget means also to defend the historical truth of the WWII, the liberation and the liberators. That is why we fight today and tomorrow against historical revisionism, against destruction of memorial places.

We preserve the legacy of the survivors as they declared it in the “Oath of Buchenwald” and other documents. They swore: “The destruction of Nazism with its roots is our slogan. The creating of a new world of peace and freedom is our goal!”

This oath is the political legacy of antifascists all over the world until today. It means to be active against all forms of neo-fascism, racism, Antisemitism, xenophobia and intolerance. It means fighting for peace, solidarity, democracy and human rights for all people.

This year we need to celebrate the days of liberation, the day of victory virtual, in our minds and our hearts. Nevertheless, it is for sure our common spirit is able to change the world for a peaceful and solidary future – Antifascism is our goal for today and tomorrow.

Stay in good health and all the best for all of you.

Day of liberation – 8/9 May 2020 – Day of victory

28. April 2020

75 years ago, on 8 and 9 May 1945, mankind experienced the final military crushing of German fascism. These dates mark the victory over the inhuman regime of Hitler fascism,

– which excluded, persecuted and imprisoned political opponents and dissenters,

– which murdered millions of people from a self-constructed race alone as Jews, as Sinti and Roma, as Slavs,

– which covered the states in Europe and even countries and peoples in other parts of the world with war, occupation and annihilation, with the aim of imperial hegemony and the destruction of the Soviet Union,

– which, in its cruel outcome, cost the lives of at least 55 million people.

Today in some countries of Europe the historical truth is denied, the liberators from the fascist barbarism are disregarded, the collaborators with the fascist occupant are honoured as “freedom fighters”.

Against these forms of historical revisionism, we emphasize as FIR:

The fascist plans of world domination were stopped by the common activities of the anti-Hitler coalition. It was the members of the armed forces of the allies, above all the members of the Soviet army, who carried the main load of the war, which destroyed this threat also militarily.

It was the partisans and resistance fighters in all countries occupied by fascism, with the communists in the front rows, who gave their lives for the freedom of their homeland.

Part of this anti – Hitler – coalition were also German anti-fascists, who fought illegally in Germany, in the ranks of the partisans or together with the allied forces for the liberation of their own country.

We remember all those women and men who – often at the risk of their lives – made the liberation possible.

The scandalous declaration of the European Parliament on 19 September 2019 is a bad example, an ideological relapse into the worst period of the Cold War. Contrary to all scientific evidence, it is claimed that it was only with the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty that “the course was set for the Second World War”.

In this text the oppressors and the oppressed, the victims and the criminals, the occupiers and the liberators from fascist barbarism were equated untruthfully. It is also claimed that with the end of the war only one “totalitarian rule” was replaced by the other.

The FIR stresses in contrast to this:

May 8/9, 1945 was the day of liberation and victory

– for all peoples threatened by German fascism,

– for the prisoners of the fascist concentration camps, who had been sent on death march while still in the agony of the Nazi regime,

– for the forced labourers who had to perform slave labour in various forms for German industry, agriculture and war policy,

– for the Nazi opponents in Germany itself.

It marks the beginning of a new policy in international relations. The community of action of all Nazi opponents created the basis for the founding of the United Nations and the establishment of the foundations of international law for the prosecution and conviction of the main war criminals in the Nuremberg Tribunal. These legal norms are still valid today, as the General Assembly of the United Nations has repeatedly confirmed.

At that time the common slogan of all anti-fascists was “Never again war! Never again fascism!” For the FIR and its member federations, this is an obligation for today and tomorrow.

We act together with the today’s generations

– against neo-fascism, extreme right and right-wing populism,

– against xenophobia, racism, religious intolerance and anti-Semitism,

– against war, imperial hegemony, state and non-state terrorism and their social roots.

Liberation forms the basis for the vision of a “new world of peace and freedom”, as the prisoners of Buchenwald concentration camp called for on 19 April 1945.

In their sense, the member organizations of FIR fight today for the realization of comprehensive political and social human rights, for peace and democracy. Together we celebrate 8/9 May 2020 as day of liberation and day of victory.

19 April 1945: Oath of Buchenwald – antifascist legacy

16. April 2020

Oath of Buchenwald

Comrades!

We, the Buchenwald anti-fascists, are reporting today in honor of those murdered by the Nazi beast and its helpers’ helpers at Buchenwald and its outside details.

51,000 captured!

51,000 shot, hung, trampled upon, beaten, choked, drowned, starved, poisoned – hosed down.

51,000 fathers, brothers – sons died a torturous death because they were fighters against the fascist murder regime.

51,000 mothers, women, and hundreds of thousands of children are decrying.

We the survivors, we the witnesses of the Nazi beastly activities in faint anger saw our comrades fall.

If there was something that kept us alive, it was the thought: The day of revenge will come!

Today we are free!

We thank the allied Armies of the Americans, English, Soviets and all Freedom Armies who fought for our as well as the freedom of the entire world.

We remember at this position the great friend of the anti-fascists of all countries, an organizer and initiator of the fight for a new, democratic, friendly world.

F.D. Roosevelt. Honor his memory!

We Buchenwalders, Russians, French, Polish, Czechoslovaks and Germans, Spanish, Italians and Austrians, Belgians and Dutch, English, Luxembourger, Romanian, Yugoslavs and Hungarian fought together against the SS, against the Nazi criminals for our liberation.

One idea inspired us: Our cause is just – victory must be ours!

In many languages we lead the same, hard, merciless fight that yielded many victims. And this fight is not over yet.

Hitler flags are still waving.

The murderers of our Comrades are still alive!

The sadistic torturers are still walking about.

For this reason we swear in front of all the world at this Appellplatz (roll call place of concentration camp) at this city of the fascist greyness:

We will cease our fight when the last guilty person stands before the judges of the people.

The eradication of Nazism as well as its roots is our guiding principle.

The rebuilding of our new world of peace and freedom is our goal.

That is what we owe our murdered comrades and their families.

In demonstration of your cooperativeness with this fight, lift your hand in the oath and repeat after me:

WE SWEAR!

75 years ago: A symbolic event – the self-liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp

11. April 2020

The FIR reminds in these days of the self-liberation of the concentration camp Buchenwald by the prisoner resistance on 11 April 1945. This event is symbolic for the success of the common anti-fascist acting.

Already in the year 1943, the illegal International Camp Committee (ILK) in CC Buchenwald, in which Belgian, German, French, Italian, Polish, Soviet and Czech anti-fascists worked together, assigned politically reliable prisoners to build up a military organization from experienced prisoners for self-protection. Under the leadership of the German communist Otto Roth, German, French and Soviet prisoners in particular were trained for this purpose.

For months, weapons and ammunition from SS stocks were obtained and deposited in safe places. From the carbine production in the Gustloff factories, weapon parts were smuggled into the camp and assembled there. The Soviet prisoners produced incendiary flasks as well as cutting and stabbing weapons with very simple materials. At the beginning of 1945, it was even possible to smuggle a complete machine gun into the camp during the arrival of an evacuation transport. The task of the military organization was to protect the prisoners from destruction during the Allied forces arrived.

The military advance of the Red Army in the east and of American troops through Hesse towards western Thuringia in early April 1945 led to considerations of military action. On April 2, the ILK still rejected an armed uprising, but demanded that the planned evacuation by death marches be delayed. When on 6 April 1945 46 prisoners, who the SS considered to be part of the illegal camp committee, were called to the gate, the resistance became apparent: The camp hid the wanted persons from the SS.

When units of American tank forces arrived near the camp, the ILK issued the order to revolt on 11 April 1945 at 2.30 pm. The prisoners’ armed combat groups stormed the main gate, switched off the electricity in the barbed wire fence, occupied the guard towers and captured weapons. At 3:15 p.m., camp elder Hans Eiden announced: “Comrades, we are free!”

With this action, the ILK saved over 20,000 prisoners from the planned extermination in the last hours of the camp, including over 900 children and young people who had already been under the special protection of the camp resistance before. The armed prisoners captured about 220 SS members and other Nazis. On April 13, 1945, a commander of the 3rd US Army took over the liberated camp.

In addition, because of this self-liberation, the prisoners self-confidently stood up for their freedom appeal on April 19, 1945 and formulated the “Oath of Buchenwald” in their respective languages. In it, they swore: “We will only stop the fight when the last guilty stands before the judges of the nations! The destruction of Nazism with its roots is our slogan. The creating of a new world of peace and freedom is our goal! We owe it to our murdered comrades, their families.”

This oath is the political legacy of antifascists all over the world until today.

A Prague Tragedy – the desecration of the memorial of Marshal Konev

3. April 2020

While all over the world – despite the Corona pandemic – the memory of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe from fascism and war is kept alive, commemorating the victims and honoring the liberators of the anti-Hitler coalition, a Prague district government is indulging in a political scandal that cannot be surpassed in its provincialism and small-mindedness.

Despite international protests and interventions, including to the Czech state government, on Friday 3 April the monument of Marshal Konev, who as supreme commander had achieved the military liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp and Czechoslovakia, was dismantled and transported away. Only a few weeks ago, on 27 January 2020, Czech anti-fascists have honored Marshal Konev at this memorial in memory of the victims of the fascist extermination policy.

Obviously, the district government tried to use the exceptional situation because of the health-related initial restrictions to carry out this desecration of the monument without public protests. Apparently, they wanted to prevent that on the liberation day of the Czech capital or on Victory Day thousands of Prague citizens would again make a pilgrimage to this monument and commemorate the liberators with flowers and other honors.

Following on from the scandalous declaration of the European Parliament on 19 September 2019, which was used as a legitimation, particularly in the Baltic States and in Poland, to remove monuments of remembrance of the liberators, we are now witnessing another appalling example in Prague of the consequences of this historical revisionism.

The FIR and its member federations are however sure that the Czech anti-fascists and many citizens will retain the memory of the liberators despite this outrage and will remember in worthy public forms Marshal Konew and the thousands of fighters in the ranks of the Red Army, who accomplished the liberation achievement.

Greek Resistance fighter Manolis Glezos died at the age of 97

30. März 2020

With deep sorrow, we have to inform, the Greek resistance fighter Manolis Glezos died on Monday at the age of 97 years. He had previously been hospitalized because he had difficulty breathing and chest pain. Glezos was politically active until his old age.

He had become known to a broad public when, together with Apostolos Sandas, he took down the swastika flag from the Athens Acropolis during a life-threatening action on 30 May 1941. It was a symbolic act of resistance against the German occupying forces. Many Greeks followed this example at the time. Up to the present day, Glezos and Santas have been considered a symbol of the resistance of the peoples against fascist foreign rule and oppression. During the war, he was arrested and tortured several times. His younger brother was executed by the occupying forces.

After the liberation of the country from the fascist occupation, Glezos first headed the Communist Party newspaper “Rizospastis” as editor-in-chief. The newspaper was banned in December 1947; in 1948, he was sentenced to death for this activity. Due to strong protests, especially from abroad, this sentence was not carried out. Glezos was not released until July 1954. In the following years he received further long prison sentences for his political activities. Immediately after the military coup on April 21, 1967, he was sent to prison again. It was not until 1971 that he was released through a general amnesty. He was sentenced 28 times for his political activities, including three times to death.

After the fall of the military junta he was, among other things, chairman of the United Democratic Left (DFA) and mayor of the municipality of Apiranthos on Naxos, where he was born. He was first elected to the European Parliament in 1984 for PASOK. In 2002 he founded the group “Active Citizens”, which cooperated with the then Synaspismos (now SYRIZA). In 2012, he was elected to the Greek Parliament for SYRIZA. He was the oldest member of the European Parliament from 2014 to 7 July 2015.

Despite his old age, in recent years he has always vehemently defended the legitimate demands of the Greek people regarding compensation for the damage caused by the German fascist occupation.

The FIR and its member federations mourn with the family, his fellow combatants and the Greek anti-fascist movement. We will keep an honorable memory of him.

Ältere Nachrichten · Neuere Nachrichten