Speech of General Secretary Ulrich
Schneider in Auschwitz
May 10, 2015
Secretary-General of the International Federation of Resistance Fighters
Association of Anti-fascists, I am pleased and proud that this
great project of European youth meeting could take place again under
the common slogan of historical commemoration.
It is an impressive activity connected
with the 70th anniversary of liberation from fascism and war, which
is in many countries celebrated as Day of Victory Day,
to commemorate the common European history of the Anti-Hitler-Coalition.
First of all there were the forces of the Allies here in Auschwitz,
the units of the Soviet army who have reached the military
defeat of the fascist Wehrmacht and its collaborators. For this we
have to thank the Allies.
But in all European countries and also
in Italy and Germany have been women and men, they organized the resistance
fight against fascism in power and thus they made their own contributions
for the liberation. They, too, deserve our great thanks.
It is up to us the representatives
of the todays generations with this common activity to
take over from the last survivors of the eyewitnesss generation
the responsibility for the preservation of memory. We and especially
you as later generations should take this knowledge, what you
have kept in preparation for this trip and appropriated today, not
just for yourselves, but pass it to your friends, acquaintances or
Auschwitz is the international symbol
of racist extermination policy, directed against Jewish people, against
Sinti and Roma, against the Slav nations which were regarded as subhuman
being. These prisoners here in Auschwitz were killed by gas and other
mass destruction, but also murdered by the plundering of their labor
for profit, for example for the IG Farben group.
All this we must not forget, if we
want to prevent such things ever again.
But we cannot just remember. We have to realize also that today neo-fascism,
racism, xenophobia, nationalism and right-wing populism in several
European countries raise its head again. Many of you know from our
own countries such neo-fascist groups and movements. Even in the European
Parliament, these forces are represented.
The causes of the revival are different.
There are real political and economic problems in numerous European
countries, to this such groups give racist, nationalist and extreme
right answers. When we realize this, we must look for solutions together,
fighting the real causes of these problems, and not follow the wrong
answers and pied pipers.
For us, the solution is currently:
Fascism is not an opinion but a crime!
Today we are commemorating here in the Memorial Auschwitz. Tomorrow
you will return to your everyday life with the knowledge and
experience that you have collected at this great meeting. Take this
enforcement with you and be active yourselves at home, in your social
circle for the goals of a just, a social, a democratic world.
All survivors of the concentration
camps promised 70 years ago, only to be quiet when the last culprit
stands before the judges of the people. The extermination of
Nazism with its roots is our slogan, creating a new world of peace
and freedom is our goal!
The survivors of the Nazi concentration
camps and prisons will no longer be able to realize this goal. Now
its up to you, dear young fellows, to take over the legacy and
work on it.
We, and I speak on behalf of about
60 member federations of the FIR from 25 European countries, Israel
and Latin America, we count on you.