„The fascist beast is not dead yet“

1. März 2023

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Vergangenes Wochenende nahmen Mitglieder der VVN-BdA bei den Protesten gegen den Lukov-Marsch in Sofia teil, hier veröffentlichen wir ihre Rede. Seit 20 Jahren versammeln sich in der bulgarischen Hauptstadt Neonazis aus verschiedenen europäischen Ländern, um dem Faschisten Hristo Lukov zu gedenken.

„We are here today to protest together with our Bulgarian comrades against the so-called Lukov-March and we are happy to be here today to support you in your antifascist demonstration in the streets of Sofia.

We are here today as members of the Association of the Persecuted of the Nazi Regime – League of Antifascists (VVN-BdA). It is the oldest and largest anti-fascist organization in Germany, founded after the end of World War II by survivors, resistance fighters, partisans and members of the armies of the anti-Hitler coalition. In the 1970s, it opened up to the next generation of antifascists. Today we are several generations standing together against old and new Nazis in Germany and beyond, despite different political, social or religious backgrounds.

While neo-Nazis from all over Europe are gathering in Sofia to glorify a fascist who participated in the mass murder of Bulgarian Jews committed by the German fascists and their collaborators, we remember the millions of people killed by the Nazis. Their losses, suffering and pain are incomprehensible and we will not forget them. The Holocaust, the killings of Sinti and Roma, of Homosexuals, Communists, Social-Democrats, liberal Democrats, Slavic people, religious minorities and all those who didn’t fit into the propagated picture of a white superior Aryan race would have continued if not resistance fighters, partisans and the allied armies would have joined forces to stop fascism and its program of extinction. We remember these antifascists and due respect to them. Among them was Violeta Yokova, a Jewish communist and partisan, who shot Bulgarian Minister of War and leader of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions (UBNL) Hristo Lukov in front of his house in February 1943.

We protest today together with our Bulgarian comrades aganist the Lukov-March because we know that the fascist beast is not dead yet. In every European country there are thousands of fascists who spread anti-Semitic hatred, racism and social Darwinism in the streets, on the Internet or in parliaments. They deny the existence of the Holocaust or make fun of those who were murdered. And today they are a threat to the lives and safety of migrants, feminists and queers, homeless people and others who do not fit into their narrow nacionalist and inhuman worldview.

On some occasions, such as the so-called Lukov-March, they glorify Nazism and refer in a very positive way to the mass crimes committed by fascists in the 1930s and 1940s.

These events take place all over Europe, for example in Germany, Austria, Latvia an Hungary.
For example at the so-called Day of Honor two weeks ago, when thousands of fascists gathered in Budapest. The organizers included the neo-Nazi group Legio Hungaria and Blood and Honour Ungaria, which is part of a vast worldwide network of militant fascists. These people commemorate the German Wehrmacht soldiers, SS-men and hunguarian fascists who died in 1945 in a senseless battle and while trying to escape encirclement by the Red Army. The unspeakable atrocities committed by the Germans and their international collaborators are not mentioned with a single word. This year we managed to disrupt their commemoration. They could not hold it in the city center, but had to move to the forest outside the city. But I also have to say, that we could not stop them from their historical reenactemnt Event, in which they do a hike in historical uniforms of SS and Wehrmacht. At this event they show symbols that are forbidden in Germany because they represent an organization that played a decisive role in the genocide. This is part of the normalization of militarism and fascism throughout Europe.

German Nazis were also in Budapest and are also in Sofia this weekend. For them these events are very important to network, to be able to glorify Nazis with impunity and to reinforce each other’s views.

However, as international antifascists, we will no longer accept this. As part of the Stop Nazi Glorification campaign, which unites antifascists from Austria and Germany, we have protested together with our Hungarian friends and we are here today. Together we want to disrupt or at least interrupt these neo-Nazi events anytime and anywhere. In the end, solidarity is stronger than nationalism.

Fascism is not an opinion, but a crime.“