The Guardian 10 August, 2005

German Government
targets anti-fascist federation

Bob Briton

It was only a matter of time before the major capitalist countries got round to their other targets in the so-called "war on terrorism". Last month the German Government acted on advice from one of its spy agencies to declare the Federation of International Resistance Fighters (FIR) an "extremist organisation of the left" and an "enemy of the constitution".

The timing of the decision is galling to progressive people the world over. This is the 60th year since the victory over the Nazi-Fascist governments of most of Europe in WW2 and it assists the growing revisionist trend in the presentation of history to exculpate the Fascists and to slander their opponents.

The selection of the FIR has astonished observers on all sides of politics. It is a federation of 25 organisations in 14 countries. Its structure takes in all those who fought the Nazis and fascists in the war years and is not exclusive to those associated with the Communist-led resistance organisations. What the German government plans to do now that it has singled the FIR out for special consideration is a major concern for the anti-fascists of today.

Federation Secretary-General Ulrich Schnelder has protested to Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schilly and demanded that he produce the evidence to support the claims of anti-democratic activities on the part of the FIR. There has been no response to date.

Meanwhile, protests to the German government and expressions of solidarity with the FIR have been flooding in from all over the world. In its message of support, the Portuguese Communist Party reflected on its own long struggle with fascism:

"The PCP, which is proud to have given a decisive contribution in the resistance struggle against the fascist dictatorship of Salazar and Caetano in Portugal during 48 long years, cannot refrain from expressing its strongest protest and condemnation in view of such unprecedented and unacceptable measure and expresses its solidarity with FIR of which the Union of Portuguese Anti-fascist Resistance Fighters (URAP) is a member as well as with all anti-fascist fighters around the world. Such solidarity is all the more appropriate when, together with this illegitimate action by the German authorities, we witness a flare-up of the activity of extreme right-wing forces that is met with passiveness and tolerance by the political leaders of that country."

The FIR has called on all progressive and democratic people and organisations to send messages of protest about this outrage to the German government and the European parliament and to send copies to the federation at bundesbuero@vvn-bda.deand info@solidnet.orgif you have access to the internet. Send you protest to:

Ambassador Mr Martin Lutz
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
119 Empire Circuit Yarralumla
ACT 2600

Ph: 02 6270 1911
Fax: 02 6270 1951


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