OSCE resolution equating Stalinism with Nazism


Russia continues to react angrily to last week’s Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) resolution likening Stalinism to Nazism.
"We consider unacceptable the fact that in the OSCE's parliamentary assembly resolution there is an attempt to distort history with political goals," said Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko on Thursday. "This does not contribute to creating an atmosphere of trust and cooperation between the member states of this body," he added.
Earlier this week lawmakers from Russia's two chambers of parliament said in a statement that the OSCE resolution was a "direct insult to the memory of millions" of Soviet soldiers who "gave their lives for the freedom of Europe from the fascist yoke."
The parliamentary assembly of the 56-nation OSCE passed the resolution last Friday at a meeting in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius by an overwhelming majority.
The resolution would make August 23 a day of remembrance for victims of Stalinism and Nazism. That's the day in 1939 that Germany and the Soviet Union signed a pact carving up Eastern Europe between them. World War II started just over a week later.

Resolution condemns Stalinism
The resolution, proposed by Lithuania and fellow ex-communist state Slovenia, said 20th-century Europe had faced "two major totalitarian regimes, the Nazi and the Stalinist, which brought genocide, violations of human rights and freedoms, war crimes and crimes against humanity."
It urged all OSCE members to take a "united stand against all totalitarian rule from whatever ideological background" and slammed the "glorification of totalitarian regimes, including the holding of public demonstrations glorifying the Nazi or Stalinist past."
"The adoption of this resolution means that a 56-nation alliance has condemned Stalinism, and that's crucial," said Lithuanian lawmaker Vilija Aleknaite-Abramikiene, who drafted it.
Moscow's delegation boycotted the vote on the final day of a week-long session of the OSCE's parliamentary assembly after failing to have the resolution withdrawn. Russia resists fiercely any attempt to equate the regimes of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
The OSCE assembly comprises 320 lawmakers. Just eight voted against the resolution and four abstained.
Among the opponents was Michel Billout, a French Communist Party lawmaker. "This resolution confuses Nazism and Stalinism," he told reporters. "That won't help to build a future where we're able to stop these crimes recurring."

Stalin remains a hero to many Russians
Despite being blamed for the deaths of millions of people through purges and forced collectivism under his rule, Stalin remains a hero for many Russians for his role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II.
He came third in a nationwide poll last year to find Russia's greatest-ever personality.
However, he is vilified in Eastern Europe for imposing dictatorial Communist regimes across the region that remained in power until the 1980s.
In May, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the formation of a commission to defend Russia from historical "falsifications," and promote Moscow's view that its role in the World War II was heroic and beyond reproach, given the immense human cost sustained by Soviet forces in pushing back Nazi Germany.
The government also brought forward a controversial bill that would make it a crime punishable by up to three years in prison to "rehabilitate Nazism" by denying the Soviet Union's role in the World War II victory over Germany.








VILNIUS, 29 JUNE to 3 JULY 2009


1. Recalling the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Helsinki Final
Act and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights,

2. Taking into account the developments that have taken place in the OSCE area in the
20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain,

3. Noting that in the twentieth century European countries experienced two major
totalitarian regimes, Nazi and Stalinist, which brought about genocide, violations of
human rights and freedoms, war crimes and crimes against humanity,

4. Acknowledging the uniqueness of the Holocaust, reminding participating States of its
impact and the continued acts of anti-Semitism occurring throughout the 56-nation OSCE
region, and strongly encouraging the vigorous implementation of the resolutions on anti-
Semitism adopted unanimously by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly since the
2002 Annual Session in Berlin,

5. Reminding the OSCE participating States of their commitment “to clearly and
unequivocally condemn totalitarianism” (1990 Copenhagen Document),

6. Recalling that awareness of history helps to prevent the recurrence of similar crimes in
the future, and that an honest and thorough debate on history will facilitate reconciliation
based on truth and remembrance,

7. Aware that the transition from communist dictatorships to democracy cannot take place in
one day, and that it also has to take into account the historical and cultural backgrounds
of the countries concerned,

8. Emphasising, however, that it is the obligation of governments and all sectors of society
to strive tirelessly towards achieving a truly democratic system that fully respects human
rights, without making differences in political culture and tradition a pretext for the non-
implementation of commitments,

9. Deploring that in many countries, including some with long-standing democratic
traditions, civil liberties are in renewed danger, often because of measures taken to
counter so-called “new threats”,

10. Recalling the initiative of the European Parliament to proclaim 23 August, when the
Ribbentrop–Molotov Pact was signed 70 years ago, as a Europe-wide Day of
Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, in order to preserve the memory of
the victims of mass deportations and exterminations,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

11. Reconfirms its united stand against all totalitarian rule from whatever ideological

12. Calls on participating States to honour and implement all commitments undertaken in
good faith;

13. Urges the participating States:

a. to continue research into and raise public awareness of the totalitarian legacy;
b. to develop and improve educational tools, programmes and activities, most notably
for younger generations, on totalitarian history, human dignity, human rights and
fundamental freedoms, pluralism, democracy and tolerance;
c. to promote and support activities of NGOs which are engaged in areas of research and
raising public awareness about crimes committed by totalitarian regimes;

14. Requests governments and parliaments of participating States to ensure that any
governmental structures and patterns of behaviour that resist full democratisation or
perpetuate, or embellish, or seek a return to, or extend into the future, totalitarian rule are
fully dismantled;

15. Further requests governments and parliaments of participating States to fully dismantle
all structures and patterns of behaviour that have their roots in abusing human rights;

16. Reiterates its call upon all participating States to open their historical and political

17. Expresses deep concern at the glorification of the totalitarian regimes, including the
holding of public demonstrations glorifying the Nazi or Stalinist past, as well as the
possible spread and strengthening of various extremist movements and groups, including
neo-Nazis and skinheads;

18. Calls upon participating States to pursue policies against xenophobia and aggressive
nationalism and take more effective measures to combat these phenomena;

19. Asks for a greater respect in all participating States for human rights and civil liberties,
even in difficult times of terrorist threats, economic crisis, ecological disasters and mass