Neo-Fascism Rising 70 Years After?

International conference in St. Petersburg warns against revival of the extreme right.

An international conference „Neo-Fascism in Europe: 70 years later” took place on March 30, 2014 on the personal initiative of Dr. Vladimir Yakunin, Founder and President of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” and Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress. Increasing support for Neo-Nazi and Neo-fascist movements and parties in Europe raised the concern of the initiators and more than 100 participants from different European countries and also from the USA, Canada and Israel.

Before the conference the participants commemorated in a moving ceremony at Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery the 500.000 inhabitants of St. Petersburg who died during the siege of the city by the Nazi aggressors.

In an unanimously adopted resolution the participants recalled that World War II was caused by the Nazi Regime and lead to the dead of 65 million Europeans. They denounced any manifestation of racial, national, religious and ideological intolerance and stressed their adherence to the principles of democracy, rule of law and the protection of human rights. They emphasized the richness of society by diversity of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups and the need of protecting minorities.

As a consequence the conference expressed the firm commitment of the participants to fight any attempt to spread neo-fascist ideologies and their influence on society and pretences on power. The conference appealed to all governments and parliaments to prevent and bloc activities of neo-fascist organizations, not to permit glorification of fascist of the past and to prohibit Nazi manifestations. Parliaments all over the world but in particular in Europe were asked to organize public hearings on the danger of rising neo-fascist and extreme right movements.

On recent events the participants deplored the toll of human lives in Ukraine in the last two months and confirmed their adherence to the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

But clear concern was expressed during the debate by participants, among them former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer, about the participation of an extreme right wing party such as Svoboda in the Ukrainian government.

In conclusion the conference decided to continue as a public initiative against neo-fascism and neo-Nazism and to create a permanent steering committee.