KFSR says no pensions for Nazi collaborators

Post date: 14/12/2015

The following press statement has been issued by the KFSR, the IBMT's sister organisation in Germany:

The members of the German association Fighters and Friends of the Spanish Republic 1936-1939 (KFSR) vigorously protest German government pension payments, 70 years after the end of World War Two, to Spanish collaborators with the Nazis and their family members.

We find it scandalous that it has no intention of ending such payments to former members of the Blue Division, as it indicates in its response to an inquiry by the Bundestag caucus of the party Die Linke on November 3 2015. 

The KFSR demands that the government revoke the 1962 treaty between the Adenauer government and General Franco, which was never altered by any later government and is still in force today. The continuation of this treaty sends a political message which is wrong and damaging.

Next year, in 2016, democratic-minded people in many countries will recall the 80th anniversary of the putsch by reactionary generals which resulted, less than three years later, in the destruction of the Second Spanish Republic. General Franco demonstrated his gratitude for the support of this putsch by the fascist government in Germany and Italy by sending the Blue Division to support the invasion of the USSR. 

After its soldiers were finally withdrawn from the front many of them joined the Waffen SS and participated in its horrendous actions.  

When asked in the Bundestag about war crimes known to have been committed by members of the Blue Division, the official response was: “The Federal Government has no information about any war crimes committed by members of the Blue Division.” 

But this armed unit, formed so soon after the attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, took part in the 900-day siege of Leningrad which, it is estimated, cost more than one million lives. Does the Federal Government no longer consider this siege to be a war crime? They should certainly know better; in his speech to the German Bundestag on January 27 2014, on the occasion of a Memorial Day for the Victims of National Socialism and recalling the end of the Leningrad siege by the fascist Wehrmacht, the 95-year-old Russian author Daniil Granin shared with the Bundestag and members of the Federal Government his recollections of this tragic, so terribly cruel blockade carried out by German and also Spanish fascists. 

It is high time to finally end all pension payments to fascist collaborators, either in Spain or in Belgium, and to rapidly arrange for any and all legal international requirements for accomplishing this. At the same time, all victims of Nazi terror should be properly recompensed. 

Payments made to forced laborers of World War Two must no longer be taxed by German financial, taxation and social authorities and the relief payments granted victims of the Leningrad Blockade must no longer be reduced by the amount paid them by the Russian government, which effects to collecting taxes on them. Such unwarranted injustices bring to mind the shameful, unworthy treatment afforded to German volunteers who had helped the Spanish Republic, denying them their pensions for many long decades.

October 2016 will also mark the 80th anniversary of the founding of the International Brigades, in which volunteers served who had come to Spain from more than fifty countries to try to save the besieged Spanish Republic. Their battle-cries then were “Viva la República” and “No pasarán!” 

The goals of those volunteers many years ago have remained our goals: freedom, peace, human rights and human dignity, social justice, anti-fascism and international solidarity. The members of the KFSR 1036-1939 consider themselves a part of global internationalist and anti-fascist movements – and honor the volunteers of those years by publicising their goals and opposing any and every manifestation of fascism, neo-fascism and racism. 

Only in this way, and only by working together, will we be able to attain humane social conditions for everyone. 

Berlin, 11.11.2015

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