74 years ago, fascism was defeated in Europe

📷 Yevgeny Khaldei

On May 8th 1945, the Allied Forces of the United Nations, led by the “Big Three” powers of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States, defeated the fascist military alliance known as the “Axis powers” in Europe. This defeat marked the end of the bloodiest conflict in human history, with over 50 million dead throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa alone. The Soviet Union suffered the majority of military and civilian casualties, numbering roughly 27 million people. The gallant efforts of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army led the charge against fascism in Europe toward allied victory, and would go on to secure the continent’s liberty for decades to come.

The onslaught faced by the metropoles in Western Europe also signaled a major defeat for imperialism throughout the world. The end of an era of Western hegemony had begun to take shape, and the European empires of old gave way to new independent and sovereign nations. The devastation and genocide carried out by the Axis powers throughout Europe and Asia would also see the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the transformation of the United Nations (UN) from a military alliance into an international forum for mediation and diplomacy, in order to prevent humanity from ever repeating the atrocities of the past again.

Today, we honor the tremendous sacrifices made by the millions of heroic peoples throughout the world who fought in a united struggle for peace, freedom, and human dignity. We will never forget all of those who bravely took a stand against the crimes of fascist tyranny, and have provided us a framework to usher in a new era of human rights. We owe our lives and liberties to those who sacrificed themselves for these ideals, and we will carry on their legacy.

Approved by the Local Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of Ventura County on May 8th, 2019.

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