On the occasion of the International Day against fascism, antisemitism and xenophobia, which is celebrated on 9 November all over Europe, Centre for civic education (CCE) recalls the need for constant work on building society released from all forms of hatred, which has led to armed conflict and claimed thousands of lives in our region not so long ago, but that is expressed towards certain social groups even today in Montenegro.
Montenegro is deeply involved into process of European integration and development of democratic society with full respect for human rights, but fascism and xenophobia are not our past. On the contrary, these are coming back more frequently in different forms, which should serve as warning to all citizens of Montenegro to actively participate in the fight against intolerance, discrimination, nationalism and hatred directed toward an individual or group differences.
International day against fascism, antisemitism and xenophobia, was established as memorization of the victims of Kristallnacht. The violence that happened on German streets and squares on 9 November 1938 marked the beginning of state, organized, legally legitimized and publicly supported persecution of Jews that ended with killing of six million of innocent men, women and children. In history, this pogrom is known as “Kristallnacht”, because of broken glass on the windows of shops whose owners were Jews.
CCE recalls that in the 90s in Montenegro and other countries of the former Yugoslavia, houses were burnt and people kidnapped, exiled, tortured and killed just because they were different nationalities or religions. Today, more than twenty years after the wars, we witness discovery of mass graves and places of suffering of thousands of people, which proves how the fight against all forms of hatred and fascistic ideas must be strong, united and determined.
CCE expresses concern over the expression of fascistic rhetoric amongst youth in Montenegro, primarily directed to LGBT community, but also often to their peers of different national, ethnic or religious affiliation. That’s why learning about the Holocaust and crimes in general, and especially those from the wars that only twenty years ago ravaged the former Yugoslavia, must be included in the official education programmes to encourage understanding, tolerance and compassion to all those who have died. Only in that way we, as a society, we can systematically influence prevention of new conflicts and intolerance.
Kristallnacht, but also all subsequent mass crimes and destructions from our recent war past, are reminder to think again about the dimension what one wrong ideology has done to mankind half a century ago, during the wars of the 90s in the former Yugoslavia, but also what is still hapenning today under the rush of various expressions of fascism.