Centre for Civic Education (CCE) organised a performance ahead of the International Day of fight against Fascism and anti-Semitism – November 9, by commemorating the 77 anniversary of Crystal night as a contribution to memory of the victims of Holocaust. The performance was held on Sunday, 8 November 2015, starting at 14h00, at the Republic Square in Podgorica.
With this performance, CCE reminded that Montenegro has to work continuously on the establishment of society free of any form of hatred pointed towards individual or group diversities. CCE’s activists, along with citizens, addressed the message of peace and handed out promotional material, based on which they underlined the values of equal opportunities, tolerance, solidarity and responsibility. After the performance, CCE Youth group held a discussion focused on the issues of fascism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia and whether the aforementioned issues are present in Montenegro, and how to deal with them, or how to prevent them.
Not so long ago, those same fascist ideas led to armed conflicts in our region and took away countless lives. Unfortunately, those ideas did not fade away, and continue to exist today only in different forms, which should serve as a serious warning to all citizens of Montenegro to participate actively in the fight against the intolerance, discrimination, nationalism and hatred, so that they could contribute in the creation of a genuine democratic society with full respect of human rights, to which we aspire.
CCE conducted this activity within the project “Personal face of resistance and opposition to oppression in the 20th century in Europe”, supported through the European Commission programme Europe for citizens. On each of those events, a joint statement titled „WE REMEMBER VICTIMS AND RESISTANCE” was read.
WE REMEMBER VICTIMS AND RESISTANCE
Statement on the Occasion of the International Day against Fascism and Anti-Semitism
On 9 November we are marking the 77th anniversary of the Crystal Night. On that day the German Nazi regime confirmed the seriousness of their intentions and the decisiveness necessary for acting upon them. Crystal Night is the culmination of a process that lasted several years by which Jews in Germany were placed outside of the law and society. In addition to regulations that limited the possibility for Jews to enroll in universities in many other European countries, Germany was plunging into into violence announcing preparedness to take the most valuable of all rights – the right to life. Before the eyes of the entire world, synagogues, Jewish shops and businesses, homes and schools were burned and destroyed. Jews ended up in the streets; they were humiliated and beaten to death. On 9 November 1938, Europe and the world watched the beginning of their own ending and the downfall of civilisation. Rare were those who lived to see the end of the Second World War and the victory over fascism.
While some remained silent or joined the tyrants during the time of bloodshed, others chose the path of resistance against fascism and Nazism. The majority of Jews who had survived the Holocaust, were saved precisely because they had joined the national liberation struggle. For this reason, while remembering victims of fascism, anti-Semitism and of all collaborationist regimes, we also take the opportunity on the International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism to speak of resistance to fascism at that time, as well as of the importance of support for those who are persecuted today.
Today, xenophobes are creating and deepening divisions where they could hardly be expected. In our societies, instead of mutual respect, members of different nationality, faith, race, gender and sexual orientation are often targets of hate speech. During the current great migrations, some express welcome to refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other countries devastated by war, while others exclude them.
Everyone is responsible for their own reaction to violence and everyone chooses either to ignore it or to show solidarity with the victims. Everyone can stand up against increasingly growing revising of history. We see gathering on the anniversary of Crystal Night as a contribution to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, but also as an invitation to humanize relations among all of us today.
With programs in Zagreb, Beograd, Skopje, Ljubljana, Udine and Podgorica, we mark the 70th anniversary of victory over fascism and the end of the World War II. By remembering the victims and the resistance, we continue to oppose exclusiveness and violence, standing up in defense of human dignity of others and our own dignity.
Tamara Milaš, CCE Programme associte