NEW YORK, May 9 2018-[As delivered] “I believe that today’s commemoration has more meaning than in any of the previous years.
We see a world in which conflict is proliferating, we see a world in which so many wars are taking place, and so I believe it is absolutely essential to remind us all of the lessons of the Second World War that, for the Soviet Union, was considered the Great Patriotic War.
That was an absolutely unimaginable, devastating destruction in the world and I think we need to pay tribute to those that in the Soviet Union at the same time represented the biggest military effort against Nazism, but also by far the biggest number of sacrifices. Sacrifices especially of human lives, but also sacrifices of all kinds, that the Soviet Union has endured in order to defeat Nazism.
We absolutely need to make sure that in the world, this kind of events do not take place anymore.
The second mention is related to the fact that in recent times we see the Neo-Nazi message coming again afloat. We see political movements that either confess their neo-Nazi affiliation, or at least use the symbology, the images, the words, for instance, “blood and soil” – we see it repeated in demonstrations in different parts of the world. This is a cancer that is starting to spread again, and I think it is our duty to do everything possible to make sure that this horrible disease is cured, and the memory of all those that managed to defeat Nazism in 1945, that memory allows us to defeat any form of neo-Nazism in today’s time.
We cannot forget the worst crime of the Nazis, which was of course the Holocaust; it was possible for the Soviet troops still to release a few; unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the Jews and others has been killed. And again, it is interesting to see how hatred, anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred, even anti-Muslims hatred etc, are still again proliferating in the world.
I sincerely hope that the lessons of this May victory, will help us defeat this resurgence of ideas and convictions that I thought had been buried forever. It is our duty to do it, because we cannot accept for these ideologies to come back.
Thank you very much.