GENEVA, March 3. /TASS/. Representatives of Russia’s Immortal Regiment public movement and their counterparts from Armenia, Israel, Switzerland, and China held the first-ever roundtable conference on the floor of the United Nations on Friday.
The discussion of struggle with the glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism took place at the United Nations’ Geneva headquarters on the sidelines of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
"We moved towards it [the roundtable] for quite some time and from the beginning there was the understanding that a floor created for the maintenance of peace should meet some day with Immortal Regiment, a movement that safeguards peace," State Duma deputy Nikolai Zemtsov told TASS.
He stressed his conviction of the importance of bringing together all the people who remembered Word War II and treasured the victory in it. This was particularly important right now when some European countries permitted the marches of people in SS uniforms on the streets of their capitals and torch processions were taking place in Kiev.
Zemtsov told the gathering about the task of Immortal Regiment movement and voiced the hope they would manage to bring together at the 75th anniversary since VE-Day the representatives of all the 133 countries, which voted for a resolution against the glorification of Nazism at a UN General Assembly session in December 2017.
Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the State Duma foreign policy committee said in his speech he was really glad to see that Immortal Regiment’s efforts had eventually brought it to the UN where it would make a reminder to all the countries about the importance keeping up the memories of victory in WW II.
"I think the international dimension of Immortal Regiment is a logical extension of this genuinely popular movement," he said.
Svetlana Konev, a representative of Immortal Regiment in Switzerland said commemorative ceremonies were held on May 9 in 2016 and 2017 at a memorial cemetery in Basel where Soviet soldiers, who died during World War II, were buried. "Immortal Regiment action will be held for the third time there this year," she said.
Dr. Rachel Schapiro from Israel said the veterans of WW II who fought on the Soviet front and then moved to Israel were considering themselves to be inalienable members of the Russian Union of Veterans. "Former soldiers, workers of the home front, survivors of the Siege of Leningrad, former inmates of camps and ghettoes who live in Israel now feel Russia’s caring attitude," she said.
Schapiro also said it was totally inadmissible to allow a rebirth of the ideology and practice of Nazism. "It’s impossible to wipe out numbers on the hands of former inmates of Nazi camps," she said. "Equally, it’s impossible wipe out our memory about those who won the Great Patriotic War. We get engaged in Immortal Regiment commemorative actions because memory is really immortal and we’ll do everything in our power to bring up you generations on the foundations of historic truth."
Diplomats from Belarus and Venezuela, who spoke at the roundtable, pointed out the importance of counteraction to neo-Nazism and thanked the Russian mission for organizing the conference.