Hundreds gathered on a cold and wet March day in 2015, at Highgate Cemetery (North London), around the grave of Karl Marx (1818-1883), to hear the keynote speaker – Prof. Yuri Emelyanov – the current head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the former head of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. and leader of the Communist Party of Russia. He is an eminent, world renowned academic, with many works published under his name.
The second speaker was Jean Turner of the Communist Party of Britain. The audience was made-up of individuals and groups from around the UK and the world. Communist and Socialist Parties – such as that of Vietnam, Sudan, Turkey, Iraq, and Malaysia – sent delegations to lay flowers on the Marx Memorial.
Prof. Yury Emelyanov spoke passionately about the 27 million men, women, and children who died in the Soviet Union defending themselves against Nazi German fascism. As well as this appalling death-toll, the Professor reminded the audience that tens of millions more were maimed and wounded. This Soviet sacrifice effectively saved the liberal democracies of the West from destruction at the time, and was awarded by Winston Churchill and Harry Truman with a vicious US-backed policy of aggression and misrepresentation over the following decades, that eventually led to the eventual collapse of the USSR in 1991. Today, fascism is on the rise again in the UK, Europe, and the world, and it is emanating from the far-rightwing policies of the national governments of the UK and USA. Just as the works of Karl Marx inspired the Soviet soldiers to resist to the very end – the printing presses on the frontlines continued to pour out biographies of Marx for the soldiers to read whilst waiting to meet the enemy. Fascism was defeated by the USSR in 1945 – but it is back today with its racism and hatred. The workers of the world must unite to defeat this new threat.