On 2 February 1943, the armies of Hitler’s Germany suffered their greatest defeat in World War II at the hands of the heroic people of the Soviet Union led by the Bolshevik Party and Comrade Stalin, at the city of Stalingrad. The military and civilian casualties of this epic struggle that lasted more than 5 months amounted to nearly 2 million people – a mind-boggling figure. The Nazi forces had thrown lakhs of their most tested military forces into their campaign to conquer the socialist Soviet Union. But they were halted at Stalingrad, an industrial city of 500,000 people on the banks of the Volga river, which was the gateway to the rich oil resources of the Caspian region. The rallying cry for the defenders of Stalingrad was Not One Step Back! Over 5 months, the struggle for the city was fought from street to street, building to building, house to house, even as German aircraft pounded the city, reducing most of it to rubble. The people of Stalingrad suffered unimagineable hardship, but they never surrendered. Eventually, the German forces, decimated and encircled, were forced to surrender to the Soviet army.
By all accounts, the defeat suffered by the Nazi fascist forces at Stalingrad was the turning point of World War II. Militarily as well as psychologically, the Hitlerite forces were on the defensive from that point on. Stalingrad was a beacon of hope for all those countries and peoples fighting fascism. It showed what a courageous people, united and led by a staunch Communist Party and determined to defend their socialist motherland, could achieve. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad, Mazdoor Ekta Lehar salutes the indomitable spirit of the Soviet people and the Bolshevik Party led by Stalin. The memory of their victory achieved with such sacrifice will never die.
Today when we commemorate the defeat of Hitlerite fascism, the peoples of the world must recognise that today it is US imperialism that has followed in the inglorious footsteps of German fascism. It is US imperialism that is striving for total world domination, at the cost of the terrible suffering of the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and of anybody who stands in their way. The number of people killed in the wars launched by US imperialism, the number of flourishing cities and countries reduced to ruin, far exceeds the record of atrocities of Hitler and his armies. This does not even include the suffering and tension caused by the newer weapons used by the US imperialists, such as crippling economic sanctions, nuclear blackmail, instigating civil war by using proxy fighters, and trying to engineer “regime change” in countries all over the globe. While Hitler used the bogey of a threat from “Jews” and “communists” to whip up German chauvinism, today imperialism is raising a hue and cry about “Islamic terrorism” to justify its atrocities and blatant assault on the sovereignty of nations.
Just as in the case of Hitler’s adventures, these are not the actions of a single ‘madman’ but are dictated by the calculated interests of the biggest capitalist monopolies. In the conditions of the deepening crisis of capitalism across the world today, the competition among the big capitalist monopolies for complete domination and control over resources and markets is becoming ever more intense. This is the biggest threat to world peace and the sovereignty of countries today.
Unity among the world’s countries and peoples to oppose and fight back the drive for world domination by US imperialism and its allies is the need of the hour. The policy of the Indian ruling class in recent years to draw closer to US imperialism, under the excuse that this would serve India’s “national interests”, is a major obstacle to such unity. The working class and people of India must actively fight this diabolical policy that has been pursued over the last few years by both the Congress-led UPA government and the BJP-led NDA government, and which is a betrayal of the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist and peace-loving traditions of our people. This must be our contribution to the worldwide struggle against imperialism and for the freedom, equality and independence of nations in today’s conditions.