“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,” he said on Wednesday, speaking at the Second World War exhibit at UN Headquarters in New York.
He also highlighted the fact that it was the Soviet Union which had made “by far” the greatest sacrifice in terms of military effort and losses sustained during the war against Nazi Germany, until its unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
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 — Secretary-General Guterres
Recalling the “unimaginable, devastating destruction”, the UN chief said: “We absolutely need to make sure that in the world, these kind of events do not take place anymore.”
Mr. Guterres pointed out that Neo-Nazi messages have recently been resurfacing. He pointed to political movements that either claim neo-Nazi affiliation, or make use of its symbols and hateful language.
“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,” he said.
He said that the memory of those who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War should help us “to defeat any form of neo-Nazism in today’s time.”
Stipulating that the worst crime of all perpetrated by the Nazis was the Holocaust, he warned that “anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred” were “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 for ever,” said the Secretary-General.
“It is our duty to do it”, because we cannot accept the return of these ideologies, he concluded.