The Workers’ Party of Ireland wishes to acknowledge the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army.

The Nazi occupation of Poland, the mass murder and network of concentration camps it oversaw in Eastern Europe was amongst the most evil and depraved events in human history.

The exclusion of Russia from the Commeration Events is highly ignorant given its role as the primary successor state to the Soviet Union and the great sacrifices rendered by that State’s armed forces and citizens in the struggle against Nazism.

Meanwhile the inclusion of states — Latvia, Ukraine — who openly extol the virtues of their Nazi collaborationist ancestors illustrates that the commemoration has been instrumentalised to fit contemporary political narratives. This does both a disservice to its many, many victims and to those who liberated the camp.

The exclusion of the Russian Federation also removed an opportunity for the parties to the conflict — NATO states, as well as Russia and Ukraine — from engaging in exploratory dialogue that could lead to peace.

Peace is a vital necessity and unless the present conflict is to be seen through to a military conclusion — with all the suffering that this entails — contact between the adversaries is essential.

As such, we call on the Irish government to support the inclusion of Russia in the events in the future and for the labour movement and Communists everywhere to recall the decisive contribution of the USSR to destruction of Nazism.