“Never Again”

70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War

, by Chris Powers , JEF Deutschland, Les Jeunes Européens - France

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

“Never Again”
On this 8th May, François Hollande delivered a speech at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath l’Arc de Triomphe and recalled how precious is peace for Europeans - Marie-France Durieux

In a common press release, the Jeunes Européens – France and JEF Deutschland have called for “the drawing of lessons from history and to build a stronger Europe” on 8th May 2015, the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and the fall of the Nazi regime. Their position is as follows:

70 years ago to the day was signed the armistice marking the end of the Second World War, thus bringing an end to the most dreadful conflict to which Europe, and even the world, had borne witness. On ‘VE Day’ the continent was freed from the shackles of the Nazi regime, and of the horrors that it had committed, responsible for the deaths of 60 million people and the devastation of our dear continent. Since then, the European project, born just after the end of the war thanks to the optimistic yet realistic vision of our Founding Fathers, has helped us to construct peace and hope upon the ruins and remains of war. It was a risky bet to think that enemies such as France and Germany, in conflict with one another over the centuries, could stop their fighting and, eventually, even to cooperate with one another. None of this would have been a possibility without the European project, the ideals behind which have driven these old enemies to finally consider each other as partners, sharing the same common destiny. This project has progressively brought peace and solidarity on the continent, and in doing so has allowed a truly European community to grow. Establishing long-lasting peace was a crucial step for the building of Europe, as was shown in its being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 ; but it is still far from being sufficient. This is why the Jeunes Européens – France and JEF Deutschland want to remind everyone that only an integrated Europe can ensure tolerance and liberty on the continent. We should constantly keep in mind that no nation should be seen as being superior to others. We should remind ourselves that intolerance, no matter how small, towards a section of the population, can cause wrongs far greater than it is even possible to imagine. We must continue to work together and towards a better mutual understanding, rather than fight because of some over-simplified prejudice. Millions of people died in a war that was declared by a nationalist regime, with an intolerable ideology. Today, the least our societies can do is to prevent extreme political parties from spreading fear and distrust among the people and to claim a country as being ‘theirs’. Les Jeunes Européens - France and JEF Deutschland therefore call upon their governments to respect their obligation to strengthening the European project. Member states like France and Germany should feel responsible toward the development of the European project and use their weight to bring about a mote integrated Europe, in doing so bringing on board all the other member states, especially the smallest among us. We call upon our governments and our civil societies to continue reinforcing the solid relationships that began straight after the Second World War, and in doing so serving as a source of inspiration for the other countries. Les Jeunes Européens - France and JEF Deutschland are certain that the European idea thought of by our Founding Fathers deserves to be defended. They had the strength and the vision to believe in a positive and constructive future for Europe after the most murderous conflict in history. We should be as willing to live up to their convictions and turn their dream into reality. We must build a truly Federal Europe, respectful of the rights of peoples and individuals, guarantor of a genuine ever-lasting peace. It’s the only feasible way of ensuring future generations do not have to bear witness to what devastated the Europe of the past. Never again to war in Europe ! Never Again !

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