The Fédération Internationale des Résistants (FIR)

Its activities during the Breakdown of the Soviet Bloc

  • Maximilian Becker
Keywords: Fédération Internationale des Résistants, associations of victims of Nazi persecution, anti-fascist resistance fighters, Holocaust, right-wing extremism, politics of memory

Abstract

This paper offers an analysis of the activities of the communist-dominated Fédération Internationale des Résistants (International Federation of Resistance Movements, FIR), the inter- national umbrella organisation of associations of victims of Nazi persecution from both Eastern and Western Europe between the late 1980s and early 1990s. During this time, the collapse of the Soviet Bloc led to a deep crisis for the Eastern European organisations like the Polish Związek Bojowników o Wolność i Demokrację (Union of Fighters for Freedom and Democracy) representing the former anti-fascist resistance fighters and political prisoners of Nazi concentration camps, which had been part of the communist power apparatus, and therefore of FIR. The organisation, which had been mired in growing financial difficulties for at least two decades, then lost much of its influence and of its potential to spread its mes- sage among the public. Nevertheless, FIR tried to maintain its activities with a special focus on dealing with right-wing extremism, the preservation of the rights and pensions of former resistance fighters, a commitment to peace and disarmament, as well as to the politics of memory.

Published
2019-08-01