Fascism is seen by most as a matter of the past - or if as a matter of the present day history as a matter that is only meaningful for countries which are not "European".
Now, we can obviously debate what we understand under European, and if Fascism has been definitely overcome in this hemisphere. Another point for debate would be if and if so, where supporters of fascist regimes can be found in Europe today - for example there had been some "suspicion" around the role of Western-European industrialists and their links to those who supported the raise of Chilenian fascism under General Pinochet in 1973 - after the socialist President Salvador Allende Gossens had been victim of a insidious murder attack, which - by the way - took place on September the 11th of the said year This should make us thinking even more: the same economic "Master-Plan", developed by the liberal economist Milton Friedman for the fascist Chile and the so-called developed democratic Western World. And of course we have to consider and debate besides such "indirect links" the increasing fascist trends - Haider in Austria, Le Pen in France and not least the various (neo-)fascist parties in Germany and the hostility against people from foreign countries in that nation and others as not least Ireland alike.
Despite these current trends we have to acknowledge in any case the fact that it had been only in 1974 that Fascism had been overcome in Portugal and Greece, 1975 in Spain.
A brief look at a speech by the then Minister for Labour, Evangelos Giannopoulos in connection with the debate of the Green and White Paper on social Policy in Europe can well show how relevant the experience still is. He stated:
'Here would like to mention, or rather to remind older and younger participants, that the Second World War saw our country aligned with the democratic countries - England, the Soviet Union, the United States of America - against Nazism and Fascism, against the axis.
While the countries who were conquered at that time should in some way have picked up the bill, it came about that the United States of America supported Japan and what at the time was Western Germany, so these two countries became economic monsters. Now the competitors of the United States are Germany and Japan, in other words the vanquished countries.
Greece, one of the victors (but at what cost) finds that it is not always being treated fairly today. For one reason or another, it is always Greece that gets the blame, even if it is defending its national interests.' (Speech by the Minister of Labour; in: Commission of the European Communities: European Social Policy - A way forward for the Union. A White Paper. Part B; Brussels, July 27th, 1994; COM 94_333 final /2: 73)
And to fight this battle against discrimination should still be a concern for those of us who honestly want to build a democratic and social European society - open to the world and supporting those who are suppressed.
An important music-document in and for this tradition is the Canto General, an oratorio for two soloists, mixed choir and orchestra. The composer and conductor is the Greek Mikkis Theodorakis, the texts are from Pablo Neruda from Chile. The presentation of the parts of the Canto General that are reproduced here, had been live recorded in 1980 in the Palace of the Republic in the former German Democratic Republic (performed by Maria Farantouri, Heiner Vogt and the Radio Choir Berlin (Taken from a Barbarossa production).