“No matter how many years go by, the victory against fascism and Nazism of Hitler’s Germany will always constitute one of the greatest collective achievements of mankind,” President’s Office Director Panayiotis Andreou said on Wednesday.
Andreou was speaking at a Nicosia World War II veterans event marking the 69th anniversary of the anti-fascist victory.
Conveying President Nicos Anastasiades’ greetings to the veterans, Andreou said the president was on an official visit to “democratic, friendly and ally Germany from which Cyprus expects support and solidarity in order to overcome the big political and financial problems it faces” and a joint ally in the EU.
He said the people and government of today have a duty to keep the memory of those who suffered as a result of the rise of fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany: “To preserve the memory of the millions of victims of the most bloody war in world history. To remember the devastation that humanity has experienced and to strive to prevent behaviours that could lead to similar situations.”
Andreou noted that World War II had a staggering effect in Cyprus after Greece’s October 28, 1940 decision to resist.
He said: “For a small island and a small in size but large in spirit people, the price of this participation was heavy. From a Cypriot volunteer force that was nearly 20,000 men and women, and a number of 10,000 Cypriots who lived abroad and were enlisted in the armed forces of the countries they had lived in, more than 2,500 were captured, hundreds were injured and more than 600 are lying dead at 56 cemeteries in 17 different countries.”
Yesterday’s event was organised by the WWII Cyprus Veterans’ Association.