Tuesday 14 May 2024

Jimi joins international gathering of musicians, artists, academics and historians at second Anti-Fascist Festival of Music and Culture in Samara.



Jimi was honoured to be invited to perform at the second consecutive Anti-Fascist Festival of Music and Culture in the beautiful city of Samara on the banks of the Volga River.

Jimi participated in the inaugural festival last year. This year he was joined by artists and acts from Italy, China, Finland, Serbia, Slovenia Columbia, Montenegro and Russia at the five day festival held in the run-up to VE anniversary commemorations and celebrations on May 8/9.

Jimi and his fellow performers took the stage at over 20 different packed concert halls across the Samara region before joining together for a sell out festival finale in the city's massive ice-hockey arena, headlined by Russian singer and songwriting star 'Shaman'.

Jimi said: "The festival was all about remembering and honouring the millions of people from many countries who fought and, in many cases, gave their lives in the struggle to free Europe from the Nazis in WW2.

"It was great to be back in Samara performing for and alongside many good friends. It was also important, I think, to show solidarity with ordinary Russian people following the terrible recent terrorist attack at the live concert in Moscow. All the shows were packed out with huge appreciative audiences. It was a great privilege to be asked to play a part".

This year's festival also included a conference attended by distinguished academics and historians from many countries including Canada, the UK, Finland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Montenegro and Russia.  Jimi was very humbled to be invited to attend a special conference round table event and give a talk about his recent blogs which revealed that a monument bearing the insignia of a WW2 Nazi Waffen SS volunteer unit - men who swore an oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler - was standing in Scotland. 

Jimi's talk, which included a slide-show, was very well received.

"I was quite nervous beforehand" added Jimi. "I love history, always have, but academic presentations before some of the most knowledgeable living writers on WW2 and Nazi history is another level entirely.

"Fortunately my presentation seemed to go down well. I talked about my revulsion and shame at the discovery that a Nazi monument was standing in my home country. How these men, over 500 of them in Scotland and thousands more throughout the western world, had been allowed to settle and live out their lives without fear of prosecution. I mentioned my dismay at the uncritical reaction from the UK media when it was announced that over £50,000 of UK taxpayers' money had been allocated to upgrade the site. 

"I then went on to talk about the extremely encouraging reaction to my blogs - 20,000 hits and counting, many interesting comments posted and scores of personal messages of support from people in the UK and throughout the world. I talked of my plan to launch a petition calling for the removal of all Nazi insignia at the site and the need to modify sign-posts and a notice board to include details of the crimes against humanity committed by men serving in this particular SS Division".  

Jimi told the conference how, in March of this year, a stone monument bearing the insignia of the same Nazi SS Division had been removed from a private cemetery in Ontario, Canada after a long campaign by ordinary Canadians and the North American branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies. Full story here: https://www.oakvillenews.org/local-news/oakville-monument-honouring-nazi-collaborators-removed-8474982

"I found this news really encouraging" added Jimi. "It shows what can be achieved when a proper public campaign is mounted against the presence of these alien, Nazi objects in our landscapes.

"Slaughtering civilians in cold blood; locking women, children and whole village communities in barns before burning them alive; atrocities like these have long been linked to the men 'honoured' by these particular monuments. How can we call ourselves civilized societies if we allow abominations glorifying women and children killers to stand in our landscapes? "

 Jimi added that numerous investigations by several countries and human rights institutions over many years had proven conclusively that murderous criminal acts were carried out by men serving in this particular SS unit.

"Monuments glorifying Nazi SS veterans would never be tolerated in modern Germany" said Jimi. "Why should we accept it in countries like Canada and the UK where so many of our grandparents/close ancestors fought to defeat the Nazi scourge in Europe."

Jimi said he hoped to reach out to 'like-minded citizens' from across the UK, Canada and also the USA when he launched the campaign. More details to be published here soon.

Jimi's first blog on the SS monument in Scotland can be read here: http://www.jimithepiper.co.uk/2023/12/waffen-ss-ww2-memorial-standing-proud.html  

The second, in response to UK media criticism of his decision to perform at music festivals in Russia can be found here: http://www.jimithepiper.co.uk/2024/01/international-condemnation-to-adolf.html

Jimi added: "I must say for the record that, to the very best of my knowledge, neither newspaper which carried articles attacking me - the 'Scottish Sunday Times' nor the 'Scottish Daily Express'-  made any attempt to contact me for a comment before running their stories. Sad times indeed."

More pictures from the festival and Samara below -

1 comment:

  1. Well done Jimi for your ongoing fearless independence and for standing up for your right to follow your own beliefs and principles in the face of incessant, foundationless attacks by bottom feeding alleged “journalists” merely seeking attention (and income) for themselves. Keep fighting the good fight Jimi 👍🏻