The largest wave of deportations that took place in Bessarabia on July 6, 1949 was a crime of a whole chain of wrongdoings and genocide actions staged by the Soviet regime, Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu stated in the requiem held near the Monument to Victims of Communist Deportations situated close to the Chisinau Railway Terminal, IPN reports.
“The arrests were made at night with the assistance of soldiers who came to villages by cars. Some of those who tried to flee were shot dead. Over 35,000 people were taken from their homes without being allowed to take reserves with them and were put by force into cattle wagons and transported to another corner of the world. Some of them died on the way from cold, hunger and disease, in cattle wagons,” stated Igor Grosu, noting that it is our duty to help the survivors and to keep in mind the horrors of those times.
The official said that Parliament adopted a law providing that all the children born in places of repression or on the way to them will be recognized as victims of political repression. “Keeping memory alive is the only guarantee that those horrors will not repeat,” said the Speaker.
Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița said that 73 years ago this piece of land was hit by an unimaginable tragedy. “On the night of July 6, 1949, during only several hours, the Soviets put almost 36,000 people into wagons and took them to the swamps of Siberia and the deserts of Kazakhstan. It took them two years to return home to start everything from zero. Many were tortured and shot dead on the way. Those deported included hardworking people, women, children, older persons. They were innocent people whose destinies were destroyed and lives ended without any right,“ stated the official, noting that nothing can heal the wounds and compensate for the made sacrifices, but we must keep the memory alive.
For his part, Minister of Culture Sergiu Prodan said that there are things we must not forget as they represent the essence and identity of our nation. “The best qualities of the people nowadays derive from those tragic events as do the worst qualities. This story is about us, not about executioners. It is about our people, about how they behaved as there were not only victims, but also collaborationists who pointed the finger, compiled lists and organized those events,” stated Sergiu Prodan.
Priest Ioan Ciuntu, bishop of the Chisinau Cathedral “Saint Teodora de la Sihla”, who officiated at a service in memory of the deportees, said that we have large eyes, but see narrowly. The persons who were deported and their descendants should be invited to schools to tell students about this drama so that it never repeats again.
The second wave of deportations of July 6, 1949 is considered the greatest operation to deport Bessarabians, known as the IUG (South) operation. The deportations from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina were a form of political repression organized by the Soviet authorities. An exact figure of those who were deported is not known. It was estimated that several hundred thousand people were deported in the period between June 28, 1940 and March 5, 1953, by three waves.
The Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism has been celebrated annually in Moldova on July 6 since 1990.