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Historian Anatol Petrencu: Those who are nostalgic for USSR idealize a criminal past


https://ipn.md/en/historian-anatol-petrencu-those-who-are-nostalgic-for-ussr-idealize-8004_1091609.html

The first wave of deportations from Bessarabia, of June 1941, was a black page in the history of our nation. By deporting leaders of Bessarabian and Bucovinean villages, they aimed to subdue and scare the population. The president of the Association of Historians of the Republic of Moldova Anatol Petrencu in an interview with  IPN News Agency said the mass deportations and organized famine of 1946-1947 were a cruel method of humiliating and disciplining the native population. Those who are nostalgic for the Soviet Union do nothing but idealize a criminal past.

The horror of the first wave of deportations from Bessarabia and northern Bucovina, of the night of June 13, was organized by the Soviet regime for the new leaders who came to the occupied territories to impose their authority on the native population. The deportations were aimed at destroying the intellectuality and opinion leaders from villages.

“The population between the Prut and the Nistru suffered a lot, especially after June 28, 1940, when the Soviet Union, using the defeat of France, the successes of Germany in Western Europe, gained control over Bessarabia, north Bucovina, Hertsa region. The Penal Code of Ukraine was extended to cover the Moldovan SSR. The NKVD troops came here and started a real hunt for people. The Soviets came with the idea of class enemy and Bessarabians who were decent citizens of Romania were called bourgeoisie leaders and were arrested,” said Anatol Petrencu, noting the goal of the first wave of deportations was to homogenize the occupied territory with what was there in the USSR.

According to official data, over 20,000 people were deported on the night of June 13. Their fate was tragic. Being sent to work in camps in Siberia, most of them didn’t return home. They said the men were taken there first to prepare the place of stay, but these were actually taken to Yekaterinburg, which was then Sverdlovsk, and from there to a network of camps based in Ivdel that was 680 km northwards. Most of them died there in the winter of 1941-1942.

Anatol Petrenco said some of the people’s nostalgia for the Soviet criminal past is unconceivable. Besides mass deportations, the population from the territory between the Prut and the Nistru was subject to cruel humiliation, being destroyed by famine in 1946-1947. “About 200,000 people died then following a well-planned policy to humiliate and discipline the people by famine. That’s why those who are nostalgic for the Soviet Union actually idealize a criminal past. In the Soviet Union, things improved maybe only under
Gorbachev, but before he came to power psychiatry was used for political purposes for those who didn’t share the theses of the Communist Party,” stated the historian.

The interview entitled “Mass deportations as state policy and antidote to nostalgia. Previous and current effects of   deportations” was conducted as part of IPN Agency’s project “100 years of USSR and 31 years without USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras” that is supported by the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”.