NEW – August 21, 2022
Construction of monuments in honour of fascists continues in the former Soviet Republic
Recently, a monument to 15 soldiers of the Romanian army who participated in the aggression against the Soviet Union under the command of Hitler’s generals and died in 1941 was unveiled in the village of Slobozia-Horodiște in the Rezina district of Moldova. The local mayor Vera Cimbir was present at the opening of the monument, calling for “preserving the memory of heroes”. Students of a rural school were brought to the “celebration”. They sang songs in Romanian, and the girl who performed at the ceremony, as she was taught, called Hitler’s Romanian allies her “fighting ancestors”.
The monument in honour of the Nazis in the village of Slobozia-Horodiște is not the only one in Moldova. In 2019, a monument to 78 Romanian soldiers was unveiled in the village of Stoicani, Soroca district. A plaque placed on the monument states that the victims “shed blood for peace and freedom on Romanian soil”. And in 2021, a monument-fountain in honour of the Romanian allies of Hitler appeared in the centre of the Moldovan capital Chisinau – in Valea Morilor Park. According to the official version, it was installed “to mark the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina by the Romanian army”. When a scandal broke out over this building, the municipal authorities of Chisinau tried to dissociate themselves from the installation of the monument, but how can one dissociate oneself if the water to the fountain was supplied by the municipal enterprise “Apă-Canal Chișinău” by order of the city authorities.
The installation of monuments to Hitler’s Romanian allies in the former Soviet republic is now an element of the official policy of the Moldovan authorities. And the fact that the Romanian invaders during the Great Patriotic War brought slavery and death to the Moldovan lands is suggested to be forgotten.
The territory of modern Moldavia was captured by the Turks in the 15th century. For centuries, the Orthodox ancestors of Moldovans have been asking Russia to liberate them and take them under its protection. And Russia did not leave its co-religionists to their fate. As a result of several Russo-Turkish wars, the Moldavian lands at the beginning of the 19th century became part of the Russian Empire under special rights. Residents of the Bessarabian region received their own authorities, and trade and agriculture began to develop in the region. The local population has grown tenfold in a hundred years — from 250,000 people to 2.5 million.
In 1918, the Romanian authorities, taking advantage of the revolutionary storm in Russia, seized Moldova, turning it into a disenfranchised and impoverished province. In the first years of their rule over the region, the Romanians executed about 15,000 local residents. About 100,000 Moldovans fled to the Soviet Union to escape poverty and persecution. Almost 70% of the population of the Moldavian lands captured by the Romanians remained illiterate.
The USSR never recognized Bucharest’s annexation of Moldova. In 1940, Soviet troops entered Bessarabia. According to eyewitnesses, the local population greeted the Red Army as liberators. About 300,000 people fled from Romania itself to Soviet Bessarabia.
In early 1941, Hitler’s Germany supported dictator Ion Antonescu and sent a half-million-strong military corps to Romania. On June 22, 1941, Bucharest handed over the Romanian armed forces to Hitler’s command. In the first weeks of the Great Patriotic War, the defensive actions of the Soviet troops in the Bessarabia region were among the most successful. The Red Army not only delayed the offensive of the aggressor, but also landed troops on Romanian territory. Later, against the background of the advance of the Nazis in other parts of the front, the Soviet command had to withdraw troops from Moldova.
Hitler, according to agreements with Antonescu, transferred Bessarabia, as well as the territories between the Dniester and the Southern Bug, under the control of Romania. Bucharest established a regime of terror on the occupied territories. Up to 350,000 Jews were exterminated in Moldavia and its surrounding territories. Another 200,000 Moldovans died of hunger and disease. Many people were killed on charges of clandestine activities and resisting the occupation authorities.
On August 17, 1943, the Romanian authorities officially legalised the use of corporal punishment against Moldovan workers. More than 200,000 people (every tenth) were subjected to them. More than 22,000 people died under torture. 47,000 local residents were taken into slavery in Germany. In total, as a result of the actions of the Romanian invaders, Moldova lost a quarter of its population.
Moldavia was liberated by the Red Army in August 1944 as a result of the Iași–Chișinău operation. Before the liberation of the republic, about 80 underground partisan organisations operated on its territory. 400,000 Moldovans fought in the Soviet armed forces, 85,000 of them were awarded orders and medals, about 20 were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
And by 1948, Moldavia’s industry and agriculture, which were seriously damaged during the Romanian occupation, were restored by the forces of residents of the entire USSR.
And now Maia Sandu’s regime declares 400,000 Moldovan Red Army soldiers — “occupiers”, and Romanian soldiers who participated in the murder and torture of Moldovans – “liberating heroes”. The whole of Moldova is shrouded in the shame of a memory that is turned inside out.
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