Moldova Commemorates Victims of Soviet Deportations
This was the second and biggest wave of deportations out of the three that the Soviet Union enacted in Moldova. Between 1941 and 1951 there were three waves of deportations, and historians estimate that the total number of deportees was between 80,000 and 120,000.
In the interwar period, Bessarabia, more precisely the territory between the Prut and Dniester rivers, was part of Romania, and most of its population considered themselves Romanian, sharing the same language, traditions and culture. Earlier, however, it had been part of Tsarist Russia and Stalin was determined to add it the USSR.
Last year, the National Archives Agency published the list of people deported between July 6-9, 1949.
"We must keep our deported relatives' memories alive so that the current generations will not know such terror. For many years we were forbidden to talk about the terror that Moldova went through. We were forced to mourn our pain in secret. Today we can do it openly, and we have to do it," Sandu said.
The President also recalled the famine in Bessarabia between December 1946 and August 1947. An average of 425 people died per day.
People visit a memorial exhibition on the victims of the Soviet deportations from Bessarabia [Moldova] organised in Chisinau on July 6, 2023. Photo: Moldovan Government
The local Bessarabian elites and peasants were taken by the Soviets to Siberia to forced labour camps, and their assets were confiscated by the Soviet regime under Stalin.
"Soviet deportations had only one goal: to clean Moldova of intellectuals, people with critical thinking, of peasants who did not want to enter the kolkhoz and anyone who did not agree with the regime," Sandu added.
More than 4,000 members of the Ministry...