Anatol Petrencu: Soviet Union was a state based on fear and blackmail

The Soviet Union was a repressive state and the goal of mass deportations from Bessarabia was to destroy the intellectuality and any voice that was critical of the regime, said historian Anatol Petrencu. According to him, in the memory of native people, the image of the Russians occupies is negative as these committed only offenses on the occupied territory, which is a situation similar to that in Ukraine. In an interview for IPN News Agency, the president of the Association of Historians of the Republic of Moldova Anatol Petrencu said those who are nostalgic for the Soviet period should admit that the then regime was based on terror, fear and blackmail, IPN reports.

In two years of the famine of 1946-1947, another drama of the peasants started in Bessarabia. The largest wave of deportations was staged on July 6, 1949 under an operation coded “Iug” (“South”). Over 11,000 families, 40,000 persons were deported to south Kazakhstan and to the regions of Altai, Kurgan, Tyumen, Tomsk

“The second wave of deportations took place in 1949, when the people already overcame famine. The political and ideological factor related to the collectivization of agriculture was again imposed here. In Bessarabia, in the interwar period the peasants were given by up to 6 ha of land. When the Soviet power came in 1940s, the land was nationalized, but was left to peasants for being cultivated. In 1949, the second wave of deportations was staged for the reason that the people were considered ‘exploiters or kulaks’. It was invoked the exploitation of the person by person. For fear of deportations, the people wrote thousands of applications to enter kolkhozes. The Soviet Union was a state based on fear and blackmail,” stated Anatol Petrencu.

The historian said the criminal operation was organized in secret long before the night of deportations, being planned together with locals who took sides with the regime. The collaborationists compiled the lists of persons who were to be deported given the envy of those who were wealthier. These persons were not forgiven.

The third wave of deportations took place in 1951 and included primarily religious events that were considered a potential danger to the regime. The operation coded “Sever” (“North”) implied the relocation of over 700 families to Siberia.

“The reasons of the third wave were religious in charter. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not vote, do not accept the military service and the Soviets decided to deport them. Along with Jehovah’s Witnesses, there were deported intellectuals, people critical of the regime and with reservations about the policy of the Soviet regime. The consequences of these deportations were catastrophic as the most hardworking people left. The deported people improved the situation in agriculture even at the place of deportation. Those who are now nostalgic should know these things. They should realize that the Soviet Union pursued an aggressive policy,” stated
Anatol Petrencu.

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”.

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