Consequences of Union and of “Reunion-Vossoedinenie”. Comparative analysis, part I. IPN debate

Two historical dates are marked at the intersection of March and April. On the one hand, 106 years since the Union of 1918 were observed on March 27 (April 9 according to New Style). On the other hand, 78 years since the beginning of the famine organized on Moldovan land in 1946-1947 were celebrated at the end of April. They are events and phenomena from different historical periods, from different state formations, even from different civilizational worlds and universes. However, in order to better understand the impact that each of them had on Moldovan society, it is useful to analyze them jointly, but also in the context of the periods they were part of. A comparative analysis of these two periods from political, social and economic viewpoints was made by the participants in IPN’s public debate “Consequences of the Union and of the “Reunion-Vossoedinenie”. Comparative analysis. Part I”. In the second part of the debate on Wednesday, the fields of culture, education and research, as well as issues related to the national identity of Moldovans will be in the focus.

The permanent expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan said that the Union of 1918 was a historical, political and legal act voted by the representative body of the Moldovan Democratic Republic –  People’s Council. On behalf of the people of Bessarabia, the Council declared that: “The Moldavian Democratic Republic (Bessarabia) within its borders between the Prut, the Nistru, the Danube, the Black Sea and the old borders with Austria, detached by Russia over a hundred years ago from the body of old Molavia, in the power of historical law and the right of the nation, based on the principle that the peoples alone decide their fate, from now on and forever unites with its mother Romania”. “It was an act of reparation, if we can say so, after Russia separated from Moldova’s body its eastern part, between the Prut and the Nistru Rivers,” noted the expert.

As for the “Vossoedinenie” of 1940, Igor Boțan said that it goes to the implementation of the provisions of the Soviet-Nazi Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, specifically of the provisions of its secret protocol, paragraph 3 of which stated the following: “Regarding Southeastern Europe on the Soviet side, the USSR’s interest in Bessarabia is emphasized. On the part of Germany, there is total lack of political interest in this region. Both of the sides pledged to keep that document in absolute secrecy.”  It was land theft, occupation that began with Poland, followed by Finland, then the Baltic States and Bessarabia.

“If we talk about the human rights, they are usually understood as absolutely fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled, simply because he or she is a human being. Human rights are thus seen as universal and are applied everywhere and equally – they are the same for all. These rights can exist as natural rights or as legal rights, both in national and international legislation,” said Igor Boțan.

Habilitated doctor of history Nicolae Enciu, a senior scientific researcher at the Institute of History of the Moldova State University, said that, in fact, the concept of the Union applies perfectly to 1918 and to what happened in Bessarabia – the March 27 decision of the People’s Council to unite Bessarabia, more precisely the Moldavian Democratic Republic with Romania. “It is the central event of the twentieth century for the population of this space as it has shaped the destiny over decades up to the present. It was a union, unquestionably. Why? I must note that Soviet historiography, for example, mentioned the annexation of Bessarabia. And it does not require much effort to prove that it was a union because it was a recognized legislative body, constituted on legal bases, proportionally represented by all categories and socio-professional groups, which had the prerogative to decide the present and future of Bessarabia,” explained Nicolae Enciu.

According to him, Soviet historians, but also some of the historians today, noted that it was an occupation, which is not correct as the Romanian troops entered the territory of Bessarabia at the call and request of the legal bodies of Bessarabia at the end of 1917 or the beginning of 1918. And there was no occupation because the Romanian troops ensured order and peace at that time to enable the population of Bessarabia and the People’s Council to decide in complete freedom.

“The event of 1940 can by no means be called “Reunion”. “Reunion” or “Vossoedinenie” is a Soviet concept. It was also called “liberation”, as if Bessarabia was liberated in 1940. I, too, would wonder what kind of liberation it was in 1940, and which historian could explain this? Liberation involves liberating a territory from the occupation of a foreign army or the occupation of a foreign administration. It involves granting the population of this territory the right and freedoms to decide their present and future. However, in 1940, this alleged liberation, “Vossoedinenie”, happened as a result of an odious pact of August 23, 1939 between Hitler and Stalin. The spheres of influence were divided. And if it was liberation, why weren’t the provisions of the secret annex to that Soviet-German treaty made public? It was only during the years of “perestroika” that these secret provisions were made known. What kind of liberation” he wondered.

Nicolae Enciu argued that true liberation implies freedom for the population and for the local administration of the territory. But the Soviets brought this “Vossoedinenie” with the Red Army troops and stationed them in the territory of the former Bessarabia. And they are stationed until now on the left side of the Nistru. “It wasn’t liberation with troops on the territory of the former Bessarabia. Moreover, with what Bessarabia was with that “Vossoedinenia”, in the autumn of 1940 it remained without three counties in the south and one county in the north. It was territorial dismemberment of Bessarabia and the creation of the so-called Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic, which was not functional from the very beginning”, said the habilitated doctor of history.

Political commentator Anatol Țăranu, PhD in history, noted the need to look at historical events from the perspective of the time in which they occurred and not from today’s norms because they are different things. Also, science and historical knowledge consist of two main components and this is an extremely important fact. One component is the objective part related to what are called documents, material vestiges, that is what cannot be changed – the event as it occurred and as it is reflected in the documentary basis used by any historian operates. The second component is the subjective part, which consists in interpreting the historical event. This is where subjectivity begins. National history has always interpreted history from the point of view of the national interest. And historical science or historical knowledge is closer to reality if the interpretation does not depart very far from the objective side of things, that is from documents and events as they occurred.

“About the Union of 1918, it’s true that in our space, in the Republic of Moldova, in the Moldovan society two approaches to this historical event continue existing. One approach is the one we inherited from Soviet historiography and ideology, even from Soviet propaganda, which treats the act of March 27, 1918 as a traitorous act, which practically led to the subjugation of Bessarabia by Romania. And the interpretation from the point of view of the national interest, of what the people of this state are and what the great nation, of which we are part, is. I’m referring now to the Moldovan Romanians in the Republic of Moldova – this was the real reunion. In fact, the return of Bessarabia to its national origin space as interpreted by the Declaration of Independence,” said Anatol Țăranu.

According to him, when it comes to the so-called “Vossoedinenie”, which in translation into Romanian means “reunion” – there was no Vossoedinenie, but it was actually a recolonization of this space. “Recolonization is a very precise term and reflects the historical reality. Bessarabia returned in 1940 to its status as a colony. It obtained that status in 1812 after this space was seized by the Russian army. It got rid of the status of colony in 1918, but in 1940 we returned to that status of colony of the Eastern Empire, which was revitalized in 1944. All the policies that were pursued in this space, after 1940-1944, after a short break, were colonial policies, policies of subjugation of this territory and its keeping in the composition of an empire,” said the PhD in history.

“This thing is absolutely obvious and is based on the fundamental documents of the Republic of Moldova. So, there was no “Vossoedinenie”. It was recolonization of this space.

The public debate entitled “Consequences of the Union and of the “Reunion-Vossoedinenie”. Comparative analysis. Part I” was the 33rd installment of IPN’s project “Impact of the past on confidence and peace building processes”, which is carried out with the support of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation.

Вы используете модуль ADS Blocker .
IPN поддерживается от рекламы.
Поддержи свободную прессу!
Некоторые функции могут быть заблокированы, отключите модуль ADS Blocker .
Спасибо за понимание!
Команда IPN.