Ion Duminică: Parliament should declare August 23 Day of Remembrance for victims of all totalitarian regimes

The Sandu cabinet's 2019 decision to declare August 23 a day of national mourning to commemorate the victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes should be on the Parliament agenda. The legislature should be the body that introduces this day of commemoration into the national calendar. This opinion was expressed by Ion Duminică, PhD in political science. According to him, in order to bring out the historical truth about the atrocities of totalitarian regimes, school textbooks should be amended, while a new generation of historians and teachers should be educated.

a public debate called "The burden of contradictory understanding of the problem of victims of totalitarian regimes", held by the IPN News Agency, participants said that the rehabilitation of victims of totalitarian regimes should start with the official recognition of the atrocities committed by the Stalinist and Nazi regimes.

"Parliament should adopt August 23 as a Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Stalinist and Nazi regimes. A conference should be held on this subject with the participation of historians, who until now have been divided into two camps; it is time for representatives of
both camps to sit down at the same table. We are now at the point where victims are being ranked according to political preferences - some victims are brought forward, while others are hidden. This has to stop", said political scientist Ion Duminică.

The head of the Ethnology Center at the Cultural Heritage Institute said that a first step in officially recognizing the atrocities committed by totalitarian regimes was the Sandu cabinet's decree establishing a day of national mourning. However, Moldova should not stop there.

"In 2019,
for the first time, a dignitary, the then Prime Minister Maia Sandu, initiated the commemoration of the victims of Stalinist and Nazi regimes, which is a European day of remembrance. If we want to align ourselves with the European space, we have to accept this day of commemoration. The 2019 cabinet decision must be translated into a parliamentary decision, because Parliament introduces the days of celebration and commemoration into the national calendar", Duminică said.

According to him, the facts of the repressions of the Soviet and Nazi regimes can no longer be partially presented in history textbooks, which is why school textbooks need to be changed.

"We must have new school textbooks and the issue of Nazism and Stalinism must be dealt with fairly. Until the 1990s, the victims of the Nazi regime were put forward and the deeds of the soldiers were glorified, while the atrocities committed against the civilian population were omitted. After the 1990s, only information about the deportations to Siberia is gradually placed in the public attention spot light, while the subject of organized famine is left outside the Overton window. To present the truth fairly and objectively, we need a new generation of historians and teachers who avoid political dominance when it comes to history", said Duminică.

The public debate on "The burden of contradictory understanding of the problem of victims of totalitarian regimes" is organized by the IPN News Agency, within the framework of the "Development of political culture in public debates" project, supported by the German Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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