Ion Hadarca: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact had a crucial impact on our destiny

The period between 1812 and 1918, when Bessarabia had been under Russian domination, represented a period of denationalization, memory erasure and exodus, writer Ion Hadarca stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to the signatory of the Declaration of Independence, the intelligentsia and the clergy suffered the most from the domination of the Russian Empire.

The writer said that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, based on which the spheres of influence were divided in Europe and Bessarabia returned to the USSR, had an evil impact on the native population. Tsarist Russia wanted to destroy the national consciousness in Bessarabia in order to keep the population between the Prut and the Nistru in ignorance and submission, and this policy continued after 1940.

“The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact had a crucial impact on our destiny. There was an intellectual thirst as the language was forbidden in church, in education. But there were also people with ambition, who managed to set an example of verticality. They were also overwhelmingly influential because of their ambition to assert themselves and demonstrate their intellectual capacities and capacities to resist the vicissitudes of history. When Bessarabia was occupied in 1812, it was discussed what the Empire was coming up with in this area, with what message of culture, education, science. The question was whether they had to come up with education and books or something else. They decided not to come with books “so as not to open their eyes”, said the writer, who is a signatory of the Declaration of Independence.

According to Ion Hadârcă, the 22 years during which Bessarabia had been part of the Romanian state represented the golden period of history, when the national identity was saved, and the territory between the Prut and the Nistru witnessed considerable economic, social and cultural development.

“This century, from 1812 to 1918, was a century of denationalization, memory erasure and great exodus. The Soviet gulags began even during the time of Tsarism. Their message was not to come with books, but with new colonies. And they formed the Bulgarian, Gagauz colony in southern Bessarabia and put those seals that we bear to this day. They complicated the destiny of Bessarabia to the extreme. And the interwar period was indeed a golden period. It was then that the national conscience was saved. But after 1944, there was pursued a policy to promote Sovietism, total Russification. After 1944, our intellectuals, the priesthood, school teachers, writers suffered a lot,” said Ion Hadârcă.

The public debate entitled “Consequences of the Union and of the “Reunion-Vossoedinenie”. Comparative analysis. Part II” was the 34th 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.

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