Alecu Reniță on 1903 pogrom: Authorities failed to stop bloodshed


To avoid tragic events like the 1903 Chisinau pogrom from happening again, it is crucial for our society to learn from history and speak with arguments about the past using reliable sources, stated journalist and ex-lawmaker Alecu Reniță during an IPN debate on Wednesday.

Alecu Reniță says that in Russia there have been members of the intellectual elite who protested vehemently against the crimes and violence that happened in Chisinau. “The enlightened minds of Russia understood that the straitjacket that was placed on all the Russian people, plus the peoples it oppressed, was the autocracy, which is a totally outdated model. In 1825, when the Decembrists wanted to take the first steps towards civilization, they were exterminated, imprisoned and sent to Siberia”, says Alecu Reniță.

The journalist says that there have been different ways to manipulate the population since then, including through rumors, launched or supported by the authorities. Moreover, the authorities deliberately did not intervene to stop the bloodshed on the first day of the pogrom. “In the case of the Chisinau pogrom, on the first day when the bloodshed could have been stopped, the authorities did not act”, says Reniță.

He draws the attention of contemporary society to the fact that it is very important to take lessons from history and act so that tragic events, such as the pogrom in Chisinau in 1903, do not take place again.

“A very important lesson is that whenever we forget the past, it cannons into our future, that is, it destroys our future. It is not only a matter of understanding what happened, but also the fact that if we know the past very well, we can counteract some events, which are sometimes cyclical. If we don’t protect ourselves from certain toxic information, it comes in different forms”, says Alecu Reniță.

The journalist believes that in order to learn the lessons of history, it is important to talk about them with arguments, with references to truthful sources, without manipulations and interpretations.

“My native village was next to a Jewish town. Over time, there were no inter-ethnic conflicts in my native village between Romanians and Jews. All these issues were invented, brought and made part of an ideology of hatred, an ideology that would generate the division of society and not let it be united”, stated Alecu Reniță.