Bartlomiej Zdaniuk: Our peoples went through the grueling experience of totalitarianism


Moldovan citizens must very clearly know who were the victims and who were the aggressors within the Soviet totalitarian regime. Knowledge of the historical past allows the creation of a national identity, which serves as the foundation of any democratic society, said the Polish Ambassador to Moldova, Bartlomiej Zdaniuk. On the eve of August 23, when the victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes are commemorated, the diplomat said that the citizens of Moldova could follow the example of Polish citizens, who know very well the historical realities of the Soviet totalitarian regime.

During the public debate "The burden of contradictory understanding of the problem of victims of totalitarian regimes", held by the IPN News Agency, the Polish ambassador to Moldova said that the people of Moldova and Poland have gone through similar bad historical experiences linked to the Soviet past. The poles have also been subjected to mass deportations and atrocities.

"The impact of totalitarianism on our peoples is absolutely visible today in our lives. Totalitarianism wanted to create a new everything: a new man, a new state, a new way of thinking and wanted to eliminate everything that had existed up until then. Historians have an extremely important role to play in explaining what happened. In addition to the research side of the profession, the popularization aspect is also important. I am proud that in my country, it is well known who is the victim, who is the aggressor, who innitiated the attack and who deported us. You should know that in Poland nobody carries a St George's ribbon", said Bartlomiej Zdaniuk.

The Polish ambassador said that popularizing historical truth should not be left to historians alone. Bringing to light the tragedies of our ancestors should be a priority for ordinary citizens aș well.

"If we want to remain independent and free, while avoiding being slaves to anyone, and instead being masters of our own home, we need to shed light on what happened and talk openly about it. We can't just leave history to historians. That would mean that we abdicate our element of identity. Many people went to prison or to the GULAG, precisely because they wanted to maintain their identity", the diplomat said.

By studying history, the political class and the Moldovan citizens will be able to strengthen their sense of national dignity and will no longer feel inferior to the great powers, the diplomat said.

"Each of us - specialists, politicians and common people - must take an interest in what happened, take the time to learn more about our history and be more educated. Everyone must start with themselves. That will allow us to understand that we are not the puppets of great powers, but on the contrary, we have an identity, we have pride and we have ancestors who behaved with dignity", Zdaniuk said.

The debate entitled "The burden of contradictory understanding of the problem of victims of totalitarian regimes" is the 201st debate in the series "Developing political culture in public debates", organised by the IPN Agency with the support of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation.