Virgiliu Bîrlădeanu: We must detach ourselves from Soviet past and build a European society

The Republic of Moldova must detach itself from the Soviet past and build a democratic and European society. At the same time, the memory of the horrors of the communist regime must be kept alive so that the new generation knows the mistakes of history, Doctor of History Virgiliu Bîrlădeanu stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency. According to him, the initiative to introduce an optional ahool subject dedicated to the study of the communist repression is welcome.

The historian noted that the entire community of researchers in Moldova is making effort to keep alive the memory of the victims of the Soviet regime and this effort must be supported by the state.

“Unfortunately, we do not have in Chisinau an Institute for Research on Totalitarian Crimes similar to the one existing in Romania, but we have an Institute of History that should include all directions. We want to become part of a common platform of Eastern Europe, which has special experience compared to other countries, given the era of communist totalitarianism. In the Republic of Moldova, we are at a point when the generations who experienced, witnessed and were victims of this regime depart this life. Transmitting this memory to the next generations is very important. Otherwise, we risk a repeat,” said the head of the Contemporary History Department of the Institute of History of the Moldova State University.

Virgiliu Birladeanu noted that the experience of the Baltic countries in preserving the memory of the victims of the totalitarian regime should be borrowed by Moldova. By knowing the mistakes of history and avoiding them, a democratic and European society can be built.

“An educational program entitled “On the crimes of communism” is being implemented in Estonia. It is developed with the support of the state and the relevant ministry. We didn’t notice something like this in our country. In Lithuania, in addition to school programs, we also saw entire museum complexes. For example, the Grutas museum in Lithuania, which is a park where all the monuments and vestiges of the Soviet period were accumulated. In the Republic of Moldova, we should also concentrate these monuments in special places, parks. We should make sustainable efforts to organize post-totalitarian memory so that it does not generate nostalgia for the Soviet period and for the Russian Empire. As we set the goal in the political sphere, we must detach ourselves from this past and build a democratic and European society,” said the doctor in history.

Recently, at the insistence of the Association of Former Deportees and Political Prisoners, it was decided to establish an optional school subject dedicated to the study of the repression of the totalitarian communist regime. The initiative is welcomed by the community of historians in the Republic of Moldova.

“The idea of an optional course in schools is very welcome. The Association of Former Deportees and Political Prisoners had long called for the introduction of such a subject in schools, even optionally, because people’s freedom is expressed through freedom of choice. If the children and their parents want to know, they must have this possibility. This information must come through different channels, including through school,” explained historian Virgiliu Bîrlădenau.

The public debate entitled “History, an international antidote to political repression” was the 30th installment of IPN’s project “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes” which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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