Igor Boțan: Acknowledging organized famine is important for learning lessons

Acknowledging the organized famine of 1946-1947 is important so that we can draw lessons for the future generations and prevent such things from ever happening again, stated the political pundit Igor Boțan during an IPN debate commemorating the 1946-1947 famine.

The expert also believes that the Ministry of Education should pay more attention to the subject of famine in the curricula, so that people understand “what this nation went through”.

Igor Boțan believes that tolerance towards the “executioners of the famine” comes from Christian culture. “The blame is personal most of the time. In a totalitarian regime, those at the top knew what was happening, and when we blame the regime, we must still not forget the personal responsibility of everyone”. The expert thinks that an alternative response to forgiveness would have been for the people to rebel against the regime, but in a totalitarian state, rebellions are suppressed with bloodshed, and the uprisings in Germany or Czechoslovakia attested to the ferocity of the Soviet regime.

Igor Boțan mentioned the correspondence between Stalin and Molotov. “Stalin is telling Molotov how he is going to industrialize Soviet Russia, and the only available resource is grain that must be taken from the peasants, sold for currency and promote industrialization. They understood that this was the only resource available. Furthermore, based on class theory, the peasantry is viewed with suspicion. For the regime, a huge resource was the peasants, their land, their labor, and those had to be confiscated. This leads us to the conclusion that the famine was organized in order to have resources to promote industrialization, because the global revolution could not be done without tanks, machines and industry”, said Igor Boțan.

The debate was the 10th installment of the “Impact of the past on building peace and confidence” Series, run by IPN with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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