Lidia Pădureac: Famine of 1946-1947 is a crime against humanity and does not have statute of limitations

Civil society and the academic community should combine forces to obtain moral justice in the case of the victims of the famine of 1946-1947. In a public debate hosted by IPN, historian Lidia Pădureac said the actions of the authorities of the then totalitarian regime fall under the international legislation on crimes against humanity, which do not have statute of limitations. There is clear evidence showing that the authorities of that period deliberately starved the people, killing over 200,000 people and torturing by famine another several hundred thousand people who suffered from malnutrition, IPN reports.

According to Lidia Pădureac, the horrors of the famine of 1946-1947 were generated by the severe drought and also by the state’s actions to collect food products in excess. The harvest of 1946 could have been sufficient for the basic needs of the population if there hadn’t been the exaggerated state taxes imposed on the citizens, primarily those from rural areas.

“The interviews with survivors destroy the myth according to which famine was due to drought. They said they had reserves and would have resisted if the state hadn’t taken everything from them. The second destroyed myth is the fact that the late state support saved them from death. They said it was the harvest of 1947 that actually saved them,” said the historian, noting that statistics show the birth rate equaled the death rate only in the autumn of 1947.

The doctor of history said that 10-15% of the rural population suffered from dystrophy at the beginning of 1947, while another 10% died from famine. While the population suffered from malnutrition and died, the people were dispossessed of food reserves and these were later exported. Official statistical show that 1.7 million tonnes of grain were exported from the MSSR in that period.

According to historians, the black pages in our history are overlooked by the authorities, while the horrors of the famine of 1946-1947 are presented only superficially to the young generations. The history textbooks do not present details of the genocide to which the population was exposed by the then totalitarian regime.

“The young people who didn’t live in the Soviet period say that the people lived very well in that period and this is sad. Nostalgia is transmitted to them as the totalitarian communist regime of the MSSR is insufficiently studied at school. The school curriculum for secondary schools and lyceums allows only an hour or 45 minutes for the period between 1945 and 1991, which includes the deportations and famine. What can a teacher explain during 45 minutes? A separate course is needed here so that this culture of memory appears in the Republic of Moldova. The young people do not yet have resistance to propaganda,” concluded Lidia Pădureac.

The public debate “Was famine of MSSR of 1946-1947 organized or not? Could and wanted Soviet authorities to prevent devastating effects of this?” was the second installment of the series “100 years of USSR and 31 years without USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras”.

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