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Book of Memory: Moldovan Victims of Soviet Oppression 1941-1951
• Reasons for Oppression
• Definition of Phrases
• Places of Detention and Deportation
• Municipalities and Districts
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• Original Acknowledgements
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The information in this database is derived from the book “Cartea Memoriei (The Book of Memory) which details the Soviet oppression of the citizens of Moldova from 1937-1991. Most of the oppression occurred during the years 1941-1951 and ended with their exoneration or rehabilitation in 1988-1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
According to the Ministry of National Security of the Republic of Moldova in 1991, the communist regime had sentenced to death about 5500 people, sent 34000 to jail and deported 25000 families to Siberia (and other places) primarily during the 1940’s. The “Black Book of Communism” in 1997 recounts that the number of deported Moldovans totaled 94792 people.
At the beginning of 1953, for the whole Soviet Union, there were about 500 labor colonies, 60 large penitentiary complexes and labor camps and 15 special camps for particularly dangerous elements consisting of a total of 2,750,000 people. The amnesty that began in 1953 after the end of the Stalinist regime consisted of half of those people or 1,200,000 people. Amnesty did not benefit the main victims of the communist regime, those convicted of “counterrevolutionary crimes”. Those that were released at this time were mainly the “merchants” and the “kulaks” (wealthy farmers).
The National History Museum of Moldova launched in 1991 the idea of elaborating a “Memory” leading to the establishment of this book. The documentation used was that information existing primarily in the following archives:
It was impossible to establish the exact number of those oppressed due to the disappearance of primary sources and limited access to archival materials. However, this book does a credible job under the circumstances.
Two statements taken directly from the Introduction in the book best describe the author’s intent. “The Book of Memory is an expression of our belief that any sacrifice deserves to be honest and any sacrifice must occupy the place it deserves in the Holy Annals of the Nation”. “By honesting their sacrifice, we will find our peace, and we will find it, too, because many of them, not having tombs, they can only rest in the memory of mankind”.
The Soviets used just about any reason you can imagine in order to deport or send a person to a labor camp. The following are the main reasons used against the Jews.
There are a number of phrases that are used in the Reason for Expulsion and Results column that may lead to some confusion or misunderstanding.
People who were deported or sent to detention camps were sent to a variety of regions. The actual name of the camp or the town that it was located in was rarely specified. There are over 30 different locations that Jews were sent to according to the records in this book. About 60% of the Jews in the book had information about where they were sent. Over 90% of the Jews (for those that listed where they were sent) were sent to the 8 regions listed below, with over 70% of them sent to the first 5 listed. This does not mean that all Jews sent to a region ended up in the same camp or town since there were probably several in each region. These regions are listed in order from highest to lowest (with the approximate number of Jews sent to each one).
This book contains information on all of the Districts (and Municipalities) in Moldova in the 1940’s. In the table below the first column is the district (38), municipality (4), autonomous territorial unit (1) or a miscellaneous category (1). The second column has the total number of oppressed people found in this book for each districts/municipalities. The last column has the number of oppressed Jews found in this book for each of the districts/municipalities.
There are a total of 71636 names of oppressed people in this book of which 3847 are assumed to be Jewish. The fact that there are so few oppressed Jews can be attributed to several possible factors. First, the two main oppressions occurred in 1941 and 1949. By 1949 there were very few Jews left in Moldova. Second, the war interrupted the Soviets Stalinist dictates before they could finish deporting and sending to labor camps all of the merchants, wealthy farmers, etc.
|MUNICIPALITY (m.)/DISTRICT (r.)||#OPPRESSED||#JEWS OPPRESSED|
|r. Anenii Noi||1104||19|
National Museum of History of Moldova, 1999
Cover: Vitalie Pogolsa, 1999
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