Academic journal article Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies

Christian Mercy and Pro-Social Behaviors in the Memory of the Deportation of German Ethnics from Romania to the Soviet Union

Academic journal article Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies

Christian Mercy and Pro-Social Behaviors in the Memory of the Deportation of German Ethnics from Romania to the Soviet Union

Article excerpt

The context and the design of the research

Concerning The Second World War there is a vast specialty literature and belletristic. The operations theatres of the conflagration had unprecedented extensions in the history of mankind. The number of deaths - military and civilians- exceeds 70 million people. About the horrors of the gas chambers, classic and nuclear bombarding has often been said that it exceeded the imagination of the human mind.

But history is written in the service of winners, according to a popular witticism. In the post-war years, the sufferings, losses and destructions were attributed to the Nazi ideology, practices and decisions. After the war, the propaganda of communized countries and Soviets imposed the dichotomy between Nazism and communism, obscuring from the historiography of the 20th century the events and situations contrary to this vision of history1. It wasn't until the perestroika era that the publication of victim's testimonies which endured the tortures and trauma from captivity and soviet deportation began. Except for enlightening documents about the extent of the repressions, according to one of the German historians with Romanian origin (see Annex 1).

However, the Soviet government did not publish the statistics of deaths and frightening destructions of war. The loss of human lives were estimated at 20-25 million Soviets, and the value of destructions at approximately five and a half times more than the national income of the Soviet Union from 19412. As if it would not be enough, the Kremlin added the tragedy of deportations to some ethnic communities. For the "collective guilt" of not manifesting "reassurance" that they would stand against Nazi troops, in august 1941 German ethnics were deported from Volga (approximately 380.000)3. Or to have survived under Nazi administration the population of Karachi (75.000), Kalmuks (124.000), Cecens (408.000), Ingush (92.000), Balkars (43.000) and Tartars from the Crimea Peninsula (300.000)4. Along with the advance of the Red Army in Europe, from the occupied territories were deported German ethnics in the USSR.

The objectives of the program Europe for Citizen, launched in 2004, boosted the research of crimes and collective traumas produced by Nazism and communism. In this context, it was conducted the project The memory of forced labor of German ethnics from Romania deported in the USSR5. The project was finalized among others things with the editing of some "life stories"6.

In a brief historical retrospective, we mention that in JanuaryFebruary 1945, according to Romanian archives, approximately 75 000 German ethnics from Romania7 were taken to do forced labor in the regions of Donbas and Ural from the Soviet Union. According to historian Pavel Polian, who used soviet sources, from the territories under the control of the Red Army in 1944, there were deported 111 831 Germans ethnics (from Romania 67 332 people, from Hungary 31 920, and from Yugoslavia 12 579). The following year another 155 262 German ethnics from former territories of East Germany and Poland8 were deported for forced labor in the Soviet Union. From the 271 672 people, 66.4569 had deceased until 1949. Other statistics offer an even more tragic presentation on the deportation.

The decision was taken in Moscow and formulated through an order of the Committee of State for the Soviet Defense, dated in December 16th 1944. According to it, men and women of German ethnicity with ages between 17 and 45 years old, and 18 to 30 years old from Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia, were to be taken to the "reconstruction work" of the USSR10.

Given the conditions of the Truce Agreement between the government of the United States of America, the United Kingdom on one side, and the Romanian government on the other side, signed at Moscow in September 1944, the Allied Commission of Control from Bucharest, through its Soviet representatives, ruled in fact Romania. …

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