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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 01, 1966

MOLDAVIAN COMMUNIST PARTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE, NO. 101 S, TO CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Moldavian leader Bodiul calls upon the central authorities in Moscow to respond to Romanian propaganda which stated that there was no separate Moldavian ethnic or political identity. He advocates the generation of publications to “objectively expose” Romanian and bourgeois interpretations “from a class position and in the interests of the socialist community of nations;” and requests assistance in preparing "in the Moldavian language, Russian and in a series of foreign languages a series of historical studies (monographs, brochures, atlases, etc.) and articles in central periodicals, on the radio and television broadcasts that bring to the attention of wider public opinion—Soviet and foreign—the truth about the Moldavian people, about its authentic history and about the true reality of its contemporary life."
    "Moldavian Communist Party Central Committee, No. 101 s, to CPSU Central Committee," July 01, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of Social-Political Organizations of the Republic of Moldova (AOSPRM), fond. 51, inv. 27, dosar 98, filele 35-45; Document No. 3 in Elena Negru and Gheorghe Negru, “PCM şi Naţionalism (1965-1989): Documente adunate în cadrul programului de cercetări effectuate de câtre Comisia pentru studierea şi aprecierea regimului tolitar communist din Republica Moldova,” Destin românesc, vol. 16, no. 5-6 (2010), pp. 31-37. Translated for CWIHP by Larry L. Watts. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116345
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Regarding the fact that, recently, in party and community circles in Romania one observes a tendency towards the revision and falsification of the most important theses referring to the historical past and present of the Moldavian people, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Moldavia considers necessary to express its attitude towards this and to expose the motives regarding the measures which should, in our opinion, be undertaken in order to prevent negative phenomena in Moldavia._ftn0[1]

In the course of the last century, all the governments of Romania, regardless of their political orientation, have recognized the liberating mission of Russia in the Balkans, its decisive role in the liberation of the Danubian Principalities from under the Turkish yoke and their unification in the unitary Romanian state. This corresponds with objective reality. As the founders of Marxism rightly noted, the Balkan peoples “looked to Petersburg in anticipation of the Messiah that would liberate them from all evil,” and saw “in Russia their real support, their liberation.” (K. Marx and F. Engels, opera, ed. a 2-a, vol. 9, p. 9)

The hopes of the Balkan peoples were totally justified. At the price of enormous sacrifices and want, the Russians and the other peoples of Russia destroyed the military power of the Ottoman Empire, they undermined the multi-century foreign yoke, and they created the premise for the formation of the national sovereign states in this region.

The grateful peoples, among them the Romanians, raised numerous monuments to the liberating Russian soldiers to show their profound gratitude [and] gave Russian names to many villages. This strong sentiment is transmitted from one generation to the next.

Contrary to historical facts and accepted traditions, in recently published materials, especially on the occasion of 100 years of the formation of the Romanian state, this event is treated in a new manner, which comes into contradiction with the generally recognized historical reality, ostentatiously ignoring the liberating mission of Russia.

The newspaper Scanteia of 24 January 1966 writes, in the article consecrated to this event, that the neighboring countries of the Danubian Principalities “used every opportunity to intervene in its internal affairs, to occupy some parts of their territory, these factors over a long period of time impeded the unification of the Romanian lands (?!) into a powerful unitary state.”

The same newspaper, in the number from 24 January 1966, notes “the union of 1859 constituted the first step in the process of the formation of the Romanian national state, which concluded in the second decade of the future century with the unification of all the territories populated by Romanians.” In other periodical publications it is directly affirmed that “in 1918 the unification of all of the territories populated by Romanians was completed.” As is known, in that year the Romanian kingdom occupied Bessarabia._ftn1[2]

Such a reflection of the historical past of Romania, from our perspective, is not limited only to passing in silence over the historic role of Russia in the destinies of the Balkan peoples, but is done directly with the aim of discrediting the glory of Russia among the ranks of the peoples of this region and of demonstrating that it pursued the same aim as other great monarchies of occupying foreign lands and enslaving other peoples. An evident tendency of demonstrating that in 1812 Russia annexed a part of the territory of the Romanian unitary state is observable. As is known, up until 1859 no Romanian state existed. In the same order of ideas, the occupation of Bessarabia in 1918 is treated as an act of reunification of the Romanian lands, while the just solution of the Bessarabian question in 1940 is considered by broad circles in Romania as an unjust act of dividing the Romanian people.

In our opinion, these are grave accusations, which address important, principled aspects of the relations between the Romanian and Soviet peoples, which formed long ago. If a riposte is not given, such tendencies can weaken the sentiment of gratitude and the ties of friendship towards the Russian people from the other peoples of the Balkans.

Allow us to say that our Soviet historical science is far from doing all it can for convincing public opinion, as it is formed among the peoples of the world, regarding the liberation of the Balkans and the formation of independent national states in this region. This historical period of the Russian state is insufficiently clarified, an objective overview of the role of our fatherland in the destiny of the Balkan peoples that it merits in reality [is lacking]. On the contrary, many works exaggerate the policy of Tsarist annexation in this region, which, of course, took place, but not in the measure in which it is affirmed today.

History knows many facts of an inverse nature—the tendency of the Moldavian people to live with the Russian in a unitary state. In the course of the XIII-XIX centuries, Moldavian princes addressed requests for Moldavia to be received under its protection. One of these addresses terminated with the conclusion, in 1711, of an understanding regarding the passage of the entire principality of Moldavia into the body of Russia.

Such examples must be broached more widely by our historical science as incontestable facts of the aspirations and hopes of the Moldavian people.

It would be opportune, for maintaining the noble sympathies of the Balkan peoples towards Russia and the consolidation of friendship between the peoples of the Soviet Union and the East European countries, to publish a scientific work about the period of the Balkans under the Turkish yoke with the combined efforts of the savants of the USSR, Romania, Bulgaria, possibly Yugoslavia and Hungary.

The Romanian comrades call for the change of the decisions of their Third, Fourth and Fifth Party Congresses, they revise the decisions of the COMINTERN referring to the Romanian Communist Party and the situation in Romania. These documents, as is known, note the occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bucovina [by Soviet forces] for the reunion with the Soviet Union, confirm the existence of an independent Moldavian nation, give a somber appreciation the Romanian Communist Party, and characterize the policy of aggression of the leaders of Romanian kingdom and their camarilla with German fascism against the USSR.

Now an attempt to justify the entrance of bourgeois Romania in the war on the side of fascist Germany is underway, placing doubt on the fact of the enslavement of the working peoples of Bessarabia by the Romanian imperialists and on the truthfulness of the revolutionary struggle of the workers and peasants of Bessarabia for reunion with the Soviet fatherland.

Comrade Ceausescu, speaking about the above-mentioned documents, declared that they raised the problem of the development of permanent and intense work oriented towards the so-called “liberation from Romanian imperialism” of “the repressed peoples” on the basis of the principal of the rights of nations to self-determination up to their full separation from the respective state. “The proposal in the party documents of slogans of self-determination up to separation from the unitary state, the indications given to fight for the breaking off from Romania of some territories, whose overwhelming majority population was made up of Romanians, failed to take into consideration the concrete conditions of Romania, which is a unitary state. They were profoundly in error, calling, in fact, for the dismemberment of the national state, for the separation of the Romanian people.” (Informational Bulletin of the Romanian Communist Party CC, no. 3, 1966, p. 34).

This is a gravely serious declaration, which radically harms the interests of our country and which merits, in our opinion, a rapid response._ftn2[3] It is necessary even from the beginning of the birth of such tendencies in order to prevent their dangerous consequences.

Taking into consideration the fact that the reevaluation of some absolutely correct deeds from the past radically harms, in the first place, the national and social interests of the Moldavian people, it would probably be opportune to expose the true character of this period, without adopting a polemical tone, and, on the basis of historical facts, to demonstrate the inconsistency of such declarations. In this sense, certainly only as an approximation, the following materials are annexed.

In the attempt to justify the occupation of Bessarabia at the beginning of 1918, the bourgeois ideologues of Romania complicated the question of the Romanian nation, they began to ignore the fact of the existence of the independent Moldavian nation, and to identify the Moldavians with the Romanians._ftn3[4]

Public opinion in Romania concerning the national question is now formed in this same spirit as well.

To this end, recently, in official Romanian documents as well as in literature, on the radio and on television, materials have begun to appear, which give an incorrect characterization of many bourgeois personalities from the past, portraying them as great revolutionaries when, in reality, some of them (Nicolae Iorga, Octavian Goga, Constantin Stere, Titu Maiorescu) were a bunch of hardcore reactionaries, nationalist bourgeoisie, and traitors of the Moldavian people. In the periodical press excerpts from the works of men of culture from the past are systematically published, containing categorical affirmations such as that all Moldavians are Romanians. In spite of this, it is known that following the joining of Bessarabia to Russia and in connection with the beginning of the development of capitalist relations, in this region the process of the formation of the Moldavian nation began long before [the same process began] in Romania, where the debut of this process occurred only after 47 years.

By virtue of these circumstances, the Moldavian and Romanian nations formed independently, on different territories, in different conditions. The Moldavian nation formed under the influence of the Western countries, primarily France. As a result of these two directions of the development of nations, profound differences developed in the traditions, culture, language, [and] aspirations of these people.

Likewise, the process of the formation of the Moldavian socialist nation concluded much earlier than it began in the constitution of the socialist Romanian nation.

The Romanian Communist Party of the past, dedicated to the principles of proletarian internationalism, adopted an active attitude against the bourgeois-nationalist falsification of the history of the Moldavian people and of Soviet-Romanian relations, which found its reflection in numerous party documents, including the resolution of the Fourth Romanian Communist Party Congress (1928),_ftn4[5] in which it is written that the Romanian bourgeoisie, desiring to justify the annexation of Bessarabia, sought to demonstrate that the Moldavians, which constitute the relative majority population of Bessarabia, are Romanians, at a time when the Moldavian population considered itself, even in reality, as an independent nationality, with its own culture, and fought together with the other nationalities of Bessarabia against its national and class repressors—the Romanian bourgeoisie. This struggle of the working people of Bessarabia was manifest in the tendency of union with RASSM._ftn5[6] Our party is obligated to support in every way the struggle of the working people of Bessarabia for the union with RASSM (Soviet Moldavia).

During the entire period of the occupation of Bessarabia, Romanian communists, all progressive proletariats, as well as progressive intellectuals in Romania supported the active and relentless struggle of the Moldavian people for liberation and reunion with the Soviet fatherland.

In opposition to the objective aspirations of the Moldavian people, the Romania press often affirms the ancient hopes of the Romanians who populate Bessarabia, which, as noted, refers to the Moldavians, to unify with their fatherland Romania. Such an attitude towards the Moldavian people humiliates its national dignity, falsifies its true hopes, ignores the heroic revolutionary struggle for Soviet power and comes into contradiction with reality.

Long before the October Revolution, the proletariat of Bessarabia became involved in revolutionary activity. The Moldavian people defended with abnegation the Soviet power in the Civil War. It is proud of the deeds of the heroes coming from the peoples of this area: M. V. Frunze, Gr. I. Kotovski, S. G. Lazo, A. S. Krusser, I. E. Iakir, I. F. Fedko, the thousands of ordinary soldiers who fought together with the Russian proletariat against the occupiers and against internal counterrevolution in order to construct socialism in a united family of the Soviet peoples. During the entire 22 year occupation of Bessarabia, the struggle of the working people of the region for the reunification with the Soviet fatherland did not stop. The uprising of Tatarbunar (1924) was appreciated worldwide as the greatest manifestation of that time. The Moldavians also actively participated in the Great War for the Defense of the Fatherland for throwing out the [German] invaders and their Romanian allies from their native soil.

All of this constitutes a meaningful confirmation of the true aspirations of the Moldavian people, its fervent desire to remain forever together with the Great people of the USSR.

The Moldavian people remember with pride the patriotism of their forefathers who fought to join with Russia, for its economic and cultural progress. It attributes a beneficent influence to Great Russia. It sees itself happy to live and work in a powerful unitary state, in which it finds all of its friends and brothers.

It seems to us that the problem regarding the renunciation of their point of view and attitude towards the Moldavian people, towards the recognition of the Moldavian SSR, must be raised directly with the Romanian comrades. It is known that the Moldavian SSR does not exist on the geographic maps published in Romania. Nor does it exist in official relations, in literature, in Romanian art. This is considered by our people as an ignoring of Soviet Moldavian statehood, of the Socialist Moldavian nation. This incorrect attitude on the part of the Romanian leadership organs towards Soviet Moldavia, in our opinion, stands at the basis of the relations of reciprocity with our country, of its actions in international policy.

From our perspective, all of this attains major importance as more and more materials in which our historical past and present are falsified accumulate. Bourgeois propaganda uses this in order to incite hatred of the Romanian people towards the Soviet people, animating a nationalist state of mind in Romania, exerting a negative influence on the moral-political situation of the Moldavian people.

We believe that the revision of their attitude towards Soviet Moldova by the Romanian comrades would offer us the possibility of resolving many problems regarding the internationalist education of the people, and the consolidation of friendship between our peoples and between the other peoples of the Balkan states. It would liberate the Romanian people, many cadres, from the burden of hatred towards the foreign Moldavian people, of the consequences of nationalist tendencies, which are persistent enough in Romania among the déclassé elements, it would open up the possibility of organizing an exchange of experience in the construction of socialism between the frontier counties, it would permit the resolution of many other problems._ftn6[7]

Sooner or later however such a question will have to be raised, probably, directly with the Romanian comrades. We should not be afraid of it, because from everything it can be seen that many leaders of Romania have fallen victim to their illusions and could perceive such a sincere discussion in this regard positively. Certainly, this is our point of view, for which many aspects are not accessible, but it is based upon public opinion in Moldavia.

The negation, across our country’s borders, of the independence of the Moldavian people, of its culture, and traditions, the falsification of its true desires and aspirations provokes the justified indignation of the republican public opinion.

The above-mentioned misrepresentation has had a direct influence over a certain portion of the population of the republic. Some representatives of the privileged intellectuals, in principle coming from the layers of the population that were privileged in the past, who finished their studies in educational institutions of the Romanian kingdom, praise everything that is Romanian, accept the affirmation regarding the total community of Moldavians and Romanians. They affirm, in every way possible, that the Moldavian people is losing its national specificity, thus admitting attacks against the Russian brothers.

Unhealthy deeds and attitudes were communicated to the CPSU CC in a series of information reports. The measures undertaken by the Moldavian CP CC regarding the intensification of internationalist education of the working people of the republic were explained.

The appearance in the republic of some unhealthy states of mind and of some extremely dangerous tendencies of a nationalist nature (of a pro-Romanian orientation), which were not signaled earlier, seriously worries the Moldavian CP CC, they provoke circumspection of persons of other nationalities who live in Moldavia, complicating the political situation.

In this atmosphere, probably, we find ourselves in the wrong position, when in order not to admit a negative reaction in Romania, we limit the Moldavian people in the development of national holidays tied with such remarkable dates as the joining of Bessarabia to Russia in 1812, the liberation of Bessarabia from under the Romanian bourgeois occupation in 1940, the passing over in silence of the merciless beatings by the bourgeois-landowner occupiers of the Moldavian people, the national privations and lack of national rights. This gives birth to some false rumors in the republic, the disorientation of public opinion abroad and is used by our ideological adversaries in anti-Soviet propaganda. In our opinion, it would be correct that the principal historical events which have taken place in the life of the Moldavian people, in its relations with Romania, should be objectively exposed from a class position and in the interests of the socialist community of nations.

The Moldavian CP CC is conscious of the responsibility which falls upon the party organization for the political education of the working people in the spirit of friendship and fraternity between peoples of the Soviet Union. We understand that the use in this aim of the facts from the historical past and from the present of the Moldavian people must take into account the general political situation in the world, the relations of reciprocity between the Soviet Union and Romania, profound Marxist-Leninist analysis and well-argued treatments. In order to assure such an approach and the correctitude of raising the above-mentioned issues, taking into consideration all of the circumstances, we have need of certain assistance from the Institute of Marxism-Leninism at the CPSU CC, and of a series of institutions of the USSR Academy of Sciences and of the apparatus of the CPSU CC.

In our opinion, it would be opportune to prepare and to publish in the Moldavian language, Russian and in a series of foreign languages a series of historical studies (monographs, brochures, atlases, etc.) and articles in central periodicals, on the radio and television broadcasts that bring to the attention of wider public opinion—Soviet and foreign—the truth [p. 37] about the Moldavian people, about its authentic history and about the true reality of its contemporary life.

MCP CC Secretary, I. Bodiul (signature)

[1] Translator’s note: In conformity with common usage at the time, the terms “Moldavia” and “Moldova” are used to differentiate the territory and populations residing in the Moldavian SSR and in the northeastern province of Moldova in Romania. However, the Romanian language used in Romania proper as well as in Moldavia/Moldova employs the same term (“Moldova”) for both, and before the Russian empire extended into the region in the 18th century the term “Moldova” referred to one territorial unit that included both Romanian Moldova and most of the territory that eventually comprised the Moldavian SSR (as well as the Bugeac region now in Ukraine).  After 1989 the US State Department Geographer officially established the English name of the new independent state as the Republic of Moldova while referring to the Romanian province as “Moldavia” for purposes of differentiation, thus reversing previous practice.

[2] The form used by Soviet authorities for the Romanian kingdom was “royal Romania.”

[3] Bodiul’s refers to the USSR when using the terminology “our country” rather to any of its component parts, e.g., the Moldavian SSR.

[4] The term “nation” as used in these documents is best translated as “people” or “ethnicity.”

[5] Only one of the five official RCP leaders between 1924 and April 1944 held Romanian citizenship, and none were ethnically Romanian. The removal of the Hungarian RCP leader for “trying to serve the interests of the Magyar government in Budapest and not those of the International,” and his replacement by a member of the Ukrainian Communist Party at the 1928 Fourth RCP Congress mentioned here (held in Kharkov, Ukrainian SSR), underscored the nature and degree of the problem. Ghita Ionescu, Communism in Rumania 1944-1962, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1964, p. 27.

[6] The RASSM—the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Autonomous Republic, which preceded the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, was first proposed by a COMINTERN working group in the early 1920s as a platform for spreading communism into and over Romania, beginning with Bessarabia. It included part of what constituted the breakaway Transnistrian entity and a small portion of the Ukrainian SSR. When Soviet forces occupied Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina in 1940 the borders were quickly redrawn to include Bessarabia and return that portion of the Ukrainian SSR back to the Ukraine. Northern Bucovina was also annexed to the Ukrainian SSR.

[7] The term “county” is used here for similar administrative subunits in the Moldavian SSR and Romania. The former used the Russian term—“raion”—the latter the term—“judeţi.” Soviet/Russian documents are inconsistent in their references to the Romanian administrative subunits, sometimes using “raion” and sometimes “judeţi.”

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