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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 20, 1978

MOLDAVIAN COMMUNIST PARTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE, NO. 179 SS, TO CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE, 'INFORMATION REGARDING THE INTENSIFICATION IN ROMANIA OF A PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN THAT HARMS THE INTERESTS OF THE USSR'

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    The Moldavian Communist Party reports on the increasingly anti-Soviet nature of nationalist propaganda in Russia. Moldavian authorities were concerned by how this propaganda denied the existence of a separate Moldavian ethnic identity, while Soviet authorities were especially concerned by Bucharest’s role in attempting to consolidate an anti-Soviet Eurocommunism.
    "Moldavian Communist Party Central Committee, No. 179 ss, to CPSU Central Committee, 'Information Regarding the Intensification in Romania of a Propaganda Campaign that Harms the Interests of the USSR'," July 20, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AOSPRM, fond. 51, inv. 47, dosar 3, filele 79-84; Document No. 28 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,” special edition, Destin românesc, vol. 16, no. 5-6 (2010), pp. 109-112. Translated for CWIHP by Larry L. Watts. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116383
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Information Regarding the Intensification in Romania of a Propaganda Campaign

that Harms the Interests of the USSR

Recently, according to the information at our disposal, the campaign of falsifying principal historical events and objective conceptions about Moldavia, [and] about Russo-Romanian and Soviet-Romanian relations has been activated and extended considerably in the Socialist Republic of Romania, highlighting more clearly its anti-Moldavian, anti-Russian and anti-Soviet orientation.

Leading Romanian historians, the mass information and propaganda organs of the SRR, misrepresenting from the positions of bourgeois chauvinism and nationalism many events and entire periods from the history of Moldavia, categorically negating the Moldavian nation, demonstrating the illegality of the existence of the Moldavian national state, affirming that the Moldavians are Romanians, and that the territory between the Prut and Nistru Rivers, as well as Bucovina are historically Romanian territories torn away with force by the Tsarist empire.

The principal theoretical premise for such falsifying confabulations serves the theory, consecrated in recent years in Romanian historiography, of the autochthonous nature and continuity of the Romanian people in the whole of the area of the Geto-Dacian tribes, which, in the opinion of Romania authors, comprised from the western lands up to the Bug, as well as the western coast of the Black Sea.

From anti-Soviet positions, with direct territorial pretensions on the USSR, are treated the 1917-1918 events in Bessarabia, where “the Romanians between the Prut and Nistru Rivers,” repressed by the Tsarist empire, “decisively rose to fight for their national and social liberation,” formed “freely elected representative organs in the country,” locally, as well as the “Sfatul Ţării”—at the center, which “expressing the will of the broad popular masses,” made the decision regarding the union of the Moldavian republic with motherland Romania. In order to rehabilitate the treasonous role of the “Sfatul Ţării,” to justify the aggressive action of the Romanian kingdom against the young country of the Soviets in 1918, to confer legality upon it, from the international perspective, to link it to the recognition of the annexation of Bessarabia by the system of international treaties.

With the aim of demonstrating “annexationist intentions” of Russia towards Romania, Russian state policy in the Balkans is treated in an extremely tendentious manner, as are the events of the First World War. Romanian authors totally negate the objective-progressive role of Russia in the liberation of the Balkan peoples from under the Ottoman yoke, hyperbolizing the expansionist policy of the Tsarist empire, underscoring the perfidy of Russian diplomacy, which “always had something of the instinct of a large predatory animal,” accusing Russia of not respecting international accords concluded by it, that it was “an annexationist and insatiable country, which took Bessarabia from the Romanians.” Also attributed to it is the responsibility for the military failures of Romania in the Autumn-Winter campaign of 1916, because “the defeat of the Romanians was foreseen and planned by Stürmer, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.”

These and other anti-scientific conceptions and falsifying fabrications are expressed in the collections and monographs Romania in 1877, The Romanian Land of Moldova (N. Grigoras), Burebista and His Epoch (I. Crisan), The Complete Works of Dobrogeanu-Gherea, the pages of the journals, Anale de istorie, Magazin istoric, Era socialista, Romania: Pagini de istorie, Revista de istorie, and in a series of other publications, they abound in the radio and television broadcasts of the SRR. The entire propagandistic campaign, promoted conforming to some elaborate plans, have, in our opinion, the final aim of forming the necessary public opinion for the RC [Romanian Communist] leadership both inside the country as well as beyond its borders, in order to educate the Romanians in hatred towards our country and towards its people, In our opinion, it has already generated among a certain part of the Romanian population, especially among the youth, sentiments of bad-faith or even hostility towards the USSR, of hatred towards Moldavian statehood, toward the successes of the Moldavian people in the construction of communism.

This conclusion is confirmed by Romanian citizens who visit Moldavia through various channels of foreign relations, among whom many seek with increasing frequency to provoke discussions with Soviet people on the so-called “Bessarabian question,” imposing their nationalist conceptions. The stories of guide-interpreters, of leaders and specialists from industrial and agricultural enterprises, organizations and institutions, about the enormous achievements of the Moldavian people in the development of the economy and of culture are perceived by many Romanians with irritation and they declare that their people have known difficulties in their social-economic development up to the present because the former Bessarabia was missing from the territory of Romania.

“Only yesterday…did I learn what a large territory, which was before Romanian, had been annexed by the Soviet Union,” declared N. Georgetu, the leader of a group of tourists, while I. Dandu, a tourist from Bucharest, confessed: “As people, we respect you, but in the political sense we hate you to death because of Bessarabia.” The tourist B. Steriaş, in reply to the story of the guide about the republic, affirmed that Romania did not annex Bessarabia in 1918, it united itself with its fatherland, while G. Popa, another tourist, exclaimed with irritation: “Bessarabia is a part of Romania, as is the land around Cernăuţi. Because in 1918 the Government of Bessarabia proclaimed its autonomy and decided to unify with Romania, while in 1940, when Stalin and Hitler divided Europe, the USSR gave Romania an ultimatum and our troops were forced to leave Bessarabia.” Some tourists mention in discussion that in Romania it is said that N. Ceausescu will raise the problem of returning the former Bessarabia to Romania. There have also been cases when some Romanian comrades, who were visiting Moscow along the lines of local party ties, in unofficial conversations with our party workers, expressed opinions about the unity of the territory of Romania and Moldavia, of the Romanian and Moldavian nations, about the desire to be together once again within the framework of Romania, etc.

The ideological organs of the SRR continue to send to the address of higher education institutions, libraries, as well as private persons in the republic a large amount of historical, philosophical, artistic literature, etc. (in general, around 100 thousand pages monthly), which contain ideas and conceptions that are dangerous for the Moldavian people. Only in 1977 and in the first half of the current year over 2.5 thousand examples of such publications were confiscated.

Along the border with the USSR, Romania has installed five re-transmitters with a range of metric waves, with a total power of over 90 kW. As a result, the entire population of the Moldavian SSR can freely receive Romanian radio broadcasts, and a large part of the republic can receive [Romanian] television broadcasts as well. These broadcasts are penetrated with the spirit of nationalism, of anti-Russianism and anti-Sovietism, they frequently contain the hostile calumnies of the Maoists, they proselytize the ideas of Eurocommunism, they transmit diverse Western information, they present films from bourgeois countries, etc.

Many Romanian publications translated from West European languages are sent into the republic, which demonstrates that the Romanian ideological organs promote an intense activity regarding the formation of public opinion abroad connected with the problem of Romanian territorial pretensions. “The Bessarabia Question” is always trumpeted in the journal România: Pagini de istorie, edited by the Romanian press agency “Agerpres” in five foreign languages, of the newspaper Ştiri române (appearing in the English and French languages) and in other publications.

The broad diffusion by Romania abroad of historical literature and other actions undertaken with the participation of the SRR in capitalist countries generates, in our opinion, intentional misrepresentations regarding “the Bessarabian question” among a series of members and leaders of communist and workers parties in Western Europe. Relevant, in this sense, are the questions all the more frequently raised in the recent period by the representatives of those parties with the CC workers who have accompanied them. Thus, Joime Sera, the leader of the group of party workers from the Portuguese Communist Party, member of the PCP CC Executive Committee, during his visit in Moldavia this year, showed himself interested even on the first day, in an unofficial conversation, in the following questions: “Does discrimination exist in the republic?” “Are nationalities such as the Romanians, Bulgarians persecuted?” “What does Bessarabia represent and what are its old boundaries?” “Who are the Moldavians: the same Dacians [as the Romanians]?” “Is there any difference between the Moldavian and Romanian languages?”, etc.

The organs of mass information in the West “savor” in different ways the Romania press interventions regarding “the Bessarabian question,” engaging in all sorts of political speculation around them. Thus, in February of this year, the Viennese newspaper, Die Presse, under the pretentious headline: “Bucharest activates the dispute over Bessarabia,” published an article in which it was said that: “After a prolonged silence, the Romania leadership has taken recourse again to the thorny question of Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940… The well-known historian M. Muşat treats the union of Bessarabia with Romania as a victory of the self-determination of peoples and condemns the interwar congresses of the Romanian Communist Party which, under the pressure of the COMINTERN, requested the return of Bessarabia to the Soviet Union.” The same newspaper later writes that the placing on the order of the day of thorny questions “regarding the annexation of Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina by the Soviet Union, as well as the preceding discords connected with this region have already provoked speculation in the sense as to whether Ceausescu might not have given the ‘green light’ for the continuation of the polemics with Soviet historians?”

Recently, the Romanian press and other means of mass information widely proselytize the ideas of Eurocommunism. This year they published the “Political proposals (theses) of the IXth Congress of the Communist Party of Spain” and the communication of S[antiago] Carillo at the PCS CC Plenum on “The Definition of the Party.” Today, [they publish] revolutionary Marxism (the journal Era socialista, no. 4), as well as a multitude of other interviews, etc. “The separate position” of the RCP leadership towards Eurocommunism is savored in different ways by bourgeois propaganda with eulogies addressed to Ceausescu. The Austrian newspaper, Die Presse, writes on 8 May of this year that, “N. Ceausescu promotes an amazing foreign policy even at the party level, …he defends Eurocommunism, he receives S. Carillo, the leader of the Spanish Communist Party, while the press organs of the other East European communist parties intensely bombard the ideological positions of this party.” The radio station “Radio Free Europe” has mentioned with pleasure on 18 May that “President Ceausescu has again confirmed his point of view regarding Eurocommunism in an interview given to the Italian newspaper, Il Popolo.” Recently, Deutsche Welle, evoking the discussion of N. Ceausescu with [French Communist Party leader] G. Marchais while vacationing in the SRR, and about the awaited arrival in Romania of S. Carillo, has mentioned that it is not excluded that N. Ceausescu will try “to be an intermediary in the conciliation of these two Western communist leaders.” The radio station further affirms that: “Ceausescu would have saluted the formation of Eurocommunist solidarity, because that could consolidate his position towards Moscow.”

Annually, in the SRR, in the month of December, a large celebration is organized for “the Great Union of the Romanians” in 1918. It is not excluded that this year, in connection with the 60th anniversary of that event, the campaign organized by the ideological organs of Romania in the interior of the country and abroad will intensify, as well the attempt to exercise a negative influence over the population of the Moldavian SSR through foreign relations channels, the radio, television and through the expediting of dangerous political literature.

MCP CC Secretary, I. Bodiul (signature)

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