Thursday, January 28, 2010

A historic wrong righted

The visit of Presidents Ghimpu and Basescu at the Romanian war cemetery in the village of Tiganca is a turning point in Moldova's history.

They say that history is written by the victors, and nowhere is that more true than in Moldova, where from 1944 on, the brave young men who fought in the second world war on the Romanian side have been vilified as fascists, their names associated with war crimes and atrocities.

Only tiny amounts have been spent maintaining their graves or furnishing monuments to their memory.  Their resting places have not been graced by office holders in the land, while on each May 9th, their deeds, their valour and their sacrifice have been swept to one side.  The tanks emplaced as memorials point their gun barrels at the homeland of these brave souls.

Whatever you believe about the war - which side was the occupier and which the liberator - there is simply no excuse for failing to honour the fallen, those who died fighting for their country, be that country the Soviet Union or the Republic of Romania.

Today was a big first step towards righting the wrong that has been visited on Romania's war dead for over sixty years.  More needs to be done.  May 9th must cease to be a triumphalist celebration of the victory of one side over another, and instead become a day of thanksgiving for the end of war, and a day of memory for those, both Romanian and Soviet, whom age never wearied.  Only then can healing and reconciliation between Moldova's cultural tribes truly begin.

1 comment:

  1. "bw that country the Soviet Union or the TRepublic of Romania". In fact, it was the Kingdom of Romania ! :)