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September 27, 2022

Exhibition documenting crimes of communism opens in Alba Iulia

The exhibition “Communist Repression in Romania (1945-1965) – The Common Denominator: Death” opened in Alba Iulia on Friday in cooperation with the National Museum of the Union presents documents  from 26 cases of the 40 investigated by the institute between 2006-2018 and which refer to 40 people executed by shooting or killed during armed confrontations. Archaeological searches and excavations have been conducted to find the bodies of anti-communist opponents who were executed without trial or were killed during armed clashes with representatives of the repressive institutions of the communist state, between 1948 and 1958.

The exhibition also presents research conducted at the burial sites of political inmates who died in detention. These actions were carried out based on on-site investigations initiated and documented by Institute experts or following requests from the relatives and survivors of the victims.

The exhibition also includes various objects and clothing accessories found on the murdered people, as well as posters with photographs taken during archaeological excavations, family photos and photos from the archive of the former Securitate.

The team of archaeologists who carried out the archaeological investigations – Gheorghe Petrov, Paul Scrobot, Gabriel Rustoiu, Horatiu Groza – were also present at the opening of the exhibition.

Attending on Friday evening in Alba Iulia the opening of the exhibition “Communist Repression in Romania (1945-1965) – The Common Denominator: Death”, Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar said that it is important that we “are informed about the facts in our history” and act so that such horrors never happen again; Lazar declared himself “shocked” by the atrocities committed by the former Securitate political police presented at the event hosted by the National Museum of the Union in Alba Iulia.

“Regrettably, the past generations have suffered. I, who thought I could claim knowing a lot of history, both as a law professional and as a lover of history, am now shocked seeing this exhibition that sheds light on pages from our homeland’s history that were unknown. (…) It is important that we are informed about the facts in our history and do whatever we can for such things to never happen again. We have always been convinced that others have come and committed acts of barbarism on our soil, but we can now see that fellow nationals who at some point were in certain positions have committed acts that are truly shocking for us,” said Augustin Lazar.

He voiced his opinion that the public presentation of the results of this research allows the young generation to “see what has been, what is, and better imagine what the future of Romania should look like.”

In his turn, Radu Preda, executive director of the Institute for Investigation of Communism Crimes and the Memory of Romanian Exile (IICCMER), said that “it is not by accident that tribute is being paid, even memorial, to the victims of communism; it would be the more so important if they were also done legal justice.”

Historian Marius Oprea said that in the over 56 archaeological campaigns organized by IICMER at 40 sites, “39 dead have been found in isolated places in forests and another 59 in the burial places of the former political penitentiaries at Targu Ocna, Aiud and of the Periprava camp.”


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