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Sighet Museum: Room 40 – Destruction of the Romanian Academy

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Sala 40As early as September 1944, the Romanian Academy was vehemently attacked in the communist press (Scînteia, România Liberă), which demanded its “democratisation” and the “purging of reactionary elements”. However it resisted until June 1948 when, by Presidential Decree no. 76, it was transformed into the “Academy of the People’s Republic of Romania”, with the primary objective “of increasing the material and cultural standards of the people”. According to the decree, “the Romanian Academy [having been an independent institution – our note] becomes a state institution” (article 1), which “will develop its activity in accordance with the requirement to strengthen and develop the Romanian Peoples’ Republic” (article 2).
The older members of the institution were expelled en masse, and only a small number were accepted into the new academy, which was filled with figures loyal to the party. Scientist C.I. Parhon, who had signed the decree to destroy the old Academy while he was President of the Grand National Assembly, was appointed Honorary President of the new Academy. A large number of the expelled academicians were not even left alone to live out their lives in poverty: after a short while they were arrested and sent to prison, where many died.