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Sighet Museum: Room 47 – Deportations to Bărăgan

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Rusaliile negre. Deportarea în Bărăgan
Rusaliile negre. Deportarea în Bărăgan

On the night of 18 June 1951, the largest deportation in contemporary Romanian history commenced, after that carried out in January 1945 against ethnic Germans from Romania. Around 44,000 people were taken from their homes and deported to the Bărăgan steppe. Romanians, Germans, Serbs, Bulgarians, refugees from Bessarabia and the northern Bukowina, and Macedo-Romanians were deported.
People were loaded into goods wagons under military guard and after between ten and fourteen days of travel they were dumped on the steppe and left to build themselves houses of adobe or mud, covered with straw or reeds. In order to justify this total isolation, the Securitate launched the rumour that these people were deported Koreans! The majority of the deportees were kept in the eighteen new settlements for five years, until 1956, while others remained permanently. The number of those
who met their end there was as high as 1,700. The oldest of them was one hundred, having been deported at the age of ninety-five.
Photographs of the deportations, as well as objects from the period, attempt to reconstruct a picture of conditions in the villages of the Bărăgan steppe inhabited by deportees from the Banat and Mehedinți.

The objects and some of the photos were donated to the Sighet Memorial by the Timişoara Association of Bărăgan Deportees.