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Remembering the Romanian Deportations

imagine sitea project organised by the Civic Academy Foundation between November 2010 and November 2011, in partnership with

the Memoria Cultural Foundation, as part of the “Active European Remembrance” action of the European Commissions’ Europe for Citizens Programme


The European Commission’s Europe for Citizens Programme
The European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the European Union agreed to establish the “Europe for Citizens” programme as a means of providing a legal framework to support a wide range of activities and organisations promoting “active European citizenship”, for example the involvement of citizens and civil society in the process of European integration.
The “Europe for Citizens” programme is based on the experience accumulated during the previous programme to promote active European citizenship, which ran from 2004 to 2006. The programme was presented by the Commission after lengthy consultations with various important players and a pre- and post-implementation evaluation process, which analysed the need to act at the community level and the predicted impact of the Programme on the targeted sector. Thanks to this experience and analysis, the second-generation programme demonstrates the existence of a certain level of maturity, which combines continuity with innovation.
Action 4 – “Active European Remembrance’, part of the “Europe for Citizens” programme, supports the conservation of the principal sites and archives related to deportations and the commemoration of the victims of Nazism and Stalinism.
The “Remembering the Romanian Deportations” project (no. 511921)

A project of the Civic Academy Foundation, in partnership with the Memoria Cultural Foundation, and as part of the “Active European Remembrance” action of the European Commission’s “Europe for Citizens” project
The project sets out to commemorate and inform, and also to pass down to the younger generation lessons about one of the largest deportations in contemporary Romanian history: on 18 June 1951, more than 44,000 people (Romanians, Germans, Serbs, Bulgarians, Aromanians, and refugees from Bessarabia and Bukovina) from the Banat and Mehedinți, the region lying on the frontier with Yugoslavia, were deported to Bărăgan, Romania’s largest steppe. The deportation operation involved 2,696 railway wagons and 6,211 trucks. When they reached their destination, the 44,000 deportees were unloaded in the middle of the plain and left to build their own shelters using mud bricks and straw or reeds. The official grounds for the deportation were that the deportees “did not present any guarantees for state security.”
The events held as part of the “Remembering the Romanian Deportations” project aim to commemorate and reflect upon what took place on 18 June 1951 and the destiny of those 44,000 people, as well as to initiate a public debate on the broad subject of understanding the recent past through the connection between Memory and History. The project also aims to focus attention on the victims of communism, by foregrounding individual lives against the wider backdrop of the communist period.
The project’s target audience is young people under the age of thirty, made up of high-school, masters and doctoral students; journalists; and victims of the deportations, including both the survivors and their descendents, whose memories are a document of the recent past and with whose help alone will the historical truth be revealed; and the wider public, regardless of age, since it is upon their knowledge of the recent past and historical truth our future depends.