Yesterday ZIUA published an article written by His Excellency Aleksandr Tolkaci, Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Bucharest, which has caused reactions. His Excellency's article denied thesis that "the liberation of countries from fascism did not bring freedom, but occupation, for which present Russian should apologize." Here are some of the numerous comments we have been sent.
Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mihai Razvan Ungureanu commented on the significance of May 9 as reported in "Romania libera" daily: " To the public consciousness of the entire world, May 9 means the defeat of Nazi totalitarianism by the principles of freedom and democracy. But for millions of Europeans, the end of this world disaster did not bring freedom and democracy unfortunately, but a different kind of totalitarianism. May 9, 1945 made Romania and other states from central and Oriental Europe were seized by Communist totalitarianism, which lasted more than 40 years. To us, May 9 1945 is the day of almost 50 years of tears and suffering. We can't possibly avoid thinking about all these, while commemorating those who died on the battlefield and also those who died in gulags, camps and communist prisons. It is a fortunate coincidence that May 9 is also the Day of Europe. Perhaps this is the sweetest revenge that our wish for freedom and dignity has ever conceived. Therefore May 9 is also the Day of United Europe we are part of. All those who were on one side or the other must at that time must take responsibility for the past such as it is - full of victories, defeats, mistakes -, grand or on the contrary, lowered in the marshland of history. Unless this is done, the future itself is doomed to conflict, because any war between memories ends, unfortunately, in irreconcilable disputes on symbols, values and identities. A short while ago somebody said that our relation with the past reveals more about our attitude towards the present than the past itself. We cannot forget what happened in September 23 1939. We cannot forget that the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Reich and the Foreign affairs Minister of the Soviet Union signed a document that separated freedom and communist prisons for good. The latter had then won the game. Even it today we find it unimaginable, to many people the fear of totalitarianism, the fear of falling under the fangs of a totalitarian regime could mean desire to get somewhere else, to a different totalitarian regime. Today we are not to issue passionate or politically biased sentences about the circumstantial logic of that past. (Anne Marie LUPASCU)