The Institute of Social History “ProMemoria”
On the eve of Victory Day and Commemoration of the Heroes Fallen for the Independence of the Motherland, the Institute of Social History “ProMemoria” makes a call to the authorities of the Republic of Moldova, its political parties and civil society.
- Respecting with piety the memory of all the victims of the Second World War, and expressing our profound gratitude to all those who contributed to the victory against Nazism;
- Being aware of the consequences of the Second World War, especially for Eastern Europe, where the end of the war also meant exchanging a Nazi totalitarian regime for Communist totalitarianism;
- Underlining the importance of preserving historical memory and understanding it as part of European history;
- Acknowledging the importance of recognizing the symbolic value of apolitical commemorations in the process of the reconciliation of the society.
We observe and wish to draw attention to:
- The fracturing of society and the deepening of tensions between competing memories, due to the promotion by previous governments of memory policies that derive from Cold War ideologies;
- The necessity to overcome political practices that retrieve from the past ideas of triumphalism, grandeur and Soviet militarism, and that, in certain cases, nourish nostalgia for the empire and re-establish clichés and myths of totalitarian ideology;
- The negative effects of activities that promote symbols which are foreign to our national history and culture, and which might provoke tense discourses and hostile attitudes. The history of the Second World War does not only contain symbols and episodes of glory and victory, but also moments of uncertainty, pain, ambiguity and missed historical opportunities. Only by taking all these aspects into account can we cultivate a respectful attitude and openness towards other versions of history.
- The need to bring back to the public space of the Republic of Moldova ideas of reconciliation by sharing lived experiences and promoting dialogue between representatives of various memory communities. In this case, a sincere exchange of opinions, in which all memory communities should participate and, most importantly, listen to each other with mutual respect, might facilitate the construction of a historical memory that is characteristic of the European space.
Professor Anatol Petrencu
Director of the Institute of Social History “ProMemoria”
May 5, 2011