Christian Mercy and Pro-Social Behaviors in the Memory of the Deportation of German Ethnics from Romania to the Soviet Union

Lavinia Betea


If the classic history of events is written in the spirit of winners, the approaches of collective mental reveal that wars are disasters and collective traumas for all of the involved communities. In the following pages we will present the decantation in long term memory of a relevant fact the deportation of German ethnics from Romania to forced labor in the Soviet Union (January 1945). On the base of a secret directive, sent by Stalin, approximately 75 000 Romanian citizens of German ethnicity were forced to work three-four years, some even more, at the reconstruction of the Soviet country. The source of the decision, its place and extent, and also the way to atone for the collective guilt was hidden from the deportees. At the end of the punishment, they were forbidden to speak about the deportation in the public and private space. When they returned home, all of their material evidence of the years spent in the Soviet Union was confiscated and destroyed. In a project financed by the European Union (coordinated by Lavinia Betea), 50 interviews with survivors of deportation and their descendants were published. The resulting accounts allowed this psycho-sociological analysis of the memory of deportation, centered on ethical and religious aspects of the behaviors and attitudes of victims and their descendants.


collective guilt, deportation, forced labor, collective memory, exemplary memory.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.