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Romanian Embassy releases final nominal list of 20,718 Romanian POWs, civilian deportees buried in Russia

Cristi Șelaru
Moscova

The Romanian Embassy in Moscow published the names of another nearly 10,000 Romanian prisoners of war and civilian deportees buried in the international cemeteries located in the Russian Federation, thus completing the full nominal list with the data of those who died between 1941 and 1956 in the NKVD-MVD camps, hospitals and special facilities, respectively in the Soviet labor battalions.

After the release, last year, of a first table with the identification data of 10,724 prisoners buried in the international cemeteries on Russian Federation soil, Romania's Embassy in Moscow has now published the full list with the names of those who could be identified following the one decade-long research conducted by the diplomatic mission in the Russian archives.

The final list includes the data (name, surname, year of birth, military rank, date and place of death - number of the camp or hospital) of 20,718 Romanian prisoners of war and deported civilians who died between 1941 - 1956 in the NKVD- MVD camps, hospitals, special facilities and Soviet labor battalions and who are buried in the present territory of the Russian Federation.

"During Passion Week and in the unfortunate context of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am able to announce that the Embassy of Romania in Moscow has completed the process of putting together the FULL NOMINAL LIST OF 20,718 ROMANIAN PRISONERS OF WAR (MILITARY) AND INTERNEES (DEPORTED CIVILIANS) who died between 1941 - 1956 in NKVD-MVD camps, hospitals and special facilities, respectively in the Soviet labor battalions, and who are buried in international cemeteries and burial sites on the present territory of the Russian Federation. 20,718 is the maximum number of Romanian prisoners of war and civilian 'internees' - who died in Russia and who could be identified during the research conducted by our mission in the Russian archives for 10 years (2009 - 2019)," ambassador Vasile Soare wrote on Thursday on Facebook.

The diplomat mentioned that bringing to light and releasing for the knowledge of their descendants and of the Romanian public opinion the identification data of the former Romanian prisoners of war and deportees who never returned from Russia is a first in Romanian historiography.

The nominal alphabetical list of the 20,718 Romanian prisoners of war and civilian "internees" who died and were buried in Russia is available on the website of the Romanian Embassy in Moscow, at the section Bilateral Relations / Commemoration of Romanian Heroes, point 6: https://moscova.mae.ro/node/931.

The list is accompanied by the annex "Locations of international cemeteries on the territory of the present Russian Federation, where Romanian prisoners of war and civilian 'internees' who died between 1941 - 1956 are buried."

This is the final act of a ten-year research effort by the Embassy of Romania in Moscow in the main Russian archives - the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Military Archive, the Russian State Military Historical Archive, the Russian State Archive of the Economy, the Russian State Archive for Social and Political History, the Central Archive of the Russian Security Service, the Central Archive of the Russian Federation's Ministry of Defense.

"We have the satisfaction of an accomplished mission, of having managed to offer some of these people's descendants at least the possibility to learn that their grandparents and great-grandparents have been identified, even if only 75 years after the end of the War, because many of them only new their ancestors had gone missing and nothing else. ... At the same time, we carry the ever-abiding deep regret that not all our prisoners of war and those who were heavy-handedly deported from Romania have had the chance to be registered in the camps of the 1940s, for their names to be found today in the archives, or that many are simply nowhere to be found," said ambassador Vasile Soare.

"A heartfelt 'thank you' to my colleague Ilie Schipor [minister-counsellor at the Embassy of Romania in Moscow between 2009 - 2019] for the selflessness he has shown in the archival research and for having been by my side during the last ten years along this journey of permanent searches and in carrying out so many projects dedicated to commemorating the tens of thousands of Romanian troops and civilians who died and were buried in Russia," ambassador Soare also notes.

According to research, about 230,000 Romanian soldiers were taken prisoners during WW II on the present territory of Russia, around 65,000 - 66,000 of whom died in the Russian camps.

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