The history of communism in Romania will become a mandatory subject in high schools, a lawmaker announced Friday.
Romanian students will learn about how the communists came to power in 1945, the abuses they committed, such as imprisoning hundreds of thousands of people including intellectuals, politicians, students, priests, seized private property and land and instilled fear into the population with an all-pervasive secret police.
Communism ended in 1989 when Romanians rose up and overthrew dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena, who were executed on Christmas Day. Some 1,300 were killed during the uprising.
After communism ended, many second-tier communists came to power who were not prepared to make a clean break with the past, or have the injustices and crimes revealed.
Slowly, Romania made progress toward democracy, joining NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007.
But in recent years, there has been a rise in populism and nostalgia for the past, notably the creation of the Alliance for the Union of all Romanians, which is anti-Western and revisionist. It took fourth place in Parliament.
The initiative to make the history of communism a mandatory subject came from Alexandru Muraru, the government special representatice for the politics of memory, combatting anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
It is part of a wider draft law called „the pre-university law for „Educated Romania.” Romania’s education ministry will provide teaching materials with other specialized instituties.
„Three decades after communism collapsed, tomorrow’s generations will be educated in the spirit of democracy, the values of freedom and combatting the the falsification of history,” Muraru said.
„We have this duty in the context of hate speech and denial propaganda which leads to nostalgia to the illegitimate and criminal communist regime.’