Uncomfortable pages in the history of Romanian archeology: Odessa and Transnistria, 1941-1944 Cover Image

Pagini inconfortabile din istoria arheologiei românești: Odessa și Transnistria, 1941-1944
Uncomfortable pages in the history of Romanian archeology: Odessa and Transnistria, 1941-1944

Author(s): Radu-Alexandru Dragoman
Subject(s): Archaeology
Published by: Editura Renaissance
Keywords: history of archaeology; Second World War; Romania; Ukraine; Odessa; Transnistria; museums; libraries; collections;

Summary/Abstract: The present text (Uncomfortable pages from the history of Romanian archaeology: Odessa and Transnistria, 1941-1944) refers to an episode in the history of Romanian archaeology which was ignored by archaeologists, and eluded even in the memoires written by some of the participants, namely the systematic robbery of some museums and libraries in Transnistria – a province between the Dniester and Bug Rivers, created after the military attack against the Soviet Union in 1941 (Operation Barbarossa), with the capital at Odessa, and placed under Romanian administration between 1941 and 1944. I also discuss the authorities’ plan to make archaeological excavations in the region. All these plans and actions are considered in relation to other official political measures, such as the killing of Jews, Roma and Communists. Based on the presented data, I argue that the policy of the Romanian authorities in Transnistria had been very similar with that of the Nazis in other occupied regions in the Ukraine and Russia; at the same time, it must be mentioned that there is a difference with respect to the context in which the German archaeologists involved in such actions activated, and the context of the Romanian ones: while the former had chosen to join the Nazi archaeological organizations Amt-Rosenberg and SS-Ahnenerbe (the majority), the latter had to obey the superiors’ orders, as they were reserve officers mobilized due to the military conflict.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 13
  • Page Range: 7-42
  • Page Count: 35
  • Language: Romanian