75 years since ‘the Romanian Katyn’ massacre at Fântâna Albă – 3,000 Romanians killed

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In the locality of Fântâna Albă, Cernăuţi region, Ukraine, are commemorated on Friday the victims of the massacre committed by the Soviets in 1941, when over three thousand Romanians were executed because they wanted to flee to Romania from Northern Bukovina, occupied by the USSR, romania-actualitati.ro informs.

Among the participants will be Minister for Relations with Romanians everywhere, Dan Stoenescu, Senator Viorel Badea and Deputy Mihai Aurelian.

At Fântâna Albă, the location of mass graves in which the victims of the massacre were thrown, are to be held commemorative events.

Activities are to be attended by representatives of the Romanian Senate, who will lay at Poiana Varniţa a wreath of flowers.

3,000 Romanians from Bukovina (north-eastern Romania, part of it now in Ukraine) died on April 1, 1941, put down by the Russians’ machine guns. They wanted to leave the hostile territory occupied by the Red Army and return to the motherland, the Romanians paid with their lives and finally were thrown into mass graves, adevarul.ro reports.

In 1940, following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Romania was forced to cede northern Bukovina and Bessarabia to the Soviet Union. Approximately 3 million Romanians found themselves overnight in a foreign land. The territory was occupied by the Soviet Red Army which established a regime of terror in which Romanians were punished for the simple fact that were part of the Romanian nation. Many of Bukovina residents found themselves separated from their families in Romania. Most Romanians under the Russian occupation had only one dream: to get back their families and to return home. 3,000 of them started on the road on April 1, 1941, the day of Easter to Romania, convinced that they could cross the border. They paid with their lives.

It is said that on April 1, 1941 the massacre was orchestrated by the Russians. Soviet agitators rumoured before Easter that the borders with Romania will open and Bukovina residents will be able to move freely to their motherland. About 3,000 Romanians from several villages in the Siret Valley left on Easter on foot, for the border. Dressed in white, lined with priests in front, carrying icons and flags they left for Romania, but stopped two kilometres from the border, in the town of Fântâna Albă, where the Russians were waiting with the NKVD machine guns.

Senator Viorel Badea said recently for Romanian Radio: “After the commemoration, a Te Deum commemoration will be officiated in the presence of priests from Putna Monastery. We will have a meeting with local authorities, with the governor of the Cernăuţi region and on the morning of April 2 we will go to the University of Cernăuţi, where there will be a conference on ‘The Massacre at Fântâna Albă’, followed by a meeting with teachers of Romanian language in Cernăuţi region and Romanian mayors of localities in the region of  Cernăuţi.”

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