Inquiry asked over horrors of the ex-communist orphanage in Siret, deaths of 340 children investigated

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The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of Romanian Exile (IICCMER) has asked the General Prosecutor’s Office to investigate  the deaths of hundreds of children who lived in the so-called „orphanage of horror” during the communist years in Suceava county, northern Romania, Digi 24 reported.

The stories of the children admitted to the Neurosurgery Hospital in Siret, Suceava county, are no novelty, they have been revealed after the Revolution of 1989, but no actions have been taken so far against those in charge of the orphanage back then. Hundreds of children endured great pains, they were beaten, starved or ill-treated, while many of them did not survive the horrors. No less than 340  deaths are suspect, referring to a period ranging from 1980 to 1989.

Radu Preda, researcher at IICCMER argued that the high death toll in that institution raises suspicions. „When you look on the track record of an institution of that type and you suddenly see a growing death rate you start questioning. We found out spectacular increases… First, we found out malnutrition cases, the denial to a medical treatment, these are direct causes related to the children’s deaths,” he explained.

Preda also advanced a potential figure of all the victims- around 10,000, which is huge. „It represents a chapter of terrible genocide”.

There are tens of testimonies of the surviving children, now adults, about those dreadful times.

Since I was a small child, I used to hide under the bed, I was afraid the nurses would beat me, we were tied up, there were some who died from the pills, because of the treatment”, said one victim for the above-mentioned source.

They used to beat me for nothing, for no reason at all”, said another victim.

A man who was priest in Siret back then, also said there were children who had no psychiatric problems. The priest also recounted how the authorities in the orphanage used to get rid of the children who died, sometimes the kids were buried directly in the grave without any religious ceremony.

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