The year 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the deportation of women and men of German origin from Romania to forced labor in the Soviet Union. In January 1945 nearly 70,000 working-age persons were coercively transported to the Donbass. For those affected, it seemed to be a cloak-and dagger operation. However, documents show that the exploitation of “German laborers” for the reconstruction of the areas of the Soviet Union destroyed by the war was addressed by the Allies and meticulously planned by the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs (NKVD). Ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche) as well as German citizens from all over Central Eastern Europe were deployed for reconstruction.
This contribution discusses the memorialisation of the deportation of Romanian Germans to the Soviet Union, which took place in 1945, emphasising the links between the deportation and previous events and processes such as the appeal of Fascism for Romanian German communities and the mass enrolment of Romanian Germans in the SS.
This article deals with the efforts to assess the Securitate files, while focusing on Romanian German writers. I address, on the one hand, the explanatory power of this type of source and, on the other hand, the effects which the opening of secret service archives has had on a specific group, in this case the Romanian Germans. On the basis of an analysis of the media discourse regarding the unofficial involvement of Romanian-German actors in the Securitate that is centered around concepts of “guilt”, “justice” and “legality”, I will outline the most important problems in the process of coming to terms with the Securitate heritage: the uncertain explanatory power and the hardly manageable amount of sources, the (delayed) need to come to terms with both the national-socialist and communist past as well as the deep involvement of affected persons in the process itself. As a potential way out of these dilemmas, I will apply a professionalized instrument of analysis to this problematic type of source, which involves a stronger focus on comparable cases and issues which overcome the ethnocentric perspective.