Aurora Moroşanu - Memories from the refuge


Uploaded by AnaisColibaba on 23.12.2011

Transcript:
The film that you are about to watch consists of the life story told by Mrs. Aurora Morosanu.
She is in fact my father's aunt.
As you can see, I am one of the story- listeners myself.
Therefore, what you are about to hear and watch is a true depiction
of her own history and of the period in which she, together with her 4 siblings,
were forced to leave Basarabia which was due to become part of the Soviet Union.
It was really important for me to listen to this story being told- firstly,
because of the link with my own origins.
I was interested from the beginning to find out my family's context in that period;
respectively in which way the future generations were influenced by historical events.
I was extremely thrilled when I came to realize that this is no ordinary story
it is rather unique, actually.
Because what you are about to watch is truly a novel or a film-like story- and
it highlights the life-lessons which Mrs. Aurora had to experience from a very early age.
These taught her about renouncement, about coping with completely unpredictable situations
you will find out that "Law was Law! and that there couldn't be done anything about it;
mercy was gradually lost and only law stood out.
This video will show you how history can truly change a person's life,
how it can irrevocably change the somehow natural, inertial course of destiny
for instance, who knows if this family would have ever left their hometown otherwise,
probably not- maybe I would have been myself brought up in Basarabia.
So what followed was truly affected by that memorable historical event-maybe hundreds of destinies were forever changed by it.
The story is a forceful illustration of the impact that the political history has on the individual history.
In June 1940, a week after France's surrender, Romania received 2 ultimatums from the Soviet Union
through which Basarabia's immediate and unconditional evacuation had to take place.
This region had belonged to the Russian Empire between 1812 and 1917
and had been unified to Romania and Northern Bucovina after World War I.
The Soviet ultimatum was based on the secret expansionist annex
of the peace pact signed between Germany and the Soviet Union (The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact).
The Romanian Government had to concede to the unfavourable German and Soviet orders.
June 1940
To avoid the regime, some of Basarabia's citizens seek for refuge in Romania. Aurora Morosanu was among them.
In June 1940, she was 9 years old.
We found out that Basarabia had already been taken
according to the Vienna Agreement it had been established that in 3 days time
people either had to leave or stay.
Mother wouldn't arrive and father was showing us how big the melons were
and how extraordinary the field and the harvest had been that year.
When she finally came home, mother gave us the news that we had
to leave according to the Agreement.
That's when the tragedy unfolded: father didn't want to leave,
he was saying" Why should we go? What to do with 5 children?!
There was this Jew who came to us and told us not to leave.
He was saying "Don't leave. The Russians won't do anything to you."
Father was on the verge of following his advice,
he didn't want to leave because he knew what would come next.
Whereas Mother-noo, she knew better.
Lucky she had a friend who was nicknamed "The Rusca of the Fataciune"
her real surname was Serbacov.
She was older than Mother, a clever woman who had travelled through all of Russia,
she had a lot of children; a noble woman.
She came self-willingly to check if we had left and we hadn't.
If the hadn't come then, surely Siberia would have eaten us.
"Siberia will eat, no matter how much you have worked and learnt and taught these children.
Siberia eats everybody. And you know, you have no idea of the Russian's policy..."
People started carrying out buckets of wine from our basement, they took the windows out.
Who were these people?
The village people. The rebellion had started. The rich people were leaving and..."
Weren't they also planning to leave? The village people?
How could they leave if they were illiterate?...
Nobody had went to school but us.
The majority used their fingerprints as signatures.
It was now that the school was founded, after '18 and it didn't have a settlement.
Half of grandfather's house was rented to the school and it was only youngsters like myself,
like Octavian that went to school. The rest was uneducated.
Nobody had left the village.
What can you put in a carriage?
5 children, right? 5 children and a cow chained in the back?... What?...
And she didn't leave until we had left.
Everything was full, the shed was full with cereals,
the attic and the basement were full with wine, we even had a lot of birds.
That's when I did my first sin.
I was only a child back then, I enjoyed working around the household,
I was hooked, I probably never would have left that place.
As I saw those people carrying out our wine from the attic, I told Mother
Look, mother, they're taking away our wine and removing our windows!"
But Mother only answered : "Mind your business, don't bother".
Behind the barn there were some chicken who had flocked there.
After seeing people carrying our produces, I cut one of the chicken by myself
and I went to Mother and I told her "So that we have something to eat, boil them, Mother".
How old were you?
How old..? Nine years old.
We left early in the morning.
We left the house open, the burning lamp on the table;
grandmother lived and she didn't want to come with us.
Grandfather had died 2 years ago.
This aunt of my mother came and together with my mum tried
to convince my grandmother to leave as well.
But she didn't want
you see, the old conceptions, she couldn't leave my grandfather's grave, it was still warm.
Lucky grandmother - this lady, Aunt Adela was a cheerful woman -
had had a job but had retired because of health reasons
she said she couldn't see well.
Now, after she came, she could perfectly see out of fear...
you see, in our house the Mayor-hall was set in as the Russians came.
We left early in the morning and everything remained the same in the house
the door was open , furniture still there,
everything and grandmother was crying.
I can still remember, as we exited the village,
the field was all worked and so were the vineyards.
Our parents were crying- we were all crying.
Who knew if we'd ever come back? And that's how it was, we never did.
If the line.... would have been late, they didn't take away rich people.
They had taken away a man called Vasile Cavajun who happened to light a candle
at church and of course, somebody turned him in.
It was enough just for someone to say :
"That man did that or said that"
so they took the poor man and his wife she was bundled up in a blanket, ill and unguilty, took her in a car...
They took away someone else because he was "cuzist" (a different political view),
another one who was forester... yes, forester, what was so big about this function?...
The car that was supposed to take away grandmother and the aunt
was stuck in the forest in Harcesti and bombarded it couldn't make it to Cataleni.
It had been assumed that it was coming to take the last serie.
So they had been defended... it the front would have been late by a day,
they wouldn't have been found.
Grandmother got heart-sick because of this.
She died at 62 years old.
She was a very beautiful and truly kind woman.
She was so civilized..., she never said "tu" (you) to her son in law (to my father).
Grandmother probably cried, she had lived with fear.
When the war started, we were in Husi.
My friend, Margareta, who died last year, she was remembering (she never forgot this journey she had made)
Do you know your brother who was saying "Go Neamtu"
so quickly arrived there" when he arrived at the Albita Bridge, they weren't allowed to pass anymore.
Poor mother, desperately, went to the General,
he spoke Romanian- the army was passing over the bridge and the civilians couldn't pass anymore, it was already too late:
"Let us pass- we have our children in Romania, please, think about us, we're staying here.."
Mother never forgot what the general told her then: "Woman, listen in war time, there is no mercy"
"Have mercy, Mr." "No, woman, in wartime there is no such thing, there is only the LAW.
But she didn't cease to go near him and beg until he decided to scare her off and ordered:
"Soldier, come here, take this woman and throw her in the river"
He didn't throw her but he just wanted to scare her that's when she backed off
and realized it wasn't possible to pass... then he said "Go towards Tiganca".
They still had to go a couple of tens of km.
And they finally passed in the last moment.
She said that they managed to catch the border open just 10-15 minutes before it had to close...