Dobrudja: tales of exodus, exile and colonization
Dobrudja is Romania's only maritime province, a beguiling region wedged between the Danube and the Black Sea. It was -and it is- a land at the extreme edge of Europe (at a time when this term made anyway little sense) which touches the sea on the same coast line as Constantinople itself, never too far from it for comfort, and whose imperial shadow, be it Byzantine or Ottoman always kept the province in an ambiguous status of dependency. It was a land which the Roman Emperor found fit enough to raise on it a mausoleum at Tropaeum Traiani -in the wooded country near Adamclisi-proclaiming ephemeral conquests. It was a fringe land where Ottoman Sultans had hunted wild boar, deer and big game birds and buried their saints, where the whirling dervishes found shelter for a while.
And it was, until recently a land of exodus, nomadism, exile and miscegenation. Its stories are those of its people: as multiple and divers as the layers of a fantastic cake whose dough can never be reached no matter how much digging: the spoon will always get stuck in stilt of history. And there were always many stories to be told: from that of the tourist to those of the colonist: one is the story is of the pleasure trip and quest for exotic the other one is the story of the survival, of life or death. When Sir Sacheverel Sitwell visited this province at the peak of its prosperity as part of the kingdom of Romania in the 1930's he wrote:
'The Dobrudja, in fact, especially in this southern part of it represents a mixture of races that is nearly incredible'.
Sitwell goes on to enumerate, apart from the Romanian themselves (who constituted the majority), also the ' Turks, the Raskolniki or Old Believers, Bespovtsi Russians, Tartars, Gagaoutzes Lippovan, Cossacks, Skoptzi' and so forth..
'Even the big port and pleasure resort of Constanta -adds Sitwell- has a few ruined mosques among its smart shops and cafes'
'Constanta -continues Sitwell- , is the Roman Tomi, to which Ovid was exiled, and where he died. From Constanta to the south, down the Black Sea coast, the climate and scenery are that of the Riviera, culminating at Balcic, only a few miles from the Bulgarian frontier. This little town, which faces due south and is protected by the hills at its back, has an exceptional, or sub-tropical climate of its own. Anything will grow there. Since Queen Mary built herself a villa, Balcic has grown into celebrity.
On the other hand there are many relics of Turkey left behind in Dobrudja. On the other side of the Danube Delta from Valcov, but no more than forty miles away, is the Turkish village of Babadag, in beautiful wooded country, with trees and pure waters beloved by the Turks. It has mosques and minarets and the tombs of some Musulman saints.'
The coastal town of Balcic in Southern Dobrudja's Cadrilater painted at a time when it was still a part of the Kingdom of Romania. Together with Bazargic or Pazargic, it was main center of the Caliacra County, one of the two counties (the other being Durostor) constituting the Romanian Cadrilater.. Macedo-Romanians or Vlachs from Greece, Bulgaria and Albania were given lands in 1923 respectively 1926 in this maritime province renowned for its mild climate and fertile soil. (picture courtesy of the Museum of Tulcea)
But the Romanian inhabitants of Dobrudja themselves were quite differentiated: There were the Transylvanian shepherds or Mocani and their scions on one side, and Macedo-Romanians known also as Vlachs (most of them obviously shepherds too) coming up north from Greece and Bulgaria on the other side. To these was added an eclectic segment of Romanian proper of the Old Kingdom (known by the generic name of Regateni)
The Mocani were great owners of substantial flocks of sheep, whose original home was situated in two pastoral pockets in Southern Transylvania.
The first pocket of Mocani lied in the immediate vicinity, just south- east of the town of Brasov or Kronstadt in what is today the market-town of Sacele, place until recently known as Seven Villages or Sapte Sate. These true Mocani had their permanent homes located these seven united villages of quite urban appearance, where their considerable wealth was amassed, while their money safely deposited in in the bank vaults of Brasov/Kronstadt. During the winters, while the senior -already well off- Mocani would remain at home, their flocks, accompanied by younger shepherds would leave Sacele heading south and spend the cold season in regions with a milder climate such as Dobrudja, Cadrilater or sheltered amid the Danube's rich grazing lands bordering these provinces. Though most of them returned -as a rule- back home in Transylvania, some of the more independent minded single shepherds -having in some cases family waiting for them- would remain in Dobrudja and Cadrilater. After Dobrudja (previously an Ottoman province) became Romanian territory in 1877, the Romanian Mocani were actively encouraged to settle permanently in this province, in some cases being offered land by the Government. But the pattern of colonization, of coming-going, returning, remaining and settling was more complex than it is generally assumed.
As Johann Hintz, a Saxon lawyer and author of Brasov-Kronsatdt points out in his book 'Das Wanderne Siebenburgen' published in his hometown in 1878, these Romanian Mocani, as Austrian subjects of Transilvania (province ruled until 1918 by the Habsburg) were jealously protected by the Austrian Consuls in Turkey and Romania while they sojourned on these territories. would offer consular assistance and would represent, (and even bail them off if they were in trouble, which was quite frequent the case) Their special status derived from purely pragmatic purposes: the wool of their sheep was vital for the functioning of substantially wool manufacturing industries using advanced machinery of Brasov/Kronstadt, which was prospering on orders for military uniforms, tents and blankets, products which were then exported throughout the Austrian Empire and beyond it. The uniforms worn by the multiethnic Austrian army which fought the Battle of Solferino -to give only one example- were woven from the thick wool by the of Brasov using hard Mocani sheep wool.
The second pocket of Mocani was equally situated in Transylvania, in the vicinity of Sibiu or Hermanstadt, in an ethnographic area called to this day Marginime (hence the alternative name of Margineni they had). These other Mocani had a third name, that of Tutuienii (caused by the conical shapes of the fur hats they used to wear) and even a fourth one: that of 'Unseres Gebirg Wallachen' ('Our Mountain Vlachs') as they were called by their neighbours the German speaking Saxons of Transylvania or by the Austrian authorities themselves.
The patterns of winter migration of these other Mocani were only partially similar to those of their kin of Sacele. They too would head for Dobrudja and the Danube, sometimes reaching Cape Caliacra and even the outskirts of the Black Sea town of Varna. But as a rule, each village of the Marginime would head for a specific destination. Yet some would shun an overcrowded Dobrudja where competition for the pastures was fierce heading instead for Transdnestria, Crimea, even the Caucasus or the mouth of the Don river.
To these -settled in Dobrudja- Mocani of Marginime, belonged the family of Nicolae M. Nicolae, a son of a Mocan Transylvanian shepherd born in Dobrudja's Cadrilater, who climbed the ladders of the social scale eventually becoming Romania's Ambassador in Washington D.C. In a recently written account titled De la Aidemir la Almalau, Mr.Nicolae describes his place of birth in the eve of the fatidic year 1940, when the Bulgaria -a firm Nazi ally- was about to wrestle back the the Cadrilater from Romania.
"Silistra, the capital of Durostor county, town where I was born in 1924 had always its life on the normal track: I would even say this was the place where various ethnicities set up a model of peaceful living. The inhabitants of Silistra, numbering 16 000 souls were Romanians, Bulgarians, Turks, Armenians and Jewish. All these ethnicities had their own primary -and even secondary- schools in their own language. The Romanian language was the lingua franca of this living together.
For the Romanians of Silistra, as for all the other Romanians, 1940 was the year of the great disillusions an despair. After the September 1940 Treaty of Vienna, the Romanians of Cadrilater begun to feel deprived of the protection of the Romanian state. The appointing of General Gh. Argesanu as commander of the southern front of Dobrudja, with the concrete task of defending this region, had for a while cheered up the spirits and had an encouraging effect. Unfortunately, everything lasted just a while. By the direct orders of General Antonescu, the arrest of General Argesanu took place in Constanta"
Vila Sutu in Constanta as it looks today. The Sutus (sometimes spelled Soutzos) was a Romanian family of Phanariote descent.
"By October 1st 1940 -continues Mr. Nicolae- the evacuation of the Romanian population of Cadrilater was practically completed. Seven kilometers off Silistra was the village of Aidemir, inhabited principally by the Mocani, scions of the shepherds settled with theirflocks of sheep from the Transylvania's Marginime of Sibiu. My father was part of that first generation of Mocani born in Cadrilater. These Mocani -stubbornly hoping the departed Romanian Armies would soon be back - refused to leave their place of birth and obey the agreement stipulating the exchange of population. In Aidemir, there was a Romanian language school -founded by the -Eforia Scoalelor (the School Directorate)- already in place in 1880. My parents decided to join the inhabitants of Aidemir so we stayed behind in Silistra. The Bulgarian authorities, which took over Cadrilater after October the 1st 1940, were informed by our decision, and apparently agreed to accept our choice.
The Bulgarians' very first move was though to forcibly change our surnames into Bulgarian ones. From Nicolae Marin, my father suddenly became Nicolaef. The second phase consisted in depriving us of the Romanian citizenship and exchanging it into Bulgarian one, measure that was not out of place considering the rules under which we lived in Bulgaria.
After consulting with lawyers, the Romanians of Aidemir decided they cannot accept the new citizenship hence decided to leave for good their homes Cadrilater. We were given a deadline term of three days to pack and the right to fill a single carriage (two carriages for the inhabitants of the towns) with our possessions .
Thus on December 15th 1940, we all crossed the new Bulgarian-Romanian frontier at the Ostrov crossing point. It was a terrible frost outdoors. We still did not know where will we stop or settle. At the border, other miseries were awaiting us. We, as refugees, did not posses any legal authorization to cross the border, so the Romanian sentinels would not permit us to enter the country. They thought that the action called "exchange of population" was completed. The whole convoy of refugees was forced to remain in limbo, in the neutral zone for the next eight hours. Finally, the luck smiled to us. From the fog of the Danube there appeared an officer riding a horse, who, after listening to our plea, ordered the sentinels to let us in. (..)
The convoy of carriages silently crossed the frontier and from here, each of us spread out according to his wish. Most of the villagers of Aidemir settled at Almalau.,near Ostrov, village itself abandoned by the departure of the Bulgarians"
* * *
Apart from the Romanian Mocani - whose tragic glimpses of tales we just saw above, Dobrudja became the home, at various stages of its history, of the Macedo-Romanians, known also by the generic name of Vlachs. The Vlachs were colonized in Romania from what is today Greece, Albania and South-Western Bulgaria into the Dobrudja principally in 1923 and 1926. They were offered by the Romanian Government substantial land, of which they became the sole owners and were encouraged to form villages in the counties of Durostor and Caliacra. The reason of their departure from Greece was the disturbance of the traditional patterns of the Vlach life (of which grazing rights was the most important one) caused by the Greek refugees from Asia minor forcibly settled among the native populations Macedonia and Epirus. Those coming from Albania (mainly from the stronghold of Pleasa where a Romanian school was active already from 1882) had also found themselves difficult to accommodate themselves within the insecure borders of the new Kingdom of Albania, preferring instead to settle instead in Romania.
It is important we dispel the myth that Dobrudja was a "hostile land", a kind of no-man's land Siberia where the unfortunate was " banished", and where subsequently the "honest Vlach" was "tricked", sometimes against his will, by the "wicked" Romanian Government only to be abandoned and later relocated . We saw the fate of the Transylvanian Mocani, who were equally trapped in the quagmires of the unforgiving history.
It became a custom of the Greek historians (not realizing why anyone on earth would have preferred to leave the Greek "paradise") to describe Dobrudja in such grim colors as "a desolate land of steppes" as Asterios Koukoudhis does in his book "Studies on Vlachs".
In fact, not only that the newly founded Vlach vilages of Cadrilater were built -as Matilda Caragiu Marioteanu recollects- "up on the slopes of the hills" and not on some low "desolate steppes". Dobrudja itselef, especially its southern part, was quite a fertile land so that even such a fussy commentator as Sir Sacheverel Sitwell would point out in 1930's that it has "..an exceptional climate ..anything will grow there". We feel we have to reproduce his words again, for the Greek historians need to make an effort to open their eyes and realize beyond the appearances or clichÃ©s.. Too often indolent minds become complacent in seeing the Romanian realities through the goggles of the obsolete Cold War propaganda only (something that the Greeks never ceased to do) while Mr. Koukoudhis -though otherwise meticulously competent- never went himself on the ground to check the realities of Dobrudja: its climate, its relief, its architecture or heritage, preferring instead a -reality distorting- pick-and-mix approach.
Nor were the villages of Dobrudja desolate squalid makeshifts. Soon after their arrival in their new home, the Vlachs started to raise for themselves and their families massive stone-houses built in their characteristic solid manner, surrounded by incipient but already orderly fruit-tree orchards, walnut trees and beehives: the signs of prosperity about to come though suddenly interrupted by the shifting of the frontiers.
An account of how really a Vlach village of Cadrilater looked like -as such given below by Matilda Caragiu-Marioteanu) is a must for the reader and for those Greek historian still utterly ignorant of more distant geographies and history.
Matilda Caragiu-Marioteanu belongs to a Vlach family originating in Hrupistea (today Argos Orestikon in Greek Macedonia) and Samarina, and who arrived in Cadrilater just before her birth in 1928. Her brother, the famous Romanian actor Toma Caragiu was himself born in Greece just before the family moved in Romania.
Writes Matilda Cargiu Marioteanu about her Vlach village in Cadrilater:
"The Christmas of my childhood was an absolute fairy tale, a fairy tale lived south of the Danube in the village of Sarsanlar of the Durostor county. This village had a special charm, it was situated, as most of the Vlach villages were, on the slopes of the hills. Several ethnicities lived in a perfect harmony in this village: Turks, Tartars, Bulgarians, Vlachs, Regateni Romanians, there was even an Armenian, Haic was his name, who kept a shop where fabrics and textiles were sold. It was a colourful world where each would celebrate his own festivities and everything was functioning at the right time. At that time, between 1928 and 1940, Sarsanlar was a village where all the gates of the houses were left open, nothing was ever locked, there were no keys, there were no thieves. This detail says a lot about the people living there. When I am thinking back to Sarsanlar I remember about the general feeling of security, about the peace and serenity of the place (…)
The village was inhabited by rich small-holders. It was in fact a very prosperous village, because the people, no matter their nationality, were very hard working. It seems quite extraordinary for a village of the pre-war period to have looked like a small town: it had butcher shops, cafeterias, bakery stores, restaurants etc. It even had a 'convenience store' "La Boris", who was kept by a Bulgar. In Boris' store one could find everything: colonial wares, spices, fruits and sacks of unroasted green coffee, the one my mother liked, tools, railways for carriages and many, many other wares. In his huge yard, that amazed us children, the ploughman found whatever he needed, the butcher the same, it was, in a word, ware on everyone's liking.
Well, this was the village were my family settled, having come from South, from the Pindus Mountains region"
Plutocracy's paradise: Constanta just before the First World War.
The faÃ§ade of 'Spiru Haret' Lycee in Tulcea, the second largest town of the Romanian province of Dobrudja. Spiryu Haret was a of Macedo-Romanian (Vlach) descent and leading politican and minister of Public Education in the Romanian Government.
Ruritania calling: Belle Ã‰poque on the shores of the Black Sea. Constanta as it looked in 1913. One can see the statue of the exiled Latin poet Ovidius, who eventually died here at old age: a local symbol of exile and survival.
Other Vlachs have arrived in Dobrudja from Greece well before 1923, and they did this uninvited, quite on their own initiative, out of despair, fleeing a volatile land at a time when the Vlach villages were raided by the gruesome Greek anadartes. Agora Rafte, a centenarian Vlach woman (incidentally, still alive three years ago and at the age of 110 the oldest woman in Romania) was born in the village of Negritsa -in today's Greece- in 1890, and arrived in Romania with her family and their large flock of sheep, marching on foot from Greece to Dobrudja, when she was a little girl of thirteen, sometimes in 1903-1904. From her village back in Greece she remembers only 'the slopes of the hills, the gray rocks of the mountains' and 'the songs of my childhood that I sung while out grazing the flocks'. She still sings these songs today, during the long nights when she cannot fall sleep.
'We left our homes because because the Greek andartes were stealing all our sheep during the night' sheconfesses to the journalist interviewing her. Initially they settled in the village of Rahman Siclar in Cadrilater only to be forced out in 1940 by the Bulgarians. Then, after a short spell in the village of Manasia, they eventually settling in Northern Dobrudja's Tulcea county in the village of Stejaru where she was living in 2000.
The 'theft of the sheep' may seem today a trivial enough reason to leave for good one's home, but back then, at the turn at the century, the 'flock' was at the pinnacle of the Vlach way of life life: a whole livelihood depended on it, derived from them: it was vital to their existence: deprived of it, they risked destitution, demise, and ultimate extinction. . Agora Rafte's story is complex and her many built and lost homes fill her memory like a never ending sequels of tragic ends. That she survived all and was available eventually to point the finger at those responsible makes her an all-important witness of the recent past of Dobrudja.
But apart from the memories of Agora, the shepherd girl, who got incredibly old and became venerable senior lady, a Vlach doyennes or, to use the words of the journalist: 'An Empreress sitting like a statue in the light, who still expects news from a war by now long finished, and drinking her cup of coffee with majestic gestures' and whose large slice of life coincided tragically or gloriously with that of Dobrudja, it is maybe wise to turn the eye and see what the professional historian, the one armed with competence and power of insight has to say about the turbulent province.
Sorin Antohi (one of the most promising Romanain historians) has eyes for Dobrudja (or Dobruja as he calls it) too.. In an article titled "From geocultural bovarism to ethnical ontology", Antohi is scanning the province from the stroke of a pen, coming up eventually with a chilling diagnosis. Like some X-ray which unmistakably reveals emaciated skeletons and hollow bone structure only but shuns the very body itself, its corporeal dimension, Antohi dismisses Dobruja as a problematic new-comer in the Romanian folder which is opportunistically used by the "centre" as a sort of experimental ground. According to Antohi Romania can de-Balkanize and re-Balkanize itself, like in a silly game, making good use of this province.
Try to visualize a black-and-white radiography of, say, Boticelli's Primavera behind the Roentgen machine. The same with Dobruja: Antohi is here the pathologist-historian at his best: he sees only its scars, the province's dubious status in relation to Romania, its fraught identity, traumatized ethnic groups, its frivolous functioning as a "leisure" playground . No doubt these scars exist: as the bodies of the likes of Hristu Zisu (whose tragic story we saw above) exist too: they became by now became inseparable part with Dobruja's dust, dry earth and stones. There is too Dobruja's relations with the neighboring provinces that have to be examined with honesty and any kind of kitschy messianic approach really should have no place here.
But there is, one feels, more that has to be ascribed to Dobruja than simply dismissing it a sort of mutant failure or no-man's land. The historian can too be sometimes a nasty killjoy so to speak: he is addicted to see realities exclusively through the framework of his own "methodology" and the irony is that most of the times he is right too. .If deconstructing has sense: we cannot nevertheless keep endlessly deconstructing for its own sake. The medic is washing his hands and dries them with a towel: mission accomplished, who's next please?..Another province scanned in haste, another can of tomato soup ready to get its designer's label. Writes Sorin Antohi:
'The symbolic path dependencies of Wallachia are at least problematic. The Black Sea (Romania's, as well as Bulgaria's 'only trustworthy neighbor') has never played a major role in the history of Romanian self-identity since Dobruja, a despotate under Byzantine suzerainty until the end of the fourteenth century was under direct Turkish occupation between 1415 and 1878. It took a while and Eminescu's poetic genius for the Black Sea to be inscribe din the Romanian imaginary; in the interwar period, the Romanian seaside, expanded at the expense of Bulgaria with three Southern Dobrujan counties (the Cadrilater), was endowed with ports and resorts, and was adopted as a holiday destination by the political elites and by the intellectuals, writers and artists; as I wrote before, Queen Mary's own sentimentalism turned her Southern Dobrujan summer residence, Balcic, into a chich Bohemian colony, and -after her death- into a national memory site. Mass proletarian tourism in the late 1950's and after have definitively put Dobruja (especially its seafront) on the Romanians' mental map
More intuitively, Dobruja could become a privileged site for Romania's re-Balkanization. Unmistakably, Dobruja belongs geographically to the Balkans: it is separated from Wallachia by a North-East turn of the Danube -the much-mentioned natural limes that "protects" Romania from Balkanism-, just like Bulgaria, although it does not fit into the North-South symbolic diagram privileging the civilized, messianic Romanian North. Romanians couldn't do much about Dobruja's geography -with the exception of the infamous Danube-Black Sea Canal- started in the early 1950s as a concentration and extermination camp by the Party-state (not everybody was entitled to paid leave to the seaside!), rather useless economically, but big enough to be seen from the outer space.
But Romanians did do something else instead: they de-Balkanized Dobruja quite quickly and effectively (..) gradually, other ethnic groups have virtually faded away: Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Albanians, Turks and Tartars are still around, but their presence is not significant enough beyond the sphere of ethnography'
The Royal Romanian family on the Black Sea beach at Mamaia. Having just secured Souhern Dobrudja's Cadrilater for his kingdom after the Peace Treaty was signed on his verey homeground in Bucharest, the King could now look the future with confidence. The Greek prime Minister Venizelos was humiliatingly forced at Bucharest to curry favour with the Romanian Prime Minister Titu Maiorescu, eventually having to accept the role of protector of Romania for those Vlachs incorporated within the boundaries of expanded Greece (see text)
Да оправим нещата в съседство, че оттам ни чакат заплахите.
Румънски националисти си искат Южна Добруджа
Изборите в Румъния донесоха нов повей на национализъм от север, който отдавна бе предсказан от световните геополитици. Неслучайно още преди разпадането на Варшавския договор Збигнев Бжежински предупреждаваше, че социализмът ще избие в краен национализъм. Партията на Тудор спечели 20% от гласовете в Парламента с размахването на една карта - карта, на която Румъния е представена в границите си преди Крайовската спогодба и на която Тутракан, Силистра и т.н. Южна Добруджа е във владение на неговата страна. Той обеща на румънците, че ще им върне изконната земя, ако го изберат за президент. Те не повярваха и не го избраха, но той стана вторият човек в тамошната политика след социалиста Илиеску. Отиде на втори тур, където ще загуби, но влиянието му е огромно.
Това става в мултинационална страна, където унгарци, немци и българи са едва ли не една трета. Където по националната телевизия има по един час седмично програма на унгарски и немски и по-рядко на български и цигански. Бившият придворен поет на Чаушеску така забаламоса избирателите, че те вече се виждат пазаруващи в граничния град Варна, разхождащи се в румънския дворец в Балчик и хранещи се с пшеница от Добрич. Прагматично даде вота си румънският избирател, който в Карпатите мръзне и гладува и само може да мечтае за земята, която ние оставяме да пустее.
Дотук всичко си е румънска работа, но има и нашенска.
Къде е Надето, за да попита официално каква е тази карта и какъв е този, дето обещава българска земя на румънския избирател? В Брюксел е Надето и чака да паднат визите. В нейното министерство мишките си играят (и получават за това заплати), докато котката - шефка плаче по вратите европейски. Защо не реагира ВМРО, която се пише националистическа партия? Кой праща невръстни фенове да пишат, че майчиния им език е български и не искат турски по телевизията? Защо той не реагира? Заплаха за Б-я не са само турските интереси, които в повечето случаи са икономически, а и румънските, сръбските и гръцките, които са политически. За Македония да не говорим. Ние си я имаме за наша, те имат Б-я за част от тяхната държава и изобщо... Не трябва ли Надето да погледне около себе си и да вземем да оправим нещата в съседство, че оттам ни чакат заплахите.
Напоследък румънските специални служби определено са засилили вниманието си към копанарите или,
Автор: Стефан Цонев
както те се наричат още, рудари. Представителите на тази етнографска група изповядват източноправославна религия и са приели изцяло българския културен и семеен модел, като активно участват в политическия и икономическия живот на страната ни. Българската общественост по погрешка или неинформираност причислява тази общност към циганския етнос, но това е лишено от всякакво основание.
При копанарите, за разлика от другите етнически групи, криминогенността е на ниско ниво, а нивото на образованост е твърде високо. Те изпитват огромно неудобство, че хората не правят разлика между тях и циганите и това много ги тревожи, защото те се чувстват българи.
Вече десетина години емисари от съседна Румъния обикалят Северна България и полагат героични усилия да прикоткат живеещите там копанари да се самоопределят като румънци и респективно да бъдат признати като румънско национално малцинство! То не бяха различни инициативи за примамването им със съблазнителни „благинки“, то не бяха милиони евра, които Департаментът на външните румънци изхарчи покрай миналогодишното преброяване у нас. Но въпреки тези усилия едва 917 лица от българските копанари се писаха румънци.
Нашествието на румънските емисари започна през 90-те години на миналия век, като те умело използваха недопустимата историческа грешка всички по-мургави наши съграждани да бъдат обявени за роми. И когато стана ясно, че копанарите не желаят да бъдат слагани под общ знаменател с циганите от варненския квартал „Максуда” например, любезните представители на северните ни съседи започнаха да ги подучват да казват, че са румънци.
Апетитите на Румъния към Южна Добруджа не са от вчера и връщането на тази част от България официално като наша земя с Крайовската спогодба от 1940 г. така и не затваря завинаги тази страница от териториалните претенции на северните ни съседи. Помните как неотдавна румънският министър на външните работи Кристиан Дяконеску направи изявление по въпроса за морския шелф, припознавайки наши територии за техни и споменавайки също за съществуващо румънско малцинство в България.
Пословична е агресивната политика на Румъния срещу страната ни, започнала още след Освобождението ни и продължила след окупирането, а после и след връщането ни на Южна Добруджа.
Службите на сигуранца – тайната полиция на монархическа Румъния, продължиха – вече като „секуритате“ и по времето на диктатора Чаушеску да работят активно срещу България. Като кореспондент на БНТ съм имал възможност да присъствам на срещата между Тодор Живков и Николае Чаушеску, която се проведе по време на един лов в ловния резерват във Воден.
Тогава Живков постави въпроса Румъния да отпусне малко земя на силистренци, за да могат да посещават гробовете на близките си, останали на румънска територия. Отговорът на Чаушеску бе еднозначен – въпросът за Южна Добруджа не е решен окончателно!