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Collectivization in Romania

Collectivization refers to the system initially used by Stalin in his communist party between 1928-1940, and its goal was to seize private property and individual labour in order to use it for the good of the country. The system was supposed to help national economy, placing its well being before the individual’s. Taken to extreme in order to get higher returns for the state, collectivization turned into a tyrannical system that deprived people of private property and practically stole as much as it could from their hard work, supposedly for the “common good”. This kind of “collectivization” was adopted by the Romanian communist party in between 1949–1962, but 1962 only marks the ending of the transformation of private property into collective farms, as these continued to function until the very end of communism. According to Andrew Heywood, collectivization is: “ a system in which property is owned and controlled by a collective body, usually through the mechanism of the state. Collectivization is therefore a comprehensive form of nationalization, in that it brings the entirety of economic life , and not merely selected industries, under state control. Collectivized economies are organized on the basis of planning rather than the market, and therefore seek to allocate resources on a rational basis in accordance with clearly defined goals.[…] The attraction of collectivization is that it promises to achieve an important range of socialist goals, notably to gear the economy to the wider needs of society, as opposed to private profit, and to ensure that material inequalities are abolished or substantially reduced.”(A.H, 162) Collectivization in Romania underwent 3 stages: a beginning stage (1949-1953), a stagnation stage (1953-1956) and a violent ending stage (1956-1962). In the initial stage, the collectivization process started in March 1949, and the state was forcedly owning any domain larger than 50 ha. The process started on the first day after the decree was given and the rightful owners of the lands were taken from their homes at night and were illegally relocated in different towns. The lands were confiscated, with farm animals, machines and buildings. Some domains were turned into IAS (state agricultural institutes), GAC (collective agricultural holdings) and police


the pressure placed upon collectivization decreased and so did collectivization in Romania. the percentage of industrial workers increased as peasants left the fields and villages for factory jobs and overcrowded city apartments. the government working on enforcing the already created GAC’s. Government forces besieged rural areas and arrested approximately 80000 peasants for being private farmers or siding with private farmers who were reviled as class enemies. were they had to build huts by themselves in order not to freeze to death. At the same time. Constanta was the first city to be completely collectivized. Forced collectivization brought Romania food shortages and decreased exports and by late 1951 the government realized it lacked the tractors. By 1953 government decrees had made most professionals state employees.stations. The state appropriated land. peasants with no land. because there were many opposing the process. In 1957 the last stage of collectivization started. which was an extremely violent one. prodded peasants to join collective farms and equipped machine stations to do mechanized work for the collective farms. numerous peasant were arrested. relatively wealthy peasants. The forced collectivization produced only about 17% state ownership of Romania’s land. due to Stalin’s death. Large compulsorydelivery quotas drove many peasants from the land to higher paying jobs in the industry. According to Traian Savulescu in “Dezvoltarea Stiintei Si Practicii Agricole in ̆ ̧ ̧ ̧ R.P. wealthy peasants known as “chiaburi ” and landlords. The peasants were divided into 5 categories.R” in 1949 the government initiated forced agricultural collectivization to feed the growing urban population and generate capital. equipment and experienced personnel for successful rapid collectivization. In 1953. eliminated private commerce and bankrupted the commercial bourgeoisie. 2 . poor peasants. Although Romania remained a predominantly agricultural country. The government then switched to a system of slow collectivization and cooperativization allowing peasants to retain their land but requiring delivery to the state of a portion of their output. condemned or deported in Baragan. almost 30000 people eventually faced public trials.

I had a month per year of gathering fruit or corn. It has done irrecoverable damage on almost every imaginable domain and hopefully the state and its people have learned from mistakes. in order to cover up the incident we were given barbeques and other sorts of expensive food and sent home. states: “My fathery. many peasants fought this system. and their possessions were confiscated. Even today the process of returning people’s property to their rightful owners is still not complete.” The process of collectivization destroyed people’s lives and Romania’s economy to such an extent that its effects can still be seen today. and because he didn’t agree with the system and ploughed a parcel he used to own. called “practica”. which was another way of saying forced labor for the common good and was mandatory. Somehow it was heard about it on Europa Libera (which was a clandestine Romanian radio programme broadcasting from Germany ) and the next day. he was arrested and sent to jail for about 3 months and kicked out of the education system. There we started a food strike for a day ( they brought the designated food late in the evening. and the professor keeping watch didn’t allow us to eat until we had finished our daily part. and others were arrested and later executed. They even sent us to gather fruit or corn when we were employed and the payment for it was only that we would get our normal salary. . I only received a place to sleep at and food for my work. He was a teacher in x village. In high school I had to go gather grapes at the IAS from Simian. in 1949. Over 40 000 peasants were deported in Baragan. had problems with the collectivization. and the country’s economy still suffers from the past system. A witness of collectivization and the situation in 1964. in the second year.Even from the very beginning. 3 . In college I only had one month of this kind of work. after more than 20 years after communism was abolished. Regarding the period I lived in: collectivization was already complete at the time. so we didn’t want to eat in the end). . The state opened fire upon the uprisers. Only 3 years later would he manage to get a job again. at a place called Motatei.

P. Print. 2005. Cong. Martin's. Sabates-Wheeler. Lanham: Lexington. Cooperation in the Romanian Countryside: an Insight into Post-Soviet Agriculture. Andrew. By ̧ ̧ ̧ Traian Savulescu. Key Concepts in Politics.Bibliography: United States. Dezvoltarea Stiintei Si Practicii Agricole in R. Cong. Print. Bucuresti]: Institutul De Cercetari Agronomice. Bill.R. Heywood. New York: St. 2000. 1955. 4 . Rachel. ̆ ̧ ̆ Print.