IX, 2013, 1

Stephen the Great’s Commemoration in 1954 in Some Documents of Romanian Labourers Party | p. 119–136

1954, communism, historiography, propaganda, Stephen the Great


After 1989 many Romanian scientists were interested in the impact of the communist regime on the field of historiography. The purpose of the present paper is to add few documents on the debate concerning the relations between political propaganda and the writing of history. The documents concern the commemoration of 450 years from the end of Stephen the Great’s reign, one of the most illustrious figures of the Romanian past. Such interest was, in 1954, without precedent during the Romanian Stalinist period. In 1954 Romanian communists leaders seem to use a medieval historical figure as a legitimizing tool. To achieve this goal the Section of Propaganda and Agitation tried to organize and control the celebration of Stephen the Great in almost every field. One can wonder if in less than a month (from 9th June until 2nd July) the Party’s instructions were put into practice. A brief analysis shows that, for various reasons, the field of historiography reacted slowly to the aforementioned political demands and the paper tries to suggest few hypotheses on this issue.