Ion Cristoiu: Marshal Ion Antonescu: "I want to make an Osuar in front of the Chisinau Cathedral, for all the heroes who fell in the fight for this province"

The transcript of the meeting of the Council of Ministers of September 17, 1941, a meeting chaired by Marshal Ion Antonescu, returned from the front, is a new opportunity to recall what I keep saying to those met for reasons other than History: occupied with the Holy War, I neglected a field in which the Marshal was perhaps better than in that of the Conflict: the administration of the country. In the meeting, the Marshal discusses reconstruction projects of Chisinau by the greatness of those assumed by Nicolae Ceausescu for Bucharest, denounced by nostalgics of the oriental fair (from pictures, of course, because in reality the nostalgic ones want to walk through a modern Bucharest, European Union, and not through a mock-up version of Istanbul in its part of the Bazaar). In the case of Chisinau, for example, the Marshal outlines the project of a grand reconstruction for the future. That this Project has not been brought to life, because in just one year the Blow of Destiny called Stalingrad is another story. However, the Marshal’s project is worth noting. General C. Voiculescu, the military governor of Bessarabia between August 1, 1941-April 1943, and General Corneliu Calotescu, the governor of Bukovina between September 5, 1941 and April 13, 1943, were invited to this first post-Prut crossing meeting led by Ion Antonescu. bet on the military governors of Bessarabia and Bukovina, almost forcibly imposing them on the government in Bucharest, led in his absence by the mouthpiece Mihai Antonescu. At the meeting, the reconstruction of the newly reclaimed territories will be discussed with priority. In an extension of a report by Constantin Voiculescu on the restoration of Chisinau, Ion Antonescu intervenes promptly, in his specific style:

“Marshal I. Antonescu: I have not finished the public works.

You have, with Minister Busila, the issue of rebuilding cities. It is a technical matter and the Technical Service belongs to the Ministry of Public Works. Secondly, you raised the issue of communications. (…)

Bessarabian fairs and cities did not have a Romanian appearance. We must make them appear now as Romanian cities. From this point of view, we must first give them air. Until now, they had no air, although some cities had wide streets. Therefore, wide markets must be made. Let’s take advantage of the fact that the houses there were destroyed and make property mergers and give large spaces to each inhabitant. The houses should be built in the Moldovan style, apart from the shops and the premises of the authorities, for which a technical commission, together with specialized architects and all the relevant people from the Ministry of Public Works, should start a reconstruction activity.

General Voiculescu should not run in this regard. Therefore, do not look for architects. Make the necessary studies. I have given instructions in this regard, because I want to make an Osuar in front of the Chisinau Cathedral, for all the heroes who fell in the fight for this province. The work will be done in front of the Cathedral, according to a plan for which I have given only general instructions. I did not go into details, because I am not an artist and I do not have urban studies. Specialized urban planners and architects must be sent there to solve this problem.

Then all the other issues related to these cities must be solved: water, electricity, factory installation, public gardens.

All these are a series of issues that need to be studied in detail, according to the topography of the place and the current and future needs of the city. (…)

We will make a very large square in the middle of the city, around the Cathedral, a huge square, thus opening to the Cathedral a great view towards the water. Around this huge square, which will be the public garden, there will be administrative constructions and, absolutely, all the shops. These administrative constructions must be made in such a way that on the second and third floor there are the authorities, and downstairs there are the shops, which produce income. The other houses of the authorities gather from the outskirts behind these wide and spacious streets. By this means the city will shrink. (…) ”

It is worth noting, even at a glance, the ambition of the great constructions, meant to give air to the cities, a sign of an acute consciousness of history. Whoever goes to Geography, like Ion Antonescu and Nicolae Ceausescu, does it out of the belief that he goes to History, making her write about the great transformations. Unlike Mihai Antonescu, who moderates the debate rather than the prime minister, the Marshal does not engage in dialogues with ministers, does not consult them, does not submit his vision to their bites. As can be seen from here, he gives orders. The others came into the world only to obey his instructions.

Last but not least, the moment with the Chisinau Reconstruction Plans increases the melancholy of those who understand from History that, just as in life, Man proposes, God disposes. In September 1941, the Marshal made plans for at least a decade. Those around the table were convinced that they would be fulfilled. How does the Marshal know that in a year’s time God will plot the Stalingrad Blow of Destiny ?!

NOTE: This editorial is taken entirely from

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