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The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile

IICCMER launches a campaign of archaeological investigations to identify the remains of political prisoners who died in Aiud prison

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The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) are conducting, as of July 2, 2012, a campaign of archaeological investigations in Aiud, in the place known as Rapa Robilor, where some of the prisoners who died in Aiud prison were buried. This year’s archaeological research aims to search, recover and exhume the bones of former political prisoners and discover their identity. Due to works in the area, investigations will be carried out in a certain sector of the land parcel formerly reserved for the prison cemetery, an area that was not affected by the works mentioned. The investigation will be conducted by a team of archaeologists led by Mr. Marius Oprea, head of Special Investigations Department at the IICCMER.

The field work will be coordinated by Mr. George Petrov, expert archaeologist at the National History Museum of Transylvania in Cluj, alongside Paul Scrobotă (Aiud History Museum director), Gabriel Rustoiu (Director of National Museum in Alba Iulia) and Horatiu Groza (Turda History Museum). Labor required for excavations will be provided by Aiud prison. According to nominal death records from Aiud City Hall, during 1945 – 1947, no less than 149 people have died in Aiud prison, half of whom were accused of political offenses. During 1948-1964, 437 people died here, but according to unofficial estimates, the number of deaths could be around 700.

IICCMER states that the action in Aiud also has a memory recovery dimension, seeking to honor the memory of those who were eliminated by the communist regime in the prison system because of their democratic convictions.