POLITICS AND CULTURE UNDER THE SIGN OF TOTALITARISM. THE UNIVERSITY OF IASI BETWEEN 1945 AND 1965
The year that followed the end of World War II marked for the University of Iași the beginning of a period marked by numerous difficulties. Most testimonies of the epoch confirm this reality, under the conditions in which these were provided by the prestigious members of the Iasi university community, who described and characterized the war and post-war years, as being the most difficult in the whole existence of the first higher education institution of modern Romania.
The intrusions into the activity of the University of Iași allowed for multiple forms of manifestation: material ones, political ones, to which one should add as an element of novelty the emerging pressure of the Marxist – Leninist ideology, in order to radically transform the composition and competences of the teaching body in line with the new orientation of the Romanian State after 23 August 1944.
From the material perspective, the University was confronted with the period of the refuge of the institution in Transylvania, with the serious deterioration of the main building and of the other establishments, doubled by the imperative request from the Allied Control Commission for the return to the USSR of the scientific instruments and specialized volumes brought to Iași from Bessarabia, the northern part of Bucovina and Transnistria during the years of the eastern campaign of World War II.
The economic difficulties, much more visible in Iași and in Moldavia than in other parts of Romania, considerably affected the material situation of the teaching and administrative body, implicitly the students, condition which is sometimes minimized by the new authorities from Bucharest.
The chronic penury of funds and especially the acute feeling of no horizon marked to a great extent the first years of the post-war period at the University of Iași.
The entrance of Romania into the orbit of the Soviet domination, and implicitly under the cone of shadow of the Marxist-Leninist ideology, represented for the Iasi university community the detour of an academic profile that until, the start of World War II had been connected to the European spirit. The tendency of politicizing the Romanian higher education, implicitly of the one of Iasi, is in direct correlation with the evolution of public life in Romania after 6 March 1945.
The University of Iași reproduces, at a reduced scale, the whole complex of pressures manifested throughout the country between the adepts of the return to the between war state of matters and those of the “new wave”, radicalized during the years of Antonescu regime and of the eastern campaign of World War II, in whose vision the State and the University had to be “cleaned” of the traces of the recent past.
“The new cours” impressed by the communist party during the last years of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej regime, illustrated at the official level by the Declaration of April 1964, consequently diminished the pressure of the ideological factor in higher education institutions.
“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University searched in its turn to fructify the advantages of the “political thaw”, with the results which consisted both in the return to a relative state of normality of the academic life, and in the recovery of the old connections with the European university world.