The Archive of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989

A Catch-22 December 1989, Groundhog-Day Production. Presenting the Personal Research & Scholarship of Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

1994: un an de cotitura in istoria Revolutiei Romane din decembrie 1989

Once upon a time…in a country…far far away…I conducted dissertation research…I used to think to myself, as a somewhat lapsed Hungarianist by that time…this was the Romanian equivalent of the (Karoly) Grosz interregnum in Hungary (roughly mid 1987- early 1989)…being a few years behind in the collapse of communism…thanks to Nicolae Ceausescu…a fellow researcher on a grant…a little older than the rest of us…Romanian/Serb from Cleveland…who once confided to me…at his jaw dropping when he saw the Romanian guy from Cleveland who absconded to Montreal with the famous gymnast NADIA COMANECI in November/December 1989…”hell, I tended bar with that guy…he stiffed me” or something like that…well, I can remember how on a chilly, still wintry I think day in March 1994…the news came down about the removal of Defense Minister NicUlae Spiroiu ( and others in the cabinet reshuffle (Iliescu/Vacaroiu and the remnants of THE FRONT, FSN…now the PDSR…had an agreement with the ultranationalist, former Securitate-attracting PUNR as of January 1994)…met me for a dinner…at a still State run, was it still possible?, or serving as if it were still State run, restaurant I had never been to before or since, near the beautiful Cismigiu park…what sticks in my mind, other than the newspapers I had brought, EvZ, RL, Adevarul, perhaps even JN…was the ubiquitous wooden holder for salt and pepper and toothpicks in the middle..the salt more dried out and harder than even typical…I picked at it…to this day, Spiroiu’s replacement remains unclear…clearly, Vadim Tudor and PRM were pleased with it…and, although it was a positive step in Romania’s recently signed Partnership for Peace in the interests of eventually joining NATO (it was necessary to have a civilian in the position of Defense Minister as evidence of the consolidation and confirmation of civilian control)…it did not escape the then opposition publication, Romania Libera, that…although it was news that a military man was not in charge of the Defense Ministry…it was also worth observing, that in the struggle between Steaua (the Army) and Dinamo (the Securitate)…the latter had gained the upperhand…(would it not have been appropriate to ask:  with what consequences for the historiography and investigations of the Revolution of December 1989???)

Bogdan Burileanu, “Se incearca destabilizarea armatei!” Romania Libera, 22 ianuarie 1994, p. 3.


J. Rica, “CEI CARE DERANJEAZA/Se incearca inmormantarea dosarelor Revolutiei, fiind schimbat.  Generalul Dan,” Romania Libera, 12 martie 1994, p. 1.


Bogdan Burileanu, “N. SPIROIU-I. ILIESCU/Drumurile se despart.  Unul spre Apus, celalat spre Rasarit,” Romania Libera, 12 martie 1994, p. 3.


Dorina Baescu, “NOUL MINISTRU-BANUIT CA A FOST SECURIST.  Atmosfera in Armata este tensionata,” Romania Libera, 12 martie 1994, p. 3.


from The Library of Congress collection, Washington DC (with an, ahem, assist from the former FBIS translation service…)

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