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.

17 decembrie 1989: Represiunea ceausista

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 17, 2009

[second video posted to youtube by Marius Mioc]

An excerpt from

A chapter from my Ph.D. Dissertation at Indiana University: Richard Andrew Hall, Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania (defended 16 December 1996). This is the original chapter as it appeared then and thus has not been revised in any form.

(In connection with the “window breakers” we do know a little more today than we did then back in 1996.  Dan Badea wrote in 1999 Bunoaica and the Window Breakers that “Tudor Postelnicu, the Interior Minister at the time, was to declare many years later that the “breaking of the windows” was a mission executed by personnel from the 30th Securitate Brigade led by col. Ion Bunoaica).

Chapter Five


The Beginning of the End: Timisoara, 15-17 December 1989

If the authorities had misjudged the intentions and resolve of the demonstrators on 15 and 16 December, by Sunday 17 December they were no longer taking any chances. Throughout the night of 16-17 December, Securitate and Army reinforcements arrived in Timisoara from bases elsewhere in the country. By mid-morning, thousands of demonstrators (as many as 7,000-8,000) had returned to the city center and were shouting for freedom, bread, and an end to Ceausescu’s rule. In an ill-conceived show of force, the Army paraded through the town with full fanfare and bugle corps, only to be pelted with rocks and jeered by the townspeople. As on the previous night, demonstrators made their way to the county party headquarters building.

The demonstrators found the building with its windows repaired, the previous night’s graffiti scrubbed away, the flowers and grass replanted, and trees broken the previous night tied together with wire![60] This was the fantasy world of totalitarianism, where the regime goes to the most absurd lengths to convince the population that black is white and white is black, to make even those who saw an event wonder if it had not all been a dream. Unlike the previous night, this time the building was guarded better. Nevertheless, the unexpectedly large numbers of protesters initially overwhelmed the regime forces and began ransacking the building. As on the previous night, however, the regime forces regrouped quickly and intervened brutally: the Militia and Securitate appeared on the scene and began savagely beating and arresting demonstrators. The first fatalities of the events also occurred at this time.[61]

Nevertheless, demonstrators continued to mass elsewhere in the city. Their numbers were perhaps in excess of ten thousand. The political character of the protests was made clear by the slogans calling for Ceausescu’s ouster and free elections. As Mircea Balan suggests, many protesters had prepared for the worst:

[v]ery many [of the demonstrators] had bags in their hands and children with them. It was a naive rationalization–that if they were arrested by the forces of order they could escape by claiming they had been out shopping or taking a walk.[62]

Perhaps because in a number of instances soldiers had fled rather than confront the crowds, and because of the widely-held impression that it was possible to appeal to the sympathy of Army soldiers, the crowds began to chant more insistently “Armata e cu noi” [The Army is with us]. Protesters challenged soldiers with phrases such as “We are the people, who are you defending?” and “You also have wives and children.” The demonstrators were clearly hoping to precipitate insubordination in the Army’s ranks and to create a rift among regime forces. According to Ratesh, on the afternoon and evening of Sunday, 17 December, “[f]or some unexplained reason, the protestors thought that either the authorities would not dare to massacre the people or the army would not follow orders to shoot with live ammunition.”[63] Ratesh’s claim seems to be born out by the testimonies of some of the demonstrators. A rumor (based on the comments of a former Army officer) circulated, according to which because a “state of emergency or war” had not been declared, the soldiers weapons were not loaded with live ammunition.[64] Tragically, the rumor was incorrect.

The “Window Breakers”

The reportedly unusual scope of physical destruction which occurred in Timisoara, particularly on the afternoon and evening of 17 December 1989, has fueled revisionist arguments. Estimates of the damage during the Timisoara unrest are in the neighborhood of four to five billion lei (approximately forty to fifty million dollars at the time), a reasonably large sum given Romania’s standard of living at the time. A huge number of windows was broken and as many as 300 to 400 stores suffered some sort of damage, although relatively few were actually looted. On the evening of 17 December, stores, vehicles, and kiosks were burning in at least ten different areas of the city.[65]

Former Securitate officers clearly wish to link this destruction to the “foreign tourists” who were supposedly so ubiquitous in Timisoara during these days.[66] Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, former Securitate Director Iulian Vlad argued at his trial that

…the acts of vandalism, theft, destruction, arson… acts without precedent…could not have been the work [“opera”] of the faithful [apparently referring sarcastically to Tokes’ parishioners], nor the revolutionaries. They were produced by elements which wished to create a certain atmosphere of tension.[67]

“A group of former Securitate officers” wrote to the Ceausist Democratia in September 1990 that after the Militia and Securitate refused to respond to the demonstrations provoked by the “foreign tourists”: “they advance[d] to the next stage: the massive destruction of public property designed to provoke forcible interventions–human victims were needed.”[68]

Nevertheless, here is how one opposition journalist, Grid Modorcea, has described the strange character of Timisoara destruction:

For the first time in history, a revolution…was announced in a previously unknown and absolutely original manner, both literally and figuratively speaking: through the methodical breakage of thousands of windows. On 16 and 17 December 1989, Timisoara was the city of [glass] shards. Well-trained groups of athletes spread throughout the town, tactically, but energetically smashing to pieces hundreds of huge windows without apparently being interested in stealing from these stores…they were like mythical Magis coming to announce the end of one world and the beginning of another. And they gave it an apocalyptic quality: the sound produced by the breaking glass was infernal. The panic this caused was indescribable….Those who “executed” the windows did so with karate-like kicks while yelling “Liberty and Justice”!…The crowds of people who came out into the streets transformed spontaneously into columns of demonstrators, of authentic revolutionaries. The effect was therefore monumental: the breaking of the windows unleashed the popular revolt against the dictator.[69]

Modorcea is convinced that the Tokes case was “merely a pretext” and that “someone–perhaps those who planned the vandalizing of the windows–has an interest in preventing it from being known who broke the windows.” Although Modorcea maintains he is unsure who was responsible, he insists on observing that:

Only the Customs people know how many tourists there were. All were men and long-haired. Inside their cars they had canisters. This fits with the method of the breaking of the windows, with the Molotov cocktails, and the drums used as barricades–they were exactly of the same type….To what extent the new regime which came to power was implicated, we cannot say![70]

Many Timisoara protesters appear torn between wishing to rationalize the extensive destruction as the courageous response of an enraged, long-suffering population, and denying that the perpetrators could have come from among their ranks. Even those investigators attuned to the retroactive psychology of the protesters cannot help but admit that widespread destruction occurred and that it could not have been wholly spontaneous.[71] Furthermore, as Laszlo Tokes has observed in discussing the events at Piata Maria, manipulation and attempts to instigate the crowd to violence were constant features during these days.

Tokes maintains that Securitate provocateurs had tried to agitate the crowd by shouting things like, “Let’s break into the house. The Securitate are in there; they’re trying to kidnap Laszlo Tokes! Let’s rush them!” and by appealing for him to “Come down into the street and lead us!”[72] According to Tokes:

I was alarmed at the obvious provocation from individuals in the crowd clearly intent on making the situation uncontrollable….Later, thinking about the events of those two days, I realized that the authorities would have had a great deal to gain if the situation had become a riot.[73]

Mircea Balan questions whether the protesters would have set stores on fire which were located on the ground floor of the buildings in which the protesters themselves lived.[74] Moreover, he wonders how even the revolutionary fury of the crowd could drive protesters to break so many windows, particularly given the presence of repressive forces on the streets. It is what Balan has termed the “systematic devastation” of property which raises questions.

Eyewitness accounts recorded soon after the events–therefore at a time before the various plots and scenarios had permeated the popular imagination–support the hypothesis that the vandalism was organized. Moldovan Fica remarks:

I admit that I cannot escape a certain conclusion. All of this [destruction] was done by a group of about five or six individuals, whose calm demeanor and self-control continues to stay with me to this day. They did not run from the scene, they appeared as if they did not fear anything; I would say that, in fact, they were doing what was required of them, something which had been ordered directly of them![75]

Describing destruction in a different part of the city, Andras Vasile observed that

…four young men with shaved heads and wearing civilian clothes had sticks–I would term them special sticks–1.7 to 1.8 meters long, equipped with metal rings on the top of them. They were breaking the windows, but not taking anything, as if they only had something against the windows, something which they thus went about with great enjoyment…they were led by two individuals in leather jackets.[76]

Other eyewitnesses supply details which confirm the widespread character of the vandalism; its undeniably organized quality; the disinterest of its perpetrators in looting the stores; and the almost “drugged” nature of the perpetrators, who seemed unperturbed by the chaos and repression going on around them.[77]

Mircea Balan has little doubt who committed this “systematic destruction”:

Demonstrators might have thrown rocks in windows, but the destruction of the entire store was not their work…Nobody need believe that for such a thing foreign intervention was necessary, seeing as there were enough first-class specialists in destruction and demolition right here at home. The Securitate could not have been foreign to what happened, no matter how much it fiercely attempts to deny this today. They were professionals in the art of destruction. They needed a justification for the bloody repression.[78]

In March 1990, Puspoki had been willing to identify the culprits more specifically. According to Puspoki, as the demonstrators began to gather to prevent Tokes’ eviction:

The USLA’s Sabotage and Diversion team was readied to break store windows, to devastate and set fires–to create the conditions necessary for mass repression: the existence of disorder in the streets and theft on the part of the demonstrators.[79]

Securitate Major Radu Tinu’s observation that the commercial complex “in front of the county Militia building” (i.e. the Inspectorate in which both the Securitate and Militia offices were located) was one of only two such complexes in the whole city to remain intact during these days may also be an indication of the source of the destruction.[80]

It is possible then that to the extent that this destruction did indeed contain an organized component, it was designed by the regime to subvert and cast suspicion upon the intentions of the protesters and to create a pretext for repression. To the extent that an organized component did contribute to the destruction, it was far more likely to have been regime forces attempting to undermine the protests than foreign agents attempting to provoke an uprising against the regime.

Ceausescu Gives the Order to Open Fire

On the afternoon of 17 December 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu convened an emergency session of the CPEx in which he berated his three main commanders–Milea (Defense), Postelnicu (Interior), and Vlad (State Security)–for their failure to put an end to the Timisoara protests.[81] He was particularly incensed by the fact that twice in less than twenty-four hours, demonstrators had penetrated the Timisoara party headquarters building. As with Stalin, failure to accomplish a task was equated with insubordination: there was no plausible alternative explanation.

When challenged as to why their troops had not been armed and had not fired at the feet of the demonstrators as he had ordered, the commanders told Ceausescu that they had misjudged the scope and potential of the protests. In the words of General Vlad: “Our thoughts were that it was an action of small proportions and that we could resolve it without cartridges.”[82] Their inability to crush the protesters thus appears to have been the product of a colossal over-confidence and complacency regarding their own abilities and a serious underestimation of the resolve of the demonstrators.

Elena, whose comments suggest that she was by far the more bloodthirsty of the two, goaded her husband into taking strict action against the three generals. Nicolae accused the three of treason and threatened to remove them from their posts and send them before a firing squad. Perhaps sensing that they might be next, the other CPEx members gingerly persuaded Nicolae to give the three generals one last chance to prove their loyalty. The three generals promised that they would not fail this time. To ensure that he had a person of unquestionable loyalty in the field, earlier that day Ceausescu had dispatched Ion Coman, party secretary in charge of coordinating military and security affairs and trusted crony, to Timisoara. The Ceausescus now awaited word from Coman on the status of the repression.

Two other aspects of this emergency CPEx meeting deserve mention. It is significant that in spite of the fact that at the beginning of this meeting Nicolae reiterated his conviction that foreign espionage services had stimulated the unrest in Timisoara, and in spite of the fact that Ceausescu’s commanders were threatened with a death sentence, none of them mentioned the “foreign tourists” who have become so famous in the post-Ceausescu era. It would seem that had the “foreign tourists” truly been thought to be responsible for the Timisoara unrest at the time, these commanders would not have hesitated to invoke a discussion of their activities, particularly after having been confronted with the prospect of being sent before a firing squad. In fact, it was Ceausescu and not his commanders who at the close of the meeting proposed that the borders must be closed to “foreign tourists” because they had “all transformed into espionage agents.”[83] This suggests that the “foreign tourist” scenario is–at a minimum–pure hindsight and, worse yet, is based on Ceausescu’s paranoid interpretation of the events at the time–hardly facts which enhance the credibility of this theory.

Secondly, Nicolae Ceausescu was clearly obsessed with the events of August 1968 and was interpreting this new challenge to his regime through this historical prism. For example, Ceausescu stated:

We will fight to the last and we must submit to the approval of the party, because the independence and sovereignty is won and defended through battle, because in 1968 had we not acted and brought the people here [apparently in reference to the main square outside the Central Committee building], if we had not armed the Patriotic Guards, they would have invaded us, as they did in Czechoslovakia, because the Soviets and Bulgarians were at the border.[84]

He thus appealed not merely or even predominantly to the need to defend the “achievements of socialism,” but to the need to defend the Romanian nation-state.

After nightfall (around 5 p.m.) on Sunday, 17 December, regime forces opened fire on demonstrators in several locations in the center of Timisoara. Erroneous, inflated death tolls reported in both the East European and Western media over the following days (suggesting that anywhere between 1,000 and as many as 12,000 people had been killed), and the realization after the events that the actual death toll was substantially lower, has tended to obscure the fact that by almost any definition a massacre did indeed occur on the evening of 17 December 1989 in Timisoara.

Doctors and staff at the Timisoara county hospital describe an “infernal” night, with estimates of at least one hundred dead and with the pace of incoming wounded (several hundred) so great that it was impossible for a time to note information about those being admitted.[85] Most accounts after the events placed the actual death toll at between 90 and 130, with between 300 and 400 wounded. For the next thirty-six hours, Timisoara was in a state of terror: the hospitals were overflowing with dead and wounded and almost one thousand people were arrested. The brutality of the Timisoara repression would seem to undermine any argument that Ceausescu’s commanders were encouraging or attempting to exploit the Timisoara protests to provoke Ceausescu’s ouster.

The Role of the Securitate in the Timisoara Massacre

Predictably, the former Securitate deny that they fired on the demonstrators. Instead, they allege that the multi-talented “foreign tourists” killed the Timisoara protesters:

On the basis of the general confusion which was building in the town, the Army intervened with the goal of reestablishing the gravely-disturbed order. This was the opportunity long-awaited by the “tourists”; they began–under the cover provided by warning shots–to shoot and stab demonstrators in the back while at the same time inciting them…[86]

In court, General Vlad maintained that throughout the events of 16 and 17 December, he repeatedly ordered his subordinates in Timisoara “not to open fire and not to become involved in what was going on in the streets.”[87] In general, Securitate and Militia officers called before the court to testify about the Timisoara events, have stuck to this line of defense: they were unarmed and–then redundantly and suspiciously–they did not open fire.[88]

Indeed, in 1994, Colonel Dumitru Rasina, the former head of the Arad county Securitate, gave testimony before the second Senatorial commission investigating the December events which appeared to preclude ipso facto the possibility that the Securitate could have been responsible for the Timisoara bloodshed. According to Rasina, at a secret meeting on 11 November 1989, General Vlad had issued instructions which stipulated that in the event of a challenge to Ceausescu’s rule, “the Securitate is not to implicate itself in the street actions or in the repression of the demonstrators.”[89] As significant as the argument itself was the source who brought it to light for public consumption: the aforementioned opposition journalist, Sorin Rosca Stanescu, who claimed he had been given this “sensational” testimony by an anonymous source within the commission.

In spite of these denials, it is clear that the Securitate took part in the repression. Even the transcript of the emergency CPEx meeting of 17 December (prior to the opening of gunfire) shows General Vlad telling Ceausescu that he had dispatched Securitate officers “with rubber clubs and tear gas” against the demonstrators–hardly an “indifferent” and “uninvolved” posture.[90] One of the few Securitate officers to deviate from the courtroom routine of steadfast denial of the institution’s involvement was Colonel Ion Bunoaica, the commander of the Securitate’s uniformed troops in Timisoara. Testifying as a witness in late 1990, Bunoaica eventually admitted both that his men had been armed during the Timisoara unrest and, suggestively, that they had taken up “battle formations” behind Army units which opened fire.[91] This might shed light on the claim of Army Lieutenant Colonel Dumitru Damian in January 1990 that approximately every unit of

…twenty soldiers was subordinated to a Securitate officer who would stand behind them and monitor them. These Securitate officers would give the order to shoot and threaten to shoot the soldiers on the spot if they refused the order to open fire.[92]

At the very least then, their persistent denials notwithstanding, the Securitate indeed appear to have been out on the streets and to have participated in the repression.

As the most controversial aspect of the Securitate’s behavior in the December 1989 events concerns the activities of the so-called USLA (the special anti-terrorist warfare unit), it is important to examine their role in the Timisoara crackdown. Colonel Gheorghe Ardeleanu, the USLA commander at the time of the December events, has strenuously denied the allegation that the USLA participated in the Timisoara repression.[93] He maintains that they could not have because their standard mission was merely the defense of embassies and airports.

When Army General Victor Stanculescu (who had himself been part of the Army team coordinating the Timisoara repression) became the new Defense Minister in February 1990, he declared that the USLA had neither been responsible for the “terrorist actions” after 22 December, nor had they taken part in the repression of demonstrators in Timisoara and Bucharest in the week prior to 22 December.[94] At the time of Stanculescu’s clarification, Horia Alexandrescu, the editor of the daily Tineretul Liber, thanked Stanculescu for “lifting the haze” which had hung over the USLA since the December events.[95] In reference to the Timisoara events, Alexandrescu wrote that Colonel Popescu, “director of the USLA service in Timisoara,” had four times refused to obey orders to engage in repressive actions against the demonstrators.[96]

Yet there is good reason to question such claims. Captain Marian Romanescu, a former USLA officer, revealed in 1991 that:

On 17 December 1989, the USLA was put on a state of alert and entered into formation. In Timisoara, the “Scutul” (”shield”) subunit was put into action, and it is possible that in addition to these persons, an intervention unit made up of the “soimii” (”eagles”) taken from their aviation duties [the “eagles” apparently performed security detail on all flights] participated.[97]

The USLA commander, Gheorghe Ardeleanu, has denied that the USLA participated in the “Scutul” action and claimed that this formation was made up only of “intervention units of the Militia.”[98] This is an artificial distinction, however. Puspoki describes the Timisoara USLA brigade as having consisted of “young officers of the [Militia] Inspectorate and those who guarded the local international airport.”[99] Moreover, according to Romanescu: “it is well-known that the Militia served as the cover for the majority of the USLA’s personnel.”[100]

Writing in early 1990, the Timisoara journalist Puspoki maintained that even as the crowds began to gather around the residence of pastor Tokes, the USLA, “the most feared organism in this part of the country,” was put on a state of alert.[101] Those regime forces which violently intervened on the evening of 16 December at the Tokes residence, and arrested as many as two hundred protesters in this area, included members of the USLA. The confrontations were fierce enough that several of the USLA ended up at the hospital.

Dr. Octavian Onisei, a surgeon at the county hospital, maintains that he treated “six members of the USLA between 9 and 10 p.m.” on 16 December, thereby clearly confirming their presence among the repressive forces.[102] Considering the frequency of the allegation in December 1989 that those captured as “terrorists” had been drugged, Dr. Onisei’s comments concerning Captain Dorneanu, the “Director of the Office of Guarding and Order of the Municipal Militia,” deserve mention:

Dorneanu I certainly won’t forget for a long time…I would say that he was drugged [emphasis added]….He behaved in a totally unnatural way. He was continuously shouting, shouting in the truest sense of the word, that these individuals were hooligans, vagabonds, that they had to be crushed; he was shouting that we wasn’t just any man, but was a commander and that he had to be among his men, if not in body at least in mind, in order to command them, to tell them what to do, his big regret being that he had not given them the order to open fire...[103]

Other sources refer to the fact that by the early hours of 17 December–when Tokes was forcibly evacuated–”the USLA troops had mastered the situation” at Piata Maria.[104] When the party headquarters building was overrun for a second time at midday on 17 December, it was USLA officers who participated in the brutal recapture of the building.[105] The USLA was also spotted making mass arrests in the center of town.[106] Writing in mid-January 1990, Alexandra Indries described the role of the USLA in yet another part of the city:

The soldiers with shields would ambush the demonstrators and throw them into paddywagons. They were known as the USLA: specialized units of anti-terrorist warfare; they are those who today we call in a more realistic manner: terrorists, in fact, their elite and avantgarde: professional killers.[107]

Did the USLA fire on protesters? According to at least one source, they did. In December 1994, a young man who had served briefly in the USLA told the A.M. Press agency:

In December 1989, I was in Timisoara and Bucharest….Anti-terrorist formations of recruits and professionals received war-munitions. In Timisoara, demonstrators were shot at from close distances. I saw how skulls fly when riddled by bullets. Those wearing masks, using their own special weapons, shot with exploding bullets. In January 1990, all active duty USLA troops were interned for detoxification. We had been drugged….Don’t publish my name. I fear for myself and for my parents.[108]

Was there a juridical basis to the Securitate’s intervention? In early 1990, at the trial of twenty-one Securitate and Militia officers arrested for their alleged participation in the Timisoara repression, the Military Prosecutor suggested that regime forces had intervened in Timisoara in accordance with the provisions of Interior Ministry Order No. 2600 of 1988. In charging the Inspector General of the Timisoara Militia, Colonel Ion Popescu–the individual referred to earlier by Alexandrescu as the “head of the USLA service in Timisoara”–the Military Prosecutor called attention to Article Six of this order:

The unique commander of all activities to be carried out on the territory of the county, in response to a grave turbulence of order and public calm, and also the unique commander of the intervention forces, will be the county’s Inspector General of the Interior Ministry, who will bear complete responsibility for the efficiency of the actions undertaken.[109]

During the course of the trial, it was established that–contrary to Alexandrescu’s protestations of Popescu’s innocence–Colonel Popescu had ordered the “intervention platoon” into action which violently dispersed the protesters in Piata Maria on the evening of 16 December.[110]

Ever since 1990, Silviu Brucan and Army General Nicolae Militaru have insisted that there is little mystery as to which regime forces participated in the repression and “terrorism” of December.[111] Silviu Brucan maintains that the USLA were intimately linked to Order No. 2600:

In all the thirty-eight pages, the document speaks of “antiterrorist” fighting units. Just change their name to “terrorist” units and that’s it. Article 11 says: “In case public order has been seriously troubled, at the order of the local chief inspector of the Interior Ministry and on the basis of a unique plan of action, units of antiterrorist defense jointly with available units of Securitate-Intervention will participate in the restoration of public order.”[112]

According to Brucan, Order No. 2600 was drafted upon Ceausescu’s orders after the Brasov riots of November 1987 caught the regime off-guard.

Information supplied by former USLA captain Marian Romanescu would seem to confirm Brucan’s claim. Romanescu has sarcastically acknowledged the USLA’s role in the 1987 Brasov events as follows:

In November 1987, in Brasov, the USLAsi had the occasion to give a plenary demonstration of their aptitude for clubbing. Back then, it was still only clubbing…[113]

According to Romanescu, although nominally charged with defending Romania from international terrorism, through 1986 the USLA were part of a so-called Plan “Aldea” which stipulated that in the event of unrest, the USLA would be responsible for arresting the most virulent opponents, and potential opponents, of the regime. “The continuation of plan ‘Aldea’ was Order 2600…”[114]

Conclusions

The historiography of the Timisoara events illustrates how Ceausescu’s paranoid explanation of those events at the time has not only been given a new lease on life in the post-Ceausescu era, but in a particularly ironic and tragic fashion, has come to dominate post-Ceausescu accounts of what happened. Ceausescu’s vague fears and delusions have been given form and content since December 1989 by the former Securitate. By suggesting that the Soviets and others instigated the Timisoara unrest, the “foreign tourist” scenario fits in perfectly with the anti-Soviet paranoia of the Securitate and the Romanian regime during the Ceausescu era. Moreover, it is interesting to note the juxtaposition or transference which sometimes occurs in Securitate accounts whereby actions which appear to have been the work of the Securitate are attributed to the mysterious and ubiquitous “tourists”: for example, when the attack by masked intruders on the Tokes residence is accredited to people driving cars with West German tags, or when the “tourists” are accused of having opened fire among the demonstrators. This, as we shall see, is a common occurrence throughout the coverage of the December events.

Perhaps one of the most important facts militating against the existence of the “foreign tourists” is that when given ample opportunity by Ceausescu to raise this point, and indeed when they were most in need of this argument–during the emergency CPEx meeting of 17 December 1989–none of Ceausescu’s commanders uttered a word to him about it. There is simply no evidence to believe that the Securitate were seeking to abandon Ceausescu; on the contrary, the evidence suggests that the Securitate obediently and ruthlessly fulfilled Ceausescu’s orders. Whereas the army and security apparatus failed to open fire on protesters in other East European countries when waves of mass protests challenged the ailing leaderships, in Romania they did.

Significantly, the theme of foreign involvement in the Timisoara events is accompanied by, and intertwined with, the denial of the Securitate’s role in the repression, especially in opening fire on the demonstrators. Thus, accounts alleging foreign involvement not only inevitably raise questions about the spontaneity and popular character of the Timisoara events–thereby placing in doubt the revolutionary definition of the events which sparked Ceausescu’s ouster–but they divert attention away from the issue of the Securitate’s culpability in the bloodshed. As we shall see, it is not only the Timisoara repression from which the USLA have been clumsily removed, but also the events in Bucharest and elsewhere on 21 and 22 December, and their disappearance from their part in the repression prior to the flight of the Ceausescus is necessitated by their disappearance from the more controversial events after 22 December 1989.

[60].. Mircea Balan, “Masacrul,” Cuvintul, no. 37 (9-15 October 1990), 7.

[61].. Ibid.; testimony of Florica Curpas, medical assistant, in Titus Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul la Gura (Timisoara: Editura Facla, 1990), 62-63.

[62].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[63].. Nestor Ratesh, Romania: The Entangled Revolution (New York: Praeger, 1991), 29.

[64].. Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 75, 104.

[65].. See, for example, Grid Modorcea, “Spargerea Geamurilor [The Breaking of the Windows],” Expres Magazin, no. 49 (1991), 8-9; Mircea Bunea, “Eroii noi si vechi [New and old heroes],” Adevarul, 2 February 1991, in Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 448-449; Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 57-58.

[66].. See, for example, the comments of Radu Tinu, the deputy director of the Timis County Securitate, in Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 67-85.

[67].. Mircea Bunea, “Ipse Dixit,” Adevarul, 21 February 1991, in Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 463. Vlad’s determination to emphasize that these were “acts without precedent” makes one wonder if they were indeed without precedent.

[68].. A group of former Securitate officers, “Asa va place revolutia? Asa a fost! [You like the revolution? Here is how it was!],” Democratia, no. 36 (24-30 September 1990), 4. The lengthy defense by these officers of the Fifth Directorate in this letter suggests that they were members of this directorate.

[69].. Modorcea, “Spargerea Geamurilor,” 8.

[70].. Ibid.

[71].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[72].. Tokes, With God, for the People, 153, 156.

[73].. Ibid., 156.

[74].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[75].. Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 96.

[76].. Ibid, 118. The fact that the two persons supervising the destruction are described as having worn “leather jackets” strongly suggests they may have been Securitate men. Mihai Decean claims that on a train headed for Bucharest on 25 December (therefore after Ceausescu’s flight), he helped in the arrest of two USLA officers whom he describes as “athletic, with shaved heads, and wearing leather jackets.” See Laura Ganea, “La Timisoara se mai trage inca” Tinerama, no. 77 (July 1991), 3.

[77].. Ibid., 71, 122. Some of the eyewitnesses cited in Modorcea, “Spargerea Geamurilor,” say similar things; Modorcea, however, gives them a very different interpretation.

[78].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[79].. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (III).”

[80].. Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 80.

[81].. For the text of the transcript see Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 23-35.

[82].. Ibid., 31.

[83].. Ibid., 34.

[84].. Ibid., 29.

[85].. Florica Curpas, medical assistant, in Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 63.

[86].. A Group of Former Securitate Officers, “Asa va place revolutia.”

[87].. Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 42-44.

[88].. See, for example, the comments of defendants as recorded in Iosif Costinas’ series throughout 1990 covering the Timisoara trials, entitled “Procesul ‘Titratilor’ [The Trial of those with degrees],” in the Timisoara cultural weekly Orizont.

[89].. Sorin Rosca Stanescu brought this testimony to light in a December 1994 article in his daily Ziua. Reprinted in Cornel Dumitrescu, “Dezvaluiri senzationale despre decembrie ‘89 [Sensational revelations about December 1989],” Lumea Libera, no. 324 (17 December 1994), 16.

[90].. Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 27.

[91].. Iosif Costinas, “Nu sinteti dumneavoastra colonelul Bunoaica? [Aren’t you colonel Bunoaica?],” Orizont, 2 November 1990, 5; idem, “Jur sa spun numai adevarul… [I swear to tell the whole truth],” Orizont, 9 November 1990, 5.

[92].. Lt. Col. Dumitru Damian and Major Viroel Oancea, interview by William Totok, Die Tageszeitung, 23 January 1990, in trans. Heinz Lahni, “Generalul m-a facut dobitoc,” Contrapunct, 2 March 1990, 11.

[93].. Gheorghe Ardeleanu in Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 115.

[94].. See the 8 March 1990 Rompres dispatch in FBIS-EEU-90-051, 15 March 1990, 57.

[95].. Horia Alexandrescu, “Eroi cazuti la datorie [Heroes fallen on duty],” Tineretul Liber, 4 March 1990, 1. Tineretul Liber was something of a middle-of-the-road publication at the time. Alexandrescu went on later to edit the opposition daily Cronica Romana.

[96].. Idem, “Flori pentru ‘uslasi’ [Flowers for the USLA],” Tineretul Liber, 7 March 1990, 3.

[97].. Captain Marian Romanescu, with Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii si ‘Fratii Musulmani’,” Expres, no. 75 (2-8 July 1991), 8. On 22 August 1991, former deputy prime minister (1990-1991), Gelu Voican Voiculescu, confirmed this allegation on television. See Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 115.

[98].. Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 115.

[99].. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (III).”

[100].. Romanescu, “USLA, Bula Moise,” 8.

[101].. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (III).” Stoian, who clearly attempts to whitewash the role of the USLA, nevertheless makes the following coy reference to their role in Timisoara: “Moreover, we should recall the ’surveillance’ of Pastor Tokes” (see Stoian, 86).

[102].. Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 36-37.

[103].. Ibid.

[104].. Vasile Popovici, Viorel Marineasa, and Marius Romulus Proks, “Cazul Tokes (VIII),” Orizont, no. 10 (9 March 1990), 5.

[105].. See Dr. Atanasie Barzeanu’s comments in Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 44.

[106].. Dan Mindrila, “Armata si uscaturile ei,” Gazeta de Vest, no. 3, 6; idem, “Din armata pentru zeita Cali,” Gazeta de Vest, no. 4, 6.

[107].. Alexandra Indries, “Ce am trait,” Orizont, no. 4 (16 January 1990), 5.

[108].. A.M. Press (Dolj County), “Dezvaluiri despre implicarea USLA in evenimentele din Decembrie ‘89,” Romania Libera, 28 December 1994, 3.

[109].. See the Military Prosecutor’s charges in Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat, 285.

[110].. See Cici Iordache-Adam, “Timisoara: Revolutia si reprimarea, vazute din sala,” Flacara, (4 April 1990), 18. The “intervention platoon” was made up of thirty to forty members of the Militia’s Inspectorate who were equipped with visored helmets, shields, and clubs.

[111].. See, for example, Brucan, The Wasted Generation, 172, 183-184, 194; Nicolae Militaru, interview by Corneliu Antim, “Ordinul 2600 in decembrie 1989,” Romania Libera, 17 December 1992, 2.

[112].. Brucan, The Wasted Generation, 183.

[113].. Marian Romanescu with Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise,” 8.

[114].. Ibid.

from Orwellian Positively Orwellian 2006

Timisoara, Iasi, and Cluj, 14-21 December 1989

To support his argument, in the “Heroes in Action” series Alexandrescu wrote that Colonel Popescu, “director of the USLA service in Timisoara” had four times refused to obey orders to engage in repressive actions against the demonstrators. In point of fact, in accordance with Order No. 2600 Colonel Ion Popescu as head of the General Inspectorate of the Militia had ordered into action the “intervention platoon” (that included USLA personnel) that violently dispersed protesters from Piata Maria on the evening of 16 December 1989 in Timisoara.<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[146]<!–[endif]–> Vasilevici and the anonymous USLA recruit quoted earlier have both maintained the USLA played a repressive role in Timisoara, with the latter claiming directly they opened fire.<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[147]<!–[endif]–> Weapons inspections immediately after December 1989 revealed that the USLA had been armed and had indeed fired their weapons:

“The witness Constantin Gheorghe, former junior officer in the Timis USLA Service, declares that, on the afternoon of 17.12.1989, upon the order of Lt. Col. Atudoroaie Gheorghe (editor’s note: deputy of the Timis County Securitate), 43 machine guns and ammunition were distributed, some to USLA cadre and others to Securitate cadre who reported. The witness specifies that he distributed arms and ammunition without any documentation and that when he ran out of arms from the stockade, he sent some other personnel to…The witness M.M. Pantea Ambrozie, supervisor of the Militia Inspectorate’s armory, who acknowledged that he signed out 272 machine guns and ammunition…Upon examining the table drawn up by M.M. Pantea Ambrozie, it follows that the first to be armed were 114 officers and junior officers of the Securitate, out of which 29 were from the USLA….It is worth mentioning in this regard that a part of the Securitate personnel repeatedly collected new ammunition, for example Captain Bratosin Tudor from Service I, Lt. Dragomir Florin PCTF, and Lt. Iaru Florin and Plutonier Timbula-Cojocaru Gheorghe, both from the USLA Service. And, not accidentally, upon the investigation of mixed Defense and Interior Ministry teams, it was established that the arms of these personnel showed gunpowder marks, denoting the fact that these had been fired (see the exchange S.201/12.01/1990 copied in the charges). Moreover, gunpowder marks were found on the weapons of 28 Securitate cadre.”<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[148]<!–[endif]–>

Does this sound like the USLA in Timisoara were “reluctant to intervene?” Did Horia Alexandrescu, barely two and a half months after the Revolution, just “happen” to give Colonel Popescu and the USLA in Timisoara the benefit of the doubt?

In legatura cu cine a tras la Timisoara…

Nr. 1238 de luni, 20 iulie 1998
Arhiva Pagina de start Redactia
Cauta:

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ZIUA va prezinta un document exceptional privind represiunea din decembrie ‘89
Lista securistilor si militienilor care au tras la Timisoara
24 de arme apartinand cadrelor Securitatii, 64 -militienilor, iar 24 altor cadre din Ministerul de Interne au fost depuse la rastel innegrite de funingine * Printre cei care s-au intors din misiune cu armele afumate se afla si actualul sef al SRI Timis, col. Vasile Petrea

ZIUA va prezinta tabelul cu securistii si militenii din Timis care, in decembrie ‘89, si-au depus la rastel armele innegrite de funingine. Acesta contrazice afirmatiile col. (rez.) Gheorghe Ratiu, fost sef al Directiei 1 din Departamentul Securitatii Statului, care a declarat intr-un interviu realizat in 1990 ca “trupele de securitate nu au tras nici un cartus in nimeni, nici sa se apere, nici sa atace”. Documentul prezentat de noi este copia unui proces-verbal intocmit de o comisie de control MApN/MI la 8 ianuarie 1990, la UM 01024 Timisoara, care are mentiunea “secret de serviciu”. Comisia mixta a procedat la verificarea armamentului de la organele de securitate, politie si persoane civile din Timisoara. Procesul-verbal contine un tabel cu armamentul gasit, in urma verificarii, “cu urme de funingine”. Pe langa seriile armelor respective, in tabel sunt trecute si numele cadrelor carora le-a apartinut armamentul cu pricina. Dintre acestea, 24 sunt din Securitate, 28 din Politia judeteana Timis, 36 din Politia municipiului Timisoara si 24 – alte cadre ale Ministerului de Interne.
Un document fara drept de replica
Procesul-verbal precizeaza ca din cele 531 de pistoale calibru 7,65 mm model 1974 verificate, 42 au fost gasite cu funingine, din 726 pistoale-mitraliera calibru 7,62 mm model 1963 cu pat rabatabil, 70 au avut aceleasi urme, iar din 60 de pistoale-mitraliera cu pat rabatabil de acelasi calibru, insa model 1980, 7 au suferit de aceeasi “meteahna”. S-au mai gasit cu urme de funingine (pe teava, bineinteles): 5 pusti-mitraliera cal. 7,62 mm model 1964 (din 77 verificate), 2 pusti semiautomate cu luneta (din 3), precum si 1 (una) mitraliera cal.7,62 PKMS de pe ABI, din 2 verificate. Au ramas nemanjite de funingine 5 mitraliere 7,62 mm model 1966, 3 pistoale 7,65 mm “Walter” PP cu amortizor, 11 aruncatoare de grenade AG-7 si 2 carabine 7,62 mm model 1974 cu luneta.
Acestea nu sunt, insa, singurele dovezi ca numeroase cadre din Securitate si Militie au tras in demonstranti in decembrie 1989, laolalta cu militari din cadrul Armatei.
In concluziile in fond puse de (atunci) cpt. de justitie Romeo Balan, procuror-sef adjunct al Parchetului Militar Timisoara in dosarul nr. 6/1990 al Curtii Supreme de Justitie (privind “Lotul Timisoara”), sunt invocate si alte probe care vin sa demonstreze vinovatia Securitatii in reprimarea sangeroasa a Revolutiei. Iata ce sustine Romeo Balan (astazi prim-procuror al Parchetului Militar Timisoara), in concluziile sale:
“Inainte de constituirea comandamentelor, din ordinul generalului Macri si al conducerii inspectoratului judetean Timis al MI, in jurul orelor 14.00, cadrele de securitate si militie s-au inarmat cu pistoale si pistoale-mitraliera, cu munitie de razboi. De mentionat ca in 17.12.1989, fortele MI au fost primele care s-au inarmat si au fost dotate cu munitie reala.
Martorul Constantin Gheorghe, fost subofiter in cadrul Serviciului USLA Timis, declara ca, in dupa-amiaza zilei de 17.12.1989, din ordinul lt. col. Atudoroaie Gheorghe (adjunct al Securitatii judetului Timis-n.r.), a distribuit 43 de pistoale-mitraliera si munitie, unor cadre USLA si altor cadre de securitate care s-au prezentat. Martorul precizeaza ca a distribuit armament si munitie fara nici o evidenta si ca atunci cand nu a mai avut arme in magazie, a trimis celelalte cadre la depozitul unde era gestionar M.M. Pantea Ambrozie.
Martorul M.M. Pantea Ambrozie, gestionar la Depozitul de armament si munitie al inspectoratului, a distribuit in 17.12.1989, la ordin, 272 de pistoale-mitraliera cu munitia aferenta, unor cadre de securitate si militie. Martorul a distribuit armamentul pe baza de semnatura, intocmind in acest sens un tabel, ce a fost depus in copie la dosarul cauzei.
Din examinarea tabelului intocmit de M.M. Pantea Ambrozie, rezulta ca primii care s-au inarmat au fost 114 ofiteri si subofiteri de securitate, din care 29 de la Serviciul USLA, 22 de la Serviciul I, 7 de la Serviciul II, 17 de la Serviciul III, 21 de la Serviciul tehnic si 18 de la alte servicii. De mentionat ca o parte din cadrele de securitate au ridicat in mod repetat munitie in 17.12.1989 si, dintre acestia, exemplificam pe cpt. Bratosin Tudor, Serviciul I, lt. Dragomir Florin, PCTF, lt. Iaru Florin si plt. Timbula-Cojocaru Gheorghe, ambii de la Serviciul USLA. Si nu intamplator, la verificarea efectuata de comisia mixta MApN/MI, s-a constatat ca armele acestor cadre au prezentat urme de funingine, denotand faptul ca s-a tras cu acestea (a se vedea procesul-verbal S.201/12.01.1990, depus in xerocopie la instanta). De altfel, s-au constatat urme de funingine la armele apartinand unui numar de 28 de cadre de securitate. Rezulta astfel ca in 17.12.1989, 157 cadre de securitate au ridicat armament si munitie de la magaziile unde erau gestionari Constantin Gheorghe si Pantea Ambrozie.
Tot in 17.12.1989, 158 cadre de militie au ridicat de la depozitul de armament al inspectoratului, pistoale-mitraliera si munitie de razboi. Unii din acestia au ridicat in mod repetat munitie sau cantitati mari de armament si munitie. Exemplificam in acest sens: lt. maj. Peptan Eugen a ridicat peste 1.000 de cartuse de razboi. Pe teava armei avuta in dotare s-au constatat urme de funingine. Lt. Zlavog a ridicat 10 pistoale-mitraliera si 40 de incarcatoare cu 1.320 cartuse de razboi. Pe tevile a doua din aceste pistoale-mitraliera s-au gasit urme de funingine. Plt. Suru a ridicat 1.320 cartuse de razboi, iar serg. maj. Nica a ridicat, in afara armamentului individual, 17 incarcatoare a cate 30 de cartuse fiecare. Si exemplele ar putea continua (…). Urme de funingine s-au identificat si pe teava pistolului-mitraliera ce a fost in dotarea inc. mr. rez. Veverca Iosif, trimis in judecata pentru infractiunea de omor.”
In realitate, numarul celor care au tras e cu mult mai mare
O precizare se impune. Desi in tabelul publicat de noi sunt trecute doar numele a 24 cadre din Securitate, pe armele carora s-au gasit urme de funingine (deci care au tras), in realitate numarul acestora este mai mare. In originalul procesului-verbal S.201/12.01.1990, depus in xerocopie la instanta, se vorbeste de armele afumate a 28 cadre de Securitate (vezi sustinerea procurorului militar Romeo Balan). Copia acestui proces-verbal, pe care o detinem noi, are nr. S.336/19.01.1990 si contine varianta “revazuta” a tabelului, din care lipsesc numele a patru securisti. Cine sunt ei? O stiu, cu siguranta, fostul comandant al Garnizoanei Timisoara, general-maior Gheorghe Popescu, care a vizat respectiva copie si actualul comandant al aceleiasi garnizoane, generalul Florin Mancu, pe atunci sef de stat major al UM 01024, care a semnat “pentru conformitate”.
Nu este lipsit de importanta nici faptul ca, printre securistii care au inapoiat armamentul din dotare avand indicii clare ca s-a executat foc cu acesta, se afla, la pozitia 6 din tabel, si cpt.Vasile Petrea (pistol cal.7,65 mm, seria AC-4164). Astazi, respectivul ofiter a fost avansat, fiind colonel si sef al SRI Timis.
Laurian IEREMEIOV

Preotul Ioan Botau, administratorul Catedralei: “Sorin Leia, a scos un tricolor si l-agita si striga Desteapta te romane! La ora 17,15 a fost ochit in cap de un lunetist si ucis….Fusese lovit de glont in urma obrazului si nu murise pe loc. Parintele Mituga a iesit si a chemat salvarea….Securisti camuflati au tras, care azi fac si pe eroii! S-a tras si in ziua de Craciun, s-a tras pina in 29 decembrie” (Grid Modorcea, “Dumnezeu citat ca martor in procesul de la Timisoara,” Expres Magazin 1991)

si

Iosif Costinas (vara 1991): “Recent, un fost ofiter de Securitate, actualmente angajat in SRI, a chemat doi vecini sa-i repare o teava din baie. S-a imbata apoi si le-a spus: ‘In 17 decembrie am tras din turnul Catedralei. Am tras si mai tirziu. Si acum daca vreau, pot sa trag.’ Cei doi au povestit intimplarea dar nu i-au pomenit numele. ‘Omerta’ functioneaza perfect.” (Laura Ganea, “La Timisoara se mai trage inca,” Tinerama, nr. 77 (iulie 1991), p. 3.)

Ceausescu, ultimele zile
Marţi, 21 Decembrie 1999

15 – 22 decembrie 1989 – Cronologia evenimentelor 15 decembrieUltimul termen acordat preotului reformat Laszlo Tökes pentru evacuarea din locuinta si parohia sa de pe strada Timotei Cipariu nr.1 – Timisoara. Anuntati din vreme, enoriasii pastorului s-au adunat, inca de dimineata, in fata locuintei lui Tökes, cu gindul de a impiedica evacuarea.Ora 15.00: Pastorul Tökes cere enoriasilor, de la fereastra locuintei, sa plece acasa.Ora 23.00: Tökes este vizitat de primarul Timisoarei, Petru Mot, insotit de un activist PCR care il anunta ca evacuarea a fost anulata. In Piata Maria din Timisoara se strinsesera citeva sute de oameni. Apar primele huiduieli la adresa reprezentantilor puterii si primele manifestari anticeausiste din partea multimii adunate in Piata Maria. 16 decembrieEnoriasii lui Laszlo Tökes revin in fata locuintei acestuia. Curind li se alatura tot mai multi locuitori ai Timisoarei. Circulatia in zona este intrerupta. Apar primele lozinci: “Libertate!”, “Democratie!”.Ora 17.00: Manifestatia devine anticeausista. Se scandeaza lozinci ca “Jos Ceausescu!”, “Libertate!”.Ora 17.30: Sediul Comitetului Judetean de Partid Timis este ocupat de luptatori din Garzile Patriotice, la ordinul prim-secretarului Radu Balan – seful Consiliului de Aparare al Judetului Timis.Ora 18.00: Un pluton de interventie (80 cadre ale Militiei) si  doua-trei masini de pompieri ajung in Piata Maria.Orele 18.30-19.00: In Piata Maria incep ciocnirile dintre scutieri si manifestanti.Orele 19.00 – 20.00: Manifestantii se grupeaza in mai multe coloane care pornesc, scandind lozinci ceausite, in mai multe directii: Comitetul Judetean de Partid, Piata Operei, caminele studentesti, caminele de muncitori de pe Calea Buziasului etc. Au loc ciocniri cu fortele de ordine ale MI.Orele 20.00 – 21.00: Sint sparte toate vitrinele magazinelor de pe Bulevardul 6 Martie (Tudor Postelnicu, ministru de interne la acea vreme, avea sa declare multi ani mai tirziu ca “spargerea vitrinelor” a fost o misiune executata de militari ai Brigazii 30 Securitate condusa de col. Ion Bunoaica).La Bucuresti, generalul Iulian Vlad, seful DSS, ii convoaca pe toti sefii de directii din subordine si decide trimiterea unei grupe informativ-operative la Timisoara.Ora 21.30: Ministrul apararii nationale, general-colonel Vasile Milea, ordona lt.-col Zeca Constantin si col. Rotariu Constantin sa scoata in oras 15 (respectiv 10) patrule, cu un efectiv de 10 militari fiecare, care sa supravegheze orasul. Patrulele aveau sa se intoarca in cazarmi a doua zi, la ora 8.00.Ora 23.00: Grupa operativa din DSS pleaca spre Timisoara cu un tren special. Din echipa fac parte generalul Emil Macri – seful Directiei a II-a (Contrainformatii Economice), col. Filip Teodorescu – adj. al Directiei a III-a (Contraspionaj), lt.-col Dan Nicolici – seful CID (Centrul de Informatii si Documentare), lt.-col.Glavan Gheorghe – Sef serviciu informativ in USLA etc.La Timisoara incep arestarile in rindul demonstrantilor. Ele vor continua pina la ora 4.40. Sint arestati peste 180 de oameni. 17 decembrieOra 3.30: La Bucuresti este constituita, la nivelul MApN, o grupa de ofiteri din Consiliul Politic Superior, Marele Stat Major si Inspectoratul Muzicilor Militare. Grupa condusa de col. Dumitru Ionescu, din Directia Operatii a MStM, pleaca spre Timisoara pentru a organiza o defilare a unor detasamente MApN in Timisoara.Ora 4.00: Pastorul Laszlo Tökes este evacuat cu forta din locuinta si transportat la Mineu.Ora 6.30: La Timisoara soseste grupa operativa din DSS condusa de generalul Emil Macri.Ora 6.45: Generalul Milea ordona, pentru descurajarea manifestantilor timisoreni, organizarea unei demonstratii de forta a unitatilor MApN prin centrul orasului.Ora 9.00: La Timisoara soseste grupa condusa de col. Dumitru Ionescu din MStM.Ora 10.00: Incepe defilarea prin municipiul Timisoara a unitatilor militare. Patru coloane compuse din peste 550 militari pornesc marsul prin oras, cu drapel si fanfara.Timisorenii incep sa se adune, in grupuri din ce in ce mai mari, pe strazi. Mii de demonstranti se indreapta spre centrul orasului scandind lozinci anticeausiste si huiduind fortele de intimidare.Ora 12.00: Este transmis indicativul “ABC-ANA” – masuri de paza si aparare a obiectivelor militare ca urmare a vizitei planificate pentru a doua zi, in Iran, a lui Nicolae Ceausescu.Ora 13.30: Ministrul apararii nationale ordona ca armata sa intervina in forta impotriva demonstrantilor timisoreni: “Situatia in Timisoara s-a agravat. Este ordin sa intervina armata. Armata intra in stare de lupta. In judetul Timis este stare de necesitate”. Fortele MApN devin, din acest moment, forte de represiune. Incep ciocnirile cu manifestantii.Ora 13.45: Generalul Milea ordona scoaterea in oras a unor coloane de blindate (tancuri si masini de lupta).Ora 14.00: Este atacat si devastat, de catre manifestanti, sediul Comitetului Judetean de Partid.Ora 14.15: Milea transmite primul ordin de “alarma de lupta partiala” catre UM 01115 (Giroc).Ora 14.40: La Spitalul Judetean este adus primul ranit din rindul demonstrantilor. Era impuscat in gamba.Ora 15.00: Fortele de ordine recuceresc sediul judetenei de partid. Se aud primele focuri de arma in Timisoara.Ora 16.00: In Piata Libertatii militarii deschid foc impotriva manifestantilor.Ora 16.30: La Bucuresti incepe sedinta Consiliului Politic Executiv al CC al PCR. Se obtine, formal, aprobarea membrilor CPEx pentru reprimarea de catre fortele MApN si MI a demonstrantilor din Timisoara.La Timisoara, o coloana de tancuri ajunsa pe Calea Girocului este oprita si blocata de manifestanti.Ora 16.38: Soseste la Timisoara, cu un AN-24, Comandamentul special instituit de Nicolae Ceausescu si coordonat de Ion Coman – secretarul CC al PCR pe probleme militare – insotit de o grupa operativa formata din ofiteri superiori din MApN si MI. Grupa operativa este condusa de general Stefan Guse, seful Marelui Stat Major, din care mai fac parte generalii Victor Athanasie Stanculescu, Mihai Chitac, Florea Carneanu, Constantin Nuta – seful Inspectoratului General al Militiei, Gheorghe Diaconescu – procuror general adjunct.Ora 16.42: Printr-o nota telefonica, generalul Milea ordona masuri de mobilizare si riposta in confruntarile cu demonstrantii. “(…) Demonstrantii sa fie serios avertizati si apoi sa se traga la picioare”.Ora 17.30: Are loc teleconferinta in care Ceausescu da ordinul pentru deschiderea focului impotriva demonstrantilor. Ion Coman, participant la teleconferinta, il asigura pe Ceausescu ca au trecut la executarea acestui ordin.Ora 18.00: Generalul Stefan Guse preia conducerea fortelor apartinind MApN, forte aflate deja in dispozitiv de aparare/atac in oras.Ora 18.30: La Timisoara sosesc, cu un avion, Emil Bobu, Nicolae Mihalache si Ion Cumpanasu.Ora 18.45: Unitatile militare din Timisoara primesc oficial indicativul “Radu cel Frumos”. Prin urmare, toate efectivele militare primesc armament si munitie de razboi.Ora 20.00 – 24.00: La podul Decebal se deschide foc impotriva demonstrantilor. Se inregistreaza morti si raniti. La fel, pe Calea Aradului, Calea Lipovei, la Catedrala etc. Pe Calea Girocului are loc o adevarata batalie. Fortele MApN sint dispuse in toate punctele importante din oras. Se trage peste tot pe unde se afla concentrate grupuri de demonstranti.Ora 23.00: La Timisoara sosesc, cu un avion, Cornel Pacoste – membru supleant CPEx, si Iosif Szasz – membru CPEx.Ziua se incheie, pentru timisoreni, cu un bilant tragic: 63 de morti si 224 raniti.Numarul arestatilor a ajuns la 900. Pentru cercetarea si interogarea acestora venisera de la Bucuresti procurorul general adjunct Gheorghe Diaconescu impreuna cu 20 de procurori. 18 decembrieOrele 5.30-6.00: Ion Coman ii raporteaza lui Nicolae Ceausescu: “La Timisoara situatia este sub control“.Ora 7.30: La Timisoara soseste, cu un avion AN-26, un detasament de 41 cercetasi DIA de la UM 01171 Buzau. Cercetasii sint cazati la Marea Unitate Mecanizata.Ora 8.30: Nicolae Ceausescu pleaca intr-o “vizita de prietenie” in Iran. Ii lasa la conducere pe Elena Ceausescu, Emil Bobu si Manea Manescu.Ora 9.00: Timisoara este in greva generala. Peste 1.300 de militari cu armament si tehnica de lupta  sint dislocati in diferite puncte din oras.Generalul Nuta constituie si trimite, pentru a actiona pe strazi, opt dispozitive mixte (patrule mobile) sub conducerea unor ofiteri de militie (D1-D8).Ora 14.30: La Spitalul Judetean incepe anchetarea abuziva a ranitilor, cu acordul conducerii spitalului.Pina la ora 17.00, cetatenii Timisoarei incep sa se constituie din nou in grupuri si sa se adune in centrul orasului. Pe Calea Sagului, manifestantii construiesc baricade din vehicule grele. La Catedrala se deschide foc impotriva manifestantilor care aveau in miini luminari aprinse si strigau “Jos Ceausescu!”, “Libertate!”, “Azi in Timisoara, miine-n toata tara!”Ora 18.30: Generalul Mihai Chitac ordona folosirea grenadelor cu substante toxice impotriva demonstrantilor din fata Catedralei.Ora 19.15: In fata Spitalului Judetean, un grup numeros de cetateni vrea sa-si recupereze mortii. Multimea este intimpinata   si imprastiata cu grenade lacrimogene.Ora 23.00: La morga Spitalului Judetean, sub comanda colonelului Ghircoias, incepe operatiunea de sustragere a cadavrelor. Au fost ridicate 43 de cadavre cu acordul conducerii spitalului si al procurorului general adjunct Gheorghe Diaconescu. Toate cadavrele fusesera “incizate” pentru a li se extrage gloantele. Au fost transportate apoi la Bucuresti, cu o autoizoterma, pentru a fi incinerate. 19 decembrieOra 7.00: Muncitorii din intreprinderile “6 Martie”, “Elba”, “Solventul” si “Azur” declanseaza actiuni de protest.Ora 9.00: La Timisoara, generalul Stefan Guse ordona grupelor de cercetasi DIA sa patrunda in intreprinderile timisorene pentru a afla starea de spirit si intentiile muncitorilor. Doi dintre cercetasi sint descoperiti de muncitori si predati unor ofiteri de Securitate. Cei doi sint: lt.-maj. Stelian Buligescu – descoperit in intreprinderea “6 Martie”, si Viorel Teroiu – descoperit in Intreprinderea de autoturisme. Amindoi au fost trimisi inapoi la baza.Ora 11.00: Prim-secretarul Radu Balan este retinut ca ostatic de muncitorii de la “Elba”.Ora 12.00: La Comandamentul UM 01024 Timisoara, gen.-lt. Ilie Ceausescu, politrucul sef al Armatei, afirma ca tulburarile din oras “sint provocate de elemente teroriste aservite intereselor tarilor capitaliste”.Ora 14.00: Generalul Stefan Guse, insotit de un pluton de militari, merge la intreprinderea “Elba” pentru a discuta cu muncitorii. Este huiduit si se retrage.Ora 17.00: Autoizoterma cu cadavrele de la Timisoara ajunge la Crematoriul “Cenusa” din Bucuresti.Ora 18.00: Soseste la Timisoara un detasament de parasutisti de la Caracal.Dupa lasarea serii se inregistreaza alte victime.In 18 si 19 decembrie s-au inregistrat 7 morti si 98 raniti prin impuscare. 20 decembrieOrele 7.00-8.00: Intreprinderile timisorene se afla in greva. Muncitorii incep sa se organizeze si sa plece, in coloane, spre Piata Operei.Ora 10.00: La Crematoriul “Cenusa” din Bucuresti se termina operatiunea de ardere a cadavrelor aduse de la Timisoara.Ora 11.00: Generalul Stefan Guse retrage tehnica de lupta in cazarmi si interzice uzul de arma.Ora 11.15: Fortele MI parasesc dispozitivele fiind coplesite de numarul urias al manifestantilor.Orele 12.00-13.00: Coloanele de manifestanti se intilnesc la Catedrala si se indreapta catre Opera si Consiliul Judetean.Ora 13.00: Manifestantii ajung in Piata Operei. Militarii permit patrunderea acestora in cladirea Operei. Armata fraternizeaza cu populatia. Se constituie Frontul Democratic Roman.Ora 14.30: La Timisoara sosesc, cu un avion special, primul-ministru Constantin Dascalescu si Emil Bobu.Ora 15.00: Constantin Dascalescu primeste in sediul Comitetul Judetean de Partid din Timisoara o lista cu  revendicari ale manifestantilor, printre care: “Demisia urgenta in bloc a guvernului si a presedintelui Ceausescu” si “Alegeri libere”.La Bucuresti, Nicolae Ceausescu revine de la Teheran. Ramine timp de doua ore in salonul oficial al Aeroportului Otopeni, dupa care merge la sediul Comitetului Central.Timisoara este primul oras liber al Romaniei.Ora 17.00: La Bucuresti, Nicolae Ceausescu tine o teleconferinta cu prim-secretarii in care afirma ca situatia din Timisoara se datoreaza interventiei straine.Ora 20.30: Nicolae Ceausescu aproba decretul privind instituirea starii de necesitate pe intreg teritoriul judetului Timis.Ora 23.00: Intra in vigoare decretul privind starea de necesitate. Victor Stanculescu este numit de Ion Coman comandant militar al Garnizoanei Timisoara. Solicitat sa citeasca din balconul Comitetului Judetean de Partid decretul de necesitate, Stanculescu se eschiveaza internindu-se, pentru citeva ore, la spitalul din Timisoara. 21 decembrieOra 3.40: Dascalescu si Bobu parasesc Timisoara si pleaca la Bucuresti.Orele 7.00-9.00: La Timisoara sosesc citeva garnituri de tren cu detasamente ale Garzilor Patriotice inarmate cu bite. Cei peste 25.000 de luptatori din Olt, Vilcea si Dolj aveau sarcina sa inabuse revolta timisorenilor. Ajunsi in Gara Timisoara si intelegind despre ce este vorba, luptatorii cu bite fie s-au intors din drum, fie au fraternizat cu timisorenii.Ora 9.00: La Timisoara, din balconul Operei se citeste Proclamatia Frontului Democrat Roman. Pe strazi sint peste 200.000 de manifestanti.Revolta se extinde in intregul judet Timis: Caransebes, Lugoj, Resita etc.La Bucuresti, se finalizeaza realizarea dispozitivelor militare (MI si MApN) din centrul orasului pentru asigurarea “bunei desfasurari” a mitingului programat pentru ora 12.00 in Piata Palatului.Ora 12.00: Incepe mitingul din Piata Palatului. Ceausescu apare in balconul Comitetului Central. La putin timp dupa ce ia cuvintul, Ceausescu este huiduit din multime. In Piata Palatului se creeaza o mare busculada urmata de intrarea in panica a manifestantilor.Ora 12.50: Mitingul este intrerupt si Ceausescu se retrage speriat in sediul Comitetului Central.Orele 13.30 – 14.00: Se formeaza grupuri de demonstranti care ocupa carosabilul in zona centrala a Bucurestiului. Fortele de ordine creeaza baraje la Intercontinental, Universitate, Piata Palatului si strazile adiacente.Orele 16.30 – 16.45: In fata Salii Dalles, un autocamion militar intra in masa de demonstranti dupa ce soferul acestuia pierde controlul volanului, accidentind peste 25 de oameni. Sint ucisi  sapte civili si inca sapte, raniti grav. Este momentul in care, in Bucuresti, se aud primele rafale de arma.Ora 17.30: Generalul Milea ordona unei grupe de transmisionisti sa realizeze, in sediul Comitetului Central, un centru de comanda radio al operatiunilor armate care aveau sa urmeze.Ora 19.00: In Bucuresti incepe represiunea impotriva manifestantilor.Ora 22.00: Multimea scandeaza lozinci anticeausiste. Manifestantii din zona Hotelului Intercontinental ridica o baricada in fata Restaurantului Dunarea. Tot mai multe forte armate se concentreaza in zona centrala. Se opereaza arestari din rindul manifestantilor.Orele 23.00-23.30: Militarii pornesc actiunea de inlaturare a baricadei si de reprimare in forta a demonstrantilor. Mai multe tancuri strapung baricada. Urmeaza vinatoarea de oameni. Are loc un adevarat macel. Soldatii aveau ordin sa traga in plin. Sint ucisi 49 de manifestanti si sint raniti 463. De asemenea, 1.245 de oameni sint arestati, multi dintre ei fiind maltratati de organele de militie. 22 decembrieOra 3.00: In centrul Capitalei sint aduse echipe de muncitori pentru a curata si spala strazile de urmele masacrului.Ora 5.00: Generalul Victor Stanculescu, sosit de la Timisoara, se deplaseaza la Spitalul Militar unde directorul spitalului, generalul Niculescu, ii pune un picior in ghips.Ora 7.00: Fortele de ordine se afla in dispozitive. Peste 2.000 de militari, dotati cu tancuri si TAB-uri, ocupa punctele strategice din centrul Bucurestiului.Orele 7.00 – 8.00: Muncitorii de pe marile platforme industriale incep sa se organizeze pentru a se indrepta spre Piata Palatului.Ora 9.00: Nicolae Ceausescu tine o sedinta in sediul Comitetului Central si ordona aducerea unor unitati de tancuri pentru apararea sediului. La sedinta participa si Vasile Milea.Ora 9.30: Ministrul Vasile Milea intra in cabinetul lui Corneliu Pircalabescu – seful de Stat Major al Garzilor Patriotice. Dupa 5-10 minute, Milea este gasit impuscat in inima. Moare in Salvarea care il ducea la Spitalul Elias.Ora 10.00: Generalul Victor Stanculescu este numit de Nicolae Ceausescu ministru al apararii nationale.Ora 10.10: La posturile de radio se anunta prin decret prezidential stare de necesitate pe intreg teritoriul Romaniei.Ora 10.20: La radio se anunta ca general-colonel Vasile Milea a fost tradator si s-a sinucis.Orele 10.00 – 11.00: In Piata Palatului ajung coloane de muncitori din Militari, Pipera, 23 August, Grivita, Berceni. In fata sediului Comitetului Central sint peste 100.000 de oameni. Se scandeaza lozinci anticeausiste.Ora 11.30: Nicolae Ceausescu incearca sa vorbeasca multimii de la balconul Comitetului Central. Este huiduit si se retrage.Ora 12.00: Pe acoperisul Comitetului Central aterizeaza un elicopter condus de Vasile Malutan.Ora 12.09: Nicolae Ceausescu, protejat de garzile din Directia a V-a si insotit de Elena Ceausescu, Manea Manescu si Emil Bobu, decoleaza cu elicopterul de pe cladirea Comitetului Central. Dictatura lui Ceausescu luase sfirsit. Incepea lupta pentru succesiune. Pagina realizata de DAN BADEA

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