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.

Archive for August 10th, 2013

Final Boarding Call for TAROM’s special ROMBAC service from Bucuresti to Sibiu: Would the large party of suspicious “Soviet tourists” please report to the gate immediately! (I)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 10, 2013

“Thus, as the “tourists” began to enter the historiography of the December 1989 events, so the Securitate — specifically the USLA — began to disappear.”

From the outside, it might seem to be obvious disinformation or misinformation:

In the dead of winter, a dictatorship has closed its borders with its neighbors. The dictator believes that protests against his rule are the work of foreign agents.  Therefore, the dictator declares all citizens of surrounding countries to be spies and bans their entry into his country for the foreseeable future.
Yet several days later, with a serious uprising against the dictatorship underway in the country, what are described as, several dozen, conspicuous, tall, athletic young men from a large neighboring country arrive at the airport in the country’s capital with lots of bags of various sizes…and they board a plane, a larger one than is usually used, in order to assure they can fit on the flight (how thoughtful of the country’s national airline).  Their destination?  The city where the dictator’s son is in charge.
Nobody, not the airport staff, not the country’s national airline staff in this police state, thinks to make a phone call, to question the presence of this large number of foreign tourists.  Not when the tourists are going through airport security, not when the tourists are lining up to check their bags in and receive their boarding passes.   Nope, they get their boarding passes and when they get to the plane, nobody stops them from boarding.
No, the large group of suspicious tourists makes their flight.  And nobody at the receiving airport in the city controlled by the dictator’s son seems to have any questions when they land there.  It is then alleged that these athletic young men, with their bags of various sizes, containing presumably guns, participated in the violence in the city of the dictator’s son over the next few days, and when they were finished, they left the city and eventually the country, without anybody really noticing, let alone attempting to stop them.
And, of course, none of this even explains how did they get to the capital’s airport or even enter the country in the first place, without anybody in this police state detecting them or intervening?
For the outsider, it must sound like a bad joke then.  And yet the informational/narrative space about December 1989 in Romania is so amazingly confused and contaminated, that many people believe just the fantastical, magical scenario outlined above.  And many of these are reasonably smart people with good heads on their shoulders…

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