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 November, 2014

Schachmatt – Strategie einer Revolution (Susanne Brandstätter). THE 1989 ROMANIAN REVOLUTION AS GEOPOLITICAL PARLOR GAME: BRANDSTATTER’S “CHECKMATE” DOCUMENTARY AND THE LATEST WAVE IN A SEA OF REVISIONISM by Richard Andrew Hall

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 29, 2014

As the 25th anniversary of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 approaches, the following documentary is back in style (see, for example, http://tv.orf.at/orf3/stories/2681569/ Schachmatt – Der Sturz Ceausescus in Rumänien Die Dokumentation von Susanne Brandstätter zeigt, wie Deutschland, Ungarn und die USA hinter den Kulissen am Sturz des Ceausescu-Regimes beteiligt waren.)

THE 1989 ROMANIAN REVOLUTION AS GEOPOLITICAL PARLOR GAME:  BRANDSTATTER’S “CHECKMATE” DOCUMENTARY AND THE LATEST WAVE IN A SEA OF REVISIONISM

By Richard Andrew Hall

(submitted for CIA PRB Clearance February 2005, cleared without redactions March 2005; printed as it was at the time without changes)

Disclaimer:  This material has been reviewed by CIA.  That review neither constitutes CIA authentication of information nor implies CIA endorsement of the author’s views.

Please Note:  This article is not to be cited, reproduced, translated, or used in any form without the acknowledgement and permission of the author.

Richard Andrew Hall holds a BA from the University of Virginia (1988) and a PhD from Indiana University (1997).  He joined the CIA in September 2000 and served as a Romanian Political Analyst from October 2000 to April 2001.  Since October 2001, he has worked as an analyst on issues unrelated to eastern Europe.  He published extensively on the Romanian Revolution and its historiography prior to joining the Agency, including the Romanian journals “22” and “Sfera Politicii” in 1996, “East European Politics and Societies,” in 1999, and “Europe-Asia Studies” in 2000.  He can be reached for comment on this series at hallria@msn.com.

***Dedicated to the memory of Ilinca Zarifopol Johnston, a radiant spirit, who called me mormoloc (tadpole) and surdulica (little deaf one), and withstood my earnestness as a first-year Romanian and graduate student to help me translate my first articles from the Romanian press about the Revolution.***

Part 1: Opening Moves

–Any history is in fact two histories:  the history being told and the history of the period in which it is being told.  The recording of the past is always to some extent prisoner to the present in which it is recorded.

Take revisionist histories of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.  Such accounts generally insinuate that, at the very least, senior US officials had foreknowledge of the attacks and cynically did nothing to prevent them, or, even more diabolically, elements of the US government and political and economic elites launched the attacks against their own people in order to pursue an insatiable thirst for power and riches.  True, such revisionist suspicions exist across the globe—including in the United States—but they have gained greater mass media exposure and notably sizable (if still minority) popular interest and acceptance in some countries more than others.

Revisionist theories of the September 2001 attacks appear to have found their most vocal proponents in France and Germany.  The most prominent and influential of these revisionist accounts are probably those of the French author Thierry Meyssan (“The Horrifying Fraud”) and former (West) German Cabinet minister Andreas von Bulow (“The CIA and the 11th of  September, International Terror and the Role of the Secret Services”) (for summary and analysis of these accounts see, for example, “Wall Street Journal,” 29 September 2003, “New York Times,” 22 June 2002, and “The Washington Post,” 21 July 2002).*  It must be pointed out that, according to public opinion surveys, the extreme contentions and accusations lobbed by Meyssan and von Bulow are rejected by overwhelming majorities of the populations in both these countries, and co-nationals from across the political spectrum have heavily criticized their revisionist theories (Reuters, 11 September 2003; “New York Times,” 22 June 2002).  These theories are neither inevitable nor even representative of political, media, intellectual, or public opinion in these countries.  Nevertheless, we are left with the questions of why these two European countries and why now?

The history of these countries and of their relations with the US and the historical political culture of their intellectual and media elites surely play a role.  However, it is also clear that the contemporary global geopolitical condition and intellectual and political climate in France and Germany are at work.  The books of Meyssan and von Bulow reflect the “zeitgeist” in which they are written:  the perception and reality of the disparity of power between the United States and the rest of the world, fear and resentment of American hegemony, and suspicion of the motives driving American foreign policy.  Just as the 11 September 2001 attacks are somewhat difficult to imagine happening 15 years earlier—when the bipolarity of the Cold War still prevailed—so it is difficult to imagine the depth of suspicion of US leaders and the broad toleration and acceptance of these revisionist theories in the Western Europe of 15 years ago.

A NEW WAVE OF FRANCO-GERMAN REVISIONISM GREETS THE 1989 ROMANIAN REVOLUTION

Such recent Franco-German revisionism has not been confined to the events of the 21st century, however.  It is also being projected back into the events of the late 20th century.  A new school of Franco-German conspiracy theory about the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 has developed in the last few years.  Film director Susanne Brandstatter’s “Checkmate” documentary about the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu—broadcast for the first time on the Franco-German channel “TV Arte” in late February 2004—is probably the best exposition of this new school.  Appearing as it did, during the year that marked the 15th anniversary of the Revolution, the film prompted much publicity and discussion in Romania.

Reflecting on the biggest events of 2004 in the daily that “broke the story,” “Jurnalul National,” journalist Marina Constantinoiu recalled:

“[It all began when] I merely reprinted an article/commentary about this interesting film that had been published in the online TV supplement of the French weekly ‘Le Nouvel Observateur.’  The next day ‘the madness’ started.  There followed a torrent of reactions, the telephones at the newspaper were ringing off the hook, with all kinds of people expressing their agreement or disagreement with the documentary’s claim, some even bringing proof to support one or the other versions.  ‘Jurnalul National’ prompted a true national debate, starting from a simple television documentary.”  (“Jurnalul National,” 30 December 2004).

Although undoubtedly engaging in the same kind of self-interested media hype as Constantinoiu, it is telling of the impact of the documentary that the night after the TV Arte broadcast, Hungarian Television devoted a show to discussing a film that the host described as “having even before its screening already provoked a wave of reactions across the globe” (Magyar Televizio 1, 2004).  During the program, a Hungarian reporter in Bucharest relayed Romanian reaction as the film was broadcast for the first time on Romanian television.

Brandstatter’s film, the coverage it provoked in the French, Romanian, and Hungarian media, the debates it sparked, and its comparison with previous investigations of the Revolution are the subject of this paper.  Although the conclusions of Brandstatter’s film reflect contemporary geopolitical relations, her methodology of investigation continues a long tradition in both foreign and Romanian studies of the December 1989 events, and the content of the film is heavily reliant upon claims and allegations that have circulated for years—many back to 1990—in Romania.

The conclusions of Brandstatter’s film are consistent with and probably reflect the broader contemporary trend of ascribing a seemingly limitless propensity and capacity for manipulation and skullduggery to the United States.  At the same time, however, the content of the film is a product of enduring and perhaps intensifying trends that are characteristic of so many explorations of the Romanian Revolution and that are specific to the case itself.  In other words, the film is a reflection of a longtime, deeply-embedded historical debate on the Revolution within Romania—and, to a lesser extent, abroad—as interpreted through the prism of contemporary geopolitical relations.

CONJUGATING CONSPIRACY:  HE CONSPIRES, THEY CONSPIRE, YOU CONSPIRE…

Susanne Brandstatter’s “Checkmate” documentary is a reformulation of the longstanding KGB-CIA “Yalta-Malta” theory of Ceausescu’s overthrow.  That Brandstatter’s is not a solitary perspective is demonstrated by the claims of the French researcher, Catherine Durandin, during 2002-2003.  Brandstatter’s film caused a flurry of commentaries and analyses in the French, Hungarian, and Romanian media—somewhat funny, as journalists and intellectuals in and from Romania routinely maintain that common citizens are exhausted by and disinterested in investigations of the December 1989 events, and that “The Revolution doesn’t sell.”  The Brandstatter-Durandin school argues that Ceausescu’s overthrow was primarily the work of the CIA, with various Western security services and the Hungarians—although still communist at the time, nevertheless working in concert with the West—fulfilling a secondary role.  The KGB is said to have participated, but had only a bit part.  Even in Romania, some commentators who did not seriously entertain this thesis until now, appear to have been swayed by the film—a testament to its seductive presentation and power.

This is all just a little ironic—given that in late 2003 a large swath of the Romanian media and intelligentsia hastened to declare that “new revelations” by Soviet-era Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky had once and for all put to rest the controversy over “what really happened in December 1989.”  While on a visit to Romania in November 2003, Bukovsky stated in passing that, on the basis of his access to KGB documents in the early 1990s, he could maintain unequivocally that the KGB masterminded and stage-managed the Romanian Revolution—as it did, he claimed, the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe in 1989.  Despite the fact that Bukovsky began making these allegations as far back as 1990—thus, before his access to the archives—for those in Romania who have long-advocated this thesis, Bukovsky’s words were received as gospel and as definitively closing the book on the investigation and understanding of the December 1989 events.  The so-called “Bukovsky Scandal”—for much of 2004 it had its own separate link on the webpage of  “Ziua [The Day],” the daily that launched it—erupted again in the spring, summer, and fall of 2004 with a new flood of articles and exchanges, but virtually no new details to back up Bukovsky’s claims.

But the Brandstatter-Durandin CIA-engineered coup theory is even more ironic when you consider the previous wave of Franco-German conspiracy theories—which cornered the market in 1990 and has had a profound and enduring imprint upon how the events of Ceausescu’s overthrow have been studied and understood since.  Those theories maintained the exact opposite of the Brandstatter-Durandin argument in terms of the weighting awarded to foreigners in the December 1989 coup:  that Ceausescu’s overthrow was primarily the work of the KGB and other East European security services—the Hungarians acting at the behest of Moscow—with the CIA and Western security services playing at best a limited, purely (dis)informational role.  The first wave of Franco-German conspiracy theories might not have had such a lasting—and I would argue, destructive—impact had it not been awarded credibility and promoted by prominent Romanian intellectual and academic emigres in the West.  I personally can attest to this impact, for it was the prism provided by the latter in the English language that heavily shaped my views of the December 1989 events until conducting dissertation research in Romania in 1993-1994.

In essence, what I argue here is that one cannot understand the latest wave of Franco-German revisionism sufficiently without placing it in the context of prior historiography of the Revolution, especially revisionist historiography.  Likewise, one cannot understand the Romanian historiography of the Revolution accurately without understanding the revisionist historiography of Romania’s communist security service, the Securitate, and how it has infected and weaved its way into the broader Romanian historiography.  Finally, one cannot understand the deleterious effects of the first wave of Franco-German conspiracy theory on scholarly understandings in English without understanding the role émigré Romanian intellectuals played in relaying and legitimizing it.

“REVISIONISM” OR…WHEN EVERYTHING TURNS OUT TO HAVE BEEN AN ILLUSION

Revisionism has been a central and prominent feature of the historiography of the December 1989 Revolution.  I should clarify what I mean by “revisionism” here.  My definition of “revisionism” is necessarily broad because it is outcome-based rather than process-based.  Although important, the causes of revisionism are not and should not be what defines it.  Revisionism is certainly not bad, illegitimate, or incorrect by definition.  Some revisionism turns out to have been well-grounded and proved right, some not.  But to attribute or define revisionism in terms of some intentional agenda to obfuscate the truth or disinform is not only to vastly oversimplify human behavior, it is self-serving and self-deceiving at the same time, and does not help in understanding the phenomenon.  Whereas “others” start from a premise or conclusion and then decide to produce an account that advocates it, “we” research and arrive at conclusions.  It is true that the former exists—and plenty of those examples will be highlighted in this series—but the sources of revisionism are a lot more complex.  Many “revisionists” merely interpret events through their prism of preexisting beliefs and understandings and do not intentionally arrive at the conclusions they do.  What is important, however, is that their conclusions are still “revisionist” in that they substantially “revise” the initial understanding(s) of an event.

Not all events lend themselves equally well to “revisionism.”  The overthrow of Ceausescu does so precisely because of the striking uniformity of interpretations at the time of the events, a situation highlighted well by Verdery and Kligman in an article authored in November 1990 (Verdery and Kligman, 1992, pp. 118-119).  To me, indicative of this were the chaotic events of 12 January 1990—three weeks after Ceausescu’s overthrow on 22 December—when demonstrators with no doubt as to the existence of “terrorists,” the name given to presumed Ceausescu loyalists during the December bloodshed, chanted “Death to the terrorists!”  The besieged party-state bureaucrats who succeeded Ceausescu hastened to restore the death penalty for presumed “terrorists” (no longer under the immediate pressure of the crowds, they would renege on this promise the following day).  In other words, those on either side of the fundamental post-Ceausescu political barricade agreed on the question of the existence of the “terrorists” (more on this critical issue later in this series).

Perhaps the best example of the existence and influence of revisionism upon understandings of Ceausescu’s overthrow comes from a comparison made by Vladimir Tismaneanu of the comments by the famous contemporary historian of Central and Eastern Europe, Timothy Garton Ash, immediately after the December 1989 events and ten years later.

“Reflecting on the December 1989 events in Romania, Timothy Garton Ash wrote:  ‘Nobody hesitated to call what happened in Romania a revolution.  After all, it really looked like one:  angry crowds on the streets, tanks, government builldings in flames, the dictator put up against a wall and shot [Ash 1990, p. 20].’…However, ten years afterward, Ash would write:  ‘Curiously enough the moment when people in the West finally thought there was a revolution was when they saw television pictures of Romania:  crowds, tanks, shooting, blood in the streets.  They said:  That—we know THAT is a revolution, and of course the joke is that it was the only one that wasn’t.’ (Ash, “Conclusions,” in ed. Antohi and Tismaneanu, 1999, p. 395).”  (Tismaneanu 2003, p. 230, p. 323 n. 115)

That the idea of a “coup d’etat” or a “stolen revolution” came only later—i.e. was revisionist—is also demonstrated by Veronica Szabo’s intriguing study of a Romanian collection of graffiti on the walls of the center of Bucharest where demonstrations took place:  “There is however, one scenario of the revolution which is not consistent with the data examined here, and that is the ‘hijacked revolution scenario’” (Szabo, “Handwriting on the Wall,” p. 6).  As Szabo notes, the significance of the data set is its thoroughness (141 graffiti entries), its unobtrusive collection process, and the fact that it “was simultaneous rather than retrospective (the collection took place during the revolution)” (p. 4).

RUMORS OF A REVOLUTIONARY DOCUMENTARY

Long before its broadcast on the Franco-German TV Arte channel on Wednesday, 25 February 2004, the “Checkmate” documentary by Austrian filmmaker Susanne Brandstatter was creating a buzz.  Meeting the filmmaker by chance in Berlin in late November 2003, Gabriela Adamesteanu, the editor of Romania’s well-known cultural and political weekly, “22,” conducted an interview of Brandstatter with bated breath and eager anticipation of the upcoming premier of the film (Adamesteanu, 2004).  Coming in the pages of “22,” which has frequently hosted interviews and articles through the years alleging that the December 1989 events were a Soviet-led coup d’état, Brandstatter’s thesis that the events were primarily a CIA-led coup appeared somewhat out-of-place.  Nevertheless, a coup is a coup is a coup to some extent, and although Adamesteanu asked Brandstatter leading questions on the Soviet role, and Brandstatter did not deny a KGB role, the interviewer was clearly seized with excitement about the film.

Five days before the broadcast of the film, Vincent Jauvert summarized the documentary’s main thesis on the Internet site of the French daily “Le Nouvel Obervateur:” “Nicolae Ceausescu was not overthrown by his own people, but by the CIA” (“Le Nouvel Observateur,” 20 February 2004).  In his article, Jauvert gave a sneak preview of what was to come in the film:  admissions by Miklos Nemeth (the communist Hungarian Prime Minister at the time of the events in 1989), former CIA officials, and French intelligence officials, and an allegation that one of the key players in the December events, Romanian Army General Victor Athanasie Stanculescu, had been a Hungarian spy.  The Romanian daily “Jurnalul National” relayed Jauvert’s descriptions three days later and, on the day before the film’s premier, presented a lengthy interview with Brandstatter under the headline:  “The CIA and KGB shook hands in Bucharest” (“Jurnalul National,” 24 February 2004).  Anticipation was so great that the chief editor of “Jurnalul National,” Marius Tuca, devoted his one-hour television show on the Antenae 1 Television Station on 23 February to the still-unseen documentary, with Stanculescu in the studio and Brandstatter participating by phone (Bucharest Antena 1 Television).

BACKGROUND TO BRANDSTATTER:  “OLD EUROPE,” “NEW EUROPE,” AND HISTORY AS CONTEMPORARY GEOPOLITICAL WISHBONE

Brandstatter’s thesis of the Romanian Revolution as a CIA-led coup in conjunction with other interested intelligence services did not appear out-of-the-blue.  Catherine Durandin, a French academic with a more substantial background in Romanian studies, argued the thesis on French television and in “Le Monde Diplomatique” in 2002 (Verluise, 2003).  Durandin gives the KGB a larger role in the guiding of the December events than Brandstatter, but remains convinced that it was for the most part a CIA operation.  In her statements in 2002 and 2003, she claimed that the CIA “currently controls Romania.”  How does Durandin know about the CIA’s alleged guiding role in the December events?  According to her:  because she has had access to secret CIA documents that confirm it—documents that she appears to claim she saw in the preparation of her 2002 book entitled “The CIA at War,” which is an exposition of CIA misdeeds and skullduggery through the years (Durandin, 2003).

In early 2003, Durandin took to the French airwaves, presenting her revelations on France-3 Television under the title, “Incontrovertible Proof.”  Durandin stated:

“the events of  December [1989] in Bucharest were the consequence of a secret accord between Moscow and Washington….The CIA penetrated the highest echelons of the Romanian power structure at the very time ‘the frustrated Gorbachevites [of the Communist Party]’ were converted by the CIA.” (The Sunday Herald, 2003)

In an intriguing article by Gabriel Ronay in the “The Sunday Herald (Glasgow)” on 30 March 2003, in the second week of the American invasion of Iraq—“French Accuse US of Masterminding Fall of the East Bloc”—Ronay noted the presence on the program of former DGSE (French external intelligence service) “secret agent” Dominique Fonveille, and Christian Harbulot, Director of France’s School of Economic Warfare.  Ronay speculated that this was designed to “give weight” to Durandin’s allegations, especially in light of the fact that one of Durandin’s principal sources was General Francois Mermet, the influential Director-General of DGSE.  Ronay offered that, in the wake of nasty exchanges between President Jacques Chirac and Romanian President Ion Iliescu and Prime Minister Adrian Nastase over Romania’s letter of support for US policy toward Saddam Hussein—which by this time had translated into the US-led military attack to remove Hussein from power—“the timing of it [Durandin’s documentary] and the political intent appear to be rather obvious.”

Ronay also reported on the brief furor that broke out among among some journalists and intellectuals in Romania in response to Durandin’s televised contentions.  The biggest outcry was predictably from sharply pro-Western journalists and intellectuals, especially those who have long argued that the December 1989 events were a KGB coup—with the corresponding role of the Western security services minimal to non-existent—and that Romania continues to be controlled not by CIA agents, but by former or even present Russian agents.  In other words, views that are 180 degrees at variance with those propounded by Durandin.

Despite Durandin’s acknowledgement that there was also KGB “intervention” in the December 1989 events, her emphasis on the CIA role was naturally what caused a stir in Romania.  In his dispatch, Ronay referenced an article in the daily “Ziua” entitled “The CIA is running Romania!” (“Ziua,” 24 March 2003).  The author of the article, Dan Pavel, noted appropriately that Durandin’s claims were worthy of Albiciade—the pseudonym used by the former Ceausescu court bard, until recently leader of an ultranationalist political party, and surprise runner-up in the 2000 presidential elections, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, in his weekly “Romania Mare [Greater Romania].”  Pavel’s reasoning for refuting Durandin’s thesis that the CIA engineered Ceausescu’s overthrow and was still running the show was hardly complimentary:  “the CIA does not have analysts or influence agents capable enough to understand the chameleon-like Romanian political class,” so how, he asks, could it possibly have manipulated Romanian events as Durandin alleges?

Those steeped enough in the literature on the Revolution (see Hall 1997, Hall 1999, and Hall 2002) know, however, that the allegations of a CIA role are only one half of the “Yalta-Malta” scenario Albiciade routinely advocates.  [That the KGB plays a central and defining role in the “national communist” version of Ceausescu’s overthrow, propagated by the likes of “Albiciade,” is not solely a personal view —see Siani-Davies’ description of it in Siani-Davies, 2001].  What Pavel fails to admit is that the writings of Albiciade also contain the overwhelming majority of the cherished claims he and like-minded journalists and intellectuals marshal to demonstrate that the December 1989 events were a Soviet-engineered coup.  The cold, hard reality of it all is that it is simply far easier to ridicule the clunky and simplistic anti-American cant of Albiciade, than to acknowledge and attempt to explain the embarrasing similarity of their views on the role of the KGB in December 1989 with those of former Ceausescu regime elements, especially the former Securitate.  The latter has two possible outcomes:  either the former Securitate is telling the truth on these issues—a possibility that cannot be dismissed out of hand—or it is lying and Pavel and his colleagues have swallowed some of the Securitate’s biggest tall-tales.

The circumstances surrounding the unveiling of Brandstatter’s documentary in February 2004 thus mirror those of Durandin’s television appearance roughly a year earlier.  Echoing Ronay, Gheorghe Bratescu wrote in an article entitled “Budapestian Enigmas” on the on-line journal “Clipa”:

“The question is a classic one, that is ‘Cui prodest?’ all this, more specifically in Romanian, who does the French-German documentary benefit?  It is clear that this is the subtle propaganda of the French and German policy of sanctioning Romania for Romania’s steadfast support of the United States [with regard to the Iraq war].  Therefore the documentary tries to ‘demonize’ the Romanian people, by presenting them to French and German spectators as marionettes of the American administration, who in 1989 [supposedly] were already concentrating their entire diplomatic and intelligence/espionage arsenal on making Romania the pawn of their long-term influence in Central and Eastern Europe…The appearance of the ‘Checkmate’ documentary, now in 2004, is not accidental.  It unambiguously serves the electoral campaign for the European Parliament [June 2004], with dozens of candidates campaigning on an anti-American platform and on slowing the admission of some countries from the East of the continent into the European Union, espcially Romania, considered an American ‘Trojan Horse,’ a theme advanced often in the French press.” (“Clipa,” 11 March 2004).

*It is doubtful that Usama Bin Ladin’s most direct claim of credit to date for the 11 September 2001 attacks in his 29 October 2004 video will cause revisionists to reassess their views—although it further undermines the credibility of their allegations.

SOURCES

Adamesteanu, G., 2004, interview with Susanne Brandstatter, “Sah-mat. Strategia unei revolutii [Checkmate.  Strategy of a Revolution], in “22,” (Bucharest), no. 721, 30 December 2003-5 January 2004, web edition, http://www.revista22.ro.

Ash, T. G., 1990, The Magic Lantern (New York:  Random House).

Ash, T. G., 2000, “Conclusions,” in Antohi, S. and Tismaneanu, V. (eds.), Between Past and Future:  The Revolutions of 1989 and Their Aftermath (New York:  Central European University Press).

Bucharest Antena 1 Television, 2030 GMT 23 February 2004 in FBIS, 24 February 2004.

“Clipa On-line,” 2004, web edition, http://www.clipa.com.

Durandin, C., 2003, “Le CIA en Guerre [The CIA at War]” (Paris:  Grancher) .

Hall, R. A. 1997, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University).

Hall, R. A., 1999, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” in “East European Politics and Societies,” Vol. 13, no.3, pp. 501-542.

Hall, R. A., 2002, “The Securitate Roots of a Modern Romanian Fairy Tale:  The Press, the Former Securitate, and the Historiography of December 1989,” Radio Free Europe “East European Perspectives,” Vol. 4, nos. 7-9.

“Jurnalul National,” (Bucharest), 2004, web edition, http://www.jurnalul.ro.

“Le Monde,” 2004, web edition, http://www.lemonde.fr.

“Le Nouvel Observateur,” 2004, found at http://www.confidentiel.firestream.net.

MTV 1 (Magyar Televizio 1), 2004.  “Csutortok este [Thursday Evening],” 26 February at http://www.icenter.hu.

“New York Times,” 2002.

Reuters, 2003.

Siani-Davies, P., 2001, “The Revolution after the Revolution,” in Phinnemore, D. Light, D. (eds.), Post-Communist Romania: Coming to Terms with Transition (London: Palgrave), pp. 1-34.

Szabo, V. 2002, “Handwriting on the Wall,” at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~oaces/conference/papers/Veronica_Szabo.pdf

“The Sunday Herald,” (Glasgow), 2004, found at http://lists.econ.utah.edu.

Tismaneanu, V., 2003, Stalinism for All Seasons (Berkeley: University of California Press).

Verdery K. and Kligman G., 1992, “Romania after Ceausescu:  Post-Communist Communism?” in Banac, I. (ed.), Eastern Europe in Revolution (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press), pp. 117-147.

Verluise, P., 2003, interview with Catherine Durandin, “La ‘revolution’ de 1989 [The “revolution” of 1989],” at http://www.diploweb.com.

“Wall Street Journal,” 2003.

“The Washington Post,” 2002.

“Ziua” (Bucharest), 2003, web edition, http://www.ziua.ro.

My thanks in particular to the libraries at Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj) and Indiana University (Bloomington) for the use of their collections in the process of researching and writing this series.

This article was originally prepared for submission to Radio Free Europe’s online publication “East European Perspectives (EEP),” where I previously published on the topics of Securitate revisionism (2002) and nationalism in late-communist Hungary and Serbia (2003).  Due to shifting priorities, RFE is reducing its coverage of Romania and plans to discontinue EEP.  EEP provided a forum for younger scholars such as myself, as well as for scholars from central and eastern Europe, and it will be missed.  My thanks to Dr. Michael Shafir for providing that opportunity.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/22/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-two/

Part 2: CHECKMATE:  “A thrilling documentary that may destroy your confidence in the mass media…”*

With much fanfare “Checkmate” finally debuted on the Franco-German TV Arte channel on Wednesday, 25 February 2004.  Brandstatter’s film is more formidable than many accounts alleging a primary foreign role in the December 1989 events.  Indeed, it is impressive in some ways:  Brandstatter obviously did a lot of leg-work and preparation for her documentary.  She filmed and conducted research in Romania, Hungary, Germany, Austria, France, and the United States, and spoke to other relevant figures in Great Britain, Bulgaria, and Norway.  Among those whose interviews appear in the film are:  former President Ion Iliescu, analyst Stelian Tanase, dissident Laszlo Tokes, Army General Victor Stanculescu, dissident Doina Cornea, Securitate Colonel Gheorghe Ratiu, Army General Dan Voinea, NSC official Robert Hutchings, Congressman Christopher Smith, and former CIA officers Milton Bearden, Charles Cogan, and Robert Baer (“Jurnalul National,” 24 February 2004).

Brandstatter’s thesis in the film is that Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown in December 1989 by the CIA, in conjunction with the intelligence services of some of its NATO allies, and of the Hungarians in the East bloc.  To be sure, she says, the Soviets had their fingers in the pie, thanks to the presence of the ubiquitous Russian “tourists” (i.e. intelligence agents, more about this below), but theirs was not the decisive role.  Thankfully, Brandstatter does at least acknowledge the independent role played by the courage of the long-suffering average Romanian citizen—although not sufficiently in the view of critics—and does not suggest that all was merely smoke and mirrors in December 1989 (“Jurnalul National,” 24 February 2004).

What evidence does Brandstatter marshal in support of her theory?  A key sequence in the film begins with Miklos Nemeth, Hungarian Prime Minister in December 1989, who admits that Hungary supplied the Romanians with “a lot of important aid, including guns and ammunition,” and that Hungary attempted to recruit officials in key institutions of the Ceausescu regime who were “in a position to help the regime’s victims.”  Brandstatter believes that General Victor Stanculescu was one of those high-ranking Romanian officials who the Hungarians allegedly recruited—although Stanculescu denies this in the film and claims that although he sympathized with regime opponents, he had no ties to them (Magyar Televizio,“Titkos Forradalom?” 29 February 2004).

Next, a Securitate colonel in 1989, Gheorghe Ratiu—in fact, head of the First Directorate, the one most identified by Romanian citizens as the “political police”—declares the Securitate was in possession of information that in (West) Germany (Zehndorf), Austria (Traiskirchen), and Hungary (Bicske), there were training camps where guerilla warfare was being instructed by “American trainers.”  The trainees were taught how to “foment unrest and a national uprising.”  Then, in one of what is perhaps the film’s most unexpected moments, Nemeth appears to confirm the allegations from Ratiu’s interview:  “In the south of Germany and in Austria and in other countries, the Germans and Americans were training the required people” (Magyar Televizio, “Titkos Forradalom?” 29 February 2004).

Brandstatter asks, “Was this possible in Romania at that time?”  Dominique Fonveille, the former French intelligence officer who appeared in the February 2003 Durandin televison expose discussed in Part 1 of this series, reveals in the Brandstatter film:  “Yes, one could enter from neighboring countries, and there were also training camps in Hungary and Germany.  It is certain that these people had to be infiltrated in at the given moment.  You have to understand, however, that it was not possible to infiltrate hundreds of people, nor even for that matter dozens.”  Charles Cogan, described as “head of the CIA’s Paris Station in 1989” is seen stating:  “Either the CIA was active in these camps or was training the trainers.”  In his interview, Robert Baer, a former CIA officer, elaborates, “It is likely that they [the trainers] would have told these people, here is an M-16, here is how to load it, here is how to secure it, here is how you shoot with it and here is how you kill someone with it.  Here is how you activate a plastic explosive, etc.” (Magyar Televizio, “Titkos Forradalom?” 29 February 2004).

Finally, Brandstatter interviews Milton Bearden, presented as “Director of CIA’s East European [operations].”  Bearden declares:

“It is said that these were CIA camps.  We have to make a distinction here.  Almost everything is attributed to the CIA.  I don’t know what these people told you, [and] I don’t deny it in its entirety, but I would advise you to be careful…” (Magyar Televizio, “Titkos Forradalom?” 29 February 2004).

Of course, because Brandstatter’s thesis is that the Revolution was essentially “made in the USA,” sparked and manipulated by American-trained agents, it is not surprising that she promotes the ideas of her interlocutors that the bloodshed and victims of December were intentional—part of a plan to stoke popular outrage against the Ceausescu regime and then to legitimate the leadership that replaced him.  Once again she invokes the words of former Securitate Colonel Gheorghe Ratiu of the First Directorate.  According to Ratiu, the lesson learned by the “producers” of the December 1989 Revolution from the Brasov workers’ riots of November 1987 was that “if there aren’t any corpses, the people won’t revolt sufficiently [in order to overthrow the regime]” (Jurnalul National, 27 February 2004).  Therefore, he suggests that the bloodshed, in the week that preceded the Ceausescus’ flight from power on 22 December 1989, was intended to accomplish just this end.

The French security official, Dominique Fonveille, apparently speaking mostly in reference to the post-22 December bloodshed, argues that the gunfire and chaos that dominated the next few days was deliberate, designed to create a state of insecurity that would in turn create support for the new leaders.  Victims were thus necessary for the credibility of the Revolution, in his view.  Finally, Brandstatter presents an interview with the former Romanian Military Prosecutor, General Dan Voinea, who, on the 10th anniversary of the Revolution, had declared the findings of the investigation into the question of the so-called “terrorists”—the term used to describe those held responsible for 942 deaths (nearly 90% of the overall number of 1,104 people who died in the course of the Revolution) in the immediate hours and days following the flight of the Ceausescus.  According to Voinea—who, it is important to point out, was himself one of the people involved in the trial of the Ceausescus that was justified officially as having been necessary to put an end to the “terrorist” violence:

“After 22 December 1989, there existed a huge diversion, in the sense that the notion of terrorists who were attacking the population were invented.  After investigating the question, it was determined that these terrorists did not in reality exist.” (“Jurnalul National,” 27 February 2004).

DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN REACTIONS TO THE “CHECKMATE” DOCUMENTARY

Reviews of Brandstatter’s film were positive and it certainly fascinated its viewers.  A rare note of skepticism, but also acceptance of the film’s thesis on foreign involvement, was Dominique Dhombres’ review in “Le Monde” on 26 February 2004.  Yes, he wrote, the CIA, the KGB, and perhaps even the French secret services were involved, but Brandstatter still underplayed the role of Romania’s citizens “who were not [just] marionettes.”  He concluded, “Brandstatter’s display is sedcutive, but like the execution of the Ceausescus…[her conclusions are] a little hasty.”

Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, some Romanian commentators not known for their support of the Western-engineered variant of the conspiracy theory of December 1989 have argued that Brandstatter’s arguments deserve serious consideration.  Using the research strategy of “qui bono”—a strategy which Brandstatter admits also drove her analysis of the December 1989 events—Cornel Nistorescu, editor of the mass daily “Evenimentul Zilei [Event of the Day],” concludes:  Hungary was also interested in Ceausescu’s fall (it’s European integration would have been an unsolvable problem if Ceausescu had continued to exist across its Eastern border); also interested were France, Germany, and the United States” (“Evenimentul Zilei,” 28 February 2004).

Some of the other commentary on Brandstatter’s film is equally interesting.  In a statement published by “Jurnalul National [The National Journal]” on 25 February 2004, Radu Tinu declared:  “It is regrettable that the facts I presented, five years ago, have become interesting only now, when the West releases them…We Romanians did not make the Revolution, but rather danced to the music of other intelligence services.  Tap-dancing for the CIA and ‘kalinka’ for the KGB.”  Tinu differs with Brandstatter, however, over for whom Stanculescu was spying; according to Tinu, he was working for the English, not the Hungarians as Brandstatter insinuates.  The name Radu Tinu may be familiar to Romania watchers:  he was the Deputy Chief of the Timis County Securitate that was involved in the bloody repression of demonstrators in Timisoara in December 1989.**

In a 3 March 2004 editorial entitled “The Romanian Revolution at the Intersection of CIA and KGB Streets,” the senior editor of “Jurnalul National,” Marius Tuca, accepted the rejection of some of Brandstatter’s claims—relayed by journalists at his own paper—and then summarizing the contradiction and timeless conspiratorial view at the center of many Romanian responses wrote:  “…there exists one certainty in all this debate:  the Revolution was founded by the Romanian people.  What remains to be learned is if someone put it in train and especially WHO! (emphasis in original].”

One of the more interesting reactions to the film came from Sergiu Nicolaescu, a film director who found himself at the center of the December events and who chaired a parliamentary commission investigating those events in the early and mid-1990s.  Nicolaescu alleged that the film was “a dirty trick financed by the Hungarians, because they are the only ones interested in making people believe that the Romanian Revolution was made by someone other than Romanians…[and, furthermore] the interviews were conducted in Hungarian not Romanian” (“Jurnalul National,” 28 February 2004).

HUNGARIAN INTERVENTION…IN THE [HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE] ROMANIAN REVOLUTION

Had it not been for the surprising claims of former Hungarian Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth in “Checkmate,” it is doubtful the Hungarians would have paid much attention to the film.  But Nemeth’s comments suddenly converted what otherwise would have been a “foreign story” into one that “hit home,” so-to-speak. Those who think that such narcissism is the province of individuals—or as a good number of American academics seem to think, a quintessentially American condition—have probably never witnessed media coverage in other countries of an overseas catastrophe or sporting event, in which co-nationals are the be-all and end-all of coverage.

Until investigations by Hungarian Television to substantiate Nemeth’s claims in “Checkmate,” the Hungarian population had been informed primarily by translated dispatches of “Jurnalul National,” related by Hungarian correspondents in Bucharest, that were not subject to further scrutiny.  The daily “Magyar Hirlap” presented on 26 February the revelations of Securitate officers Ratiu and Tinu as confirming the thesis that Ceausescu had been overthrown by foreign intelligence services—who had set up training centers, including in Hungary as Nemeth maintained.  That the statements by former Securitate officials—even if in support of the argument of a former top Hungarian official—could be taken at face-value is perhaps evidence of how far we have come even in Hungary from December 1989—such statements would have been subject to far more, almost knee-jerk scrutiny in the early 1990s.  The idea that the Hungarian media was just dying to deny Brandstatter’s allegations thus does not really wash.

Hungarian Television began scrutinizing the film in its “Thursday Evening” program, but the more important examination of the film was on Sunday, 29 February 2004, when MTV (Magyar Televizio) broadcast a program entitled “Secret Revolution (Titkos Forradalom)?” According to the host, Sandor Friderikusz, “days later [after the first showing of the documentary] the film was still enthralling Hungarians and foreigners.”  But it was clearly Nemeth’s claim that was driving everything—and ended up serving as the gateway to a more wideranging deconstruction of the film.

Brandstatter had been scheduled to appear on the progam, Friderikusz stated, but after having promised for a week to participate, at the last minute pulled out without giving a reason.  Friderikusz decided to contact those interviewed in the film to verify their statements on camera.  A pattern soon began to emerge:  Brandstatter had conducted long, in some cases hours-long, interviews, but had only placed short, frequently out-of-context clips in the final product.  Moreover, according to her interlocutors, she had come to the interviews with her mind firmly made up about what had happened in December 1989.

The first interviewee who was sought out, was Milton Bearden, who participated by phone from his home in New Hampshire.  Bearden, the former Chief of Operations for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, was not amused by Brandstatter’s documentary.  His admonition to Brandstatter, that she should be careful in her pursuit of the idea that the Romanian Revolution was the work of foreign security services, was the only excerpt of what he maintained was a two and a half hour interview.  [Romanian Army General Victor Stanculescu maintains that although in the film he only has a few words, the interview with Brandstatter lasted four hours (“Clipa,” 11 March 2004).]

Bearden was emphatic in declaring that “the CIA in no way directed or precipitated the revolution” and rejected Brandstatter’s contention that the Revolution was the work of foreign security services as “completely untrue.”  Asked if he thought Brandstatter had forced her case, Bearden responded:  “I don’t want to cause Brandstatter difficulty, but she [came] already convinced of the truth of her theory.”  His admonition for her to “be careful,” appears to have been a reference to how she was approaching the topic analytically—not that this pursuit was endangering her life or well-being.

Bearden considered the allegations of a central Hungarian role ridiculous.  He noted that in 1989, the Hungarian political scene was dominated by two principal issues:  the reburial of Imre Nagy and the opening of its western frontier with Austria.  To his credit as a journalist, Friderikusz challenged Bearden on two points:  1) perhaps other personnel within the CIA might have been involved in an operation against Romania of the variety alleged in the film of which Bearden was unaware, and 2) if there had been a CIA role, would it not be natural that Bearden should deny a CIA role?  Bearden claimed it was out of the question that an operation of this type could have taken place without his knowledge, and he acknowledged the suspicion with which his denials might be received but reiterated emphatically that Brandstatter’s claims were groundless.

Next, Friderikusz interviewed Ferenc Karpati, Hungarian Defense Minister at the time of the Revolution, and Laszlo Borsics, Hungarian Chief of Staff at the time.  Karpati and Borsics denied any preparation for, or provision of, arms during the Revolution, and stated that they did not believe something such as the alleged CIA training of agents provocateurs to overthrow Ceausescu could have been launched from Hungary.  Although there was some discussion in political circles of sending in Hungary’s anti-terrorist brigades and armed volunteers, Karpati opined, “luckily we rejected it.”  In fact, the officials claimed they only made offers of arms and munitions after Ceausescu’s overthrow and that these had been rejected by the Romanian military, who only accepted medical supplies.  Friderikusz pushed Karpati on the question of “which party or political faction” was advocating intervention, but Karpati declined to say, stating that he had already made it public years before in an article in the “Historia” magazine. [In the throes of the 1994 Hungarian parliamentary election campaign, however, the leader of the former communist party (MSzP), Gyula Horn, accused the deceased former Prime Minister Jozsef Antall and then current foreign minister Geza Jeszensky of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) as having asked in the days of the Revolution to be permitted to create volunteer detachments to intervene in Romania, but that the request was rejected.  Jeszensky denied Horn’s claim, saying that the MDF had asked Horn, who was foreign minister in December 1989, to request NATO intervention and had never proposed the idea of volunteer detachments. (see Dorin Suciu, “Si totusi in ’89 Ungaria pregatea o interventie armata in Romania,” Adevarul, 26 April 1994).]

In what was emerging as a clear pattern, Karpati claimed that a year earlier Brandstatter had conducted a two hour (unfilmed) “pre”-interview with him—none of which ever saw the light of day.  Thus, when she asked to send a film crew, he declined when she did not respond to his questions of the content of the film.  Challenged about Nemeth’s claim of Hungarian and CIA direct involvement in the Revolution, Borsics opined that Nemeth’s words “may have been taken out of context…and I certainly have no knowledge of such things.”  Borsics also highlighted some basic factual inaccuracies in the account purported in the Brandstatter film—such as the Bicske “training camp” being 40 km from the Austrian border, when in fact it is 40 km from Budapest and at least 150 km from the Austrian border.

Friderikusz followed up once again with Karpati, inquiring how it was possible that Nemeth’s account, at least as it appeared in the film, could be so different from his and Borsics’?  “Was it possible,” he asked, “that only he [Nemeth] was privy” to these secrets?  Karpati responded emphatically:

“All I can say, is that during those days, every hour we were updating the Prime Minister, frequently we sat a his desk, marking on a map every move that was taking place in Romania, we spoke about troop movements, we talked about everything, and I believe that he would have heard everything from us first.”

Finally, Friderikusz spoke to Sandor Aradi, the Hungarian military attache in Bucharest during the Revolution, who denied Brandstatter’s thesis, claimed the film was full of doubletalk, and affirmed that the Romanian Revolution was first and foremost the work of the Romanian people, especially the Romanian youth. “Without a doubt,” Aradi claimed, it was unthinkable that he could have held such a position and not had some information on the secret operations Nemeth had alleged.

Even at the political level, Nemeth’s claims were rejected by other senior politicians from the time.  A separate MTV 1 program conducted an interview with Imre Pozsgay, who claimed no knowledge of Nemeth’s allegations and that Nemeth had discussed nothing of the sort (Magyar Televizio b, 2004).  “If I didn’t know about [the secret operations], then that means very, very few could have known,” he stated,

“…sure the West and Moscow tried to apply pressure to Ceausescu, but a revolution, a societal uprising, a rebellion, that the security services could pull off such a thing…such a thing has never happened in the history of the world [!].”

Thus, besides Romanian figures who disputed their characterization and/or presentation in the film and the manner in which Brandstatter produced it, we have here at least five other key officials from the time, not only rejecting Brandstatter’s thesis, but expressing dismay and disgust at how Brandstatter put the Revolution in “Checkmate”—Bearden, Karpati, Borsics, Aradi, and Pozsgay.

WAIT A MINUTE!  HADN’T IT JUST BEEN AGREED THAT THE KGB DID IT?

Among those asked by “Jurnalul National” to comment on the Brandstatter documentary was former Soviet-era Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovski.  Bukovski did not challenge Brandstatter’s account, maintaining that he had not had access to the sources available to Brandstatter—thereby leaving open the possibility of a CIA role in Ceausescu’s overthrow.  At first glance, this was somewhat surprising, as Bukovski has long argued that the December 1989 events in Romania were the work of the US and CIA’s principal adversary, the KGB.  However, it is not so surprising when one realizes the primary role Bukovski gives to foreign forces in bringing about Ceausescu’s overthrow, and his corresponding neglect of the internal dynamics of the Revolution inside Romania.

Bukovski’s comments while visiting Romania in November 2003—that the KGB orchestrated the events of Ceausescu’s overthrow—meant that the Romanian press had a field day on the 14th anniversary of the Revolution.  As usual when it comes to the KGB thesis, it was Editor-in-Chief Sorin Rosca Stanescu’s daily “Ziua” that gave Bukovski’s comments publicity, although dailies such as “Evenimentul Zilei,” “Romania Libera,” and others soon chimed in. “Case closed,” many editorialists, intellectuals, and politicians hastened to pronounce. Bukovski’s comments were interpreted as gospel precisely by those who have for years accepted and promoted this theory and who recognize its utility in contemporary Romanian political debates.  Bukovski’s credibility is enhanced by his stature and integrity as a former Soviet dissident, and by his post-1991 access to Soviet archives and publication of the documents he was able to surreptitiously photocopy.  But two critical points have to be made with regard to Bukovski’s claim about Romania’s December 1989 events.  First, he alleges that the collapse of communist rule throughout Eastern Europe—including the fall of the Berlin Wall—were part of an elaborate KGB plot, hatched beginning from 1988.  Second, he first made such allegations well-before he got access to those Soviet archives.

In a study dating from the late 1990s, the Romanian author Vladimir Alexe, who endorses a similar viewpoint on Romania’s December 1989 events, quoted Bukovski’s comments in 1990 on the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, as follows:

“Never has the role of the KGB inside the country [the USSR] or abroad been so important.  The Soviet secret services are the ones that watched the overthrow of Ceausescu in Romania, launched the ‘velvet revolution’ in Czechoslovakia, [and] that took measures to overthrow Erich Honecker in East Germany, producing especially favorable circumstances for the destruction of the Berlin Wall  (“L’Empire du moindre mal,” Libre Journal, Paris, nr. 1, sept-oct, 1990, p. 30).” (see Vladimir Alexe, “KGB si revolutiile din Europa de Est” in Ziua, 19 November 1999 and 20 December 1999)

In the wake of Bukovski’s “bombshell” in November 2003, at least one Romanian commentator attempted to legitimize the credibility of Bukovski’s  claims by appealing to the fact that the documents substantiating Bukovski’s claims are “on the Internet, anybody can access them.”  It is true that Bukovski has published Soviet archival documents on the Internet, including from the period 1988 to 1991—however, none of them are about the December 1989 events in Romania (http://psi.ece.jhu.edu/~kaplan/IRUSS/BUK/GBARC/pdfs/sovter75/sovter75-e.html).  Indeed, given the amazing antennae of the Romanian press for anything that substantiates their beliefs on this matter—and their deafness to anything that challenges those beliefs—one would expect that did such documents exist they would have been reproduced in the Romanian press by now.

Following Brandstatter’s film, Bukovski returned again to the Romanian press scene in the summer of 2004 in a series of interviews in “Ziua.”  Although the daily typically hyped Bukovski’s comments—one could click on a file on their internet site devoted exclusively to “The Bukovski Scandal”—to make it appear that Bukovski had made stunning, new, and unassailable revelations, and Bukovski offered to provide documentary evidence for his views, he provided neither documentary evidence nor any new details—already, virtually non-existent—to his account.

As mentioned above, in commenting on what he referred to as the “Checkmate documentary,” Bukovski stated that he did not challenge Brandstatter’s account, since he had not had access to the sources available to her.  However, he did seek to strengthen support for his own argument of the events as predominantly a KGB coup by invoking the writings of the BBC reporter, John Simpson (“Jurnalul National,” 2 March 2004?).  Simpson’s writings have been invoked by others who have sought to evaluate accounts of the Revolution.  For example, Krishna Kumar writes in his 2001 book reexamining 1989 in the region, that John Simpson had brought new, sensational revelations to the table in a 1994 “Independent (London)” article (Kumar, 2001).  But the basis of Simpson’s 1994 article is the report released by the Romanian Information Service (SRI) that alleges Russian and other East bloc “tourists” played a seminal role in sparking the Revolution.  (Despite questioning other aspects of the SRI’s contentions, Deletant unfortunately appears to accept this claim at face value—without recognizing how it contradicts and ultimately negates his other arguments on the events (see Deletant ,1999, pp. 171-172).)  That the SRI is the Securitate’s formal institutional successor, and incorporated many of the personnel, structures, and culture of the Securitate, hardly lends the argument credibility.  Moreover, one has to ask if Bukovski supposedly knows so much about the KGB role in the Romanian Revolution from his access to Soviet archival sources, how is it that he does not know about what would appear to be a key detail—the role of Russian and East bloc “tourists” in sparking Ceausescu’s overthrow?

*From the television guide description of Newsletter MARS 2004/1 on the Internet.

**Marius Mioc, a direct participant in the Timisoara uprising and a researcher who has written some of the most detailed and insightful analysis on the events of December 1989, was sufficiently incensed with “revelations” that suggest that the events of Timisoara were stage-managed by foreign forces and that defended or denied the role of regime forces in repressing demonstrators that he published a newspaper devoted to the subject (Mioc 2004).

SOURCES

“Clipa On-line,” 2004, web edition, http://www.clipa.com.

Deletant, D., 1999, Romania Under Communist Rule (Portland, OR:  Center for Romanian Studies).

“Evenimentul Zilei,” (Bucharest), 2004, web edition, http://www.evenimentulzilei.ro.

“The Independent,” (London), 1994.

“Jurnalul National,” (Bucharest), 2004, web edition, http://www.jurnalul.ro.

Kumar, K., 2001, 1989:  Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press).

“Le Monde,” 2004, web edition, http://www.lemonde.fr.

“Magyar Hirlap,” 2004, web edition, http://www.magyarhirlap.hu.

Mioc, M., 2004. “Revolutia din Timisoara si minciunile de Marius Tuca [The Timisoara Revolution and the Lies of Marius Tuca (editor of Jurnalul National),” (Timisoara), March.

MTV 1 (Magyar Televizio 1), 2004.  “Csutortok este [Thursday Evening],” 26 February at http://www.icenter.hu.

MTV 1 (Magyar Televizio 1), 2004.  “Titkos Forradalom?  [Secret Revolution?],” 29 February at http://www.asolasszabadsaga.hu.

“Ziua” (Bucharest), 1999, 2003, 2004, web edition, http://www.ziua.ro.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/22/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-iii/

Part 3:  Ruse

A SECURITATE RIDDLE:  SOVIET “TOURISTS” AND THE OVERTHROW OF THE CEAUSESCU REGIME

Although I have written a good deal on the “tourist” conundrum in the past (see, for example, Hall 2002), I have not formally addressed the role of foreign histories of Ceausescu’s overthrow in the historiography of December 1989, particularly in regard to this topic.  In the wake of the broadcast of Brandstatter’s “Checkmate” documentary in February 2004, Vladimir Bukovski’s invocation of journalist John Simpson’s 1994 article on the topic (discussed in Part 2 of this series) suggests, however, that it needs to be broached in greater detail.  Moreover, as the year-long look-back at the December 1989 events in “Jurnalul National” shows, the “tourist” question—somewhat surprisingly to me—has become more and more central to arguments about the Revolution, thereby amplifying what is already tremendous confusion over the events in the Romanian press and public.  Of course, as has traditionally been the case, the Soviet/Russian tourists figure prominently, and, to a lesser extent, the Hungarian tourists.  However, the stock of other tourist groups has also gone up.  For example, the role of Yugoslav (specifically Serb) tourists has found a greater emphasis, and, seemingly out of nowhere, so have East German/STASI tourists!  The principal sources for all of these allegations are, as usual, former Securitate and Militia officers, with some military (intelligence) personnel thrown in for good measure.

FOREIGN FORUM, ROMANIAN CONTEXT

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact first mention of “the tourists” and their alleged role in the Revolution, but it appears that although the source of the claim was Romanian, the publication was foreign.  James F. Burke, whose name is unfortunately left off the well-researched and widely-consulted web document “The December 1989 Revolt and the Romanian Coup d‘etat,” alludes to the “Romanian filmmaker” who first made these allegations (Burke, 1994).  The claims are contained in an article by Richard Bassett in the 2 March 1990 edition of “The Times (London).”  According to Bassett,

“Mr. [Grigore] Corpacescu has no doubt that the revolution here was carefully stage-managed—as was the case in Prague and East Berlin—by the Russians…According to Mr. Corpacescu a party of Soviet ‘tourists,’ all usually on individual visas, arrived in Timisoara two days before the first demonstration outside Mr. [i.e. Pastor] Tokes’ house.  Police records trace them reaching Bucharest on December 20.  By the 24th, two days after Ceausescu fled by helicopter, the Russians had disappeared.  No police records exist to indicate how they left the country. (“The Times (London),” 2 March 1990)

But Bassett’s interlocutor, Mr. Corpacescu, says some strange things.  Bassett is not clear but it appears that Corpacescu suggests that the post-Revolution Interior Minister Mihai Chitac, who was involved in the Timisoara events as head of the army’s chemical troops, somehow purposely coaxed the demonstrations against the regime because the tear-gas cannisters his unit fired failed to explode—the failure somehow an intended outcome.  But beyond this, Corpacescu, who is at the time of the article filming the recreation of Ceausescu’s flight on the 22nd—using the same helicopter and pilot involved in the actual event—makes the following curious statement:

“The pilot of this helicopter is an old friend.  I have many friends in the police, Timisoara was not started by the Hungarian pastor, the Reverend Laszlo Tokes [i.e. it was carefully stage-managed…by the Russians].” (“The Times (London),” 2 March 1990)

The pilot of the helicopter was in fact Vasile Malutan, an officer of the Securitate’s V-a Directorate.  What kind of a person would it have been at that time—and how credible could that person have been–who has the pilot as an old friend and “many friends in the police?”  And it would have been one thing perhaps two months after the revolution to talk about the presence of foreign agents “observing” events in Timisoara, but to deny the spontaneity of the demonstrations and denigrate Tokes’ role at this juncture is highly suspicious.  I have been unable to unearth additional information on Mr. Corpacescu, but his revelations just happen to serve his friends extremely well—particularly at at time when the prospect of trials and jail time, for participation in the repression in Timisoara and elsewhere during the Revolution, still faced many former Securitate and Militia [i.e. police] members.

THE FORMER SECURITATE AND MILITIA REMINISCE ABOUT THE SOVIET “TOURISTS”

A week after “The Times” article, the chief of the Securitate’s Counter-espionage Directorate, Colonel Filip Teodorescu, mentioned at his trial for his role in the Ceausescu regime’s crackdown in Timisoara that he had in fact detained “foreign agents” during the events there (“Romania Libera,” 9 March 1990).  In his 1992 book, he developed further on this theme, specifically focusing on the role of “Soviet tourists:”

“There were few foreigners in the hotels, the majority of them having fled the town after lunch [on 17 December] when the clashes began to break out. The interested parties remained. Our attention is drawn to the unjustifiably large number of Soviet tourists, be they by bus or car. Not all of them stayed in hotels. They either had left their buses or stayed in their cars overnight. Border records indicate their points of entry as being through northern Transylvania. They all claimed they were in transit to Yugoslavia. The explanation was plausible, the Soviets being well-known for their shopping trips. Unfortunately, we did not have enough forces and the conditions did not allow us to monitor the activities of at least some of these ‘tourists’” (Teodorescu, 1992, p. 92).

Reporting in July 1991 on the trial involving many of those involved in the Timisoara repression, Radu Ciobotea noted with what was probably an apt amount of skepticism and cynicism, what was telling in the confessions of those on trial:

Is the End of Amnesia Approaching?…

Without question, something is happening with this trial.  The Securitate doesn’t say, but it suggests.  It let’s small details ‘slip out.’…Increasingly worthy of interest are the reactions of those on trial….Traian Sima (the former head of the county’s Securitate) testifies happily that, finally, the Securitate has been accepted at the trial, after having been rejected by Justice.  Filip Teodorescu utters the magic word ‘diplomats’ and, suddenly, the witness discovers the key to the drawer with surpise and declares, after five hours of amnesia, that in Timisoara, there appeared in the days in question, foreign spies under the cover of being journalists and diplomats, that in a conversation intercepted by a mobile Securitate surveillance unit Tokes was reported as  ‘well,’ and that all these (and other) counterespionage actions that can’t be made public to the mass media can be revealed behind closed doors to the judge….[Timis County party boss] Radu Balan ‘remembers’ that on 18 December at midnight when he was heading toward IAEM, he passed a group of ten soviet cars stopped 100 meters from the county hospital. (It turns out that in this night, in the sight of the Soviets, the corpses were loaded!).” [emphasis in the original] (Flacara, no. 27, 1991, p. 9).

The reference to the corpses being loaded is to an operation by the Militia and Securitate on the night of 18-19 December 1989, in which the cadavers of 40 people killed during the repression of anti-regime protesters were secretly transported from Timisoara’s main hospital to Bucharest for cremation (reputedly on Elena Ceausescu’s personal order).

Finally, as yet another of many possible examples, we have the recollections of Bucharest Militia Captain Ionel Bejan, which apparently appeared in print for the first time only in 2004, in a book by Alex Mihai Stoenescu (excerpted in “Jurnalul National,” 7 December 2004).  According to Bejan, around 2 AM on the night of 21-22 December, not far from University Plaza, where at that moment regime forces were firing their way through a barricade set up by protesters (48 were killed that night, 604 wounded, and 684 arrested), he spotted two LADA automobiles with Soviet plates and two men and a woman studying a map and pointing to different locations among the surrounding buildings.  Bejan recalled:

“One thing’s for sure, and that is that although they looked like tourists, they didn’t behave like tourists who had just arrived in town or were lost, especially as close by there were compact groups of demonstrators, while from armored personnel carriers there was intense warning fire and a helicopter hovered overhead with lights ablaze.  I don’t know what kind of tourist tours somewhere in such conditions. They left the impression that they were sure of themselves, they didn’t need any directions, proof which was that they didn’t ask us anything even though we were nearby and, being uniformed Militia, were in the position to give them any directions they needed.  One thing’s for sure when I returned to that location in January 1990…the buildings displayed visible signs of bullet holes…[emphasis added]” (“Jurnalul National,” 7 December 2004)

STRANGE “TOURISTS”…STRANGER STILL, THE REACTIONS OF THE AUTHORITIES

We can agree with Ionel Bejan in one respect.  One thing is for sure:  these were some very strange tourists.  (They give a whole new meaning to the term, “adventure tourism.”)  As curious as the “Soviet tourists” themselves is how little the Romanian authorities who claim to have seen them did to stop them—or even try to collect more information about them.  Why is it that no official questioned the enigmatic “Soviet tourists” or asked them to leave the area when, as Radu Balan claims, he saw ten LADAs outside the Timis county hospital at 1 AM in the morning the night the cadavers of protesters were being loaded onto a truck for cremation?  Or, as Ionel Bejan claims, he spotted several of them in the center of Bucharest at 2 AM, when the area was essentially a warzone of regime repression?  The regime had closed the borders to virtually all other foreigners, tourists or otherwise, it was trying to prevent any word of the repression from reaching the outside world, and yet Romanian authorities were not concerned about these “tourists” taking pictures or relaying what they were seeing?!

As I have written before, if it was obvious before 18 December, as these Ceausescu regime officials claim, that “Soviet tourists” were involved in the events in Timisoara, then why was it precisely “Soviet travelers coming home from shopping trips to Yugoslavia” who were the only group declared exempt from the ban on “tourism” announced on that day (see AFP, 19 December 1989 as cited in Hall 2002b)?  In fact, an Agent France-Presse correspondent reported that two Romanian border guards on the Yugoslav frontier curtly told him:  “Go back home, only Russians can get through”!!!  The few official documents from the December events that have made their way into the public domain show the Romanian Ambassador to Moscow, Ion Bucur, appealing to the Soviets to honor the Romanian news blackout on events in Timisoara, but never once mentioning—let alone objecting to—the presence or behavior of “Soviet tourists” in Romania during these chaotic days of crisis for the Ceausescu regime (CWHIP, “New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania,” 2001).  It truly strains the imagination to believe that the Romanian authorities were so “frightened” of committing a diplomatic incident with the Soviets that they would allow Soviet agents to roam the country virtually unhindered, allowing them to go anywhere and do anything they wanted.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…A “SOVIET TOURIST” ENCORE IN 1990

Add to all of this (!), the allegations that the “Soviet tourists” were seen again on the streets during major crises in 1990, such as the ethnic clashes between Romanians and Hungarians in Tirgu Mures in March 1990 (for evidence of the reach of the allegation of KGB manipulation via the “tourist” mechanism both in December 1989 AND in March 1990, see Emil Hurezeanu, “Cotidianul,” 23 December 1999; according to Hurezeanu, “It appears they didn’t leave the country until 1991, following a visit by [SRI Director] Virgil Magureanu to Moscow”!).  Then there is the famous April 1991 interview of an alleged KGB officer—who spoke flawless Romania and was in Romania during the December 1989 events—who the interviewer, the vigorous anti-Iliescu foe, Sorin Rosca Stanescu, claimed to have just stumbled into in Paris.  Of all the reporters who could have stumbled into a KGB officer present in Romania during the Revolution—the only such case I know of—it was Rosca Stanescu, who, it turned out later, had been an informer for the Securitate until the mid-1980s—but not just for anybody, but for the USLA.  Intererstingly, although the article appeared on the non-descript page 8 of the primary opposition daily at the time (“Romania Libera”), the aforementioned Filip Teodorescu and Radu Balan invoked it in support of their contentions regarding the the “tourists” (for a discussion of this, see Hall 2002).  Even more suprising, or not, depending on your point of view, in his April 1991 article, Stanescu attempted to tie together December 1989 with December 1990 (!):

“As you will recall, persistent rumors have circulated about the existence on Romanian soil [in December 1989] of over 2,000 Lada automobiles with Soviet tags and two men in each car. Similar massive infiltrations were witnessed in December 1990, too, with the outbreak of a wave of strikes and demonstrations. What were the KGB doing in Romania?” (emphasis added) (“Romania Libera,” 18 April 1991)

Indeed, what were they doing in Romania?  But, more aptly:

WHO COULD THEY HAVE BEEN?

Some other recollections and comments may offer clues to the answer to this vexing question.  For example, the Caransebes Militia Chief claims he helped a group of “Soviet tourists” coming from Timisoara on the night of 20-21 December when one of their cars—as usual, “it was part of a convoy of 20 cars, all of the same make and with 3-4 passengers per car”—went off the road (from “Europa,” no. 20, 1991, see the discussion in Hall 2002b).  According to Teodorescu, the “tourists” greeted the militia chief with the phrase “What the hell?  We are colleagues; you have to help us” (Teodorescu, 1992, p. 93).  The militia chief opines that despite their Soviet passports, “to this day, I don’t really know where they were from.”

Nicu Ceausescu, Nicolae’s son and most likely heir and party secretary in Sibiu at the time of the Revolution, claimed that he also had to deal with enigmatic “tourists” during these historic days (the following several paragraphs borrow heavily from Hall 2002b).  From his prison cell in 1990, Nicu recounted how on the night of 20 December 1989, a top party official came to inform him that the State Tourist Agency was requesting that he — the party secretary for Sibiu! — “find lodgings for a group of tourists who did not have accommodation” He kindly obliged and made the appropriate arrangements (interview with Nicu Ceausescu in “Zig-Zag,”, no. 20, 21-27 August 1990).

Interestingly, in the same interview Nicu discusses the “tourists” for which he was asked to find accommodations in the context of a group of mysterious passengers who had arrived by plane from Bucharest on the evening of 20 December 1989. We know that in the period immediately following these events, the then-military prosecutor, Anton Socaciu, had alleged that these passengers from Bucharest were members of the Securitate’s elite USLA unit (Special Unit for Antiterrorist Warfare) and were responsible for much of the bloodshed that occurred in Sibiu during the December events.  Nicu Silvestru, chief of the Sibiu County Militia, admitted in passing in a letter from prison that on the afternoon of 19 December in a crisis meeting, Ceausescu’s son announced that he was going to “call [his] specialists from Bucharest” to take care of any protests (“Baricada,” no. 45, 1990).  Ceausescu’s Interior Minister, Tudor Postelnicu, admitted at his trial in January 1990 that Nicu had called him requesting “some troops” and he had informed Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad of the request (“Romania Libera,” 30 January 1990.)

The rewriting of the story of the Revolution, the “tourists,” and the “terrorists” was already in full swing, when in August 1990, Nicu wryly observed:

“…[T]he Military Prosecutor gave me two variants. In the first part of the inquest, they [the flight’s passengers] were from the Interior Ministry. Later, however, in the second half of the investigation, when the USLA and those from the Interior Ministry began, so-to-speak, to pass ‘into the shadows,’ — after which one no longer heard anything of them — they [the passengers] turned out to be simple citizens…” (interview with Nicu Ceausescu in “Zig-Zag,” no. 20, 21-27 August 1990).

The impact of this “reconsideration” by the authorities could be seen in the comments of Socaciu’s successor as military prosecutor in charge of the Sibiu case, Marian Valer (see Hall 1997, pp. 314-315). Valer commented in September 1990 that investigations yielded the fact that there were 37 unidentified passengers on board the 20 December flight from Bucharest and that many of the other passengers maintained that “on the right side of the plane there had been a group of tall, athletic men, dressed in sporting attire, many of them blond, who had raised their suspicions.”  The USLA, which were responsible for airport security and had “air marshals” on all flights (three in this case), refused to discuss the identity of these passengers with Valer.  While investigations revealed that during this time there “were many Soviet tourists staying in Sibiu’s hotels,” they also established that “military units were fired upon from Securitate safehouses located around these units as of the afternoon of 22 December, after the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime.” He thus carefully concludes:

“As far as the unidentified passengers are concerned, there are two possible variants: Either they were USLA fighters sent to defend Nicu Ceausescu, or they were Soviet agents sent to act with the intent of overthrowing the Ceausescu regime” (“Expres,” no. 33, September 1990).

Clearly, one of these hypotheses is a lot more plauisble than the other…As I wrote in December 1996, partly based on the statements of the Military Prosecutor Marian Valer who stepped down from investigating the Sibiu events in fall 1990, citing duress:  “thus as the USLA began to disappear from the historiography and therefore history of the Revolution, so the Soviet tourists began to enter it.” (Hall, 1996).

RED HERRINGS:  THE CHRONICLES OF A FORMER COMMUNIST SPY CHIEF’S VIEWS ON DECEMBER 1989

Inevitably, too, in the wake of the Brandstatter film the Romanian media dragged out its old warhorse for such occassions, the former Director of communist Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service, General Ion Mihai Pacepa, the man whose defection in 1978 led to his being sentenced to death in abstentia and whose sensational revelations about Ceausescu’s repressive and profligate rule helped erode the myth of Ceausescu in the West.  Pacepa’s break from Ceausescu and the communist regime, and his stinging criticism of the administrations of President Ion Iliescu for their incorporation of and reliance upon former Securitate personnel, have led Pacepa to be lionized in the West and to be highly-respected and thoroughly-trusted among Romania’s intellectual and media elites.

In the wake of Brandstatter’s film, and, indirectly, in support of Bukovski’s allegations, Pacepa’s claims about December 1989 were once again invoked.  Thus, for example, excerpts of an August 2000 interview on the Hungarian Duna TV channel (rebroadcast on Duna TV two nights before the debut of the Brandstatter film) were published (“Jurnalul National,” 26 February 2004).  In the interview, Pacepa maintained that there were no so-called “terrorists” during the Revolution—that the “terrorist” phenomenon was all a pretext used by the party-state officials who ousted Ceausescu to legitimate a Soviet intervention:

“Interviewer:  What exactly was the essence of the the ‘Dnestr’ Plan?

Pacepa:  It was necessary to find a motive [to justify] the Soviet intervention, if the coup was to succeed by itself.  Therefore it is very easy to understand.  On 22 [sic. 23] December 1989, at 2 pm in the afternoon, Romanian Television announced:  “The National Salvation Front has requested Soviet help because unidentified foreign terrorists are attacking Romania.”  Already on this day, Iliescu declared that the Ceausescu couple had been arrested and a trial would be held, only for Television to announce [later] that their trial and execution had taken place.” (“Confessions of a Spy Chief” in “Jurnalul National,” 26 February 2004)

Since the early 1990s, Pacepa has maintained that the events of December 1989 were part of a well-scripted Soviet plan—the so-called “Dnestr Plan”—to remove Ceausescu (for a summary, see Deletant, 1995, pp. 89-90).  According to Pacepa, the Soviet plan was a response to the 1969 visit of US President Richard Nixon to Bucharest.  Pacepa claims that Iliescu had been designated Ceausescu’s replacement in accordance with this plan as early as 1971!  Dennis Deletant cautions with regard to Pacepa’s account:

“Pacepa’s use of the term ‘Front for National Salvation’ smacks too much of an attempt to compromise the more recent Front for National Salvation, set up after the 1989 revolution, by suggesting that the seeds of it had been sown some twenty years earlier by Moscow.  It is difficult to believe that such a name could have been chosen so many years earlier.” (Deletant, 1995, p. 90)

Pacepa’s claims are even more questionable than Deletant’s moderate skepticism suggests.  As I wrote in 1997:

“Moreover, it is intriguing to note that Pacepa revealed these details [i.e. those of the ‘Dnestr’ plan] only after the December 1989 events (in his 1993 book ‘The Inheritance of the Kremlin’).  Although in ‘Red Horizons’ (his 1988 detail-filled, “tell-all” book on the Ceausescus and the Securitate) he mentioned cases in which alleged Soviet agents (including Army General Nicolae Militaru…) were caught, he did not mention anything about the so-called ‘Operation Dnestr’.” (Hall, 1997, p. 117).

Pacepa had no problem in “Red Horizons” revealing alleged Soviet agents in Romania and alleged secret plans by which Ceausescu’s fabled “independence from Moscow” was all a Moscow-created ruse, yet he somehow did not feel the need or desire to outline Moscow’s plan for further increasing their control over Romania through “Operation Dnestr?”  This is hard to believe.

Furthermore, there is his amazing about face on the question of the “terrorists”/Ceausescu loyalists during the Revolution.  At the time, Pacepa spoke of “Plan M” as the source of the “terrorists” (see AP, Bryan Brumley, “Ceausescu Had Planned to Flee to China, Former Security Chief Says,” 5 January 1990).  According to Pacepa, “Plan M” called for Securitate forces to “retreat to hidden bunkers and wage guerilla war.”  He spoke about the use of safe houses and of a maze of secret tunnels, descriptions that were similar to what was being heard from Romanian during and immediately after the Revolution.  Significantly, Pacepa’s details mirror many of the points in the so-called “Plan Z” for the event of an attempt to remove Ceausescu, the reputed 1987 copy of which was published in the daily “Evenimentul Zilei” in July 1993 and which apparently was still in effect in December 1989 (for a good discussion of the plan, see Deletant, 1995, pp. 84-88).  Pacepa’s claim that Securitate forces were at the center of the Ceausescu resistance following his flight on 22 December echoed the claims of Liviu Turcu, a Securitate foreign intelligence officer who had defected earlier in 1989, who told David Binder of “New York Times” on 24 December 1989 that the “terrorists” were likely from the Securitate’s Fifth Directorate (he estimated at 1,000-1,500 members) and the USLA (which he estimated at 1,000 members) (“New York Times,” 25 December 1989, p. A12.)

Of course, that was then.  By 1993—and as we have seen from the quote from the 2000 interview, continuing long after that, to the present day—Pacepa was claiming that there had been no “terrorists,” that it was all just a pretext by the KGB agents who seized power from Ceausescu (Iliescu, Militaru, Brucan, etc.) for justifying Soviet military intervention (see, for example, his comments in “Evenimentul Zilei,” 10 April 1993; 29 April 1993).  The Ceausescus had been shot KGB-style to prevent them from revealing to the Romanian people and the world that the coup-plotters were KGB agents, according to Pacepa.  One must ask:  if Pacepa possessed this knowledge prior to December 1989—and he claims that the plan originated in 1969—and therefore had suspicions that the “terrorist” phase was merely a diversion designed to serve as a pretext for Soviet intervention, then why did he say what he said, and why did he not reveal his knowledge and voice his concerns before, during, or immediately after December 1989?

Finally, there is the problem of the similarity of Pacepa’s arguments on the Revolution with those of other former Securitate officers.  True, they hate Pacepa and Pacepa hates them equally.  But take, for example, the following quote:

“The coup d’état which ‘recovered the Revolution’…brought to power the FSN [the National Salvation Front] crew…[which] initiated the criminal scenario with Securitate-terrorists in order to spill blood and justify the assumption of power by people who had no business proclaiming themselves to be revolutionaries…[I]t was a diversion of the FSN in order to escalate the terror, suspicion, blood-letting, [and] chaos necessary to resolve the problem of taking state power and calling the Soviets.”

The source of this quote is not Pacepa, but the well-known “protochronist,” “national communist” former Securitate officer Pavel Corut (Corut, 1994, “Cantecul Nemuririi [Song of the Undying]” (Bucharest:  Editura Miracol, 1994), pp. 170, 172, quoted in Hall, 1997, p. 257).  The point is, as the accusations of Pacepa discussed at the beginning of this section demonstrate, Pacepa’s claims are identical to what Corut’s alleges.  By forcing an analytical, but also partisan ideological distinction by dividing protoWesterners from protochronists, as if the two were night-and-day and so easily identifiable, critical similarities such as this one—which demands attention and analysis precisely because it is unexpected—are ignored.

One of the precious few non-partisan deconstructions of the whole Pacepa circus is Peter Banyai’s penetrating article “Pacepa:  a tortenelem bizalmasa [Pacepa:  History’s Confidant]” (Banyai 2004a; 2004b makes pretty clear that he is no shill for Pacepa’s adversaries within Romania).  Banyai notes how Dan Pavel has compared Iliescu and Pacepa and suggested that “our political culture has determined” that the criterion for where one stands on the political spectrum—and no less than democracy itself!—is where one stands on Pacepa.  As Banyai summarizes:  “[According to Pavel,] [h]e who loves Pacepa, he is a democrat, he who doesn’t is a post-communist!…Thus has taken shape the Pacepa myth in Romania.  The latest among countless other self-deceiving revisionisms.”  Banyai hits the nail on the head in this conclusion:

“How is it that Pacepa has managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the greater part of Romanian public opinion with such primitive claims?  Clearly, because it draws on what resonates best in the Romanian public.  The conspiratorial mindsets, the Russophobia, the KGB-mania that make up the collective Romanian political psyche.” (Banyai 2004a)

SOURCES

Banyai, P., 2000a, “Pacepa:  a tortenelem bizalmasa [Pacepa:  History’s Confidant], “Beszelo [Speaker],” Vol. 9, September, at http://beszelo.c3.hu/04/09/06banyai.htm.

Banyai, P., 2004b, “Tortenelmihamitisok es penzmosok baratai tarsasaga:  Talpes, Treptow, Watts— es Tender. [Revisionist and Money-laundering Friendship Society],” “Beszelo [Speaker],” Vol. 6, June, on the internet at http://beszelo.c3.hu/04/06/06banyai.htm.

“Baricada (Bucharest),” 1990.

Burke, J. F., 1994, “The December 1989 Revolt and the Romanian Coup d‘etat,” at http://www.timisoara.com/timisoara/coup.html.

Ciobotea, R., 1991, “Politia Politica in Instanta [The Political Police on Trial],” “Flacara,” 3 July.

“Cotidianul” (Bucharest), 1999, web edition, http://www.cotidianul.ro.

CWIHP (Cold War International History Project), 2001, “New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania,” (ed. Mircea Munteanu), at http://wwics.si.edu/topics/pubs/e-dossier5.

Corut, P., 1994, Cantecul Nemuririi [Song of the Undying] (Bucharest:  Editura Miracol).

Deletant, D., 1995, Ceausescu and the Securitate:  Coercion and Dissent, 1965-1989 (Armonk, NY:  M.E. Sharpe).

“Evenimentul zilei” (Bucharest), 1999, web edition, http://www.evenimentulzilei.ro.

“Europa (Bucharest),” 1990, 1991.

Hall, R.A., 1996, “Ce demonstreaza probele balistice dupa sapte ani? [Seven Years After:  What Does the Ballistics’ Evidence Tell Us]” trans. Bobeica, A., in “22 (Bucharest),” 17-23 December.

Hall, R. A. 1997, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University).

Hall, R. A., 1999, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” in “East European Politics and Societies,” Vol. 13, no.3, pp. 501-542.

Hall, R. A., 2002, “Part 2:  Tourists are Terrorists and Terrorists are Tourists with Guns,” “The Securitate Roots of a Modern Romanian Fairy Tale:  The Press, the Former Securitate, and the Historiography of December 1989,” Radio Free Europe “East European Perspectives,” Vol. 4, no 8.

“Jurnalul National,” (Bucharest), 2004, web edition, http://www.jurnalul.ro.

“New York Times,” 1989.

Pacepa, I.M., 1987, Red Horizons:  Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief (Washington, DC:  Regnery Gateway).

Pacepa, I.M., 1993, Mostenirea Kremlinului [Inheritance of the Kremlin], (Bucharest:  Editura Venus).

“Romania Libera,” 1990.

Teodorescu, F., 1992, Un Risc Asumat: Timisoara, decembrie 1989, [An Assumed Risk: Timisoara, December 1989] (Bucharest: Editura Viitorul Romanesc).

“The Times (London),” 1990.

“Zig-Zag” (Bucharest), 1990.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/24/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-four/

Part 4:  The First Wave of Franco-German Revisionism, 1990

The great irony of the new wave of Franco-German revisionism—which argues that the December 1989 revolution in Romania was a CIA-engineered coup d‘état—is that it was journalists and academics in precisely France and [West] Germany who in 1990 led the charge that that the revolution was largely a KGB-inspired and guided coup d’état. Just as the KGB gets a cameo in the new revisionism, so the first Franco-German revisionist wave assigned a part to the CIA and Western security services, but it was a bit and largely (dis)informational/passive role.  Books and articles by Michel Castex, a French journalist, Olivier Weber and Radu Portocala, both French journalists with the latter an ethnic Romanian, and Anneli Ute Gabanyi, a Romanian German-based academic and former analyst at Radio Free Europe, spearheaded the promotion of the KGB coup theory throughout 1990 (for summaries of the arguments contained in these works, see, for example, Ratesh, 1991, pp. 81-85 and Shafir, 1990, pp. 30-31).  The enduring influence of these theories on shaping the debate about the Revolution—and, ironically, highlighting just how new the Brandstatter-Durandin second Franco-German wave is—can be seen in a 1999 article by Andreas Oplatka in a German-language daily marking the 10th anniversary of the December 1989 events (Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 22 December 1999, also invoked by J.F. Brown, 2001, p. 77, n. 7 as an excellent contemporary synopsis of the debate).

The relationship of the Franco-German revisionism to Romania was dynamic and flowed in both directions.  Streams of thought intersected and converged.  To some extent, it ended up becoming circular as time passed.  Franco-German revisionism was based in part on interviews with and revelations from Romanian participants in the December 1989 events.  The details and arguments of these writings would flow back into Romania—they were translated or reviewed—where they appeared to provide answers to the confusing aspects and unresolved questions of Ceausescu’s overthrow.  The theories were welcomed and trumpeted by the small, electorally weak, and continuously harrassed opposition to Ion Iliescu’s National Salvation Front regime, who were primed to believe them based on what had happened since Ceausescu’s overthrow and who desperately needed anything that could help them in a sharply unequal political contest.  This bestowed foreign authors domestic confirmation of their revisionist accounts.

The Evolution of the Initial French Accounts

The engine of the French revisionism of the first half of 1990 was probably the weekly “Le Point,”—although French Television (FR3) and other dailies and weeklies also played a role.  In the 1 January 1990 edition of “Le Point,” Kosta Christitch wrote in an article entitled “Romania:  Moscow’s Hidden Game,” that Ceausescu’s “fate had [not been determined in December] been sealed in Moscow less than a month earlier.”  On New Year’s Day 1990, French Television broadcast the famous video which shows Ion Iliescu, Petre Roman, and Army General Nicolae Militaru talking on 22 December about what to name the(ir) group that had taken power, and in which Militaru claims that the “National Salvation Front has been in existence for six months already” (for details and a good discussion on this issue, see Ratesh, 1991, pp. 53-55, 81, 89-91).  In the 8 January 1990 edition of “Le Point,” Radu Portocala entitled his article “Romania:  The Hand of Moscow.”  Portocala insinuated that Hungarian and Yugoslav media had intentionally exaggerated the number of casualties, particularly in the Timisoara repression [numbers which reached upwards of 10,000-12,000, when in actuality 73 died], while “at the same time, everything was put in motion to publicize that it wasn’t the [Romanian] Army that had opened fire [on the Timisoara demonstrators], but the Securitate.”  On 5 February 1990, Portocala returned with an article, “Romania:  Troubling Facts,” and on 30 April 1990, Olivier Weber wrote a piece, “Romania:  The Confiscated Revolution.”

However, as Ratesh states, “…a fully developed conspiracy theory would not come to light until late May 1990, when the French magazine ‘Le Point’ carried a long and sensational article purporting to unveil the truth about the uprising” (Ratesh, 1991, pp. 81-82).  The article, “Romania:  Revelations of a Plot.  The Five Acts of a Manipulation,” by Weber and Portocala, continued the themes that the authors had developed in their aforementioned articles, that Ceausescu’s overthrow was in fact a coup and that the communist bloc media had distorted information about what was happening inside Romania in order to propel Ceausescu’s fall.  But it also included two new generally new themes, insinuating that foreign agents on the ground in Timisoara had had some role in the protests there—thereby undercutting the “spontaneity” of the Revolution—and that there had been no genuine “terrorists,” only “false terrorists,” part of a scenario for legitimating the coup d’etat.  It was these newer themes that particularly became the focus of the Romanian media, and that prompted the most controversy.

It is difficult to overestimate the long shadow of the 21 May “Le Point” expose over the historiography of the Revolution.  Translated by “Expres,” “Nu (Cluj),” and other key opposition publications in May and June 1990, it seemed to crystallize and explain all the doubts Romanians had about the December events—further confirmed, it seemed, by the manifestly unequal and unfair 20 May election results and then the miners’ rampage in Bucharest against demonstrators and the opposition press and parties during 13-15 June.  The article’s trail shows up everywhere.  American Romanianists Katherine Verdery and Gail Kligman who, in an article written in November 1990 sensibly inveighed against treating the Front, the former Securitate, and other groups as homogenous wholes operating in lock-step on behalf of Iliescu, discussed the Weber and Portocala as the centerpiece of the debate over December 1989 (Verdery and Kligman, 1992, pp. 118-122).  However, although they questioned it, their summary of their own views on the events seemed to repeat many of the arguments of the account.

The Weber and Portocala account also shows up in the travel account of Dervla Murphy—although cited to “Romania Libera,” the description and details of her discussion make it clear the “Le Point” article is the source (Murphy 1995).  Thus, Murphy floats the idea that perhaps the Reverend Tokes in Timisoara was in collusion with the coup plotters of the Front, and that “Soviet provocateurs and some Rumanian soldiers killed most of the victims—though everyone, in Rumania and abroad, was misled to believe the Securitate responsible.”  It is telling, that although always somewhat skeptical of the notion of an external hand in sparking and fanning the Timisoara unrest, that in 1990, without having read the “Le Point” expose, but having followed English-language press and traveling for a month in Romania in July 1990 (I had first visited in July 1987), my own understanding was essentially along the same lines—how could it not be?  My acceptance of the “staged war” theory would inevitably be strengthened in the following years by the accounts of noted Romanian emigres discussed below.

In Romania, Concern over the Unintended Consequences of the First Wave of French Revisionism

Certain key constituencies in Romania were not amused by the French revisionism in particular.  In the wake of a demonstration in the cradle of the Revolution to mark nine months after the December events, Vasile Popovici of the Timisoara Society commented:

“The French press, in particular, with a penchant for excessive rationalization specific to the French, has attempted to accredit the idea of a KGB-CIA scenario, including in Timisoara.  This fantasy variant demonstrates that those who sustain it have no idea of the real course of events in Timisoara and cannot explain in any way how people went out three days in a row (17, 18, 19 [December]) to die on the streets  (Ciobotea 1990, interview with Vasile Popovici, “Vinovati sint mortii? [The Dead are to Blame?], “Flacara,” no. 40, 3 October, p. 3).

It is notable that in the same interview, Popovici who was no friend of the Iliescu regime, denounced the “attacks emanating from anti-FSN [National Salvation Front] publications upon the image of the popular revolt in Timisoara” [emphasis in the original; he included, the anti-Iliescu weekly “Zig-Zag” in the discussion, for more details on “Zig-Zag”’s critical role, see Hall 2002; Mioc 2000).  Popovici underlined that the revisionism started in the anti-FSN press, and only then was integrated by the FSN press.

Specifically in reference to Olivier Weber and Radu Portocala’s 21 May 1990 expose in “Le Point,” (Army) Major Mihai Floca and Captain Victor Stoica declared:  “We do not question the good faith of the French journalists, although the idea promoted by them is remarkably convenient to those who are just dying to demonstrate that, in fact, the ‘terrorists’ did not exist (Major Mihai Floca and Captain Victor Stoica, “Unde sint teroristii?  PE STRADA, PRINTRE NOI (I), “Armata Poporului, no. 24 (13 June 1990), p. 3).”  As this and other articles by the authors make clear, the reference is to the former Securitate—specifically, journalist Angela Bacescu in “Zig-Zag” (for a discussion, see Hall 1999).

Nor was the source of a key statement in Weber and Portocala’s article suggesting a fictitious “staged war” with fictitious “terrorists”—“There needed to be victims in order to legitimate the new power in order to create [the image of] a mass revolution,” according to the source—credible (see Hall 1999, p. 540 n. 90).  Its source was former Navy Captain Nicolae Radu, a virulently anti-Semitic interloper and mercenary, who would become a regular in the former Securitate’s mouthpiece, “Europa,” in 1991, alleging all sorts of conspiracies about December 1989 that inevitably bestowed a primary role on Romanian Jewry and the MOSSAD.  If Nicolae Radu’s claim about a “fictitious war with fictious terrorists,” sounds familiar from earlier parts of this series, it is:  see, for example, the discussions of Dominique Fonveille (Part 2) and Ion Mihai Pacepa (Part 3).

As the above-cited observation by Floca and Stoica demonstrates, even if initially independent, streams French sensationalism and Securitate-inspired revisionism ended up converging and intermingling—a historical accident that redounded decidedly to the benefit of the latter.  This was not only the case with the “terrorists,” but also with the issue of alleged “foreign agents” on the ground in Timisoara and their alleged role in the uprising.  It is undoubted, has been reported, and has been admitted publicly that at one point or another, particularly in monitoring regime treatment of the Hungarian Pastor Laszlo Tokes, around whom the uprising broke out, that embassy and consulate personnel from the Yugoslavia (which has a consulate in Timisoara), United States, Japan, and other countries (likely to include Hungary, the UK etc.) appeared in Timisoara during these events.  It would be naïve to believe that there were no intelligence personnel among those at the scene among these countries’ representatives.  Of course, monitoring unfolding events is one thing, fomenting an uprising or monitoring the progress of a manufactured uprising by the countries for which they worked, quite another.

It is clearly the latter scenarios that foreign and domestic revisionists have alleged about Ceausescu’s overthrow.  There are glaring contradictions in the logic of these revisionist accounts on this score, however.  For example, accounts of the first Franco-German revisionist wave allege that the Hungarian and Yugoslav media intentionally inflated the casualty counts in Romania to move the coup forward by fueling anger at the Ceausescu regime.  In doing so, we are told, these communist services were likely doing the bidding or aiding the effort of the Soviet-backed coup plotters, and thus of the Gorbachev leadership.  In their 21 May 1990 expose, Weber and Portocala mention the presence of “Soviet observers” in Timisoara since at least 16 December 1989, when the demonstrations really began to take shape.  They cite Tanjug, the Yugoslav news agency, as the source of this claim.  Since this claim was first mentioned in the 1 January 1990 “Le Point” article by Kosta Cristitich, I can only surmise that the Tanjug claim was published sometime during the last week of December 1989.  (I have been unable to find this reference in FBIS, which translated many Tanjug dispatches at the time, but I have no reason to doubt that this is what Tanjug related.  It is therefore unclear who Tanjug heard this claim from—a fact which as we saw in the case of Mr. Corpasescu in Part 3 is important, since the claim could reflect disinformation or rumor.)  A similar claim turns up in Andrei Codrescu’s book, The Hole in the Flag, in which he maintains that during the first week of January 1990, a Soviet journalist drinking-buddy for that night told Codrescu that he had been in Timisoara and that there in fact had been “a dozen TASS [Soviet news agency] correspondents” in Timisoara since 10 December 1989 (Codrescu, 1990, p. 171).

In essence, we are thus asked to believe that the exact media personnel who were behind a disinformation campaign to exaggerate the death toll in Romania and aid the Soviet-engineered coup, nonchalantly publicized the role of the Soviets in the uprising in Timisoara.  This does not make a lot of sense, does it?  Moreover, the presence of unhindered “Soviet observers” in Timisoara from 16 December—to say nothing, of the Codrescu claim, of “a dozen TASS correspondents” in Timisoara from the 10th—does not seem realistic.  To begin with, Tokes only announced to his congregation on 10 December that the regime was probably going to deliver on their long-existing threat of evicting him on 15 December—meaning that either the “TASS correspondents” would have had to have had advance information of Tokes’ announcement or a certain amount of good luck/clairvoyance.  Given the well-documented difficulties all journalists experienced in late 1989 in trying to get into the country, especially following the upheaval elsewhere in the bloc, it is hard to believe these “ dozen TASS correspondents” would have received visas into the country, presenting themselves as such—they certainly did not do much reporting from Timisoara, as like other news associations it was only on the 23rd that a Soviet journalist filed a report from there.*  Moreover, it is significant that on the morning of 11 December 1989, Budapest’s Domestic [Radio] Service announced that the day before three staff members of the ruling party daily “Nepszabadsag” were banned for five years for attempting to approach Tokes’ residence—their film and tape recordings were also predictably confiscated (FBIS, 11 December 1989, and “New York Times,” 12 December 1989).  So, how then is it, that the Hungarian correspondents were expelled, but the “a dozen TASS correspondents”—apparently somehow keeping well out of sight, and feeling no compunction to write on the topic of the Hungarian correspondents—were allowed to stay?

Gaining a Foothold:  Survival of the First…

Given the skepticism and outright rebuttals found in the Romanian press in 1990, how is it that the first wave of Franco-German theories was able to “corner the market” of historical understandings—let alone achieve legitimacy—in the West, especially, as we shall see, in the United States?  I believe it is doubtful that the theories would ever have gained such exposure, traction, and staying power had it not been for their assimilation and dissemination by prominent Romanian intellectual émigrés in the United States, made worse by the fact that the pool of these critics was remarkably small and uniform in its political orientation.  Given credibility by these emigres, the theories were then taken up by noted historians of Eastern Europe and social scientists, thereby reinforcing the validity of the theories to their audiences.  One can no more understand the influence of the first Franco-German revisionist wave on English-language accounts of the Revolution without studying the role played by these émigré scholars in relaying them, than one can understand the content and context of Romanian accounts of the December 1989 events without knowing what the former Securitate argues about them.

It is telling that when one reads the analysis of the “mysteries of the Revolution” in National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu’s engaging “The Hole in the Flag” or in Matei Calinescu and Vladimir Tismaneanu’s penetrating “The 1989 Revolution and Romania’s Future”—both of which appeared in 1991—French sources dominate the discussion of what happened in December 1989.  None of the skepticism about the accuracy of the French sources—as related in the comments of Popovici, Floca, and Stoica above—is voiced in these accounts.

The Walls Come Tumbling Down…

What is arguably still the best historical account of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, Gale Stokes’ “The Walls Came Tumbling Down (1993),” repeats as fact a list of allegations regarding the trial of the Ceausescus that first were given publicity by Vladimir Tismaneanu and Matei Calinescu.  (Even where Stokes cites others, those articles are usually themselves derivative and their arguments can be traced back to Tismaneanu and Calinescu).  Based in large part on the broadcast of the full tape of the Ceausescus’ trial and execution in April 1990, analyses in the French press, and the allegations of French forensic experts (which apparently derived solely from having watched the tape (!)), Tismaneanu and Calinescu clearly showed their preference in a 1991 article for the French theory of the events.  They therefore write that the trial of the Ceausescus lasted nine hours but only “fifty-odd minutes” was shown on the tape, that the execution of the couple had been faked, since Nicolae had likely suffered a heart-attack—“during the trial or during a separate interrogation, possibly under torture”—that caused Elena to go into hysterics, which necessitated that she be killed on the spot “gangland style.” (Stokes, 1993, pp. 292-293, n.118; Calinescu and Tismaneanu, 1991, p. 45-46, especially n. 14).  They then go on to speculate that the 1 March 1990 suicide of the chief judge of the trial, General Gica Popa, “could have been an act of desperation by an essentially honest man” who would have had to go through “the criminal charade” of sentencing two corpses to death.

Of course, all of these judgments—and I contend this is the cornerstone of so many accounts/theories of the Revolution, although many researchers do not appear to acknowledge or realize it—are premised on their understanding of the identity and intentions of the “terrorists.”  For example, if one believes there was no real “terrorist” threat, then one can countenance a leisurely nine-hour trial and the idea that the Ceausescus died during a “separate interrogation, possibly under torture.”  On this question, Tismaneanu and Calinescu clearly reject the idea that those firing were fighting to topple the new leadership and restore the Ceausescus to power:

“In retrospect, the purpose of the reports of terrorism appears to have been to create apprehension among the populace and induce people to forgo further public demonstration against communism.  It was used, in effect, to help the new power structure.” (Calinescu and Tismaneanu, 1991, p. 45, n. 12)

As to the allegations made by Calinescu and Tismaneanu in their 1991 account:  even at the time of their article, there were very strong reasons to question the validity of their information and speculation.  Numerous testimonies by Army personnel present at Tirgoviste while the Ceausescus were there negate their claims (see, for example, the interviews in “Ceausestii la Tirgoviste,” “Flacara,” 19 December 1990, pp. 8-10, which place the length of the trial anywhere between 50 minutes and one hour).  As I wrote in 1997:  “…even a year after the events, one of the eyewitnesses to what transpired, Maria Stefan, the cook in the officer’s mess, continued to maintain that the trial itself lasted ‘an hour’ (Hall, 1997, p. 342).  When it comes to the question of Nicolae having been tortured prior to his death, Ratesh in 1991 notably stated that this version was “attributed to an official of the Romanian Ministry of the Interior”—i.e. likely former Securitate, and indeed given its utility for them it is not surprising that the former Securitate have sought to promote this idea in their literature on the Revolution (Ratesh, 1991, p. 76).  Military and civilian personnel present at the execution are simply dismissive at the contentions of the French forensic experts that the Ceausescus were already dead by the time they were executed (they have effective counter-arguments regarding bloodflow—Nicolae’s greatcoat, Elena’s hysterical reaction by that point).  They consider it ridiculous and the product of Westerners with no knowledge of the events (this comes through again on several occasions in the year long set of interviews in “Jurnalul National” during 2004).

In an otherwise excellent account by political scientists Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan that is commonly cited in the social sciences, the authors juxtapose Michel Castex’s book—described as marketing the “myth” of the “revolution as a KGB plot”—with Andrei Codrescu’s apparently far more credible book in their opinion (Linz and Stepan, 1996, p.345 n. 3).  They note that to Codrescu “the whole revolution had been a fake, a film scripted by the Romanian Communists, with a ‘beautifully orchestrated piece of Kremlin music conducted by Maestro Gorbachev.’”  Indeed, it is worth looking at the passage from which this quote is taken:

“Many people now believe—in the face of mounting evidence—that the mastermind of the Romanian operation was the KGB, that the Romanian revolution was a beautifully orchestrated piece of Kremlin music conducted by Maestro Gorbachev.  What’s more, the operation had the full cooperation of the CIA.  I recently bought a T-shirt in Washington, D.C., that says:  ‘TOGETHER AT LAST!  THE KGB & THE CIA.  NOW WE ARE EVERYWHERE.’  Even one T-shirt can sometimes be smarter than all the news media.”  (Codrescu, 1991, p. 206).

Codrescu in fact invokes Castex—especially his discussion of the Western media’s supposedly intentional inflation of casualties during the days of the revolution—in support of his thesis (pp. 197-198).  There is thus little that differentiates Codrescu from Castex, and the distinction drawn by Linz and Stepan is simply incorrect.

Far better than the accounts of either Calinescu and Tismaneanu or Codrescu is that of Nestor Ratesh, former head of the Romanian broadcasting division of Radio Free Europe.  His The Entangled Revolution (1991) is alternatively described as “sensible,” “sober,” and “authoritative,” by Romanianists and scholars who do not cover the country.  For example, both Stokes, and Linz and Stepan, invoke his work.  Sensible and sober Ratesh’s account is; authoritative, only from the standpoint of what was available in English at the time.  Inevitably, Ratesh’s account is head and shoulders above those of fellow emigres Calinescu and Tismaneanu and Codrescu because he had performed more research into the Romanian media.  Unfortunately, I would argue, not far enough.  He stumbles upon the bothersome parallel nature of accounts of the Securitate’s actions during the Revolution by “Romania Libera’s” Petre Mihai Bacanu, and “other journalists (of less credibility, however)”—most likely a reference to the aforementioned, Angela Bacescu—but he does not research further to see if this is coincidence or pattern, and thereby considers it anomalous (see my discussion in Hall 1999).  Thankfully, he takes a critical eye to the Castex, Portocala and Weber, and Gabanyi accounts, and expresses skepticism when a “highly placed Romanian official” whispered to him in late June 1990 “a variation of the staged war theory,”—cautioning that the regime was at the time attempting to discredit the army (unfortunately, it was hardly so time-bound) (Ratesh, 1991, p.62).  However, whether it is Bacescu or others, he only comes to notice them when they enter the openly Ceausescu nostalgic press, and thereby misses identifying their presence and impact in the opposition press, as Popovici, Floca, and Stoica did.

To my knowledge, Ratesh has not really weighed in on the Revolution since his 1991 book.  Codrescu continues to present the December events as a stage(d) production that fooled the whole world, occasionally in his NPR commentaries and certainly in his talks across the US (Codrescu, 2002).  Tismaneanu and Romania’s liberal intelligentsia at home and abroad have yet to address the presence and consequences of Securitate disinformation in the anti-Front media of the early 1990s.  This is not surprising:  they missed it…and to acknowledge it now would require them to edit their ironclad, definitively-stated characterizations of that era, and perhaps, even to pause and reconsider their understanding of December 1989.  As for the Revolution itself, Tismaneanu’s most recent intervention on its 15th anniversary invoked the comments of former French Ambassador to Romania, Jean-Marie LeBreton, who concludes, unremarkably, that the December 1989 events were neither a spontaneous uprising/revolution nor a coup d’etat, but a combination of both (“Jurnalul National,” 29 January 2005).  Some habits die hard.

*Indeed, there appear to be no TASS dispatches from Timisoara throughout this period.  According to FBIS translations, there appear to have been 3 TASS correspondents in Romania, in addition to one from “Izvestiya” and one from “Pravda,” all of whom reported during these days from Bucharest.  A fourth TASS correspondent reported from Timisoara on 23 December, after the flight of the Ceausescus, and when most foreign reporters were able to enter Timisoara for the first time.  Once again, according to FBIS translations, during the events of 15-22 December, TASS correspondents in Bucharest had to rely on other news services and sources in Bucharest to find out what was happening in Timisoara.

SOURCES

“Armata Poporului,” 1990.

Brown, J. F., 2001, The Grooves of Change:  Eastern Europe at the Dawning of a New Millenium (Durham, NC:  Duke University Press).

Budapest Domestic Service, 11 December 1989, in FBIS, 12 December 1989.

Calinescu, M. and Tismaneanu, V., 1991, “The 1989 Revolution and Romania’s Future,” “Problems of Communism,” Vol. 40, No. 1 (April), pp. 42-59.

Castex, M., 1990.  Un Mensonge Grosse Comme Le Siecle (Paris:  A. Michel).

Codrescu, A., 1991.  The Hole in the Flag. A Romanian Exile’s Story of Return and Revolution (New York:  William Morrow and Company).

Codrescu, A., 2002.  “Codrescu Cogitates on Communism,” American Library Association Midwinter Meeting 18-23 January 2002, New Orleans, at http://www.ala.org.

“Flacara,” 1990, 1991.

Gabanyi, A.U., 1990. Die Unwollendete Revolution, (Munich: Serie-Piper).

Hall, R. A. 1997, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University).

Hall, R. A., 1999, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” in “East European Politics and Societies,” Vol. 13, no.3, pp. 501-542.

Hall, R. A., 2002, “Part 1:  The Many Zig-Zags of Gheorghe Ionescu Olbojan,” “The Securitate Roots of a Modern Romanian Fairy Tale:  The Press, the Former Securitate, and the Historiography of December 1989,” Radio Free Europe “East European Perspectives,” Vol. 4, no 7.

“Jurnalul National (online),” 2004, 2005.

“Le Point (Paris),” 1990.

Mioc, M., 2000. “Ion Cristoiu, virful de lance al campaniei de falsificare a istoriei revolutiei” at http://www.timisoara.com/newmioc/51.htm.

Murphy, D., 1995, Transylvania and Beyond.  A Travel Memoir (Woodstock, NY:  Overlook Books).

“Neue Zurcher Zeitung,” 1999, (English edition) at http://www.nzz.de.

“New York Times,” 1989.

Ratesh, N. 1991, Romania:  The Entangled Revolution, (New York:  Praeger).

Shafir, M., 1990, “Preparing for the Future by Revising the Past,” Radio Free Europe’s “Report on Eastern Europe,” Vol. 1, No. 41, (12 October), pp. 29-42.

Stokes, G., 1993, The Walls Came Tumbling Down:  The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, (New York:  Oxford University Press).

Verdery K. and Kligman G., 1992, “Romania after Ceausescu:  Post-Communist Communism?” in Banac, I (ed.)., Eastern Europe in Revolution (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press), pp. 117-147.

“Zig-Zag,” 1990.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/25/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-five/

Part 5:  Opportunity Lost

–“Now, three months after the revolution, everyone is with the people and the Army…So then who was shooting?…The idea that only the Army fired in December is being advanced with great skill…”  (Major Mihai Floca, “Armata Poporului,” 14 March 1990).

 

Many Romanians and foreign observers will tell you the great “secret,” the most prized and protected issue in post-Ceausescu Romania, is who among the appartchiks who assumed power under the banner of the “National Salvation Front” knew one another before the December 1989 events, what were the dimensions and plans of this conspiracy, when was the “Front” formed, and what were their relations with the Soviet Union, etc.  Nonsense.  By comparison to the issue of the identity of the “terrorists,” the former are lightly guarded.  The question of the “terrorists” is THE issue of the Revolution precisely because it has far more weighty criminal and moral repercussions and implications associated with it.

 

OPPORTUNITY LOST

 

There are, perhaps, few sadder stories of historical revisionism in modern times than that of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  This is, of course, not because of the magnitude of the event or the number of lives lost (1,104)—unspeakably painful for their loved ones and for the citizens of the country, but a minor total in the scheme of the world’s great historical tragedies.  Instead, it is because rarely have the victims and prisoners of a former political system played such an unwitting, zealous, and unfortunate role in serving, assimilating, and perpetuating a revisionist falsehood.  In the case of the Romanian Revolution, this revisionist falsehood, it must be admitted, is undeniably seductive, popular, and deeply-embedded in the Romanian popular consciousness and the country’s observers abroad.

 

The beginning of the burial of the truth about the “terrorists” of December can be dated to 17 February 1990, when General Victor Atanasie Stanculescu replaced General Militaru as Defense Minister.  Significantly, the same former Securitate and USLA personnel who are bitterly critical of Stanculescu’s actions during the days of the Revolution praise him for his actions later, particularly after assuming this post.  For example, former USLA officer turned author, Teodor Filip (not to be confused with the aforementioned Filip Teodorescu), writes:  “On the first day he was appointed, Stanculescu convened all USLA personnel (at least those engaged in ordinary missions) and addressed them with words of encouragment (Filip 1998, p. 109; for his criticism of Stanculescu during the Revolution, see, for example, p. 148).”  Indeed, such a revelation—and likely the source of Filip’s claim—came from Gheorghe Ardeleanu, Commander of the USLA at the time of the December events, who told the former Securitate’s journalistic mouthpiece in “Europa,” Angela Bacescu:

 

“As is known, General Stanculescu came to the helm of the Defense Ministry, and upon this occasion, I addressed him, in the name of USLA personnel and their grieving families, thanks, recognition for all he had done to honor the memory of those who had fallen, by declaring them heroes post mortem and promoting them.  In the first day after being named to the post, General Stanculescu came to our unit and before the entire group, addressed them with words of encouragement, and promised then, and he delivered on it, that the situation of those who had fallen on duty would quickly be resolved in the spirit of truth and human dignity.” (from a 1991 interview, in Bacescu 1994, p. 123).

 

It was Stanculescu’s public presentation of the former Securitate and in particular the USLA that was perhaps most appreciated.  In the days after the appointment, while many domestic and foreign observers were scrutinizing Stanculescu’s revelations on the bureaucratic makeup and membership of the Securitate—the first hard numbers, however flawed, to be released by the Front up until that time—Stanculescu was making critical, if generally unnoticed, revisionist statements about the USLA’s role in the December events.  (At the time, at least one foreign observer picked up on the suspicious nature of Stanculescu’s revisionism and interpreted it as an attempt to rehabilitate the Securitate (Strudza, pp. 33-34).  The Securitate’s official institutional successor, the Romanian Information Service, SRI was unveiled in late March 1990.)  In his comments to the press, Stanculescu not only denied that the USLA had been responsible for the “terrorist actions,” but that they had any role in the repression in Timisoara and Bucharest during the week preceding Ceausescu’s fall (ROMPRES 8 March 1990 in FBIS 15 March 1990).

 

We’ll leave the first of these allegations alone for the moment.  As for the second, it can only be called Orwellian, a true whopper among lies, that could only stand if the newspapers of the previous two months were disposed of and memories of those papers and the events purged from minds.  In the same daily, “Libertatea,” to which Stanculescu related this new understanding of the USLA’s actions in December (26 and 28 February 1990), between 27 January and 15 February, transcripts of regime communications, including USLA communications, from the afternoon of 21 December and then again from the morning of 22 December, had been published under the headline “Dintre sute de…catarge! [From hundreds of “masts!” (the radio identification for USLA officers conducting surveillance)].* Although rather conveniently missing from the transcripts is the key period in the early hours of 22 December when regime forces opened gunfire in University Square, killing 48 and wounding 604 (684 people were also arrested), these truncated transcripts nevertheless reveal USLA involvement in the repression in Bucharest.  According to the transcript, upon the orders of Securitate Director General Vlad, the USLA launched tear gas grenades at demonstrators.  They also show USLA “intervention units” claiming to have “restored order” and one USLA member communicating in reference to protesters, “These hooligans must be annihilated at once.  They are not determined.  They must be taken quickly.  The rest are hesitating.”

 

The USLA had already been trying to “correct” the memories of citizens, prior to Stanculescu’s “clarification” of their role.  When a participant in the demonstrations at Piata Romana in central Bucharest related on 12 January 1990 in “Libertatea” the role of the USLA in beating demonstrators there on the 21st and later the presence of the USLA among the gunmen who killed demonstrators in University Square in the early hours of 22 December, USLA chief Ardeleanu rushed to issue a public denial in the paper several days later.  Particularly in Timisoara, the presence of the USLA among the forces of repression has been detailed by so many sources—including former USLA who participated—that there is not much point in seeking to prove Stanculescu’s contention false.  Indeed, even elsewhere, beyond eyewitness/demonstrator contentions, the presence of USLA among repressive forces in the week of 16-22 December has occasionally been accidentally acknowledged by Securitate officials, essentially speaking to their sympathizers.  The Securitate chief for Sibiu County, Theodor Petrisor, wrote in April 1991:

 

“On Monday, 18 December 1989, upon the order of the [Militia’s] Inspector General, I activated the antiterrorist intervention group.  This group had been reorganized in September 1989 and was made up of Securitate officers who were involved in informational-operational services…Militia officers and officers from the joint units of the inspectorate.  I’ll note that the existence of this group was to intervene in order to neutralize terrorist activities, not for other street actions.  In the command chain, the coordination of the group’s activity was the responsibility of the special unit for antiterrorist warfare (U.S.L.A.) in Bucharest. [Emphasis added]” (Theodor Petrisor, “Revolutia din decembrie 1989 in Sibiu County (I),” “Europa” no. 22 (April 1991), p. 8).

 

None of this should come as a great surprise, since the USLA—employing their tell-tale A.B.I. armored vehicles, which they alone among regime forces possessed—participated in the repression of protesting workers in Brasov on 15 November 1987 (see “Jurnalul National,” 14 November 2004; the former USLA officer Marian Romanescu in Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii si ‘Fratii Musulmani’,” “Expres” (2-8 July 1991), p. 8), and since there was a juridical basis to their key role in combatting civil unrest, as confirmed by Interior Ministry Order 02600 (July 1988).  Indeed, as recently as January 1990, in the first—and soon to be, almost last—trial to sentence those accused of participating in the repression before 22 December, one of the defendants was an USLA officer (Burian), charged with having opened fire on demonstrators on 21 December in the western city of Cugir.

 

Stanculescu’s “revelations” essentially opened up the floodgates of revisionism, some of it accidental and the result of the confusion Stanculescu’s comments had sewn, some of it very clearly motivated.  Horia Alexandrescu, former editor of the primary Romanian sports’ daily during the Ceausescu era, and later editor of “Curierul National” and “Cronica Romana” among other dailies, wrote in March 1990 as editor of “Tineretul Liber” a multi-part series extolling the work of the USLA before December 1989, and arguing not only that they had not been the post-22 December “terrorists,” but that they had not played a role in the repression of demonstrators between 16 and 22 December.  Clearly, the most unexpected journalist to run to the defense of the USLA was Petre Mihai Bacanu of the daily “Romania Libera,” who had been imprisoned earlier in 1989 for attempting to publish an underground newspaper and who arrived emaciated and haggard at television in the hours following Ceausescu’s flight, direct from Securitate custody.

 

In his March-April 1990 series on the events of 21-22 December in Bucharest, Bacanu vigorously sought to make clear for his audience, on two occasions during a multi-part series, that the USLA had not been responsible for the repression of demonstrators at Bucharest’s University Square on the night of 21-22 December.  In fact, he clarified that “we have incontrovertible proof that the USLA officers had only one mission, to defend the American Embassy and the El Al Israel Airlines ticket office” (17 March 1990).  To say that this was confusing to the researcher is an understatement, particularly as the “Libertatea” transcripts had clearly shown USLA officers discussing that their mission was to “block” the access of demonstrators to these locations (i.e. fearing that they would seek refuge there.)  Moreover, despite claims to the contrary of civilian and military eyewitnesses in the Army daily, “Armata Poporului” in January and later in the Military Prosecutor’s report released on 4 June 1990 (discussed Hall, 1997, pp. 219-224), Bacanu declared, “We must clarify that the USLA detachments did not fire a single shot, nor arrest a single person among the columns of demonstrators” (16 March 1990).

 

Significantly, almost four years later, based on what he claimed was “new” information from Army soldiers who had been in the square that bloody “longest night of the year,” in an example of professional integrity, Bacanu admitted that he had been duped:

 

“Very many officers talk about these ‘civilians’ in long raincoats and sheepskin coats, who arrested demonstrators from within the crowd and then beat them brutally…No one has been interested until now in these dozens of ‘civilians’ with hats who shot through the pockets of their clothes…For a time we gave credence to the claims of the USLA troops that they were not present in University Square.  We have now entered into the possession of information which shows that 20 USLA officers, under the command of Colonel Florin Bejan, were located…among the demonstrators” (28 December 1993, p. 10)

 

USLA Commander Gheorghe Ardeleanu admitted in passing in court testimony that USLA personnel operated in civilian clothes on this evening (Stefanescu 1994, p. 288).  At the very least, it is clear that uniformed USLA personnel participated in the repression.  An official at the National Theater—located next to the Hotel Intercontinental in University Square—claims USLA troops beat demonstrators and policed the building to see if any were hiding there (Vasile Neagoe, “Expres” 30 March-5 April 1990, p. 6).  According to the Military Prosecutor’s 4 June 1990 charges:  “The witness [Spiru Radet] specified that one of the soldiers from the USLA troops, who had a machine gun in his hand, fired warning shots and then shot at the demonstrators.  At that point, the witness was wounded in the hand by bullets and transported to Coltea Hospital” (in Bunea 1994, p. 88).

 

In April 1990, two important articles would appear in the opposition weekly, “Zig-Zag.”  One was by Gheorghe Ionescu Olbojan, who sought to accredit the idea that 40 corpses transported from Timisoara to Bucharest for cremation were not civilian demonstrators, but members of those Army “special forces,” the DIA unit.  As Marius Mioc has noted, this was a clear effort to muddy the understanding of the Timisoara uprising (Mioc 2000).  The other article was by Angela Bacescu, who wrote that the USLA anti-terrorist troops had no responsibility for repression and bloodshed before or after 22 December; instead, they were victims of those events, cynically targeted to leave Romania defenseless.  Bacescu would transfer to the Ceausescu nostalgic weekly “Romania Mare” in the fall of 1990, and then the former Securitate’s favored mouthpiece, “Europa,” where she has stayed ever since.  Ion Cristoiu, editor of “Zig-Zag” at the time was later asked if Bacescu had infiltrated his opposition weekly.  Cristoiu responded that Bacescu came with a lot of documents and no need for money, but that it was important that the former Securitate’s side of the story be told.**  Olbojan would admit openly and in detail from 1993 onward that he had been a Securitate officer (for a discussion of all this, see Hall 1999; 2002a).

 

It was these articles, as I suggested in the last segment of this series, that set off writers in the Army press, with the intentions and ties of both Bacescu and Olbojan being questioned.  Elsewhere, Octavian Andronic of “Libertatea” finally published on 10 May, a letter he had received from unnamed Army officers who had written in response to Andronic’s seemingly anomalous article in early January devoted to the bravery of the USLA in defusing bombs in the 1980s.  The authors expressed dismay over Andronic’s article and wondered about his motivations in trying to burnish the image of the unit that was still considered at that time the source of the “terrorists.”  It was only four months later, when Andronic’s views had been “vindicated” by the change in the official history of the USLA’s actions in December that he published that letter.

 

Nor was the damage wrought by Bacescu and Olbojan in the pages of “Zig-Zag” over yet.  In June, in an article that would be republished almost verbatim in “Romania Mare” two months later, Bacescu wrote “The Truth about Sibiu” suggesting that there were only “imaginary terrorists” in Nicu Ceausescu’s town and declaring that all those Secruitate and Militia people arrested were innocent and unjust victims (no. 15, 19-26 June 1990, p. 8).  Meanwhile, in July (no. 19, 17-23 July 1990, p. 13), Olbojan would continue his push to turn the DIA into the villians of December, describing the unit as:  “‘The special forces’ of the Defense Ministry troops [who] were used in diversion operations last December to create the impression that Interior Ministry forces were putting up resistance to the revolutionary wave sweeping Timisoara, Bucharest, [and] Sibiu.”  In other words, the notion of a “fictitious war with fictitious terrorists,” whose victims were the Securitate and Militia.

 

AND NOW, WITH YOUR PERMISSION DEAR FRIENDS…BACK TO THE “TERRORISTS”

 

Let us ask:  if this was a “fictitious war with fictitious terrorists,” “a staged war,” what would be evidence of it, and what information would falsify it?  The “staged war” theory suggests that in reality there existed no “terrorists,” but just unfounded (if perhaps understandable) suspicion and fear, confusion, and insufficient, poor, or inappropriate military training.  This resulted in Army units, other forces, and civilians firing haphazardly at “phantoms,” at each other and at civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Or it suggests that there were “terrorists” but they were acting upon the orders of those who had seized power—Iliescu and his friends—or whose actions were known or understood by those officials, but allowed to continue because they were seen as legitimating their seizure of power.  As we have seen, in the latter scenario, very frequently these “friendly terrorists” are identified as Soviet or other foreign “tourists”/agents, and or the Army’s DIA unit.

 

In either scenario, one must explain why, either intentionally or accidentally, during the events, the Securitate—primarily from the USLA anti-terrorist unit—was suspected and publicly accused of being the “terrorists” and responsible directly and indirectly for the death of 942 people and wounding of 2245.  It is difficult to “prove” the first scenario, because it is essentially the process of proving a negative.  It is possible to infirm it, however.  If people who would have been in the position to know, to have access to such information, claim that there were no actual terrorists, then we have to take such an allegation seriously—although we also have to examine their credibility and if they might have some institutional or personal agenda.  It should be pointed out, however, that if this or that Army officer or soldier speculates post-facto that because they found no terrorists, that therefore there were none and that they had intentionally been sent on a wild-goose chase designed to create military confrontations and victims to legitimate the seizure of power, this cannot be interpreted as confirmation of the thesis:  since it is speculation, conflates personal experience with collective experience, and runs into the problem of proving a negative.

 

In the scenario alleging that there were terrorists but that they were intentionally serving those who seized power, we must have people from the institution, group, or unit, and/or would have been in a position to have knowledge of that information, make the allegations.  To have someone from a different institution or political perspective make this allegation, does not necessarily invalidate it, but it is clear that the credibility of the allegation is substantially enhanced if it comes from one’s associates.  Thus, the Army officer who suspects the Securitate of having been the “terrorists” is not as convincing as the Securitate officer who alleges the same thing—and therefore is at the very least taking an implicit risk by breaking ranks with his colleagues.  Similarly, in the scenario where the DIA are thought to be the “terrorists,” one needs admissions from current or former members of the unit, or at least from senior Army officials who would have been in the position to know, in order for the scenario to be credible.

 

It is important to emphasize—particularly in the case of the historiography of the Romanian Revolution—that all “revelations” are not equal.  This point has simply been lost on many analysts of the December 1989 events.  “Revelations” in which an individual blames an institution of which he was not a member are less credible because 1) it is less likely that the individual would have access to knowledge about the actions of those he accuses, 2) the risk he incurs by such revelations is far less than if he were a member of that institution—in which case he violates a written or unwritten code of loyalty to the organization, and perhaps more important, to his colleagues.  “Revelations” that damage one’s institution or impugn one’s colleagues are, as we know, far more dangerous to the individual who makes them, if that institution is based on secrecy.  In the Romanian context, it is clear that the institution most strongly based on secrecy—and with the capability and record of enforcing its maintenance—was the Securitate.  To suggest that such laws of silence were—and, in particular, still are—stronger among those in the Communist Party, the military, or the nomenklatura as a whole is an extraordinary proposition.

 

What is significant in the case of the Romanian Revolution is that we have not just one, but several “whistleblowers” who worked in the former Securitate, and in two cases served in the USLA, who have admitted that components of the USLA were the hub of the December 1989 “terrorist” actions.  The effort these individuals have gone to in order to mask their identities, the fear of retribution from the former Securitate they have expressed in their revelations, the lengths to which other former Securitate officials have gone to in order to publicly identify these “whistleblowers,” and the vitriol with which these former Securitate officials have attempted to discredit these whistleblowers and their claims, sharply differentiate these revelations from the ocean of accusations by other former regime members who have spoken or written on the topic.  These circumstances also attest to their credibility:  why do they fear to speak?  Why do their former colleagues make such efforts to find out who they are and publicly identify them?  Why the obsession of their former colleagues with silencing these “whistleblowers?”

 

It is precisely the admissions that exist and the gaping gaps in opposing accounts that lead me to conclude that the 1) terrorists existed, 2) they were primarily from the Securitate, and that 3) the core source within the Securitate was the USLA/USLAC.

 

Those who deny that there were terrorists or that their key component was members of  the Securitate’s  “Special Unit for Antiterrorist Warfare (USLA)” fighting to prevent the collapse of the Ceausescu regime have yet to confront or respond to the following four critical questions:

 

1)    If there were no terrorists, why do there exist people who have come forward to declare their existence?

2)    Why are the only people to declare that the terrorists came from their institution or unit those from the Securitate/Militia, and specifically the USLA?”

3)    Why have former Securitate members made such efforts to discover the sources of these allegations, write with such vitriol against them, and threaten them?

4)    Why has nobody from the Army come forward to state that the terrorists were from their particular unit?  (Particularly significant considering that the “law of silence” in the Securitate/Militia was inevitably far more deeply-embedded and enforced that in the Army.)

 

* USLA’s chief of operations Alexandru Cristescu admitted elsewhere that those posted at observation points had sniper rifles (pusca cu luneta) and live ammunition (see “Lumea Libera,” 18 March 1995, p. 21).  It is also very important to specify, given the events of the next several days in the area of the Central Committee (CC) building and the allegations since, that both Securitate Director Vlad (“Dimineata,” 25 November 1996) and senior communist party official Silviu Curticeanu (“Jurnalul National,” November 2004) have admitted that on 21 December, the Securitate installed gunfire simulators in the area.  Demonstrators who investigated the Romarta bloc in the following days, found several of them (“Expres,” 7-13 January 1992, p. 10).

 

**Although Cristoiu’s motives remain unclear, like so many in the post-Ceausescu media, he has displayed a “laissez-faire” attitude toward the former Securitate:  publishing anything that comes his way, whether it be blatant revisionist falsehoods such as those of Bacescu or Olbojan, or documents incriminating the Securitate, such as the text of Order 2600 in “Expres” 1991, or a host of documents on the December events in 1993 in “Evenimentul Zilei.”  The former Securitate have been somewhat serendipitous beneficiaries of the—perhaps inevitable given the situation at the time—mercenary and sensationalist temptations confronting those working in the post-Ceausescu media.

 

SOURCES

 

“Armata Poporului,” 1990.

 

Bacescu, A. 1994.  Din Nou in Calea Navalirilor Barbare [In the Path of Barbaric Invasions Again] (Cluj-Napoca:  Zalmoxis).

 

Bunea, M. 1994.  Praf in Ochi.  Procesul celor 24-1-2 [Dust in the Eyes.  The Trial of the 24+1+2] (Bucharest:  Editura Scripta).

 

“Dimineata (online),” 1996.

 

“Europa,” 1991.

 

“Expres,” 1991

 

Filip, T.  1999.  Secretele USLA [Secrets of the USLA] (Craiova:  Editura Obiectiv).

 

Hall, R. A., 1999, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” in “East European Politics and Societies,” Vol. 13, no.3, pp. 501-542.

 

Hall, R. A., 2002, “Part 1:  The Many Zig-Zags of Gheorghe Ionescu Olbojan,” “The Securitate Roots of a Modern Romanian Fairy Tale:  The Press, the Former Securitate, and the Historiography of December 1989,” Radio Free Europe “East European Perspectives,” Vol. 4, no 7.

 

“Jurnalul National (online),” 2004.

 

“Libertatea,” 1990.

 

“Lumea Libera,” (New York), 1995.

 

Mioc, M., 2000. “Ion Cristoiu, virful de lance al campaniei de falsificare a istoriei revolutiei” at http://www.timisoara.com/newmioc/51.htm.

 

“Romania Libera,” 1990, 1993.

 

Stefanescu, P. 1994, Istoria Serviciilor Secrete Romanesti [The History of the Romanian Secret Services], (Bucharest:  Editura Divers Press).

 

Sturdza, M. 1990, “How Dead is Ceausescu’s Secret Police Force?” in Radio Free Europe’s “Report on Eastern Europe,” Vol. 1, No. 15, (13 April).

 

“Tineretul Liber,” 1990.

“Zig-Zag,” 1990.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/26/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-six/

Part 6:  When Suspicion Meets Admission

 

The USLA:  “Who, we all remember, don’t we?, just how much with the people they were in the days of the Revolution… (emphasis in the original)” (Paul Vinicius, “Flacara,” 29 May 1991).

 

I.  Suspecting/Blaming the USLA:  Cloaking a Coup, Creating a Revolutionary Halo for a Bloodstained Army, or Accidental?

 

a) Where could the idea that the USLA was hostile to the Revolution have possibly come from?

 

To believe the revisionists, the idea that during the December events there existed “terrorists” and that the Securitate’s anti-terrorist special unit was behind the “terrorism” originated in the minds and announcements of Romanian Television reporters Teodor Brates and Alexandru Stark, General Nicolae Tudor and other military officials at the Television station, and/or General Nicolae Militaru, Silviu Brucan, Ion Iliescu and other members of the National Salvation Front.  A popular belief among revisionists is that they were all in on this deception, the new political officials and televsion personalities.  At their most charitable, revisionists will argue that the suspicion regarding the existence of “terrorists” and of the USLA specifically was based in an understandable and rational fear regarding the Ceausescu regime—but that ultimately these fears were misplaced, and that the suspicion of the USLA actually played a large role in contributing to needless bloodshed after Ceausescu fled.  As in so many controversies surrounding the Revolution, little effort has been made in “process tracing,” working backwards to find the roots of claims and ideas.

 

It is significant that in 1990, the infamous Securitate cheerleader, Angela Bacescu, blamed all of the above personalities for creating “imaginary terrorists,” but also added another culprit.

 

“Among those [who showed up at Television on the afternoon of 22 December after Ceausescu fled] was this Cirjan, an ordinary thief, who entered with a false ID.  He had been thrown out of the USLA, several years earlier, because he was stealing from passengers’ baggage, was dealing on the black market, and other such things, and [here] he is from the first moment shouting ‘Death to the Securitate’ and ‘The USLA are coming to shoot us’.” (Bacescu, “Romania Mare” 7 September 1990, p. 5a; see also her allegations against Cirjan in the 21 August 1990 edition)

 

A “Constantin Cirjan” appears on the list of the 38 “founding” members of the National Salvation Front read out on Television by Ion Iliescu.  And, although I cannot verify that they are one and the same, it is possible that this Constantin Cirjan is the same as a Captain Constantin Cirjan of Romania’s special “mountain hunter” forces, whose recent training exercises are discussed on a web page (see geocities.com/romanianspecialforces/vanatoridemunte).  It would certainly make sense, given that the “mountain hunter” forces were affiliated with the Securitate before the Revolution, and USLA training would likely have had many similarities with the current training of these “mountain hunter” forces.

 

This is signficant.  In other words, the point that so many revisionists highlight—how was it that even before the “terrorists” appeared, Television was warning about their appearance?—appears to have an explanation.  We must ask:  what would lead Cirjan to suspect this?  From where would he have such information?  Even if we assume for a minute that Bacescu has made up this episode, the question is why?  Afterall, she already targets Brates, Stark, etc. for this allegedly false, intentional “rumor” about the existence of “terrorists” and the USLA’s contribution to them.  True, Bacescu could be wrong, misinformed, or determined to find a scapegoat or settle scores with this individual.  But the point is that she identifies the source of the USLA rumor as a former member of the USLA—in other words, someone with access to such knowledge.  In other words, the “USLA rumor” appears to have originated not with Brates, Stark, or others, but from a former USLA member.

 

b) But what evidence exists to believe that Front officials at the time suspected the USLA?  Were the public statements that the USLA were involved merely for public consumption, and did not reflect their actual beliefs—particularly in the event that they were lying to begin with and knew the USLA was innocent?

 

Despite expressions of suspicion of the USLA on TV and elsewhere, regime forces followed the so-called “Special Action Plan” that called for the combined participation of Army units alongside USLA and other Securitate units.  In Bucharest and elsewhere, the USLA were sent out on patrol in pursuit of the “terrorists” (for example, Buzau and Arad, see Armata Romana in Revolutia din Decembrie 1989, p. 192, 209).  With USLA Commander Ardeleanu having “joined” the Revolution from early on, and with the appearance of USLA cooperation, Front officials found it hard to believe that the USLA were the “terrorists.”

 

Yet they kept on getting reports that something was not right.*  At the very least, Securitate Director General Vlad and USLA Commander Ardeleanu were not putting all their cards on the table, unwilling or “unable” to fulfill requests for maps of Securitate safehouses and architectural plans of key buildings that might have clarified from where the shooting was coming and what exactly was going on (Ardeleanu himself seems to have admitted this obliquely in a document drafted on 8 January 1990, see its reproduction in Dan Badea, “Cine au fost teroristii?,” “Expres,” 15-21 October 1991, p. 15).  In theory, the USLA had either surrendered their registered arms on the 22nd, and/or were performing joint missions with the Army to root out the “terrorists.”  The straw that appeared to break the camel’s back was the arrest of an armed USLA sergeant, Ion Popa Stefan, in the neighborhood of the Defense Ministry—he claimed he was on his way to the Defense Ministry to “surrender”.  Commander Ardeleanu is said to have played dumb upon being confronted with the news:  “I think it’s the hand of my chief of staff Trosca, he’s done this to me” (Lt. Col. Mihai Floca and a group of Army officers, “Eroi, victime sau teroristi?” “Adevarul,” 29 August 1990).  Senior Army officers and Front leaders had had enough.  They would try to call Ardeleanu’s bluff and give them a “loyalty test” of sorts.

 

One important admission from Commander Ardeleanu—one that has little alternative explanation given his accusations toward Army General Nicolae Militaru who instructed Ardeleanu to order USLA units to the building—severely undermines much that underlies revisionist accounts that Trosca and his men were intentionally lured into a diabolical ambush:

 

“…When I reported at the Defense Ministry [during the late evening of 23 December], I was asked to give details regarding the organization of the unit, its subdivisions, responsibilities, and attributes.  After this, I was told that the Defense Ministry was being attacked from all around…Then, General Militaru announced that in the “Orizont” building terrorists had barricaded themselves and were firing on the Defense Ministry, ordering me to transmit to my unit an order that 3 intervention groups come to annihilate the terrorists.  He warned me that the order I would transmit would be recorded and that I should proceed with this in mind. I transmitted the order to Colonel B.I. [Ion Bleort] who reported to me that by his side was Colonel Gheorghe Trosca, the unit’s chief of staff, who would take measures to execute the order.  Keeping in mind the importance of the mission I gave the order.  I know that I pronounced the name of Colonel Trosca, and therefore those present knew that he would lead the group.”  [interview from 1991, in Bacescu 1994, p. 116]

 

This passage is critical for two reasons in terms of the revisionist accounts:  a) it was Ardeleanu, not Militaru or anyone else, who chose Col. Trosca, and b) it was known that the USLA transmissions would be recorded.  Furthermore, the passage testifies to the suspicion of Front leaders:  why all the questions to Ardeleanu about the composition and activities of his unit?

 

The understanding of what followed, the famous so-called “Defense Ministry incident,” in which seven USLA members lost their lives after Army units out front of the building opened fire upon them, became even more confused after exchanges from the tape of USLA transmissions appeared in the press in early 1993 (Ioan Itu, “Armata Trage in Propriul Minister,” “Tinerama” 8-14 January 1993, p. 7—pretty much the entire article and discussion of this important incident shows up in Deletant, pp. 360-362).  Those exchanges show Trosca communicating to an uncomprehending Bleort back at USLA headquarters—Trosca repeated himself several times—that “a column of six-seven TABs, two trucks with soldiers and two ARO, fired for ten minutes on the Ministry and then stopped.”  In other words, Army units were firing on their own ministry.  A few minutes after Trosca’s announcement to headquarters, Trosca reported that Army tanks guarding the ministry had opened up fire on his USLA team’s armored personnel carriers (ABI).  The impression one gets after that is that the USLA personnel became tank fodder and that they never event fired a shot in response.  The journalist Ioan Itu concluded from this, and Deletant appears to accept, that the USLA detachment had been attacked “because they had to disappear, having accidentally witnessed one part of the Army at war with another part of the Army.”

 

Of course, there is more to this story.  It was not just a few minutes between the arrival of the USLA detachment at the scene, their report of what was going on, and their coming under attack.  Instead, they had stationed themselves in between tanks—as they had been instructed—for almost a half hour, without making contact with anyone among the Army personnel out front of the Ministry, a fact which caused obvious suspicion for those personnel.  Moreover, according to officers interviewed in spring 1990, they witnessed gunfire from the guns on the USLA vehicles, three of the machine guns recovered from the USLA vehicles showed signs of having been fired, the gunbarrell of one the tanks had been blocked, and on the top of another tank a machine gun and signal lantern were found (Major Mihai Floca, “Crima?” “Armata Poporului” 6 June 1990, p. 3).

 

What is amazing, of course, if we take Trosca’s transmission about the Army forces firing on their own ministry at face value, is that somehow this occurred “for ten minutes” and yet there is no report that the USLA detachment or the Army units defending the Ministry were hit or returned fire.  And when the USLA detachment is attacked it is from the units guarding the Ministry…because they are embarrassed ?, afraid ? that the USLA personnel witnessed something they should not have seen?  And why or how did these rebel Army units stop attacking the Ministry and what became of them? Furthermore, as Army General Tiberiu Udrareanu relates:

 

“Personally, I have serious doubts regarding the use of  ‘7-8 TAB-uri, two trucks of soldiers (two platoons) and two AROs’ in a mission of this type, to be able to operate in the center of the Capital and to not be seen by a single person.  And the survivors, because we are talking about hundreds of people, have kept this secret so tightly for over seven years?” (Udrareanu 1996, p. 143).

 

Indeed, the latter point is significant, as one could imagine how once the content of the tapes were made public, that some lips might have loosened.  And I ask the reader:  which is more plausible, that Trosca—knowing his words were being listened to—was lying or trying to communicate something in code to his headquarters, or that hundreds of soldiers—including draftees and students at the military academy—could or would keep quiet about Army units intentionally attacking their own Ministry?

 

What happened after the firefight is even more intriguing as evidence of the genuine suspicion of the USLA on the part of Front leaders.  USLA Lieutenant Stefan Soldea who survived the firefight outside the Defense Ministry relates what happened when he was taken to the building.  Remember, here is an USLA officer, who participated in this key incident and his clearly defending his own actions and those of his unit, talking about his experiences in the pages of the Securitate mouthpiece “Europa,” so hardly in a position to, as is soften alleged, be somehow serving the Front leadership:

 

“A civilian, Gelu Voican Voiculescu, was in the office surrounded by the other generals [Army General Nicolae Militaru, Militia General Cimpeanu, Securitate General Iulian Vlad, and Securitate Fifth Directorate General Neagoe]…he began to interrogate me, ordering that my USLA commander, Colonel Ardeleanu go outside.  He demanded information about the organization, make-up, and functioning of  the unit, its address, what the unit’s members were doing at that moment, my personal information, after which he confronted me with Colonel Ardeleanu and asked me to identify who he was…”(“Crime care nu se prescriu,” interview with Angela Bacescu, “Europa” 28 July-5 August 1992).

 

Among the many interesting details that come out of Soldea’s interview is his complaint that the next day of his detention he “was forced to take a urinalysis test to see if I was drugged.”  What does all this tell us?  At the very least, it tells us that Voiculescu and other Front officials suspected that the USLA were the terrorists and suspected that—as the rumor circulated at the time (it turned out to be correct, but that is an issue for a different discussion)—they were drugged.**

 

This was an incredible and inexplicable charade to go through at the time if Voiculescu, who is always portrayed as one of those at the center of the alleged Front “staged war,” was attempting to stage such a confrontation.  If the Front “controlled” the “terrorists,” why do this?  Who exactly were Front leaders trying to impress/convince with this incident?  Moreover, if this truly was a charade—such as is alleged of the Ceausescus’ trial and execution—why is there no record/tape of it?  Would not this have been a great bit of counter-propaganda to the revisionists that could have been given to the media to protect their reputations and credibility?

 

c) What else would have made Front officials suspect the USLA?

 

We now have enough evidence to confirm that after the Ceausescus were executed on Christmas Day 1989, a meeting took place at the headquarters of the USLA that included senior Front leaders, with a tight military guard outside the building.  USLA Commander Ardeleanu (Bacescu 1994, p. 142), former USLA Captain Marian Romanescu (more on him below), and Army General Tiberiu Urdareanu have all related this in their spoken and written comments on the Revolution.  According to Urdareanu, who claims to have been present at the meeting, the new Defense Minister General Militaru took the floor in a speech that focused principally on the secretive nature of and confusion surrounding the USLA.  Militaru stressed that now was the time for reconciliation between the Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry (i.e. Securitate)—it had just been announced that the Interior Ministry was being dissolved in the Defense Ministry—and appealed at the end “for those involved in the genocide:  put an end to it!”  As Udrareanu concluded:

 

“From his [Militaru’s] discussion it was clear that, among other forces, the USLA were definitely taking part [in the terrorist actions], that they had prepared for this for many years, and it was not known how much money their preparation had cost” (Udrareanu 1996, p. 137).

 

Urdareanu asserts that USLA Commander Ardeleanu also talked at the session:

 

“Colonel Ardeleanu, the USLA Commander, palely observed that it wasn’t they [the USLA] who were fighting, but that they [the “terrorists”] were acting in the name of the USLA, but his intervention went unnoticed.” (Urdareanu 1996, p. 137).

 

Five years before Urdareanu, former USLA Captain Marian Romanescu described Adreleanu’s comments to his troops as follows:

 

On 25 December at around 8 pm, after the execution of the dictators, Colonel Ardeleanu gathered the unit’s members into an improvised room and said to them:

‘The Dictatorship has fallen!  The Unit’s members are in the service of the people.  The Romanian Communist Party [PCR] is not disbanding!  It is necessary for us to regroup in the democratic circles of the PCR—the inheritor of the noble ideas of the people of which we are a part!…Corpses were found, individuals with USLAC (Special Unit for Antiterrorist and Comando Warfare) identitity cards and indentifications with the 0620 stamp of the USLA, identity cards that they had no right to be in possession of when they were found…’ He instructed that the identity cards [of members of the unit] had to be turned in within 24 hours, at which time all of them would receive new ones with Defense Ministry markings.” (emphasis in the original) (with Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii si ‘Fratii Musulmani’,” “Expres (2-8 July 1991), p. 8)

 

Ardeleanu’s statement begs the question:  if these were non-USLA personnel, why exactly were they trying to pass themselves off as USLA personnel…to the point of losing their lives?  At the very least, his statement infirms the idea that the individuals with these identity cards were innocent victims—because otherwise he would likely not have stated that they had “no right” to possess these identity documents, but instead would have presented them as heroes who had died in the name of the Revolution.  Ardeleanu’s comments can be interpreted as the beginnings of a cover-up, designed to reverse the popular understanding of the USLA’s responsibility for the December bloodshed.

 

It is odd that, at the time, even those who contested the seizure of power by the second-tier of the communist regime—and spoke in terms of a coup d’etat designed to staunch the revolution or that had been pushed ahead of schedule in order to take advantage of the popular uprising—did not question the existence of the “terrorists.”  Would there not have been some first-hand accounts that contradicted the official and initial understanding if it had indeed been a “staged war?”  Personal retrospective judgements based on the fact that the “terrorists” never came to trial or that someone never saw or captured a “real terrorist,” are not the same as doubts expressed at the time—suggesting that someone else other than the Securitate/USLA was behind the “terrorist” gunfire.

 

II.  Revelations/Confessions/Admissions

Suspicion, of course, does not equal guilt.  Even if circumstantially understandable, it can still prove unfounded.  In the case of the Romanian Revolution, in order to prove the idea of a “staged war,” one has to have admissions from those in the DIA [the Army’s Defense Intelligence unit charged with search and diversion missions, accused by many of having been the “terrorists”] or Army personnel who would have been in a position to know such plans that this is what took place.  What is significant is that there are none.  Conversely, in order to substantiate the USLA’s role in the “terrorist” violence, one needs admissions from those who served in the USLA or Securitate personnel who would have been in a position to know such plans.  These exist.  The very existence of such revelations is extremely damaging for the theory of a “staged war” or accidental free-for-all between units all on the same side of the battle.

 

There is a great difference, of course, between alleging somebody else—foreigners, another institution, a rival—did something, and saying that your own institution, unit, commanders, etc. did something.  The latter clearly appropriates more risk and opprobrium—especially if one is wrong.  This issue in weighing declarations is rarely addressed in works on the Revolution, but is of critical importance.

 

To begin with there are the admissions, speculation, and alleged confessions of high-ranking Securitate personnel…regarding their own institution.  Army General Dan Ioan, former head of the Military Prosecutor’s office maintained just this January (2005) that Securitate Director Vlad admitted that the “terrorists” were special forces of the Interior Ministry and Securitate (“Gardianul,” 29 January 2005).  Although Vlad provided many possible formations and individuals within these categories—and it is possible they also participated—the focus of his comments was that “the terrorists could have been from the Special Units for Antiterrorist Warfare (USLA), Directorate V-a, more precisely elite sharpshooters.”  Ten years earlier, Army General Nicolae Militaru maintained that during the days of the Revolution, Lt. Col. Dumitru Pavelescu, commander of the Securitate’s regular troops, had told him pretty much the same thing and that Order 2600 was the basis for the operation (“Cotidianul,” 25 May 1995).  Aristotel Stamatoiu, head of foreign intelligence at the time of the Revolution, is quoted as having said “Who fired?  Ask at the units specially-equipped and trained—USLA, Dicrectorate V-a, Militia, and Securitate Troops etc.” (“Revolutia—vazuta de securisti,” 20 December 2003, at http://www.hanuancutei.com).

 

Then there is Interior Minister Tudor Postelnicu.  He is quoted as having said after his arrest on 22 December 1989 and after the gunfire had begun:  “Who’s firing?!  The USLA!” (“Tineretul Liber,” 13 March 1990, p. 4).  On 23 December, the following statement allegedly by him was read on Romanian Television and Radio:

 

“Appeal:  To the Soldiers of the Securitate troops who are engaging in special missions that were ordered by the leadership of the T.S. [Trupele speciale]!  I come as Interior Minister, specifically to ask you in writing, in the most categoric terms, to cease your actions of warfare because they have transformed into a crime against humanity!  Think of your children and families, because only this way can you receive legal clemency!  Stop your actions of a terrorist nature and establish means of surrendering your forces to your commanders, to Colonel Pavelescu!  Whoever permits you to continue these terrorist actions will be punished severely!  This is the last warning I will give you to save your lives for a crime that is futile and irresponsible.  Signed Tudor Postelnicu, former Interior Minister.”  (Societatea Romana de Radiodifiziune 1998, pp. 244-245).

 

What is never explained of course by those who maintain he was forced to do this, or that he did it to gain clemency for himself from Front officials, is why either he or the Front would blame the Interior Ministry and Securitate.  Iliescu and others were straightforward in declaring from the beginning in televised announcements that the Securitate had joined the Revolution (see the quotes in Hall 1999, pp. 516-517).  If your goal is supposedly to incriminate someone so that you can seize power, but you admit publicly that the Securitate has sided with the Revolution, and you plan on maintaining the bulk of the Securitate in the new regime, why not blame unknown civilian loyalists, outside any formal structure of the Ceausescu regime’s institutions, as those villains?  Why on earth would you plant any idea that the “terrorists” were associated with the Interior Ministry or Securitate?  It simply does not make sense—unless of course you genuinely suspect them, as we have seen they did and good reason to do so.

 

All of these claims can of course be dismissed as “second-hand,” related by Army personnel at the center of the December events with an interest perhaps in protecting their own hides, or as the temporary kowtowing and doubletalk of people (Securitate and Interior Ministry) under arrest.  These explanations, however, do not wash for the revelations of those discussed in the next installment.

 

* In place after place, over the course of the next few days, USLA personnel either tried to penetrate/infiltrate key buildings or were found furtively exiting zones from which there had been extensive gunfire, leading local Army commanders and others to suspect and move against them.  See, for example, “Expres,” no. 27 and 34 (1991) on Caras-Severin county; “Flacara,” no. 21 (22 May 1991), p. 7, on Galati; “Gazeta de Sud,” 23 December 2002 (citing “Cartel (Craiova),” 8 April 1992) on Craiova; and Armata Romana in Revolutia din Decembrie, p. 210, on Arad.

 

**Many—I’d venture to guess most—Romanians and East Europeanists today chuckle knowingly—“how naïve!”—at the notion that, to the extent “terrorists” actually existed, they were drugged.  Those who captured or treated them are less amused.  See for example, the comments of Sergiu Tanasescu (“Cuvintul,” 28 March 1990) regarding the capture of an USLAC officer, and Doctor Zorel Filipescu (“22,” no. 48 December 1990 in Hall 1997, p. 269).  The journalist Ondine Gherghut, who was a nurse at the time of the December events, also has no doubt that those who arrived at her hospital as “terrorists” were drugged (author interview, Bucharest, 25 June 1997).  And the passage of time and domestic and foreign cynicism have not erased the memories of Professor Andrei Firica, director of the Floreasca Emergency Hospital in 1989 (interview, “Jurnalul National,” 9 March 2004).  Finally, the former Securitate and USLA personnel who have admitted the USLA and USLAC role in the “terrorism” all tell of them being drugged (see next installment).

 

SOURCES

 

“Armata Poporului,” 1990.

 

Armata Romana in Revolutia din Decembrie 1989, 1998, (Bucharest: Editura Militara).

 

Bacescu, A. 1994.  Din Nou in Calea Navalirilor Barbare [In the Path of Barbaric Invasions Again] (Cluj-Napoca:  Zalmoxis).

 

“Cotidianul,” 1995.

 

“Cuvintul,” 1990.

 

Deletant, D. 1995.  Ceausescu and the Securitate:  Coercion and Dissent in Romania, 1965-1989 (Armonk, NY:  M.E. Sharpe).

 

“Expres,” 1991.

 

“Europa,” 1990, 1992.

 

“Gardianul (online),” 2005.

 

Gherghut, O.  Interview, Bucharest, 25 June 1997.

 

Hall, R. A. 1997, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University).

Hall, R. A., 1999, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” in “East European Politics and Societies,” Vol. 13, no.3, pp. 501-542.

 

“Jurnalul National (online),” 2004.

 

Revista “22,” 1990.

 

“Romania Mare,” 1990.

 

Societatea Romana de Radiodifiziune, 1998.  E un inceput in tot sfarsitul [There’s a beginning to every ending] (Bucharest).

 

“Tinerama,” 1993.

 

“Tineretul Liber,” 1990.

 

Udrareanu, T. 1996.  1989—Martor si Participant [1989—Witness and Participant] (Bucharest:  Editura Militara).

 

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/26/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-seven-conclusion/

Part 7:  Why the “End of Amnesia” May Not Come Anytime Soon*

II.  Revelations/Confessions/Admissions

1) The Revelations of former Timisoara Securitate officer Roland Vasilevici

Two months after the violence that marked Ceausescu’s overthrow, when in Bucharest the official and media rehabilitation of the USLA was already underway (see Part 5), a three-part series entitled “Piramida Umbrelor [Pyramid of Shadows]” appeared in the cultural/political Timisoara weekly, “Orizont,” on 2, 9, and 16 March 1990.  The articles appeared under the name “Puspoki F.,” but it was clear from the text of the articles that the author must have some connection to the former Securitate or Militia because he described the inner workings of these organs in their dealings with Pastor Tokes and their actions once protests began outside his residence on 15-16 December 1989.  Significantly, the author related the responsibilities and actions of the USLA, including their weaponry, munitions, clothing, and physical disposition—details which were later to be substantiated elsewhere.  It was pretty clear in his discussion of the USLA and the “Comando” unit (a likely reference to the USLAC) that he believed them to have been the “terrorists” who had claimed so many lives.

In 1996, I asked Mircea Mihaies, the editor of “Orizont” at the time the “Pyramid of Shadows” series appeared, what recollection he had about the circumstances of the article’s publication (Mihaies, interview, Bloomington, IN 1996). He could not recall the situation, and I have no reason to question his lack of recollection.  It is important to point out that at the time of the interview with Mihaies, I had no knowledge of Vasilevici’s book “Pyramid of Shadows”—I first learned of it in summer 1997—and therefore could not draw the comparison between the series in “Orizont” and the book.  As a result, throughout my Ph.D. Dissertation, I cite only “Puspoki F.” and the “Orizont” series—believing them to have been the revelations of someone with access to the former Securitate’s methods and actions, but without realizing them to be Vasilevici’s (see Hall, February 1997).

Nevertheless, there is no denying that the text of the “Orizont” series is identical to the passages found in Vasilevici’s book (Editura Vest, 1991) of the same title as the series.  This does not leave many explanations:  1) “Puspoki F.” is the source of both the “Orizont” series and of the work under Vasilevici’s name; 2) someone other than “Puspoki F.” or Vasilevici is the author of all the texts involved; or 3) Vasilevici was the source of the article published under the name “Puspoki F.”  Clearly—and especially given Vasilevici’s later comments with William Totok and others—Vasilevici was the author of the series in “Orizont” (see, the 1995 interview in Totok, 2001, pp. 186-203; Vasilevici had worked the surveillance of “Culte (churches),” specifically Roman Catholic, in Timisoara, under Radu Tinu).

2)  The comments of former USLA Captain Marian Romanescu

In mid-1991, the revelations of former USLA Captain Marian Romanescu surfaced, first under his initials and later under his real name.  Romanescu admitted the unit’s involvement in the repression of workers in Brasov in November 1987 and the juridical basis upon which the unit’s involvement lay (Order No. 2600).  Furthermore, as we saw in the last installment of this series, he reported USLA Commander Ardeleanu’s comments at the unit’s headquarters after the execution of the Ceausescus.  On the USLA’s actions during the week of 16-22 December, and particularly on his own actions during 22-25 December he was somewhat more reticent.  However, he did supply information on the enigmatic USLAC (special unit for antiterrorist and commando warfare), referenced by Ardeleanu in his speech:

The USLAC Commandos:  Those who had and have knowledge about the existence and activities of the shock troops subordinated directly to Ceausescu remained quiet and continue to do so out of fear or out of calculation.  Much has been said about individuals in black jumpsuits, with tatoos on their left hand and chest, mercenary fanatics who acted at night killing with precision and withdrawing when they were encircled to the underground tunnels of Bucharest.  Much was said, then nobody said anything, as if nothing had ever happened.  Superimposed above the Fifth Directorate and the USLA, the USLAC commandos were made up of individuals who ‘worked’ undercover in different places.  Many were foreign students, doctors and thugs commited with heart and soul to the dictator. Many were Arabs who knew with precision the nooks and crannies of Bucharest, Brasov and other towns in Romania.  (emphasis in original).”  ((with Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii si ‘Fratii Musulmani’,” “Expres (2-8 July 1991), p. 8)).

3)  The comments of an anonymous former USLA recruit

As in the case of the “Puspoki” series, so it was in the case of the comments of a former USLA recruit.  Asked about the significance of this short A.M. Press news agency dispatch on page 3 of the daily “Romania Libera” on 28 December 1994 (“Dezvaluiri despre implicarea USLA in evenimentele din decembrie ’89 [Revelations on USLA involvement in the events of December ‘89]”), Romanian journalists and intellectuals have no knowledge of it—not surprising—and dismiss it as unimportant.  Strangely, a former USLA officer read it and was so incensed he immediately published responses condemning it and identifying and denigrating the similarly anonymous correspondent of the dispatch.  Why such a zealous reaction?

Here are the comments of the recruit that precipitated the reaction:

“A youth who did his military service with the USLA troops declared to A.M. Press’ Dolj correspondent:  ‘I was in Timisoara and Bucharest in December ’89.  In addition to us [USLA] draftees, recalled professionals, who wore black camouflage outfits, were dispatched.  Antiterrorist troop units and these professionals received live ammunition.  In Timisoara demonstrators were shot at short distances.  I saw how the skulls of those who were shot would explode.  I believe the masked ones, using their own special weapons, shot with exploding bullets.  In January 1990, all the draftees from the USLA troops were put in detox.  We had been drugged.  We were discharged five months before our service was due to expire in order to lose any trace of us.  Don’t publish my name.  I fear for me and my parents.  When we trained and practiced we were separated into ‘friends’ and ‘enemies.’  The masked ones were the ‘enemies’ who we had to find and neutralize.  I believe the masked ones were the terrorists.’” [“Romania Libera,” 28 December 1994]**

Teodor Filip, a former USLA officer, was apparently intrigued enough by this article that he went to the trouble of tracking down the identity of the correspondent of the dispatch.  According to Filip, the correspondent was Sterie Petrescu, who Filip claims was later expelled by both AM Press (Dolj) and “Romania Libera” for printing “scandalous disinformation,” and removed in 1996 from his position as head of Dolj County for the anti-Iliescu regime “Civic Alliance,” after which he had legal motions lodged against him (Filip 1998, pp. 109-111).  Filip claims immediately after the above dispatch came out, he published rejoinders in the daily “Crisana Plus.”  In those responses, he rejected the claims of the dispatch in their entirety.  According to Filip:  “during the December 1989 events, not a single member of USLA was dispatched into the field…[and] the USLA did not commit a single act [of repression] against demonstrators” (Filip 1998, p. 111).

Fear

It is significant that all of the aforementioned former Securitate (USLA) members who have revealed the USLA’s role in the December 1989 bloodshed have been “called out” and threatened.  Marian Romanescu claimed harassment and “hostile surveillance,” and initially tried to hide his identity (see details of his ordeal as recounted to Dan Badea, “U.S.L.A. in Stare de Hipnoza,” “Expres,” 9-15 April 1991); the anonymous USLA recruit, more explicit too—as if his anonymity were not enough—claiming that he feared for himself and his family.  Then there is Vasilevici’s case.

Despite the denial of any recollection or importance of the articles by “Puspoki F. (i.e. Vasilevici),” they did not escape the notice of the former Securitate.  Thus, from jail, Radu Tinu, the Timis County Deputy Securitate chief, sought to counter the accusations “during March 1990, in the weekly “Orizont” in which a certain Puspok accused me of nationalism” (interview from 1991, in Bacescu 1994, p. 67).  When Vasilevici was preparing to release his book, he maintained that he was “receiving many threatening and ‘dead line’ phone calls in the middle of the night” (interview with Mireca Iovan, “Cuvintul,” no. 119 (May 1992), p. 8).  He said two to three cars were posted outside his residence, and that he was accosted by six individuals when was on his way to the police station to file a complaint.  A former colleague informed him that he “had been contacted by the same Radu Tinu [by now out of jail] and was instructed to alert the network with the goal of by all means impeding the publication of the book.”  According to the “Cuvintul” reporter, when he spoke to Vasilevici by phone, Vasilevici was “very scared…such a man generally does not panic so easily.”

Vasilevici’s story seems plausible for a number of reasons.  First, at a time when he would have gained notoriety with his revelations in “Orizont”—March 1990—he chose anonymity.  Clearly, his story was more important than notoriety to him—a notoriety he probably did not seek, for reasons of personal security.  Second, former Securitate have also attacked him viciously in their literature.  In March 1992, retired Securitate Colonel Ion Lemnaru wrote in “Spionaj-Contraspionaj” about the 1990 pamphlet of Romeo Vasiliu, “Piramida Umbrelor,” identifying the author as Roland Vasilevici, publishing Vasilevici’s address, and then citing an extended section of the text of the pamphlet (identical to what is in the March 1990 “Orizont” article).  The section that is cited precisely concerns allegations about the USLA’s role in the Timisoara repression and terrorism—this is clearly the focus of Colonel Lemnaru’s ire (“Piramida de minciuni a lui Roland Vasilevici,” “Spionaj-Contraspionaj,” no. 24 (March 1992), p. 7a).  In late 1994, while giving an interview on a local independent TV station in Timisoara, Radu Tinu came to the station while Vasilevici was on air and tried to interrupt the broadcast! (“Romania Libera,” 28 December 1994, p. 3)

It was also not good to have been a former military prosecutor who resigned the post because he saw where things were going with the “terrorist” investigation.  Marian Valer, who alleged SRI non-cooperation in the attempt to reconstitute what happened in December 1989, as well as the disappearance of maps captured at the time in Sibiu, said wryly in September 1990 that “Shortly after the publication of my resignation I sensed that I was benefiting from the services of Mr. Magureanu’s organization [i.e. the SRI…he was being surveilled]” (interview by Monica Marginean, “Expres,” no. 33 (September 1990), p. 2).  When questioned by a military judge at the proceedings of a trial linked to the Timisoara repression—as to why his fellow SRI colleagues called to testify were not showing up—a SRI junior officer who had been a member of the Timisoara Securitate’s antiterrorist intervention group in December 1989 responded:  “they don’t come, because they are afraid” (“Romania Libera,” 18 June 1991, p. 2a).

If this is how former Securitate whistleblowers and military prosecutors feel, what must be the situation for civilians and people of lower-rank in the Army?  In summer 1990, “Expres” reported on two young men recovering in an Italian hospital from wounds inflicted during the December events (Victor Radulescu, “Excursii prin Contul Libertatea,” “Expres” no. 11 (August 1990), p. 5).  They recalled how, at the Intercontinental on 21-22 December, “those in kaki [i.e. Securitate, likely USLA] shot us.  The first two rows of troops [Army] shot tracers, while those behind them opened live fire.”  The two, one injured on the 21st, the other on the 23rd, claimed that after they arrived in Italy, a certain 40 year old Iordan Cristian, who admitted to them he had been USLA, visited the hospital—he had been shot in the hand at an earlier time and recovered (!)—snatched any reading material showing photos of the 13-15 June rampage against the opposition in Bucharest, and kept them in a general state of fear.  In addition, he asked them to surrender their passports, something which “made even the Italians realize something was not quite right in all of this.”  Similarly, in an article that captures in a microcosm the complexity and fluidity of the first years of the post-Ceausescu era, one-time leader of the small “Liberal Democratic Party,” Elena Serban, maintains she was blackmailed in 1990 by Radu Grigore (a name that was to crop up again in some of the more underhanded political affairs of 1991-1992) who threatened her that “…if I betrayed him, he would kill me, and that I only needed to remember he had been an USLA officer…who had been in charge of the USLA machine-gun detachments on the night of 21 December in University Sqaure” (Dan Badea, “Securitatea—un joc in numele trandafirului,” “Expres,” 8-14 September 1992, p. 9).

Army soldiers who had been posted out front of the Defense Ministry on the night of 23/24 December, and who vigorously contested the revisionist account of the event by detailing the suspicious behavior of the USLA detachment in question, reported after expressing their recollections, having “been warned to think long and hard since they have families and to stay on their own turf if they do not want to have problems” (see Major Mihai Floca, “Crima?” “Armata Poporului” (6 June 1990), 3, and idem., “Eroi, victime, sau teroristi?” “Adevarul” 29August 1990, pp. 1-2).  Residents of the apartment blocs surrounding the Defense Ministry told Army journalists that there had indeed existed “terrorists” and that they had fired on the Ministry building from these surrounding buildings.  One family maintained that they had been visited in May 1990 by two individuals flashing “Militia” identity cards, inquiring what had happened in December 1989 in that location, and insisting that different parts of the Army had merely fired at one another—there had been no “terrorists.”  Some residents maintained that a neighbor suspected of being a Securitate collaborator had been going around suggesting “how to ‘correctly’ interpret the incident with the two armored personnel vehicles [i.e. the USLA unit] on the night of 23/24 December.”  The Army journalists concluded based on these interviews that “therefore, ‘the boys’ [a common euphemism for the Securitate] are [still] at work” (Mihai Floca and Victor Stoica, “Unde sint teroristii? PE STRADA, PRINTRE NOI,” “Armata Poporului” 13 June 1990, 27 June 1990).

Whereever the USLA showed up, even when supposedly fulfilling the “Special Action Plan” of coordination under such circumstances, they ended up in gunfights.  Was it the suspicion so “illfounded” or tendentious launched by Television?  A tragic error or misunderstanding?

Not even those who rose to influential posts in the early Iliescu administration were immune.  According to the well-known Romanian actor, Ernest Maftei, who was in the one of the focal points of the December events, the CC (the Central Committee building), even members of the Front were being careful about what they said.  Speaking in mid-September 1991, the 71 year-old Maftei was clearly disenchanted with Iliescu and the post-December evolution of politics.  He had written for the daily “Dreptatea” of the opposition National Peasants Party (PNTCD) in 1990 and spoken against the Front at the famous 28 January 1990 siege of opposition party officials. He noted bitterly, how on 14 June 1990, he had been beaten by the miners who came to Bucharest to ‘defend’ the Front:  “I’ll end on this note:  so I was in the revolution so that I could be almost beaten to death on 14 June and my son end up unemployed…?”  Nevertheless, it is significant what he said recalling the events in the CC on the night of 22 December after 11pm:

Dan Badea (the reporter, DB):  Who was it Dan Iosif [a civilian who was to become a key member and defender of Iliescu’s circle from the December events onward] shot?

EM (Ernest Maftei:  USLA!  Sir, they ostensibly came to help us and instead they ended up shooting us!…In the sub-basement there were some men of ours, because there were some armored doors there and we didn’t know what the deal was with them.  And someone opened a door and saw lights on.  So we got scared about what was there.  Then the USLA came to help us.  Yes!  And when they went down, they shot all our people.  Two of ours were killed there, they were revolutionaries, simple people who went there to die [as it turned out].  And then we realized that these guys would kill us.  Then they ascended.  They too had three dead.  And so we surrounded them:  “Undress we told them!” My god, it was awful.

DB:  Dan Iosif claims that he didn’t shoot the 15 USLASI…

EM:  He’s having you on, don’t listen to him!  It was necessary to kill them there.  But he doesn’t want to say it because he doesn’t want it to be known because today the Securitate still rules.  Precisely some of those who shot at us are now in power.  Listen to me.  The USLA, the Fifth Column, were with Ceausescu [emphasis added]. You don’t think they would have killed us?  My god!

DB:  Who else besides Dan Iosif shot?

EM:  Many, about 5, I don’t know their names.  Hell, if we hadn’t shot them, we would have been dead!  It was revolution, sir.  It was civil war…(see interview with Dan Badea, “Iliescu putea sa fie eroul neamului, dar a pierdut ocazia! [Iliescu could have been a national hero, but he squandered the opportunity!],” “Expres,” no. 36 (85) 10-16 September 1991)

Nor does such reticence on this subject appear to have disappeared after all these years.  With the advent of the Internet, unverifiable bulletin board postings also pop up.  On 23 December 2003, under the name of “kodiak,” the following appeared:  “In ’89 I was a major in the USLA…and I know enough things that it would be better I didn’t know…15, 16, 20, 30 years will pass and nothing will be known beyond what you need and have permission to know…” (http://www.cafeneaua.com)

Conclusions

This article began with an extended discussion of Suzanne Brandstatter’s much-publicized and debated “Checkmate” documentary on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989, first broadcast in late February 2004 on the Franco-German television station TV Arte.  Many who commented upon the film presented its thesis that 1989 events were a CIA-engineered coup as original.  This is only partially true, as the French scholar Catherine Durandin had already been pushing the thesis in recent years.  But the arguments of the Brandstatter-Durandin Franco-German school are indeed new—not to mention, surprising—given that it was precisely journalists and academics in France and Germany who in 1990 zealously marketed the idea of the December 1989 events as a KGB-engineered coup.

On the surface, what has changed over the past decade and a half is the broader geopolitical context, from Romania’s membership in the Warsaw Pact to Romania as NATO member and a key US ally in the Afghanistan and Iraqi military campaigns.  This, the break-up of the Soviet Union, the decline of Russia as a major power, and perceived and real US hegemony on the world stage, have all contributed to the prism through which a historical event fifteen years ago is now interpreted.

Aside from the apparent numerous instances of selective editing and a director who had reached her conclusion before she had started interviewing—as related time and again by the now frustrated and, in some cases, angry interviewees—the Brandstatter film is beset by a major problem, in which she is hardly alone.  Not being steeped enough in the history of December 1989, but particularly, not being steeped enough in the post-1989 historiography of those events, she is oblivious to the context and agendas of those whose “revelations” upon which she bases her argument.  Thus, when Gheorghe Ratiu, former head of the Securitate directorate most identified by Romanians as the “political police” talks about secret CIA training camps in West Germany, Austria, and Hungary and of the trainees as having sparked the anti-Ceausescu uprising, she appears to accept it at face value.  But this is not some “new revelation”; it was born in 1990-1991 when the former Securitate was intent on exonerating the institution and those directly involved in repression, including Ratiu himself.

Brandstatter, of course, as in the case of the French journalists of the first wave, can easily be forgiven for not knowing better the historiography of the Revolution or questioning the agendas of those who made these sensational revelations or the context in which such details and arguments were born.  The same does not stand true, however, for those inside and outside Romania who have written on the December 1989 events.  One simply cannot understand what happened in December 1989, if one is not familiar with exactly what the former Securitate have argued about those events since December 1989, in particular during the key period of 1990 and 1991.  The etymology of details and arguments about December 1989, where—when, and how these were born—is imperative for understanding the Revolution.

The time for reifying Ceausescu’s overthrow, for arcane and simply by now uncontroversial and unenlightening debates about whether it was a revolution or a coup—while making little or no effort to examine the specifics of what happened—for failing to address the Securitate’s historiography of the events, for declarative statements about “the trick with the terrorists” or “the well-controlled chaos” without providing any proof, has passed.  It has been a hallmark of my research on the Revolution from the start to deconstruct and test the arguments and claims of others who have studied this event.  I ask that future investigations of the December 1989 events will address the many details presented in this article, particularly in the last two installments.

*Title inspired by phrase used by Radu Ciobotea in “Flacara” July 1991.

**Space does not permit me to discuss the tactics, ballistics’ evidence, and equipment of the “terrorists.”  As I wrote in 1999, a major problem with research on the Revolution is the failure to “get out of Bucharest” and compare what happened in other locations.  Such a comparison shows a clear pattern.  In addition to prior sources discussed in Hall 1997 and 1999, see the following:  “Orizont (Timisoara),” no. 5 1990; “Flacara” no. 8 1990 (on Caransebes), no. 51 1990 p. 11, no. 6 1991 p. 9 (Coltea Hospital, Bucharest), no. 39 1991, p. 4 (Dumitru Mazilu revelations), no. 29 1992, p. 7; “22,” no. 5 1990, p. 10; “Tineretul Liber,” 5 January 1990, p. 4a; “NU (Cluj),” no. 22 1990 (Gen. Rizea, Braila), “Cuvintul,” nos. 1-4 January 1991 (Brasov), no. 7 February 1991 (Gen. Spiroiu and staff of “Opinia” exhumation on 14 June 1990 of those killed in Brasov); “Tinerama,” no. 123 1993 (26 December 1989 description of “terrorists” at Bucharest morgue); “Expres,” no. 24 and 27 1991 (Resita and Hateg).

SOURCES

“Adevarul,” 1990.

“Armata Poporului,” 1990.

Bacescu, A. 1994.  Din Nou in Calea Navalirilor Barbare [In the Path of Barbaric Invasions Again] (Cluj-Napoca:  Zalmoxis).

“Cuvintul,” 1991, 1992.

“Expres,” 1990, 1991, 1992.

Filip, T. 1998.  Secretele USLA [Secrets of the USLA] (Craiova:  Editura Obiectiv).

“Flacara,” 1990, 1991, 1992.

Hall, R. A. 1997, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University).

Hall, R. A., 1999, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” in “East European Politics and Societies,” Vol. 13, no.3, pp. 501-542.

Mihaies, M.  Interview (Bloomington, Indiana), March 1996.

“NU (Cluj), 1990.

“Orizont (Timisoara),” 1990.

Revista “22,” 1990.

“Romania Libera,” 1991, 1994.

“Spionaj-Contraspionaj,” 1992.

“Tinerama,” 1993.

Totok, W. 2001.  Constrangerea memoriei.  Insemnari, documente, amintiri [The Compulsion to Remember.  Notes, documents, memories] (Bucharest: Polirom).

Vasilevici, R., 1991, Piramida Umbrelor [Pyramid of Shadows] (Timisoara:  Editura de Vest).

My thanks in particular to the libraries at Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj) and Indiana University (Bloomington) for the use of their collections in the process of researching and writing this series.

This article was originally prepared for submission to Radio Free Europe’s online publication “East European Perspectives (EEP),” where I previously published on the topics of Securitate revisionism (2002) and nationalism in late-communist Hungary and Serbia (2003).  Due to shifting priorities, RFE is reducing its coverage of Romania and plans to discontinue EEP.  EEP provided a forum for younger scholars such as myself, as well as for scholars from central and eastern Europe, and it will be missed.  My thanks to Dr. Michael Shafir for providing that opportunity.

Richard Andrew Hall holds a BA from the University of Virginia (1988) and a PhD from Indiana University (1997).  He joined the CIA in September 2000 and served as a Romanian Political Analyst from October 2000 to April 2001.  Since October 2001, he has worked as an analyst on issues unrelated to eastern Europe.  He published extensively on the Romanian Revolution and its historiography prior to joining the Agency, including the Romanian journals “22” and “Sfera Politicii” in 1996, “East European Politics and Societies,” in 1999, and “Europe-Asia Studies” in 2000.  He can be reached for comment on this series at hallria@msn.com.

Disclaimer:  This material has been reviewed by CIA.  That review neither constitutes CIA authentification of information nor implies CIA endorsement of the author’s views.

Please Note:  This article is not to be cited, reproduced, translated, or used in any form without the acknowledgement and permission of the author.

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Orasul martir Timisoara

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 27, 2014

(strictly personal views based on two decades of prior, individual research and publications)

for “Orasul martir Bucuresti” see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/11/26/doru-teodor-maries-despre-decembrie-1989/

a few observations on “Orasul martir Timisoara” http://www.tvrplus.ro/editie-memorial-90-267738

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25:35 Ioan Bânciu begins discussing of his experience, and the death of his wife Leontina

26:33 An interesting admission others have made too:  despite the well-known and well-deserved reputation of the Ceausescu regime for its repression, Bânciu claims that no one could believe when regime forces, including the Army, opened fire with real bullets, that they were generally surprised and that rumors had circulated according to which the Army did not have real bullets (my note: thus a situation where positive misinformation actually emboldened demonstrators and gave them optimism and hope beyond what they realistically would have had).

29:09 Soldiers allow them to proceed by the Cathedral, the cry “God exists!” rang out.

30:25 Bânciu talks about the area near the river/canal Bega where there were no houses, no institutions

31:03 Toward Decebal Bridge, all lights are off

31:34 Soldiers open fire without giving a warning.

32:30-33:05 An important discussion in which Bânciu says they were shot by hidden regime forces, not just soldiers but also probably of the “Securitate-police type”

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/09/07/dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-si-alte-marturii-v-procurorul-romeo-balan-10-cazuri/

Bânciu Leontina

Raportul medico-legal nr. 982/A din 18.12.1989 a fost întocmit pentru cadavrul neidentificat de sex feminin, cu numărul de ordine 10. Ca semn de violenţă este consemnată o plagă orificială anfractuoasă cu marginile de 2/2 cm, orificiu de intrare pe faţa posterioară a hemitoracelui stâng în 1/2 inferioară, fără a se putea decela orificiul de ieşire. S-a concluzionat că moartea violentă s-a datorat hemoragiei interne şi externe consecutivă leziunii de organe interne, prin proiectil de armă de foc, tragerea fiind efectuată de la distanţă dinapoi înainte. În baza portretului vorbit, consemnat în raport, a obiectelor de îmbrăcăminte şi a leziunii de violenţă prin împuşcare, victima Bânciu Leontina a fost identificată de soţul ei. Acesta a fost martor ocular al împuşcării soţiei sale la Podul Decebal din Timişoara în seara zilei de 17 decembrie 1989, şi a putut da relaţii cu privire la faptul că soţia sa a fost împuşcată, în spate. Personal a transportat-o la Spitalul Judeţean Timiş. Bânciu Ioan a relatat:

Văzând că începe să se tragă, noi, eu cu soţia am intenţionat să ne salvăm şi să fugim spre gardul Parcului Tineretului. În acel moment, soţia mea a fost împuşcată în spate, mai sus de coapsa stângă. Am luat măsuri şi am transportat-o pe soţia mea cu un autoturism proprietate personală la Spitalul Judeţean, unde când am ajuns un medic mi-a spus că soţia a decedat. Am lăsat-o pe soţia mea decedată la spital şi apoi am plecat acasă la copii. A doua zi, când am revenit nu am mai fost lăsat nici să intru în spital şi nici să văd cadavrul soţiei. De atunci până în prezent nu am mai văzut cadavrul soţiei şi acesta nu mi-a fost eliberat.[10]

Pentru cadavrul neidentificat de sex feminin, cu numărul de ordine 42 a fost întocmit raportul medico-legal nr. 1014/A din 18.12.1989. Sunt prezentate leziunile de violenţă, respectiv frontal în stâng orificiu rotund pergamentat de circa 7 mm (orificiu intrare) şi plagă occipitală cu multiple eschile şi hernie de substanţă cerebrală (orificiu ieşire). S-a concluzionat că moartea s-a datorat unei plăgi împuşcate craniene. Plecând de la descrierea fizică şi a obiectelor de îmbrăcăminte precum şi a leziunilor de violenţă descrise de martorii oculari, Radu Daniela-Oxana a identificat cadavrul sorei sale Sava Angela-Elena. Aceasta a fost împuşcată mortal în aceleaşi împrejurări ca şi surorile Caceu, în seara de 17 decembrie 1989, în apropierea Catedralei.

https://mariusmioc.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/procuror-militar-general-r-romeo-balan-identificarea-victimelor-incinerate-ale-revolutiei-timisorene/

We know that at least four people and probably more were wounded or killed with exploding DUM-DUM bullets at Podul Decebal on 17 December 1989, including Ţînţaru Teodor Octavian (http://asociatia17decembrie1989timisoara.wordpress.com/in-memoriam/ “Octavian suferise o operaţie laborioasă condusă de Dr. Lazăr Fulger. Din cauza gloanţelor explozive i-au fost distruse un rinichi, jumătate din ficat şi artera femurală. Nu a supravieţuit pentru că nu erau rezerve de sânge pentru transfuzie.”) and  Banciu Leontina  http://www.memorialulrevolutiei.ro/index.php?page=revista-on-line/memorial-4/masacrul-de-la-pod-i 

“Pe certificatul medical de constatate a decesului soţiei scrie: plagă împuşcată torace, glonţ exploziv. Deci a explodat în inimă glonţul, iar Procuratura Militară, după declaraţiile care au fost, care le-am dat eu, mi-a dat alt certificat care zice că a fost în coloana de manifestanţi de la Podul Decebal din Timişoara şi a fost împuşcată în seara din 17 Decembrie.”)

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/04/13/25-for-2014-25-things-you-should-know-about-the-romanian-revolution-on-the-25th-anniversary-of-the-fall-of-nicolae-ceausescus-communist-regime-5-timisoara-podul-decebal-evidence-suggests/

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Miriana Mişcov

13. Mişcov Miriana, 15 ani, elev, plagă membru inferior, 17.12.89, împuşcată în Calea Girocului;

http://www.memorialulrevolutiei.ro/index.php?page=revista-on-line/memorial-3/copiii-si-revolutia

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Maria(na) Mişcov recounts the tragic death of her daughter, Miriana (above), between approximately 14:50 and 22:05.  From 16:08 or so she talks about these military men definitely not being draftees because they were older, they had military vests, but no epaulets, and satchels or bags.

These “mystery men” are analyzed in the following posts, for example:

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/10/20/procesul-de-la-timisoara-viii-cine-au-fost-cei-necunoscuti-mai-in-varsta-care-au-tras-inainte-de-22-decembrie-1989/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/10/21/procesul-de-la-timisoara-ix-cine-au-fost-cei-necunoscuti-mai-in-varsta-care-au-tras-inainte-de-22-decembrie-1989-2/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/17/dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-si-procesul-de-la-timisoara-cateva-documente/

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Doru Teodor Maries despre decembrie 1989

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 26, 2014

(strictly personal views based on two decades of prior, individual research and publications)

http://www.tvrplus.ro/editie-memorial-90-270303

In the video available above, Doru Maries, President of the Asociatia 21 decembrie 1989, makes a series of extraordinary claims…

26:00-27:00 (min.) Maries claims the army executed a single battle plan from 17 December 1989 in Timisoara until sometime after the events of Targu Mures in mid-March 1990.

27:30-28:30 Maries claims the Army and the National Salvation Front bear all and singular responsibility for the bloodshed and death after the Ceausescus fled on 22 December 1989.  The goal he claims was to protect those responsible for the bloody repression prior to 22 December in Timisoara, Bucharest, and elsewhere, including generals Stanculescu and Chitac.

30:00-33:45 Maries claims that Army General Nicolae Militaru in his televised address on the afternoon of 22 December 1989 in which he called on all forces of repression, including the Army, to “stop the massacre” (Opriti macelul!), in reality was saying, “unleash the massacre” (“dati drumul la macel,” according to Maries…).  He repeats that the FSN and Army were responsible for all the bloodshed.

36:00-37:00 Maries claims Caramitru admits “we fired into our own people”

38:00-38:30 The replacement of Ceausescu with Iliescu, “a dictator with a communist,” per Securitate General Iulian Vlad, was a solution “imposed by Moscow,” according to Maries.  He refers again to the sovietici at 42:00.

42:45 Maries claims Stanculescu asked to go to Timisoara to order the repression because he had done so in 1956

43:00-44:00 Maries focuses on all the bullets expended by the Army per their Jurnal de Lupta

44:00-46:00 Maries claims this was not just a “crime against humanity” but a “crime against culture” because of the intentional destruction of books and the organized theft of paintings “from all museums along Calea Victoriei.”

It is appropriate to compare Maries’ comments in the above video with his claims below.

Nicusor Vlase, Doru Teodor Maries, si presa romaneasca din 1991

Marturii (intre 1990 si 1992) din zilele fierbinte in CC-ul (decembrie 1989): Doru Teodor Maries, Mircea Boaba, Sergiu Tanasescu, si Ernest Maftei

DORU MARIES (13 iunie 1991, interviu luat de Angela Bacescu, revista Europa):

“Am citit aproape toate interviurile luate de dumneavoastra.  Ati facut lumina prin interviul colectiv luat in penitenciarul din Timisoara prin care a fost demascata activitatea de tradare de tara a lui Laszlo Tokes.”

“Doamna Bacescu, dupa mirarea dumneavoastra ar rezulta ca Ceausescu ar fi avut dreptate:  Agenturile straine…”

“Eu n-am sa-l regret niciodata pe Ceausescu.  Singura calitate pe care i-o atribui este ca a fost UN MARE PATRIOT.  A tinut la granite.  Dar in schimb ne-a tinut in frig, foame, teroare, iar nevasta sa ne ura efectiv.”

“Eu sustin ca martor ocular ca [securistii] nu au tras.  Ba, mai mult, si-au lasat armele si munitia.  Acum inteleg de ce.  Probabil ca aveau informatii ca gogorita cu “teroristii” o sa fie pusa in spinarea lor.  Au fost bine informati.  Nu s-au implicat in conflict, nu au tras.  Altfel ar fi fost razboi civil, se omora frate cu frate.”

Doru Maries:  Atite timp eu am avut acces la balconul Universitatii, vazind ca televiziunea nu arata nimic despre atrocitatiile facute de unguri in ARDEAL (eu sint ardelean) unde s-a desfiintat invatamintul in limba romana si au fost izgoniti romanii, nu arata cum domnul ministru Sora facea reforma invatamintului in timpul trimestrului 1 al anului 1990 (nicaieri in lume nu se face reforma invatamintului in timpul unui trimestru scolar), la televiziune nu se arata ce se intimpla cu granitele, cu furtul si scoaterea din tara a avutiei nationale, era normal ca eu sa vorbesc impotriva televiziune si a executivului care nu se luau nici o masura si despre care acum vorbiti si dumneavoastra de la revista Europa si alte reviste.

TEODOR MARIES:

“In primul rind in timpul lui Ceausescu nu erau arestati.  Spun acestea pentru ca triplul spion Silviu Brucan, tradatorul neamului romanesc, Laszlo Tokes, si altii sint liberi, si ei sint liberi si acum, inseamna ca atunci tradau tara pusi de catre cei care acum nu-i trag la raspundere cind s-a confirmat vinovatia lor.  In timpul lui Ceausescu daca faceai greva foamei in trei zile venea procurorul militar si rezolva problema.  Dar asta nu-l scuza cu nimic pe Ceausescu.”

Angela Bacescu (ziarista revistei Europa):  Erai manipulat de cineva, de ce ai facut in nenumarate rinduri afrimatia la microfonul din piata [Universitatii, intre aprilie si iunie 1990] ca securitatea este 80 la suta cu voi?  La ce te refereai?

Doru Maries:  Ma bucur pentru aceasta intrebare.  Este afirmatia pentru care am fost mult controversat si boicotat, dar va explic acum.  Eu nu consider intreaga securitate romana niste criminali cum au fost etichetati in evenimentele din decembrie 1989.  Numarul celor vinovati este foarte restrins.

Angela Bacescu:  Dorule, mai sus mi-ai precizat ca tu ai fost dezinformat.  De unde aceasta informatie?

Doru Maries:  Aceasta informatie si imagine mi-am format-o inca din data de 22 decembrie 1989 dupa discutia cu generalul Iulian Vlad in sediul fostului Comitet Central.  Timpul a dovedit ca generalul Iulian Vlad nu si-a tinut in brate degeaba majoritate subalternilor.

Doru Maries:  Nu, va intrec doamna in curaj pe dumneavoastra care cu orice prilej amintiti ca Brates si Stark incitau in 22 decembrie  la omor deosebit de grav.

Angela Bacescu:  Si ce–nu este adevarat?

Doru Maries:  Ba da.  Dar va este frica sa nu ramina nepedepsiti.  Fiti linistita ca le vine rindul la fiecare.

Teodor Maries, martor pentru Generalul Iulian Vlad (Securitate)

 

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Ceausescu Reales la al XIV-lea Congres

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 25, 2014

Nicolae Ceausescu on the balcony of the PCR CC building, 24 November 1989, following his unanimous reelection as head of the Romanian Communist Party.

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view min. 1:51-4:07 here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8fHjMVBKco

Nicolae Ceausescu, 27 days later from the same balcony, 21 December 1989, taken aback by the commotion in the crowd as it began to turn against him.

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Mary Battiata, “Isoated Ceausescu is Reelected.  Defiant Romanian Leader Promises Communist ‘Golden Dream,” Washington Post, 25 November 1989.

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The Myths of a Revolution: “It is said that these enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara,…the water must be boiled before being consumed.” (Apa este otravita la Sibiu!)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 22, 2014

(purely personal views, based on two decades of prior research and publication)

Oh, how Romanians and Romanianists love to invoke or allude to the televised claim in December 1989 that the water had been posioned in Sibiu!

It precipitates laughter:  ah, the crude manipulation and naivete!

Predictably, this is a favorite of foreign sources on December 1989.

Romanian emigre Andrei Codrescu tells us in his November 1990 article in Harper’s (“Big Chills”) about the wild rumors of December 1989, that the water in Sibiu had allegedly been poisoned, but as he found out at his 25th anniversary high school reunion, he learned how all the rumors had been false: and the water in Sibiu, it was just fine!  http://alina_stefanescu.typepad.com/files/big-chills-my-high-school-reunion-in-romania-by-andrei-codrescu-1.pdf

John Feffer in Shock Waves (1992) invokes Codrescu’s claims that, “Contrary to earlier reports, there were no mass killings, no poisoned water in Sibiu, no terrorists–only the manufacturing of a revolutionary smokescreen to conceal pre-planned machinations that resulted in the creation of the National Salvation Front.” (p. 207)

http://books.google.hu/books?id=u2l7b9gg28YC&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207&dq=romania+ceausescu+1989+water+poisoned+sibiu&source=bl&ots=P0pzR5YrIr&sig=ljCRYy27Lzsvh_HSxETfvz8SAH0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=buxwVNScFvPesASo0IHoAw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBDhQ#v=onepage&q=romania%20ceausescu%201989%20water%20poisoned%20sibiu&f=false

Peter Siani-Davies quotes BBC journalist John Simpson, who had heard similar stories concerning poisoned water during the Iranian revolution of 1979, as noting that “certain ideas appeal forcibly  to the self-dramatizing mind of the revolutionary,” to which Siani-Davies adds:

“Indeed, in Romania the wild storytelling to a certain extent was just another consequence of the tumult of the revolution.  However, the imagery may have served another purpose….Now, through the tales of horror, they [Romanians] were able to place the evil forces of that [Ceausescu] regime so far beyond the bounds of ‘normal’ society that they were effectively able to distance themselves from the demons of the past.  There was also a sense in which it was necessary for the securitate to be so terrible:  How else could the years of mute suffering under an enfeebled old tyrant such as Ceausescu be explained and condoned?”   (Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, p. 160.)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Underlying all of these interpretations and explanations is the assumption that the water never was poisoned, that it was all a baseless rumor.

Surely, one assumes, the rumor has been run to ground…but the truth is, as with so many things about December 1989, it hasn’t…

report from Sibiu starts at approximately 2:20 (Tagesschau 27.12.1989)

In fact, there was a basis in reality for what Teodor Brates was saying on TV on the afternoon of 22 December 1989 as the following toxicology report by the Belgian Dr. Aubin Heyndrickx makes clear:

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Romania

On December 21, 1989, people drinking from water tank #4 in Sibiu experienced headache, visual disturbances, loss of consciousness, vomiting, etc.  These symptoms are all compatible with organophosphate poisoning.  The analysis of the water (by gas chromatography) and the determination of the cholinesterase activity of the blood was done in the University of Cluj.  The conclusion was that an organophosphate had been used.  Atropine sulfate and toxogonin were advised.

As soon as the symptoms appeared among the population, water tank #4 was shut off, rinsed, and cleaned.  The people received water from army trucks.

A few days later, there was a fight in Timisoara between the army and Securitate over the water tanks.  Poisoning was feared, as had occurred in Sibiu.  According to witnesses, the Securitate possesses “all possible chemical warfare agents.”

Toxicologist Aubin Heyndrickx supervised the chemical tests and interviewed the physicians at Central Hospital who treated the patients.  From the tests and from the very high dose of atropine required to produce a response, he concluded that the tank was poisoned with sarin or VX (Report on the Humanitarian Mission to Romania, December 23-29, 1989, Laboratoria voor Toxicologie Criminalistiek, State University of Ghent).

http://www.physiciansforcivildefense.org/cdp/jan90.htm

Indeed, one can watch a brief discussion of the incident with Dr. Heyndrickx beginning at approximately the 40 second mark from an ITN broadcast of 27 December 1989

http://www.itnsource.com/en/shotlist//ITN/1989/12/27/BSP271289002/?s=romania+sibiu+after+the+revolution+27+1989&st=0&pn=1

ROMANIA: SIBIU AFTER THE REVOLUTION:

}T27128901   ROMANIA: SIBIU AFTER THE REVOLUTION: United Nations medical
27.12.89     relief team arrives in Sibiu with medical supplies and blood
TX           to treat the people who were injured during the fight against
             Securitate (secret police). Toxicologists have found evidence
             that the security police poisoned the water supply. Injured
             Securitate are being treated in hospitals alongside the people
             they shot.
Clip Ref: BSP271289002 0

Clip 1of1

}T27128901   ROMANIA: SIBIU AFTER THE REVOLUTION: United Nations medical
27.12.89     relief team arrives in Sibiu with medical supplies and blood
TX           to treat the ...
  • Duration: 00:01:44 |
  • Timecode – In: 00:00:00:00  Out: 00:01:44:00 |
  • Copyright: ITN / 3rd Party Copyright

I have found evidence of discussion of Heyndrickx and his toxicology report in the Hungarian press of the time, but significantly, to date, I have been unable to find discussion of it in the Romanian press!

Nepszabadsag, 30 December 1989, p. 3 citing a UPI dispatch, apparently P. Green, “French team confirms poison in water supply,” UPI, 29 December 1989.


Nagyszeben – ideggáz

Bukarest, 1989. december 29. péntek (UPI) – A Ceausescu-párti terrorosztagok ideggázt vegyítettek a romániai Nagyszeben víztárólóiba a forradalom első napjaiban – ezt egy francia-belga orvoscsoport egyik tagja mondotta el a UPI hírügynökség tudósítójának. Auvin Heyndrickx szerint a szennyezett ivóvíztól öten súlyos mérgezést szenvedtek.Mikor a felkelés vezetői felfedezték a szabotázst, azonnal
leengedték a mérgezett vizet a tárolóból – mondta a belga orvos, aki
az ,,Orvosok – határok nélkül,, nevű francia segélyszervezet
tagjaként utazott a városba. A toxikológus Heyndrickx
megállapította, hogy a vízkészletbe két súlyosan mérgező, folyékony
állapotú ideggázvegyületet öntöttek még december 20-án. Az orvos
elmondta azt is, hogy az eddig ismert öt sérült agykárosodást is
szenvedett a mérgektől. A megbetegedések ilyen viszonylag alacsony
számát a belga szakértő annnak tulajdonítja, hogy a víztárolóban a
mérgező anyagok szerencsére rendkívüli mértékben felhígultak.+++1989. december 29., péntek 07:57

http://rendszervaltas.mti.hu/Pages/News.aspx?se=1&wo=nagyszeben&sd=19890101&ed=19901231&sp=0&ni=230929&ty=1

http://www.rsis.edu.sg/cens/publications/reports/RSIS_Food%20Defence_170209.pdf See citations in fn#59 page 10.

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It is thus with justification that in my dissertation in 1997 and in a reiteration of the dissertation views in 2007, I defended TVR personnel by pointing out the extent to which they went to intervene and inform the population when it was safe to drink the water again.  (for a glimpse into the eternal “appreciation” I received for pointing out the latter, see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/raport-final-cpadcr-iiccmer-si-revolutia-din-1989/)

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Excerpt from https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997-chapter-8-unsolving-december/

In their discussion of the Romanian transition, Linz and Stepan note the “[r]umors of deliberately poisoned water supplies, of 10,000, 60,000, even 100,000 dead, filled the news channels and streets” and conclude that “disinformation played an important role in the events.”[45] They have in mind, however, the idea that this disinformation was disseminated in order to help the Front seize power. This, of course, echoes the dominant view on this theme. As we saw in the preceding chapter, both Securitate and opposition sources maintain that disinformation pervaded the December events, and they uniformly attribute it to the Front and the Front’s supporters at television, and, in some cases, to foreign actors such as the Soviet Union.

Yet there has been very little effort to investigate the context in which particular rumors originated and the relationship between actual events and those rumors. Take, for example, this rumor alleging the poisoning of the water supply which is so frequently invoked by both domestic and foreigner observers. To what are they referring? Around 3 p.m. on the afternoon of 22 December–therefore approximately three hours after the Ceausescus had fled Bucharest–television commentator Teodor Brates began to issue periodic, sometimes frantic reports about fighting between the Army and the Securitate in the city of Sibiu and about rumors that the water supply had been poisoned by the Securitate. Here are some excerpts of what Brates said on television on that afternoon:

One moment, please…from Sibiu it has been communicated to us that the army no longer has ammunition and the Securitate troops continue to attack military units….We want to inform you that in Sibiu, military units are urgently requesting help…We are constantly receiving communications…of course, we do not have the possibility to verify their authenticity…but we ask for your attention…It is said that these enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara,…the water must be boiled before being consumed.[46]

[45].. Linz and Stepan, “The Effects of Totalitarianism-cum-Sultanism,” 345-346.

[46].. See the text of the transcript, Revolutia Romana in Direct (Bucharest: Televiziunea Romana, 1990), 47, 48, 51.

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2007:  Linked to the allegations of supposedly intentionally hyping the threat posed by the “terrorists” is the certitude with which many Romanians and Romanianists assert that TV personnel (especially Teodor Brates) intentionally spread rumors about the water being poisioned and the army running out of ammunition in Sibiu etc.–rumors that proved to be unsubstantiated. Here is what they likely remember:

“One moment, please…from Sibiu it has been communicated that the army no longer has ammunition and the Securitate troops continue to attack mili tary units….We want to inform you that in Sibiu, military units are urgently requesting help…We are constantly receiving communications…of course, we do not have the possibility to verify their authenticity…but we ask for your attention…It is said that the enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara…the water must be boiled before being consumed.” (from the transcript of 22 December 1989 in “Revolutia Romana in Direct” (Bucharest: 1990), pp. 47, 48, 51, quoted p. 324, Richard Andrew Hall, 1997, Ph.D. Dissertation, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania”)

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What they don’t remember is that Brates returned later to inform the audience a) when the fighting had ceased in Sibiu, b) when supplies of bottled water were on their way to Sibiu, and c) when the competent authorities verified that the water in Bucharest was safe to drink (“Revolutia Romana in Direct,” pp. 71, 72, 75, discussed p. 327 Hall, “Rewriting the Revolution”) This is there…in the transcript of what was said on Television…it is not a matter of a “difference of opinion” as the likes of Tismanenau and others in denial would have us believe. It is the old saw from American baseball: as the famous manager Casey Stengel used to say “You can look it up!” Once again: if your goal is “diversion,” intentional panic and manipulation, is it likely that you would return to the same subjects and say things designed to calm fears? Of course, not.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/raport-final-cpadcr-iiccmer-si-revolutia-din-1989/

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“November, The Last Ball”: Nicolae Ceausescu Addresses the 14th and Final Congress of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 21, 2014

http://jurnalul.ro/cultura/film/noiembrie-ultimul-bal-529095.html

You must unfortunately go directly to the site to watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXnOSeZ4rRs min. 3:34-5:56 Roumanie

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From the main library at Indiana University Bloomington.  In circa 1995/1996, they were about to throw out all the old issues of Flacara.

Miraculously, I turned out to be the only bidder asking to save them from the dumpster!

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CLAMOR IN THE EAST; RUMANIAN LEADER REFUSES CHANGES

Published: November 21, 1989

BUCHAREST, Rumania, Nov. 20— Using the occasion of a major Communist Party congress, President Nicolae Ceausescu made it clear today that as long as he is in charge, Rumania will not follow other East European countries along the paths toward democracy or capitalism.

”Some socialist countries have adopted measures with a view to increasing the wealth of some people and increasing the number of poor,” he said. ”This focus is not socialist, and we cannot admit it in any way.” Choreographed Response

In a five-hour speech constantly interrupted by delegates who jumped up, chanted slogans, applauded and sat down in unison, Mr. Ceausescu singled out no particular Eastern bloc government for criticism, prefering instead to emphasize each country’s right to pick its own political system.

But the 71-year-old President indirectly referred to widespread speculation about German reunification after the opening of the Berlin wall, noting that ”the existence of two Germanys should continue to be a reality of Europe today and tomorrow.”

He also raised eyebrows by calling for ”the condemnation and cancellation of all the accords concluded with Hitler’s Germany, practical conclusions being drawn to eliminate all the consequences of those accords and dictates.”

One consequence of the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1939 was that Soviet troops occupied the Rumanian territory of Bessarabia. Although Rumania’s Communist Government has never reclaimed what is now Soviet Moldavia, more than 90 percent of its population is still Rumanian, with nationalist sentiments one reason for recent unrest in the republic.

Most of Mr. Ceausescu’s speech today, though, was dedicated to extolling the virtues and listing the achievements of the Government since he became General Secretary of the Rumanian Communist Party in 1965.

Only on two occasions did he abandon his prepared text and raise his voice almost to a scream to insure that Rumanians were in no doubt about his opinion of those East European Governments that are veering away from Communism.

”What do we say to those who want to lead the way to capitalism?” he asked. ”What were they doing when they were in positions of responsibility? The answer is they used their jobs to block socialism and did not serve their people.” Evils of Capitalism

To underline his point, he said that the capitalist world was characterized today by unemployment, homelessness and growing illiteracy. ”Adding to all this are crime and drugs, which have become national problems in many countries,” he said.

While Mr. Ceausescu’s orthodox stance came as no surprise, the long-scheduled party congress has underlined his hard-line Government’s growing international isolation as well as its heightened sensitivity to foreign criticism .

With the exception of Yasir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, no prominent foreign dignataries were present at the opening of the party congress, and other East bloc Communist parties sent low-level delegations. Western ambassadors boycotted the occasion to protest Rumania’s human rights record.

In the days leading up to the congress, the Government also tightened its borders with Hungary, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union to the point of turning away ordinary tourists. A French journalist was expelled last Friday, numerous correspondents from Western newspapers were refused visas, and reporters arriving here Sunday saw all their papers mentioning Rumania seized by customs officers at Bucharest airport. Master in His Own House

At home, though, bolstered by a huge and notoriously effective security apparatus, Mr. Ceausescu still appears to be unchallenged, with dissidents numbering only a score of intellectuals and disillusioned party officials whose occasional protests are better known abroad than here.

Unlike other East European countries, Rumania also seems to be largely immune to pressure from the Soviet Union. Moscow has had no troops stationed here since 1957 and has viewed Mr. Ceausescu as something of a maverick ever since he criticized the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Further, even though living conditions have steadily deteriorated over the last 15 years, the Rumanian economy is less dependent on the outside world than that of, say, Poland because of Mr. Ceausescu’s decision to dedicate the 1980’s to paying off the country’s $11 billion debt.

”The repayment of the foreign debt is a great success of our state’s policy, and it puts an end to this country’s long dependence on foreign monopolies and financial capital,” he said today. ”For the first time in its history, Rumania no longer pays either tribute or interest.”

And although the Rumanian leader has lost much of the international influence that he enjoyed when he was viewed by the West as a critic of Moscow, Mr. Ceausescu urged the superpowers to move rapidly toward disarmament. Specifically, he called for the denuclearization of Europe by 1995 and the elimination of all nuclear weapons by the year 2000.

photo of President Nicolac Ceausescu (Agence France-Presse) (pg. A9)

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/21/world/clamor-in-the-east-rumanian-leader-refuses-changes.html

Articles from the Belgian online archives of Le Soir:

CIAO SESCU

n.c.

Page 1;8

Mardi 21 novembre 1989

CARTE BLANCHE

Ciao Sescu

par Paul HERMANT, Yves-Luc CONREUR,

Vincent MAGOS et Jean-Pierre JACQMIN (*)

LE PARTI communiste roumain tient, ces jours-ci, à Bucarest, son 14e congrès dans une Roumanie cadenassée, affamée, maltraitée. Bucarest est sous état de siège, les plus célèbres dissidents poursuivent des grèves de la faim, les frontières sont filtrées.

N’y a-t-il rien de nouveau à l’est de l’Est? Ces derniers jours, cinq partis clandestins ont fait leur apparition. Ils ne pèsent pas tous du même poids. Mais l’arrivée d’un Front réformiste du parti communiste roumain ou d’un Front du salut national appelant de leurs voeux la non-réélection de Nicolae Ceausescu évoque quelque espoir. Quelque chose bougerait à l’intérieur même du parti. Hélas, rien de comparable avec les forums, les syndicats libres, les mouvements d’opposition qui ont ébranlé les pays voisins.

Le 14e congrès ouvre le champ des supputations. De la démission du Président à sa réélection jusqu’au-boutiste, de la constitution d’un axe dur «Roumanie – Chine – Corée du Nord» à la sortie de la Roumanie de son alliance militaire, de la jacquerie aux grèves en cascade, on peut tout imaginer.

La Roumanie sera-t-elle le seul des pays européens où le changement paiera le prix du sang? Nous pouvons le craindre. Car, à la fin, la question est bien celle-ci: Comment fait-on pour tuer un cadavre? Ceausescu et son stalinisme sont morts et seul le Génie des Carpates l’ignore. Mais les Roumains savent qu’ils vivent désormais à l’heure folle des morts-vivants.

Le recours à l’adjectif «fou», parlant de Ceausescu, n’est d’ailleurs pas raisonnable. Il n’y a pas de meilleure justification politique à une non-intervention que de décréter folle telle ou telle situation. Ce qui se passe au Liban est devenu fou: nous n’avons donc plus à nous en soucier. Celui qui tient le pouvoir en Roumanie est fou: nous n’avons donc aucune prise. Par contre, ce qui vient de se passer en RDA, en Pologne ou en Bulgarie, n’a pas été décrété fou mais simplement inimaginable.

La sémantique annonce une difficulté politique. Elle la souligne. Mais si l’institution préfère arpenter des chemins balisés, la société civile, elle, n’en a cure. Elle n’aime rien tant que le bras de fer avec l’impossible.

Etait-il raisonnable de penser, il y a neuf mois à peine, que deux mille deux cents communes d’une dizaine de pays européens – soit environ trente millions d’individus – se mobiliseraient pour faire pièce au «plan de systématisation» rural qui menace la moitié des villages roumains? Et pourtant, cela s’est passé, cela se passe, cela se passera encore tant que les autorités roumaines n’auront pas renoncé explicitement à leurs projets. Aujourd’hui, la Norvège a rejoint l’Opération, demain la Pologne (oui) et l’Italie feront de même. Ce que pense la société civile, c’est que Rome n’est plus dans Rome et qu’il est nécessaire que le devoir d’ingérence devienne un réflexe démocratique.

Précisément, pour ce qui concerne l’action humanitaire entamée avec l’opération «Villages roumains», nous pouvons avoir certains apaisements. Ce mouvement de pression international conjugué à d’évidentes difficultés économiques réussit à freiner considérablement le processus de systématisation.

Un très récent rapport de mission de l’Unesco soulignait tout ce qu’il y a encore d’alarmant dans la situation du patrimoine roumain. Mais nous pouvions y lire aussi que ce n’est «nullement s’ingérer dans les décisions d’un Etat souverain que des particuliers et des institutions puissent se soucier du sort d’un patrimoine culturel partie intégrante du patrimoine universel». La société civile avait donc doublé l’institutionnel. Mais après tout, n’est-ce pas son rôle de promouvoir toutes les notions neuves qui, comme le devoir d’ingérence, alimenteront le débat politique?

Elle sera aussi le lieu, sans doute, où l’on discutera, dans des forums nouveau genre, de tous ces changements qui affectent le cours de l’histoire et nous amènent à repenser, chez nous aussi, le fonctionnement de nos démocraties.

Suite en huitième page.

(*) Responsables, en Belgique, de l’opération «Villages roumains».

Ciao Sescu

Voir début en première page.

Elle se doit, toutes affaires cessantes, de devancer les frileux d’une démocratie à créer, les effrayés du changement, qui voudraient donner un répit à la barbarie en Roumanie prétextant que déjà «tout va trop vite» partout ailleurs et que les questions posées par la situation à l’Est sont déjà trop nombreuses.

Et il est temps, pour permettre à la Roumanie de prendre sa place dans l’espace démocratique, que les actions politiques et humanitaires se conjuguent. C’est même une question d’urgence. «La clémence accordée à la tyrannie, disait Saint-Just, est une forme de barbarie.»

PAUL HERMANT,

YVES-LUC CONREUR,

VINCENT MAGOS,

et JEAN-PIERRE JACQMIN.

http://archives.lesoir.be/ciao-sescu_t-19891121-Z024Z7.html?action=nav&nav=1&pos=7&all=520&queryand=front+du+salut+national&firstHit=0&by=10&when=-1&sort=dateasc&all=520

DOINA CORNEA: L’ESPOIR RENAIT

CONRAADS,DANIEL

Page 5

Samedi 14 octobre 1989

Doïna Cornea: l’espoir renaît

Ariadna Combes, la fille de Doïna Cornea, effectue actuellement un bref séjour en Belgique. Vendredi, elle a participé à une soirée «Roumanie», à Fléron, dans la banlieue liégeoise, et, ce samedi, elle assiste, à Floreffe, à une journée de soutien à l’opération «Villages roumains». La jeune femme (qui vit en France depuis 1976, où elle est devenue journaliste) en a profité pour donner les dernières nouvelles qu’elle a reçues de sa mère dont l’opposition publique et opiniâtre qu’elle mène depuis huit ans contre le régime de Ceausescu lui vaut d’être considérée aujourd’hui comme la figure emblématique de la dissidence roumaine.

Les dernières nouvelles qu’Ariadna Combes a reçues de sa mère (elles datent du mois d’août, mais ne sont arrivées qu’en septembre en Occident) sont plutôt encourageantes. Elle permettent, en effet, de penser que le sort que doit subir Doïna Cornea est quelque peu moins pénible. La pression de l’opinion publique internationale et les diverses tentatives émanant de journalistes et de diplomates occidentaux pour tenter – en vain – de rencontrer la dissidente portent leurs fruits. La situation de celle que les Roumains ont surnommé la «Dame de Cluj» s’est très légèrement améliorée, même si elle reste bien peu enviable. Il semble, en effet, qu’elle demeure toujours en état d’arrestation à son domicile.

Une prison ambulante

L’accès de la rue où habite ma mère reste toujours interdit aux étrangers, mais on l’autorise à se déplacer plus souvent, notamment pour acheter les 600 grammes de pain auxquels elle a droit par semaine. Ses déplacements s’effectuent cependant sous une stricte surveillance. Chaque fois qu’elle sort pour faire ses emplettes, elle est escortée par une quarantaine d’agents de la Securitate qui épient ses moindres gestes et qui l’empêche de communiquer avec les autres habitants de la ville. Elle est donc, en quelque sorte, contrainte de vivre dans une prison ambulante, s’inquiète Ariadna, qui ajoute que d’autres opposants à la dictature du «conducator» sont astreints à un traitement analogue. En Roumanie, une quarantaine de personnes subissent une situation identique. Elle sont soumises en permanence à une surveillance intensive. Leur téléphone a été coupé et leur courrier n’est plus distribué, explique Ariadna Combes.

Fissures au sein du PC

Le 20 novembre se tiendra le quatorzième congrès du PC roumain. A en croire la fille de Doïna Cornea, ce parti ne constitue peut-être plus un bloc monolithique soutenant le génie des Carpates sans aucune restriction. Un document émanant d’un «Front de salut national» composé de membres du comité central du PC roumain est parvenu en Occident voici une quinzaine de jours. Ce front (NDLR: dont on ignore encore à l’heure actuelle quelle peut être son importance numérique au sein du parti communiste) demande purement et simplement la démission de Ceausescu. Il estime, en effet, que le «conducator» ne dispose plus de toutes ses facultés intellectuelles, révèle Ariadna Combes qui se dit persuadée que la fièvre démocratique qui touche plusieurs autres pays de l’Est pourrait être contagieuse pour la Roumanie. Elle estime notamment qu’une éventuelle destitution de Honecker en RDA pourrait ne pas être sans répercussions sur l’évolution du régime stalinien toujours en place à Bucarest.

Propos recueillis par

DANIEL CONRAADS.

http://archives.lesoir.be/doina-cornea-l-espoir-renait_t-19891014-Z021YW.html?queryand=front+du+salut+national&firstHit=0&by=10&when=-1&sort=dateasc&pos=5&all=520&nav=1

Amnesty accuse

AFP; ASSOCIATED PRESS

Page 5

Lundi 18 septembre 1989

Amnesty accuse: Bucarest torture

les réfugiés roumains «récupérés»

Des réfugiés roumains arrêtés alors qu’ils tentaient de franchir illégalement la frontière ont été maltraités et torturés par les autorités roumaines, provoquant la mort d’au moins une personne, selon un rapport du groupe de coordination pour la Roumanie de l’organisation Amnesty International parvenu à Vienne.

Certains Roumains, qui ont illégalement franchi la frontière avec la Hongrie, ont été renvoyés dans leur pays par les autorités hongroises, comme Adrian Staicu et Emilia Popescu, 34 ans tous les deux et originaires de Bucarest. Ils ont été livrés le 15 mai 1988 aux autorités roumaines et sévèrement battus alors qu’ils attendaient leur procès dans la prison d’Oradea, au nord-est de la Roumanie. Ils ont été condamnés à un an et quatre mois d’emprisonnement.

Un cas plus récent s’est produit le 14 mars 1989: un groupe de sept jeunes Roumains d’origine hongroise a été arrêté près de la rivière de Crasna. Une fausse frontière simulée par des fils de fer à une certaine distance de la vraie frontière avait fait croire à ce groupe qu’il se trouvait sur le sol hongrois. Un membre du groupe a été déchiqueté par le chien d’un garde-frontière, un autre a été frappé avec la crosse d’un fusil, mais le rapport ne précise pas les circonstances exactes de la mort du réfugié dont elle fait état.

Cette semaine enfin, alors que le régime de Nicolae Ceausescu attaque avec une virulence chaque jour plus forte les expériences réformistes en cours à Varsovie et à Budapest, un groupe d’une trentaine de touristes polonais a été sérieusement malmené et expulsé par des gardes-frontières roumains.

Le groupe de coordination pour la Roumanie a indiqué que, selon des chiffres officiels hongrois, trois mille Roumains se sont réfugiés en Hongrie au cours du premier semestre 1989. Et, pour la même période, ils étaient environ six mille à passer illégalement la frontière avec la Yougoslavie. On ignore toutefois combien de Roumains ont été arrêtés alors qu’ils tentaient de quitter illégalement leur pays. Seule certitude: le délit de fuite illégale est sanctionné d’une peine de prison de 6 mois à 3 ans.

Fronde dans le parti?

Par ailleurs, selon la section roumaine de l’Association internationale pour la défense des droits de l’homme, un mouvement né au sein même du parti communiste roumain demanderait désormais la destitution du président Nicolae Ceausescu. Dans une lettre adressée au responsable de l’organisation, le Dr Preda Mihailescu, il est en effet fait état d’un «appel parvenu récemment à l’Ouest et qui s’adresse aux participants du XIVe congrès du Parti qui aura lieu à Bucarest en novembre».

Selon le Dr Mihailescu, «il y a des raisons sérieuses de soupçonner que le groupement qui lance cet appel et qui se donne le nom de «Front de Salut National» émane du sein même du Parti.

«Faisant allusion à la situation catastrophique du pays et s’inquiétant pour le futur qui peut attendre la Roumanie, les signataires de l’appel demandent aux participants au Congrès de devenir pour une fois ce qu’ils sont de par leurs attributions mais qu’ils n’ont jamais été en réalité: de vrais représentants des intérêts du peuple», poursuit la lettre.

L’appel énumère ensuite les maux qui, selon ses auteurs, accablent la Roumanie et dénonce «le régime incompétent et mégalomane» de Ceausescu, le «dé-sastre de la vie sociale, économique et politique du pays», le «culte de la personnalité, dégoûtant et très nocif, qui dépasse même celui de Staline», l’élimination des cadres compétents, la mainmise du président Ceausescu et de son épouse sur tous les secteurs de l’économie, de l’industrie, de la politique, de l’enseignement, de la science, de l’urbanisme, de la santé publique «et même du sport». Il stigmatise également «les discriminations nationales qui résultent de la politique d’homogénéisation forcée de la population», «l’arrogance de la politique internationale» et «la campagne d’hostilité à l’égard de la Hongrie». (D’après AFP, AP.)

http://archives.lesoir.be/amnesty-accuse_t-19890918-Z01ZL8.html?action=nav&nav=1&pos=3&all=520&queryand=front+du+salut+national&firstHit=0&by=10&when=-1&sort=dateasc&all=520

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Braila in zilele revolutiei (6)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 20, 2014

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Locotenent colonel Viorel Lazar:  Tot in noaptea de 23/24 decembrie a fost ucis si maiorul Milea Dumitru.  Se spune ca nu s-a supus soamtiei de a cobori din autoturismul cu care venise la Consiliu fara arma.  E adevarat, dar glontele n-a pornit din Consiliu, ci din directia Casei Tineretului sau de undeva de pe strada care separa Casa Tineretului de Consiliu.  Am facut a doua zi, pe lumina, reconstituirea.  Glontul, unul singur, a pornit dintr-o arma de profesionist, dotata probabil cu dispozitiv de ochire pe timp de noapte.  A lovit drept in inima.  A fost o arma de calibru mic, pentru ca orificile de intrare si iesire erau mia mici decit cele produse de armamentul obisnuit, calibrul 7,62 mm, aflat in dotarea noastra.

Marcela Pirlog:  “In perioada evenimentelor din decembrie ’89 am fost asistenta instrumentist la sectia chirurgie a Spitalului de urgenta Braila.  Noptile de 23/24 si 24/25 au fost de groaza.  Chirugrii au lucrat aproape 24 de ore din 24, pentru salvarea ranitilor.  Ceea ce m-a frapat este ca plagile aveau un aspect infiorator.  Aproape de la nici un pacient n-am scos gloante intregi, ci gloante inflorite la partea de virf.  La 10-15 cm de acestea, se gaseau schije din acelasi metal, care se vedeau pe ecran ca niste punctisoare cit babul de griu.  Mare parte din ? proiectile ciudate le-am spalat de singe si am ? in plicuri in dulapurile noastre.  Pe 27 sau 28 decembrie s-au prezentat trei persoane la spital, care le-au luat pentru cercetari. 

(N.A. Dupa aprecierile specialistilor au fost gloante dum-dum folosite si in Bucuresti si in alte orase.  Unele persoane ale caror nume nu le pot dezvalui deocamdata, sustin ca asemenea gen de munitii se afla in dotarea unor agenti straini.  Ce ne pot spune fostele organe de contrainformatii in acest sens?)

 

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Lt. Col. Fanica VOINEA ENE, “Braila in zilele revolutiei (6),” Libertatea (Braila), 7 noiembrie 1991, p. 1; p. 4.

Articole anterioare din serialul Braila in zilele revolutiei:

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/11/06/braila-in-zilele-revolutiei-5/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/11/05/braila-in-zilele-revolutiei-iv/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/10/22/braila-in-zilele-revolutiei-iii/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/10/20/braila-in-zilele-revolutiei-ii/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/10/18/braila-in-zilele-revolutiei-i/

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Video si Articole despre Revolutia din decembrie la Brasov

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 16, 2014

(purely personal views as always, based on two decades of prior research and publication)

În revolutia din Brasov 22/23 Decembrie 1989, pe lângà cei ràpusi de gloante cu dublà explozie, a fost întreruptà si viata tânàrului Vasile Nedelcu, Sportiv de performantà, Student la a doua Facultate, Academia de Stiinte Economice Bucuresti. 

Ilieanna NedelcouIlieanna Nedelcou   BRASOV 22/23 Decembrie 1989

The late journalist Maria Petrascu also knew:

Acum 20 de ani, în 21 Decembrie, `89, braşovenii, câteva sute, au ieşit în stradă pentru că nu mai voiau comunism. În 22 Decembrie au prins curaj mult mai mulţi, zeci de mii, şi li s-au alăturat. Puterea a reacţionat, fără excepţie, în forţă, punând la “treabă” tot aparatul de represiune : activul PCR, Securitatea, Armata. La  Timişoara, şi apoi la Bucureşti, se “contabilizau” deja  morţi: împuşcaţi sau călcaţi de tab-uri. La Braşov, măcelul a început în noaptea de 22 spre 23 Decembrie. După ce cuplul dictatorial al Ceauşeştilor fugise! Au fost peste 300 de morţi! Statisticile oficiale consemnează însă doar vreo 70 de victime la Braşov… Bărbaţi şi femei în putere, vârstnici, tineri şi tinere, adolescenţi şi chiar copii au fost asasinaţi mişeleşte. Cu gloanţe normale, cu gloanţe cu cap vidia, cu gloanţe explozive. Mulţi au fost împuşcaţi in frunte, cu puşti cu lunetă. Unora, nu puţini, proiectilele criminale le-au sfârtecat picioarele şi abdomenele. Alte victime au supravieţuit şi au murit mai tîrziu iar cei care mai trăiesc astăzi sunt mutilati pe viaţă. Familiile şi-au recuperat morţii sau au ajuns la răniţii lor cu greu. Morgile erau încuiate! Spitalele inaccesibile! Asasinii, adică teroriştii, nu de afară, inventaţi,  ci autohtoni, dispăruseră! Iliescu şi  FSN-ul său au ieşit public cu MAREA MINCIUNĂ:  “ Românii s-au împuşcat între ei, ca proştii !”.  De atunci au trecut 20 de ani. Iar MAREA MINCIUNĂ s- a perpetuat.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2009/12/21/maria-petrascu-brasov-ireconciliere-cu-eroii-din-decembrie-89/

Vedeti si ascultati secventa 1:57 – 3:20–filmat pe 23 ianuarie 1990–in care vorbeste un medic brasovean despre cum au murit patru din sase soldati, impuscati cu gloante penetrante (cu alte cuvinte se pare:  gloante vidia)

Fullscreen capture 10182009 112904 AM

Fullscreen capture 10182009 113003 AM

un film de Maria Petrascu, Brasov partea 7-a Intervalul 1:58-3:17 gloante penetrante vidia

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2009/10/08/brasov-gloante-atipice-vidia-si-revolutia-romana-din-decembrie-1989/

“Misterele revolutiei, la Brasov. Dupa nopti de groaza si tortura, toti teroristii sint liberi.” Adrian Socaciu, Cuvintul, nr. 1-2 ianuarie 1991

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/02/misterele-revolutiei-la-brasov-dupa-nopti-de-groaza-si-tortura-toti-teroristii-sint-liberi-adrian-socaciu-cuvintul-nr-1-2-ianuarie-1991/

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Afirmatia ca in decembrie 1989 brasovenii ar fi tras unii in altii este atribuita de numerosi localnici generalului Florea:  se pare ca, intre timp, a intrat in folclorul local.  Dovedeste un umor macabru, in ton cu lozinca scandata prin Piata Universitatii:  21-22, noi am tras in noi!.  In realitate, afirmatia ar vrea sa insemne, de fapt, ca in orasul de sub Timpa n-au existat teroristi.  Cei 68 (cifra oficiala) sau peste o suta de morti, militari si civili, in majoritatea tineri, ar fi victima confuzilor sau a imprecisiei coordonari a operatiunilor.  Fireste, in asemena momente sint posibile si astfel de nefericite greseli.  S-au petrecut, si la Brasov, si prin alte parti.  Dar brasovenii nu se indoiesc ca, in orasul lor, cei pe care ne-am obisnuit sa-i numim teroristi au existat, au actionat dupa un plan dinainte pus la punct, au actionat in locuri bine alese, cu vizibilitate spre zonele cheie ale orasului.  Au existat acele arme speciale pe care unii le-au vazut, iar altii pastreaza si acum gloante inexistente in dotarea armatei romane, de calibru special, cu cap vidia sau exploziv.  In rindurile care urmeaza, vom incerca sa prezentam marturii ale unor localnici implicati in evenimente.  In jur de doua sute de persoane suspecte, unele capturate in lupta, cu arma asupra lor, au fost predate la fostul Consilu Judetean, la Politie, la Comisariat, la unele unitatii militare.  Nici macar unul nu a ajuns in fata instantei–sau daca totusi vor fi fost cazuri, au fost eliberati din lipsa de probe.  In Brasov, nimeni n-a fost condamnat pentru moartea atitor tineri si schilodirea altora.  Unii din cei contactati se tem inca, nu-s siguri ca fosta securitate a disparut cu adevarat….

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Intre orele 3,30-4,30, intr-un moment in care amindoi, Gheorghe Iosif si soldatul, aveau sub observatie fereastra, in cadrul aceasta au aparut doua miini, una purtind o arma care, in slaba lumina ce venea de-afara, parea scurta dar cu doua tevi, sau cu un tub de evacuare a gazelor, plasat lateral.  Apoi s-au ivit capul individului si umerii; era imbracat in negru si se pregatea sa sara inauntru.  Cum era clar ca nu-i militar si n-avea de ce sa intre cineva pe acolo in cladire, in vreme ce afara tirul era in toi, soldatul a tras doua focuri in plin, in fata individului….

Gloante explozive sau de calibru special

Cornel Vasile Macrinean, care a condus impreuna cu un prieten operatiunile la o baricada pe strada Lunga, isi aminteste si el cite ceva din acele zile.  Intii, ca primii civili care au sosit la Comisariatul Militar pentru a solicita arme–toti aveau stagiul militar indeplinit–au primit ZB-uri, arme depasite inca de pe vremea celui de-al doilea razboi mondial.  Aceasta se petrecea in noaptea de 22-23 decembrie, pe la ora 4,00.  Mai tirziu, dupa ora 6,00, la baricada au aparut adolescenti, unii sub 18 ani, cu arme automate AKM.

In noaptea urmatoare, pe la ora 1,00-1,30 pe strada Lunga trecea o masina cu numar de Italia.  Inauntru, un domn mai in virsta, cu cei doi fii ai sai.  Aflat pe bancheta din spate, tatal a fost lovit de un glont care a ricosat in omoplat, sfisiindu-i carnea pina in dreptul gulerului, apoi s-a oprit in tavanul masinii. D-l Macrinean a cercetat glontul:  calibrul curent 7,62, dar mai scurt si “inflorit” la virf.  Dupa aspectul ranii si al glontului, domnia sa e de parere ca acesta a fost exploziv:  unul normal gaureste, nu sfisie, iar la ciocnirea cu un corp dur (tavanul masinii) se tur*este (?) sau se indoaie, nu plezneste in *vantai (?).  Spre norocul italianului, e de parere dl. Macrinean, glontul c-a explodat la contactul cu parbrizul.  Altfel, putin probabil ca acela sa fi scapat cu o simpla rana.

Pe 24 decembrie, in jurul prinzului (orele 12.00-13.00), dl Macrineanu se afla la Comisariat, dupa munitie.  A asistat la sosirea a patru teroristi, romani (unul injura cit se poate de neaos), tineri, in jur de 18-19 ani, imbracat in civil, cu caciuli de schi prinsi, dupa cum declarau militarii care i-au adus, la Fabrica de Piine, dupa lupte, cu arme asupra lor.

Tot pe 24, dar seara, domnia sa a condus un grup de militari la o locuinta de pe strada Horea, nr. 65, asupra careia s-a tras.  Au gasit in ferestre gauri mici, iar in zid gloantele:  subtiri, cam de grosimea unui creion, de culoarea aluminiului, usoare si scurte.  Pe cind isi satisfacea stagiul militar, dl. Macrineanu a facut trageri cam cu toate armele din dotarea infanteriei.  Nu-si aminteste sa fi vazut ceva care sa semene, macar, cu acele gloante.

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In aceeasi declaratie e consemnat momentul cind, de la Consilul Judetean, cinci suspecti (trei arabi si doi romani) au fost expediati spre Politie, unde n-au ajuns.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/09/misterele-revolutiei-la-brasov-au-ars-dosarele-procuraturii-despre-evenimentele-din-decembrie-romulus-nicolae-cuvintul-nr-32-august-1991/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/06/misterele-revolutiei-la-brasov-dupa-ce-au-tras-teroristii-au-abandonat-armele-adrian-socaciu-nr-4-ianuarie-1991/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/02/misterele-revolutiei-la-brasov-dupa-nopti-de-groaza-si-tortura-toti-teroristii-sint-liberi-adrian-socaciu-cuvintul-nr-1-2-ianuarie-1991/

http://www.mytex.ro/stiri-brasov/brasov-conducatorii-erau-de-cealalta-parte-a-baricadei-la-revolutie_337336.php

„Sunt foarte mulţi, chiar şi printre conducătorii ţării, care susţin că în 1989 în România nu a fost o Revoluţie îndreptată împotriva unui regim politic, ci doar o revoltă pornită nemulţumirile legate de nivelul de trai, ba chiar că ar fi fost o lovitură de stat. Probabil că ei erau atunci de cealaltă parte a baricadei!”, a acuzat Vasile Mardare, vicepreşedintele ALRUE Braşov.

200 de morţi, nici un vinovat

„Acum 23 de ani, pe 23 decembrie, chiar pe aceste locuri (Cimitirul Eroilor-Martiri, cuprins între Poştă, Prefectură, Teatru, dar şi porţiunea dintre Prefectură şi Modarom, Liceul Unirea – n.red) revoluţionarii au fost prinşi în mijlocul unui foc încrucişat. Atunci s-au înregistrat cei mai mulţi morţi şi răniţi. Vrem să spunem cu tărie că în 1989 în România a avut loc o revoluţie anticomunistă, împotriva dictaturii ceuşiste, pe care cei care îi erau fideli lui Ceauşescu au sperat s-o oprească, înăbuşind-o în sânge. S-a tras cu gloanţe dum-dum, care explodau după ce pătrundeau în corp, gloanţe interzise şi în război. La Braşov, din statisticile oficiale rezultă că au murit 87 de persoane, dar în mod real numărul morţilor de la Braşov se ridică la circa 200. Şi totuşi, nici un vinovat“, a mai spus Mardare.

The Dutch Nurse, Sister Roza, thinks Mr. Beres, who was shot in the foot on the night of 22 December 1989 in Brasov, was hit by a hollow-nosed dum dum bullet because of the nature of the wound (Harvey Morris, “When the workers of Romania said no,” The Independent (London), 13 January 1990)

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/10/01/the-dutch-nurse-sister-roza-thinks-mr-beres-who-was-shot-in-the-foot-on-the-night-of-22-december-1989-in-brasov-was-hit-by-a-hollow-nosed-dum-dum-bullet-because-of-the-nature-of-the-wound-harvey/

Cine cunoaşte derularea evenimentelor din decembrie 1989 din centrul Braşovului, mai ţine minte cum înregistrau securiştii din clădirea Modarom şi cum în mulţime se aflau securişti, la fel ca în noiembrie 1987.
MODAROM SI HOTEL CAPITOL

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/05/23/brasov-decembrie-1989-zona-modarom-hotel-capitol-in-decembrie-1989/

Brasov.

Cazul Cătălin Grigore Haidău

G.H.: Nu. Nici la această oră noi nu ştim unde a murit Cătălin. Ce ştim este doar că medicul a declarat că fiul nostru a fost împuşcat în cap cu glonţ dum-dum care la intrare a pătruns printr-un orificiu mic în tâmplă iar la ieşire a produs o gaură atât de mare că am fost nevoiţi să-l bandajăm cu tifon pentru a nu-i ieşi creierii prin ţeastă. În schimb asupra morţii lui Cătălin ni s-au servit mai multe variante. Că l-a împuşcat un coleg, atunci unde este colegul? Că a fost împuşcat pentru că nu a respectat un ordin, ce ordin? Că a fost împuşcat la consiliul popular pentru că plutonul lui a fost scos, din data de 20 până pe 23, pentru a păzi Consiliul Judeţean Braşov de elemente care ar fi vrut să destabilizeze ţara, alături de ei erau şi militarii de la vânătorii de munte. O variantă este că, pe data de 22, când a fugit Ceauşescu, Cătălin şi alţi doi colegi au ieşit să arboreze drapelul românesc, acela decupat, moment în care din Modarom s-a tras asupra lor şi au fost împuşcaţi mortal. Ultima variantă în ceea ce priveşte locul în care a fost împuşcat Cătălin a fost aceea că ar fi fost împuşcat în şcoală.

Adriana PERŞA
adriana.persa@graiu-gorjului.ro

http://www.graiu-gorjului.ro/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=719%3Agrigore-haidu-nu-mai-am-ateptri-dar-vreau-s-cred-c-fiul-meu-i-cei-asemenea-lui-nu-au-murit-in-van&Itemid=37

Cazul Dorin Gheorghe Mitroi

În tot acest timp, la mormintele eroilor au vegheat rudele lor. „Am fost alături de el pe 22 decembrie. Eram amândoi la Modarom, când deodată a dispărut. S-a tras de sus, de pe clădire. Când l-am găsit era mort. A fost împuşcat cu gloanţe explozive, care I-au ciopârţit corpul. A lăsat în urmă o soţie îndurerată şi o fetiţă care avea numai opt luni. A murit în floarea vârstei, avea numai 25 de ani. Era un tânăr dornic de libertate, dornic de o viaţă mai bună. De atunci, la noi sărbătorile vin cu durere şi suspine, pentru că ne plângem morţii” a mărturisit Victor Zoica, un pensionar venit cu familia la mormântul eroului Dorin Gheorghe Mitroi, ginerele acestuia.

http://www.bzb.ro/html/print.php?id_stire=11051

De cealaltă parte, rămân semnele de întrebare ale revoluţionarilor, legate de muniţia folosită şi de numărul mare de victime împuşcate cu precizie în cap. „Civilii primeau arme de proastă calitate, însă în morga spitalului Judeţean au fost găsite persoane ucise cu gloanţe Dum-Dum, care nu au fost distribuite revoluţionarilor”, a povestit Vasile Mardare.De altfel, el a reamintit şi de episodul petrecut la sfârşitul lunii decembrie, când în spatele actualului Grup Şcolar Industrial „Astra”, se pare că ar fi fost rănit un terorist. „Acolo am găsit urme de sânge, dar persoana împuşcată de noi a dispărut”, a mai spus acesta.

Radu COLŢEA

La 20 de ani de la Revoluţia din Decembrie 1989, braşovenii şi-au comemorat, marţi, eroii căzuţi începînd cu noaptea de 22/23 decembrie. Comemorarea a avut loc în Cimitirul Eroilor din faţa Prefecturii, oficialităţile, asociaţiile de revoluţionari şi partidele politice depunînd coroane de flori. Un sobor de preoţi militari a săvîrşit slujba de pomenire a eroilor. „Din păcate, nu avem o imagine clară a ceea ce s-a întîmplat în timpul Revoluţiei. Este de datoria noastră să rememorăm evenimentele din DEcembrie 1989, faptele eroilor căzuţi în acele zile nu trebuie să se piardă în ceaţa istoriei. În faţa Eroilor ne plecăm capetele şi pentru ei trebuie să dăm dovadă că sacrificiul lor nu a fost inutil“, a spus la coemmorare, prefectul Ioan Gonţea. Urmaşii eroilor căzuţi în decembrie ’89, îşi plîng şi azi morţii şi nu pot uita faptul că încă nu au aflat cine le-a ucis copiii, părinţii sau fraţii. Dacă în 20 de ani nu am aflat ce s-a întîmplat, nici nu mai sper ca cineva să-mi spună cine mi-a ucis soţul în 23 decembrie, el fiind unul dintre cei împuşcaţi cu gloanţe explozive. Am avut şansa să-l mai prind în viaţă, dar după zece zile s-a stins, iar eu, împreună cu cei doi copiii ai noştri am rămas să-l plîngem. Sper din tot sufletul că sacrificiul lui nu a fost inutil“, a spus soţia unuia dintre eroii căzuţi pentru victoria Revoluţiei.

de: H.O.

http://www.monitorulexpres.ro/?mod=ultima_ora&p=ultora_local&a=citeste&s_id=84036

http://www.monitorulexpres.ro/?mod=monitorulexpres&a=citeste&p=actualitate&s_id=84062

Procuratura Militara si Brasov…

“Misterele revolutiei, la Brasov. Au ars dosarele procuraturii despre evenimentele din decembrie.” Romulus Nicolae, Cuvintul nr. 32 august 1991

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In luna iunie, anul trecut [1990], s-a deplasat la Brasov domnul general Nicolae Constantin Spiroiu insotit de cinci ofiteri.  Au contactat grupul “Opinia” si alte persoane pentru a alfa cine ancheteaza evenimentele din decembrie 1989.  La sediul grupului “Opinia” domnul general Spiroiu a discutat mai bine de cinci ore cu Adrian Moruzi, Viorel Boeru, Viorel Nitescu, Alexandru Popescu si Katarina Peter.

Pe 14 iunie 1990 seara, generalul Spiroiu l-a sunat pe Adrian Moruzi interesindu-se ce se intimpla la Brasov.  S-a procedat la o deshumare a mortilor din decembrie 1989.  Totul s-a facut cu participarea Procuraturii care a prelevat gloantele ucigase.  S-au gasit in special gloante de calibrul 5,6 mm care nu sint in dotarea armatei.  Recent la sediul Procuraturii din Brasov s-a produs un incendiu devastator.  Au ars mai multe documente legate de Revolutie.  Incendiul a fost atit de puternic incit s-a calcinat peretii.  Ar fi interesant de aflat ce material inflamabil a putut produce o astfel de putere calorica.  –Romulus Nicolae

 

General Magistrat (r) Ioan Dan, Teroristii din ’89 (Lucman, 2012)

In dosarele intocmite de comisia de ancheta condusa de colonelul magistrat Anton Socaciu, pe atunci sef adjunct al Procuraturii Militare Brasov, care, ulterior–la propunerea mea–a fost numit sef, in ciuda incercarilor disperate din partea celor de la Ministerul de Interne de a impiedica aceasta promovare, invocand chiar si originea lui etnica, nu tocmai ‘pur romaneasca.’

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[martie 1990] In realitate, masa a fost orgaizata de seful Militiei; au participat doi sau trei ofiteri de Militie din conducerea Inspectoratului.  Acestia, foarte direct, mi-au cerut ca nu cumva sa fie numit sef al Procuraturii Militare din Brasov colonelul Anton Socaciu.  Aceasta interventie mi-a intarit convingereaca Socaciu trebuie numit sef….

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La un moment dat, procurorul militar sef de la Brasov mi s-a plans ca ‘treaba nu merge’, pentru ca cei doi subalterni ai sai sunt ‘dinamovisti.’  Aceasta era expresia folosita in cazul celor cunoscuti ca sustinatori ai fostei Securitati.  Ulterior, s-a mai incadrat un procuror militar la Brasov si am incercat sa-l consolez pe sef ca macar va exista egalitate, doi dinamovisti si doi stelisti.  Nu a trecut multa vreme si acelasi procuror militar sef mi s-a plans ca atunci avea trei dinamovisti.  Cred ca aceasta era proportia, din trei procurori militari, cel putin doi erau ‘dinamovisti’.

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Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Brasov, 15 November 1987

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 15, 2014

(purely personal views as always, based on two decades of prior research and publication)

Videos on the Brasov revolt of 15 November 1987

Rumanians Riot Over Pay Cut and Shortages

Published: November 22, 1987

BUCHAREST, Rumania, Nov. 21— Several thousand rioting workers ransacked the city hall in the industrial city of Brasov last Sunday, driven to the streets by severe pay cuts and the prospect of a third consecutive winter of food and energy shortages.

It was the first major industrial violence since coal miners went on strike 10 years ago, and the first ripple of discontent over drastic national policies praised by economists here as designed to boost productivity and eliminate almost all Rumanian foreign debt by 1990. A Rumanian familiar with the events said the workers marched on city hall from factories where they had gathered to vote in local elections, protesting a decision by party officials to enforce laws mandating pay cuts for unfulfilled production quotas. Factories Missed Quota

The big tractor and truck works in Brasov, roughly 100 miles north of Bucharest, were 20 percent under quota in October, and wages were to be cut equivalently.

Rumanian newspapers ignored the riots, but there were reports that food supplies had subsequently been increased. An editorial in the Monday edition of Scinteia, the party newspaper, while omitting any mention of Brasov, slapped the fingers of local officials, calling for ”fruitful cooperation between citizens and elected officials.”

Diplomatic specialists blamed the production shortfalls in Brasov on the kind of shortages and mismanagement that helped produce a third year of acute energy shortages.

This month, the Government ordered a 30 percent cut in energy use in homes and ”non-productive industries,” a term Rumanians said evidently applied to institutions such as schools and hospitals. The effects are visible everywhere in barely heated and dimly lit homes and public places. Street lights burn only on major thoroughfares, spreading an aura of obscurity about the city. Television is restricted to two hours in the evening. Theater productions, concerts and the opera begin at 6 P.M. Brave audiences bundle in scarves and overcoats in unheated theaters, and orchestra members wear fingerless gloves. A Policy of Austerity

In a broader sense, though, the shortages are the result of the resolve of the 69-year-old President, Nicolae Ceausescu, to repay all of the country’s foreign debt, accumulated by costly and uneconomical industrial investments during his early years in power. Since 1981, Rumania has more than halved its debt, to about $5.5 billion. To do so, it has run up six consecutive annual trade surpluses, the last, in 1986, of $2 billion. Rumanian economists suggest this was primarily the result of increased exports that resulted from timely investment in the production of higher-value manufactured goods, such as electronic components, fine mechanical products and computer-driven machinery.

But trade statistics show that much of the surplus came at the price of a basic disregard for consumer needs and, at times, for supplies for industry. While exports rose 11.6 percent in 1986, imports fell 5.6 percent.

Moreover, business people and diplomats say, much of the energy crisis is due to bad planning and to coal-driven generating stations that often do not work because of poor design and lack of spare parts and maintenance. Except for the outburst in Brasov, voices of discontent are barely whispered. With television broadcasts limited, Rumanians flock to the theaters. In one recent production, the audience laughed heartily as actors mimicked industry managers involved in the complex rite of preparing instant coffee. Few Rumanians ever see instant coffee.

Again, in a student theater in Iasi, near the Soviet border, visitors reported peals of laughter when a woman on stage picked up a phone to order meat from a butcher. Staples such as ham, salami and canned meats are now only found for hard currency, which Rumanians, unlike citizens of other Eastern bloc countries, are still forbidden to hold.

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I was lucky enough to have visited beautiful Brasov and its environs while backpacking in July 1987

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Lower left picture, near Castle Bran, has a sign in the distance reading “The Party!  Ceausescu!  Romania!” or PCR, which also conveniently stood for the initials in Romanian of the Romanian Communist Party.  Below, several articles on the state of Romania during this period.

Gary Lee, “Austerity Leaves Romanians Short of Food, Fuel, and Fun,” Washington Post, 24 August 1987

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Gary Lee, “In Romania, Kents as Currency.  U.S. Cigarettes Buy a Range of Goods and Services,” Washington Post, 29 August 1987

(Like many a Western traveller, I didn’t smoke, but bought and brought a carton of Kents with me.  I ended up giving many packs away, as the concepts of offering bribes and knowing how to do it effectively proved to be very foreign to this  particular then 20 year old Westerner.)

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Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fragmente din Revolutia Romana in Direct 22.08.1991 (Mostenirea Clandestina, Episodul 8): Gheorghe Trosca, USLA, si MApN

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 14, 2014

(punct de vedere strict personal)

EPISODUL 8 -“Episodul al optulea este dedicat evenimentelor din decembrie 1989 şi include un interviu în exclusivitate cu col.(r) Filip Teodorescu, fost locţiitor al şefului Direcţiei a III-a, Contraspionaj. Acesta dezvăluie aspecte controversate legate de izbucnirea Revoluţiei de la Timişoara, de culisele procesului ce a urmat şi de diversiunea “securişti-terorişti”, căreia i-a căzut victimă şi colonelul USLA Gheorghe Trosca, ucis în mod barbar în noaptea de 23 spre 24 decembrie în faţa Ministerului Apărării, spre avertizarea cadrelor Securităţii care i-au identificat şi urmărit pe agenţii KGB din România.”  [un film de Monica Ghiurco; postat de catre Remus Satala pe dailymotion 8.Moștenirea clandestină 10,463 views “România pentru Români” Published on Feb 26, 2015]

1) Gelu Voican Voiculescu, min. 41:59-42:24 si 44:32-46:02 (preluat de la Revolutia Romana in Direct 22 August 1991)

Gelu Voican Voiculescu memoriaza din Expres  (Brindusa Armanca). 17-23 septembrie 1991 (nr. 86)

image0-009

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/22/cine-a-tras-dupa-22-cine-au-fost-teroristii-inca-o-dovada-de-adevar-ce-lipseste-din-cartea-lui-marian-romanescu-fost-uslas/

pentru articolul intreg:  https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2009/12/10/decembrie-1989-usla-bula-moise-teroristii-si-fratii-musulmani-dan-badea-marian-romanescu-expres-iulie-1991/

semnificativ, se pare ca Marian Romanescu era si el arestat/suspectat de a fi un terorist:  https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2009/12/12/u-s-l-a-in-stare-de-hipnoza-dan-badea-expres-1991/

2) Relatarea in presa romaneasca despre convorbirile intre Trosca si Bleort (de exemplu, de catre Dan Badea si Ioan Itu) este gresita.  Semnificativ,

NU Gheorghe Trosca la fata locului, ca martor ocular, a raportat lui Bleort (la dispeceratul) ca erau militari care trageau in sediului MApN-ului, dar in schimb Bleort care i-a raportat lui Bleort.  (de la bun inceput, mi s-a parut ca era vorba de o informare despre dispozitia fortelor armatei in zona MApN-ului fiindca nu exista nici o alta constatare despre militari care ar fi tras impotriva Ministerului zece minute)

27:10-28:33

Fullscreen capture 11132014 75403 PM

Fullscreen capture 11132014 75707 PM

Gheorghe Trosca: Permiteţi să raportez.

Ion Bleorț: Da.

Trosca: Transmite prin stație lt. col Vânătă că la MApN a apărut o coloană de şapte-opt TAB-uri, două camioane cu militari şi două ARO, au tras circa zece minute asupra Ministerului şi s-au oprit acum…

Bleort: Cum, mă?!
Trosca: …asupra Ministerului.
Bleort: Cum au tras?
Trosca:Au tras asupra MANului!
Bleort: Nu se poate!
Trosca: Asta e.
Bleort: Asupra Ministerului, măi?
Trosca: Asupra Ministerului Apărării Naţionale, timp de zece minute, şi acum
s-au oprit.
Bleort: S-au oprit?
Trosca: Da.
Bleort: După ce opriţi în dreptul ultimului tanc, ne comunicaţi nouă, ca să luăm legătura cu Ministerul. (…)
 

image0-011

Ideea lui Constantin Isac (despre acest personaj vedeti aici: https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/12/12/constantin-isac-intre-14-si-22-decembrie-dinamovist-de-judo-la-iasi-prezent-in-zona-crematoriului-cenusa-si-martor-in-piata-universitatii/ ) la 32:15 ca peste noapte, ABI-urile erau intoarse cu fata spre Minister, sugerind directia unui presupus atac!, este o minciuna ieftina (cititi mai jos cei spuneau militarii si civilii din blocurile in jur in 1990).

3) Mihai Lupoi 46:07 incearca sa nege existenta teroristilor arabi (degeaba, fiindca ei au existat: https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/09/25/rebeca-doina-cercel-revolutionar-cc-pcr-decembrie-1989-erau-intr-adevar-dosare-pe-care-era-scris-strict-secret-si-in-care-am-vazut-ca-erau-mentionate-bazele-de-antrenament-antiterorist/ )

Fullscreen capture 11132014 85008 PM

———————————–

alte detalii:

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/usla-bula-trosca-militaru-m-ap-n/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/08/03/destituirea-romanian-revolution-usla-attack-vidia-bullets/

Incidentul M.Ap.N. (23/24 decembrie 1989): detalii importante

Unde sint teroristii? PE STRADA, PRINTRE NOI (II) (Romania, decembrie 1989)

Romania 1989: Unde sint teroristii? PE STRADA, PRINTRE NOI (I) 13 iunie 1990

Cine l-a nominalizat pe Trosca? (cazul MApN, 23-24 decembrie 1989)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on March 28, 2010

Dezinformare despre Cazul M.Ap.N. 23-24 decembrie 1989…dejucata de catre uslasii ei insusi

pe pagina 116 Ardeleanu admite ca el insusi–nici vorba de Militaru sau altcineva–l-a nominalizat pe Trosca pentru misiunea faimoasa…

pe pagina 153 uslas-ul Soldea admite ca dupa incidentul sangeros, el a fost anchetat pentru informatii despre subunitatea lui…si pe pagina 155 ca i s-a supus o analiza de urina…ca sa verifice daca el a fost drogat…

“Defense Ministry Incident” Redux:  the USLA on 23/24 December 1989

What we know is that this requested “fall-out” of USLA cadre never took place.  We also know from the mouth (Romanian Television, 1991) and hand (a directed report dated 8 January 1990) of USLA Commander Gheorghe Ardeleanu himself that, on that evening of 23 December 1989, Army General Ion Hortopan broke into a meeting of Ardeleanu with generals and other officials of the Front leadership and announced that “Near a military objective, on the outskirts of the capital, that was being fired upon, an armed Plutonier Major Popa Ion Stefan from the USLA was captured.”[123] Clearly, it would appear, based on this, that this USLA member was not part of some team dispatched in the “defense of the Revolution.”  According to Mihai Floca writing in August 1990, the objective in question outside the capital was the CITc (?), the USLA member claimed he was coming to the military unit to “surrender,” and Ardeleanu, “upon receiving the news played dumb, [saying] ‘I think it is [USLA] Chief of Staff Trosca’s doing, he did this to me’.”[124]

Floca and others have maintained that at this point, late on the night of 23 December 1989, while at the Defense Ministry, General Militaru called upon Ardeleanu to bring the entire personnel of the USLA (757 officers and ncos) to the Defense Ministry to root out the “terrorists” who were firing upon it.  As “30 were on guard at [various] embassies, and 80 had been dispatched to Sibiu with a Rombac [aircraft] from 20 December 1989 upon ‘orders from on-high’,” this left 647.  Of these, Militaru supposedly wanted 600 to report.  Instead, only 18 came in 3 ABIs.[125]

It has always seemed unusual, and this has been highlighted by others, in the serious situation that prevailed on the night of 23-24 December 1989, that in order to clear these blocs of “terrorists,” the units that came were led by the Chief of Staff Gheorghe Trosca.  Why send your leadership out to do this job?

The Securitate apologists and conspiratorialists have, of course, sought to suggest that General Nicolae Militaru nominated them because precisely these individuals had surveilled him for alleged links to Soviet intelligence.  But, as I have written elsewhere, Ardeleanu himself, upends all of this when he freely admits that it was he who selected Trosca for this mission.[126] It, of course, seems to make a lot sense when one considers his apparent attempt to lay what was happening at the feet of Trosca.  That he ordered Trosca and the others to the scene, under absurd circumstances, and they ended up getting killed, appears to be something for which many former USLA personnel—some of whom appear to have genuinely resented the boorish and vindictive Ardeleanu for his slavish behavior toward Elena Ceausescu and Tudor Postelnicu—were never able to forgive Ardeleanu.

I won’t tax the patience of my readers with another rehash here of what happened when two of three USLA ABIs arrived out front of M.Ap.N. headquarters (Defense Ministry).  I have previously discussed it extensively elsewhere.[127] It is important to note, however, that the USLA officers who survived the incident admit that they were beaten up, interrogated about the makeup and duties of their unit, and forced to take urinalysis tests to determine if they were drugged—all things which suggest they were hardly considered the innocent victims of an unfortunate accident at the time it occurred.  Army officers involved in the confrontation who were interviewed in spring 1990 maintained that they witnessed gunfire from the guns on the USLA vehicles, three of the machine guns recovered from the USLA vehicles showed signs of having been fired, the gun barrel of one the tanks had been blocked, and on the top of another tank a machine gun and signal lantern were found.[128] These officers then claimed that after their recollections were published in June 1990, they were “warned to think long and hard since they have families and to stay on their own turf if they do not want to have problems.”[129]

Residents of the apartment blocs surrounding the Defense Ministry also claimed harassment and intimidation.  One family maintained that they had been visited in May 1990 by two individuals flashing “Militia” identity cards, inquiring what had happened in December 1989 in that location, and insisting that different parts of the Army had merely fired at one another—there had been no “terrorists.”  Another resident who requested anonymity since he had “had enough problems in the past with the Securitate” said he was visited on 21 May by a “police major who called himself Popescu [a common Romanian last name, commonly used as a cover by Securitate personnel]” and wanted to talk about the “terrorists,” but that the resident should not inform the Army of his visit.  Some residents maintained that a neighbor suspected of being a Securitate collaborator had been going around suggesting “how to ‘correctly’ interpret the incident with the two armored personnel vehicles [i.e. the USLA unit] on the night of 23/24 December.”  The Army journalists concluded in June 1990 based on these interviews that “therefore, ‘the boys’ [a common euphemism for the Securitate] are [still] at work.”[130] It has been particularly frustrating that neither Siani-Davies nor Dennis Deletant—both of whom have written on this key episode—has apparently ever taken the time to read the disclosures in Armata Poporului, and hence completely ignore the descriptions of what happened and claims of harassment and intimidation of citizens from these blocs.

Mihai Floca’s credibility on the issue of what happened on the night of 23-24 December with the USLA units at the Defense Ministry, what happened on the other nights of the period of the Revolution in the same location, and on the claims of residents of these blocs—as noted, witness accounts that other publications simply ignored—is enhanced by the fact that his articles from late December 1989 through 1990 clearly do not show someone out “to get” the USLA or tarnish their reputation.

What is particularly notable is that after writing the (in)famous 26 December 1989 Romania Libera article (“Ucigasii de meserie al teroristului nr. 1,” p. 3) claiming that these USLA personnel in the Defense Ministry incident were “terrorists,” Floca wrote articles demonstrating how the USLA collaborated with the Army in certain actions during December 1989, at the CC building (“Actiune concertata impotriva pericolului,” Romania Libera 29 December 1989, p. 4) and at the Television Station (“Reportaj la U.S.L.A.,” Tineretul Liber, 5 January 1990, p.4).  Only in June 1990, did he begin publishing interviews with the Army soldiers involved in the 23-24 December incident with the USLA at the Defense Ministry and with the residents of the surrounding blocs.  These articles were as he noted prompted by two developments:  the articles in the opposition publication Zig-Zag rehabilitating the USLA and claiming they were innocent victims in the Defense Ministry incident (authored by the Securitate’s number one cheerleader, Angela Bacescu), and articles in the French press arguing that the “terrorists” had not existed.  It was thus not as Siani-Davies suggests a response prompted first by a letter from the widows of the dead USLA officers.[131]

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/10/04/orwellian%E2%80%A6positively-orwellian%E2%80%9D-prosecutor-voinea%E2%80%99s-campaign-to-sanitize-the-romanian-revolution-of-december-1989-part-8-usla-and-friends/

Destituirea: “Romanian Revolution USLA Attack” (vidia bullets)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 3, 2011

Added: 3 years ago
From: destituirea
Views: 16,343

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  • Evenimentul Zilei also conducted a poll about the worst Romanians and the results were:

    Ion Iliescu (the first president after 1989)

    Nicolae Ceauşescu (the last communist president before December 1989)

    Gigi Becali (controversial businessman, party leader and chairman of the football club Steaua Bucharest)

    Adrian Năstase (the Prime Minister of Romania between 2000 and 2004)

    sursa: wikipedia – 100 greatest romanians

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • – Armata le-a dat peste cap toate planurile si in loc sa-i aresteze ia lichidat pt ca au schimbat parola necomunicando la celor din FSN si pt ca USLA au inceput sa traga si disperati sa intre rapid in unitate. Pt ei nu conta viata ci “misiunea implinita”

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • – Trosca nu a avut legatura cu Moscow cum uni au dat din gura si au vorbit. Trosca venise in Unitate cu o zi in urma (el patrula in MAP zile si zile in urma si cunostea perfect tot echipajul) si stia foarte bine de legatura cu Moscow dar el se facea ca ploua si ca FSN e de partea lui – Iliescu a aflat si stia ca pt el Trosca nu era un om de incredere

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • – Gloantele Vidia erau marca secreta a Romaniei impotriva unui atac sovietic de care Ceausescu se tot ferea inca de la invadarea Cehoslovaciei in 1968.

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • – Trosca a mirosit de la bun inceput ca e o lovitura de stat si nici nu a vrut sa destainuie multe din unitatile secrete USLA unde stateau si comunicau in ascuns. USLA era ca o armata invisibila dar nu in volum ci in inteligenta si profesionalism technic de un grad foarte inalt (sa nu uitam ca Mossad era # 1 si USLA era pe locul…ghici: LOCUL 2)

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • – Trosca a mirosit totul si avea planul lui (2) sa intre in unitate si in loc sa distruga vezi Doamne agentii straini (care ambii FSN si Trosca stiau ca nu exista in unitate), sa puna stapanire pe intreaga unitate pt ca el era LOCOTENENT-COLONEL si stia ca la ordine ii se vor supune multi – regimul Ceausist inca era la putere si puterea de grade si ordine inca exista (uslasii de la ABI 3…si alte unitati secrete care existau si care Iliescu nu putea sa stie unde erau localizate inca DEJA STIAU)

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • sa recapitulez putin ca sa stie intreaga tara in 2 parti ce s-a intamplat. deja am primit warnings ca o sa fiu…

    – Trosca stia deja de documente si stia ca nu exista teroristi in unitate

    – USLA (nu toti) stiau ca teroristii trebuiesc expulzati si ca comunica cu “sovieticii” (agenti straini)

    – Iliescu + FSN vroia ca Trosca sa intre in Unitate ca sa-l aresteze si sa puna stapanire pe comunicatia secreta a USLA care avea frecventa radio total diferit de a armatei sau a organelor de militie

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • sarmanul PLOSCA a murit nevinovat si e inmormantat in cimitirul eroilor revolutiei

    thaminiclip 2 years ago
  • ai dreptate in felul tau sarcastic spus. dar asta denota ca Iliescu nea tras de 3 ori pe sfoara: 1) a omorat pe USLA 2) pe Trosca 3) a pacalit si folosit armata + lumea cum ca USLA sunt teroristii…ca sa iasa frumos din unitate cu tot ceea ce el vroia sa CHIPURILE DISTRUGA spundu-le USLAsilor ca SUNT TERORISTI IN UNITATE…DAR SPUNANDU-I LUI TROSCA…VEZI DOVEZILE ASTEA TREBUIESC DISTRUSE.DAR CATI DIN CE AM SPUS EU AICI O SA INTELEAGA: MOMEALA A FOST USLA…DAR ADEVARUL S-A PETRECUT IN UNITATE.

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • Nu vei fi uitat! Vei ramane pentru totdeauna in inimile noastre! Te iubim! You will not be forgotten! You will always be in our hearts! We love you! For always and forever. Odihneste-te in pace! Rest in peace! Viata ta frumoasa ce urma sa traiesti ti-a fost luata brusc. Your beautiful life whas taken away from you. Rusine tiganilor! Shame on gipsys!Condoleante familiei,prietenilor si iubitei lu Marian, Condoleances to Marian’s family,friends and Marian’s girlfriend.Imi pare foarte rau!I’m sorry!

    doru1coman 2 years ago
  • …nici teroristi n-au existat la rev..pt k e logic…a inceput totul spontan…cand ii aducea Ceausescu in tara imediat.?..cand el a fugit cu coada intre picioare…atunci au tras unii in altii…si de ce?…pt k s-a creat o mare dezinformare…evident tot din interesele unora…

    fideitos2003 2 years ago
  • deci…aveam 8 ani la rev, dar stiu mai mult decat credeti pt k m-am info…dar nu pot sa inghit asemenea kkturi…agigatori si pers care au schimbat realit. si cursul evenimentelor au fost si mai sunt inca dar sa nu invinuim niste persoane care nu aveau nicio treaba cu asta…cum sa-i faci pe cei din USLA “teroristi” cand treaba lor era sa previna si sa elimine terorismul

    fideitos2003 2 years ago
  • ce este interesant e ca o persona zice: CUM POATE O MANA DE OAMENI SA ATACE SEDIUL UNEI INSTITUTII?

    iar alta persoana zice: CUM SA II FACI TERORISTI DACA EI NE APARAU DE ANTI-TERORISM? Stai ca nu inteleg pai o mana de oameni ne aparau de TERORISTI…sau o mana de oameni care se credeau ZEI omorau pe ORICINE ca sa omore pe FALSII TERORISTI…armata ?!

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • Col Trosca, care era in A.B.I., inainte cu cativa ani de la tragicul eveniment, l-a avut in “lucru” pe gen. Militaru (care in acea noapte era la comanda armatei). vreti sa stiti de ce a fost chemat echipajul USLA la MApN? Trosca a fost tinta ! Dumnezeu sa-l odihneasca !

    catzaveicu 2 years ago
  • Dupa atata timp…iata un om care vorbeste adevarul. Ai dreptate. FOARTE MARE !

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • sustii ca au venit sa atace ministerul? cu doua aro? in fata ministerului erau tancuri. si inca ceva…unde sunt grenadele si tot ce inseamna armament?

    ser4all 2 years ago
  • da susin asta. cu 2 arouri. USLA erau dementi. nu le era frica de nimeni. nu tancurile au iesit in fara portilor dupa somatie. care grenade si ale cui…hai ca mai zapacit de cap…ori vrei sa faci spulberare de ideii ca sa creezi diversiune. lasa ca grenadele si armamentul numai traiesc…sau te referi cine le-a ridicat…pai…daca nu apar in poze inseamna ca au fost ridicate. normal ca nu lasi armament pe trotuar…cati ani ai ?

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • Si acum sa revenim la USLA. Si col. Trosca. asta era printre putinii care stia ca Militaru e agent sovietic si care avea legatura cu unitatea 0110 anti KGB a Securitatii..avand dosarul lu’ Militaru si probabil si pe a lu Ilici (ca agenti de influenta ai Moscovei) putea sa vorbeasca si sa deconspire usor operatiunea sovietica “revolutia” din Romania.

    liviums 2 years ago
  • pai se cam stie si ce-i cu astia..toata luna decembrie 89 prin Romanica au inceput sa curga coloane de turisti sovietici cate 3-4 in masini Lada..monitorizati “atent” de securitate.astia au stiut ce avea sa se intample, dar stiau ca nu se pot pune de-a curmezishul istoriei.

    liviums 2 years ago
  • Deci treaba cu revolutia se cam stie, a fost o lovitura de stat impotriva lui Ceausescu menita sa ne aduca si pe noi in randul noilor “democratii” gorbacioviste..Polonia, Cehoslovacia, Ungaria etc…ca noi ramasesem ultimii..schimbarea venea de la Moscova si se numea “glasnost” si “perestroika”..cum doctrina Brejnev evoluase si ea (adica schimbarea nu se mai facea cu tancul ca in cehoslavacia 68) uneltele erau mai perfectionate adica trupe speciale, diversionisti, razboi electronic, etc.

    liviums 2 years ago
  • Those poor USLA guys received and order and without any doubt they wanted to fallow it. But the army men who were inside the Ministry of Defense buildings had their orders too: “Protect the building!”. And that’s what they did. But i don’t feel sorry for USLA. Their role in the represive actions against the Revolution has been proved.Plus, soldiers died due to miss-informations too (remember the Otopeni episode). Anyway this happened almost 20 years now.How come u only post this now?

    haiducs 2 years ago
  • I cannot answer to you last question. Unfortunatelly I am not alone.

    At least now…than never.

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • Habar nu ai ce vorbesti destituirea , la pregatirea lor niciodata nu ar fi facut acea eraoare tactica de atac frontal cind erau tone de posibilitati sa ajunca inauntru fara batae de cap . daca ai vazut un ABI de aproape ai sti ca este cam greu sa deschizi focul din el inspre fata vehicolului si plus ca tre sa fi cam imbecil sa ataci cu un ABI blindate ,si trosca nu era imbecil. Trosca a participat la ancheta de spionaj impotriva lui Militaru cu 6 luni inainte sa fie revolutia

    Awalance 2 years ago
  • trebuie sa te educ putin aici. nu s-a tras din ABI. Al treilea ABI a ramas in urma cica defectiune..adica Trosca planuise un mic backup ca nu avea incredere in FSN. Un ABI s-a apropiat brusc sub tunul tancurilor..ATAT DE RAPID CA NU VEZI NICI IN FILME OMULE.

    lupta si trasul nu a luat mult timp

    Trosca avea harta intregii unitai. Cu o zi in urma el deja viztase unitatea.

    -end of part 1-

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • USLA AVEAU PLANUL SA INTRE IN UNITATE RAPID NU SA IASA DIN ABI si sa fie lichidati. EI STIAU CUM SI CARE SA SE APARE UNUL PE ALTUL.

    AU FOST NEVOITI SA IASA CA SA MENTINA CONTROLUL INTRARII. IAR SUB TANK..TANKUL E CA SI FACUT PT CA NU ARE TUN…NU ARE CUM SA DISTRUGA UN ABI BLINDAT DIN OTEL.

    –end part 2–

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • USLA MAI AVEAU 2 OAMENI LA BALCOANE IN FATA MAPN…CEL DE-AL DOILEA BACKUP…SI CARE COMUNICAU TOT CE SE INTAMPLA prin RADIO CU ABI 1 si 2. ARMATA A FACUT DE CAPUL EI..ADICA MILTARII AU GANDIT LOGIC SI AU INTORS TANCURILE SI AU STRIVIT ABI 1, ATUNCI BAIETII DIN ABI 2 AU IESIT CA SA TRAGA SI SA AJUTE ABI 1. AU FOST MACELARITI…MILITARII AVAND INFRA ROSU VEDEAU TOT DIN UNITATE

    –end of part 3–

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • trosca si adjunctul sau care se afla si el in ABI au facut parte in 87 dintr-o acheta despre spionaj pt rusi unde era implicat gen militaru , cel care i-a chemat la mapn .Cind au trecut de razoare militaru a dat ordin sa fie schimbata parola si au fost prinsi intre punctele de control .Trosca a ramas cu miina pe statie si toate unitatile USLA au auzit “” sariti sariti fratii nostrii ne omoara “.Au fost orice numai teroristi nu .Dumnezeu sa ii ierte

    Awalance 2 years ago
  • opa….cineva care stie. opa…fi atent….ca nu sunt singur aici. sunt perplex.

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • Mama a fost acolo! Au fost agitatori in multime! Oameni, cu geci de piele negre si foarte bine imbracati. A fost o mega regie, au fost agitatori si agitatia s-a imprastiat in multime, provocand haos. Tancurile erau chiar in spatele manifestantilor, nu au facut nimic. A FOST O REGIE!!! REGIZOR: Sergiu Nicolaescu, CAMERAMAN: Adrian Sarbu, PROTAGONISTI: Iliescu, Roman, Dinescu, Dan Iosif si toata sleahta de labagii! Trezirea fratzica, chiar nu v-ati dat seama??? Nici macar pana acum??? Yank’s hand!

    shockolanu 2 years ago
  • For people with interest. I recomand a documentary with I saw on ARTE. I saw the german version. The name is: “Schachmatt. Strategie einer Revolution” or french title “Échec et Mat. La révolution roumaine”

    There are maybe some answers to diferent questions. I don´t say that there in this film there is only truth, but if some things there are true, than maybe you see who is friend and who maybe “friend” :)

    I found the film on “veoh”

  • sa nu uitati!bucurestenii de a doua zi care au scris cu creta pe abi-uri “teroristi”,au dat foc soldatilor morti,au stins tigarile pe ei,i-au scuipat si s-au pisat pe aceasi soldati,au 100% vina ca si cei care au tras si i-au condamnat din umbra!asta-i romania !

    ceapadincarpati 2 years ago
  • uite ca am uitat de comentariul tau. cum de nu l-am citit. ok. nu vreau sa te supar dar nu e bine sa spui lucruri care nu s-au intamplat care de fapt sunt ZVONURI. Nu oamenii au scris cu creta. Asta vroia Iliescu sa faca la TV propaganda ca uite ei sunt Teroristi….si el sa vina de la F SALVARII NATIONALE .. VA SALVEZ EU (dupa ce v-am omorat).. SI DECI…EROUL MARE SI TARE RAMANE IN PICIOARE: ION CEL FARA DE TARA. Armata a scris cu creta. Din pacate nu oamenii au scris ci armata spre dimineata

    destituirea 2 years ago
  • asadar cei care se luptau cu armata noastra erau niste arabi care erau mercenarii luyi ceausescu? si USLA era cu noi romanii sau cu ei?? sincer eu nu pricep nimic…scz

    alexut576 3 years ago
  • pai cam asa ceva. a fost intr-adevar o unealta ruseasca si multa diversiune. deci: 1. aramata era controlata de armata si avea ordine de la iliescu (fsn). 2. arabii au fost angajati. de cine? asta e intrebare de baraj. uni zic de ceausu alti de rusi si americani. trbuie sa citesti ca sa afli adevarul. eu unul am vazut pe arab…asa ca asta pot sa o spun cu mana pe inima. 3. usla – am explicat in alt coment cu cine erau si ce tel aveau

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • USLA=Unitatea Speciala de Lupta Antiterorista=DIAS, brigada antitero SRI etc.

    Eu unul nu cred ca USLA a participat la revolutie pt ca era subordonata securitatii si, deci, nu a participat. Teroristii sunt de fapt agentii straini. “Straini” pt ca erau trimisi de alte state, ei fiind romani care au fugit din Romania si care voiau sa cada regimul comunist. Adevarul gol-golut il gasiti in cartea “Un risc asumat” de Filip Teodorescu(cmd. contraspionaj in acea vreme)

    oby115 3 years ago
  • —-partea a doua—

    Tata i-a dat o haina militara pt ca pe vremea aia era frig si ningea. Nu vorbea Romaneste dar avea accent si silabisea intr-o limba araba care nu am putut la vremea respectiva sa o descifrez a fiin Iraniana, Libaneza, Siriana sau Irakiana. L-am lasat in bloc pe scari singur. A doa zi nu l-am mai vazut. FSN nu era inca infiintat. Blocul era langa cimitirul de pe strada Antiaeriana (Calea Rahovei) ci nu langa MAPN

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • Aveam 4 ani atunci, dar am o poveste: in 22 sau 23 seara s-a intrerupt curentul in bloc(doar blocul si scara mea). A doua zi erau urme de sange in casa scarii pana in strada, usa de acces pe acoperis era deschisa. Curentul a fost intrerupt din tabloul de contoare sau cum ii zice, fara sa fie fortata usa. Intrebarea mea

    este cine l-ar fi vanat pe individul ala?

    Blackthorn2323 3 years ago
  • Am fost de asemenea intrebat daca stiu sau am dovezi mai clare despre Mercenarii lui Ceausescu.

    —partea intai—-

    Ce pot sa zic e ca personal nu am dovezi. Dar am vazut cu ochii mei impreuna cu tatal si fratele meu un mercenar ARAB ascunzanduse la bloc fara haine groase pe el.

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • pt ca cineva m-a intrebat prin mail cine e acel USLAS din Oradea am sa indic aici informatia respectiva:

    Nume: Filip Teodor.

    Carte/Articol: “secretele usla”

    Tiparit ca: ISBN 10: 9739778267 ISBN 13: 9789739778268

    Publicat de: Editura Obiectiv

    Scos pe piata: 1999

    Se gaseste pe internet mai peste tot. In special pe site-ul rapidshare unde are nr de file 24703033 si este de tip PDF

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • Intamplarea asta nu a fost cumva filmata ?? Am vazut in alta parte o galerie de vreo 5 poze pe care aparea un format de data tipic camerelor video de pe vremea aia.

    Bagacios 3 years ago
  • orice posibil. am vazut ca exista si alte poze din alte surse. considerand ca erau oameni la ora respectiva care se plimbau pe strazi. orice este posibil.

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • i wish i knew what you guys are sayin, i dont know how to speak romanian, but my

    ak-47 was made there : )

    treeisabeast 3 years ago
  • we’re just commenting pro and against our own thoughts. nothing really major. the movie is the major proof.

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • din surse sigure stiu ca O PARTE DIN USLA care detinea armament acasa permanent i-au fost retrase armele .asta a fost un semn dupa parerea celui care mi-a descris o parte din evenimente.ulterior ..parasind tara si facind anumite declaratii nu tocmai pe placul unora a scapat de la 2 atentate..politia locala si-a dat verdictul.. e calibrul .; preferat a l fostilor tai ‘angajatori’ ..

    fane5fast 3 years ago
  • orice se poate. exista un om care a scris un intreg articol – un USLAs din Oradea. Am pus link-ul in film asa ca poti sa da-i o fuga si sa-l citesti. E in Romaneste dar e cam lungusor. O sa-ti ia cam cateva ore bune. Dar e bun de citit. Omu nu minte. Dar ca oricine mai arunca si el cu cate o parere pe aici si pe acolo..asa ca nu 100% e adevarat.

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • Parerea mea e ca intreg teatrul asta grotesc de intamplari a fost orchestrat foarte bine de cateva figuri cheie ale asa zisei revolutii, care, spre nefericirea lor (si mai ales a noastra), s-au grabit sa puna mana pe putere si sa manipuleze in fel si chip informatii din cele mai bizare (ex. scenariilor cu terorirsti arabi) cu scopul de a se proteja sau a sterge urme compromitatoare (Stanculescu, Militaru, Gusa, si, cu voia dvs, ultimul pe lista, Ilies…)

    lucianghita 3 years ago
  • cu voia DVS fiind a cui? Poti sa vorbesti ca doar esti pe You TUbe. Cam ai dreptate zic eu dar nu uita ca a fost o lupta intre 3 forte: USLA, Iliescu+FSN, si mercenarii lui Ceausescu. Iliescu nu a planuit sa-i distruga pe USLAsi ci a avut nevoie de ei…dar datorita unor intorsaturi USLAsi au facut de capul lor si a lui Trosca. Ei au fost mai mult cu Ceausescu decat cu Iliescu. Ceausescu la acea ora era inca in viata. I-ti amintesti ?!

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • ce bah ti-e frica sa spui numele lu nenorocitu ala , comunist borat, iliescu baga-mi-as pula in masa si in tot neamu lui de gunoaie.el a planuit tot. sa ia locul lui ceausescu nu sa faca democratie.dar nu a iesit chiar cum a vrut…pe aproape. ce sa zic si de mineriade? l-as scuipa intre ochi daca as avea ocazia. mori in mortii matii odata ca la puscarie nu te baga astia ca sunt intr-o oala cu tine jegos nenorocit.mi se face greata cand il vad pe la TV. ION ILIESU MUIE!!

    keliosbox 3 years ago
  • Frumos, foarte frumos, nu as fi putut spune asta, mai bine decat tine!

    shockolanu 2 years ago
  • In comentariile mele de mai jos nu iau apararea nimanui. Sesizez doar penibilul unui “documentar” facut de un pustan care habar nu are in ce a fost implicat taica-sau (asta daca intr-adevar tatal lui e cine pretinde el ca e). E greu si ne-etic sa proiectezi vina celor intamplate in zilele de dupa 22 dec in corpore asupra undei singure institutii, fie aramata, fosta securitate sau mai stiu eu cine.

    lucianghita 3 years ago
  • Nimeni nu proiecteaza nici o vina…ci o realitate.Daca te supara faptul ca USLAsii au fost omorati – nu esti singurul. Daca te supara faptul ca USLAsii au incercat sa intre PRIN FORTA in unitate denota 2 adevaruri: asa erau ei (intrau si prin foc pt ca erau antrenati si capabili) si bineteles ca isi iubeau tara (nu Sovieticii) si vroiau sa distruga lagatura cu Moscova din MAPN. Imi pare rau ca ma numesti pustan. Dar eu nu ma supar. Iliescu m-a facut golan in 91. Eu imi voi iubii tara mereu!

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • Mie insa mi s-ar fi parut mult mai nimerit

    sa atace noaptea,prin surprindere. Aia erau profesionisti,nu amatori! Foarte dubioasa toata drama!!!!

    varain2 3 years ago
  • pai asa s-a intamplat. au atacat noaptea spre dimineata. era inca intuneric.

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • După film un tovarăş securist a luat cuvântul şi i-a asigurat pe cei prezenţi că “Mama Rusie” nu-i va uita niciodată.

    În acel moment am crezut că visez, refuzam să acept realitatea. Ulterior m-am convins pe propria piele de “profunzimea” vorbelor tovarăşului securist.

    securatu 3 years ago
  • Aşa cum au fost intoxicări în 1989, sunt intoxicări şi astăzi. Nu trebuie să puneţi botul chiar la toate… Adevărul este cunoscut doar de cei implicaţi direct în evenimente.

    Prin 2000 am văzut un film despre implicarea uslaşilor în revoluţie, conform căruia aceştia mai aveu puţin şi deveneau îngeraşi…

    securatu 3 years ago
  • mai “destituirea” uita te si tu la filmul Hartia Va Fi Albastra”. Ce a fost acolo ? Niste creteni au dat ordine ca sa vina USLA-si si amaratii de soldati nu stiu nici pe lume traiesc(nici unu nu cred ca trasese cu arma in toata armata lui)si daca nu au avut o convirmare de parola a iesit ce a iesit.Un colonel niciodata nu umbla in tanc,abi,tab(el este comandant de garnizoana,perimetru sau obiectiv)..

    mury1974 3 years ago
  • ce zici tu aici este tot ceea ce in acest filmulet cu exceptia ultimei propozitii. “Un colonel niciodata nu umbla in tanc,abi,tab(el este comandant de garnizoana,perimetru sau obiectiv)..” Din pacate un ex-colonel (facut colonel dupa moarte) a fost imbracat in haine de trening + militare si a avut ordin special. Din pacate…aste e realitatea.

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • O minciuna ordinara!Uslasii au fost chemati

    in ajutor si au fost macelariti.Nimeni nu ataca in plina zi,cu blindate usoare,o cladire aparata de tancuri si TAB-uri.Cretina idee,ca si cretinul care a pus clipul!

    varain2 3 years ago 3
  • imi pare rau ca esti suparat. dar iti raspund la cele afirmate: tatal meu a fost acolo.

    nu s-a tras in plina zi. evenimentul sa desfasurat in timpul noptii spre dimineata. Uslasii au fost chemati facandusi datoria ca USLASI: cred ca toata lumea stie asta. Ca au fost macelariti asta denota cauzei. Pe scurt: Au venit rapid langa tancuri crezand ca vor lua institutia pe de-antregul. Din pacate tancurile s-au intos si iau facut zob. Apoi a inceput tragerea. Have a nice day!

    destituirea 3 years ago
  • super tare!

    tovarasultau 3 years ago
—————————————————————–

Crima ? [Adevarul, Cazul MApN 23-24 decembrie ’89 si sosirea uslasilor…] Maior Mihai Floca, Armata Poporului, 6 iunie 1990, p. 3

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on April 17, 2010

http://www.adevarul.ro/actualitate/eveniment/Ziaristii_Revolutiei-20_de_ani_fara_regrete_0_245375855.html

si totusi…

Faptul ca, de la Revolutie incoace, armata este tinta unor atacuri bine dirijate si din ce in ce mai insistente, il poate constata oricine.  Prea putini dintre ziaristii care isi pun semnatura sub articolele defaimatoare care apar in unele publicatii, mai sint interesati de aportul armatei la apararea Revolutiei, la victorie.  Jertfa celor 267 de ofiteri, maistri militari, subofiteri, elevi si soldati, nu mai are, acum, nico o importanta!  Tot ce-i preocupa pe respectivii “oameni de bine” este sa arate ca armata a contribuit la genocid, eventual sa demonstreze ca aceasta contributie a fost cit mai mare.

Iata, insa, ca, in ultima vreme, concertul dirijat impotriva ostirii si-a largit repertoriul.  Au aparut voci distincte–unele caracterizate prin tonalitatii foarte inalte.  Acum armata este acuzata, incriminata si pentru ce a facut dupa 22 decembrie.  In cadrul acestei orientari noi, in mod deosebit se remarca articolul “O crima ce trebuie neaparat dezvaluita” semnat de doamna Angela Bacescu in revista de actualitati si reportaje “ZIG-ZAG MAGAZIN” numarul 9, din 23-29 aprilie 1990.  Nu stim in ce redactie si-a facut doamna Bacescu ucenicia in ale scrisului.  Un gazetar oricit ar fi el de tinar, isi alege cu grija cuvintele, nu se joaca cu ele.  Or cuvintul “crima” — folosit cu atita nonsalanta, chiar in titlu, presupune si un subiect.  Pe cine acuza doamna ziarista, in ce directie trage?  Spre armata, bineinteles.  Insa autoarea merge mult mai departe cu insinuarile.  Acuza “populatia isterizata de pericolul terorist”,  sustine ca pe teroristi “nu-i vazuse nimeni…”.  “Daca acestia au fost”.  De unde este asa de bine (dez)informata?  Sau vrea sa strecoare subtil, ideea ca cei din sediul M.Ap.N. s-au luptat cu propriile inchipuiri, iar locatarii blocurilor din zona Orizont au fost bintuiti de halucinatii?  Numai ca toate argumentele pe care le aduce provin doar de la una din partile participante la ceea ce s-a intimplat in cumplita noapte de 23/24 decembrie.  Concret, aduce o singura marturie — a sergentului-major Stefan Soldea, unul dintre uslasii supravietuitori — restul informatiilor avind o provenienta dubioasa.  Ca doar n-a fost prezenta, in acea noapte, la sediul M.Ap.N.  (Eu, insa, am fost !)  Se pare ca dictonul latin “audeatur et altera pars” (asculta si partea cealalta) ii este strain.  Tocmai de aceea, in cele ce urmeaza, vom exprima punctul de vedere al militarilor care au urmarit sau au luat parte mijlocita la acel “macel stupid”  — ca o sa citam pe doamna Bacescu.  Am mai scris despre acest subiect.  De aceea m-am hotarit sa reiau firul evenimentelor.  N-am dreptul sa tac.

Au venit pe furis…

Capitan Victor Stoica:  Noi — cei care ne aflam in Centrul de Calcul al M.Ap.N. — au putut urmari in intregime, ca dintr-un amfiteatru, acel spectacol zguduitor.  Pina acum, nu am luat atitudine, desi eram la curent cu stradaniile unor ziaristi de a-i face eroi pe cei de la U.S.L.A.  Am tacut deoarece ne-am gindit ca in urma celor cazuti au ramas sotii, copii –care nu au nici o vina.  Dar acum–pentru ca am fost acuzati de crima, sin in nici unul din ziarele civile nu s-a prezentat punctul nostru de vedere–avem obligatia sa spunem ce am vazut.  Observatorii nostri au fost contrariati de faptul ca cele doua A.B.I.-uri, venind de pe strada Ho Si Min, au stins farurile cu 20-30 metri inainte de a vira la dreapta, pe Drumul Taberei.  Nici o masina blindata–tanc sau T.A.B.–nu procedase, pina atunci astfel.  Eram la etajul intii.  Am vazut clar cum cele doua autovehicule blindate, s-au furisat intre tancuri, unde au stationat, pret de 20-30 minute.  Nici vorba de steagul alb, pomenit de doamna ziarista!  Daca au venit cu ginduri curate, de ce s-au oprit intre tancuri si nu s-au indreptat spre poarta ministerului?  Probabil din cauza ca — asa cum s-a constatat dimineata — nici un uslas nu avea asupra sa documente de identitate –iata un raspuns care contine alta intrebare!  De ce nu au incercat sa ia legatura cu noi?  (In A.B.I.-uri, dimineata s-au gasit doua portavoce).  Dar sa continuam cu faptele.  Am fugit repede la postul meu de lupta, schimbul de focuri incepuse si am vazut, cu ochii mei, cum mitraliera de pe un A.B.I. tragea spre unul din blindatele noastre.  Pe unul din tancuri am vazut o umbra — mi s-a parut ca cineva incearca sa foloseasca mitraliera a.a.  !!  Pentru mine nu este clar nici cum au ajuns cei trei supravietuitori in blocul A.1.  Probabil ca ei debarcasera inainte — focul nostru era prea dens ca sa mai scape cineva.  Oricum, din felul cum au actionat cele doua echipaje, este clar ca nu au avut intentii prietenesti…Si inca ceva.  La aproximativ o ora dupa incetarea focului am vazut vreo zece indivizi care au iesit — cu mare dexteritate — pe unul din geamurile de la parterul blocului B.3…

Colonel Romulus Antonescu:  Si eu vazut, pe unul din tancuri — inainte de a trage A.B.I.-ul din fata lui — o umbra:  mi-era chiar teama sa nu fie lovita de tragatorii nostri.  Afirmatia din Zig-Zag — ca cei de las U.S.L.A. “n-au tras nici un foc” — nu este adevarata.  Pe toti ne-a mirat lumina alba de la teava mitralierei de pe A.B.I. (ei trageau fara trasoare):  dovada ca se tragea, din turela tancului sareau scintei asemeni artificiilor de la pomul de iarna.

Capitan Mihai Munteanu:  Este oare, intimplator ca din echipajele respective faceau parte doi fost ceisti?  De unul dintre acestia destul de dur le era frica multora dintre ofiteri armatei din Bucuresti…iar faptul ca in noaptea respectiva, aceeasi persoana purta uniforma de -a noastra –avind la manta epoletii de locotenent-colonel de geniu si la vestonul de fresco (!) epoleti de maior inginer — cum poate fi interpretat?

Locotonent-major Cristian Costache:  Ca ofiter de control si comanduire, asiguram traficul in sediul ministerului.  Era acalmie, liniste deplina.  Nu fusesem preveniti de sosirea A.B.I.-urilor.  Primul care le-a zarit — “doua mogildete” intre tancuri — a fost colegul meu Radu Dragos, capitan post-mortem.  A fost impuscat in seara de 24 decembrie…

Ce zic tanchistii?

–Domnule capitan Gheorge Tanase, sinteti comandantul companiei de tancuri care, in acea noapte ocupa dispozitiv de lupta in fata Centrului de Calcul.  Ce s-a intimplat, de fapt?

–In primul rind, am fost total surprinsi de venirea — la orele 0,10 — si stationarea celor doua A.B.I.-uri intre tancurile noastre.  Incepind cu noi — cei din linia intii — si terminind cu grupa centrala, care conducea actiunile in sediul M.Ap.N. Nu am fost in nici un fel avertizati, nu ni s-a comunicat semnele de recunoastere si cooperare.  N-am deschis focu de indata ce i-am remarcat — cumne acuza doamna ziarista.  Intre venirea lor si deschiderea focului a trecut aproape o jumatate de ceas!  Initial ni s-a ordonat sa asteptam pina se vor face cercetari.  Prin statie am auzit ca cei din A.B.I.-uri au raportat ca sint trimisi de un oarecare maior Roman de la F.G.M.S. (Din cite am inteles acest ofiter nu exista).  Ni s-a cerut sa vedem ce-i cu ele si, la nevoie sa procedam conform situatiei in care ne aflam, adica de lupta.  Nu a fost nici eroare, nici crima.  Noi am tras fiind convinsi ca nu avem de-a face cu prieteni…

–In afara de modul –interpretat ca suspect–, in care au patruns in dispozitivul dumneavoastra, ce dovezi mai aveti?

–Faptul ca, la teava unuia dintre tancuri, tabla de protectie a fost rupta in doua locuri, trei din pistoalele mitraliera pe care le-am “capturat” (cu teava scurta si incarcator de 20 cartuse)  aveau tevile afumate, turela tancului de comandat de locotenentul maior Vasile Barbu a fost blocata, iar dimineata plutonierul Butoi a gasit pe tancul sau un pistol mitraliera si o lanterna de semnalizare…Cit despre dotare, sa nu-mi zica mie cum am citit intr-un ziar de mare tiraj– ca era jalnica, in nivelul armatei.  A doua zi, am recuperat, din cele doua autoblindate, radiotelefoane Telefunken, veste antiglont, pistoale de 9 mm, pumnale, binoclu cu infrarosu — care pentru noi constituiau noutatii absolute.  Si, pentru ca tot am fost provocati, sa va mai spun ceva.  Dimineata, cind l-am intrebat “de ce ai tras, ma?” unul dintre cei trei supravietuitori, pe care i-am gasit in blocul de vizavi mi-a raspuns:  “Ce p. mati, si eu execut acelasi ordin ca si tine!!!”  E clar ca nu au venit ca prieteni!

–In Zig-Zag, sub o poza, sta urmatoarea explicatie:  “A.B.I.-il dupa ce s-a tras in ei cu tunul”…

Locotenent Liviu Lita: Nu ma mai mira nimic, din moment ce o ziarista se amesteca in probleme de armament si munitie.  Noi o informam — daca vrea, intr-adevar, sa stie adevarul — ca greutatea unui proiectil nu este cu mult sub 20 kilograme, iar viteza cu care paraseste teava depaseste 800 pe secunda.  in asemenea conditii — avind in vedere si distanta mica de tragere — A.B.I.-ul ar fi fost facut praf.  Dar noi nu am folosit tunul pentru ca, la citiva pasi, erau blocul de locuinte…La fel de gogonata este si minciuna ca am fi tras cu mitraliera de 12,7 mm.  Folosirea acesteia presupune ridicarea deasupra turelei, ori nimeni nu era nebun sa puna in pericol viata servantiilor, atita vreme cit teroristii misunau prin blocurile de peste drum!

Partea civila

Trei din membrii celor doua echipaje, ramasi in viata s-au refugiat in blocul A.1., la scara B.  Redam mai jos ce ne-au declarat doua dintre locaterele imobilului:

Maria Sincai (apart. 34):  In jurul orei 02,00 am auzit ca in usa a batut cineva, nu tare, tare.  Apoi a sunat.  nu am raspuns.  Jos se tragea.  Numai cind a inceput sa piriieyala am deschis.  Pe prag — lac de singe:  erau trei oameni in niste uniforme mai deosebite, un fel de combinezoane kaki, unul singera la stomac si picior.  Am aflat ca a mai ramas unul ranit in mijlocul strazii, si carea ajutor, dar fiind mai corpolent, nu l-au putut trage.  Ne-au rugat sa stergem singele de pe scare spunind:  “astia de jos stiu ca sintem aici si ne iau ca din oala.”  Am intrebat daca exista posibilitati — pe la subsol sau prin pod — ca sa poata parasi blocul pe partea cealalta.  Nu stiu cind au ascuns pistolul sub covor.  Baiatului meu i-au cerut haine civile.  Unul din ei, Romica a telefonat de vreo doua ori, la seful lor, probabil.  Au si primit un telefon.  La un moment dat, spre dimineata, spune cam asa:  “Ce faceti, domnule, cum ne scoateti de aici, ca ne fac praf?  Ei ne-au luat drept altii”…  “Sa stit ca sint foarte bine pregatiti.  De la Favorit la poarta de intrare sint tancuri pe amindoua partile.  Ne-au facut zob”…

Stela Baila (apart. 25):  Dimineata, eu am cules doua pistoale de pe scari si le-am predat tanchistilor.  Cind baiatul doamnei Sincai a coborit (in pijama), eu am anuntat armata ca avem “oaspeti”.  Apoi, au venit militarii, i-au ridicat.  unul din cei trei ne-a zis rizind:  “O sa vedeti, sintem armata, sintem romani, nu teroristi.”

In loc de concluziile, sa redam si opinia unui alt martor ocular, locontenent-colonelul Vasile Tintas:  Stim acum, ca U.S.L.A. era o unitate formata in principal din cadre din foarte buni profesionisti.  Ei trebuiau sa-si dea seama ca aici vor intilni tot profesionisti.  Or, prin modul in care s-au comportat, chiar in varianta ca au fost chemati — si au facut dovada celui mai pur amatorism, daca nu este vorba de altceva.  Pentru ca toata conduita lor — incepind cu parasirea cazarmii de catre seful de stat major intr-un moment in care comandantul unitatii lipsea, apoi stingerea farurilor etc. –  a contrazis modul firesc de actiune.  Asa ca in nici un caz accidental nu a fost generat de trupele aflate in dispozitiv.

Deci lucrurile nu stau asa de simplu, pe cit incearca sa le prezinte doamna Bacescu.  Declaratiile redate mai sus isca o multime de intrebari.  Cei patru uslasi care au supravietuit — locotenent-major Romulus Girz, plutonierul Petre Gainescu, sergentii-majorit Stefan Soldea si Ionel Paduraru — speram sa ne fie in curind interlocutori.

Maior MIHAI FLOCA

“Crima?!” Armata Poporului, nr. 23 (6 iunie 1990), p. 3.

Romania 1989: Unde sint teroristii? PE STRADA, PRINTRE NOI (I) 13 iunie 1990

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on March 30, 2010

Ziarul armatei–deci al unei institutii situate, gratie Revolutiei din Decembrie, in afara politicii–nu este, in mod deliberat, o publicatie polemica. Asa cum este si organismul din care faceum parte, noi, ziaristii militari, am optat pentru o atitudine sobra, echilibrata, pe cit posibil obiectiva, constienti de faptul ca, prin lispa materialelor sezationale, de scandal vom avea, pentru inceput, o audienta mai redusa in rindul cititorilor. Fericiti ca, in sfirsit, ne putem vedea de treburile noastre–ca si armata in ansamblul el, de altfel–noi nu ne-am propus deci, in mod programatic, sa ne luam la harta cu diverse organe de presa din tari, nici vorba de cele din strainatate. Iata, insa, ca saptaminal independent “Expres”–nr. 18, mai 1990–ne pune la curent cu dezvaluirile senzationale ale revistei franceze “LE POINT”, din 21 mai 1990. Initial, ne-am gindit ca-i treaba politicienilor sa dezamorseze, sa combata continuntul incitantului articol, intitulat “In Romania, complotul iese la iveala.” Dar cind am aflat, de la niste ziaristi straini, ca armata noastra “a tras si asupra propriilor rinduri, astfel ca, in confuzia generala, au murit aproape la fel de multi ostasi si civili,” nu am putut ramine in expectativa. Pentru ca este vorba de o incalificabila ofensa adusa eroilor pe care armata i-a jertfit pe altarul Revolutiei. Noi nu cunoastem meseria armelor din carti, ci am deprins-o in poligoane, pe cimpurile de instructie. Daca accidentele se pot produce si pe timp de pace–lucru de care ne-au convins viata, practica militara pe care am trait-o, vreme de peste doua decenii–acestea au fost pe deplin posibile, si chiar s-au produs, si pe timpul Revolutiei, cind inamicul era peste tot si nicaieri. Dar de aici si pina a afirma ca cei 267 de morti si 674 raniti ai armatei s-au impuscat intre ei e o cale atit de lunga, pe care nici un om cu buna credinta n-ar face-o. Nu punem la indoiala buna credinta a jurnalistilor francezi, desi ideea promovata de ei convine de minune celor care se dau de ceasul mortii sa ne demonstreaza ca, de fapt, teroristii n-au existat. Fie-ne, insa, permis sa aratam ca documentarea celor de la “Le point” a fost, cel putin, incompleta. O spunem noi, care am fost tot timpul aici, reporteri printre gloante, in punctele fierbinti ale Revolutiei. O spunem si o argumentam, pentru inceput, cu fapte petrecute in zona sediului Ministerului Apararii Nationale.

DIVERSIUNE SI INTIMIDARE.

Nu ne vine sa credem! Desi a trecut peste o jumatate de an de la consumarea
evenimentelor, oamenii sint speriati. Este vorba de locatarii celor trei
blocuri–A1, A2, B3–dispuse in fata Centrul de Calcul al M.Ap.N. In urma cu
citeva saptamini, erau deschisi, raspundeau la orice intrebare, relatau faptele,
imprejurarile extrem de grele prin care au trecut, iar acum sint prudenti, retinuti, tematori. Mai mult, o doamna–cu mina pe inima si vocea tremurinda–ne
sfatuieste sa o lasam balta, ca riscam prea mult…

Ce s-a intimplat de fapt? In ultima vreme, pe la usile unor apartamente, au
batut citeva…persoane de bine, care, cu destula discretie–si
subtitlitate–s-au straduit sa le explice oamenilor cum s-au petrecut, cu
adevarat, lucrurile in perioada 22-25 decembrie 1989. De exemplu, in blocul A.1,
apartamentul 27, o doamna–banuitaj de a fi avut, in trecut, relatii cu
securitatea de trist renume–le a sugerat gazdelor cum sa interpreteze ,corect’
incidentul cu cele doua A.B.I.-uri din noaptea de 23/24 decembrie.

Alti vizitatori n-au avut nici macar inspiratia de a-si disimula identitatea
(sau poate ca chiar asta au facut). Domnilor, mie sa nu-mi dati numele la ziar,
ne roaga alt locatar. Am avut destule necazuri cu securitatea. In 21 mai, a fost
la mine un maior de politie, Popescu zicea ca-l cheama. S-a interesat despre
teroristii care au tras din blocul nostru. I-am spus ca, daca vrea sa loveasca in armata, nu are nici o sansa: au tot adevarul ii voi
spune. In final mi-a adresat o rugaminte: sa nu stie cei de la armata de vizita
lui… A revenit peste 2-3 zile, dar mi-a fost frica sa-i mai deschid…”

Cine-o fi misteriosul maior si de ce pastreaza atita discretie? Se pare insa ca
persoanele cu pricina manifesta un mare interes pentru blocul B.3. Domnul Stancu
Varzan are mai mult curaj.

–Dumneavoastra nu stiti ce nopti de cosmar am trait noi: se tragea si din fata
si din spate, de la gunoaie. Totul a inceput in 22 decembrie, pe la orele 22.00:
la inceput sa auzeau focuri izolate. Apoi–ca la razboi. Numai in baie ne
simteam oarecum in siguranta. La un moment dat, am si ris. Fata mea a plecat
pina la bucatarie si, cind s-a intors, ne-a spus sa fim linistiti ca, de sus, de
pe bloc, trage o mitraliera si ne apara! Era vorba, de fapt, de o
pusca-mitraliera, care executa foc spre Centrul de Calcul…Si de pe casa
scarilor s-a tras, in aceasi directie. Teroristii au incercat sa intre la mine in apartament, dar noi avuseseram grija sa blocam usa cu un cuier
greu. Sint bolnavi astia care vor sa ne convinga ca a tras armata in noi si ca,
de fapt, nici nu au existat teroristi. Dar i-am auzit discutind precipitat,
tropaind: in jurul blocului, pe scari, pe acoperis.

In acelasi bloc, stam de vorba si cu sotii Florica si Gheorghe Petrut. Sint
revoltati.

–Au fost la noi doi civili, spune doamna. Ne-au fluturat pe sub nas niste
legitimatii, din care am retinut ca sint de la militia din Turnu-Severin. Cind
noi am intrebat cine a tras, ei ne-au informat: “armata a tras.” Bine, dar in
armata cine a tras?–am continuat noi–doar in parcul din fata blocului au fost
impuscati studenti militari. “Au tras unii in altii”–ni s-a raspuns.

Si in incheiere, gazdele noastre ne avertizeaza:

–Fiti cu mare bagare de seama, domnilor ofiteri. Astia au tot interesul sa va
compromita!!!

Deci ,baietii’ lucreaza. Fara voie ne gindim la povestea cu lupul care se
intoarce la locul unde a mincat o oaie. Si a criminalului care se intoarce la locul faptei…

(Maior Mihai Floca si Capitan Victor Stoica, Armata Poporului, 13 iunie 1990, p. 3)

Unde sint teroristii? PE STRADA, PRINTRE NOI (II) (Romania, decembrie 1989)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on March 30, 2010

Armata Poporului, nr. 26, 27 iunie 1990

Mult incercatul bloc A1

Prinsi intre focuri–ale teroristilor, dintr-o parte, si cele ale militarilor aflati in dispozitivul de aparare al M.Ap.N., din cealalta parte–locatarii blocului A1 (Drumul Taberei, 16) au trait, in zilele Revolutiei din Decembrie, nopti de groaza.  Sa-i ascultam.

–Eu, pur si simplu, nu inteleg domnilor, cum unii ziaristi pot fi asa de rai si palavragii.  Distrug omul, nu alta!  S-au scris in presa fel de fel de minciuni despre ce s-a intimplat aici, in zilele si noptile ce au urmat fugii lui Ceausescu.  Unii s-au apucat sa arate–culmea nerusinarii!–ca nici n-au fost teroristi.  Pe noi, insa, nu ne-a intrebat nimeni:  ce am trait, ce am simtit atunci, cum am supravietuit…

Si spre a fi mai convingatoare, doamna Stela Baila (scara B, apart. 26) ne arata o cutie cu…gloante (18 la numar), pe care le-a strins din camere.

–Cum a inceput lupta?

–Era pe 22 decembrie.  In jurul orei 21,00 am vazut, aproape de poarta Centrului de Calcul, un TIR mare, un fel de sa lunga.  Soldatii nici nu apucasera sa ia pozitie de lupta.  De sub masina s-a deschis focul:  atit spre Ministerul Apararii Nationale, cit si spre noi.  Tirul era foarte intens, cred ca de sub masina trageau peste 20 de indivizi.  Un glont mi-a trecut pe deasupra capului si s-a infipt, uitati-i urma, sub tavan.  Ce a urmat, nu va mai spun.  Ne-am refugiat in camera din spate, dar nici acolo n-am avut parte de liniste:  din parculet, se auzeau multe strigate, apoi a inceput rapaiala.  De pe toate blocurile se tragea!  Tocmai umblam la televizor, il reglam, cind un glont a lovit in perete, deasupra televizorului, la citeva zeci de centimetri de capul meu.  M-am ales doar cu o rana la mina stinga.  Dupa ce teroristii ne-au mai “onorat” cu un glont, am fugit in baie.  Dimineata, geamurile erau faramitate.

Din aceeasi directie, dinspre blocul B4, s-a tras si in apartamentul vecin.  Gaura din geam se afla la aceeasi inaltime cu cea de pe perete:  1,45 m.  Dat fiind ca apartamentul se gaseste la etajul 1, este evident ca teroristul a deschis foc dintr-un loc situat la aceeasi inaltime.  De la locatarii acestui apartament (27), aflam ca teroristii erau imbracati intr-un fel de salopete, probabil de culoare gri.

–Da, i-am vazut cu ochii nostri.  Alergau ca niste speriati prin parculet, de la un bloc la altul, isi aminteste doamna Maria Cotofana.  Dupa miezul noptii, in careul format din cele trei blocuri a avut locu un violent schimb de focuri.  Apoi, am auzit batai puternice in usa.  “Deschideti, sintem armata, avem raniti!”–auzeam de pe scari.  Am primit si noi un ranit–il cheama Cristian Popescu si niste student la Academia Tehnica Militara–impreuna cu un coleg.  Imedia cei doi tineri s-au repezit la balcon, sa traga in teroristii care le-au ucis colegii.  Foarte greu i-am determinat sa renunte, le-am explicat ca teroristii ne “avertizasera” deja si ne vor face zob apartamentul.  Ii vedeam cum se chinuiesc privind neputinciosi cum banditii scuipau moarte si foc de pe blocul B3…

“Au tras din blocul meu!!!”

Exista locatari care i-au vazut foarte de aproape pe teroristi, au discutat cu ei. Unul din acesti oameni a acceptat sa ne povesteasca patania sa, dar cu conditia sa nu-i precizam identitatea. Intimplarea a avut loc in aceeasi noapte: 22/23 decembrie 1989.

–Sa tot fi fost 12,30-1,00, cind am auzit “poc, poc, poc”–cineva umbla pe balcon. Fiindca am instalatie electrica acolo, am aprins lumina. Am deschis prima usa ce dadea spre balcon si am vazut un tinar de 24-25 de ani: brunetel, creol, cu parul andulat, slabut. Purta of gluga bej, iar pe deasupra un fel de veston kaki. Inapoi lui, pe lada mai era unul. Grozav m-am speriat: “Deschideti, deschideti”–mi-a strigat brunetul. Am raspuns instantaneu: “Nu se poate, e militia la mine, e militia la mine!” si am inchis usa la loc. El a scos ceva din buzunar–un corp rotund–si a spart geamul usii din exterior. Am fugit, iar in urma mea au rasunat focuri de arma.

Intr-adevar, pe peretele opus balconului sint citeva gauri: acestea nu puteau fi provocate decit de gloante trase din balcon. Din acest balcon–asa cum ne-a relatat locotenentul Marius Mitrofan–s-a tras si asupra studentilor de la Academia Tehnica Militara.

–L-ati recunoaste pe cel care a tras?

–L-am si recunoscut! Dar ma opresc aici, ca si asa am spus prea multe!

Sa mai adaugum ca, pe 23 decembrie, cind gazda noastra a povestit scena cu balconul, un vecin, “binevoitor,” i-a spus: “ti s-a nazarit.”

Foc concentrat asupra Centrului de calcul!

Spre Centrul de Calcul al M.Ap.N. teroristii si-au indreptat cu predilectie armele. Oricine poate constata asta. Daca s-ar fi inarmat cu putina rabdare, gazetarii revistei “Le Point” ar fi putut numara, in peretele frontul al cladirii, circa 300 urme de gloante.  La care trebuie adaugate si gaurile care se mai vad, inca, in geamuri.  Sigur, geamurile ciuruite au fost schimbate, dar,–prevazatori si rigurosi–, cei din Centrul de Calcul, au avut grija sa le fotografieze.  Avem, la redactie, cliseele respective si le putem pune la dispozitia oricui.  Ne este imposibil sa credem ipoteza cu “confuzia generala” a confratilor francezi.  Pentru ca aici nu este vorba de doua, trei focuri–scapate, la un moment dat, intr-o directie gresita–, ci de sute de gloante trimise cu buna stiinta, nopti de-a rindul, asupra unui obiectiv militar.  Si vizind cu prioritate birourile cadrelor cu functii de raspundere.

S-a tras nu numai din strada, ci, in special, de la etajele superioare ale cladirilor de peste drum.

–Noi nu avem caderea sa acuzam pe nimeni–arata colonelul Marcel Dumitru.  Dar nu ne putem mira indeajuns de faptul ca nimeni din cei in drept nu a initiat pina acum o cercetare.  Nu stim cine a tras, dar stim, cu destula precizie, de unde s-a tras in noi.  Cind copacii erau desfunziti, privind prin gaurile produse de gloante in geamurile noastre–avem geamuri duble–vizam tocmai acoperisul, balconul, fereasta de unde s-a tras?

De altfel, cu pricepere de artilerist, pe baza observatiilor facute in acele vile de decembrie, maiorul Vasile Savu a intocmit o schema cu locurile de unde s-a tras asupra Centrului de Calcul.  Numaram pe schema peste 25 puncte de foc, citeva din acestea coincid cu cele indicate de studentii Academiei Tehnice Militare.  In “Le Point” se arata:  “Desigur, citiva securisti, infierbintati, au tras pe strada, de pe acoperisuri.  Dar nu era decit o mina de oameni, cei multi fiind falsii “teroristi”…armata a amplificat roulu securistilor si a plasat ea insasi falsi teroristi in diferite cartiere ale capitalei.”  Ce om cu mintea intreaga poate accepta ideea ca armata a ordonat unor membri ai ei sa traga asupra proprilului minister?!!

Centrul de Calcul este doar una din cladirile aflate in localul M.Ap.N.  Nu vom sti niciodata, cu exactitate cite gloante s-au tras asupra integrului complex.  Oricum, in comparatie cu cele ce au tintit Centrul de Calcul, acestea sint mult mai multe, ele producind victime mai ales in rindurile personalului neadapostit.

Sa mai amintim ca in 22/23 decembrie, tot inainte de a intra in sediul M.Ap.N.–deci in aceleasi conditii, ca si cei cinci studenti–au cazut un ofiter, un subofiter, si doi soldati dint-o unitate de parasutisti.  Tot aici Regimentul de Garda a avut 9 mortii–doi ofiteri si sapte soldati–toti impuscate dupa ce intrasera in dispozitivul de aparare constituit in curtea ministerului.  Deci au cazut, in total, 18 eroi.  Vom afla, vreodata, cine-i are pe constiinta?

(Maior Mihai Floca si Capitan Victor Stoica, “Unde sint teroristii?  PE STRADA, PRINTRE NOI (II), Armata Poporului, 27 iunie 1990, p. 3)

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cateva articole mai vechi de catre Mihai Floca:

from https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/orwellian%E2%80%A6positively-orwellian%E2%80%9D-prosecutor-voinea%E2%80%99s-campaign-to-sanitize-the-romanian-revolution-of-december-1989-part-8-usla-and-friends/

Mihai Floca’s credibility on the issue of what happened on the night of 23-24 December with the USLA units at the Defense Ministry, what happened on the other nights of the period of the Revolution in the same location, and on the claims of residents of these blocs—as noted, witness accounts that other publications simply ignored—is enhanced by the fact that his articles from late December 1989 through 1990 clearly do not show someone out “to get” the USLA or tarnish their reputation.

What is particularly notable is that after writing the (in)famous 26 December 1989 Romania Libera article (“Ucigasii de meserie al teroristului nr. 1,” p. 3) claiming that these USLA personnel in the Defense Ministry incident were “terrorists,” Floca wrote articles demonstrating how the USLA collaborated with the Army in certain actions during December 1989, at the CC building (“Actiune concertata impotriva pericolului,” Romania Libera 29 December 1989, p. 4) and at the Television Station (“Reportaj la U.S.L.A.,” Tineretul Liber, 5 January 1990, p.4).  Only in June 1990, did he begin publishing interviews with the Army soldiers involved in the 23-24 December incident with the USLA at the Defense Ministry and with the residents of the surrounding blocs.  These articles were as he noted prompted by two developments:  the articles in the opposition publication Zig-Zag rehabilitating the USLA and claiming they were innocent victims in the Defense Ministry incident (authored by the Securitate’s number one cheerleader, Angela Bacescu), and articles in the French press arguing that the “terrorists” had not existed.

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I.  Suspecting/Blaming the USLA:  Cloaking a Coup, Creating a Revolutionary Halo for a Bloodstained Army, or Accidental?

a) Where could the idea that the USLA was hostile to the Revolution have possibly come from?

To believe the revisionists, the idea that during the December events there existed “terrorists” and that the Securitate’s anti-terrorist special unit was behind the “terrorism” originated in the minds and announcements of Romanian Television reporters Teodor Brates and Alexandru Stark, General Nicolae Tudor and other military officials at the Television station, and/or General Nicolae Militaru, Silviu Brucan, Ion Iliescu and other members of the National Salvation Front.  A popular belief among revisionists is that they were all in on this deception, the new political officials and televsion personalities.  At their most charitable, revisionists will argue that the suspicion regarding the existence of “terrorists” and of the USLA specifically was based in an understandable and rational fear regarding the Ceausescu regime—but that ultimately these fears were misplaced, and that the suspicion of the USLA actually played a large role in contributing to needless bloodshed after Ceausescu fled.  As in so many controversies surrounding the Revolution, little effort has been made in “process tracing,” working backwards to find the roots of claims and ideas.

It is significant that in 1990, the infamous Securitate cheerleader, Angela Bacescu, blamed all of the above personalities for creating “imaginary terrorists,” but also added another culprit.

“Among those [who showed up at Television on the afternoon of 22 December after Ceausescu fled] was this Cirjan, an ordinary thief, who entered with a false ID.  He had been thrown out of the USLA, several years earlier, because he was stealing from passengers’ baggage, was dealing on the black market, and other such things, and [here] he is from the first moment shouting ‘Death to the Securitate’ and ‘The USLA are coming to shoot us’.” (Bacescu, “Romania Mare” 7 September 1990, p. 5a; see also her allegations against Cirjan in the 21 August 1990 edition)

A “Constantin Cirjan” appears on the list of the 38 “founding” members of the National Salvation Front read out on Television by Ion Iliescu.  And, although I cannot verify that they are one and the same, it is possible that this Constantin Cirjan is the same as a Captain Constantin Cirjan of Romania’s special “mountain hunter” forces, whose recent training exercises are discussed on a web page (see geocities.com/romanianspecialforces/vanatoridemunte).  It would certainly make sense, given that the “mountain hunter” forces were affiliated with the Securitate before the Revolution, and USLA training would likely have had many similarities with the current training of these “mountain hunter” forces.

This is signficant.  In other words, the point that so many revisionists highlight—how was it that even before the “terrorists” appeared, Television was warning about their appearance?—appears to have an explanation.  We must ask:  what would lead Cirjan to suspect this?  From where would he have such information?  Even if we assume for a minute that Bacescu has made up this episode, the question is why?  Afterall, she already targets Brates, Stark, etc. for this allegedly false, intentional “rumor” about the existence of “terrorists” and the USLA’s contribution to them.  True, Bacescu could be wrong, misinformed, or determined to find a scapegoat or settle scores with this individual.  But the point is that she identifies the source of the USLA rumor as a former member of the USLA—in other words, someone with access to such knowledge.  In other words, the “USLA rumor” appears to have originated not with Brates, Stark, or others, but from a former USLA member.

b) But what evidence exists to believe that Front officials at the time suspected the USLA?  Were the public statements that the USLA were involved merely for public consumption, and did not reflect their actual beliefs—particularly in the event that they were lying to begin with and knew the USLA was innocent?

Despite expressions of suspicion of the USLA on TV and elsewhere, regime forces followed the so-called “Special Action Plan” that called for the combined participation of Army units alongside USLA and other Securitate units.  In Bucharest and elsewhere, the USLA were sent out on patrol in pursuit of the “terrorists” (for example, Buzau and Arad, see Armata Romana in Revolutia din Decembrie 1989, p. 192, 209).  With USLA Commander Ardeleanu having “joined” the Revolution from early on, and with the appearance of USLA cooperation, Front officials found it hard to believe that the USLA were the “terrorists.”

Yet they kept on getting reports that something was not right.*  At the very least, Securitate Director General Vlad and USLA Commander Ardeleanu were not putting all their cards on the table, unwilling or “unable” to fulfill requests for maps of Securitate safehouses and architectural plans of key buildings that might have clarified from where the shooting was coming and what exactly was going on (Ardeleanu himself seems to have admitted this obliquely in a document drafted on 8 January 1990, see its reproduction in Dan Badea, “Cine au fost teroristii?,” “Expres,” 15-21 October 1991, p. 15).  In theory, the USLA had either surrendered their registered arms on the 22nd, and/or were performing joint missions with the Army to root out the “terrorists.”  The straw that appeared to break the camel’s back was the arrest of an armed USLA sergeant, Ion Popa Stefan, in the neighborhood of the Defense Ministry—he claimed he was on his way to the Defense Ministry to “surrender”.  Commander Ardeleanu is said to have played dumb upon being confronted with the news:  “I think it’s the hand of my chief of staff Trosca, he’s done this to me” (Lt. Col. Mihai Floca and a group of Army officers, “Eroi, victime sau teroristi?” “Adevarul,” 29 August 1990).  Senior Army officers and Front leaders had had enough.  They would try to call Ardeleanu’s bluff and give them a “loyalty test” of sorts.

One important admission from Commander Ardeleanu—one that has little alternative explanation given his accusations toward Army General Nicolae Militaru who instructed Ardeleanu to order USLA units to the building—severely undermines much that underlies revisionist accounts that Trosca and his men were intentionally lured into a diabolical ambush:

“…When I reported at the Defense Ministry [during the late evening of 23 December], I was asked to give details regarding the organization of the unit, its subdivisions, responsibilities, and attributes.  After this, I was told that the Defense Ministry was being attacked from all around…Then, General Militaru announced that in the “Orizont” building terrorists had barricaded themselves and were firing on the Defense Ministry, ordering me to transmit to my unit an order that 3 intervention groups come to annihilate the terrorists.  He warned me that the order I would transmit would be recorded and that I should proceed with this in mind. I transmitted the order to Colonel B.I. [Ion Bleort] who reported to me that by his side was Colonel Gheorghe Trosca, the unit’s chief of staff, who would take measures to execute the order.  Keeping in mind the importance of the mission I gave the order.  I know that I pronounced the name of Colonel Trosca, and therefore those present knew that he would lead the group.”  [interview from 1991, in Bacescu 1994, p. 116]

This passage is critical for two reasons in terms of the revisionist accounts:  a) it was Ardeleanu, not Militaru or anyone else, who chose Col. Trosca, and b) it was known that the USLA transmissions would be recorded.  Furthermore, the passage testifies to the suspicion of Front leaders:  why all the questions to Ardeleanu about the composition and activities of his unit?

The understanding of what followed, the famous so-called “Defense Ministry incident,” in which seven USLA members lost their lives after Army units out front of the building opened fire upon them, became even more confused after exchanges from the tape of USLA transmissions appeared in the press in early 1993 (Ioan Itu, “Armata Trage in Propriul Minister,” “Tinerama” 8-14 January 1993, p. 7—pretty much the entire article and discussion of this important incident shows up in Deletant, pp. 360-362).  Those exchanges show Trosca communicating to an uncomprehending Bleort back at USLA headquarters—Trosca repeated himself several times—that “a column of six-seven TABs, two trucks with soldiers and two ARO, fired for ten minutes on the Ministry and then stopped.”  In other words, Army units were firing on their own ministry.  A few minutes after Trosca’s announcement to headquarters, Trosca reported that Army tanks guarding the ministry had opened up fire on his USLA team’s armored personnel carriers (ABI).  The impression one gets after that is that the USLA personnel became tank fodder and that they never event fired a shot in response.  The journalist Ioan Itu concluded from this, and Deletant appears to accept, that the USLA detachment had been attacked “because they had to disappear, having accidentally witnessed one part of the Army at war with another part of the Army.”

Of course, there is more to this story.  It was not just a few minutes between the arrival of the USLA detachment at the scene, their report of what was going on, and their coming under attack.  Instead, they had stationed themselves in between tanks—as they had been instructed—for almost a half hour, without making contact with anyone among the Army personnel out front of the Ministry, a fact which caused obvious suspicion for those personnel.  Moreover, according to officers interviewed in spring 1990, they witnessed gunfire from the guns on the USLA vehicles, three of the machine guns recovered from the USLA vehicles showed signs of having been fired, the gunbarrell of one the tanks had been blocked, and on the top of another tank a machine gun and signal lantern were found (Major Mihai Floca, “Crima?” “Armata Poporului” 6 June 1990, p. 3).

What is amazing, of course, if we take Trosca’s transmission about the Army forces firing on their own ministry at face value, is that somehow this occurred “for ten minutes” and yet there is no report that the USLA detachment or the Army units defending the Ministry were hit or returned fire.  And when the USLA detachment is attacked it is from the units guarding the Ministry…because they are embarrassed ?, afraid ? that the USLA personnel witnessed something they should not have seen?  And why or how did these rebel Army units stop attacking the Ministry and what became of them? Furthermore, as Army General Tiberiu Udrareanu relates:

“Personally, I have serious doubts regarding the use of  ‘7-8 TAB-uri, two trucks of soldiers (two platoons) and two AROs’ in a mission of this type, to be able to operate in the center of the Capital and to not be seen by a single person.  And the survivors, because we are talking about hundreds of people, have kept this secret so tightly for over seven years?” (Udrareanu 1996, p. 143).

Indeed, the latter point is significant, as one could imagine how once the content of the tapes were made public, that some lips might have loosened.  And I ask the reader:  which is more plausible, that Trosca—knowing his words were being listened to—was lying or trying to communicate something in code to his headquarters, or that hundreds of soldiers—including draftees and students at the military academy—could or would keep quiet about Army units intentionally attacking their own Ministry?

What happened after the firefight is even more intriguing as evidence of the genuine suspicion of the USLA on the part of Front leaders.  USLA Lieutenant Stefan Soldea who survived the firefight outside the Defense Ministry relates what happened when he was taken to the building.  Remember, here is an USLA officer, who participated in this key incident and his clearly defending his own actions and those of his unit, talking about his experiences in the pages of the Securitate mouthpiece “Europa,” so hardly in a position to, as is soften alleged, be somehow serving the Front leadership:

“A civilian, Gelu Voican Voiculescu, was in the office surrounded by the other generals [Army General Nicolae Militaru, Militia General Cimpeanu, Securitate General Iulian Vlad, and Securitate Fifth Directorate General Neagoe]…he began to interrogate me, ordering that my USLA commander, Colonel Ardeleanu go outside.  He demanded information about the organization, make-up, and functioning of  the unit, its address, what the unit’s members were doing at that moment, my personal information, after which he confronted me with Colonel Ardeleanu and asked me to identify who he was…”(“Crime care nu se prescriu,” interview with Angela Bacescu, “Europa” 28 July-5 August 1992).

Among the many interesting details that come out of Soldea’s interview is his complaint that the next day of his detention he “was forced to take a urinalysis test to see if I was drugged.”  What does all this tell us?  At the very least, it tells us that Voiculescu and other Front officials suspected that the USLA were the terrorists and suspected that—as the rumor circulated at the time (it turned out to be correct, but that is an issue for a different discussion)—they were drugged.**

This was an incredible and inexplicable charade to go through at the time if Voiculescu, who is always portrayed as one of those at the center of the alleged Front “staged war,” was attempting to stage such a confrontation.  If the Front “controlled” the “terrorists,” why do this?  Who exactly were Front leaders trying to impress/convince with this incident?  Moreover, if this truly was a charade—such as is alleged of the Ceausescus’ trial and execution—why is there no record/tape of it?  Would not this have been a great bit of counter-propaganda to the revisionists that could have been given to the media to protect their reputations and credibility?

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/26/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-six/

Dupa 20 de ani: Adevarul vinde…minciuni…fabricate de catre fosta securitate (Angela Bacescu, aprilie 1990)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on March 30, 2010

Cazul Angela Bacescu

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