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.

Grosescu and Ursachi “The Romanian Revolution in Court” (annotated) III (The claims of Teodor Doru Maries)

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

Raluca Grosescu and Raluca Ursachi, “The Romanian Revolution in Court:  What Narratives about 1989?” in Vladimir Tismaneanu and Bogdan C. Iacob, Remembrance, History, and Justice. Coming to terms with traumatic pasts in democratic societies.  (New York:  Central European University Press, 2015), pp. 257-293.

In this series, we will look at parts of the Grosescu and Ursachi chapter that necessitate exposition–exposition that is easily derived from my prior research and publications.  In episode one , we looked at Grosescu and Ursachi’s  understanding of “plan ZZ,” which Grosescu and Ursachi suggest was a “fantasy scenario” of somehow abstruse allegations invented for the purposes of the initial post-December 1989 trials: .  In episode two, we look at what is a favorite, seemingly universal assumption that has gone unresearched by Romanianists:  the rumor that the “water was poisoned.”  While it is true that this was primarily a piece of disinformation to create panic and confusion–they totally misunderstand who fed it and to what end it was used.  Moreover, they clearly have no knowledge of Belgian toxicologist  Aubin Heyndrickx‘s toxicology report on what happened in Sibiu 20-22 December 1989, and why this rumor was not completely a “fantasy scenario” as the authors smugly suggest:

In this episode, we examine the lack of questioning and downright gullibility that is so characteristic of anti-Iliescu partisans in Romania:  their suspicion and dislike of Iliescu is so strong that they accept at face value absurd claims and fail to question the source of those claims and the motives of the source.

–In 2007, the legal action was filed again, and the president of the [21 December] association Teodor Maries said that there were witnesses willing to testify that Ion Iliescu, willfully and deliberately, took no measures to stop the violent chaos in the capital after December 22:  ‘When Ion Iliescu returned from the Ministry of Defense, asked by the exasperated revolutionaries about the way in which bullets were flying everywhere on the night of 22-23 December, Iliescu answered ‘Let them shoot, lads.  We have to have some dead, that’s how revolutions are like.'” (p. 272)

Now, even if one thinks that Iliescu either orchestrated or intentionally let the violence linger in order to consolidate a revolutionary image and seize power, how plausible does anybody think it is that he would have said such a transparent phrase out loud?  Anybody supposedly so evil and dastardly enough to allow the killing of hundreds and wounding of thousands to take place for his own benefit and to allegedly hide his hand in it all, is highly unlikely to say such a thing.



Later, the authors conclude the body of their chapter, by quoting Maries:  whereas they seek to deconstruct what they term the ridiculous theories about “obscure, ‘terrorist’ forces,” no such probing analysis occurs with regard to the claims of those who accuse Iliescu and those around him of being responsible for the bloodshed after 22 December–suggesting clearly where the authors stand.

“When Ion Iliescu understood that the protesters would never have a communist leading the country, he created this terrorist-Securitate diversion.  This was instigation to war on a national scale.  The population was given weapons to fight ghosts.  They were talking about the glorious Romanian Army who fought the terrorists, just to realize later that the terrorists were their colleagues.” (p. 98 from an interview conducted by Grosescu with Maries in 2007)


Are the interests and credibility of Teodor Maries, head of the 21 December Association, ever explored?  Of course not.  And why not?  After all, does anyone think the likes of Vladimir Tismaneanu, Tom Gallagher, Lavinia Stan, or Grigore Pop-Eleches, to name but a few, would explore those fundamental questions?

Teodor Maries, was a witness (in fine company, considering the others who testified) for the defense at the trial of Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad in 1991.  Moreover, he told the mouthpiece of the former Securitate Europa and its favorite journalist Angela Bacescu in 1991 that the Securitate were victims of a horrible set-up at their expense (in addition he claimed Laszlo Tokes and others were foreign spies and alleged foreign sources were behind the outbreak of the Revolution).  And, oh yeah, he claimed that 80 percent of the Securitate was behind him in 1990.  Are these statements not somehow relevant to understanding and evaluating Maries’ later claims?  Only a blind partisan would suggest they are not…

Elsewhere, among the many other interesting and signficant things Maries said in this interview, he specified the following (13 June 1991, issue #31, far right column):

Doru Maries:  “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:  I maintain as an eyewitness that the Securitate did not fire.  What is more, they left their weapons and munition.  Now I understand why.  Probably because they had information that this huge lie with the “terrorists” was going to be blamed on them.  They were well-informed.  They didn’t get invovled in the conflict, they didn’t shoot.  Otherwise there would have been a civil war, with brother killing brother.]

Along with Nicolae Popovici (Nicolae Ceausescu’s last Prosecutor General), Ion Itu (a journalist with an interesting history…for some relevant discussion here,, the revolutionary Tudor [sic.] Maries, testified in defense of Securitate General Iulian Vlad (from Romania Libera, 13 June 1991, xerox from Library of Congress, July 1995)

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?

[Angela Bacescu:  Were you manipulated by someone, why did you on numerous occasions affirm at the microphone in University Square (April-June 1990) that 80 percent of the Securitate was with you?  To what were you referring?]

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.

[Doru Maries:  I am happy you asked me this question.  This statement for which I became very controversial and was boycotted (by other protesters), I will explain for you now.  I do not consider the whole Romanian Securitate criminals as they were tarred in the events of December 1989.  The number of guilty was very small.]

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

[Angela Bacecsu:  My dear Doru, earlier you to told me that you had been a victim of disinformation.  From where do you have this information?]

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:  I have this information and formed this view from 22 December 1989 after a discussion with General Iulian Vlad in the headquarters of the former Central Committee building.  Time has demonstrated that General Iulian Vlad did not hold on to the majority of his subordinates in vain.]

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