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) IV (Dan Voinea’s interests…)

(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 looked 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 episode three, we examined the unevenness of Grosescu and Ursachi’s approach, essentially accepting at face value the credibility and motivations of those who accuse Iliescu and those around them for allegedly “inventing the terrorists” without investigating them–specifically in this case, the claims of Teodor Maries: .

Similarly, Grosescu and Ursachi accept at face value criticisms of justice as having been politicized under Iliescu and co. but then fail to question if the person making such allegations is not himself politicizing justice.  Most noteworthy here is Military Prosecutor General Dan Voinea.  Grosescu and Ursachi present Voinea as the great truthteller and revealer.  Voinea talks about Iliescu and the PDSR protecting “interests.”  What Grosescu and Ursachi seem to fail to see is that former Securitate people have had little to fear from General Voinea and have been conspicuously absent from prosecution as long as he was in charge of the investigations.  (Nor do they mention that Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi dismissed Voinea in 2009 telling Evenimentul Zilei at the time that Voinea had made the basic legal mistakes of a novice ; it was thus not for failing to complete his investigations as Lavinia Stan has argued.)


Important information they might have wanted to consider in evaluating Voinea’s credibility are the following:

  1. Even according to Voinea himself, he released terrorist suspects…hence it should not be such a surprise that he has a basic conflict of interest and that he denies the existence of the terrorists

  2. Along with the likes of Ilie Ceauesescu and head of the Patriotic Guards Pircalabescu, on the afternoon of 22 December Voinea told the Army in Sibiu to not fire at Securitate forces who the Army said were attacking them.

  3. According to the written declaration of one of the Militia chiefs imprisoned for his part in the repression in Timisoara, Dan Voinea was one of two prosecutors who verified the incineration of demonstrators’ bodies at the Popesti-Leordeni crematorium on 20 December 1989.  He claims he recognized Voinea from Voinea’s time working for Dir VI of the Securitate (directia cercetari penale)

See below for documents and additional details.



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

I have previously used a term favored by the University of California at Berkeley Political Scientist Ken Jowitt–“recovered memories”–to discuss the penchant of former Securitate personnel to rewrite the past, specifically what happened during the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.

Not to be outdone, former Military Prosecutor General Dan Voinea–the source of the 2006 CPADCR Tismaneanu Final Report’s conclusions on December 1989–also suffers from “recovered memories.”  For example, in the following interview with Dan Andronic , Voinea wishes us to believe that Iliescu, Roman, Brucan, Stanculescu, Magureanu, and the rest of the core of the National Salvation Front attempted unsuccessfully to liquidate Securitate Director Iulian Vlad during these days (he has previously told us that they attempted, unsuccessfully, to have Voinea himself liquidated).

But, that’s not all.  Dan Voinea also indirectly confirms once again that during the days of December 1989, he released people who had been arrested as “terrorist suspects.” One can and should only ask then:  how is it possible that he could be expected to, or should, admit that there had been real terrorists in December 1989, when he himself had personally released suspects, determining on the spot that they had been wrongly accused?!  Talk about a basic conflict of interest which should cast doubt on his impartiality and his ability to objectively investigate the “terrorist” question!
The case he invokes is laughable, but not in the way he seeks to present it.  Demonstrating how the tandem of cunostiinte and pile of PCR functioned, it turns out that the rumor about the “terrorists” wearing three layers of clothing was because, wait for it, they were dressed for the cold! and they had three identity cards because that’s what they had to carry to work in the Casa Poporului, and thus, clearly, his friend from his hometown whom he found among the arrested, had been arrested by mistake, it had all been a misunderstanding!  Get it?  Ha Ha Ha!  How silly!  INDEED!!!

„Erau și străini reținuți ca teroriști”

Dan Andronic: Deci ați avut și cazuri în cele 40 de dosare, de străini care au tras?

– Dan Voinea: Erau și străini reținuți ca teroriști. Primul dosar pe care l-am avut a fost cu unul Gabriel Matei. Era reținut la Poliția Capitalei, l-am audiat și am constatat că era muncitor la Mecanică Fină. Avea pasiune pentru fotografie. La întreprindere avea un laborator foto. Și când au plecat să demonstreze împotriva lui Ceaușescu l-au luat și i-au spus: „Fă-ne și nouă poze”. Au ajuns în Piața Palatului, au intrat în clădirea Comitetului Central, a continuat să facă fotografii. A făcut schimb cu un jurnalist străin, care a murit când s-a tras întrun avion care mergea de la București spre Belgrad. Și el a fost reținut ca terorist. Gabriel Matei a ajuns ziarist până la urmă. Apoi a povestit că la Poliția Capitalei veneau ziariști, îi scoteau, îi arătau acestora, nu le dădeau voie să vorbească, îi puneau la zid, s-au dat poze cu ei în ziare. N-a făcut nicio acțiune cu caracter terorist. Următorul dosar pe care l-am avut a fost cu cinci teroriști îmbrăcați în trei rânduri de costume. Erau reținuți acolo. I-am scos. Unul dintre ei, Pană, avea o cicatrice pe obraz. A făcut armata cu mine. Știam că-i zidar. Când l-am văzut, l-am întrebat: „Mă, ce cauți tu aici?”. Eu eram în uniformă, el nu m-a recunoscut. I-am zis: „Bă, eu sunt Dan Voinea, colegul tău de grupă, am făcut armata la Drăgășani”. Zice: „Dane, tu ești?”. „Da, am ajuns procuror militar și tu terorist. Ce faci aici, ce s-a întâmplat?”. „Păi, să vezi că m-au luat din comună ca zidar, să lucrez la Casa Poporului. Și eu, și ceilalți ne-am dus la Biserica Antim ca să ne dea de pomană. Vin şi nu mai ştiu ce”… Aveau trei rânduri de haine pe ei, pentru că la Casa Poporului nu intrai decât dacă aveai permis de intrare, şi ei aveau vreo trei legitimații. Aveau trei rânduri de haine, pentru că pe lângă hainele lor de lucru își mai puneau o pufoaică, o salopetă sau alte haine mai groase.

That is crack police work, General Voinea!  Only how do you explain the fact that other dead or captured terrorist suspects, in Sibiu, in Bucharest, and elsewhere, seemed to follow the same practice of three layers of clothing and multiple identity cards?  A few photos and testimonies below.  My thanks to Claudiu Alexoaie who noted the similarity between the dead terrorist suspect in Sibiu (from the discussion between cameraman Cristian Ion and people on the video it seems like it is in reference to cartierul Hipodrom ?, but I would ask for confirmation from any reader/watcher here, thank you) and how the USLA killed out front of MApN just happened to be dressed in the same way.  For added perspective, see the photo of a terrorist suspect tied to a hospital bed.

Fullscreen capture 9172015 91143 PM

Bullets Lies and Videotape The Amazing Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989 by Richard Andrew Hall 103013tk1


Unofficially, we also know of Colonel Ghircoias’ exploits after the Ceausescu regime collapsed on 22 December 1989, exploits for which he was not charged at his trial and for which he has never been charged.  Of the 1,104 people killed and 3,352 people injured during the December 1989 bloodshed, 942 of them were killed and 2,251 wounded after Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu fled power on 22 December 1989.  At the time, personnel of the communist regime’s secret police—known as the Securitate—and allied foreign mercenaries fighting to restore the Ceausescu regime—collectively christened “the terrorists”—were thought to be the primary source behind the post-22 December bloodshed.

It was in this context, that doctors from Bucharest’s various main hospitals recall Colonel Ghircoias’ sudden, unannounced appearances during the last days of December 1989 and first days of January 1990.  Professor Andrei Firica of the Bucharest “Emergency Hospital” recounted in a 2004 media interview largely the same details he had conveyed to the press in the summer of 1990.  According to Firica, some 15 to 20 suspected terrorists had been interned at the “Emergency Hospital” in varying states of medical distress.  He says he made a small file of the medical situations of these patients.  A Militia colonel, whom he later was to see in [prisoner] stripes on TV as a defendant in the Timisoara trial—i.e. fairly clearly Ghircoias—came one day and counseled him to keep nosy foreign reporters away from the beds of the “terrorists,” stating ominously that “these were just terrorist suspects and he [Dr. Firica] didn’t want to wake up one day on trial for having defamed someone”!   The colonel later came and loaded the wounded terrorist suspects onto a bus and off they went.  Firica maintains the files he kept on the terrorist suspects “of course, disappeared.”  He noted, however, that he asked his son, who had studied theater and film at university, to film the terrorists tied down to the hospital beds, and he claims he gave copies of this cassette to the Procuracy.[4]


“La Spitalul de Urgenta au fost internate 13 persoane banuite a fi ceea ce ne-am obisnuit sa numim teroristii.  Dintre acestia citiva erau sigur straini, desi toti aveau acte romanesti.  Doi aveau figuri mongoloide clare (unul a declarat ca mama sa este romanca, iar tatul din Laos) iar alti patru erau arabi.  Vorbeau insa foarte bine romaneste.”

[In viewing these photos, witness what Constantin Fugasin recounted in “Unde ne sint teroristii?” Zig-Zag, in 1990, based in part on an interview with Dr. Andrei Firica:

At the Emergency Hospital 13 suspected of being what we call terrorists were interned.  Among these a few were definitely foreign, even though all had Romanian papers.  Two clearly had ‘Mongoloid’ (‘Asiatic’) features (one stated that his mother was Romanian, while his father was from Laos), while four others were Arabs.  Nevertheless, they spoke Romanian very well.  Doctor Nicolae Staicovici, who worked a time in Egypt and who treated them for a time spoke with them.  At a moment, he formed a question in Arabic.  One of the injured responded to him perfectly.  All were well-built, one was a ‘mountain of a man.’  He said nothing, although he probably had terrible pains.  There were also two terrorists who were not wounded.  One arrived at night, under some pretext.  Those on guard suspecting him, immobilized him.  He had on three layers of clothing and several ids.  They tied him to the stretcher, but although he appeared rather frail, at a given moment he ripped the restraints off.[6]]


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

The claims of former Military Prosecutor General Dan Voinea serve as the basis for the portrayal of the events of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 in the “Final Report” of the so-called Tismaneanu commission (  Below, some of Voinea’s lesser known–and ignored by his unquestioning supporters–“exploits” in December 1989.

It should not be a surprise to anyone that Dan Voinea has not “discovered” the “terrorists” of December 1989 in his investigations of the Revolution…because even in December 1989, while the events were unfolding, and when he had to investigate those arrested as “terrorists”…he released them!

Viorel Ene, President of the Association of the Victims of the Mineriade, on Dan Voinea:

De ce credeţi că a „îngropat” procurorul Voinea „Dosarul Mineriadei”?

Domnule, eu am ieşit în stradă şi la Revoluţie, am fost în clădirea Comitetului Central. Pe acolo era prins câte unul cu trei uniforme pe el şi cu o armă care nu era în dotarea Armatei Române. Fuseseră chemaţi la CC doi procurori militari, Levanovici şi Dan Voinea, la care erau predaţi aceşti oameni. Şi după două ore ăia reţinuţi veneau râzând să le dăm armele înapoi. Să fim serioşi, Dan Voinea nu era străin de scenariul pus în aplicare la Revoluţie. Asta e relevant pentru felul în care s-a ocupat ulterior de „Dosarul Revoluţiei” şi de „Dosarul Mineriadei”.

Interior Minister Tudor Postelnicu at min 6:15:  “Domnule procuror, cu securitatea (,) dumneavoastra stiti cum se lucreaza”

Sergiu Tanasescu (medicul echipei de fotbal Rapid Bucuresti) = S.T.
Ion K. Ion (ziarist, Cuvintul) = I.I.

S.T.: Noi i-am predat organelor de procuratura militara. Pe foarte multi i-am
prins in primele zile, identitatea lor fiind stabilita de mai multi, de
colonelul Octavian Nae, Constantin Dinescu (unchiul lui Mircea), Guse, dar mai
ales Vlad care strig la prinsii astia ca de ce nu i-au ascultat ordinul sa se
predea, ei faceau pe sfintii, dar teava armei era inca destul de calda de la
ispravile lor. Dupa ce suportau interogatoriul acesta sumar, celor mai multi li
se dadea drumul.

I.I.: De ce?

S.T. Asa ordona Vlad. Pe 22 decembrie am prins un maior de securitate care a
fost dezarmat si pus in libertate, a doua zi l-am prins din nou, i-am luat
armamentul si munitia si iarasi Vlad a garantat pentru el, numai ca a treia zi
l-am prins din nou. Ne-am enervat si atunci i-am arestat pe toti, inclusiv pe
Vlad si pe colonelul Nae, cu atit mai mult cu cit pe ultimul il surprinsese o fata de a noastra la subsol I,
unde era Termoficarea, transmitind nu stiu ce la un aparat de emisie-receptie.

“Secretele Revolutiei” (Dan Badea, Expres, 7-13 iunie 1994)

from my “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian” (2006)

Lt. Col. Aurel Dragomir, former commander of the “Nicolae Balcescu” Military Officers School in Sibiu, described in 1994 those killed as “terrorists” in Sibiu in December 1989:

…On the morning of 22 December…I was informed that on the rooftops there were some suspicious persons.  I saw 2-3 people in black jumpsuits.  The Militia told me that they weren’t their people.  At noon there appeared 10 to 15 people in black jumpsuits who opened massive gunfire on the crowds and soldiers. I ordered them to respond with fire.  I headed to the infirmary—the reserve command site, and col. Pircalabescu [head of the Patriotic Guards] called and asked me “why was there gunfire?”  I told him we were being attacked.  He told me to cease fire.  Ilie Ceausescu [Ceausescu’s brother, and an Army General] told me to surrender.  I slammed the telephone down.  Then [Army General] Stanculescu called.  I told him that we are under attack. Stanculescu said to me:  ‘Defend yourselves!’….The attackers had on black jumpsuits under which they had on civilian clothes….Weapons and ammunition that weren’t in the arsenal of the Army were found, guns with silencers were found, that aren’t in the Army’s arsenal….After the events declarations given to the investigating commissions disappeared, notebooks filled with the recordings of officers on duty (ofiterii de serviciu), and a map that noted from which houses gunfire came. The dead who were in jumpsuits and had several layers of clothing were identified:  they were cadre from the Sibiu Interior Ministry (Militia and Securitate)…. (“black jumpsuits” emphases and “weapons and ammunition…” emphasis added; rest in original)[57]

Armata Poporului, “Sub tirul incrucisat…(II)” interviu cu Aurel Dragomir, nr. 46, noiembrie 1990 p. 3.

Less well-known and certainly never acknowledged is the presence of military prosecutor Dan Voinea at the Popesti-Leordeni crematorium near Bucharest on the morning of 20 December 1989.  It has always been something of a mystery–and Voinea’s explanation of the timeline, how he learned of the incineration of demonstrators, etc. has always raised suspicions–why Voinea learned of this and came to investigate this.  It remains unclear why?  Although Baciu clearly had a motive to lie about Voinea, his claim not only that he saw Voinea on the morning of 20 December 1989–and attempted at his trial to address Voinea about it–but that he recognized Voinea precisely because of his previous Securitate service (a sort of unnecessary, stupid giveaway if he were lying), remains plausible.  In that case, it would explain how Voinea “knew” so early and so well about this issue.  I don’t know how to interpret Voinea’s behavior.  Did he feel guilty for his role and attempt to make the best of his presence there?  Did he realize that if he didn’t take control of this investigation that he would eventually be implicated and in a position of much less power to defend himself?  Some combination of both?  What is known, is that Voinea has been less than truthful about many things since, especially about the existence and use of internationally-sanctioned exploding dum-dum bullets…

(my notes of this film below)
19 dec 1991
2:15 Voinea, 20 dec incinerated; 12 january 1990 came there; Muitu Dorel, 4 tomberoanele (not fully truthful)
4:41 Operatiunea Coletele
5:00 clinica nr.1
6:00 from Postelnicu, 23 decembrie
7:22 Postelnicu v. El si Ea tradator, tradatoara?
9:10 Elena in charge
9:16 DIA Buzau involved
10:40 Diaconescu, on orders, not involved of course
11:11 10 of them where were shot, in the hospital?
11:54 Doru Gjraba (?) 12 witnessed things, only shot in foot at Catedrala, dr. Ignat
12:15 lucrator la morga Spitalul Judetean (before or after 22?)
14:00 2 with comsa si necherila two days later ?
15:20 Iosif Emilian (hurried there to cover up his own role? back to the scene of the crime, accidental “hero”)
17:00 Mititelele
20:45 56 corpses (3 not from), Gh. Diaconescu
21:19 Dressler
21:38 ages
23:23 Baciu, still in function after 22, even though sent to trial with Iosif, Ganciu/Bogdanciu?
24:50 Macri, coletele to Ganciu, send me 40
25:18 Ghircoias
26:00 Popovici may not have been informed, Coman and Stanculescu were informed
27:17 Km 36
29:15 Nuta request for new expertiza to be done
(Crematoriu Rotar)
33:40 partial autopsies to remove bullets, bullets missing
34:30 Alexandru Grama
35:00 fas negru
35:30 (tortures…made light re cimitirul saracilor mistakes)
36:30 Hotel Astoria near Gara de Nord
36:50 Led by Col. Baciu
37:45 went with criminalist (date of Baciu’s declaration)
40:00 Iosif Costinas (Freiburg…Slatina cu alti morti, 18-19 decembrie)
41:43 arma Calibru mic (paznici) CAP Freiburg
43:25 gen. napalm
45:00 Iliescu to blame…
46:19 Diaconescu advanced, in charge of investigations (and Voinea)

Colonel Ion Baciu: Pe 20.12.89 la orele 1010 la crematoriu a venit Lt. Col Voinea Dan…pe care-l cunosc intrucit inainte…a lucrat la Departmentul Securitatii Statului, directia cercetari penale.

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 20, 2013

[documentary evidence in support of the publication entitled:  Bullets, Lies, and Videotape:  The Amazing, Disappearing Counter-Revolution of December 1989,

strictly personal research, not for reproduction without prior author authorization]

unfortunately, the link is no longer operable here

luckily, Claude 2.0 saved an image from my own initial post of this!

23.01.1990 Declaratie:  Colonel Ion Baciu, șef al Direcției Economice din IGM,

(my thanks to researcher Mircea Munteanu, formerly of the CWIHP at the Woodrow Wilson Center, for helping me with the following transcription)

Pe 20.12.89 la orele 1010 la crematoriu a venit Lt. Col. Voinea Dan [[proc mil — procuror militar]] din D.P.M., pe care-l cunosc intrucit inainte de activare, a lucrat la Departmentul Securitatii Statului, directia cercetari penale.

Era imbracat civil, insotit de un procuror militar in uniforma.  Au discutat cu o femeie, Geta, nu-i stiu numele care i-a spus:  “[[Bine]] ca ati venit.  Toata noaptea au ars aici si [[oamenilor]] le este teama.”  Nu am auzit alte vorbe.  Au discutat cu aceia femeie [[ca. –circa]] 15 minute dupa care au plecat.

Cred ca au fost trimisi acolo fie de Popovici, fie de Diaconescu, pentru a vedea cum decurge incinerarea.

Solicit sa fie audiati Popovici Nicolae, fost procuror general, Diaconescu Gh, adjunctul acestuia si cei doi procurori militari…



from Ion Baciu’s hearing 12 March 1990

Baciu’s courtroom testimony (no reference made to his 23 January 1990 handwritten testimony above) was discussed by Vasile Surcel in the following article:

Iosif Emilian’s lawyer (in September 1991) indeed suggested the involvement of the Prosecutor General in giving the cremations legal cover/legitimacy, hence explaining the presence of Dan Voinea and his colleague at Crematoriul Cenusa on 20 December 1989 (he also references Geta on p. 725).  This is from the seventh volume of “Procesul de la Timisoara” available on the banaterra site.



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