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.

Leader: Romanian Ex-President Can Be Charged for 1989 Deaths (BONUS: The Eternally Vain, Vindictive, and Clueless Tismaneanu)

(as always, a strictly personal point of view, based on long experience with these issues and personalities in different settings; punct de vedere strict personal!)

Leader: Romanian Ex-President Can Be Charged for 1989 Deaths

By The Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s president on Friday approved a request to prosecute a former president and prime minister on charges of crimes against humanity for their roles in the country’s bloody anti-communist revolution.

President Klaus Iohannis asked the justice minister to proceed with the prosecutions of former President Ion Iliescu and former Premier Petre Roman, as well as former deputy prime minister Gelu Voican Voiculescu.

The three founded the National Salvation Front as Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown on Dec. 22, 1989, and executed three days later together with his wife Elena. Some 1,104 people died in Romania’s revolt, the vast majority after Ceausescu’s ouster.

Iohannis was responding to an April 2 request from Romania’s general prosecutor. His authorization was needed because the events occurred when the three were government officials.

Almost three decades after communism ended, only two generals have been convicted for the revolution deaths, and doubts remain whether the uprising was a true revolution or a military coup.

Military investigators who reopened the file in 2016 said the “new political and military leadership” which took control after Ceausescu’s ouster caused the deaths of many people in their bid to maintain power. Prosecutors say that state media broadcast fake news creating a state of panic and some of the evidence relating to the uprising has been destroyed.

Roman, who became Romania’s premier during the uprising, called Iohannis’ decision “completely unfounded and illogical.”

Iliescu, a former high-ranking communist official who came to power as Ceausescu fled, went on to be elected president three times. He has denied having authority over militia and others who shot unarmed demonstrators during the uprising.

What is this all based on?  AGERPRES summarizes as follows in English:

On 18 December 2017, the Military Prosecutors’ Office was announcing that following the administration of evidence in the Revolution case, the conclusion of the investigators was that there was no void of power in December 1989.

Military prosecutor Marian Lazar was stating then that there had been a military diversion starting with the evening of 22 December 1989 and the main cause of numerous deaths, personal injuries and damages.

Moreover, prosecutors identified, including through testimonies, the source of the panic-inducing sound (emitted on 21 December 1989, during Nicolae Ceausescu’s speech) which contributed, alongside other elements, to the disruption of the protest in the Palace Place and the onset of protests in Bucharest.

At the same time, prosecutors maintained there had been diversions exercised on the command structures of UM 01417 Targoviste, the location where the Ceausescu couple was, but also orders received from the top of the military hierarchy regarding the physical elimination of the presidential couple.

“It is certain that a diversion existed, that it manifested itself in a complex way and on multiple levels, being the main cause for numerous deaths, injuries and damages.The evidence administered pointed out the mechanisms of constant misinformation, with extremely serious consequences, launched through the Romanian Television, the radio and the military communication means, thus instituting the well known terrorist psychosis.–90198

Impenitentul Ion Iliescu: “Stau cu capul sus la judecata Istoriei”. Nu, tovarășe Ilici, Istoria nu este un tribunal, chiar dacă așa o vedea Hegel. Nu suntem aici la un curs de filosofia istoriei. Dumneavoastră trebuie să răspundeți in fața justiției oamenilor reali intr-un stat de drept. Filosofia politică spune că un om de stat apără viețile cetățenilor acelui stat. Dumneavoastră le-ați anihilat si le-ați ruinat. Ati dat si ati aprobat ordine asasine. Veți răspunde…

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Good morning from Washington, DC! For once, good news…:) Scriam cândva, nu atât de demult, că aștept clipa in care, precum in filmul “Z” al lui Costa Gavras, un tânăr procuror va rosti laconic și tranșant cuvintele: “Nom, prénom, profession”…

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Tismaneanu hasn’t a clue of the origins and evolution of the military prosecutors’ charges.

Not everyone is so clueless…(although it may be understandable why they aren’t)

Din toată această poveste de Crăciun lipsesc băieții cu ochi albaștri, care, privind în acele zile de foc prin lunetele puștilor, au întrezărit mai devreme decît alții zorii capitalismului lui nea Ion.

The Tismaneanu Commission’s Final Report, Television, and the Terrorists (VIII)

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

In episode one, Nicolae Stefan Soucoup related the capture and interrogation of terrorist suspect Silviu Dutu, a sergeant major from UM 0530 Rosu, a Securitate special unit (in this respect, readers may recall the references in December 1989 and in the initial months thereafter according to which the “terrorists” were members of Securitate “special units”).  Far from a unique case, Dutu was to later escape prosecution based on the medical diagnosis of having “exercised poor judgment” as a result of “shock”:

In episode two, Soucoup related the words of the mortally-wounded rugby player Bogdan Serban Stan, who insisted that “I was shot by a civilian near me,” while defending the Television Station.  Elsewhere in 1990, Soucoup was one of those who discussed the use of 5,6 mm caliber ammunition by those they were fighting against, the terrorists.  Elena Bancila, the tenacious, grieving mother of Bogdan Serban Stan, detailed how the medical records at the hospital to which her son was taken showed he had been hit with a bullet smaller than 6 mm:

In episode three, we looked at video evidence from 24 December 1989 in the streets surrounding the Television building.  In one of the videos, a revolutionary demonstrates for the camera the difference between the size of the bullets the enemy, the terrorists, were firing, and the standard ammunition the military and civilians were using.  In the second, a draftee described the difference between the weapons they were using and those of the terrorists:

In episode four, we looked at the comments of weapons’ specialists who in early January 1990 recounted that the “terrorists” had most likely used among other weapons, 5,6 mm Heckler-Koch guns–thereby indirectly confirming the above observations regarding the use of unusual ammunition by the “terrorists,” especially bullets under 6 mm caliber: .


(from Revolutia Romana in direct, 1990, p. 375)

In episode five, we saw how fellow former Military Prosecutor, General Magistrat (r) Ioan Dan, and soldiers, officers, and civilians cited in the first Senatorial Commission Report give details which corroborate what we learned from episodes 1-4.  Unlike General Dan Voinea, promoted and trumpeted by Tismaneanu Commission’s Final Report–who vigorously denies the use of any unusual ammunition in December 1989–these direct participants in the events that transpired in the Television zone believe that unusual ammunition was used:

In episode six, we examined other participant accounts which claim the use of atypical munitions–which explodes the myth peddled by Dan Voinea, his supporters, and the Tismaneanu Report.  Some refer to the aforementioned under 6 mm “vidia” bullets and others to exploding dum-dum bullets.

In episode seven, we returned to the first person account of Nicolae Stefan Soucoup inside and outside the Television station during those fateful days,

see, in relation to this topic, from 2008 and 2009: The Romanian Revolution for Dum-Dums (Part I) by Richard Andrew Hall ; The Romanian Revolution for Dum-Dums (Part II) by Richard Andrew Hall; The Romanian Revolution for Dum-Dums (Part III) by Richard Andrew Hall; The Romanian Revolution for Dum-Dums (Part IV) by Richard Andrew Hall; Bullets, Lies, and Videotape: The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989 (by Richard Andrew Hall)

Prin televiziune s-au făcut majoritatea diversiunilor, cea mai eficientă fiind reprezentată de „pericolul de moarte” omniprezent întruchipat de „teroriştii fideli dictatorului Ceauşescu”; acesta a fost arestat în 22 decembrie, într-o unitate militară din Târgovişte. Pericolul părea total credibil întrucât în perioada 22-27 decembrie au fost înregistraţi 942 de morţi şi mii de răniţi. Majoritatea au fost ucişi şi răniţi pe străzile din centrul capitalei şi al altor oraşe martirizate ca urmare a acestei diversiuni. Ulterior nu a fost acuzat şi judecat nici un terorist….Potrivit declaraţiilor generalului-magistrat Dan Voinea…„În decembrie 1989 scopul era deturnarea caracterului anticomunist al revoluţiei şi preluarea puterii prin teroarea instalată”17.  [pp. 623-624]

The 2006 Final Report of the Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania (also known as the Tismaneanu Report, after its Chairman, Professor Vladimir Tismaneanu) stridently alleges that Romanian Television and those who appeared on it beginning the afternoon of 22 December 1989 were intentionally responsible for creating the “majority of the diversions” through which 942 people died in the days which followed (versus 162 before 22 December under orders from Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu) by claiming that “terrorists loyal to the Ceausescu dictatorship” posed a lethal threat. The authors of the Report then add, as if to confirm their contention that the “terrorists” were an invention of those who took power in December 1989:  “Later not a single terrorist was charged or tried.”  To bolster their argument, they invoke the findings of Military Prosecutor General Dan Voinea [who led the investigation of the December 1989 events for much of the post-communist era], who states “In December 1989, the goal was to divert the anticommunist character of the revolution and to seize power through the terror they had installed.”

The Tismaneanu Report misunderstands and misrepresents both the “terrorists” and the role of Romanian Television.  In fact, not only does it get the “terrorists” wrong overall, it doesn’t even manage to get right what happened in and around the Television building itself.  Here’s why:

Soucoup outlines precisely the field of battle at the TV station, pointing out exactly from what buildings the terrorists fired, claims which corroborate many of the details outlined in military personnel in episode 5 (xeroxes reproduced below).

–Am putea realiza, pe scurt, o ,harta’ a vilelor din care s-a tras in Televiziune?

–Avind in vedere ca am actionat atit afara, cit si in interior, in zona studiourilor, pot sa va spun ca asupra Televiziunii s-a tras din cele 5 vile din strada Pangratii, pe care le vedeam de la cabina poarta din aceasta parte.  S-a tras din frontul doi de vile, cele de pe Calea Dorobanti.  S-a tras din B-dul Aviatorilor, nr. 72–o casa inalta, care avea unghi de tragere asupra Televiziunii.  S-a tras din Consulatul sovietic din Piata Aviatorilor, nr. 2-4.  S-a tras din tot frontul de vile de aici, incepind de la nr. 246, pina la 212, cit si din frontul doi de cladiri din spatele lor.  S-a tras de pe strada Teheran.  S-a tras si din strada Arhitect Cerchez, nr. 16 (vila lui Valentin Ceausescu), precum si din strada Muzeul Zambaccian, aici mai ales din vilele de la numerele 12, 13, 14.  S-a tras, de asemenea, din Institutul ,C.I. Parhon’ si din resedinta ambasadorului Angliei (Pangratti, nr. 15)…Acesta a fost frontul general de atac asupra Televiziunii, care s-a conjugat cu accesul prin interior al unor forte bine intruite, care s-au amestecat printre revolutionari.


(Tineretul Liber, interviu luat de Nicolae Tone, 21 decembrie 1991)




(from Revolutia Romana in direct, 1990, pp. 374-376)

A.I.– UM 1290 — ,In 22.12 ne-am deplasat la TV pentru asigurarea sigurantei institutiei…s-a dat ordin pentru distribuirea munitilor si instalarea mitralierelor de campanie…era in jurul orelor 18.00-19.00.  Cam dupa 30-60 min. s-a inceput sa se traga asupra noastra dinspre cladirile amplasate pe str. Pangratti si Calea Dorobantilor.  Focul armamentului avea ceva neobisnuit fate de armamentul pe care noi il aveam in dotare prezentand un zgomot mai strident.  Pe 23.12 s-a tras asupra noastra si cu arme de foc automat cam in jur de ora 10.00-12.00…o parte din gloantele care s-au gasit pe teren erau din otel cu Vidia la varf, celelalte normale…au fost raniti 2 militari in ziua de 23.12…s-a tras in ei din una din vilele aflate pe str. Pangratii…

D.V. — UM 0596 — Fiind la Punctul de Control la Poarta Pangratti in ziua de 22.12 in jurul orei 24.00, a inceput sa se traga in zona.  Observa trageri dinspre Ambasada Marii Britanii la intervale mari si cu armament usor, dar dupa zgomot nu stie ce fel e si nici ce calibru.  Oberserva ca in cladirea de pe colt la poarta Pangratti se auzeau focuri de arma cu un asemenea armament usor.

S.C. — Garda TV — Remarca ca se trage dinspre cladirile ambasadorului britanic cu arme de calibru mic si foc cu foc.  De asemenea, spre Televiziune se mai tragea din vila lui Valentin Ceausescu si dn vilele de pe Calea Dorobantilor.  In dimineata zilei de 23.12 se tragea din vilele pictorilor cu arme de calbru mic deoarece zgomotol era diferit de cel obisnuit.

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