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.

MYTH: the Army “Controlled” the Securitate after Ceausescu’s Flight

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

In recent years, the myth that after communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled from power on 22 December 1989 the Department for State Security (D.S.S.), the Securitate, subordinated itself to the Romanian Army and was effectively under Army control and direction thereafter, has continued to gain ground.  It is repeated frequently as established fact.

The clear problem here is that subordination does not automatically imply or equal actual control.  And in December 1989 it is abundantly clear that the Securitate’s subordination to the Ministry of Defense was merely formal…in reality, the Ministry of Defense struggled to place the Securitate under effective control.

There are many ways to establish this.  The one I address here concerns Securitate communications.  Did the Securitate’s subordination to the Ministry of Defense mean the Army controlled and was able to track all Securitate communications.  Hardly!  Instead, they struggled mightily during these days to establish control over the Securitate’s communications network.

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We know from the recounting of revolutionaries in the Central Committee building that the Securitate’s leadership was, at the very least, hording and not sharing information:

Sergiu Tanasescu (medicul echipei de fotbal Rapid Bucuresti), iaunarie 1990:

“Intre noi si el [Guse] se crease insa o stare de tensiune.  Nu ne placea cum vorbea la telefon, parca fiecare fraza avea un subinteles.  De exemplu, au sunat cei de la Boteni care au anuntat ca au doborit niste elicoptere neidentificate.  Guse s-a rastit la ei, ca de unde stiu lucrurile alea, ca actele gasite n-au nici o valoare, ca de ce sint atit de siguri pe ei? etc.  Parca el era la Boteni!  L-am intrebat ce se intimpla.  Ne-a raspuns:  “Niste timpiti, dom-le, unii trag in altii.  Nici o problema.”  Amindoi, el si cu [Generalul] Vlad tineau ocupate in permanenta ‘scurturile,’ ‘T.O.’ telefoane operative.  Practic era imposibil sa li comunice evenimente poate mult mai importante.  Daca intre timp se suna cumva al treilea telefon se repezeau sa vorbeasca si la acela, nelasindu-ne sa primim nici un mesaj.  Chestia ni s-a parut suspecta.

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In context, reamintesc si momentul (trait de mine ca martor ocular) in care in sediul fostului CC al PCR, imediat dupa fuga lui Ceausescu, generalul Iulian Vlad, seful Securitatii, a refuzat orice insarcinare din partea revolutionarilor, care ii cereau sa asigure conducerea Ministerului de Interne, in scopul restabilirii ordinii si linistii publice.  Acest refuz nu l-a impiedicat, insa, ca, in “noaptea generaliilor”, profitand de scurta absenta din birou a generalului Stefan Gusa, sa ia legatura cu Aviatia Militara si, pe un ton autoritar, revoltat chiar, sa intrebe, “de ce nu se ridica avioanele de la sol“.  O intrebare cel putin deplasata daca avem in vedere ca era in vigoare ordinul strict ca orice aeronava care survoleaza spatiul aerian al Romaniei sa fie doborata de Apararea Antiaeriana.

Apreciez aceasta interventie a sefului Securitatii drept un act de diversiune, opinie intarita de audierea generalului Vlad ca martor in procesul “Otopeni”.  Atunci l-am intrebat de ce si-a permis sa dea ordine Aviatiei Militare, in conditiile in care nu o avea in subordine.  A raspuns ca asa a fost intelegerea cu generalul Gusa, seful Marelui Stat Major al Armatei, ca, in lipsa unuia dintre ei, cel care ramane in birou sa-i preia toate atributiile.  Generalul Gusa nu a confirmat, insa, o asemenea intelegere.  De altfel, arestarea generalului Iulian Vlad a avut loc atunci cand devenise evident ca actioneaza contra Revoltuiei, mentinandu-si legaturile clandestine de comunicatie cu unitatile de Securitate din subordinea sa. (Generalul Magistrat (r) Ioan Dan, Teroristii din ’89, Lucman, 2012)

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Gheorghe Ratiu, head of the Securitate’s First Directorate (the one most identified as the “political police”), admitted in a pro-Securitate publication that it was only on 24 December 1989 that Securitate communication lines were fully cut.

Gheorghe Ratiu (Sef Dir I DSS) , interviu luat de Ilie Neacsu, Europa, episoade XVII si XVIII, martie-aprilie 1995.

Din ziua de 24 decembrie, ne-au fost taiate legaturile pe circuitele telefonice speciale si guvernamentale, mai aveam doar legaturi telefonice pe crcuitele obisnuite ale M.P.Tc.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/08/01/gheorghe-ratiu-fost-sef-dir-i-dss-la-ordinul-generalului-vlad-in-zilele-de-25-27-decembrie-1989-am-coordonat-o-investigatie-in-spitalele-si-morgile-capitalei-pentru-a-stabili-care-este-adevaru/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/10/04/declaratia-generalului-ion-hortopan-cum-a-vazut-armata-colaborarea-generalului-iulian-vlad/

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Declaratia generalului colonel I. Hortopan, 16.02.1990 (din cate cunosc, pana publicarea cartii lui Dan Ioan, timp de 22 de ani, aceasta declaratie n-a aparut in presa romana)

“Actiunile teroristilor au crescut in intensitate in ziua de 23 decembrie si in seara zilei, la o analiza a Consilului Frontului Salvarii Nationale, Vlad a fost intrebat cine sunt cei care trag asupra Armatei si populatiei, la care acesta — in scopul de ne induce in eroare — a raspuns ca manifestantii patrunzand in anumite obiective importante, printre ei fiind si elemente rauvoitoare, fosti puscariasi de drept comun, au pus mana pe arme, s-au constituit in grupuri si trag asupra noastra.  In timpul actiunii, trupele noastre au prins un numar de teroristi care faceau din unitatile de Securitate, au cerut cuvantul si au prezentat numarul unitatilor din care faceau parte (UM-0672F, UM-0639, UM-0106, UM-0620), la care Vlad, tot pentru inducere in eroare, a afirmat ca acestia s-ar putea sa fie fanatici, care, chipurile, ar actiona pe cont propriu.”

[Pe 25 decembrie Generalul Vlad] a iesit din birou si a chemat pe generalul Tencu si maiorul Iliuta, carora le-a ordonat sa-i organizez legaturile operative in biroul colonelului Bleort–Loctiitorul comandantului unitatii, ca va lucra cu el.  De asemenea, l-a amenintat pe maiorul Iliuta sa stabileasca, in timpul cel mai scurt, legaturile telefonice operative, altfel il impusca…

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[Pe 25 decembrie Generalul Vlad] a iesit din birou si a chemat pe generalul Tencu si maiorul Iliuta, carora le-a ordonat sa-i organizez legaturile operative in biroul colonelului Bleort–Loctiitorul comandantului unitatii, ca va lucra cu el.  De asemenea, l-a amenintat pe maiorul Iliuta sa stabileasca, in timpul cel mai scurt, legaturile telefonice operative, altfel il impusca…

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The ongoing, counter-revolutionary use of Securitate transmitters, as well as how the Hungarian military helped put locational data at the disposal of the Romanian military, so that the latter could work to take them out, is detailed below:

Colonel Gyorgy Keleti, head of the Hungarian People’s Army Press Department, 26 December 1989: 

“…I would like to say that a progressive weakening of the Securitate has been experienced.  We ourselves can see this, because our radio searching and locating units which were in Hungary a few days ago were monitoring broadcasts from 31 Securitate radio centers–yesterday 19, and today only 5.  We of course put this data at the disposal of the Romanian military leadership.”

Hungarian Defense Minister in December 1989, General Ferenc Karpati continues to confirm this claim:

Ferenc Karpati:  “A Securitate erői ellen hosszú, küzdelmes harcot folytattak a hadsereg és a forradalom más erői. Felszámolásuk érdekében a Magyar Honvédség speciális képzettségu rádióbemérő egységeinek egy részét átcsoportosítottuk a román államhatár közelébe, s így sikerült rádióállomásaikat bemérni, álláshelyeiket pontosan meghatározni. Az adatok átadásával jelentősen elősegítettük a Securitate-bázisok felszámolását.”  KÁRPÁTI FERENC: A román forradalom és Magyarország, 1989. Egy volt miniszter emlékezése

1990. január 11., csütörtök 18:55


A Honvédelmi Minisztérium közleménye (4. rész) (OS)
A kezdeti időszakban, amikor a diktátorhoz hű Securitate a
forradalom vérbe fojtására jelentős erőket vetett be, a Magyar
Néphadsereg speciális képzettségű rádióbemérő alakulatainak egy
részét átcsoportosította a magyar-román államhatár közelébe a
Securitate rádióállomásainak bemérésére, helyeinek meghatározására.
Ezeknek az adatoknak az átadásával, az adók bemért földrajzi
helyeinek megjelölésével feltehetően segítséget nyújtott a Magyar
Néphadsereg a Securitate-bázisok felszámolásában, megsemmisítésében.
Szinte napról napra érzékelhető volt ezek számának csökkenése, ami a
magyar szakértők szerint arról tanúskodott, hogy a diktátorhoz hű
erők törzseit a román hadsereg folyamatosan számolja fel. Ezt
példázza, hogy a december 26-án nyilvánosságra hozottak szerint
24-én még 31, 25-én már 19 és 26-án csupán öt
Securitate-rádióközpont működését rögzítették és mérték be a magyar
rádiófelderítő és bemérő alegységek.
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