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.

Posts Tagged ‘raport final’

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #20 Identifying the Terrorists: Securitate General Iulian Vlad’s Ignored Declaration and other Evidence

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 26, 2014

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

Bullets, Lies, and Videotape:
The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989
by Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Standard Disclaimer: All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other U.S. Government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author’s views. This material has been reviewed by CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.
[Submitted to CIA’s Publications Review Board (PRB) 19 November 2009; cleared without changes by PRB 15 December 2009]
I am an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. I have been a CIA analyst since 2000. Prior to that time, I had no association with CIA outside of the application process.

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

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

COLONEL GHIRCOIAS MAKES THE ROUNDS OF BUCHAREST’S HOSPITALS

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]

[5]

[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]]

 

[7]

[Dr. Andrei Firica, 2004:  From a diagnostic perspective, those who maintain that the terrorists didn’t exist are telling an outrageous lie…In the Emergency Hospital, people were brought who were shot with precision in the forehead, from behind, just a few yards in the crowd of demonstrators, such people who did this can only be called terrorists…[8]]


Dr. Nicolae Constantinescu, chief surgeon at the Coltea Hospital, also was paid the honor of a visit by Colonel Ghircoias during these days:

I remember that on 1 or 2 January ’90 there appeared at the [Coltea] hospital a colonel from the Interior Ministry, who presented himself as Chircoias.  He maintained in violent enough language that he was the chief of I-don’t-know-what “criminalistic” department from the Directorate of State Security [ie. Securitate].  He asked that all of the extracted bullets be turned over to him.  Thus were turned over to him 40 bullets of diverse forms and dimensions, as well as munition fragments.

To the question of whether he informed the Military Procuracy?

Of course, I announced the Prosecutor’s Office, and requested an investigation [of those shot in the revolution].  For example, when I showed them the apartment from where there were was shooting during the revolution, on the fourth floor of the ‘Luceafarul’ cinema, the prosecutors told me that they sought to verify it and uncovered that there was a Securitate ‘safehouse’ there and that was it.

In 1992, I signed along with other doctors, university professors, renowned surgeons, a memorandum [see page 5 (below) for an article apparently linked to the memorandum] addressed to the Prosecutor General in which we requested an investigation regarding the wounded and dead by gunfire.  Not having received any response, after six months I went there to ask what was going on.  They told me they were working on it, and they showed me two or three requests and that was it.  One of the prosecutors took me into the hallway and told me “I have a child, a wife, it is very complicated.”  He asked me what I thought I was doing…I lit back into him, I told him I wasn’t just any kind of person to be blown off.

I showed him the x-rays of those who were shot, I showed him the bullets in the liver.  The x-rays exist, they weren’t my invention, I didn’t just dream all this up to demand an investigation!  I told them that there are some people who wish to find out the truth and they signed a memo to the Procuracy and they aren’t just anybody, but doctors with experience, experts in the field.  In vain, we requested ballistics tests and other research, in vain we presented forms, documents, x-rays, studies.  They did not want to undertake a serious investigation.[9]

[4]Professor Andrei Firica, interview by Florin Condurateanu, “Teroristii din Spitalul de Urgenta,” Jurnalul National, 9 March 2004, online edition, cited in Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html. For similar accounts, see Florin Mircea Corcoz si Mircea Aries, “Terorist ascuns in Apuseni?” Romania Libera, 21 August 1992, p. 1–“Colonelul Ghircoias, former director of the Securitate’s penal investigative unit, brought together the individuals accused of being terrorists and made them disappear”; Andreea Hasnas, “Reportajul unui film cu TERORISTI,” Expres, no. 10 (6-12 aprilie 1990), p. 5; Constantin Fugasin, “Unde ne sint teroristii?” Zig-Zag, 1990.

[5] Screen capture from http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7rp6b_revolutia-romana-2225-dec1989-part_shortfilms posted by Alexandru2006.

[6] Significantly this video is in direct contradiction and contests the claims of the Sorin Iliesiu who maintains that “General Dan Voinea has said clearly:  The terrorists did not exist.  Those who seized power lied to protect the real criminals….The diversion of the ‘terrorists’ has been demonstrated by [the] Justice [System], not a single terrorist being found among the dead, wounded or arrested  (Sorin Iliesiu, “18 ani de la masacrul care a deturnat revoluţia anticomunistă,” 21 December 2007, http://www.romanialibera.com/articole/articol.php?step=articol&id=6709).  For a discussion, see Hall 2008.

[7] Screen capture from http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7rp6b_revolutia-romana-2225-dec1989-part_shortfilms posted by Alexandru2006.

[8] Professor Andrei Firica, interview by Florin Condurateanu, “Teroristii din Spitalul de Urgenta,” Jurnalul National, 9 March 2004, online edition.

[9] Dr. Professor Nicolae Constantinescu, interview by Romulus Cristea, “”Nici acum nu-mi dau seama cum am putut sa operez nonstop timp de trei zile,” Romania Libera, 20 December 2006, online edition.

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/09/23/a-tale-of-two-letters-by-securitate-director-general-iulian-vlad-what-the-romanian-press-does-and-does-not-publish/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/11/20/when-a-truth-commission-misses-crucial-evidence-the-romanian-cpadcr-final-report-and-securitate-general-iulian-vlads-declaration/

It is virtually certain that the authors of the Chapter on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (pp. 620-627, especially p. 625 http://www.presidency.ro/static/ordine/RAPORT_FINAL_CPADCR.pdf ) had no knowledge of Securitate General Iulian Vlad’s Declaration of 29 January 1990 … with predictable negative consequences for their understanding of what happened in December 1989.

And one wonders why I found (find) mainstream Romanian studies so unhelpful in trying to understand Nicolae Ceausescu’s overthrow and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989?  Read Vladimir Tismaneanu or Tom Gallagher (or in its 2014 variation, see Grigore Pop-Eleches in Bernhard and Kubik) on Romania in the early 1990s and one is presented with a world of good and evil, of angels and demons, with distance from former nomenklaturist and high-ranking communist Ion Iliescu and the core of the National Salvation Front being as being the simple formula for explaining and understanding any event or policy.  As opposed to this highly–one might say blatantly–politically partisan [and bureaucratically ignorant] approach, on the other side stand functional or deconstructionist explanations–the kind favored by Peter Gross, Katherine Verdery, Peter Siani-Davies, or Ruxandra Cesereanu–which would explain the press of the time as the function of market pressures, sensationalist appetites, an anomic readership, poor journalistic training and professionalism, etc.

How then does one explain the following conundrum:  the selective treatment of the letters and declarations of former Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad?  Oh, yes, the text of General Vlad’s letters which allege he was a stooge and victim of Ion Iliescu, etc. can be found in the Romanian press.  No problem!  But what about his declaration of 29 January 1990, where he deftly admits the responsibility of his institution for the bloodshed of December?  What, that not sensationalist enough, different enough to sell papers?  That’s not “anti-communist” enough for publication?  Is it somehow less credible than the other letters whose text has been published without problem?  24 plus years later, the Romanian media has yet to publish this document!  Could it be that the problem with this declaration is that it does not fit with and undermines the other popular narratives of December 1989 that minimize and even absolve the former Securitate of responsibility for the bloodshed of December 1989?

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Ion Cristoiu’s Evenimentul Zilei debuted in June 1992 and was the flagship of opposition to the regime of Ion Iliescu.  In the fall of 1992 it ran a zealous campaign opposed to Iliescu’s reelection.  Here is the exculpatory letter from former Securitate General Iulian Vlad (dated 20 March 1990) that was published on 19 September 1992:

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“Generalul IULIAN VLAD se adreseaza dlui Ion Iliescu:  Am fost arestat pe nedrept (20 March 1990),” Evenimentul Zilei, 19 septembrie 1992, p. 3.  “Intr-adevar pe dictatorul Ceausescu l-am tradat” “M-am integrat total Revolutiei” “Sint convins ca datele nu va erau cunoscute”  I.V. Vlad 20 martie 1990

And, yet, what of General Iulian Vlad’s declaration of 29 January 1990.  As far as I know, in 24 plus years, only this brief allusive mention on the 15th anniversary of the letter (although not mentioned or acknowledged in the article, and possibly accidental) has made its way into the Romanian press.  Below it:  the text of the statement of 29 January 1990!

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/text-of-securitate-general-iulian-vlads-29-january-1990-declaration-identifying-the-terrorists/

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It took 22 years for the text of Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad’s handwritten declaration of 29 January 1990 to become public knowledge–thanks to former military prosecutor General Ioan Dan.  (Inevitably, there will no doubt be those who will allege that General Vlad was “forced” to write this declaration to save his skin, etc., that this was the “propaganda of the moment” and all a huge lie.  If that were the case, one would have expected Iliescu, Brucan, Militaru, Voican Voiculescu, etc. to have made every effort for Vlad’s declaration to leak to the media.  Instead, for 22 years it was hidden from public knowledge!)

Of Note:  No “Soviet tourists,” no DIA (Batallion 404) troops of the army’s intelligence wing, no “there were no terrorists:  the Army shot into everyone else and into itself”–in other words, none of the spurious claims that have littered the narrative landscape, fueled by the former Securitate over the past two decades plus.  No, Vlad knew who the terrorists of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 were, because they reported to him!

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General Magistrat (r) Ioan Dan

In aprilie 1990, generalul Gheorghe Diaconescu a fost destituit din functia de conducere in Directia Procuraturilor Militare.  La plecare, mi-a predat cheia de la fisteul sau, cu mentiunea ca acolo au mai ramas cateva hartii fara importanta. Intrucat, la data respectiva, ma aflam in cea mai mare parte a timpului, in procesul cercetarilor de la Timisoara, mult mai tarziu, am dorit sa pun in respectivul fiset o serie de acte.  Am cercetat ce mai ramasese de pe urma generalului Diaconescu si, spre surprinderea mea, am gasit declaratia olografa a generalului Iulian Vlad, data fostului adjunct al procurorului general, fostul meu sef direct, nimeni altul decat generalul Diaconescu, la 29 ianuarie 1990, cand toate evenimentele din decembrie 1989 erau foarte proaspete.  Repet, este vorba despre declaratia olografa, un text scris foarte ingrijit, pe 10 pagini, din care voi reda acum integral doar partea care se refera expres la “actiunile teroriste in Capitala” (formularea apartine generalului Vlad).

“Analizand modul in care au inceput si s-au desfasurat actiunile teroriste in Capitala, pe baza acelor date si informatii ce le-am avut la dispozitie, consider ca acestea ar fi putut fi executate de:

1) Elementele din Directia a V-a, USLA, CTS si din alte unitati de Securitate, inclusiv speciale.

a) Directia a V-a, asa cum am mai spus, avea in responsabilitate paza si securitatea interioara a Palatului Republicii, multe dintre cadrele acestei unitati cunoscand foarte bine cladirea, cu toate detaliile ei.  In situatia creata in ziua de 22.12.1989, puteau sa mearga la Palat, pe langa cei care faceau acolo serviciul si unii dintre ofiterii si subofiterii care se aflau la sediul CC ori la unitate.

Este ca se poate de clar ca numai niste oameni care cunosteanu bine topografia locului ori erau in complicitate cu cei care aveau asemenea cunostinte puteau patrunde in cladire (sau pe acoperisul ei) si transporta armamentul si cantitatile mari de munitie pe care le-au avut la dispozitie.

Tot aceasta Directie dispunea de o baza puternica si in apropierea Televiziunii (la Televiziunea veche).  De asemenea, avea in responsabilitate perimetrul din zona resedintei unde se aflau numeroase case (vile) nelocuite si in care teroristii ar fi putut sa se ascunda ori sa-si faca puncte de sprijin.

Sunt si alte motive care pun pe prim-plan suspiciuni cu privire la aceasta unitate.

b) Elemente din cadrul unitatii speciale de lupta antiterroriste care aveau unele misiuni comune cu Directia a V-a si, ca si o parte a ofiterilor si subofiterilor de la aceasta unitate, dispuneau de o mai buna instruire si de mijloace de lupta mai diversificate.

c) Elemente din Trupele de Securitate care asigurau paza obiectivilor speciale (resedinta, palat etc.) si, impreuna cu Directia a-V-a, Securitatea Capitalei si Militia Capitalei asigurau traseul de deplasare.

d) Ofiteri si subofiteri din Securitatea Capitalei, indeosebi de la Serviciul Trasee, sau dintre cei care au lucrat la Directia a V-a.

e) Elemente din alte unitati de Securitate, inclusiv unitatile speciale 544, 195 si 110, precum si din cele complet acoperite, comandate de col. Maita, col. Valeanu, lt. col. Sirbu, col. Nica, col. Eftimie si lt. col. (Eftimie sau Anghelache) Gelu (asa sta scris in declaratie–n.n.).  Aceste din urma sase unitati, ca si UM 544, in ansamblu, si UM 195 puteau dispune si de armament si munitii de provenienta straina, precum si de conditii de pregatire adecvate.

2) Ofiteri si subofiteri din Militie, atat de la Capitala, cat si de la IGM, cu prioritate cei din Detasamentul special de interventie si cei care asigurau traseul.

3) Cred ca s-ar impune verificarea, prin metode si mijloace specifice, a tragatorilor de elita din toate unitatile din Capitala ale Ministerului de Interne, precum si a celor care au avut in dotare sau au indeplinit misiuni folosind arme cu luneta.  N-ar trebui omisi nici chiar cei de la Dinamo si de la alte cluburi sportive.

4) Unele cadre militare de rezerva ale Securitatii, Militiei si Armatei, precum si actuali (la data respectiva) si fosti activisti de partid sau UTC, persoane apropriate tradatorului si familiei sale ori care poseda arme de foc.

Propun, de asemenea, o atenta investigare a celor care au fost in anturajul lui Nicu Ceausescu.  Acest anturaj, foarte divers, cuprindea inclusive unele elemente de cea mai scazuta conditie morala care puteau fi pretabile la asemenea actiuni.

Ar fi bine sa se acorde atentia cuvenita sub acest aspect si fratilor dictatorului–Ceausescu Ilie si Ceausescu Nicolae–care, prin multiplele posibilitati pe care le aveau, puteau organiza asemenea actiuni.

5) Anumite cadre militare sau luptatori din Garzile Patriotice.

6) Straini:

a. Din randul celor aflati la studii in Romania:

– arabi, in general, si palestinieni, in special, inclusiv cei care sunt la pregatire pe linia Armatei (de exemplu, la Academia Militara);

– alte grupuri de straini la studii (iranieni si altii).

b. Special infiltrati (indeosebi din cei care au urmat diverse cursuri de pregatire pe linia MI sau a MAN);

c. Alti straini aflati in tara cu diverse acoperiri, inclusiv diplomatice;

d. Fosti cetateni romani (care ar fi putut intra in tara si in mod fraudulos).

7) Elemente infractoare de drept comun care au posedat armament ori l-au procurat in chiar primele ore din dupa-amiaza zilei de 22 decembrie 1989, cand, din mai multe unitati de Securitate, intre care Directia a V-a si Securitatea Capitalei, s-a ridicat o cantitate mare si diversa de armament si munitie.”

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.”

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/09/07/former-securitate-officials-who-corroborated-general-iulian-vlads-declaration-on-the-terrorists-liviu-turcu-ion-mihai-pacepa-radu-vasilevici-marian-romanescu-and-others/ 

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/05/14/planul-z-z-ion-mihai-pacepa-si-liviu-turcu-in-decembrie-1989/

I have attempted to trace Pacepa’s public discussion of Plan Z-Z to verify claims made by other actors (see below, Gheorghe Diaconescu, Giani Bucurescu/Virgil Lovescu) in the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  All of these actors refer to Pacepa’s discussion on Radio Free Europe/Radio Europa Libera sometime apparently between 24 and 26 December 1989.  Unfortunately, although there are a series of audio clips and transcripts from these days on the Europa Libera site http://www.europalibera.org/archive/1989/latest/452/982.html, there is no mention of the Pacepa intervention in question and no indication of record of its existence on the Internet.

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6 februarie 1990

Declaratie.  Subsemnatul Bucurescu Giani, general-maior [D.S.S.]

La data de 28 sau 29 decembrie 1989, col. Lovescu [?] Virgil seful U.M. 0650 mi-a raportat ca…

Col. Lovescu [?] Virgil avea un subordonat a carui sotie-medic a participat la acordarea ajutorului ranitilor in luptele de la Aeroport Otopeni si la transportarea cadavrelor la I.M.L.  Acestea ii relatase sotului ca in buzunarul unui terorist ucis la Otopeni, care era imbracat in trei costume de haine, unul peste altul, s-au gasit cartile de vizita ale lui Emil Bobu si Ion Dinca.

Col. L Virgil mi-a spus ca l-a frapat aceasta informatie si legat de faptul ca la postul de Radio Europa Libera se facuse afirmatie cu Pacepa ar fi precizat ca Ion Dinca se ocupase de pregatirea unor grupuri de teroristi.  Alte date nu pot da intrucit informatia era in curs de clarificare ori la Col. Ratiu [DSS Dir I] ori la Col. Goran [SMB]…

Cunosc [?] faptul ca col. Ardeleanu [sef USLA] era in relatii apropriate cu familia lui Ion Dinca…

Din conducerea USLA atit col. Ardeleanu cit si col Blortz [Bleort] erau apropriatii lui T. Postelnicu

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/28/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-vi/

We have two different accounts from Gheorghe Diaconescu, which roughly match:

http://www.banaterra.eu/romana/files/procesul_de_la_timisoara_volumul_VI_continut.pdf

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This also seems to confirm the following (when adjusted for the corrected dates):

Nestor Ratesh quotes one of Ceausescu’s senior party henchman, Ion Dinca, as having stated at his trial in early February 1990:

“During the night of 27-28 [of January 1990] at 12:30 A.M., I was called by several people from the Prosecutor’s Office to tell what I knew about the agreement entitled Z.Z. between Romania and five other states providing for the dispatching of terrorist forces to Romania in order to intervene in case of a military Putsch.  This agreement Z.Z. is entitled ‘the End of the End.’  I stated then, and I am stating now to you, that I have never been involved in this agreement, neither I nor other people.  And I was told:  Only you and two other people know this.  I stated that and a detailed check was made in order to prove that I was not involved in such acts.”[95]

[95] Ratesh, Romania:  The Entangled Revolution, pp. 66-67, quoting Radio Bucharest, 2 February 1990.  I don’t think from the context given it is clear that this alleged incident took place in January 1990, as Ratesh assumes; the reference to 27-28 might have been a reference to December 1989.

But it almost doesn’t matter when Pacepa first discussed this…because almost identical details were disclosed by Liviu Turcu, a DIE officer who had defected earlier in 1989 (thereby being far more knowledgeable of current plans/realities inside the Romanian security state), only without reference to a named plan, such as Plan Z-Z.  It was thus Turcu on 23 December 1989 (within 24 hours of the outbreak of terrorist hostilities in Romania; the interview would have taken place on Saturday the 23rd) who first informed Western media of the existence of such a plan–although it appears Turcu’s disclosures were never relayed by Romanian media or by Radio Europa Libera.

Romanian Army Rankled by Interference;Defector Cites Long-Standing Friction Between Military and State Security Forces

The Washington Post
December 24, 1989 | Dan Morgan

The violence that has erupted in Romania between the army and state security forces loyal to deposed president Nicolae Ceausescu is rooted in long-standing friction between the two institutions that has sharpened dramatically recently, a high-level Romanian defector said yesterday.

Lidiu Turcu, who worked with the foreign intelligence branch of the Department of State Security, known as the Securitate, until his defection in Austria last January, said a special directorate monitored the loyalty of top army officers. As Ceausescu’s paranoia increased, he appointed his brother Ilia as first deputy minister of defense and chief of the political directorate in the army.

The military deeply resented that interference, he said. Also angering the military was the removal several years ago of two high-ranking generals denounced by Securitate informers for cultivating connections at the Soviet Embassy in Bucharest, he said. There have been reports that the two were killed and dumped into the Black Sea from a helicopter, but Turcu said he could not confirm the story.

The well-equipped and dreaded security forces appear to number about 45,000 to 50,000 men, including 25,000 troops who live in barracks on the outskirts of major cities and 20,000 officers, technical personnel, and specialists, he said. That figure is far less than the up to 700,000 reported in recent days in other accounts from the region.

The officers and specialists were drawn from universities until several years ago. But in the 1980s, Turcu said, Ceausescu’s wife, Elena, ordered that recruitment of university students be stopped and that less-educated factory personnel be selected instead.

The uniformed force of fighters includes many young men who were taken from orphanages at an early age. These security soldiers, educated and trained at special schools, have no family loyalties and were indoctrinated to view Ceausescu as a father figure, Turcu said.

As Ceausescu’s fear of an internal threat to his security grew, he reportedly turned to a new “Directorate 5″ in the Securitate that had the responsibility for “defense of the leadership of the party.” Presumably this is the force involved in some of the recent fighting.

Growing evidence of atrocities perpetrated by the security forces against unarmed demonstrators-shooting into crowds in Timisoara and Bucharest-has raised questions about whether foreign mercenaries may be involved. Turcu said the massacres go against Ceausescu’s dictum of “no martyrs,” which was often repeated to his inner circle.

Turcu said he talked yesterday with a friend in Bucharest who reported being forced to evacuate his apartment complex by armed Arab commandos.

The former intelligence official said he was aware of a secret agreement between Ceausescu and Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat that allowed PLO groups to use Romanian territory for “logistical support.” He said Interior Minister Tudor Postelnicu, who oversaw the security forces, was present at a recent meeting between Ceausescu and Arafat.

Romanian cooperation with the PLO began in the late 1960s, Turcu said, but intensified in the past three years. He said rival PLO groups coexist within Romanian territory, but the agreement forbade clashes between these groups and prohibited their possession of arms. One job of the Securitate was to ensure that the PLO factions were obeying the agreement, Turcu said.

In addition to the PLO factions, he said, Syrian, Libyan, Iraqi and Iranian military or special operations units have been trained at a camp near Buzau, in the Carpathian foothills.

Contrary to reports that the security forces lived lavishly, Turcu said that except for higher salaries, most ordinary officials did not have access to special restaurants and stores stocked with Western electronic goods. He suggested that security officials resorted to corruption and abuse of office to satisfy their needs, which exacerbated the public’s hatred and fanned the fury that burst over the past week.

For verification of some of Turcu’s claims (in particular, the less-discussed participation of Iraqis from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, see here:  https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/foreign-intervention/)

“They dress in black berets and black jumpsuits [combinezoane negre, salopete negre] with red silk stripes on their sleeves.  They carry small two-way radios and speak into them in coded language.  They are equipped with automatic rifles with infrared nightscopes for sniping.”

 

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/les-souterrains-de-bucarest-ja2-20h-27121989-01min55s/

Sediul U.S.L.A , pe 25 decembrie 1989 in jurul orelor 18…

Pe 25 decembrie in jurul orelor 18, dupa executarea dictatorilor, col. Ardeleanu Gh. a adunat cadrele unitatii intr-o sala
improvizata si le-a spus: “Dictatura a cazut! Cadrele unitatii se afla in slujba
poporului. Partidul Comunist Roman nu se desfiinteaza! Trebuie sa ne regrupam in
rindul fortelor democratice din P.C.R.–continuatorul idealurilor nobile ale
poporului ai carui fii sintem ! (…) Au fost gasite cadavre, indivizi avind
asupra lor legitimatii de acoperire USLAC (Unitatea Speciala de Lupta
Antiterorista si Comando) si legitimatii cu antetul 0620–USLA, legitimatii care
nu se justifica in posesia celor asupra carora au fost gasite…” A ordonat apoi
sa fie predate in termen de 24 de ore legitmatiile de serviciu, urmind ca
tuturor sa le fie eliberate altele cu antetul M.Ap.N.

(capitanul Romanescu Marian, cu Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii si
‘Fratii Musulmani’,” Expres nr. 26 (75), 2-8 iulie 1991, 8-9)

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(Capitanul Romanescu Marian (fost cadru USLA) si Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii, si ‘Fratii Musulmani’,” Expres nr. 26 (75), 2-8 iulie 1991, pp. 8-9)

COMANDOURILE USLAC

Cei care au avut si au cunostinta despre existenta si activitatea fortelor de soc subordonate direct lui Ceausescu, au tacut si tac in continuare de frica, sau din calcul.  S-au spus multe despre indivizii imbracati in combinezoane negre, tatuati pe mina stinga si pe piept, fanaticii mercenari care actionau noaptea ucigind cu precizie si retragindu-se cind erau incoltiti in canalele subterane ale Bucurestiului.  S-au spus multe, iar apoi au tacut ca si cind nimic nu s-ar fi intimplat.

Suprapuse Directiei a V-a si USLA comandourile USLAC erau constituite din indivizi care “lucrau” acoperiti in diferite posturi. Erau studenti straini, doctoranzi si bastinasi devotati trup si suflet dictatorului.  Foarte multi erau arabi si cunosteau cu precizie cotloanele Bucurestiului, Brasovului si ale altor orase din Romania.  Pentru antrenament aveau la dispozitie citeva centre de instruire subterane:  unul era in zona Brasovului, iar altul–se pare–chiar sub sediul fostului CC-PCR, poligon care au dat–din intimplare citiva revolutionari in timpul evenimentelor din Decembrie.

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Dezvaluiri despre implicarea USLA in evenimentele din Decembrie ‘89

Un tanar care si-a facut stagiul militar in trupele USLA a declarat
corespondentului A.M. PRESS din Dolj: “Am fost la Timisoara si la Bucuresti in
Decembrie ‘89. Odata cu noi, militarii in termen, au fost dislocati si
profesionistii reangajati, care purau costume negre de camuflaj. Dispozitivele
antitero de militari in termen si profesionisti au primit munitie de razboi. La
Timisoara s-a tras in manifestanti de la distanta mica. Am vazut
cum sareau creierii celor ciuruiti de gloante. Cred ca mascatii, folosind armamentul lor special, au tras cu
gloante explozive.
In ianuarie 1990, toti militarii in termen din trupele USLA
au fost internati pentru dezintoxicare. Fusesaram drogati. Am fost lasati la
vatra cu cinci luni inainte de termen pentru a ne pierde urma. Nu-mi publicati
numele. Ma tem pentru mine si parintii mei. La antranamente si aplicatii eram
impartiti in “amici” si “inamici.” Mascatii erau “inamicii” pe care trebuia sa-i
descoperim si sa-i neutralizam. Cred ca mascatii au
fost acei teroristi.”

(Romania Libera, 28 Decembrie 1994, p. 3)

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Fara indoiala…se intimpla ceva. Securitatea nu spune dar sugereaza. “Lasa sa-i scape” mici detalii.

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 15, 2014

(purely personal views–to suggest otherwise is to misrepresent me–based on two decades of prior research and publications, not for unauthorized reproduction, thank you)

“Without a doubt…something is going on.  The Securitate doesn’t say but it suggests.  It allows small details to leak out.”

In the seemingly endless discussions of the alleged role of large numbers of Soviet agents (using the cover of being tourists) in the December 1989 overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist dictatorship, I am inevitably reminded of this July 1991 quote from Radu Ciobotea that I used in my 2005 article “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game.”

(For a recent example, 12 August, of the reappearance of such a claim see: http://cultural.bzi.ro/25-000-de-spioni-kgb-au-stapanit-romania-aproape-un-an-18070 )

from THE 1989 ROMANIAN REVOLUTION AS GEOPOLITICAL PARLOR GAME: BRANDSTATTER’S “CHECKMATE” DOCUMENTARY AND THE LATEST WAVE IN A SEA OF REVISIONISM, Part III (cleared in March 2005)

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).

So what is the substance of the most recent popular iteration of the so-called “Soviet tourist” hypothesis as outlined in the 12 August article above?  It is actually from a 23 December 2012 article in the daily Libertatea under the bombastic headline, “25.000 de spioni KGB au stăpânit România aproape un an! Ceauşescu a fost detronat de o armată secretă sovietică, care a stat în ţara noastră în perioada decembrie 1989 – octombrie 1990” (http://www.libertatea.ro/detalii/articol/25-000-de-spioni-kgb-au-stapanit-romania-aproape-un-an-428106.html#ixzz3APp0Eq5v)

“La expunerea clară, concisă a lui Caraman (Mihai Caraman – n.r.), directorul Centralei de Informaţii Externe, am cerut sovieticilor să-şi retragă comandourile. Era vorba despre aproximativ 25.000 – 30.000 de oameni. S-au retras ca urmare a faptului că Gorbaciov modificase strategia şi spusese că URSS nu mai este jandarm în această zonă”. Declaraţia îi aparţine lui Petre Roman, fostul premier al României în perioada decembrie 1989 – septembrie 1991 şi a fost inclusă într-o carte a istoricului Alex Mihai Stoenescu.

In the same article, Larry L. Watt’s 2010 volume Fereşte-mă, Doamne, de prieteni (the English version entitled With Friends Like These) is invoked.  In the English version, Watts wrote on page 16, with a footnote on page 26:

“It is suggestive that more than 25,000 of the 37,000 “extra” Soviet tourists that deemed Romania a desirable place to visit or transit in the two weeks prior to its revolution in December 1989 chose not to leave until almost a year later, in October 1990, after the Romanian government formally insisted on their departure.90”

90. “Ceauşescu protested the sudden influx of Soviet ‘tourists’ to Moscow at the time, none of whom stayed in hotels. See e.g. Mircea Munteanu, New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania, e-Dossier no. 5, Washington D.C., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, December 2001, pp. 3-11, CWIHP. The Romanian Senate’s investigation into the events of December 1989 disclosed the extraordinary jump in Soviet ‘tourists’ from 30,000 in 1988 to 67,000 in 1989 as recorded in customs and border statistics, as well as the unexplained delay in their departure. Mention of this glaring anomaly was qualified as unwarranted “conspiracy theory.” See e.g. Depostion of Petre Roman, Transcript no. 90/8.03.1994, Romanian Senate Archive, Bucharest, pp. 44-45. According to ex-Prime Minister Roman, 30,000 Russians ‘tourists’ remained in Romania for almost a year, until officially requested to leave in October 1990. Allegedly, Caraman’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) informed Roman about them only at that time. However, since at least March, Romanian TV had broadcast news stories of the Russian encampments.”]

Marius Mioc reproduced the Romanian version of the passages as follows (Răstălmăcirile lui Larry Watts şi răstălmăcirile altora despre Larry Watts):

Cel mai important fragment din cartea lui Larry Watts care se referă la revoluţie îl găsim la pagina 55, şi este următorul:

Este sugestiv faptul că peste 25000 din cei 37000 de turişti sovietici care au considerat România locul preferat pentru vizite sau tranzit, în cele două săptămînă anterioare revoluţiei din decembrie 1989, au ales să nu mai plece timp de aproape un an, pînă în octombrie 1990, după ce guvernul român le-a cerut oficial şi insistent să părăsească ţara.

Aici se face trimitere la o notă de subsol în care se scrie:

Ceauşescu a protestat împotriva afluxului brusc de turişti de la Moscova, din care nici unul nu stătea la vreun hotel. Vezi Mircea Munteanu, New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania, e-Dossier nr. 5, Washington D.C., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, decembrie 2001, pp. 3-11, CWIHP. Ancheta Senatului României asupra evenimentelor din 1989 menţionează un salt de la 30000 turişti sovietici în 1988 la 67000 în 1989, precum şi o întîrziere inexplicabilă în plecarea acestora. Vezi Depoziţia lui Petre Roman, transcript nr. 90/8.03.1994, Arhiva Senatului României, pp. 44-45. Conform prim-ministrului Petre Roman, 30000 de turişti ruşi au rămas în România peste un an, pînă cînd li s-a cerut oficial să plece, în octombrie 1990. Conform lui Roman, şeful SIE, Caraman, l-a informat numai la acea dată despre aceştia. Totuşi încă din martie televiziunea română relata despre taberele sovietice.

But, as it turns out, Watts’ claim is neither new, nor his own.  It indeed appears to belong to Alex Mihai Stoenescu.  Stoenescu wrote the following in a 2004 volume which I found online here, although unfortunately without the endnotes,  http://hot24.weebly.com/uploads/5/2/3/8/5238782/alex_mihai_stoenescu_-_istoria_loviturilor_de_stat_in_romania_vol_4-1.pdf)

...Asadar, coloanele de „turisti” sovietici se prezentau ca fiind în tranzit spre sau din Iugoslavia, dar nu fãceau tranzitul. Ei au rãmas pe teritoriul României în preajma marilor orase pentru a interveni în cazul esecului diversiunilor care trebuiau sã provoace cãderea lui Ceausescu. Au fost pur si simplu dati afarã din tarã abia în octombrie 1990 de cãtre priniul-ministru Petre Roman: „A mai fost un moment foarte delicat, în octombrie 1990, cînd în tarã se aflau 30 000 de rusi! Cu masinile lor! Eu, cînd am aflat de a-ceasta, în calitate de prim-ministru, de la organul competent, adicã S.I. Externe, am fãcut mare tãrãboi si, mã rog, pînã la urmã am reactionat, au fost scosi din tarã. A mai fost o miscare foarte ciudatã înainte de 19 martie 1990 la Tîrgu-Mures”395. într-o discutie particularã, Petre Roman i-a confirmat autorului cã identitatea acestor „turisti” ca luptãtori ai fortelor speciale sovietice fusese deplin documentatã de SIE. Ce fel de tranzit era acela în care 30 000 de turisti (probabil cã nu toti erau luptãtori ai fortelor speciale sovietice, dar ei ofereau acoperirea) rãmîn pe teritoriul unui stat, prin care se presupune cã trec în maximum 48 de ore, si rãmîn un an de zile! (pp. 189-190)

I have through some searching been able to find the sources for Stoenescu’s claim:  Arhiva Senatului României, Stenograma nr.90/8 martie 1994, Audiere Petre Roman, pp.44-45.
http://internationalfreemedia.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/relatiile-romano-americane-de-la-razboiul-absurd-la-fratia-in-nato/#_ftn7 .  The claim from Stoenescu’s 2004 volume appears to have made its way into the press beginning in 2006 in Evenimentul Zilei, ironically (?) on the eve of the presentation to parliament of the Report by the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania (CPADCR) on 18 December 2006, despite the fact that Evenimentul Zilei was/is supposedly the hub of opposition to communist and Securitate revisionism in Romania! (it must be, since Vladimir Tismaneanu, head of the CPADCR, published op-eds there at the time and still does!):  http://www.evz.ro/operatiunea-kgb-decembrie-1989-423201.html.

In other words, Watts’ claim is recycled and originates with Alex Mihai Stoenescu.  Watts likes to point out that because Petre Roman was a former Prime Minister and was testifying under oath to a parliamentary committee, and because Roman claims he received the information from the then head of foreign intelligence that this enhances the credibility of the claim (see his comment on the post Mostenirea Clandestina).  Marius Mioc’s observation thus seems appropriate in light of such an interpretation:

Ceilalţi – Comisia Senatorială “Decembrie 1989″, Alex Mihai Stoenescu, Larry Watts, Grigore Cartianu, Sorin Golea – nu fac decît să repete cele spuse de Petre Roman. Remarc că Comisia Senatorială “Decembrie 1989″ n-a făcut nici minima verificare de a-l contacta şi pe Mihai Caraman, pentru a vedea dacă acesta confirmă spusele lui Petre Roman. Despre căutarea unor documente în arhivele Guvernului României sau ale Ministerului Afacerilor Externe care să ateste cererea făcută către sovietici de a-şi retrage agenţii nici nu mai vorbesc.

(from Răstălmăcirile lui Larry Watts şi răstălmăcirile altora despre Larry Watts)

Moreover, what is the background of the people making such allegations or to whom such allegations are ascribed?  Mihai Caraman was a long-time member of the Securitate’s Foreign Intelligence organization, named the CIE in its latter days.  Thus, Petre Roman’s source for this information is a former high-ranking Securitate official.  As I have argued consistently and repeatedly for over two decades in publications, for the purposes of investigating December 1989 three questions are relevant when it comes to what former Securitate personnel argue:

1) Does what they argue absolve the Securitate as an institution of wrongdoing in December 1989–wrongdoing that can be proved as having been committed by Securitate personnel?

2) Is what they argue similar to what other former Securitate personnel argue and can therefore be interpreted as an institutional view?

3) What was their personal relationship with the Securitate:  did they work for the institution?  Were they informers or collaborators of the institution during the communist era?

For example, Mihai Caraman, the alleged source of former PM Petre Roman’s claim was a longtime member of the Securitate’s foreign intelligence organization, and his claim about the alleged presence and role of numerous Soviet agents in the overthrow has been enunciated by numerous other former Securitate personnel (whether internal or external) from 1990 onward, as this site has demonstrated on numerous occasions.

Likewise, Alex Mihai Stoenescu, who first drew attention to the 1994 Petre Roman statement, has been defintively declared by CNSAS as having collaborated with the Securitate in the 1980s (see http://activenews.ro/decizie-definitiva-iccj-istoricul-alex-mihai-stoenescu-colaborat-cu-fosta-securitate_1829506.html or http://www.avocatura.com/stire/10316/istoricul-alex-mihai-stoenescu-verdict-irevocabil-de-colaborator-al-securitatii.html)

Finally, it has to be stressed that, besides sounding absurd–even if we ignore Petre Roman’s supposed earlier clarification to Stoenescu, according to Stoenescu, that all 30,000 of these Soviet tourists were members of Soviet special forces and estimate “conservatively” that “only” 10 percent were actual Soviet agents, that still leaves 3,000 Soviet agents (an incredible devotion of man power) traversing Romania not in Romanian Dacias so as to not draw attention but instead supposedly in Ladas and Moskovici!!!–THERE IS NO RECORD OF A SINGLE “SOVIET TOURIST” HAVING BEEN ARRESTED UPON SUSPICION OF INVOLVEMENT, LET ALONE ARMED INVOLVEMENT, IN THE UPHEAVAL THAT OVERTURNED THE REGIME OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU BEFORE OR AFTER 22 DECEMBER 1989!  (And specifically with regard to the beginnings of the uprising in Timisoara, Securitate officials themselves, in the immediate aftermath of the events, confessed that despite being tasked from Bucharest to supply evidence of alleged foreign tourist involvement in the demonstrations and riots against Nicolae Ceausescu and his regime, they were unable to do so! See 25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #1 The Securitate Deny Foreign Instigation of the Timisoara Uprising)

This then is why as Radu Ciobotea wrote, “The Securitate doesn’t say but it suggests.  It allows small details to leak out.”–precisely because it has no tactical proof of Soviet tourist responsibility for the December 1989 events, its former personnel must appeal to broad, structural, and unverifiable claims, such as the overall number of Soviet tourists in 1989, to suggest that by the mere presence of so many Soviet tourists they must have been involved.

 

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When a Truth Commission Misses Crucial Evidence: The Romanian CPADCR Final Report and Securitate General Iulian Vlad’s Declaration

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 20, 2013

(purely personal views as always)

It is virtually certain that the authors of the Chapter on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (pp. 620-627, especially p. 625 http://www.presidency.ro/static/ordine/RAPORT_FINAL_CPADCR.pdf ) had no knowledge of Securitate General Iulian Vlad’s Declaration of 29 January 1990 … with predictable negative consequences for their understanding of what happened in December 1989.

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General Magistrat (r) Ioan Dan

In aprilie 1990, generalul Ghoerghe Diaconescu a fost destituit din functia de conducere in Directia Procuraturilor Militare.  La plecare, mi-a predat cheia de la fisteul sau, cu mentiunea ca acolo au mai ramas cateva hartii fara importanta. Intrucat, la data respectiva, ma aflam in cea mai mare parte a timpului, in procesul cercetarilor de la Timisoara, mult mai tarziu, am dorit sa pun in respectivul fiset o serie de acte.  Am cercetat ce mai ramasese de pe urma generalului Diaconescu si, spre surprinderea mea, am gasit declaratia olografa a generalului Iulian Vlad, data fostului adjunct al procurorului general, fostul meu sef direct, nimeni altul decat generalul Diaconescu, la 29 ianuarie 1990, cand toate evenimentele din decembrie 1989 erau foarte proaspete.  Repet, este vorba despre declaratia olografa, un text scris foarte ingrijit, pe 10 pagini, din care voi reda acum integral doar partea care se refera expres la “actiunile teroriste in Capitala” (formularea apartine generalului Vlad).

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“Analizand modul in care au inceput si s-au desfasurat actiunile teroriste in Capitala, pe baza acelor date si informatii ce le-am avut la dispozitie, consider ca acestea ar fi putut fi executate de:

1) Elementele din Directia a V-a, USLA, CTS si din alte unitati de Securitate, inclusiv speciale.

a) Directia a V-a, asa cum am mai spus, avea in responsabilitate paza si securitatea interioara a Palatului Republicii, multe dintre cadrele acestei unitati cunoscand foarte bine cladirea, cu toate detaliile ei.  In situatia creata in ziua de 22.12.1989, puteau sa mearga la Palat, pe langa cei care faceau acolo serviciul si unii dintre ofiterii si subofiterii care se aflau la sediul CC ori la unitate.

Este ca se poate de clar ca numai niste oameni care cunosteanu bine topografia locului ori erau in complicitate cu cei care aveau asemenea cunostinte puteau patrunde in cladire (sau pe acoperisul ei) si transporta armamentul si cantitatile mari de munitie pe care le-au avut la dispozitie.

Tot aceasta Directie dispunea de o baza puternica si in apropierea Televiziunii (la Televiziunea veche).  De asemenea, avea in responsabilitate perimetrul din zona resedintei unde se aflau numeroase case (vile) nelocuite si in care teroristii ar fi putut sa se ascunda ori sa-si faca puncte de sprijin.

Sunt si alte motive care pun pe prim-plan suspiciuni cu privire la aceasta unitate.

b) Elemente din cadrul unitatii speciale de lupta antiterroriste care aveau unele misiuni comune cu Directia a V-a si, ca si o parte a ofiterilor si subofiterilor de la aceasta unitate, dispuneau de o mai buna instruire si de mijloace de lupta mai diversificate.

c) Elemente din Trupele de Securitate care asigurau paza obiectivilor speciale (resedinta, palat etc.) si, impreuna cu Directia a-V-a, Securitatea Capitalei si Militia Capitalei asigurau traseul de deplasare.

d) Ofiteri si subofiteri din Securitatea Capitalei, indeosebi de la Serviciul Trasee, sau dintre cei care au lucrat la Directia a V-a.

e) Elemente din alte unitati de Securitate, inclusiv unitatile speciale 544, 195 si 110, precum si din cele complet acoperite, comandate de col. Maita, col. Valeanu, lt. col. Sirbu, col. Nica, col. Eftimie si lt. col. (Eftimie sau Anghelache) Gelu (asa sta scris in declaratie–n.n.).  Aceste din urma sase unitati, ca si UM 544, in ansamblu, si UM 195 puteau dispune si de armament si munitii de provenienta straina, precum si de conditii de pregatire adecvate.

2) Ofiteri si subofiteri din Militie, atat de la Capitala, cat si de la IGM, cu prioritate cei din Detasamentul special de interventie si cei care asigurau traseul.

3) Cred ca s-ar impune verificarea, prin metode si mijloace specifice, a tragatorilor de elita din toate unitatile din Capitala ale Ministerului de Interne, precum si a celor care au avut in dotare sau au indeplinit misiuni folosind arme cu luneta.  N-ar trebui omisi nici chiar cei de la Dinamo si de la alte cluburi sportive.

4) Unele cadre militare de rezerva ale Securitatii, Militiei si Armatei, precum si actuali (la data respectiva) si fosti activisti de partid sau UTC, persoane apropriate tradatorului si familiei sale ori care poseda arme de foc.

Propun, de asemenea, o atenta investigare a celor care au fost in anturajul lui Nicu Ceausescu.  Acest anturaj, foarte divers, cuprindea inclusive unele elemente de cea mai scazuta conditie morala care puteau fi pretabile la asemenea actiuni.

Ar fi bine sa se acorde atentia cuvenita sub acest aspect si fratilor dictatorului–Ceausescu Ilie si Ceausescu Nicolae–care, prin multiplele posibilitati pe care le aveau, puteau organiza asemenea actiuni.

5) Anumite cadre militare sau luptatori din Garzile Patriotice.

6) Straini:

a. Din randul celor aflati la studii in Romania:

— arabi, in general, si palestinieni, in special, inclusiv cei care sunt la pregatire pe linia Armatei (de exemplu, la Academia Militara);

— alte grupuri de straini la studii (iranieni si altii).

b. Special infiltrati (indeosebi din cei care au urmat diverse cursuri de pregatire pe linia MI sau a MAN);

c. Alti straini aflati in tara cu diverse acoperiri, inclusiv diplomatice;

d. Fosti cetateni romani (care ar fi putut intra in tara si in mod fraudulos).

7) Elemente infractoare de drept comun care au posedat armament ori l-au procurat in chiar primele ore din dupa-amiaza zilei de 22 decembrie 1989, cand, din mai multe unitati de Securitate, intre care Directia a V-a si Securitatea Capitalei, s-a ridicat o cantitate mare si diversa de armament si munitie.”

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La Resita s-a jucat o mare carte a Revolutiei (Dovada de adevar: ce spun fosti securisti?! Revista Vitralii)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 17, 2013

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/05/05/la-resita-s-a-jucat-o-mare-carte-a-revolutiei/

Reşiţa a plătit şi ea cu sânge dorinţa de schimbare a regimului socialist. Capitala Banatului de munte a dat ca jertfă un număr de aproximativ 65 de morţi, toţi aceştia fiind victimele diversiunii securisto-teroriste aservite vechiului regim, în încercarea sa de a menţine teroarea asupra populaţiei din judeţul Caraş-Severin şi după evacuarea cuplului de dictatori în data de 22 Decembrie 1989.

http://www.memorialulrevolutiei.ro/index.php?page=evenimente/2012/vernisaj-reia

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56 VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE
REŞIŢA: CUM AM DEVENIT „ŞEFUL TERORIŞTILOR”
Deşi intervenţia mea poate părea tardivă, consider că sunt dator, ca fost
şef al Securităţii din Inspectoratul MI al judeţului Caraş-Severin, să contribui la
ridicarea vălului de dezinformări, minciuni şi manipulări care s-au vehiculat
despre cadrele de Securitate.
Acum începem să aflăm adevărul, acum putem, după atâţia ani, să
înţelegem cum şi de ce, în decembrie 1989, s-au putut petrece acele grozăvii,
cine au fost cei care fabricau scenariile, cine au fost cei care le ordonau, le
răspândeau sau le executau.
Foarte pe scurt, doar câteva aspecte din perioada premergătoare:
Pe fondul lipsurilor în care ne zbăteam, şi în judeţul nostru
nemulţumirile populaţiei s-au amplificat, situaţia devenind explozivă. Zilele lui
Ceauşescu păreau a fi numărate, mulţi dintre noi punându-şi speranţa în cel deal XIV–lea Congres al PCR, care însă a fost dezamăgitor. Am constatat o
creştere a virulenţei manifestărilor anticeauşiste, dar ne-am limitat numai la
raportarea ierarhică a informaţiilor primite.
Nu puţine informaţii ne parveneau şi din exterior. Astfel, un director
german de la firma mixtă „Renk-Reşiţa”, întorcându-se din ţara natală, s-a
adresat celor care îl aşteptau la aeroport cu cuvintele: „Nu mai aveţi mult şi
până în decembrie scăpaţi de Ceauşescu”.
Constatam trecerea tot mai intensă a frontierei, atât legal cât şi ilegal,
depistând agenţi şi tot felul de emisari străini veniţi cu sarcini destabilizatoare,
precum şi pătrunderea în ţară a unor fugari anterior instruiţi şi pregătiţi în
exterior cu scopul de a forma pichete ale dezordinii la un semnal dat.
Mai mult, aşa după cum a reieşit din cercetarea acestora, în aşteptarea
acelui moment cei în cauză erau instruiţi să lanseze zvonuri alarmiste; să racoleze
noi persoane pretabile la acţiuni de dezordine şi de incitare; să creeze noi canale de
trecere ilegală a graniţei; să studieze modalităţile de distrugere a unor obiective
social-politice şi economice; să culeagă şi să transmită date despre aceste
obiective, precum şi despre activiştii de partid, despre cadrele MI etc.
Asemenea elemente depistate de Inspectoratul MI al judeţului Caraş-
Severin au fost preluate în acelaşi scop, de cercetare, şi de către unităţile centrale
ale Securităţii, stabilindu-se misiunile clandestine ce le aveau de îndeplinit în
România, primite îndeosebi de cei trecuţi prin lagărul de la Bicske, Ungaria.
În ziua de 21 decembrie 1989 au fost semnalate 14 autoturisme cu turişti
sovietici în centrul oraşului Reşiţa; în preajma evenimentelor, pe şoselele judeţului
circulau astfel de coloane, care au făcut obiectul cercetărilor efectuate de un VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE 57
colectiv condus de şeful Miliţiei – colonel Câmpeanu Alexandru (unul dintre
autoturisme fusese distrus într-un accident soldat cu moartea celor doi pasageri).
Consider că este un fapt deja clarificat că nu pentru turism veniseră
aceştia în România.
Pentru noi, cei de la Securitate, a contat mult o convocare organizată în
acea perioadă pe regiuni ale ţării de către conducerea centrală, cu prilejul căreia
s-au trasat sarcinile ce ne reveneau, în sensul de a cunoaşte în permanenţă
starea de spirit; de a nu ne implica în acţiuni stradale de reprimare a unor
eventuale demonstraţii; de a nu panica subordonaţii şi alte asemenea ordine, cu
accent pe informarea cu operativitate a forurilor ierarhic superioare.
Aşadar, starea de fapt creată în ultima parte a anului 1989, generatoare
de revoltă a populaţiei, cât şi faptul că în toate instituţiile şi unităţile economice
s-au organizat adunări având ca scop condamnarea celor petrecute în
Timişoara, au culminat şi la Reşiţa, cum era previzibil, cu ieşirea în stradă a
demonstranţilor încă din 21 decembrie. Aceştia au ocupat piaţa centrală a
oraşului şi manifestau, scandând revendicări legate de condiţii mai bune de
muncă şi viaţă: apă caldă, căldură, aprovizionare etc., şi exprimându-şi
simpatia faţă de timişoreni.
De menţionat că în tot acest timp cadrele MI din toate localităţile
judeţului nu au intervenit pentru a împiedica aceste manifestări, în ciuda
instrucţiunilor primite de la conducerea de partid locală care, textual, ne cerea:
„Nu scăpaţi muncitorii în stradă!”
Spre sfârşitul zilei de 21 decembrie, o parte dintre demonstranţi au pătruns
în sediul Comitetului judeţean de partid, astăzi Prefectura judeţului, dorind a
dialoga asupra revendicărilor lor. Personalul militar din Inspectoratul MI Caraş-
Severin care asigura paza sediului şi a oficialităţilor de atunci s-a comportat
exemplar. Împreună cu liderii demonstranţilor, aceştia au reuşit să atenueze unele
stări tensionale care începuseră să apară, au determinat încetarea lozincilor
incitatoare la dezordine şi a zvonurilor alarmiste cu tentă de violenţă.
Numeroase au fost măsurile luate de conducerea Inspectoratului, la
solicitarea liderilor, în acea noapte, spre a împiedica săvârşirea de acte cu
implicaţii imprevizibile, accentul punându-se pe paza instituţiilor şi a
obiectivelor economice din municipiu.
Pe timpul nopţii de 21-22 decembrie am fost solicitat de liderul ad-hoc
al revoluţionarilor pătrunşi în sediul Comitetului judeţean de partid, un pictor,
pe nume Nicolae Vlădulescu (devenit ulterior preşedintele FSN Caraş-
Severin), să verific prin subordonaţii mei numeroasele zvonuri alarmiste sau de
natură incitatoare. De asemenea, i-am pus la dispoziţie mijloacele umane şi
tehnice necesare pentru a se adresa demonstranţilor, asigurându-i că Securitatea
este de partea lor.58 VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE
Încă din 21 decembrie, conform ordinului transmis telefonic de
generalul Iulian Vlad, armamentul din dotarea subordonaţilor a fost depus la
rastel, iar ofiţerii şi subofiţerii de Securitate au fost instruiţi să nu părăsească
unitatea decât la ordin şi să nu răspundă la eventuale provocări.
Manifestările de revoltă împotriva lui Ceauşescu au continuat şi în
dimineaţa zilei de 22 decembrie, când coloane de muncitori de la marile
obiective economice ale municipiului Reşiţa s-au deplasat spre centrul oraşului,
scandând lozinci anticeauşiste, şi s-au alăturat celor ce ocupaseră piaţa centrală
în ziua precedentă.
Pe tot parcursul zilei de 22 decembrie manifestările nu s-au soldat cu
incidente, iar procesul de preluare a puterii a decurs în mod paşnic, aşa cum s-a
petrecut şi în alte oraşe ale judeţului, cu excepţia municipiului Caransebeş.
După alegerea comitetului provizoriu al Frontului Salvării Naţionale pe
judeţ, preşedintele acestuia, Nicolae Vlădulescu, ne-a convocat în după-amiaza
zilei de 22 decembrie (pe subsemnatul şi pe şeful Miliţiei judeţene) la sediul
Prefecturii de azi, ce se afla încă sub paza instituţiei noastre. Cu această ocazie, a
evidenţiat modul reuşit în care cadrele Inspectoratului nostru au acţionat,
prevenind acţiuni violente şi acte de dezordine în municipiu, şi ne-a fixat sarcini
pentru a doua zi, când urma să ne prezentăm din nou la el. La terminarea
discuţiilor a ţinut să ne aducă mulţumiri din partea FSN şi, prin noi, tuturor
cadrelor din subordine, pentru sprijinul acordat, pentru evitarea apariţiei unor
victime, pentru faptul că a fost posibil să nu se tragă nici un foc de armă în Reşiţa.
Noaptea de 22 spre 23 decembrie a însemnat şi pentru judeţul Caraş-
Severin o cotitură nefastă în desfăşurarea evenimentelor, urmare celor
orchestrate de la Bucureşti de echipa generalului Nicolae Militaru, proaspăt
numit la conducerea Armatei, despre care ştiam că fusese trecut în rezervă
pentru activitate de trădare în favoarea unei puteri străine.
Ca profesionist al informaţiilor, presimţeam că această numire nu este
de bun augur, iar faptele reprobabile şi atrocităţile comise în zilele următoare în
Reşiţa au dovedit că nu m-am înşelat. Şi asta s-a întâmplat pentru că în unele
judeţe (ca şi în Caraş-Severin) au existat comandanţi militari zeloşi, după
chipul şi asemănarea generalului Militaru, care i-au urmat orbeşte ordinele,
devenind principalii factori destabilizatori ai noii puteri.
În ziua de 22 decembrie, Securitatea judeţeană a fost preluată sub
control de colonelul Teodor Stepan, la data respectivă şef al Centrului Militar
al judeţului Caraş-Severin şi, după cum au urmat lucrurile, se părea că ne vom
continua activităţile specifice în noua subordonare a FSN. Pe radarele de la
graniţă apăruseră ţinte aeriene într-un număr atât de mare, încât ne pregăteam
să facem faţă unui eventual atac aerian.VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE 59
Liniştea ce se aşternuse în conştiinţa noastră de militari, cum că ne-am
făcut datoria în acele condiţii deosebite nu a durat însă decât până în seara zilei
de 22 decembrie, când am constatat că legăturile telefonice ne-au fost tăiate,
când a început lansarea unor zvonuri, precum atacarea de către trupe
nedefinite, otrăvirea apei etc.
În aceeaşi zi, în jurul orei 2300, mi s-a cerut să mă deplasez la sediul
FSN, deoarece cadrele Ministerului de Interne care asigurau paza acestuia, ca
şi cei stabiliţi în garda de corp a noilor conducători sau cei ce fuseseră solicitaţi
de însuşi colonelul Teodor Stepan pentru diverse misiuni, fuseseră sechestraţi.
Ajuns la sediul amintit, am fost foarte surprins de faptul că am fost
percheziţionat şi suspectat ca aş fi intenţionat să atac revoluţionarii şi am luat la
cunoştinţă că paza fusese preluată de militarii colonelului Stepan. Consternat
de aceste răsturnări de situaţie, am fost dus într-un birou şi acuzat că am trădat
revoluţia şi că desfăşor acţiuni împotriva poporului român.
Închis în acel birou, singur şi în imposibilitate de a-mi îndeplini
atribuţiunile de până atunci, am asistat la vânzoleala penibilă, în unele situaţii
chiar tragică, auzind informaţii şoc, precum că trupe fidele lui Ceauşescu atacă
Reşiţa, că se trage spre sediul Inspectoratului MI etc.
În jurul orelor 3 din dimineaţa zilei de 23 decembrie, după ce se mai
liniştise canonada, am fost scos din camera amintită de către militarii
colonelului Stepan şi dus în biroul preşedintelui FSN, unde mi s-a spus, cu o
oarecare jenă, ca voi părăsi clădirea pentru a-mi exercita atribuţiunile ce îmi
reveneau, dându-mi-se în primire şi cei 9 ofiţeri MI care, de asemenea, fuseseră
dezarmaţi şi sechestraţi în condiţiile arătate.
Ajuns la sediul Securităţii, mi s-a raportat ca în acea noapte clădirea
Inspectoratului a fost atacată cu gloanţe de mitralieră, de la o unitate de rachete ce
se afla pe un podiş de pe teritoriul municipiului şi că au fost făcute cercetări asupra
gloanţelor identificate, dar că militarii noştri de pază nu au răspuns atacului.
Am informat conducerea Inspectoratului despre cele întâmplate cu mine
şi cu militarii sechestraţi şi împreună am apreciat că militarii din paza
Inspectoratului au procedat foarte bine atunci când nu au răspuns cu foc
atacului amintit, fiind vorba de o provocare.
În dimineaţa aceleiaşi zile de 23 decembrie, am fost anunţaţi să ne
deplasăm, conducerea inspectoratului, la sediul FSN. Ştiind că acest lucru
rămăsese stabilit din ziua precedentă, în cadrul discuţiilor cu preşedintele FSN,
am mers liniştiţi, nebănuind nimic din cele ce urma să ni se întâmple.
Ajunşi la FSN, în biroul preşedintelui Nicolae Vlădulescu, am constatat
că mai erau prezenţi adjunctul acestuia (fostul prim-secretar Szasz Iosif),
colonelul Teodor Stepan, mai mulţi revoluţionari şi ziarişti, printre care şi Dan
Dinu Glăvan. După unele discuţii legate de situaţia existentă la acea oră în 60 VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE
municipiu, a intervenit colonelul Teodor Stepan, care a început să debiteze un
scenariu ridicol de superficial şi de prost argumentat, vădit incriminant la
adresa conducerii Inspectoratului MI. Din acuze reieşea că eu aş fi şeful
teroriştilor, că am legături la Bucureşti, de unde primesc instrucţiuni pentru a
dirija acţiunile în judeţ împotriva revoluţiei, că aş dispune de depozite de
armament şi muniţie sofisticată, că aş fi dat dispoziţii subalternilor să distrugă
arhiva Securităţii etc. Riposta mea de a demonta asemenea aberaţii a fost
hotărâtă, fără a-l determina însă să îşi retragă scenariul prezentat.
Într-un final, adjunctul preşedintelui, Szasz Iosif, sesizând netemeinicia
acuzaţiilor invocate de colonel şi dorind, probabil, să curme situaţia penibilă ce
se crease, a propus ca cei din conducerea Inspectoratului MI să fim lăsaţi liberi
pentru a ne putea continua activitatea în noua situaţie, atragându-ne atenţia de a
ne subordona întrutotul colonelului Stepan Teodor, care reclamase anterior aşazise acte de insubordonare.
Această intervenţie a fost însă de natură să-l irite şi mai mult pe colonel,
care a ieşit din birou, reîntorcându-se după un timp cu un ofiţer subordonat şi
doi militari. Acestora li s-a ordonat să povestească un alt scenariu, la fel de
prost documentat, prin care susţineau că în noaptea respectivă ar fi văzut ieşind
dintr-un bloc apropiat Inspectoratului nostru un terorist care şi-ar fi camuflat un
pistol rabatabil într-o servietă diplomat; că acesta ar fi intrat în sediul
Securităţii, că în tot cursul nopţii acolo ar mai fi pătruns şi alte persoane, unele
rănite; că în curtea Inspectoratului MI ar fi văzut intrând o Salvare şi mai multe
maşini particulare etc.
În aceste condiţii, m-am situat pe aceeaşi poziţie de loialitate şi
onestitate, încercând să clarific toate suspiciunile ce planau (doar în mintea lor)
asupra noastră. Ceilalţi colegi din conducerea Inspectoratului au început să dea
explicaţii în sprijinul celor susţinute de mine, prezentând diverse aspecte şi
fapte cu care s-au confruntat pe linie de Miliţie. Aceştia au mai spus că asupra
clădirii Inspectoratului, în acea noapte s-au tras rafale de mitralieră. Colonelul
Teodor Stepan a replicat că s-a tras de la acea unitate pentru că au constatat că
s-ar fi făcut semnale luminoase şi că în acele împrejurări li s-ar fi împuşcat un
ostaş. Adevărata împrejurare în care a murit acel soldat mi-a fost dezvăluită
ulterior, în timp ce mă aflam în arestul unităţii, de către un subofiţer ce
participase la acele evenimente, afirmaţii confirmate ulterior de către un vecin,
revoluţionar, Bărbulescu Gheorghe, care mi-a explicat că de fapt a fost un
accident între ostaşi.
Colonelul Teodor Stepan a curmat discuţiile, cu dreptul celui care are
puterea. A reluat acuzaţiile anterioare legate de instruirea subordonaţilor mei spre a
desfăşura acte îndreptate împotriva revoluţiei, fiind vizibil că dorea arestarea mea
şi a celorlalţi. În urma acestor acuzaţii, preşedintele Vlădulescu Nicolae ne-a cerut, VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE 61
celor din conducerea Inspectoratului, să părăsim pentru un timp încăperea.
Nu ştiu ce s-a mai discutat în lipsa noastră, dar după aceea am fost
chemaţi înapoi în birou, preşedintele m-a abordat astfel: „Domnule colonel…
sunt convins că nu puteai acţiona ca terorist… aşa cum s-a spus,… dar te rog să
explici dacă ai cunoştinţe despre astfel de terorişti care acţionează sau vor să
acţioneze în judeţ…, dacă ai primit instrucţiuni în acest sens? “
La răspunsul meu negativ, mi-a spus să accept sechestrarea, până când,
în următoarele zile, se vor clarifica problemele, hotărând ca împreună cu
inspectorul şef, colonel Rădulescu Gheorghe, să rămânem în acel sediu. A mai
afirmat, la despărţire: „Dacă asigurările dumneavoastră se vor confirma, atunci
fiţi siguri că tot noi vom fi aceia care vă vom cere scuze”.
Acestea fiind spuse, am fost conduşi de un ofiţer MApN la subsolul
clădirii amintite, unde au eliberat în grabă o cameră, iar şeful Miliţiei,
Câmpeanu Alexandru, a fost învestit, în prezenţa noastră, să preia comanda
efectivelor Inspectoratului. În continuare, lucrurile s-au derulat la Reşiţa ca şi
la Sibiu şi în alte oraşe din ţară.
În zadar am tot aşteptat scuzele pentru arestarea mea ilegală, deoarece
colonelul Teodor Stepan, pentru a se erija într-un erou şi salvator al oraşului
Reşiţa, m-a popularizat prin mass-media ca şef al teroriştilor care i-aş fi
pricinuit multe suferinţe.
Şi acum câteva cuvinte doar despre personajul care după evenimente a
obţinut avansarea la gradul de general, fapt care aproape că nu mai miră pe
nimeni. El – şi ca el mulţi alţii – s-au încadrat în rândul profitorilor noului
regim, s-au transformat în virulenţi adversari ai Securităţii şi s-au străduit ca
despre persoana lor să se creeze o cu totul altă imagine decât cea reală.
Stepan Teodor, ofiţer de Transmisiuni promoţia 1958, a lucrat, de la
înălţarea sa la gradul de locotenent, în structurile Direcţiei de Informaţii a
Armatei. A ajuns diplomat la ambasada română din Atena, de unde a fost retras
după o perioadă foarte scurtă de şedere la post. (Nu cumva trebuie să ne
întrebăm de ce?). Contrainformaţiile Militare ajunseseră la concluzia că ar
trebui trecut în rezervă, pe motive similare cazului Militaru. Nu a fost
îndepărtat din Armată, ci doar mutat într-o funcţie mai puţin sensibilă, aceea de
şef al Centrului militar judeţean Caraş-Severin.
După ştiinţa mea, a mai existat un caz asemănător, cel al colonelului
Marin Pancea, fost ataşat militar la Paris şi Belgrad. Şi acesta, după ce a fost
documentat ca agent sovietic, a fost scos din DIA şi trimis şef al Centrului
Militar din Brăila. În decembrie 1989, Marin Pancea a preluat comanda
garnizoanei Brăila, consecinţa ordinelor sale aberante fiind 44 de morţi şi 99 de
răniţi. Apoi a fost numit şef al spionajului românesc, dar a rezistat foarte puţin
timp, adică mai puţin de o lună. A fost transferat ca şef al DIA, unde a rezistat 62 VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE
ceva mai mult, până în 1991, după care, plin de grijă, preşedintele Iliescu l-a
numit secretar al CSAT.
Teodor Stepan a fost numit de către noul ministru al Apărării, generalul
Nicolae Militaru, comandant al garnizoanei, rămânând în funcţie până la trecerea
în rezervă. Mai amintesc aici un alt episod legat de acesta. Atunci când Ceauşescu
a ţinut vestita sa teleconferinţă din 17 decembrie, legată de evenimentele din
Timişoara, la încheierea teleconferinţei, colonelul Teodor Stepan a fost singurul
din sală care s-a ridicat şi a condamnat tulburările din Timişoara, cerând primului
secretar al judeţului dreptul de a interveni cu unităţile militare din judeţ, pentru a
executa, exemplar, ordinele comandantului suprem.
Teodor Stepan a început punerea în aplicare a scenariilor diversioniste
care trebuia să ducă la incitarea populaţiei împotriva cadrelor Ministerului de
Interne şi în special împotriva Securităţii.
Au urmat episoade dramatice derulate pe timpul detenţiei în aresturi
improvizate, dar şi pe timpul transportului dintr-o localitate într-alta, acţiuni
gândite coerent şi urmărind evident o finalitate previzibilă pentru mine:
suprimarea fizică.
Să încep cu sechestrarea la Prefectură. Aici, în noaptea de 23 spre 24
decembrie, Stepan şi subordonaţii săi au organizat o sarabandă de trageri cu tot
felul de armament, însoţită de comentarii prin portavoce, alarmante pentru
populaţie, care anunţau iminenţa unui atac executat de forţe teroriste asupra
sediului Prefecturii, pentru recuperarea şefului lor. Auzeam din camera de la
demisol tropăituri, înjurături şi frânturi de dialog: „Acolo ai găsit ceva?… Nu,
aici nu sunt…” sau îndemnuri de a se trage cât mai multă muniţie. Am încercat
să sting lumina, dar ofiţerul de pază mi-a sugerat „subtil” (adică urlând) să
aprind lumina, reproşându-mi că „fac semnale luminoase”. Continuau în acest
timp avertizările, prin portavoce, către populaţie să nu stea la ferestre şi să nu
iasă din imobile pentru că pot fi împuşcaţi de terorişti (ei probabil fiind imuni –
precum eroii din filmele proaste de război).
Pe străzile oraşului, un autoturism cu megafon „informa” populaţia că
în cimitirul din localitate se ascundea, nimeni altul, decât „şeful teroriştilor”,
dovedit în persoana şefului Securităţii judeţului, mai concret colonelul
Mihalcea Aurel. În acele momente acesta nu era însă altceva decât un individ
terorizat în subsolul din sediul fostului organ judeţean de partid. Pentru
credibilitate se afirma că eram însoţit de un alt terorist marcant, subordonatul
meu, lt. col. Petre Ion. Acesta era comandantul formaţiunii de luptă
antiteroristă, structură existentă la fiecare Securitate judeţeană de atunci.
Am aflat ulterior de la dl. Gigi Bărbulescu, revoluţionar, că de fapt în
cimitir, din ordinul lui Stepan, erau doi cetăţeni înarmaţi care, după ce s-au
trezit din somnul cel dulce indus de o cantitate apreciabilă de palincă, au VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE 63
început să-şi descarce la întâmplare muniţia cu care erau dotaţi. Tacticianul
Stepan Teodor, apreciind că teroriştii nu vor renunţa să-şi salveze şeful, a
ordonat ca în dimineaţa zilei de 24 decembrie eu şi col. Rădulescu să fim
transportaţi la o unitate de rachete, din municipiu.
Mijlocul de transport era ABI-ul cu care era dotată subunitatea antitero a
Inspectoratului. În autovehicul mai era şi un subofiţer MApN care manevra
ameninţător o mitralieră. Imaginea de ansamblu se completa cu grupuri de
manifestanţi cu banderole tricolore şi trecători, de o parte şi de alta a drumului,
care priveau curioşi la transportul celor doi terorişti. La apropierea de unitatea
militară, am fost întâmpinaţi cu foc puternic de automate, gloanţele lovind
blindajul ABI-ului. Ceva mai inspirat, de data asta (nu ca în subsolul prefecturii),
i-am cerut ofiţerului MApN să nu mai tragă cu AKM-ul şi să semnalizeze
intenţiile noastre paşnice cu banderola tricoloră legată de ţeava armei.
Doar aşa a încetat focul dinspre unitatea militară, iar stupefacţia
cadrelor din unitate la vederea şi identificarea noastră, a fost totală, deoarece
erau informaţi că vor fi atacaţi. Cred că ofiţerul MApN din ABI ar putea să-mi
fie recunoscător, deoarece, dacă nu mi-ar fi urmat sfatul, am fi putut fi acum,
împreună, la doi metri sub pământ, victime ale „revoluţiei”.
Dar spiritul războinic al lui Stepan nu avea odihnă! Analizând încă o
dată complexitatea situaţiei, a decis că nu suntem bine „asiguraţi”, aşa că a
solicitat un elicopter, de la o unitate din Caransebeş, pentru a-i transporta pe cei
doi terorişti la arestul unităţii militare de pe lângă aeroportul acestui municipiu.
Toţi participanţii, atât cei din paza transportului, cât şi cei de la primirea
noastră la aeroport au fost avertizaţi că au de-a face cu indivizi foarte
periculoşi. De aceea la aeroport eram aşteptaţi de echipa de luptă antitero, adică
subordonaţii mei, dar şi de nişte militari mai ciudaţi, echipaţi în uniforme
speciale, despre care am aflat că ar fi paraşutişti veniţi de la Buzău. Şi probabil,
tot de aceea, escorta din elicopter ne-a legat mâinile cu sârmă şi ne-au tratat cu
tot „respectul” de care erau ei în stare.
Îmi îngădui o paranteză şi îmi cer scuze de la cititori, dacă întrebarea pe
care le-o pun este aparent naivă: recunoaşteţi scenariile?
Primirea teroriştilor la aeroport a fost la fel de consternantă şi de
stânjenitoare ca şi la unitatea de rachete. Am fost recunoscuţi de subordonaţi, dar
şi de ofiţerii cu funcţii de decizie de la aeroport, care totuşi nu au putut trece peste
deciziile militare. Aşa că am mers legaţi la arestul aeroportului. Acolo un ofiţer
MApN necunoscut, oarecum enervat şi furios, ne-a dezlegat, consecinţa stării lui
fiind urmele rămase pe mâinile noastre… Am fost cazaţi într-o camera „surdă” şi
am intrat în atenţia gorilelor paraşutate din jungla umană, care şi-au manifestat
cultura diversionist teroristă (de fapt, ei chiar puteau fi numiţi terorişti) printr-un
întreg arsenal de injurii şi alte tratamente speciale.64 VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE
Am fost scoşi din ghearele lor de şeful arestului, un om cu nume
aproape predestinat – Apostol, căruia îi mulţumesc încă o dată – şi am fost
„promovaţi” din ordinul inimosului comandant al unităţii într-un birou, cât de
cât mai primitor, unde umanoizii nu mai aveau acces.
Încerc să înţeleg astăzi acest comportament al lor prin prisma omului
supus stării de stres, teamă, nesiguranţă şi tensiune, ca o consecinţă a
propagandei cenuşii, dar poate şi a ordinelor şi instrucţiunilor primite. Ce nu pot
înţelege este faptul că şi eu, şi ei eram MILITARI. Ce a făcut diferenţa?
A urmat calvarul anchetelor. Echipele de procurori se succedau una
după alta, în încercarea de a smulge „mărturii” despre activitatea noastră de
terorişti şi duşmani ai „revoluţiei”, despre planuri, depozite, legături şi tot ce le
putea imagina mintea înfierbântată de importanţa actului lor justiţiar. Evident
că toate aceste presiuni nu s-au putut finaliza şi nici nu s-au putut contraface
„probe”. Ca urmare a acestui eşec, am beneficiat de încă o mutare de şah
„stepanovistă”, fiind readuşi la unitatea de rachete din Reşiţa, mai aproape de
sufletul dar şi de posibilităţile pe care le avea proaspătul eliberator şi erou al
oraşului de a manipula şi influenţa anchetele procurorilor militari.
Rămăsesem singurul arestat, col. Rădulescu nemaiprezentând nici
pericol şi nici interes pentru proaspătul emanat, aşa că trebuia acum ca noile
echipe de anchetatori să scoată de la mine ceva care să justifice, cât de cât,
arestarea şi reţinerea mea ilegală.
*
Întrerup deocamdată nararea teribilei mele încercări de viaţă, cu
promisiunea de a reveni cu finalizarea anchetelor (şi sunt multe de povestit)
într-unul dintre numerele viitoare ale revistei „Vitralii”.
Mă motivează şi gândul, acum mărturisit, că admirabilii mei subalterni,
colegi şi tovarăşi de suferinţă, închişi şi încătuşaţi la fel ca şi mine, îşi vor reactiva
memoria şi vor creiona alte gânduri, trăiri şi evenimente din acea perioadă.
Pentru că au mai fost şi multe, şi dureroase! Să ne amintim de raidul
aerian al aviaţiei de vânătoare din Timişoara care avea ca scop lichidarea
teroriştilor de pe un deal împădurit, învecinat Reşiţei, locaţie în care Stepan
ordonase în prealabil să meargă efective din Inspectoratul MI Caraş-Severin,
tocmai pentru că acolo s-ar fi aflat terorişti? Sau despre tragerile misterioase
din clopotniţa unei biserici care, la ordinul lui Stepan, a fost „cercetată” abia
după câteva ore, timp în care ….
Măcar pentru memoria şi cinstirea celor 18 morţi şi a numeroşilor
mutilaţi, civili şi militari, care au înroşit pământul Reşiţei cu propriul lor sânge.
Dar şi pentru a dezvălui adevărata faţă a unor aşa-zişi eroi!
Col. (r) Aurel Mihalcea
http://www.acmrr-sri.ro/upload/Vitraliino13.pdf glont perforant

COLONELUL STEPAN
Am citit cu mare atenţie articolul d-lui col. (r) Aurel Mihalcea1
în legătură
cu evenimentele care au avut loc la Reşiţa în decembrie 1989, hotărând să vin şi eu
în completare cu câteva elemente pe care le consider a fi interesante.
L-am cunoscut pe colonelul Theodor Stepan de la Reşiţa în cadrul
programului de dispersare în ţară a structurilor informative ale României „post
decembriste” şi nu pot spune că această cunoştinţă mi-a făcut plăcere. Atunci,
alături de mai mulţi ofiţeri, am fost trimis din Mehedinţi la Caraş-Severin,
pentru a conduce noua structură a constraspionajului din zonă. În ziua sosirii
mele la Reşiţa, am fost uluit de felul în care arăta faţada clădirii Inspectoratului
Judeţean al Ministerului de Interne. Imaginea faţadei, ciuruită de circa 10000
de gloanţe şi cu aproape toate geamurile sparte, era de-a dreptul sinistră.
Prima întâlnire cu cel numit mai sus a avut loc în sala de şedinţe a
inspectoratului unde ne-a spus – pe un ton foarte grav – cine este. Apoi ne-a
informat că vine direct de la CPUN local, unde a informat că „ofiţerii
compromişi la Caraş-Severin în timpul revoluţiei au fost trimişi în alte judeţe”,
urmând ca în locul lor să vină cadre din altă parte. La sfârşitul şedinţei i-am
cerut o întrevedere personală, în cadrul căreia l-am rugat să nu mai insiste pe
tema mutării ofiţerilor aşa-zis compromişi întrucât, în mod logic, lumea va
percepe că şi noi cei trimişi la Reşiţa am fost compromişi în judeţele de unde
am plecat. La zisele mele nu a reacţionat în vreun fel cu excepţia unei priviri
tăioase şi a unui rictus facial. M-a întrebat în ce domeniu am lucrat şi dacă am
lucrat în străinătate. Rugându-l să mă sprijine în protejarea contrainformativă a
structurii de contraspionaj, întrucât nu ştim care va fi strategia de lucru în
viitor, m-a asigurat de sprijinul său, mi-a cerut să-mi cazez la hotel ofiţerii care
au venit, după care o să vadă ce se poate face.
După trei nopţi de cazare la hotel, câţiva dintre noi au fost cazaţi în
dormitoarele comune de la poliţia municipală Reşiţa, iar eu împreună cu încă
trei ofiţeri am fost cazaţi într-un apartament situat pe malul râului Bîrzava,
apartament ce ne-a fost predat de către o echipă a Centrului Militar, care era
1
„Vitralii – Lumini şi umbre”, nr. 9/Decembrie 201160 VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE, an IV, nr.13, decembrie 2012-februarie 2013
atât de „conspirată” încât au venit purtând uniformele de serviciu, şi atât de
„discretă” încât toată scara blocului a asistat la operaţiune. Cu această ocazie
am aflat că respectivul apartament aparţinuse Securităţii ca o bază a filajului.
După încheierea formalităţilor de predare-primire, noii locatari au început
acţiunea de dereticare în interior şi nu mică ne-a fost mirarea când am găsit sub
cada din baie un glonţ mai deosebit. Uzând de cunoştinţele noastre în materie
criminalistică, am constatat că era un glonţ perforant, care intrase sub cadă prin
geamul de la baie în care lăsase gaura corespunzătoare, neobservată în procesul
de predare-preluare a apartamentului.
Am început „activitatea” prin observare directă pentru a cunoaşte oraşul,
studiind presa locală şi stând la cozile cele mai lungi pe care le întâlneam pentru a
face cumpărăturile necesare unui trai de subzistenţă. Mărturisesc că în acest mod
colectivul pe care-l conduceam a aflat informaţii deosebit de interesante.
Înainte de a prezenta o succintă analiză a lor, doresc să mai fac câteva
precizări:
 Studiind, din afară, cu atenţie faţada clădirii inspectoratului
judeţean care fusese supus tirului susţinut al forţelor care luptaseră
cu „teroriştii”, am constatat că circa zece geamuri nu erau sparte în
totalitate, ele prezentând doar între una şi trei găuri;
 din interior, am constatat că se trăsese cartuşe cu gloanţe perforante
dintr-o altfel de armă decât pistolul mitralieră binecunoscut (AKM),
situaţie constatată în biroul fostului şef al serviciului de
contraspionaj al judeţului Caraş Severin, de unde am şi recuperat
glonţul „poposit” în peretele opus ferestrei;
 toate birourile care prezentau asemenea găuri în geamuri găzduiseră
comandanţi pe diferite trepte ierarhice ai Securităţii şi Miliţiei
judeţene;
 Theodor Stepan fusese obiectiv în lucru pe linie de contrainformaţii
militare, iar la preluarea de către armată a Inspectoratului M.I.,
acesta şi-a găsit surprinzător de repede fişa de lucru aflată la
serviciul tehnic, motiv pentru care şeful acestuia a devenit
duşmanul său de moarte şi, evident, „securist – terorist” fruntaş.
Concluziile pe care le voi prezenta nu abordează faptele în desfăşurarea
lor cronologică, încercând mai degrabă o interconectare a lor. VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE, an IV, nr.13, decembrie 2012-februarie 2013 61
Aşadar, la câteva zile după preluarea noului post am avut norocul să cunosc
un tânăr inginer care, din ordinul luptătorului-şef împotriva teroriştilor, col. Theodor
Stepan, a tras de pe platforma unui bloc vecin cu inspectoratul, cu o armă cu lunetă
în fereastra biroului menţionat de mine mai sus. Conform spuselor acestuia, în birou
nu se afla nimeni când el a tras. A tras un singur cartuş şi cunoştea cui aparţinea acel
birou de la cel care-l instruise şi-l condusese la locul tragerii, un subordonat al lui
Theodor Stepan echipat în semicivil, fără însemne şi grade.
Din cele relatate de colegii reşiţeni rămaşi în unitate a rezultat că, odată
cu preluarea şefiei Ministerului Apărării de către generalul Militaru, toate
cadrele fostei Securităţi au fost consemnate la serviciu, fără a li se permite
legături cu exteriorul, inclusiv cu familia. La declanşarea tirului infernal asupra
sediului inspectoratului judeţean, toţi s-au adăpostit pe holurile clădirii. Prin
megafoane, vajnicii luptători împotriva „securiştilor – terorişti”, îi somau pe
cei din interior să iasă din clădire pentru a se preda. Pentru intimidarea acestora
au întreprins demonstraţii de forţă, plasând la baza clădirii mai multe
încărcături explozive. În cele din urmă au reuşit să „răpună” un terorist. Acesta
era şeful popotei inspectoratului (un subofiţer ori angajat civil, al cărui nume
regret că l-am uitat), care într-una dintre zile a ieşit să facă aprovizionarea cu
pâine. Cel în cauză are şi în ziua de azi o proteză specială la şold.
Întrucât nu avea formatori de opinie şi alte mijloace rapide de influenţă
şi dezinformare, Theodor Stepan, şef al Centrului Militar, comandant al
garnizoanei Reşiţa şi comandant suprem al tuturor forţelor armate din judeţul
Caraş-Severin (conform unui decret FSN), s-a prezentat personal la redacţia
ziarului local „Timpul” şi, începând cu data de 06.01.1990, a acordat interviuri
menite „a lumina ignoranta populaţie a Banatului de Munte”. Şi-a motivat
intervenţia la ziar prin aceea că „nu s-a evidenţiat anterior modul de acţiune al
armatei pentru sprijinirea Frontului şi apărarea unor obiective din oraş” (nu a
putut preciza împotriva cui – n.n.).
Fac oarecare eforturi să citez din înţelepciunea dumnealui: „voiau
(teroriştii) controlul aerian pentru a salva familia Ceauşescu”.
De asemenea, „în urma acţiunilor teroriste, negăsindu-se nici un
cadavru al acestora, a existat părerea că acel tumult de împuşcături ar fi
provocate în mod gratuit de armată şi gărzile patriotice, zvon răspândit repede
şi dăunător pentru armată”;… „s-a dovedit că armata nu era pregătită pentru 62 VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE, an IV, nr.13, decembrie 2012-februarie 2013
asemenea acţiuni de apărare”;… „am avut de-a face cu militari care au tras
în 1989 trei cartuşe”;… „cu asemenea militari am fost puşi în situaţia de a
face faţă unor profesionişti, pentru că au fost de mare fineţe, buni cunoscători
ai unor tehnici de învăluire”. În primul său interviu „acordat” amintitului ziar,
Theodor Stepan întreba retoric: „Ce ne-a salvat pe noi?”, la care, bine
documentat, răspunde: „modul de organizare a focului. Am reuşit să realizăm
pe obiectivele care erau periculoase pentru noi o mare densitate de foc şi
această tactică nu le-a permis să folosească armamentul de care dispuneau la
o capacitate mare. I-am obligat să nu tragă”.
În marea lui slugărnicie faţă de profesorul său, Nicolae Militaru, a
afirmat că acesta ar fi motivul pentru care a tras cele aproape 10000 de cartuşe
asupra clădirii Inspectoratului Judeţean al Ministerului de Interne, dar nu văd
în baza cărui raţionament logic putea susţine „tactica de organizare a focului”
cu militari „care nu ştiau să tragă”.
Seria de interviuri acordate ziarului culminează cu cele spuse în data de
07.01.1990, în articolul intitulat „Noaptea cea mai critică”. În opinia sa, noaptea
de 24/25.12.1989 „a început prin apariţia unui aliniament de trăgători care a
deschis foc puternic în zona hotelului asupra CMJ, cu 2-3 arme automate”;…
„noi am depistat în jur de 60 de cuiburi foc”;… „focul a durat toată noaptea cu
pauze de 10-15 minute”. Asemenea afirmaţii arată că marele comandant stătea
foarte rău cu logica, iar singurele dovezi ale operaţiunilor erau spusele sale.
Nimeni nu a găsit în locurile precizate de el nici măcar un cartuş, nemaivorbind de
imposibilitatea dispunerii a 2-3 arme automate în 60 cuiburi de foc.
În dimineaţa zilei de 25.12.1989, din ordinul lui Theodor Stepan, au ajuns
la Reşiţa 10 elicoptere de la unitatea din Caransebeş, care au „bătut pădurea cu
armamentul la bord” (pădurea este situată peste drum de I.J. al M.I. – n.n.).
După această operaţiune s-a efectuat scotocirea pădurii cu participarea
unei subunităţi MApN şi a unei grupe de poliţie, solicitată de Theodor Stepan,
prilej cu care s-a constatat că nu s-a găsit nici o creangă ruptă de rafalele
armelor, nici o urmă de tragere deci, a fost o demostraţie de forţă cu muniţie de
manevră. Îmi pun întrebarea, cred eu firească: nu cumva singurul terorist din
Reşiţa a fost Theodor Stepan? Am discutat cu o familie care locuieşte chiar la
poalele crângului supus intervenţiei, care mărturisea că acţiunile din acele zile VITRALII – LUMINI ŞI UMBRE, an IV, nr.13, decembrie 2012-februarie 2013 63
i-au „terorizat psihic”. Mai târziu şi-au dat însă seama că totul a fost o făcătură,
o înscenare menită să alimenteze psihoza „securişti-terorişti”.
Tot în acel articol se mai afirmă că din catedrală s-a tras de la un crenel,
iar Theodor Stepan a apelat la un pluton de miliţie pentru prinderea teroristului,
blocând căile de refugiu cu militari al MApN.
Din afirmaţiile unui participant la acţiune a reieşit că la un moment dat
Theodor Stepan a spus că „merge la Front pentru consultaţii”, iar miliţienii să
stea pe poziţie în aşteptarea ordinelor. Theodor Stepan s-a deplasat prin spatele
catedralei, a revenit după două ore, ordonând scotocirea. Teroristul nu a fost
găsit, foarte probabil că în acel interval a fost retras din dispozitiv de către
comandantul său.
În judeţul Caraş-Severin, evenimentele din decembrie 1989 au fost
multiple, unele dintre ele tragice. Mi-aş permite însă o scurtă reflecţie: am
cunoscut mulţi bănăţeni. Aceştia au un puternic respect pentru rezultatele muncii,
motiv pentru care nu pot crede că distrugerile care au avut loc în această zonă să fi
fost opera lor, determinată de ura împotriva unui sistem social.
Mă mai întreb, în mod cât se poate de firesc, unde sunt cele câteva zeci
de pistoale mitralieră, repartizate unor „luptători din gărzile patriotice” pe baza
unei simple semnături într-un registru şi nerecuperate nici până astăzi?
Lt. col. (r) Ioan Micle

In Memoriam 1989

Un monument dedicat evenimentelor din Decembrie 1989 va fi ridicat în centrul municipiului Reşiţa, la cererea revoluţionarilor, dar şi a urmaşilor acestora.  În acest sens, primăria Reşiţa a lansat o competiţie la care se pot înscrie până în 15 mai, toţi artiştii plastici interesaţi. Cele mai bune trei proiecte vor fi premiate cu  cinci mii de lei, trei mii de lei şi respectiv două mii de lei. Câştigătorii vor fi anunţaţi în data de 30 mai. Monumentul se va numi “In Memoriam 1989” şi va fi amplasat pe locul actualei troiţe închinate eroilor Revoluţiei.

http://www.radio-resita.ro/in-memoriam-1989

http://www.resita.ro/eroi-ai-revolutiei

Eroi ai revolutiei

In decembrie 1989 am scapat de “domnia” Partidului Comunist si a “mult iubitului conducator”, Nicolae Ceausescu. In acea perioada, romanii satui sa indure o dictatura ajunsa la un prag maxim de acceptabilitate, au iesit in strada unul cate unul, pana s-au inmultit, formand o masa mult prea mare pentru a fi stapanita de Nicolae Ceausescu  si oamenii sai.

Tricolorul in timpul revolutieiPretul libertatii a fost scump. Pretul e imens, dramele prin care au trecut mii de familii in acea vreme nu au un pret anume, nu exista o alaturare de cuvinte agreabila. Pentru libertate s-au pierdut vieti. Vieti tinere, dornice de a descoperi viata in libertate, dar care nu au mai ajuns sa se bucure de ea. De libertate. Tineri si oameni in toata firea, din toate colturile tarii, au fost rapusi de gloantele si tancurile armatei. Sau de “teroristi” necunoscuti. Timisoara, Cluj, Iasi, Bucuresti, dar si in Resita, urmarile luptei pentru libertate se fac cunoscute si acum datorita memoriei celor care au disparut la revolutie.

Adam Livia, a fost o batrana din Resita care a plecat dintre cei vii in ziua de 25 decembrie 1989. Motivul este unul cat se poate de tragic. Un glont a penetrat fereastra apartamentului in care locuia si, din pacate, s-a oprit in corpul batranei.

Birbora Constantin pazea bazinele cu apa, era in timpul serviciului. Prins in valtoarea luptei, pe 14 decembrie 1989, acesta a fost impuscat mortal in zona capului. Final tragic a avut si Puraci Samfiu, unul din cei care au fost impuscati in fata sediului Militiei, decedand in urma ranilor provocate. Din pacate lista neagra nu se incheie doar cu aceste nume, ci si cu alte persoane care au sfarsit luptand pentru libertate, pentru dreptul a vorbi liber, de a munci unde si ce doreste. Pentru o viata mai buna.

De aceea, in memoria lor, le oferim o pagina, un loc de respect in amintirea lor, pe acest portal.

Nume si prenume Calitatea pentru care s-a acordat titlul Modul de acordare al titlului
1 Birbora Constantin Fost luptator garzi la S.C. U.C.M. Resita S.A. H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
2 Ivan Marius Fost luptator garzi la Directia Judeteana de posta si telecomunicatii H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
3 Lupea Ion Daniel Sublocotenent post mortem U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
4 Mihai Danut Sublocotenent post mortem U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
5 Motorgeanu Florinel Sublocotenent post mortem U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
6 Mircea Ioan Fost luptator garzi la S.C. U.C.M. Resita S.A. H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
7 Poptelecan Ioan Capitan U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
8 Pongracz Norbert Sublocotenent U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
9 Ruvineantu Remus Lazar Sublocotenent U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
10 Raut Mihai Ovidiu Fost luptator garzi la S.C. U.C.M. Resita S.A. H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
11 Smaranda Ion Capitan U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
12 Tamas Radu Simion Capitan U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
13 Talpeanu Mircea Fost angajat la Directia Judeteana de posta si telecomunicatii H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
14 Adam Livia Victima a Revolutiei Române H.C.L. nr. 104/ 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
15 Branza Constantin Victima a Revolutiei Române H.C.L. nr. 104/ 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
16 Popa Valerian Victima a Revolutiei Române H.C.L. nr. 104/ 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
17 Presznovka Adam Ion Victima a Revolutiei Române H.C.L. nr. 104/ 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem

 Lupea Ioan Daniel ( 255 )
Profesie: Soldat in termen la UM 01929 Resita
Data nasteri: 02.06.1970
Locul nasterii: Hunedoara
Calitate: Erou Martir
Data mortii: 24 decembrie 1989
Locul mortii: Resita, in dispozitivul de aparare al unitatii mil
Cauza: Impuscat pe 23 decembrie 1989 cu un glont dum-dum, care a intrat pe deasupra piciorului stang si a iesit pe sub mana stanga
Vinovati:

http://www.voxbanat.ro/divertisment/2090-militarii-de-la-unitatea-17-rachete-antiaeriene-semenic-impucai-cu-gloane-dum-dum

Militarii de la Unitatea 17 Rachete Antiaeriene Semenic, împuşcaţi cu gloanţe dum-dum

comemorare unitate1      Un moment solemn, dedicat Revoluţiei din Decembrie 1989, a avut loc, vineri, în curtea fostei garnizoane a Unităţii 17 Rachete Antiaeriene „Semenic” din Reşiţa.

      După trecerea în revistă a gărzii de onoare de către prefectul de Caraş-Severin, Silviu Hurduzeu, şi intonarea imnului de stat, a urmat o comemorare unitate2slujba religioasă, oficiată de către un sobor de preoţi, şi depunerea de coroane, la monumentul dedicat soldaţilor căzuţi în Revoluţia din Decembrie 1989, la Unitatea Militară 17 Rachete Antiaeriene Semenic.

      În fiecare an, în cazarma unităţii, eroii Revoluţiei sunt comemoraţi. Este un prilej pentru a reaminti, măcar comemorare unitate3câteva din momentele derulate începând cu data de 21 decembrie 1989, la Reşiţa.

      În acea seară, când manifestanţii erau deja adunaţi în faţa Comitetului Judeţean de partid din municipiu, s-a petrecut un lucru care a influenţat derularea evenimentelor.

comemorare unitate4      „Atunci, Regimentul 17 Rachete Antiaeriene Semenic a primit primit ordin să apere Comitetul Judeţean de partid. A fost, pentru prima oară, în calitatea mea de ofiţer al Armatei Române, cu o vechime de 25 de ani, în domeniu, când nu am spus: Am înţeles! Am adunat oamenii, le-am spus despre ce e vorba, care e misiunea regimentului. Atunci am luat decizia pe care mi-am asumat-o, de a nu scoate oamenii în stradă. Mi-am asumat decizia de a nu confrunta armata cu poporul, iar consecinţele nu s-au lăsat aşteptate. Dovadă, că în noaptea de 21 spre 22 decembrie, am fost atacaţi de profesionişti, care aveau în dotare arme care nu existau în Armata Română”, a declarat gen. (r.) Vasile Cocoşilă, comandant la acea vreme a Unităţii 17 Rachete Antiaeriene Semenic.

comemorare unitate      Unul dintre militarii care se aflau în punctul de control, sublocotenent post-mortem Daniel Lupea, a murit în noaptea de 23 spre 24 decembrie, după ce a fost împuşcat în stomac. Dacă glonţul era unul normal, Daniel Lupea ar fi trăit şi în ziua de astăzi, susţine gen. (r.) Vasile Cocoşilă.

comemorare unitate6      „Din păcate, a fost vorba de un glonţ dum-dum, care, în timpul impactului produce o explozie, iar lui Daniel Lupea i-au fost distruse toate organele interne. Asemenea gloanţe nu existau nici în dotarea Armatei Române, nici a gărzilor naţionale, nici a altor structuri naţionale de apărare. Au fost multe alte diversiuni, comemorare unitate5dar Armata, la Reşiţa, nu a reacţionat împotriva poporului. Şi susţin aceasta, în ciuda tuturor afirmaţiilor prin care se susţine contrariul”, a mai precizat fostul comandant al unităţii.

      După evenimentele din decembrie 1989, Reşiţa a fost declarat oraş martir. Aici şi-au pierdut viaţa, în timpul Revoluţiei, 25 de persoane.

http://www.7-zile.com/2008/12/25/1989-decembrie-caransebes-ii/

Zaharia Drăghiţă a supravieţuit mai multor tentive de asasinat. Prima dintre acestea a avut loc în 21 decembrie, la intrarea în Pipirig. A doua a fost atunci când – susţine acesta – le-a cerut celor din noua conducere a Primăriei să nu ridice receptoarele telefoanelor, şi tocmai el a încălcat consemnul. În momentul în care a fost întrebat ,,Zoli?”, şi a răspuns ,,Da!”, s-a şi tras asupra lui. Următoarea tentativă a avut loc în 24 decembrie, când a plecat la Reşiţa să aducă muniţie. La Kilometrul 8 s-a tras asupra lui, şi, odată ajuns în faţa Miliţiei Judeţene, s-a deschis iar focul, Zaharia Drăghiţă scăpând cu viaţă doar fiindcă s-a aruncat pe burtă. Glonţul era dum-dum, l-a găsit şoferul maşinii înfipt în banchetă, când au ajuns înapoi, la Caransebeş. ,,Tot acolo, la sediul Miliţiei Judeţene, un securist a împuşcat doi miliţieni, după care a fugit”, a mai spus Drăghiţă. După alte două săptămâni s-a tras asupra sa dintr-o Dacie roşie, despre care ulterior a aflat că era maşina comandantului Securităţii, Pârvu. Altă dată a scăpat ca prin urechile acului de o maşină care voia să-l calce în timp ce era pe trotuar, cu fetiţa nou-născută în cărucior…

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2008/12/27/un-caz-nou-24-decembrie-1989-resita-si-un-glont-dum-dum/

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Norbert Pongracz

Valentin Rosada

Nascut la 15 ianuarie 1971, unicul fiu al lui Norbert si al Ilenei Pongracz.

A cazut in noaptea de 23 decembrie 1989, ora 2,40 in unitatea (de radiolocatie) in care isi satisfacea stagiul militar. Un glont ucigas pornit din paduricea din apropiere (care ulterior s-a defrisat) in timp ce statea de vorba cu locotenentul sau i-a secerat pe amandoi. In total au fost ucise 9 persoane (ofiteri si militari in termen). S-a presupus ca ucigasii ar fi fost de la unitatea de rachete, dar arma cu care s-a tras a fost speciala, calibrul 5,62 fata de armamentul obisnuit de 7,62 mm.

Pe langa golul definitiv in sufletul lor, durerea cea mai mare a familiei Pongracz este ca nici acum nu s-a elucidat problema aceasta a ucigasilor fiului lor. Resita are declarati 16 morti in Revolutie, iar domnul Pongracz, cand a mers sa ridice trupul baiatului sau de la morga, a vazut circa 50 de cadavre.

Strada Gorunului a fost botezata dupa numele eroului Norbert Pongracz.

Sonetul sau de absolvent, dedicat lui Adrian Zamfirescu, contine urmatorul text: Sa traim din plin, soarele nu rasare de doua ori pe zi si viata nu ne este harazita decat o singura data? Cu stima si respect Norbi. Sub semnatura lui Norbi sta tiparit: La revedere, in prima sambata a lunii iulie 1999. El nu va putea veni la aceasta intalnire, dar va ramane pentru totdeauna in inimile noastre, intre eroii nostri.

Adolescent fiind, a trecut in randul nemuritorilor luptand cu arma in mana, pentru libertate, pentru prietenie, pentru ca in fapta aceasta este democratia – libertate si prietenie. Si pentru aceasta a fost si jertfa lui Norbert.

Suflet curat, fiu al unor parinti cinstiti si harnici, Norbert nu si-a dezmintit afirmatia: Viata nu ne este harazita decat o singura data. Avand constiinta acestui fapt, sacrificiul sau devine mai inalt, mai plin de intelesuri si durere decat insasi viata pe care o traim.

El nu a murit, traieste si va trai de-a pururi in sufletele parintilor sai, colegilor, camarazilor de lupta, in sufletele noastre.

Dumnezeu sa-l odihneasca in pace!

http://www.revolutialugojana.org/eroi

– Vă rog să vă prezentaţi, domnule plutonier.
– Sânt plutonierul Coancă Gheorghe.
– Pentru prima dată v-am întâlnit în data de 20 decembrie 1989, în faţa Consiliului, împreună cu subunitatea dumneavoastră. Ce s-a întâmplat apoi ?
– Din 20 până în 25 decembrie 1989 am apărat oraşul Lugoj.
– Iar după aceea ?
– Consiliul Frontului Salvării Naţionale din Reşiţa a cerut întăriri din partea Lugojului şi o parte din subunităţile noastre s-au deplasat de urgenţă în ajutorul fraţilor din Reşiţa.
– Bănuiesc că a fost vorba de “terorişti” ?
– Nu, de securitatea civilă a statului.
– Unde se găseau ei ? În vreo unitate militară ?
– Erau dispersaţi în tot oraşul, în locuinţe, cazemate subterane şi la Liceul nr. 2, unde îşi transportau răniţii.
– În ce mod îşi desfăşurau atacul ?
– Atacul se deschidea la lăsarea serii şi înceta în jurul orei opt-nouă dimineaţa.
– Aţi reuşit să prindeţi câţiva ?
– La una din locuinţele de unde s-a tras, am reuşit să arestăm un maior de securitate, împreună cu cei doi fii ai săi (unul de 14 ani, iar celălalt de 20 ani, elev la şcoala militară de securitate), toţi trei foarte buni trăgători.
– Nu erau conştienţi de faptul că totul e pierdut ?
– Ba fa, dar … la întrebarea adresată de comandantul unităţii militare din Reşiţa : “Ce rost are vărsarea de sânge, situaţia oricum nu o puteţi întoarce ?”, răspunsul comandantului Securităţii civile, atunci arestat, a fost : “Puţin ne pasă !”.
– Care a fost atitudinea civililor ?
– Populaţia a manifestat o adevărată dragoste faţă de armată, gărzile patriotice participând activ la acţiunile de luptă.
– Aţi avut victime ?
– Din rândul gărzilor patriotice s-au înregistrat multe victime, din rândul subunităţii noastre nu s-a înregistrat nici o victimă.
Când s-au predat securiştii şi ce armament au folosit ?
– S-au predat în data de 29 decembrie 1989, dar am continuat să apărăm obiectivele până astăzi, 10 ianuarie, când ne-am întors la Lugoj. Armamentul lor era de provenienţă străină, super-uşor, de calibru 5,6 şi în cadenţă de tragere dublă. Gloanţele erau cu vârf retezat şi pastilă explosivă în cap.
– Care este acum cea mai mare dorinţă a dumneavoastră ?
– Să-mi revăd copilul, de doi ani şi jumătate. Să fac o baie fierbinte şi să-mi schimb cizmele că, din 17 decembrie până în 5 ianuarie 1990, am dormit îmbrăcat şi fără să-mi scot cizmele din picioare.
– Spuneţi-mi, s-a ridicat convocarea ?
– Nu, dar ni se permite să mergem zilnic, pentru câteva ore acasă.
– Aveţi un gând personal ?
– Sânt mândru, satisfăcut, că atât la Lugoj cât şi la Reşiţa, ca de altfel în întreaga ţară, Armata şi-a dovedit calmul, puterea de discernământ şi disciplina.

Reporter : Simion FLORIEAN

(Drapelul, nr. 7 – sâmbătă, 13 ianuarie 1990)

Adam Livia ( 21 )
Profesie: Pensionara
Data nasteri: 19.01.1924
Locul nasterii: Caras-Severin
Calitate: Erou Martir
Data mortii: 25 decembrie 1989
Locul mortii: Resita, Piata 1 Decembrie 1918, (in locuinta sa)
Cauza: Plaga impuscata a capului
Vinovati:
Observatii: Glontul penetrant a intrat prin fereastra apartamentulu

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Posted in decembrie 1989 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ceausescu’s Prosecutors, the Cremation of Timisoara Protesters, and the Good Sergeant Schultz!

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on July 2, 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]

The motto of Ceausescu’s Prosecutors about December 1989: 

“I see nothing!  I was not here!  I did not even get up this morning!”

I) From “Bullets, Lies, and Videotape”  (submitted to CIA PRB November 2009, cleared without revisions December 2009)
https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/december-1989-2009-bullets-lies-and-videotape/

[42] According to Sorin Iliesiu, the filmmaker who claims to have edited the chapter on December 1989 in the so-called Tismaneanu Raport Final, the “spirit of Voinea’s findings can be found in the Chapter.”  Indeed, the chapter includes snippets from an interview between Dan Voinea and Andrei Badin (Adevarul , December 2006).  The “indefatigable” Voinea, as Tom Gallagher has referred to him, continues to be defended by Vladimir Tismaneanu who has expressed support for Voinea’s investigations “from both a juridic and historic viewpoint” (see the entries for 21 September 2009 at http://tismaneanu.wordpress.com), avoiding any mention of the reasons for Voinea’s dismissal from the Military Procuracy, mistakes that Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi says “one wouldn’t expect even from a beginner” (for more on this and background, see Hall 2008):

Ce îi reproşaţi, totuşi, lui Voinea? Punctual, ce greşeli a făcut în instrumentarea cauzelor?

Sunt foarte multe greşeli, o să menţionez însă doar câteva. Spre exemplu, s-a început urmărirea penală faţă de persoane decedate. Poate îmi explică dumnealui cum poţi să faci cercetări faţă de o persoană decedată! Apoi, s-a început urmărirea penală pentru fapte care nu erau prevăzute în Codul Penal. În plus, deşi nu a fost desemnat să lucreze, spre exemplu, într-un dosar privind mineriada (repartizat unui alt procuror), domnul procuror Dan Voinea a luat dosarul, a început urmărirea penală, după care l-a restituit procurorului de caz. Vă imaginaţi cum ar fi dacă eu, ca procuror general, aş lua dosarul unui coleg din subordine, aş începe urmărirea penală după care i l-aş înapoia. Cam aşa ceva s-a întâmplat şi aici.

Mai mult, a început urmărirea penală într-o cauză, deşi, potrivit unei decizii a Înaltei Curţi de Casaţie şi Justiţie, era incompatibil să mai facă asta. E vorba despre dosarul 74/p/1998 (dosar în care Voinea l-a acuzat pe fostul preşedinte Ion Iliescu că, în iunie 1990, a determinat cu intenţie intervenţia în forţă a militarilor împotriva manifestanţilor din Capitală – n.r.).

Apoi au fost situaţii în care s-a început urmărirea penală prin acte scrise de mână, care nu au fost înregistrate în registrul special de începere a urmăririi penale. Aceste documente, spre exemplu, nu prevedeau în ce constau faptele comise de presupuşii învinuiţi, nu conţin datele personale ale acestora. De exemplu, avem rezoluţii de începere a urmăririi penale care-l privesc pe Radu Ion sau pe Gheorghe Dumitru, ori nu ştim cine este Gheorghe Dumitru, nu ştim cine este Radu Ion.

„Parchetul să-şi asume tergiversarea anchetelor”

Credeţi că, în cazul lui Voinea, au fost doar greşeli sau că a fost vorba de intenţie, ştiind că acuzaţii vor scăpa?

Nu cunosc motivele care au stat la baza acestor decizii şi, prin urmare, nu le pot comenta.

Poate fi vorba şi despre complexitatea acestor dosare?

Când ai asemenea dosare în lucru, nu faci astfel de greşeli, de începător. Eşti mult mai atent când ai cauze de o asemenea importanţă pentru societatea românească.

Excerpted from http://www.evz.ro/articole/detalii-articol/868918/Kovesi-despre-revolutia-ratata-a-lui-Voinea-A-gresit-ca-un-incepator/

II) https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/12/26/decembrie-1989-cc-ul-si-sibiu-dan-voinea-corneliu-pircalabescu-si-ilie-ceausescu-v-aurel-dragomir-si-victor-stanculescu/

III) The most significant revelation of Ion Baciu’s 23 January 1990 confession may not actually be his claim that he saw Dan Voinea at the Cenusa Crematorium on the morning of 20 December 1989, but that he recognized Voinea precisely because Voinea had previously worked for Directorate VI (“Department of Corrections” essentially) of the Securitate.

[On 20 December 1989 at 1010 at the Cenusa Crematorium arrived Lt. Col. Dan Voinea, a prosecutor from DPM, whom I knew because before that post he had worked in the Department of State Security (i.e Securitate), in the Directorate of Penal Investigations (Penitentiaries/Prisons, Directorate VI of the Securitate)].”

http://dosarelerevolutiei.ro/volumul-203/

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…

IV) Ion Baciu’s 12 March 1990 courtroom testimony saw him cutoff by the prosecutor who refused to allow in the official record that it was Voinea Baciu claimed to see on 20 December 1989 at the Cenusa Crematorium, but also, in particular, when Baciu attempted (and seemed) to state that Voinea essentially admitted as much to him during his later questioning by Voinea:  (p. 406) “…pe domnul colonel Voinea care de altfel si cu ocazia anchetei mi s-a spus, de fapt…”

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from Ion Baciu’s hearing 12 March 1990 http://www.banaterra.eu/romana/files/procesul_de_la_timisoara_volumul_II.pdf

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

http://www.curentul.ro/2012/index.php/2012122081426/Actualitate/Ion-Baciu-in-procesul-Timisoara-procurorul-Dan-Voinea-a-verificat-personal-pe-20-decembrie-1989-incinerarea-mortilor-la-Crematoriul-Cenusa.html

V) As the statements and testimony of other officials involved in the cremation of the Timisoara protesters make clear:  Voinea is clearly dissembling and crafting a false narrative of how and when officials became aware of the cremation of the Timisoara protesters.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/06/15/oh-what-a-tangled-web-we-weave-secretele-din-crematoriul-cenusa/

VI) Of course, Voinea has critical “top cover” for his denial that he was at the Cenusa Crematorium on 20 December 1989.  His chief/boss, Ceausescu’s last Prosecutor General Nicolae Popovici denies that he knew anything until after 22 December 1989 about the cremation of protesters, even though multiple confessions by other officials make such a claim seem virtually impossible.  Thus, as his declaration below demonstrates, he was clearly asked if he dispatched a military prosecutor and civilian prosecutor to Cenusa Crematorium on 20 December 1989.  But to admit that he did would be to admit that he had known at the time about the burning of the corpses of Timisoara protesters…and therefore undermined the larger lie…

from http://www.scribd.com/doc/52568421/ORWELLIAN (Submitted to CIA’s PRB July 2006, cleared without redactions September 2006)

But my use of the term “Orwellian” in the title of this paper is not only designed to capture Voinea’s uncanny ability to make definitive statements that are demonstrably wrong, to argue that black is white and white is black—from his denial of the use of gunfire simulators in December 1989, to his claim that the only “lunetisti” who acted after 22 December were from the Army, to his denial of the existence of weapons and (especially “vidia”) bullets not in the arsenal of the Army, to his denial of the existence of “terrorists,” to his denial that any military unit was attacked during the events, to his denial of the role of foreigners in the events….

I use the term “Orwellian” here as much to describe the ease with which he has gotten and gets away with errors, misunderstandings, and falsehoods that could easily be challenged, if not combated by his interlocutors in the Romanian media and intelligentsia.  For it is the fact that he has been able and is able to get away with all this that is truly “Orwellian” and that is indeed a tragedy for Romania’s citizens.  The tragedy is thus less the predictable “supply side” of the post-authoritarian lie, than the enthusiastic consumption and appetite for it.  This is why I believe, accurately I would argue, that “December 1989” long ago became more about post-Ceausescu Romania than about what happened in December 1989.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/10/05/%E2%80%9Corwellian%E2%80%A6positively-orwellian%E2%80%9D-prosecutor-voinea%E2%80%99s-campaign-to-sanitize-the-romanian-revolution-of-december-1989-part-9-orwellian-sanitywont-get-fooled-again/

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

Planul Z-Z / Planul Zet-Zet in presa romana din anii nouazeci

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on May 11, 2013

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Romania Libera, 6 februarie 1990

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Romania Libera, 3 martie 1990

Nestor Ratesh quotes one of Ceausescu’s senior party henchman, Ion Dinca, as having stated at his trial in early February 1990:

“During the night of 27-28 [of January 1990] at 12:30 A.M., I was called by several people from the Prosecutor’s Office to tell what I knew about the agreement entitled Z.Z. between Romania and five other states providing for the dispatching of terrorist forces to Romania in order to intervene in case of a military Putsch.  This agreement Z.Z. is entitled ‘the End of the End.’  I stated then, and I am stating now to you, that I have never been involved in this agreement, neither I nor other people.  And I was told:  Only you and two other people know this.  I stated that and a detailed check was made in order to prove that I was not involved in such acts.”[95]

[95] Ratesh, Romania:  The Entangled Revolution, pp. 66-67, quoting Radio Bucharest, 2 February 1990.  I don’t think from the context given it is clear that this alleged incident took place in January 1990, as Ratesh assumes; the reference to 27-28 might have been a reference to December 1989.

*Se pare ca episodul “gloante vidia” martie-aprilie 1991 avea un precedent in martie 1990 (Ioan Buduca, “Comunicati unitatilor sa anunte populatia ca armata nu va trage!” Cuvintul, nr. 8-9 (29 martie 1990), pp. 8-9)

“In biroul domnului ministru al Apararii Nationale, generalul Victor Stanculescu, am avut ocazia sa vad cinci gloante extrase din corpul unor victime ale revolutiei.  ‘Armata romana nu are asemenea gloante in dotare’ mi-a spus domnia sa.”

“Am intrebat cu o naivitate din care eu insumi nu puteam sa inteleg decit doua lucruri:  ori a tras securitatea, ori a tras populatia.  ‘Inseamna ca a fost pus in aplicare planul ‘Z/Z’?’  Domnul general a raspuns:  ‘Nu am auzit niciodata de acest plan ‘Z/Z’.’

Constantin Vranceanu, “Planul ,Z-Z’ si telefonul rosu,” Romania Libera, 28 September 1990, p. 3.

Mirel Curea, Evenimentul Zilei, nr. 317, 9 iulie 1993, p. 3

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

La Resita s-a jucat o mare carte a Revolutiei

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on May 5, 2013

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Reşiţa a plătit şi ea cu sânge dorinţa de schimbare a regimului socialist. Capitala Banatului de munte a dat ca jertfă un număr de aproximativ 65 de morţi, toţi aceştia fiind victimele diversiunii securisto-teroriste aservite vechiului regim, în încercarea sa de a menţine teroarea asupra populaţiei din judeţul Caraş-Severin şi după evacuarea cuplului de dictatori în data de 22 Decembrie 1989.

http://www.memorialulrevolutiei.ro/index.php?page=evenimente/2012/vernisaj-reia

In Memoriam 1989

Un monument dedicat evenimentelor din Decembrie 1989 va fi ridicat în centrul municipiului Reşiţa, la cererea revoluţionarilor, dar şi a urmaşilor acestora.  În acest sens, primăria Reşiţa a lansat o competiţie la care se pot înscrie până în 15 mai, toţi artiştii plastici interesaţi. Cele mai bune trei proiecte vor fi premiate cu  cinci mii de lei, trei mii de lei şi respectiv două mii de lei. Câştigătorii vor fi anunţaţi în data de 30 mai. Monumentul se va numi “In Memoriam 1989” şi va fi amplasat pe locul actualei troiţe închinate eroilor Revoluţiei.

http://www.radio-resita.ro/in-memoriam-1989

http://www.resita.ro/eroi-ai-revolutiei

Eroi ai revolutiei

In decembrie 1989 am scapat de “domnia” Partidului Comunist si a “mult iubitului conducator”, Nicolae Ceausescu. In acea perioada, romanii satui sa indure o dictatura ajunsa la un prag maxim de acceptabilitate, au iesit in strada unul cate unul, pana s-au inmultit, formand o masa mult prea mare pentru a fi stapanita de Nicolae Ceausescu  si oamenii sai.

Tricolorul in timpul revolutieiPretul libertatii a fost scump. Pretul e imens, dramele prin care au trecut mii de familii in acea vreme nu au un pret anume, nu exista o alaturare de cuvinte agreabila. Pentru libertate s-au pierdut vieti. Vieti tinere, dornice de a descoperi viata in libertate, dar care nu au mai ajuns sa se bucure de ea. De libertate. Tineri si oameni in toata firea, din toate colturile tarii, au fost rapusi de gloantele si tancurile armatei. Sau de “teroristi” necunoscuti. Timisoara, Cluj, Iasi, Bucuresti, dar si in Resita, urmarile luptei pentru libertate se fac cunoscute si acum datorita memoriei celor care au disparut la revolutie.

Adam Livia, a fost o batrana din Resita care a plecat dintre cei vii in ziua de 25 decembrie 1989. Motivul este unul cat se poate de tragic. Un glont a penetrat fereastra apartamentului in care locuia si, din pacate, s-a oprit in corpul batranei.

Birbora Constantin pazea bazinele cu apa, era in timpul serviciului. Prins in valtoarea luptei, pe 14 decembrie 1989, acesta a fost impuscat mortal in zona capului. Final tragic a avut si Puraci Samfiu, unul din cei care au fost impuscati in fata sediului Militiei, decedand in urma ranilor provocate. Din pacate lista neagra nu se incheie doar cu aceste nume, ci si cu alte persoane care au sfarsit luptand pentru libertate, pentru dreptul a vorbi liber, de a munci unde si ce doreste. Pentru o viata mai buna.

De aceea, in memoria lor, le oferim o pagina, un loc de respect in amintirea lor, pe acest portal.

Nume si prenume Calitatea pentru care s-a acordat titlul Modul de acordare al titlului
1 Birbora Constantin Fost luptator garzi la S.C. U.C.M. Resita S.A. H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
2 Ivan Marius Fost luptator garzi la Directia Judeteana de posta si telecomunicatii H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
3 Lupea Ion Daniel Sublocotenent post mortem U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
4 Mihai Danut Sublocotenent post mortem U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
5 Motorgeanu Florinel Sublocotenent post mortem U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
6 Mircea Ioan Fost luptator garzi la S.C. U.C.M. Resita S.A. H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
7 Poptelecan Ioan Capitan U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
8 Pongracz Norbert Sublocotenent U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
9 Ruvineantu Remus Lazar Sublocotenent U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
10 Raut Mihai Ovidiu Fost luptator garzi la S.C. U.C.M. Resita S.A. H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
11 Smaranda Ion Capitan U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
12 Tamas Radu Simion Capitan U.M.01929 H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
13 Talpeanu Mircea Fost angajat la Directia Judeteana de posta si telecomunicatii H.C.L. nr. 83 / 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
14 Adam Livia Victima a Revolutiei Române H.C.L. nr. 104/ 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
15 Branza Constantin Victima a Revolutiei Române H.C.L. nr. 104/ 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
16 Popa Valerian Victima a Revolutiei Române H.C.L. nr. 104/ 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem
17 Presznovka Adam Ion Victima a Revolutiei Române H.C.L. nr. 104/ 28.10.1993 Decernat post mortem

 Lupea Ioan Daniel ( 255 )
Profesie: Soldat in termen la UM 01929 Resita
Data nasteri: 02.06.1970
Locul nasterii: Hunedoara
Calitate: Erou Martir
Data mortii: 24 decembrie 1989
Locul mortii: Resita, in dispozitivul de aparare al unitatii mil
Cauza: Impuscat pe 23 decembrie 1989 cu un glont dum-dum, care a intrat pe deasupra piciorului stang si a iesit pe sub mana stanga
Vinovati:

http://www.voxbanat.ro/divertisment/2090-militarii-de-la-unitatea-17-rachete-antiaeriene-semenic-impucai-cu-gloane-dum-dum

Militarii de la Unitatea 17 Rachete Antiaeriene Semenic, împuşcaţi cu gloanţe dum-dum

comemorare unitate1      Un moment solemn, dedicat Revoluţiei din Decembrie 1989, a avut loc, vineri, în curtea fostei garnizoane a Unităţii 17 Rachete Antiaeriene „Semenic” din Reşiţa.

      După trecerea în revistă a gărzii de onoare de către prefectul de Caraş-Severin, Silviu Hurduzeu, şi intonarea imnului de stat, a urmat o comemorare unitate2slujba religioasă, oficiată de către un sobor de preoţi, şi depunerea de coroane, la monumentul dedicat soldaţilor căzuţi în Revoluţia din Decembrie 1989, la Unitatea Militară 17 Rachete Antiaeriene Semenic.

      În fiecare an, în cazarma unităţii, eroii Revoluţiei sunt comemoraţi. Este un prilej pentru a reaminti, măcar comemorare unitate3câteva din momentele derulate începând cu data de 21 decembrie 1989, la Reşiţa.

      În acea seară, când manifestanţii erau deja adunaţi în faţa Comitetului Judeţean de partid din municipiu, s-a petrecut un lucru care a influenţat derularea evenimentelor.

comemorare unitate4      „Atunci, Regimentul 17 Rachete Antiaeriene Semenic a primit primit ordin să apere Comitetul Judeţean de partid. A fost, pentru prima oară, în calitatea mea de ofiţer al Armatei Române, cu o vechime de 25 de ani, în domeniu, când nu am spus: Am înţeles! Am adunat oamenii, le-am spus despre ce e vorba, care e misiunea regimentului. Atunci am luat decizia pe care mi-am asumat-o, de a nu scoate oamenii în stradă. Mi-am asumat decizia de a nu confrunta armata cu poporul, iar consecinţele nu s-au lăsat aşteptate. Dovadă, că în noaptea de 21 spre 22 decembrie, am fost atacaţi de profesionişti, care aveau în dotare arme care nu existau în Armata Română”, a declarat gen. (r.) Vasile Cocoşilă, comandant la acea vreme a Unităţii 17 Rachete Antiaeriene Semenic.

comemorare unitate      Unul dintre militarii care se aflau în punctul de control, sublocotenent post-mortem Daniel Lupea, a murit în noaptea de 23 spre 24 decembrie, după ce a fost împuşcat în stomac. Dacă glonţul era unul normal, Daniel Lupea ar fi trăit şi în ziua de astăzi, susţine gen. (r.) Vasile Cocoşilă.

comemorare unitate6      „Din păcate, a fost vorba de un glonţ dum-dum, care, în timpul impactului produce o explozie, iar lui Daniel Lupea i-au fost distruse toate organele interne. Asemenea gloanţe nu existau nici în dotarea Armatei Române, nici a gărzilor naţionale, nici a altor structuri naţionale de apărare. Au fost multe alte diversiuni, comemorare unitate5dar Armata, la Reşiţa, nu a reacţionat împotriva poporului. Şi susţin aceasta, în ciuda tuturor afirmaţiilor prin care se susţine contrariul”, a mai precizat fostul comandant al unităţii.

      După evenimentele din decembrie 1989, Reşiţa a fost declarat oraş martir. Aici şi-au pierdut viaţa, în timpul Revoluţiei, 25 de persoane.

http://www.7-zile.com/2008/12/25/1989-decembrie-caransebes-ii/

Zaharia Drăghiţă a supravieţuit mai multor tentive de asasinat. Prima dintre acestea a avut loc în 21 decembrie, la intrarea în Pipirig. A doua a fost atunci când – susţine acesta – le-a cerut celor din noua conducere a Primăriei să nu ridice receptoarele telefoanelor, şi tocmai el a încălcat consemnul. În momentul în care a fost întrebat ,,Zoli?”, şi a răspuns ,,Da!”, s-a şi tras asupra lui. Următoarea tentativă a avut loc în 24 decembrie, când a plecat la Reşiţa să aducă muniţie. La Kilometrul 8 s-a tras asupra lui, şi, odată ajuns în faţa Miliţiei Judeţene, s-a deschis iar focul, Zaharia Drăghiţă scăpând cu viaţă doar fiindcă s-a aruncat pe burtă. Glonţul era dum-dum, l-a găsit şoferul maşinii înfipt în banchetă, când au ajuns înapoi, la Caransebeş. ,,Tot acolo, la sediul Miliţiei Judeţene, un securist a împuşcat doi miliţieni, după care a fugit”, a mai spus Drăghiţă. După alte două săptămâni s-a tras asupra sa dintr-o Dacie roşie, despre care ulterior a aflat că era maşina comandantului Securităţii, Pârvu. Altă dată a scăpat ca prin urechile acului de o maşină care voia să-l calce în timp ce era pe trotuar, cu fetiţa nou-născută în cărucior…

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2008/12/27/un-caz-nou-24-decembrie-1989-resita-si-un-glont-dum-dum/

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Norbert Pongracz

Valentin Rosada

Nascut la 15 ianuarie 1971, unicul fiu al lui Norbert si al Ilenei Pongracz.

A cazut in noaptea de 23 decembrie 1989, ora 2,40 in unitatea (de radiolocatie) in care isi satisfacea stagiul militar. Un glont ucigas pornit din paduricea din apropiere (care ulterior s-a defrisat) in timp ce statea de vorba cu locotenentul sau i-a secerat pe amandoi. In total au fost ucise 9 persoane (ofiteri si militari in termen). S-a presupus ca ucigasii ar fi fost de la unitatea de rachete, dar arma cu care s-a tras a fost speciala, calibrul 5,62 fata de armamentul obisnuit de 7,62 mm.

Pe langa golul definitiv in sufletul lor, durerea cea mai mare a familiei Pongracz este ca nici acum nu s-a elucidat problema aceasta a ucigasilor fiului lor. Resita are declarati 16 morti in Revolutie, iar domnul Pongracz, cand a mers sa ridice trupul baiatului sau de la morga, a vazut circa 50 de cadavre.

Strada Gorunului a fost botezata dupa numele eroului Norbert Pongracz.

Sonetul sau de absolvent, dedicat lui Adrian Zamfirescu, contine urmatorul text: Sa traim din plin, soarele nu rasare de doua ori pe zi si viata nu ne este harazita decat o singura data? Cu stima si respect Norbi. Sub semnatura lui Norbi sta tiparit: La revedere, in prima sambata a lunii iulie 1999. El nu va putea veni la aceasta intalnire, dar va ramane pentru totdeauna in inimile noastre, intre eroii nostri.

Adolescent fiind, a trecut in randul nemuritorilor luptand cu arma in mana, pentru libertate, pentru prietenie, pentru ca in fapta aceasta este democratia – libertate si prietenie. Si pentru aceasta a fost si jertfa lui Norbert.

Suflet curat, fiu al unor parinti cinstiti si harnici, Norbert nu si-a dezmintit afirmatia: Viata nu ne este harazita decat o singura data. Avand constiinta acestui fapt, sacrificiul sau devine mai inalt, mai plin de intelesuri si durere decat insasi viata pe care o traim.

El nu a murit, traieste si va trai de-a pururi in sufletele parintilor sai, colegilor, camarazilor de lupta, in sufletele noastre.

Dumnezeu sa-l odihneasca in pace!

http://www.revolutialugojana.org/eroi

– Vă rog să vă prezentaţi, domnule plutonier.
– Sânt plutonierul Coancă Gheorghe.
– Pentru prima dată v-am întâlnit în data de 20 decembrie 1989, în faţa Consiliului, împreună cu subunitatea dumneavoastră. Ce s-a întâmplat apoi ?
– Din 20 până în 25 decembrie 1989 am apărat oraşul Lugoj.
– Iar după aceea ?
– Consiliul Frontului Salvării Naţionale din Reşiţa a cerut întăriri din partea Lugojului şi o parte din subunităţile noastre s-au deplasat de urgenţă în ajutorul fraţilor din Reşiţa.
– Bănuiesc că a fost vorba de “terorişti” ?
– Nu, de securitatea civilă a statului.
– Unde se găseau ei ? În vreo unitate militară ?
– Erau dispersaţi în tot oraşul, în locuinţe, cazemate subterane şi la Liceul nr. 2, unde îşi transportau răniţii.
– În ce mod îşi desfăşurau atacul ?
– Atacul se deschidea la lăsarea serii şi înceta în jurul orei opt-nouă dimineaţa.
– Aţi reuşit să prindeţi câţiva ?
– La una din locuinţele de unde s-a tras, am reuşit să arestăm un maior de securitate, împreună cu cei doi fii ai săi (unul de 14 ani, iar celălalt de 20 ani, elev la şcoala militară de securitate), toţi trei foarte buni trăgători.
– Nu erau conştienţi de faptul că totul e pierdut ?
– Ba fa, dar … la întrebarea adresată de comandantul unităţii militare din Reşiţa : “Ce rost are vărsarea de sânge, situaţia oricum nu o puteţi întoarce ?”, răspunsul comandantului Securităţii civile, atunci arestat, a fost : “Puţin ne pasă !”.
– Care a fost atitudinea civililor ?
– Populaţia a manifestat o adevărată dragoste faţă de armată, gărzile patriotice participând activ la acţiunile de luptă.
– Aţi avut victime ?
– Din rândul gărzilor patriotice s-au înregistrat multe victime, din rândul subunităţii noastre nu s-a înregistrat nici o victimă.
Când s-au predat securiştii şi ce armament au folosit ?
– S-au predat în data de 29 decembrie 1989, dar am continuat să apărăm obiectivele până astăzi, 10 ianuarie, când ne-am întors la Lugoj. Armamentul lor era de provenienţă străină, super-uşor, de calibru 5,6 şi în cadenţă de tragere dublă. Gloanţele erau cu vârf retezat şi pastilă explosivă în cap.
– Care este acum cea mai mare dorinţă a dumneavoastră ?
– Să-mi revăd copilul, de doi ani şi jumătate. Să fac o baie fierbinte şi să-mi schimb cizmele că, din 17 decembrie până în 5 ianuarie 1990, am dormit îmbrăcat şi fără să-mi scot cizmele din picioare.
– Spuneţi-mi, s-a ridicat convocarea ?
– Nu, dar ni se permite să mergem zilnic, pentru câteva ore acasă.
– Aveţi un gând personal ?
– Sânt mândru, satisfăcut, că atât la Lugoj cât şi la Reşiţa, ca de altfel în întreaga ţară, Armata şi-a dovedit calmul, puterea de discernământ şi disciplina.

Reporter : Simion FLORIEAN

(Drapelul, nr. 7 – sâmbătă, 13 ianuarie 1990)

Adam Livia ( 21 )
Profesie: Pensionara
Data nasteri: 19.01.1924
Locul nasterii: Caras-Severin
Calitate: Erou Martir
Data mortii: 25 decembrie 1989
Locul mortii: Resita, Piata 1 Decembrie 1918, (in locuinta sa)
Cauza: Plaga impuscata a capului
Vinovati:
Observatii: Glontul penetrant a intrat prin fereastra apartamentulu

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

Let’s Go to the Videotape (IV) “Instead of denying access to the rest of the tunnels…the authorities now deny their very existence” (Ted Koppel, Bucharest, Romania, March 1990)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on June 24, 2011

[ca intotdeauna e vorba de un punct de vedere STRICT PERSONAL]

I know of no better metaphor for what has happened to research on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 than Ted Koppel’s surreal experience in Bucharest in early 1990 recounted below.

from 2 April 1990, ABC News Special.  The Koppel Report:  Death of a Dictator.

Monday, March 5 (1990). 

Bucharest.  Among the many art forms that have atrophied during the past 45 years in Romania, is that of dissembling.  Confronted by questions they don’t like, a number of military officers and officials whom we encountered, simply lied.  Stupid lies; the kind that speak of a society in which no one ever dared to question an official pronouncement.

We had requested a tour of the complex of tunnels that radiate out from beneath the old Communist Party Central Committee building in Bucharest.  An army colonel escorted us along perhaps 50 yards of tunnel one level beneath the ground and the pronounced the tour over.  I asked to be shown the second and third levels, videotape of which had already been provided us by some local entrepreneurs.  “There is no second or third level,” said the colonel.  I assured him that I had videotape of one of his own subordinates, who had escorted us on this tour, lifting a toilet that concealed the entrance to a ladder down to the next level of tunnels.  The colonel went off to consult with his man.  When he came back he said, “my officer says he’s never seen you before.”  “True,” I replied, but then I’d never said he had, only that we were in possession of the videotape I’d described.  “There are no other tunnels,” said the colonel.

Ted Koppel, “Romanian Notebook.  The week Lenin got the hook.” The Washington Post, 13 March 1990, A25.

The former military prosecutor, General Dan Voinea, claims no unusual munitions were used in December 1989–most certainly not explosive dum-dum bullets–and yet when told that videotape exists to the contrary Let’s Go to the Videotape! (I) “To the Army it’s confirmation that they’ve been dealing with a specially-trained force…because it’s the type of bullet they’ve never seen before” (ITN UK Television, Timisoara Romania, December 1989) (plus Irish Television, The Tragic Fate of Florica Sava)


Romania’s intellectuals and journalists–not to mention Romanianists abroad–repeat Voinea’s claim:  “there were no unusual munitions, no explosive dum-dum bullets used in December 1989.”

The former military prosecutor, General Dan Voinea, claims there were no “terrorists” in December 1989–most certainly not “foreign terrorists”–and yet when told that videotape exists to the contrary Let’s Go to the Videotape! (II) (Romania December 1989) Was the Press of the Time Really So Wrong (about the “terrorists”)?

Romania’s intellectuals and journalists–not to mention Romanianists abroad–repeat Voinea’s claim:  “there were no terrorists and definitely no foreign terrorists in December 1989.”

The former military prosecutor, General Dan Voinea, claims there was nothing unusual about the tunnels beneath Bucharest in December 1989–just what you would normally find, tunnels for sewage, water supply, and electricity and thus they couldn’t have been used by the non-existent “terrorists”–and yet when told that videotape exists to the contrary Let’s Go to the Videotape! (III) (BBC1 December 1989) A Labyrinth of Lies

Romania’s intellectuals and journalists–not to mention Romanianists abroad–repeat Voinea’s claim:  “there were no secret tunnels beneath Bucharest, just the normal tunnels you would find under any large city, and so they couldn’t have been used by the “terrorists” because the “terrorists” didn’t exist.”

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So can you imagine what Romania’s intellectuals and journalists–not to mention Romanianists abroad–would say about the claims made in an article from 1990 talking about a secret underground river in one tunnel and inflatable boatsoh what cheap disinformation put out by TVR, by Ion Iliescu and those who seized power, how ridiculous, how gullible, how manipulative…of course, since the beginning of time the strategy of those thirsting for power is to create an imaginary enemy, then say he operates at night and operates beneath the earth, the epitome of evil…so would go the “sophisticated” postmodern deconstruction of such a claim…without any apparent need to confirm whether or not there was any basis to this “rumor”…instead just eliminate it out of hand…

After all, what had Dan Voinea said about such things:  He had inspected the tunnels himself and could assure people that what was in question was a simple canal for drinking water!  He thus could state unambiguously that other claims are a lie.

Dan Voinea despre “tunelurile secrete ale mincinosilor”  (un extras dintr-un interviu luat de catre Romulus Cristea in decembrie 1005)  http://rcristea.blogspot.com/2007/11/nici-simulatoare-de-tragere-nici.html:

Tunelurile secrete ale mincinosilor
– Ani de zile s-a tot vorbit despre tunelurile secrete pline de teroristi care ieseau si ucideau oamenii de pe strada sau din diverse institutii… Exista vreo marturie credibila, vreun document?
– Nu putem califica aceste informatii nici macar ca tinand de domeniul legendei. E o minciuna! O alta minciuna! Bucurestiul, ca de altfel toate marile orase, e brazdat subteran de tot felul de tuneluri, unele pentru canalizare, gospodarirea apei, electricitate si alte scopuri. De altfel, Capitala are in subteran tuneluri realizate in urma cu sute de ani. Aceste tuneluri nu au constituit adaposturi pentru teroristi. Recent, am participat la o reconstituire pe teren, la asemenea asa-zise tuneluri secrete folosite de teroristi. Era un simplu canal pentru distribuirea apei potabile. Deci am constatat ca a fost vorba de o minciuna.
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Let us return to the revelations of the group that explored those tunnels in December 1989, however:

Cai de navigatie secrete sub Bucuresti

La 12 metri sub platoul Pietei Revolutiei exista o retea de catacombe prin care se circula cu barca

La 12 metri sub platoul Pietei Revolutiei exista o retea de catacombe prin care se circula cu barca. E vorba de culoare betonate, cu latimea de aproximativ doi metri, prin care curge un rau subteran adanc de un metru. Cu apa curata. Debitul raului secret e aproximat la 1,5 metri cubi pe secunda. La intrare, aceste cai navigabile care stabat Capitala sunt utilate cu barci pneumatice. Informatiile ne-au fost furnizate de Dan Falcan, seful sectiei de istorie a Muzeului Municipiului Bucuresti. Istoricul a cules toate datele existente despre catacombele Bucurestilor, mai vechi si mai noi, si le-a pus cap la cap pentru a-si face o imagine asupra istoriei orasului.

(IMG:http://news.softpedia.com/images//news/1913_6.jpg)

Capitala Romaniei are o traditie de secole in materie de tainite si coridoare secrete. Din datele pe care le detin istoricii, primele coridoare subterane demne de luat in seama au fost beciurile producatorilor de vinuri. Acestea aveau zeci de metri si erau atat de largi incat se circula cu carele. In secolul al XIX-lea au aparut edificiile care aveau tuneluri de refugiu, cum e tunelul care leaga Palatul Ghica Tei de Manastirea Plumbuita, lung de mai bine de un kilometru. In nordul Parcului Cismigiu, Biserica Schitu Magureanu e legata prin subterane de Palatul Cretzulescu .

Sub Palatul Golescu, situat langa stadionul Giulesti, a fost depistat un coridor subteran care da inspre lunca Dambovitei . Coridorul a fost folosit si de Tudor Vladimirescu. “De pe la 1826 ne-au ramas
cateva relatari care ne dau o imagine asupra catacombelor de sub capitala Tarii Romanesti. La acea vreme haiduceau in zona vestitii Tunsu si Grozea. Timp de multi ani, ei au bagat spaima in boierii din Bucuresti, in special in cei care aveau casele in zona actualei sosele Panduri. Ii calcau mereu, iar poterele nu puteau face nimic. Desi reuseau sa ii localizeze si sa-i incercuiasca, cand sa puna mana pe ei haiducii dispareau “intrand in pamant”, adica coborau in subteran. Astazi putem afirma ca sub aceasta sosea erau o multime de coridoare subterane, late de trei metri si inalte de doi metri. Dar toate datele acestea au palit atunci cand am intrat in contact cu alte informatii recente. Labirintul subteran vechi al orasului pare neinsemnat pe langa cel construit din ordinul lui Ceausescu. Datele mi-au parvenit de la militarii care au intrat in subteranele fostului Comitet Central, actualul Senat la Romaniei, respectiv de la maiorul Gheorghe Grigoras si capitanul Nicolae Grigoras, de la unitatea speciala de lupta antiterorista. Ei au intrat in aceste catacombe chiar pe 25 decembrie 1989, impreuna cu un grup de genisti si pirotehnisti”, explica muzeograful Dan Falcan.

Conform relatarii militarilor, la subsolul cladirii au gasit un tunel, nu prea lung, care coboara intr-un fel de cazarma. Opt camere cu paturi pliante. Din aceste camere pornesc mai multe culoare, unul ducand chiar pana la etajul II al cladirii. Pe un alt culoar se poate ajunge la un buncar mai larg, la 7 metri adancime. Se trece apoi de o usa blindata si se ajunge la un apartament spatios, la adancimea de 9 metri. Militarii au cautat apoi camera in care se afla sistemul de ventilatie si s-au trezit pe un nou culoar. Dupa ce au strabatut aproximativ 30 de metri au gasit o nisa cu o lada mare, in care erau 16 barci din cauciuc, cu pompe de umflare.

from 2 April 1990, ABC News Special.  The Koppel Report:  Death of a Dictator.


Dupa alti 20 de metri militarii au observat ca peretii tunelului au alta culoare, sunt mai noi si sunt acoperiti cu un fel de rasina sintetica. Dupa inca 10 metri culoarul se infunda. Chiar la capat se afla un piedestal din lemn pe care era asezat un capac de WC. Au ridicat capacul iar sub el au gasit un chepeng de fier. L-au ridicat si au gasit… un rau cu apa curata, care curge intr-o matca artificiala din beton. Are latimea de circa 1,5 metri si adancimea de aproximativ un metru. Raul se afla la aproximativ 12 metri sub platforma Pietei Revolutiei . Cele 16 barci erau folosite de fapt pentru acesta cale de navigatie.

from 2 April 1990, ABC News Special.  The Koppel Report:  Death of a Dictator.

Albia amenajata are pe lateral bare metalice facute pentru oprirea sau impulsionarea barcilor. “In opinia militarilor, raul secret duce catre un lacurile din afara orasului, in nord, si Dambovita, in sud-est” , subliniaza Falcan. Ofiterii au vorbit insa de existenta unui alt canal similar, la capatul unui alt tunel, precum si de un sistem de inundare a labirintului, pe sectiuni. In cazul in care un eventual fugar e urmarit, el poate inunda portiuni de tunel in spatele lui pentru a opri urmaritorii. A mai fost gasita o gura de iesire din labirint in curtea interioara a fostului CC, de unde, printr-o retea de canale, se poate intra in canalizarea orasului, de unde se poate iesi catre Dambovita. Reteaua are guri de iesire in Palatul Regal, Biserica Cretzulescu si magazinul Muzica. “In urma unor cercetari ulterioare a reiesit ca ramificatiile subterane au corespondenta cu circa 80 de obiective din Bucuresti, cum ar fi cladirea ASE, Casa Enescu, Opera Romana etc. Subliniez, relatari sunt ale unor ofiteri din cadrul armatei. Lucru foarte interesant, nimeni nu neaga existenta acestor cai de navigatie secrete, dar cand am incercat sa le exploram, nu ni s-a permis pe motiv ca… nu se poate”. Despre aceste galerii ale lui Ceausescu ne-a vorbit si Radulescu Dobrogea, presedintele asociatiei Ecocivica, fost inspector de mediu in Primaria Capitalei, omul care s-a ocupat multi ani de panza freatica a orasului. El sustine ca stie de aceste galerii ale lui Ceausescu si ca apa limpede care curge prin ele este panza freatica de sub oras.

Administratorii Senatului au vazut numai intrarea in catacombe

“Pot sa va spun ca am auzit despre aceste lucruri, dar nu le-am vazut. Exista o cale de comunicatie subterana care pleaca din Senat catre Piata Revolutiei, o cale care pleaca de la Palatul Regal catre Piata si inca una, tot din Palatul Regal, catre Biserica Cretzulescu. Intrarile in aceste cai de acces le-am vazut, dar unde se opresc, nu stiu, nu este treaba noastra sa cotrobaim pe acolo”, ne-a declarat inginer Constantin Bratu, directorul tehnic al administratiai cladirii Senatului Romaniei.

Sorin Golea (Libertatea 2005)

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Voinea’s conclusions have been enshrined, in fact sacralized, as the centerpiece of the Chapter on December 1989 of the Final Report of the Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania, also known as the Tismaneanu commission after its chairman, Vladimir Tismaneanu.

(Dan Voinea este slavit de catre Sorin Iliesiu asa: Justiţia română a dovedit diversiunea “teroriştii” şi nu a găsit nici un terorist printre morţi, răniţi sau arestaţi. D-l gen. Dan Voinea spune clar: “Teroriştii nu au existat. S-a minţit pentru a-i ascunde pe adevăraţii criminali”….Rechizitoriul Justiţiei române, spiritul acestora regăsindu-se în Raportul [Raport Final CPADCR]…)

http://www.acum.tv/articol/7423/

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 morţişi mii de răniţi. Majoritatea au fost ucişişi răniţi pe străzile din centrul capitaleişi al altor oraşe martirizate ca urmare a acestei diversiuni. Ulterior nu a fost acuzatşi judecat nici un terorist. (p. 625)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/35934916/Raport-Final-Cpadcr

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Vladimir Tismaneanu wrote on 18 May:  “I remember the documentary of Ted Koppel perfectly”

Vladimir Tismaneanuspune:

Imi amintesc perfect documentarul lui Ted Koppel

http://www.contributors.ro/politica-doctrine/scoala-falsificarii-ion-iliescu-si-spiritul-revolutiei-din-1989/

Related topics…no doubt “perfectly recalled”:

decembrie 1989, CC-ul, si Sibiu: Dan Voinea, Corneliu Pircalabescu, si Ilie Ceausescu v. Aurel Dragomir si Victor Stanculescu

Timisoara si Mostenitorii Revizionismului Securist (despre Grigore Cartianu la IICCMER)

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

Constantin Isac intre 14 si 22 decembrie: dinamovist de judo la Iasi, prezent in zona “Crematoriului Cenusa,” si martor in Piata Universitatii…

Cine este Constantin Isac (“martor la moartea lui Trosca”)?

To understand how it is that Tismaneanu, who warns or criticizes others about consuming former Securitate disinformation, nevertheless praises Grigore Cartianu’s writings on December 1989 (strongly influenced by the previous work of Alex Mihai Stoenescu), is oblivious to the fact that Dan Voinea has erased the Securitate’s primary responsibility for the post-22 December bloodshed, and ignores (or is ignorant of) the fact that Doru Maries testified on behalf of the former head of the Securitate at Iulian Vlad’s trial in 1991 and gave an interview to the Securitate mouthpiece Europa absolving the Securitate of responsibility for the post-22 December bloodshed, praising Ceausescu as “A GREAT PATRIOT,” and claiming foreign agents were responsible for Ceausescu’s overthrow, or that one of the star members of Asociatia 21 decembrie, Constantin Isac, claims to have been present in Iasi, outside the Cenusa crematorium, and in University Square between 14-22 December (!) and also gave interviews to Angela Bacescu of Europa in 1991 absolving the former Securitate of responsibility for the post 22 December bloodshed, please refer to my Fall 1999 East European Politics and Societies article “The Uses of Absurdity” which explains how it happened (and continues to happen!) and gives numerous examples:   https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.wordpress.com/the-uses-of-absurdity-romania-1989-1999/

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(NEW for the 20th Anniversary) Bullets, Lies, and Videotape: The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989 (Part II: “A Revolution, a Coup d’Etat, AND a Counter-Revolution”) by Richard Andrew Hall

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 22, 2009

for Part I see  His name was Ghircoias…Nicolae Ghircoias

Bullets, Lies, and Videotape:

The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989

by Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Standard Disclaimer:  All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other U.S. Government agency.  Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author’s views.  This material has been reviewed by CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.  [Submitted 19 November 2009; PRB approved 15 December 1989]

I am an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.  I have been a CIA analyst since 2000.  Prior to that time, I had no association with CIA outside of the application process.

Part II

Romania, December 1989:   a Revolution, a Coup d’etat, AND a Counter-Revolution

This December marks twenty years since the implosion of the communist regimeof Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. [1] It is well-known, but bears repeating:  Romania not only came late in the wave of communist regime collapse in the East European members of the Warsaw Pact in the fall of 1989 (Poland, Hungary, the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria), it came last—and inevitably that was significant.[2] Despite the more highly personalist (vs. corporate) nature of the Ceausescu regime, the higher level of fear and deprivation that characterized society, and the comparative insulation from the rest of the East European Warsaw Pact states, Romania could not escape the implications of the collapse of the other communist party-states.[3] Despite the differences, there simply were too many institutional and ideological similarities, or as is often most importantly the case, that is how members of both the state and society interpreted matters.   “Going last” [in turn, in show] almost inevitably implies that the opportunities for mimicry, for opportunism, for simulation[4] on the one hand and dissimulation[5] on the other, are greater than for the predecessors…and, indeed, one can argue that some of what we saw in Romania in December 1989 reflects this.

Much of the debate about what happened in December 1989 has revolved around how to define those events…and their consequences.[6] [These can be analytically distinct categories and depending on how one defines things, solely by focusing on the events themselves or the consequences, or some combination thereof, will inevitably shape the answer one gets].  The primary fulcrum or axis of the definitional debate has been between whether December 1989 and its aftermath were/have been a revolution or a coup d’etat.  But Romanian citizens and foreign observers have long since improvised linguistically to capture the hybrid and unclear nature of the events and their consequences.  Perhaps the most neutral, cynical, and fatalistic is the common “evenimentele din decembrie 1989”—the events of December 1989—but it should also be pointed out that the former Securitate and Ceausescu nostalgics have also embraced, incorporated and promoted, such terminology.  More innovative are terms such as rivolutie (an apparent invocation of or allusion to the famous Romanian satirist Ion Luca Caragiale’s 1880 play Conu Leonida fata cu reactiunea[7] , where he used the older colloquial spelling revulutie) or lovilutie (a term apparently coined by the humorists at Academia Catavencu, and combining the Romanian for coup d’etat, lovitura de stat, and the Romanian for revolution, revolutie).

The following characterization of what happened in December 1989 comes from an online poster, Florentin, who was stationed at the Targoviste barracks—the exact location where Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu would be summarily tried and executed on 25 December 1989.  Although his definitions may be too economically-based for my taste—authoritarianism/dictatorship vs. democracy would be preferable—and the picture he presents may be oversimplified at points, the poster’s characterization shows that sometimes the unadorned straighttalk of the plainspoken citizen can cut to the chase better than many an academic tome:

I did my military service, in Targoviste, in fact in the barracks at which the Ceausescu couple were executed…It appears that a coup d’etat was organized and executed to its final step, the proof being how the President of the R.S.R. (Romanian Socialist Republic) died, but in parallel a revolution took place.  Out of this situation has transpired all the confusion.   As far as I know this might be a unique historical case, if I am not mistaken.  People went into the streets, calling not just for the downfall of the president then, but for the change of the political regime, and that is what we call a revolution. This revolution triumphed, because today we have neither communism, nor even neocommunism with a human face.  The European Union would not have accepted a communist state among its ranks.  The organizers of the coup d’etat foresaw only the replacement of the dictator and the maintenance of a communist/neocommunist system, in which they did not succeed, although there are those who still hope that it would have succeeded.  Some talk about the stealing of the revolution, but the reality is that we live in capitalism, even if what we have experienced in these years has been more an attempt at capitalism, orchestrated by an oligarchy with diverse interests…[8]

This is indeed the great and perhaps tragic irony of what happened in December 1989 in Romania:  without the Revolution, the Coup might well have failed,[9] but without the Coup, neither would the Revolution have succeeded.   The latter is particularly difficult for the rigidly ideological and politically partisan to accept; yet it is more than merely a talking point and legitimating alibi of the second-rung nomenklatura who seized power (although it is that too).  The very atomization of Romanian society[10] that had been fueled and exploited by the Ceausescu regime explained why Romania came last in the wave of Fall 1989, but also why it was and would have been virtually impossible for genuine representatives of society—led by dissidents and protesters—to form an alternative governing body on 22 December whose decisions would have been accepted as sufficiently authoritative to be respected and implemented by the rump party-state bureaucracy, especially the armed forces and security and police structures.  The chaos that would have ensued—with likely multiple alternative power centers, including geographically—would have likely led to a far greater death toll and could have enabled those still betting on the return of the Ceausescus to after a time reconquer power or seriously impede the functioning of any new government for an extended period.

The fact that the Revolution enabled the coup plotters to seize power, and that the coup enabled the Revolution to triumph should be identified as yet another version—one particular to the idiosyncracies of the Romanian communist regime—of what Linz and Stepan have identified as the costs or compromises of the transition from authoritarian rule.  In Poland, for example, this meant that 65 percent of the Sejm was elected in non-competitive elections, but given co-equal authority with the Senate implying that “a body with nondemocratic origins was given an important role in the drafting of a democratic constitution”; in fact, Poland’s first completely competitive elections to both houses of Parliament occurred only in October 1991, fully two years after the formation of the first Solidarity government in August 1989.[11] In Romania, this meant that second-rung nomenklaturists—a displaced generation of elites eager to finally have their day in the sun—who to a large extent still harbored only Gorbachevian perestroikist views of the changes in the system as being necessary, were able to consolidate power following the elimination of the ruling Ceausescu couple.

The self-description by senior Front officials (Ion Iliescu) and media promoters (such as Darie Novaceanu in Adevarul) of the FSN (National Salvation Front) as the “emanation of the Revolution” does not seem justified. [12] It seems directly tied to two late January 1990 events—the decision of the Front’s leaders to run as a political party in the first post-Ceausescu elections and the contestation from the street of the Front’s leaders’ legitimacy to rule and to run in those elections.  It also seems difficult to defend objectively as a legitimate description, since even according to their own accounts, senior Front officials had been in contact with one another and discussed overthrowing the Ceausescus prior to the Revolution, since there had existed no real competing non-Ceausescu regime alternative on 22 December 1989 (an argument they themselves make), and since they had clearly not been elected to office.   Moreover, when senior former Front officials, Iliescu among them, point to their winning of two-thirds of the votes for the new parliament in May 1990 and Iliescu’s 85 percent vote for the presidency, the numbers in and of themselves—even beyond the by now pretty obvious and substantiated manipulation, surveillance, and intimidation of opposition parties, candidates, movements and civil society/non-governmental organizations that characterized the election campaign—are a red flag to the tainted and only partly free and fair character of those founding elections.

But if the FSN and Ion Iliescu cannot be accurately and legitimately described as the “emanation of the Revolution,” it also seems reasonable to suggest that the term “stolen revolution”[13] is somewhat unfair.  The term “stolen revolution” inevitably suggests a central, identifiable, and sufficiently coherent ideological character of the revolution and the presence of an alternative non-Ceausescu, non-Front leadership that could have ensured the retreat of Ceausescu forces and been able to govern and administer the country in the days and weeks that followed.  The absence of the latter was pretty clear on 22 December 1989—Iasi, Timisoara, and Arad among others, had local, authentic nuclei leading local movements (for example, the FDR, Frontul Democrat Roman), but no direct presence in Bucharest—and the so-called Dide and Verdet “22 minute” alternative governments were even more heavily compromised by former high-ranking communist dignitary inclusion than the FSN was (the one with the least, headed by Dumitru Mazilu, was rapidly overtaken and incorporated into the FSN).

As to the question of the ideological character of the revolt against Ceausescu, it is once again instructive to turn to what a direct participant, in this case in the Timisoara protests, has to say about it.  Marius Mioc[14], who participated in the defense of Pastor Tokes’ residence and in the street demonstrations that grew out of it, was arrested, interrogated, and beaten from the 16th until his release with other detainees on the 22nd and who has written with longstanding hostility toward former Securitate and party officials, IIiescu, the FSN, and their successors, gives a refreshingly honest account of those demonstrations that is in stark contrast to the often hyperpoliticized, post-facto interpretations of December 1989 prefered by ideologues:

I don’t know if the 1989 revolution was as solidly anticommunist as is the fashion to say today.  Among the declarations from the balcony of the Opera in Timisoara were some such as “we don’t want capitalism, we want democratic socialism,” and at the same time the names of some local PCR [communist] dignitaries were shouted.  These things shouldn’t be generalized, they could have been tactical declarations, and there existed at the same time the slogans “Down with communism!” and flags with the [communist] emblem cut out, which implicitly signified a break from communism.  [But] the Revolution did not have a clear ideological orientation, but rather demanded free elections and the right to free speech.[15]

Romania December 1989 was thus both revolution and coup, but its primary definitive characteristic was that of revolution, as outlined by “Florentin” and Marius Mioc above.  To this must be added what is little talked about or acknowledged as such today:  the counter-revolution of December 1989.  Prior to 22 December 1989, the primary target of this repression was society, peaceful demonstrators—although the Army itself was both perpetrator of this repression but also the target of Securitate forces attempting to ensure their loyalty to the regime and their direct participation and culpabilization in the repression of demonstrators.  After 22 December 1989, the primary target of this violence was the Army and civilians who had picked up weapons, rather than citizens at large.  It is probably justified to say that in terms of tactics, after 22 December 1989, the actions of Ceausist forces were counter-coup in nature, contingencies prepared in the event of an Army defection and the possibility of foreign intervention in support of such a defection.  However, precisely because of what occurred prior to 22 December 1989, the brutal, bloody repression of peaceful demonstrators, and because the success of the coup was necessary for the success of the revolution already underway, it is probably accurate to say that the Ceausescu regime’s actions as a whole constituted a counter-revolution.  If indeed the plotters had not been able to effectively seize power after the Ceausescus fled on 22 December 1989 and Ceausescu or his direct acolytes had been able to recapture power, we would be talking of the success not of a counter-coup, but of the counter-revolution.

A key component of the counter-revolution of December 1989 concerns the, as they were christened at the time, so-called “terrorists,” those who were believed then to be fighting in defense of the Ceausescu couple.  It is indeed true as Siani-Davies has written that the Revolution is about so much more than “the Front” and “the terrorists.”[16] True enough, but the outstanding and most vexing question about December 1989—one that resulted in 942 killed and 2,251 injured after 22 December 1989—is nevertheless the question of “the terrorists.”  Finding out if they existed, who they were, and who they were defending remains the key unclarified question of December 1989 two decades later:  that much is inescapable.[17]


[1]The hyperbolic and popular academic designation of the Ceausescu regime as Stalinist is not particularly helpful.  Totalitarian yes, Stalinist no.  Yes, Nicolae Ceausescu had a Stalinist-like personality cult, and yes he admired Stalin and his economic model, as he told interviewers as late as 1988, and we have been told ad nauseum since.  But this was also a strange regime, which as I have written elsewhere was almost characterized by a policy of “no public statues [of Ceausescu] and no (or at least as few as possible) public martyrs [inside or even outside the party]”—the first at odds with the ubiquity of Nicoale and Elena Ceausescus’ media presence, the second characterized by the “rotation of cadres” policy whereby senior party officials could never build a fiefdom and were sometimes banished to the provinces, but almost were never eliminated physically, and by Ceausescus’ general reluctance to “spoil” his carefully created “image” abroad by openly eliminating high-profile dissidents (one of the reasons Pastor Tokes was harassed and intimidated, but still alive in December 1989)  (see Richard Andrew Hall 2006, “Images of Hungarians and Romanians in Modern American Media and Popular Culture,” at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/huroimages060207tk6.html). Ken Jowitt has characterized the organizational corruption and political routinization of the communist party as moving from the Stalinist era—whereby even being a high-level party official did not eliminate the fear or reality of imprisonment and death—to what he terms Khrushchev’s de facto maxim of “don’t kill the cadre” to Brezhnev’s of essentially “don’t fire the cadre” (see Ken Jowitt, New World Disorder:  The Leninist Extinction, especially pp. 233-234, and chapter 4 “Neotraditionalism,” p. 142).   The very fact that someone like Ion Iliescu could be around to seize power in December 1989 is fundamentally at odds with a Stalinist system:  being “purged” meant that he fulfilled secondary roles in secondary places, Iasi, Timisoara, the Water Works, a Technical Editing House, but “purged” did not threaten and put an end to his existence, as it did for a Kirov, Bukharin, and sadly a cast of millions of poor public souls caught up in the ideological maelstorm.  Charles King wrote in 2007 that “the Ceausescu era was the continuation of Stalinism by other means, substituting the insinuation of terror for its cruder variants and combining calculated cooptation with vicious attacks on any social actors who might represent a potential threat to the state” (Charles King, “Remembering Romanian Communism,” Slavic Review, vol. 66, no. 4 (Winter 2007), p. 720).  But at a certain point, a sufficient difference in quantity and quality—in this case, of life, fear, imprisonment, and death—translates into a difference of regime-type, and we are left with unhelpful hyperbole.  The level of fear to one’s personal existence in Ceausescu’s Romania—both inside and outside the party-state—simply was not credibly comparable to Stalin’s Soviet Union, or for that matter, even Dej’s Romania of the 1950s.  In the end, Ceausescu’s Romania was “Stalinist in form [personality cult, emphasis on heavy industry], but Brezhnevian in content [“don’t fire the cadres”…merely rotate them…privileges, not prison sentences for the nomenklatura].”

[2] For a recent discussion of the “diffusion” or “demonstration” effect and regime change, see, for example, Valerie Bunce and Sharon Wolchik, “International Diffusion and Postcommunist Electoral Revolutions,”

Communist and Postcommunist Studies, vol. 39, no. 3 (September 2006), pp. 283­304.

[3] For more discussion, see Hall 2000.

[4]For discussion of the term see Michael Shafir, Romania:  Politics, Economics, and Society (Boulder, 1985).

[5]For discussion of the term see Ken  Jowitt, New World Disorder (University of California Berkely Press, 1992).

[6] For earlier discussions of this topic from a theoretical perspective , see, for example, Peter Siani-Davies, “Romanian Revolution of Coup d’etat?” Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol. 29, no. 4 (December 1996), pp. 453-465; Stephen D. Roper, “The Romanian Revolution from a Theoretical Perspective,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol. 27, no. 4 (December 1994), pp. 401-410; and Peter Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 2005), pp. 1-52 ff, but especially (chapter 7) pp. 267-286.  For a recent effort to deal with this question more broadly, see Timothy Garton Ash, “Velvet Revolution:  The Prospects, The New York Review of Books, Volume 56, Number 19 (December 3, 2009) at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23437. For a good comparison and analysis of public opinion polling performed in 2009 and 1999 about classifying what happened in December 1989, see Catalin Augustin Stoica in http://www.jurnalul.ro/stire-special/a-fost-revolutie-sau-lovitura-de-stat-527645.html.

[7] http://ro.wikisource.org/wiki/Conu_Leonida_fa%C5%A3%C4%83_cu_reac%C5%A3iunea

[8] Entry from forum at http://www.gds.ro/Opinii/2007-12-20/Revolutia:+majoratul+rusinii!

[9]This is a point that was first made credibly by Michael Shafir in Michael Shafir, “Preparing for the Future by Revising the Past,” Radio Free Europe Report on Eastern Europe, vol. 1, no. 41 (12 October 1990).  It becomes all the clearer, however, when we consider that the XIV PCR Congress from 20-24 November 1989 went off without the slightest attempt at dissidence within the congress hall—a potential opportunity thereby missed—and that the plotters failed to act during what would have seemed like the golden moment to put an end to the “Golden Era,” the almost 48 hours that Nicolae Ceausescu was out of the country in Iran between 18 and 20 December 1989, after regime forces had already been placed in the position of confronting peaceful demonstrators and after they opened fire in Timisoara.  In other words, an anti-regime revolt was underway, and had the coup been so minutely prepared as critics allege, this would have been the perfect time to seize power, cut off the further anti-system evolution of protests, exile Ceausescu from the country, and cloak themselves in the legitimacy of a popular revolt.  What is significant is that the plotters did not act at this moment.  It took the almost complete collapse of state authority on the morning of 22 December 1989 for them to enter into action.  This is also why characterizations of the Front as the ‘counterstrike of the party-state bureaucracy’ or the like is only so much partisan rubbish, since far from being premised as something in the event of a popular revolt or as a way to counter an uprising, the plotters had assumed—erroneously as it turned out—that Romanian society would not rise up against the dictator, and thus that only they could or had to act.  It is true, however, that once having consolidated power, the plotters did try to slow, redirect, and even stifle the forward momentum of the revolution, and that the revolutionary push from below after December 1989 pushed them into reforms and measures opening politics and economics to competition that they probably would not have initiated on their own.

[10] I remain impressed here by something Linz and Stepan highlighted in 1996:  according to a Radio Free Europe study, as of June 1989 Bulgaria had thirteen independent organizations, all of which had leaders whose names were publicly known, whereas in Romania there were only two independent organizations with bases inside the country, neither of which had publicly known leaders (Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 352).  For more discussion of this and related issues, see Hall 2000.

[11] The presidency was also an unelected communist holdover position until fall 1990.  See Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, pp. 267-274.

[12] For a discussion of the roots and origins of these terms, see Matei Calinescu and Vladimir Tismaneanu, “The 1989 Revolution and Romania’s Future,” Problems of Communism, vol. XL no. 1-2 (January-April 1991), p. 52, especially footnote no. 38.

[13] Stephen Kotkin associates the concept, accurately if incompletely, with Tom Gallagher and Vladimir Tismaneanu in Stephen Kotkin, Uncivil Society:  1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (Modern Library Chronicles, 2009), pp. 147-148 n. 1.  Similar concepts have taken other names, such as “operetta war” (proposed but not necessarily accepted) by Nestor Ratesh, Romania:  The Entangled Revolution (Praeger, 1991) or “staging of [the] revolution” [advocated] by Andrei Codrescu, The Hole in the Flag (Morrow and Company, 1991).  Dumitru Mazilu’s 1991 book in Romanian was entitled precisely “The Stolen Revolution” [Revolutia Furata].  Charles King stated in 2007 that the CPADCR Report “repeats the common view (at least among western academics) of the revolution as being hijacked,” a term essentially equating to “stolen revolution,” but as Tismaneanu headed the commission and large sections of the Report’s chapter on December 1989 use previous writings by him (albeit without citing where they came from), it is hard to somehow treat the Report’s findings as independent of Tismaneanu’s identical view (for an earlier discussion of all this, see Hall 2008)

[14] Mioc does not talk a great deal about his personal story:  here is one of those few examples, http://www.timisoara.com/newmioc/5.htm.

[15] Quoted from http://mariusmioc.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/o-diferentiere-necesara-comunisti-si-criminali-comunisti/#more-4973

[16]Peter Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 2005), p. 286.

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La inceput…a existat dezinformare: “turistii” au venit din lada securitatii…acum calatoresc cu vas-ul…

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 18, 2009

“Radu Balan ‘isi aminteste’ ca in 18 decembrie la ora 24:00 se indrepta spre IAEM si depasea un grup de zece masini sovietice oprite in 100 de metri de Spitalul Judetean (Rezulta ca in noaptea acea, sub privirile sovieticilor au fost incarcate cadavrele !)”–care este varianta mai plauzibila?  Au apartinut sovieticilor…sau securistilor romani?!

Rewriting the Revolution (1997): Chapter 5 Timisoara 15-17 December 1989

A chapter from my Ph.D. Dissertation at Indiana University: Richard Andrew Hall, Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania (defended 16 December 1996). This is the original chapter as it appeared then and thus has not been revised in any form.

Chapter Five

“Yalta-Malta” and the Theme of Foreign Intervention in the Timisoara Uprising

At an emergency CPEx meeting on the afternoon of 17 December 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu sought to make sense out of the news from Timisoara by attempting to fit it in with what had happened elsewhere in Eastern Europe thus far that fall:

Everything which has happened and is happening in Germany, in Czechoslovakia, and in Bulgaria now and in the past in Poland and Hungary are things organized by the Soviet Union with American and Western help. It is necessary to be very clear in this matter, what has happened in the last three countries–in the GDR, in Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria, were coups d’etat organized by the dregs of society with foreign help.[1]

Ceausescu was giving voice to what would later become known as the “Yalta-Malta” theory. Significantly, the idea that the Soviet Union and, to different degrees of complicity, the United States and the West, played a pivotal role in the December 1989 events pervades the vast majority of accounts about December 1989 in post-Ceausescu Romania, regardless of the part of the ideological spectrum from which they come.

The theory suggests that after having first been sold out to Stalin and the Soviet Union at Yalta, in early December 1989 American President George Bush sold Romania out to Mikhail Gorbachev during their summit in Malta. The convenient rhyme of the two sites of Romania’s alleged betrayal have become a shorthand for Romania’s fate at the hands of the Russians and other traditional enemies (especially the Hungarians and Jews). To be sure, similar versions of this theory have cropped up throughout post-communist Eastern Europe among those disappointed with the pace and character of change in their country since 1989.[2] The different versions share the belief that Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet KGB engineered the sudden, region-wide collapse of communism in 1989. Their successors in Russia have been able to maintain behind-the-scenes control in Eastern Europe in the post-communist era by means of hidden influence and the help of collaborators within those countries. “Yalta-Malta” has become the mantra of those who seem to have experienced Eastern Europe’s el desencanto most deeply.[3]

Although one can probably find adherents to the Yalta-Malta theory in every East European country–particularly since the “Return of the Left” through the ballot box–there is little doubt that the theory finds its widest and most convinced audience–both at elite and mass levels–in Romania.[4] This is because, as we have seen, the suggestion that the Soviet Union and the KGB were attempting to undermine the regime leadership and infringe upon national sovereignty was not an ad hoc slogan in Romania in 1989, as it was in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria where aging political leaderships hinted at such arguments in a last-ditch effort to save their positions. Such appeals had far greater resonance in Romania in December 1989–particularly within the regime–because they had been tenets of the Romanian regime’s ideology for well over two decades. And they have had a lingering popularity in the post-Ceausescu era for that same reason. It is the uniquely antagonistic character of the relationship between the Securitate and the KGB during the Ceausescu era (discussed in chapter four), and the genuine, scarcely-veiled animosity between Ceausescu and Gorbachev, which give the Yalta-Malta scenario a plausibility and credibility (however spurious) in Romania it cannot find elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

Western analysts have frequently caricatured the views of the former Securitate towards the Ceausescu era by suggesting that they uniformly look back favorably and nostalgically upon it. In fact, many of them now openly criticize Nicolae Ceausescu’s misguided policies, erratic behavior, and harsh rule.[5] Clearly, much of this is post facto judgement. The deceased Ceausescu serves as a convenient scapegoat for all that went wrong during his rule and by blaming him they can absolve themselves. Nevertheless, regardless of how they now view Nicolae Ceausescu, almost every former Securitate officer challenges the spontaneity of the Timisoara protests and suggests that the catalyst for the unrest came from outside Romania’s borders. Thus, they argue, even if Nicolae Ceausescu had brought the country to the point of profound crisis, this “foreign intervention” converted the Timisoara events primarily into a matter of national security.

It is interesting to recall Nicolae Ceausescu’s own interpretation of the Timisoara events during a rambling, scarcely coherent teleconference on 20 December 1989:

…all of these grave incidents in Timisoara were organized and directed by revanchist, revisionist circles, by foreign espionage services, with the clear intention of provoking disorder, of destabilizing the situation in Romania, of acting in order to eliminate the independence and territorial integrity of Romania….It is necessary to attract the attention of everyone, not only of the communists [emphasis added], but everyone to the shameful…campaign… unleashed right now by different circles, beginning with Budapest, convincingly demonstrates that…, including the declarations of the president of the United States, who declared that he had discussed the problems of Romania with Gorbachev at Malta…[6]

In their discussion of the December events, the former Securitate have expanded upon Ceausescu’s allegations of “foreign intervention.”

In February 1991, while on trial for his part in ordering the repression of demonstrators in December 1989, the former director of the Securitate, General Iulian Vlad, proposed two principal groups of suspects for the Timisoara unrest.[7] He described the first group as Romanian citizens (the majority of whom were presumably of Hungarian ethnicity) who had fled to Hungary, passed through refugee camps, and been sent back to Romania with a mission to engage in “destabilizing acts.” According to Vlad, “only able-bodied males” were sent back. The second group of suspects were large groups of so-called Soviet “tourists.” Here is Vlad’s depiction of this second group:

Halfway through December 1989 massive groups of Soviet tourists began to enter the country. They entered coming directly from the USSR or from Yugoslavia or Hungary. The majority were men and–in a coordinated fashion–they deployed in a convoy of brand-new “LADA” automobiles. During the night of 16-17 December ‘89 such a column attempted to enter Timisoara. Some of these cars were forced to make a detour around the town, others managed to enter it…[8]

Pavel Corut, a former high-ranking Securitate counter-military intelligence officer who has written dozens of novels seeking to rehabilitate the reputation of the former Securitate, has written of “the infiltration on Romanian territory of groups of Soviet commandos (Spetsnaz) under the cover of being tourists. It is noteworthy that December is not a tourist month and nevertheless the number of Soviet tourists grew greatly.”[9]

In 1994, the Securitate’s official institutional heir, the Romanian Information Service (or SRI), declared in a report on the December events:

In addition to gathering information, some Soviet agents from among our ranks received the mission to make propaganda for “changes,” even at the risk of being found out. Actions at direct incitement [of the population] were also initiated by Soviet “tourists,” whose number had grown in the preceding period and had taken on exceptional proportions by the end of 1989.

Beginning on 9 December 1989, the number of Soviet “tourists” in “private” vehicles grew from around 80 to 1,000 cars a day. This phenomenon, although realized at the time, did not lead to the necessary conclusions and measures. The occupants (two to three per car), athletic men between 25 and 40 years in the majority, avoided lodging facilities, sleeping in their cars…The cars were mostly of a “LADA” and “MOSKOVICI” make, deployed in a convoy, and had consecutively-numbered license plates and similar new equipment. The majority were “in transit towards Yugoslavia”…

It is certain that during the Timisoara events there was a large number

of Soviet “tourists.” During 15, 16, and 17 December 1989, to these already in the country were added those “returning from Yugoslavia,” the majority by car.[10]

But the reach of this theory extends well beyond the former Securitate and their cheerleaders in the Ceausist nostalgic press. The head of the first Senatorial commission investigating the December events, film director Sergiu Nicolaescu–a key figure in the newly-formed National Salvation Front during the events of 22-25 December 1989 and a legislator of the ruling Front after 1989–described the catalyst of the December events to a journalist in December 1993 as follows:

By chance, everything began in Timisoara. It could have begun elsewhere since many places were prepared. It is known that in Iasi something was being prepared, and also in Brasov and Bucharest. There was clearly foreign intervention….For example, the intervention of the Russians in Romania. A year before in 1988 about 30,000 Russians came. A year later in 1989, in December, the number doubled. Thus, it reached 67,000. It is known that there were at least 1,000 automobiles in which there were two to three men between the ages of 30 and 40 years old, at a maximum 45 years old. It is very interesting to observe that, only a few months earlier, the Securitate had ordered that for those from socialist countries crossing the border, it was no longer necessary to note their license plate number or how many people were on board.[11]

Asked who in the Securitate gave the order to no longer record this information, Nicolaescu insinuated that they were Soviet “moles” who had been placed there “4, 5, 10, and even 30 years earlier.”[12]

The theory has also found its way into the opposition media. Cornel Ivanciuc, who in 1995 wrote one of the most influential exposes to date on the former Securitate for the weekly 22, maintains that the Soviets achieved their aims in December 1989 by means of the so-called “tourist-incursionists, whose activity during the revolution was identical to those of the Spetsnaz special troops for reconnaissance and diversion of the GRU [Soviet military intelligence].”[13] Two months after General Vlad’s 1991 court statement, Sorin Rosca Stanescu, one of the most prominent journalist critics of the Iliescu regime and the SRI, presented an interview in the leading opposition daily Romania Libera with an anonymous KGB officer residing in Paris who outlined a familiar scenario.[14] The KGB officer claimed that he had entered Romania on 14 December with others as part of a KGB plan to open fire and create confusion. He had been in Timisoara during the events, but suggested he never received the anticipated order to open fire and left the country on 26 December. Rosca Stanescu, however, made sure to remind his audience of “the insistent rumors which have been circulating referring to the existence on Romanian territory of 2,000 “LADA” automobiles with Soviet tags and two men inside each car…”[15] Stanescu closed by asking his readers: “What did the Ceausescu couple know but were unable to say? Why is general Vlad held in this ambiguous chess game?…Is Iliescu protected by the KGB?”

Stanescu’s intentions are further drawn into question by the fact that this particular article has been cited positively by former Securitate officers in their writings. Colonel Filip Teodorescu of the Securitate’s Counter-espionage Directorate, the second highest-ranking Securitate officer in Timisoara during the repression and sentenced to prison for his role in those events, cites extensively and favorably from this very article by Stanescu in a book on the December events.[16] Pavel Corut also invokes Rosca Stanescu’s interview in support his arguments.[17] Moreover, Rosca Stanescu’s questionable comments make the issue of his (revealed and acknowledged) past collaboration with the Securitate’s USLA unit between 1975 and 1985 relevant.[18]

Securitate accounts also routinely insinuate that foreign diplomats who came to Timisoara ostensibly to “monitor the situation” there, and foreign radio stations such as Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, the BBC, and Deutsche Welle which transmitted information about Timisoara developments, contributed directly and intentionally to the unrest.[19] For example, the former deputy director of the Timis county Securitate, Major Radu Tinu, highlights the allegedly suspicious role played by representatives of the American and British embassies who came to Timisoara on 15 December 1989 and transmitted back to Bucharest that “everything is in order, we have seen him,” apparently referring to pastor Tokes.[20]

Similar elements also creep into some opposition accounts. Ilie Stoian, a journalist for Expres and then Tinerama, ranks among those who have written most extensively about the December events. Stoian argues for a “Yalta-Malta” interpretation of the December events.[21] In discussing the Timisoara events, he notes the presence of Hungarians who were filming the events from their “LADA” automobiles and the expulsion of Russians across the Yugoslav border by the Securitate–thus insinuating that they were somehow implicated in the unrest.[22] According to Stoian:

…the December revolution was prepared in advance. In order to make things even clearer, we draw your attention to the fact that prior to the date fixed by the authorities for the evacuation of pastor Tokes from the parochial residence, in almost every evening Voice of America and Radio Free Europe would broadcast long pieces about this personage. Moreover, inside the country, foreign diplomats began to fuss….[23]

Finally, Stoian asks:

Wasn’t the presence of foreign diplomats somehow to verify if everything “was in order,” as was said during a telephone conversation intercepted on 15 December? Weren’t they somehow doing more than just supervising and reporting on these events to their superiors? We think the answer is yes.[24]

Questioning the Regime’s Treatment of the Tokes Case

What of the scheduled eviction of the Hungarian pastor, Laszlo Tokes, which apparently sparked the Timisoara uprising? It is known that the Securitate had placed Tokes under heavy surveillance for a long time prior to this event because of his persistent criticism of the subservient hierarchy of the Reformed Church and of the Ceausescu regime’s violation of human rights. At the same time, given the Ceausescu regime’s tradition of snuffing out dissidence before it could gain a foothold among the population–Ceausescu reportedly was fond of counseling his subordinates to “avoid creating martyrs”–the regime’s failure to isolate or silence Tokes appears uncharacteristic. Moreover, the fact that demonstrators could gather to prevent his eviction without being immediately and brutally dispersed is also unexpected.

Radu Ciobotea’s summary of the circumstances surrounding the outbreak of the Timisoara events captures the suspicions of many Romanians:

The Securitate hurries slowly, makes noisy efforts…but doesn’t resolve anything. The situation is quite strange. In a totalitarian state with a top-notch information and counter-information service and a “case” which had been pursued not for months but for years, the chiefs of state security…don’t make a decision, thus allowing matters to proceed. Moreover, the intervention of these organs is–as we say–too noisy to camouflage other hidden projects.

From May until December, a simple eviction from a residence–even if it was a parochial residence–cannot be fulfilled! A single man who had the “daring” to collaborate before all of Europe with the Hungarian mass-media (and not only with them) cannot be “neutralized”! We are looking at a dubious reality, especially when we are speaking of the activity and discretion of the Securitate.

No real threat, no sickness, not even an accident, in the end, nothing, blocks the way of this person, who under the eyes of agents, becomes a personality and gives birth by way of an almost inexplicable stubbornness to a conflict which resonates in the social consciousness…of Romanians.

Where? In Timisoara…[i]n “the Western city” close to the border full of tourists and foreign and Romanian students.

When? During winter vacation when tens of thousands of young people would be on the move from their schools and university departments. When Ceausescu’s trip to Iran was certain. When–around the holidays–Romanians had nothing to put on their tables, nothing to heat their homes with, nothing with which to heal the old and young sick with pneumonia or rheumatism. When nothing was possible.

Upon close scrutiny–with the exception of the date–everything was therefore predictable.[25]

“Romania: Revelations of a Coup d’etat,” the influential expose by the French journalists Radu Portocala and Olivier Weber, challenged the spontaneity of the Timisoara protests.[26] Because the authors suggest that their conclusions are based on information provided by Romanian sources; their account was rapidly translated and published widely in the Romanian press during 1990; and it was the first concerted attempt to analyze the December events and therefore “framed the dialogue” so-to-speak–by creating a paradigm to which future analyses would implicitly have to respond–the article deserves mention.

The authors allege a “Yalta-Malta” scenario in which the KGB plays the pivotal role. They suggest that the Securitate purposely attempted to instigate the Timisoara uprising:

In Romania, it was always known when somebody was arrested, but never that somebody will be arrested. However, in the case of Laszlo Tokes this is exactly what happened. The Securitate launched the rumor from the beginning of December that the pastor would be arrested on the sixteenth or seventeenth of that month. Public opinion was therefore carefully prepared.[27]

“Someone therefore had an interest for this small demonstration of 300 to 500 people in support of Tokes to degenerate into a revolt, and then a revolution,” they conclude. In support of their allegation that foreign security services were involved in the Timisoara events, the authors marshal the court statement of Colonel Filip Teodorescu, the Securitate’s alleged “master spycatcher,” in which he claimed to have personally arrested “foreign agents” during the Timisoara unrest. Regime forces opened fire against the protesters on the evening of 17 December because “in order to create and then maintain a state of revolutionary spirit, a brutal repression also must occur.” In other words, the Timisoara events, from the genesis of the protests, to the crackdown on demonstrators, were staged, part of an elaborate coup d’etat supported–and even masterminded–by the Securitate.

Such arguments have found an echo among some opposition journalists within Romania. For example, Ilie Stoian insinuates that at least a part of the Securitate must have been trying to undermine regime policy towards Tokes:

Returning to the name of pastor Tokes, we must say that very few remember that in the months leading up to the events, [Tokes] was guarded day and night by the Securitate. Well, if he was guarded, then how did he wind up on Radio Budapest every week giving interviews? And how could the reporters who were taping his sermons or opinions smuggle the tapes out of the country? The Securitate, after all, was not made up of children! Don’t we witness in this case, a tacit accord of some men from the D.S.S. [i.e. the Securitate] with the very acts which they were supposed to stop?[28]

Ecaterina Radoi alleges that Tokes had informed his congregation of his imminent arrest on Sunday, 10 December 1989.[29] Sarcastically she asserts: “And, indeed, Friday, 15 December, the authorities intended for this event–announced long ago, and given ample media coverage in Hungary and the West–to take place.” After the protest got under way, “the forces of order intervened, dispersed the few protesters there and arrested a few so that the next day they could be let free.” Moreover, Pastor Tokes has himself become the subject of scrutiny. In 1994, the opposition weekly Tinerama published documents it maintained revealed that ever since the mid-1970s Pastor Tokes had been an informer for the Securitate.[30] Well-known journalist Ioan Itu hinted that the revelation of this fact meant that the story of December 1989 needed to be completely reconsidered in light of this new information.

A Review of the Evidence

Although at first glance the regime’s treatment of Pastor Tokes seems strange and even illogical, within the context of the workings of the Ceausescu regime and the regime’s strategy for dealing with dissent it makes perfect sense. There is simply no convincing evidence to believe that the Securitate–or a faction within it–purposely dragged its feet in enforcing Pastor Tokes’ eviction, or was attempting to spark a demonstration in the hopes of precipitating Ceausescu’s fall. The regime’s decision to evict Tokes was not a last-minute decision. Moreover, the regime exerted tremendous and sometimes brutal pressure to silence Tokes in the months preceding this deadline. Interestingly, according to high-ranking members of the former Securitate, Nicolae Ceausescu’s unwillingness to approve the more definitive measures requested by the Securitate allowed the Tokes case to drag on without resolution (see below). The Tokes case suggests the bureaucratic and byzantine mentalities of the Ceausescu regime, and the clash between a dictator’s instructions and how the institutions charged with defending him interpret their mission.

Contrary to its presentation in the aforementioned accounts, the plan to evict Tokes had not appeared overnight. Tokes had known since 31 March 1989 that he had been suspended from his position as pastor in Timisoara. In August, the Hungarian Reformed Calvinist Bishop of Oradea, Laszlo Papp, had responded to Tokes’ appeal of his suspension. Papp informed Tokes that he was to vacate his residence in Timisoara by 15 December 1989 and leave for the remote village of Mineu. On 14 October 1989, the Reformed Church Council met–according to Tokes, under duress, as a result of Papp’s heavy-handed intimidation of other council members–and sent an ultimatum to Tokes stating that he must leave Timisoara by 20 October 1989 at the latest. In response, Tokes placed himself under “voluntary house arrest” and launched another appeal claiming that the bishop’s actions lacked a legal basis. On 28 November, Tokes received a rejection of this new appeal and was informed that his eviction would definitely be enforced on Friday, 15 December 1989.[31]

Both Laszlo Tokes and his father (who was also a minister) had long had run-ins with the regime. In the mid-1980s, Laszlo Tokes had been defrocked from the ministry because of his persistent criticism of collaboration and corruption among the church’s leadership and of the regime’s policies towards the Hungarian minority. Tokes proved to be more of a problem outside of the church and unemployed than he had been as a pastor, however. Radicalized by his expulsion, he began a letter-writing campaign to slow the regime’s ongoing elimination of Hungarian educational facilities. Moreover, his fight for reinstatement in the church caught the attention of Western embassies and international organizations. This occurred right as the West was beginning to conclude that Gorbachev’s emerging reformist course in the Soviet Union and the deteriorating quality of human rights in Romania were devaluing Romania’s “maverick” status within the bloc. Thus, in 1986, apparently after the issue had been raised in the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate and considerable diplomatic pressure had been applied, the Reformed church reinstated Tokes. This incident was once again evidence that in individual, high-profile cases, Nicolae Ceausescu could upon occasion prove surprisingly pliable in the face of external pressure.[32]

Transferred to Timisoara, Tokes rapidly became a popular preacher and continued where he had left off: in his sermons, he routinely made “scarcely veiled attacks” on Ceausescu and assailed regime policies such as the “systematization” (de-villagization) program.[33] Upon Tokes’ arrival in Timisoara in 1986, the Timis county bureau of the Securitate’s First Directorate (Internal Affairs) “Office for the Study of Nationalists, Fascists, and Hungarian Irredentists” took control of his file and placed him under surveillance. According to Puspoki, by the end of 1987 Tokes had become “public enemy number one of the Timis county Securitate” and the newly appointed director of the local Securitate, Colonel Traian Sima, had taken personal charge of the Tokes case.[34] This reflected both the regime’s increasing fear of Tokes’ dissidence and Sima’s well-known zealotry.[35]

At least initially, the Securitate pursued less heavy-handed tactics in dealing with Tokes. Laszlo Tokes has himself acknowledged the changed methods of the Securitate:

In Dej, I had been threatened, harassed and constantly pressured by the Securitate. Now my chief Securitate spy was Laszlo Papp [the Bishop of Oradea and Tokes’ superior]. From my arrival at the church in 1986 to my departure, I never saw a Securitate man in my office. They were present at Sunday services, visited the presbyters and questioned people with whom I was in close contact. But they did not approach me. At Dej I had made public outside Romania the persecution I was receiving; this time, the Securitate and the authorities were changing their tactics.[36]

Thus, when in March 1989 the regime believed Tokes’ behavior was becoming a serious threat, Tokes was not kicked out of the church as had happened several years earlier, but was instead banished to the remote village of Mineu. As Tokes comments:

open expulsion would have provoked a Church incident and considerable interest from the West. Refusal to accept a bishop’s instruction, however, would look like deliberate disobedience on my part. The skilled foresight that had ensured I was kept a probationary pastor had kept me firmly under the direct jurisdiction of the bishop.[37]

As 1989 progressed and the confrontation between Tokes and the Reformed Church leadership deepened, Tokes’ case once again emerged into the international spotlight. The BBC, Radio Free Europe, and Deutsche Welle began to follow the Tokes case closely and beamed news of it back into Romania. Reflecting the scope of political change inside Hungary, Hungarian state radio broadcast weekly reports on the pastor’s fate. The broadcast by Hungarian state television on 26 July 1989 of an interview with Pastor Tokes (secretly taped earlier that spring) seemed to precipitate a change in the Securitate’s treatment of Tokes.[38] The Securitate moved beyond the habitual telephone threats and rumor-mongering about Tokes, to detaining, beating up, and arresting (on the pretext of foreign currency violations) members of his congregation and relatives. On 14 September 1989, the church elder Erno Ujvarossy, who had previously organized a petition in defense of Tokes, was found murdered in the woods outside Timisoara. Uniformed and plainclothes Securitate men were posted permanently outside the parochial residence and in the surrounding buildings. About all Tokes was able to do by this time was to go the cemetery to conduct burials.[39]

The suggestion that the Securitate treated Tokes gently prior to his eviction is simply incorrect. On 2 November 1989, four masked men burst through the locked doors of the parochial residence, wielding knives and screaming in a fury. Tokes was slashed on the forehead before his church bodyguards could come to his rescue, causing the four to flee. The numerous Securitate men posted out front of the building had done nothing to intervene in spite of calls for help. Puspoki suggests that these “Mafia-like thugs,” who attacked as if from “an Incan tribe,” were some of Colonel Sima’s “gorillas,” sent to deliver a clear message to Tokes that he should leave immediately.[40] The view of the former Securitate–as expounded by Colonel Sima’s senior deputy, Major Radu Tinu–insinuates a “tourist”-like scenario. According to Tinu, the incident was clearly a “set-up” designed to draw sympathy to Tokes’ cause since the assailants fled away in a car with West German tags.[41] Not for the last time, the Securitate thus appears to attempt to attribute its own actions to foreign agents.

Endnotes


[1].. See the stenogram from the emergency CPEx meeting of 17 December 1989 in Mircea Bunea, Praf in ochi. Procesul celor 24-1-2. (Bucharest: Editura Scripta, 1994), 34.

[2].. Tina Rosenberg, The Haunted Land. Facing Europe’s Ghosts after Communism (New York: Random House, 1995), 109-117, 235. Rosenberg suggests the theory’s popularity in Poland and especially in the former Czechoslovakia.

[3].. Huntington discusses the concept of el desencanto (the characteristic disillusionment or disenchantment which sets in after the transition) in Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave. Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993), 255-256.

[4].. By contrast, Rosenberg clearly suggests that those who buy into the Yalta-Malta conspiracy theory elsewhere in Eastern Europe are a distinct minority in political circles and marginal figures in the post-communist era.

[5].. This has come through, for example, in the novels and articles of the well-known, former high-ranking military counter-intelligence officer, Pavel Corut, and in the comments of the former head of the First Directorate (Internal Affairs), Colonel Gheorghe Ratiu, in an extended interview during 1994 and 1995 with the Ceausist weekly Europa.

[6].. See the transcript in Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 47. Ceausescu goes on to link the US invasion of Panama which was taking place at this time to a general offensive by the superpowers to eliminate the sovereignty of independent states. The fact that Ceausescu appeals “not only to the communists” suggests his attempt to play on a non-ideological Romanian nationalism.

[7].. See Vlad’s testimony in Mircea Bunea, “Da sau Ba?” Adevarul, 16 February 1991, in Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 460-461.

[8].. Ibid.

[9].. Pavel Corut, Cantecul Nemuririi [The Song of Immortality] (Bucharest: Editura Miracol, 1994), 165.

[10].. See the excerpts of the SRI’s preliminary report on the December events in “Dispozitivul informativ si de diversiune sovietic a fost conectat la toate fazele evenimentelor (III) [Soviet information and diversion teams were connected to all phases of the events],” Curierul National, 11 July 1994, 2a.

[11].. Sergiu Nicolaescu, interview by Ion Cristoiu, “Moartea lui Milea, Momentul Crucial al Caderii,” Expres Magazin, no. 48 (8-15 December 1993), 31.

[12].. Ibid.

[13].. Cornel Ivanciuc, “Raporturile dintre Frontul Salvarii Nationale si KGB [The Relations between the National Salvation Front and the KGB],” 22, no. 21 (24-30 May 1995), 11.

[14].. Sorin Rosca Stanescu, “Iliescu aparat de K.G.B.? [Iliescu defended by the KGB]” Romania Libera, 18 April 1991, 8.

[15].. Ibid. Rosca Stanescu had in fact already floated this theory. In June 1990, he wrote: “…in the Army, more and more insistently there is talk of the over 4,000 ‘LADA’ automobiles with two men per car, which travelled by various routes in the days preceding the Revolution and then disappeared…” (Sorin Rosca Stanescu, “Se destrama conspiratia tacerii? [Is the conspiracy of silence unravelling?]” Romania Libera, 14 June 1990, 2a). At that time it could be argued that Rosca Stanescu was unaware of the Securitate account. It is difficult to say the same of his comment in April 1991.

[16].. Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat: Timisoara, decembrie 1989 (Bucharest: Editura Viitorul Romanesc, 1992), 93-94. Curiously, Teodorescu adds: “Besides, I have no reason to suspect that the journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu would have invented a story in order to come to the defense of those accused by the judicial system and public opinion of the tragic consequences of the December 1989 events.”

[17].. Although Corut does not mention Stanescu by name as does Teodorescu, the references are unambiguous. See Pavel Corut, Floarea de Argint [The Silver Flower] (Bucharest: Editura Miracol, 1994), 173; idem, Fulgerul Albastru [Blue Lightning] (Bucharest: Editura Miracol, 1993), 211.

[18].. In April 1992, documents were leaked (presumably by regime sources) to the media and foreign embassies showing that Stanescu had been an informer for the Securitate’s elite anti-terrorist unit (the USLA) between 1975 and 1985. Stanescu admitted that the charges were true. Although released from Romania Libera in June 1992, he was picked up elsewhere in the opposition press, returned to Romania Libera the following year, and eventually became editor of an opposition daily owned by the trust which runs Romania Libera. Prominent opposition figures have steadfastly defended him as a victim of the Iliescu regime, and in spite of his past, his writings have largely gone unscrutinized. On Stanescu’s case, see Sorin Rosca Stanescu, “Securea lui Magureanu,” Romania Libera, 17 April 1992, 1, 3 (the article which personally attacked the SRI’s Director Virgil Magureanu and appears to have prompted the release of Stanescu’s file); Anton Uncu, “Opriti-l pe Arturo Ui,” Romania Libera, 30 April 1992, 1, 3; Rosca Stanescu, “Sint H-15,” Romania Libera, 9 May 1992, 5; idem, interview by Andreea Pora, “‘H-15′ in slujba patriei,” 22, no. 120 (15-21 May 1992), 13; “Catre SRI,” Romania Libera, 9 June 1992, 1; “Goodbye Magureanu,” The Economist, no. 2212 (18 June 1992) in Tinerama, no. 85 (10-17 July 1992), 3.

[19].. See, for example, the comments of the deputy director of the Timis county Securitate, Major Radu Tinu, in Angela Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea Navalirilor Barbare [Once again in the path of barbaric invaders] (Cluj-Napoca: Editura “Zalmoxis,” 1994), 72-74. This book consists of articles and interviews which appeared in the Ceausist weekly Europa between 1990 and 1994.

[20].. Ibid., 73.

[21].. Ilie Stoian, Decembrie ‘89: Arta diversiunii. (Bucharest: Editura Colaj, 1993), 7-10. This book is a collection of articles he wrote while at Expres between 1991 and 1993.

[22].. Ibid., 11.

[23].. Ibid.

[24].. Ibid., 12.

[25].. Excerpts from Ultimul Decembrie in Radu Ciobotea, “Inceputul Sfirsitului [The Beginning of the End],” Flacara, no. 51 (19 December 1990), 6.

[26].. See, for example, Radu Portocala and Olivier Weber, trans. Liviu Man, “Romania: Revelatii asupra unui complot,” Nu, no. 17 (July 1990), 6-7. The original article appeared in Le Point, no. 922 (27 May 1990).

[27].. Ibid.

[28].. Stoian, Decembrie ‘89, 9.

[29].. Ecaterina Radoi, “Remember 15 decembrie 1989-20 mai 1990,” Zig-Zag, no. 190 (23-31 December 1993), 4-7.

[30].. Ioan Itu, “Laszlo Tokes nu e un episcop real [Laszlo Tokes is not a real bishop],” Tinerama, no. 178 (12-19 May 1994), 2; idem, “Laszlo Tokes–informator al Securitatii [Laszlo Tokes–Securitate informer,” Tinerama, no. 182 (10-16 June 1994), 3.

<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[31].. Laszlo Tokes, with David Porter, With God, For the People: The Autobiography of Laszlo Tokes (Toronto: Hodder and Stoughton Publishers, 1990), 2-3, 121, 138-139, 141.

[32].. Martyn Rady, Romania in Turmoil (New York: IB Tauris & Co. Ltd., 1992), 83-86.

[33].. Ibid., 86; Tokes, With God, for the People, 105-109.

[34].. F. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (II) [The Pyramid of Shadows (II)],” Orizont, no. 10 (9 March 1990), 4.

[35].. Ibid. Colonel Sima had been transferred from Oradea to Timisoara after a particularly ugly action carried out against several Roman Catholic priests had gotten him into trouble with his superiors. Radio Free Europe had drawn attention to the incident and, according to Puspoki, news of it had reached the “’sensitive’ ears of the dictator,” prompting Sima’s reassignment. Upon arriving in Timisoara, the particularly ambitious and unscrupulous Sima immediately set about replacing those in the “Office for the Study of Nationalists, Fascists, and Hungarian Irredentists” with young officers who were personally loyal and appealed to his sense of zealotry for such work.

[36].. Tokes, With God, for the People, 102. According to Puspoki F., the pre-existing relationship between Securitate chief Traian Sima and Bishop Laszlo Papp facilitated Tokes’ surveillance: Papp had been “initiated into ‘the secrets’ of security work by the same Colonel Sima when the latter was Securitate chief of Bihor country.” See Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (II).”

[37].. Ibid., 120.

[38].. The very fact that this broadcast was permitted in Hungary was symbolic of the scope of political change which had occurred in that country in the preceding two years alone. As the transition from one-party communist rule unfolded and political pluralization became more and more tolerated and formalized, Hungarian nationalism (which had theretofore been muted by the technocratic bent of the Kadar regime’s legitimacy) gained greater public expression. Inevitably, this meant raising the issue of the Romanian regime’s treatment of its approximately two million member Hungarian minority–something which had been done gingerly in the past.

A month after Kadar’s removal from power in May 1988, on 27 June 1988 40,000 Hungarians demonstrated in the largest protest since the 1956 uprising against the systematization program and human rights abuses in Romania (Rady, Romania in Turmoil, 73). During 1989, the Hungarian government launched protests at the United Nations against Tokes’ treatment and the Hungarian parliament nominated Tokes in conjunction with the ethnic Romanian dissident Doina Cornea from Cluj for the Nobel peace prize (Ibid., 88).

[39].. Rady, Romania in Turmoil, 87; Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (II)”; Tokes, With God, for the People, 139.

[40].. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (III),” Orizont, no. 11 (16 March 1990), 4.

[41].. Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 78.

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General Stanculescu’s recent comments have produced predictable results in the Romanian media (Cine ne \”abureste\” cu privire la evenimentele din decembrie 1989 , O zi din viaţa lui Victor Athanasie Stănculescu , Generalul Stănculescu şi-a băgat piciorul în gipsul istoriei).  As for me:  I have been down this rue of ruses, more than a few times.  Enjoy!

THE 1989 ROMANIAN REVOLUTION AS GEOPOLITICAL PARLOR GAME: BRANDSTATTER’S “CHECKMATE” DOCUMENTARY AND THE LATEST WAVE IN A SEA OF REVISIONISM (cleared March 2005)

By Richard Andrew Hall

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.

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).

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“ORWELLIAN…POSITIVELY ORWELLIAN:”

PROSECUTOR VOINEA’S CAMPAIGN TO SANITIZE

THE ROMANIAN REVOLUTION OF DECEMBER 1989

(submitted July 2006, cleared September 2006)

by Richard Andrew Hall

Disclaimer: All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other U.S. Government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author’s views. This material has been reviewed by CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.

Sibiu, 19-22 December 1989

In Sibiu, Siani-Davies tells us:

Controversy also continues to surround a commercial TAROM flight, which is alleged to have brought up to eighty USLA troops from Bucharest to Sibiu on December 20, 1989. It is not clear if the USLA forces were actually on the airplane, or, even if they were, what they actually did in Sibiu…[Serban] Sandulescu (c1996), 57-58…suggests they were not members of USLA but the DIA [Army’s Intelligence Unit].[151]

From the standpoint of Siani-Davies’ unsuspecting reader such a conclusion may seem not only credible, but judicious. But one of Siani-Davies’ habits—identified negatively by even those who praise the book—is his tendency to draw negative equivalencies: i.e. there is about as much evidence to support x as there is to support y, in order to disprove or discount both propositions. In a review, Doris Mironescu writes:

“Very common are claims such as the following: ‘Finding the proof to sustain such an explanation of the events [that the Army’s Intelligence arm, the DIA simulated the “terrorist diversion,” to permit the Front’s takeover and a possible Warsaw Pact invasion of the country] is as difficult as proving that special units of the securitate took up arms against the revolution’ (p. 154). Mutually contradictory hypotheses are invoked in order to negate each other, not so much because of the weight of the claims, but through the ideological similarity of both.”[152]

This tendency definitely affects Siani-Davies’ analysis of the “terrorists” and its accuracy. To begin with, in the very book (Sandulescu) invoked by Siani-Davies, the head of the DIA (Battalion 404 Buzau), Rear Admiral Stefan Dinu, is quoted as having told the Gabrielescu commission investigating the December events (of which Sandulescu was a member) that “we hardly had 80 fighters in this battalion.”[153] It is known that 41 of them were in Timisoara from the morning of 18 December and only returned to their home base in Buzau on 22 December.[154] This makes it highly unlikely that they were on the 20 December TAROM flight to Sibiu that is in question.[155]

Contrast this with the signs that exist pointing to the mystery passengers as having been from the Securitate/Interior Ministry, in particular the USLA. Nicu Silvestru, chief of the Sibiu County Militia, admitted in passing in a letter from prison that on the afternoon of 19 December 1989, in a crisis meeting, Nicolae Ceausescu’s son, Nicu, party head of Sibiu County, announced that he was going to “call [his] specialists from Bucharest” to take care of any protests.[156] 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.[157] If they were, indeed, DIA personnel, why would Nicu have called Postelnicu, and Postelnicu informed Vlad of the request—would such a request not have been relayed through the Defense Minister?

The first two military prosecutors for Sibiu, Anton Socaciu and Marian Valer, identified the passengers as USLA. Even Nicu Ceausescu admits that this was the accusation when he stated in August 1990:

“…[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…”[158]

Beginning, at least as early as August 1990, with the allusions of Major Mihai Floca, and later seemingly indirectly confirmed by former USLA officer Marian Romanescu, it was suggested that when USLA Commander Ardeleanu was confronted at the Defense Ministry on the night of 23/24 December 1989, Ardeleanu reportedly admitted that “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’.”[159] Finally, and along these lines, we bring things full circle—and recall our “phantoms in black” again in the process—with the testimony of Army officer Hortopan to the same Serban Sandulescu at the Gabrielescu Commission hearings:

Sandulescu: About those dressed in black jumpsuits do you know anything, do you have any information about whom they belonged to?

Hortopan: On the contrary. These were the 80 uslasi sent by the MI [Interior Ministry], by General Vlad and Postelnicu to guard Nicolae Ceausescu [i.e. Nicu]. I make this claim because Colonel Ardelean[u] in front of General Militaru, and he probably told you about this problem, at which I was present when he reported, when General Militaru asked him how many men he had in total and how many were now present, where each of them was: out of which he said that 80 were in Sibiu based on an order from his commanders. Thus, it is natural that these are who they were.[160]

Bringing us up to the morning of 22 December 1989, and setting the stage for what was to come, Lt. Col. Aurel Dragomir told the Army daily in November 1990:

Dragomir: Events began to develop quickly on 22 December. In the morning some of the students posted in different parts of the town began to observe some suspect individuals in black jumpsuits on the roofs in the lights of the attics of several buildings.

Reporter: The same equipment as the USLAsi killed out front of the Defense Ministry…

Dragomir: And on the roof of the Militia building there were three or four similar individuals…[161]

Of course, the fact that these individuals were posted on the top of the Militia building on this morning, speaks volumes in itself about their affiliation. Indeed, in a written statement dated 28 January 1990, Ioan Scarlatescu, (Dir. Comm. Jud. Sibiu), admitted that he was asked by the Army on that morning if the unknown individuals “could be from the USLA?”[162]

[151] Siani-Davies, 2005, p. 152, fn. no. 32.

[152] Doris Mironescu, “Revolutia româna, asa cum (probabil) a fost,” Timpul no. 1 (January 2006), at http://www.romaniaculturala.ro.

[153] Serban Sandulescu, Lovitura de Stat a Confiscat Revolutia Romana (Bucharest: Omega, 1996), p. 214. Sandulescu’s book was marketed and printed by Sorin Rosca Stanescu’s Ziua press. Rosca Stanescu was a former USLA informer between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s. Who was Sandulescu’s chief counselor on these matters? Stefan Radoi, a former USLA officer in the early 1980s! These are the type of people who, of course, believe the passengers were DIA and not USLA! See my discussion of this whole fiasco in “The Securitate Roots of a Modern Romanian Fairy Tale,” RFE “East European Perspectives” 4-6/2002, online.

[154] See Dinu’s testimony in Sandulescu, Lovitura de Stat, p. 220. Also see the claims of another senior DIA officer Remus Ghergulescu in Jurnalul National, March 2004, online edition.

[155] Speaking even more broadly, Army parachutists (whether from Buzau, Caracal, Campia Turzii, or Boteni) were in Timisoara, Caransebes, and Television, Piata Palatului and the Otopeni Airport in Bucharest during the December events, but that clearly leaves many places where there were “terrorist actions”—including Sibiu—without them, decreasing their likelihood as plausible suspects. See Catalin Tintareanu, “Sarbatoare la Scoala de Aplicatie pentru Parasutisti ‘General Grigore Bastan,” Opinia (Buzau), 10 June 2005, online edition.

[156] Nicu Silvestru, “Cine a ordonat sa se traga la Sibiu?” Baricada, no. 45, 1990, p.5.

[157] Emil Munteanu, “Postelnicu a vorbit neintrebat,” Romania Libera, 30 January 1990, p. 1

[158] Interview with Nicu Ceausescu in Zig-Zag, no. 20, 21-27 August 1990.

[159] Adevarul, 29 August 1990. Also, Romanescu with Badea “U.S.L.A, Bula Moise…” 1991.

[160] “Virgil Magureanu sustine ca revolta din 1989 a fost sprijinita din interiorul sistemului,” Gardianul, 12 November 2005, online edition.

[161] Lt. Col. Aurel Dragomir, interview by Colonel Dragos Dragoi, “Sub tirul incrucisat al acuzatiilor (II),” Armata Poporului, no. 46 (November 1990), p. 3. Remus Ghergulescu specified USLA appearance as follows: “Over their black jumpsuits (‘combinezoanele negre’) in which they were dressed they had kaki vests. This was normal. They were equipped with the jumpsuits as “war gear,” while the vests were “city wear.’” (Colonel Remus Ghergulescu, interview with Razvan Belciuganu, “Teroristii au iesit din haos,” Jurnalul National, 29 November 2004, online edition.)

[162] See Evenimentul Zilei, 25 November 1992, p. 3.

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cleared March 2002

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17 April 2002, Volume  4, Number  8

THE SECURITATE ROOTS OF A MODERN ROMANIAN FAIRY TALE: THE PRESS, THE FORMER SECURITATE, AND THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF DECEMBER 1989

By Richard Andrew Hall

Part 2: ‘Tourists Are Terrorists and Terrorists are Tourists with Guns…’ *
The distance traveled by Securitate disinformation on the December 1989 events can be breathtaking. Bubbling up through the springs of popular rumor and speculation, it flows into the tributaries of the media as peripheral subplots to other stories and eventually wends its way — carried upon the waves of consensus and credibility that flow from its acceptance among prominent Romanian journalists and intellectuals — into the writings of Western journalists, analysts, and academics. Popular myths, which either have their origins in disinformation disseminated by the former Securitate, or which originated in the conspiratorial musings of the populace but proved propitious for the former secret police and thus were appropriated, nurtured, and reinjected into popular discourse, are today routinely repeated both inside and outside Romania. Frequently, this dissemination occurs without the faintest concern over, or knowledge of, the myth’s etymology or much thought given to the broader context and how it plays into the issue of the Securitate’s institutional culpability.

Take, for example, the “tourist” myth — perhaps the former Securitate’s most fanciful and enduring piece of disinformation. This myth suggests that in December 1989, Soviet, Hungarian, and other foreign agents posing as “tourists” instigated and/or nurtured anti-Ceausescu demonstrations in Timisoara, Bucharest, and elsewhere, and/or were responsible for the “terrorist” violence after 22 December that claimed over 900 victims, or almost 90 percent of those killed during the Revolution. The implication of such allegations is clear: It questions the spontaneity — and hence, inevitably, to a certain degree, the legitimacy — of the anti-Ceausescu demonstrations and the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime; it raises doubt about the popular legitimacy of those who seized power during the events; and it suggests that those who seized power lied about who was responsible for the terrorist violence and may ultimately have themselves been responsible for the bloodshed.

A robust exegesis of the “tourist” hypothesis was outlined on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the December 1989 events in the pages of the daily “Ziua” by Vladimir Alexe. Alexe has been a vigorous critic of Ion Iliescu and the former communists of the National Salvation Front (FSN) who took power in December 1989, maintaining that they overthrew Ceausescu in a Soviet-sponsored coup d’etat:

“The outbreak of the December events was preceded by an odd fact characteristic of the last 10 years. After 10 December 1989, an unprecedented number of Soviet ‘tourists’ entered the country. Whole convoys of Lada automobiles, with approximately four athletic men per car, were observed at the borders with the Moldovan Socialist Republic, Bulgaria, and Hungary. A detail worthy of mention: The Soviet ‘tourists’ entered Romania without passports, which suggests the complicity of higher-ups. According to the statistics, an estimated 67,000 Soviet ‘tourists’ entered Romania in December 1989” (“Ziua”, 24 December 1999).

It is worth noting that Alexe considers elsewhere in this series of articles from December 1999 that the Russian “tourists” were an omnipresent, critical, and catalytic factor in the collapse of communism throughout ALL of Eastern Europe in December 1989.

Nor has the “tourist” hypothesis been confined strictly to the realm of investigative journalism. Serban Sandulescu, a bitter critic of Ion Iliescu and the former communists who seized power in December 1989, led the third parliamentary commission to investigate the December 1989 events as a Senator for the National Peasant Party Christian Democratic (PNTCD). In 1996, he published the findings of his commission as a book titled “December ’89: The Coup d’Etat That Abducted The Romanian Revolution.” He commented on the “tourists” as follows:

“From the data we have obtained and tabulated it appears that we are talking somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000-6,000 ‘tourists’…. Soviet agents [who] came under the cover of being ‘tourists’ either in large organized groups that came by coach, or in smaller groups of 3-4 people that fanned out in Lada and Moskvich automobiles. They covered the whole country, being seen in all the important cities in the country. They contributed to the stoking of the internal revolutionary process, supervising its unfolding, and they fought [during the so-called ‘terrorist’ phase after 22 December]…” (Sandulescu, 1996, pp. 35, 45).

DECEMBER 1989: NICOLAE CEAUSESCU INITIATES THE ‘TOURIST’ MYTH
Not surprisingly, the “tourist” myth originated with none other than Nicolae Ceausescu. This myth inevitably implies illegitimate and cynical “foreign intervention,” and Ceausescu used it to make sense of what were — probably genuinely, for him — the unimaginable and surreal antiregime protests which began in Timisoara on 15 December 1989.

In an emergency meeting of the Romanian equivalent of the politburo (CPEX) on the afternoon of Sunday, 17 December 1989 — the afternoon on which regime forces were to open fire on the anti-Ceausescu demonstrators in Timisoara, killing scores and wounding hundreds — Ceausescu alleged that foreign interference and manipulation were behind the protests:

“Everything that has happened and is happening in Germany, in Czechoslovakia, and in Bulgaria now, and in the past in Poland and Hungary, are things organized by the Soviet Union with American and Western help” (cited in Bunea, 1994, p. 34).

That Ceausescu saw “tourists” specifically playing a nefarious role in stimulating the Timisoara protests is made clear by his order at the close of this emergency meeting:

“I have ordered that all tourist activity be interrupted at once. Not one more foreign tourist will be allowed in, because they have all turned into agents of espionage…. Not even those from the socialist countries will be allowed in, with the exception of [North] Korea, China, and Cuba. Because all the neighboring socialist countries are untrustworthy. Those sent from the neighboring socialist countries are sent as agents” (cited in Bunea, 1994, p. 34).

A CHRONOLOGY OF THE ‘TOURISTS’ ITINERARY AND ACTIVITIES ACCORDING TO TOP SECURITATE AND PARTY OFFICIALS IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF DECEMBER 1989
Filip Teodorescu, who as head of the Securitate’s Counterespionage Directorate (Directorate III) had been dispatched to Timisoara and was later arrested for his role in the repression there, maintained in March 1990 at his trial that he detained “foreign agents” during the Timisoara events (“Romania libera,” 9 March 1990). In a book that appeared in 1992, Teodorescu described as follows the events in Timisoara on Monday, 18 December — that is, after the bloody regime repression of anti-Ceausescu demonstrators the night before:

“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).

Teodorescu appears here to be attempting to account for the fact that on Monday, 18 December 1989 — presumably as a consequence of Ceausescu’s tirade the afternoon before about the malicious intent of virtually all “tourists” — Romania announced, in typically Orwellian fashion, that it would not accept any more tourists because of a “shortage of hotel rooms” and because “weather conditions are not suitable for tourism” (Belgrade Domestic Service, 20 December 1989). Ironically, the only ones exempted from this ban were “Soviet travelers coming home from shopping trips to Yugoslavia” (!) (AFP, 19 December 1989).

Radu Balan, former Timis County party boss, picks up the story from there. While serving a prison sentence for his complicity in the Timisoara repression, in 1991 Balan told one of Ceausescu’s most famous “court poets,” Adrian Paunescu, that on the night of 18-19 December — during which in reality some 40 cadavers were secretly transported from Timisoara’s main hospital to Bucharest for cremation (reputedly on Elena Ceausescu’s personal order) — he too witnessed the role of these “foreign agents”:

“We had been receiving information, in daily bulletins, from the Securitate, that far more people were returning from Yugoslavia and Hungary than were going there and about the presence of Lada automobiles filled with Soviets. I saw them at the border and the border posts, and the cars were full. I wanted to know where and what they were eating and how they were crossing the border and going through cities and everywhere. More telling, on the night of 18-19 December, when I was at a fire at the I.A.M. factory, in front of the county hospital, I spotted 11 white ‘Lada’ automobiles at 1 a.m. in the morning. They pretended to ask me the road to Buzias.The 11 white Ladas had Soviet plates, not Romanian ones, and were in front of the hospital” (“Totusi iubirea,” no. 43, 24-31 October 1991).

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. 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).

Nor was Gheorghe Roset, head of the Militia in the city of Caransebes at the time of the Revolution, able to elude a visit from the “tourists” during these days. Writing from his prison cell in January 1991, he recounted:

“Stationed on the night of 20-21 December 1989 at headquarters, I received the order to issue an authorization for repairs for a Lada automobile that had overturned in Soceni, in Caras-Severin county, an order that was approved by the chief of the county Militia with the clarification that the passengers of this car were military personnel from the USSR. I was more than a little surprised when this car arrived in Caransebes and I saw that it was part of a convoy of 20 cars, all of the same make and with 3-4 passengers per car. Lengthy discussions with the person who had requested the authorization confirmed for me the accident and the fact that this convoy of cars was coming from Timisoara, on its way to Bucharest, as well as the fact that these were colleagues of ours from the country in question. He presented a passport in order to receive the documents he had requested, although not even today can I say with certainty that he belonged to this or that country. A short time after the convoy left on its way, it was reported to me that five of the cars had headed in the direction of Hateg, while the more numerous group headed for Bucharest” (“Europa,” no. 20, March 1991).

A September 1990 open letter authored by “some officers of the former Securitate” — most likely from the Fifth Directorate charged with guarding Ceausescu and the rest of the Romanian communist leadership — and addressed to the xenophobic, neo-Ceausist weekly “Democratia” (which was edited by Eugen Florescu, one of Ceausescu’s chief propagandists and speechwriters), sought to summarize the entire record of the “tourists” wanderings and activities in December 1989 as follows:

“11-15 [December] — a massive penetration of so-called Hungarian tourists takes place in Timisoara and Soviet tourists in Cluj;

15-16 [December] — upon the initiative of these groups, protests of support for the sinister ‘Priest [Father Laszlo Tokes of Timisoara]’ break out;

16-17-18 [December] — in the midst of the general state of confusion building in the city, the army intervenes to reestablish order;

— this provides a long-awaited opportunity for the ‘tourists’ to start — in the midst of warning shots in the air — to shoot and stab in the back the demonstrators among whom they are located and whom they have incited;…

19-20-21 — a good part of the ‘tourists’ and their brethren among the locals begin to migrate — an old habit — from the main cities of Transylvania, according to plan, in order to destabilize: Cluj, Sibiu, Alba Iulia, Targu Mures, Satu Mare, Oradea, etc.” (“Democratia,” no. 36, 24-30 September 1990).

The authors of this chronology then maintain that this scene was replicated in Bucharest on 21 December, causing the famous disruption of Ceausescu’s speech and the death of civilians in University Square that evening.

Not to be out-done, Cluj Securitate chief Ion Serbanoiu claimed in a 1991 interview that, as of 21 December 1989, there were over 800 Russian and Hungarian tourists, mostly driving almost brand-new Lada automobiles (but also Dacia and Wartburg cars), in the city (interview with Angela Bacescu in “Europa,” no. 55, December 1991). In February 1991 during his trial, former Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad, not surprisingly, also spoke of “massive groups of Soviet tourists…the majority were men…deploy[ing] in a coordinated manner in a convoy of brand-new Lada automobiles” (see Bunea, 1994, pp. 460-461), while the infamous Pavel Corut has written of “the infiltration on Romanian territory of groups of Soviet commandos (“Spetsnaz”) under the cover of being tourists” (Corut, 1994).

REBUTTING THE ‘TOURIST’ MYTH
I vividly recall early on in my research of the December 1989 events being told emphatically, and not for the last time, by a journalist at the Cluj weekly “Nu” — a publication staunchly critical of the Iliescu regime — that the guest lists of Romanian hotels for December 1989 were nowhere to be found because they contained the secrets of the Revolution. Certainly, this rumor has intersected with the “tourist” myth and has been used as confirmation of the latter.

Significantly, Marius Mioc has sought to investigate the reality of this matter in Timisoara (Mioc, 2000). The numbers provided to the 17 December Timisoara Association (which Mioc heads) by all of Timisoara’s hotels and by the State Tourist Agency for Timisoara lay bare two of the key components upon which the “tourist” myth has relied: a) that the records of the December 1989 manifests do not exist, and b) that there was an unusually dramatic increase in the number of foreign tourists staying in Romanian hotels during this period. In fact, the opposite proves to be true, the number of foreign tourists — and specifically those from other “socialist” countries — declined in December 1989 both in comparison to the previous December and in comparison to November 1989!

Of course, as we have seen, proponents of the “tourist” myth have also suggested that many of the alleged foreign agents posing as tourists “avoided staying in hotels.” But this still raises the question of why the Securitate allowed them into the country in the first place and why they then seemed unable to follow their movements and prevent their activities. A 1991 open letter by “a group of [Romanian Army] officers from the Timisoara garrison” perhaps provides the best riposte to the dubious logic underlying the “tourist” hypothesis:

“If they [the tourists] appeared suspect to the special forces of the Securitate and military counterintelligence, why did they not attempt to keep them under surveillance? During this period, did the Securitate and the counterintelligence officers not know how to do their jobs? Did they somehow forget why they were paid such weighty sums from the state budget?” (“Romania libera,” 15 October 1991).

One must also ask: If it was precisely Soviet tourists who were most suspected at the time of being up to no good in the country, then why was it precisely they who were the sole group among “tourists” in the country at the time to be permitted to stay and go about their business unhindered?

HOW THE ‘TOURISTS’ ENTRY INTO THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF DECEMBER 1989 PARALLELS THE EXIT OF THE SECURITATE
In commenting in August 1990 upon how the details of the state’s case against him had changed since early in the year, Nicolae Ceausescu’s son, Nicu, ironically highlighted how Securitate forces had begun to fade away from the historiography of the December 1989 events. In the August 1990 interview from his prison cell with Ion Cristoiu’s “Zig-Zag” (mentioned above), 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 (for a discussion, see Hall, 1996). In August 1990, however, 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 1997a, 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.” 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 overturning 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).

Thus, as the “tourists” began to enter the historiography of the December 1989 events, so the Securitate — specifically the USLA — began to disappear.

HOW THE ‘TOURIST’ MYTH NEVERTHELESS GAINED MAINSTREAM CREDIBILITY AND ACCEPTANCE
How, then, did the “tourist” myth gain credibility and acceptance in the Romanian press, given its rather obvious pedigree in the remnants of the Ceausescu regime, especially among former high-ranking Securitate officers and others most in need of an alibi/diversion to save their careers and avoid the possibility of going to jail? Although the reference to “tourists” during the December events probably entered the lexicon of mainstream reporting on the Revolution as early as April 1990 — not insignificantly, first in the pages of Ion Cristoiu’s weekly “Zig-Zag,” it appears — it was in particular journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu who gave the theme legitimacy in the mainstream press.

Without specifying the term “tourists” — but clearly speaking in the same vein — Stanescu was probably the first to articulate the thesis most precisely and to tie the Soviet angle to it. In June 1990 in a piece entitled “Is The Conspiracy of Silence Breaking Down?” in the sharply anti-government daily “Romania libera,” Stanescu wrote:

“And still in connection with the breaking down of the conspiracy of silence, in the army there is more and more insistent talk about the over 4,000 Lada cars with two men per car that traveled many different roads in the days before the Revolution and then disappeared” (“Romania libera,” 14 June 1990).

Stanescu’s article was vigorously anti-FSN and anti-Iliescu and left little doubt that this thesis was part of the “unofficial” history of the December events, injurious to the new leaders, and something they did not wish to see published or wish to clarify.

But it was Stanescu’s April 1991 article in “Romania libera,” entitled “Is Iliescu Being Protected By The KGB?,” that truly gave impetus to the “tourist” thesis. Stanescu wrote:

“A KGB officer wanders in France. He is losing his patience and searching for a way to get to Latin America. Yesterday I met him in Paris. He talked to me after finding out that I was a Romanian journalist. He fears the French press. He knows Romanian and was in Timisoara in December 1989. As you will recall, persistent rumors have circulated about the existence on Romanian soil 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? Witness what the anonymous Soviet officer related to me in Paris:

‘There existed an intervention plan that for whatever reason was not activated. I received the order to enter Romania on 14 December and to head for Timisoara. Myself and my colleague were armed. During the events, we circulated in the military zone around Calea Girocului [Giriocul Road]. Those who headed toward Bucharest had the same mission. Several larger cities were targeted. We were to open fire in order to create a state of confusion. I never, however, received such an order. I left Romania on 26 December.’

I don’t have any reason to suspect the validity of these revelations. This short confession is naturally incomplete, but not inconclusive. What purpose would this elaborate, but aborted, KGB plan have had? The only plausible explanation is that it wasn’t necessary for KGB agents to intervene. The events were unfolding in the desired direction without need for the direct intervention of the Soviets. But this leads to other questions: What did the Ceausescu couple know, but were not allowed to say [prior to their hurried execution]? Why is Securitate General Vlad being held in limbo? To what degree has President Iliescu maintained ties to the Soviets? What are the secret clauses of the Friendship Treaty recently signed in Moscow? Is Iliescu being protected by the KGB or not? Perhaps the SRI [the Securitate’s institutional successor, the Romanian Information Service] would like to respond to these questions?”

Stanescu’s April 1991 article did not go unnoticed — despite its nondescript placement on page eight — and has since received recognition and praise from what might seem unexpected corners. For example, previously-discussed former Securitate Colonel Filip Teodorescu cited extensive excerpts from Stanescu’s article in his 1992 book on the December events, and he added cryptically:

“Moreover, I don’t have any reason to suspect that the journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu would have invented a story in order to come to the aid of those accused, by the courts or by public opinion, for the results of the tragic events of December 1989” (Teodorescu, 1992, pp. 92-94).

Radu Balan, former Timis County party secretary, imprisoned for his role in the December events, has also invoked Stanescu’s April 1991 article as proof of his revisionist view that “tourists” rather than “non-existent ‘terrorists'” were to blame for the December 1989 bloodshed:

“…[W]hile at Jilava [the jail where he was imprisoned at the time of the interview, in October 1991], I read ‘Romania libera’ from 18 April. And Rosca Stanescu writes from Paris that a KGB agent who deserted the KGB and is in transit to the U.S. stated that on 18 December [1989] he had the mission to create panic on Calea Girocului [a thoroughfare in Timisoara]. What is more, on the 18th, these 11 cars were at the top of Calea Girocului, where I saw them. I was dumbfounded, I tell you. I didn’t tell anybody. Please study ‘Romania libera,’ the last page, from 18 April 1991” (“Totusi iubirea,” no. 43, 24-31 October1991).

In this regard, it would be irresponsible to totally discount the relevance of Rosca Stanescu’s past. Since December 1989, Stanescu has undeniably been a vigorous critic of, and made damaging revelations about, the Securitate’s institutional heir, the SRI, and the Iliescu regime, and he has frequently written ill of the former Securitate and the Ceausescu regime. Nevertheless, in 1992 it was leaked to the press — and Rosca Stanescu himself confirmed — that from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s he was an informer for the Securitate (for a discussion, see Hall, 1997b, pp. 111-113). What was significant, however, was precisely for which branch of the Securitate Rosca Stanescu had been an informer: the USLA.

THE ‘TOURISTS’ MYTH TRAVELS WESTWARD
Almost inevitably, the “tourist” thesis has made its way into Western academic literature. For example, in a book lauded by experts (see for example, Professor Archie Brown’s review in “Slavic Review,” Winter 1998), Jacques Levesque invokes as “rare evidence” that the Soviets were responsible for igniting and fanning the flames of the Timisoara uprising the following:

“…testimony of an imprisoned Securitate colonel who was freed in 1991 [he is referring to the aforementioned Filip Teodorescu]. He writes that the Securitate had noted the arrival of ‘numerous false Soviet tourists’ in Timisoara in early December, coming from Soviet Moldova. He also reports that a convoy of several Lada cars, with Soviet license plates and containing three to four men each, had refused to stop at a police checkpoint in Craiova. After the Romanian police opened fire and killed several men, he claims that the Soviet authorities recovered the bodies without issuing an official protest. To the extent that this information is absolutely correct, it would tend to prove the presence of Soviet agents in Romania (which no one doubts), without, however, indicating to us their exact role in the events” (Levesque, 1997, p. 197).

Levesque seems generally unaware of or concerned with the problematic nature of the source of this “rare evidence” and thus never really considers the possibility that the Securitate colonel is engaging in disinformation. This is indicative of how upside-down the understanding of the December 1989 events has become in the post-Ceausescu era — and of the influence of the far-reaching and generally unchallenged revisionism of the events within Romania itself — that Western writers invoking the thesis seem to accept the claims at face value, never even enunciating any doubt about why the Securitate source in question might seek to make such an argument.

* A memorable phrase from Andrei Codrescu’s PBS special “Road Scholar” of the early 1990s.

(Richard Andrew Hall received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University in 1997. He currently works and lives in northern Virginia. Comments can be directed to him at hallria@msn.com.)

SOURCES

AFP, 19 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-242, 19 December 1989.

Belgrade Domestic Service, 1400 GMT 20 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-243, 20 December 1989.

Brown, A., 1998, “Review of Jacques Levesque, The Enigma of 1989: The USSR and the Liberation of Eastern Europe,” in “Slavic Review,” Vol. 57, no. 4 (Winter), pp. 882-883.

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

Court, P., 1994, Cantecul Nemuririi [Song of Immortality], (Bucharest: Editura Miracol).

“Democratia” (Bucharest), 1990.

“Europa,” (Bucharest), 1991

“Expres,” (Bucharest), 1990.

Hall, R. A., 1996, “Ce demonstreaza probele balistice dupa 7 ani?” [Seven Years Later What Does the Ballistic Evidence Tell Us?] in “22” (Bucharest), 17-23 December.

Hall, R. A. 1997a, “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., 1997b, “The Dynamics of Media Independence in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” in O’Neil, P. H. (ed.) Post-Communism and the Media in Eastern Europe, (Portland, OR: Frank Cass), pp. 102-123.

Levesque, J., 1997, The Enigma of 1989: The USSR and the Liberation of Eastern Europe, (Berkeley: University of California Press).

Mioc, Marius, 2000, “Turisti straini in timpul revolutiei,” [Foreign Tourists During the Revolution] timisoara.com/newmioc/54.htm.

“Romania libera” (Bucharest), 1990-91.

Sandulescu, S., 1996, Decembrie ’89: Lovitura de Stat a Confiscat Revolutia Romana [December ’89: The Coup d’tat Abducted the Romanian Revolution], (Bucharest: Editura Omega Press Investment).

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

“Totusi iubirea” (Bucharest), 1991.

“Ziua” (Bucharest), 1999.

“Zig-Zag” (Bucharest), 1990.

Compiled by Michael Shafir

—————————————–

Vorbele lui Stanculescu continua sa fie interpretate strict literal:  Stănculescu reconfirmă teoria agenţilor străini. Teroriştii – un scenariu testat pe România.  Hai sa ne intoarcem inapoi in 1990 sa vedem cum au fost discutat “misterul” acesta atunci…foarte lamuritor:

Monica N. Marginean:  Sa revenim la datele concrete ale regiei de care vorbeam anterior.  Cum arata, de pilda, povestea atit de dezbatuta la procesul lui Nicu Ceausescu a cursei ROMBAC, daca o privim din perspectiva Comisiei de ancheta?

fostul procuror Marian Valer:  In mod normal, cursa de avion Bucuresti-Sibiu trebuia sa decoleze de pe aeroportul Baneasa, la orele 17,10 folosindu-se pe acest traseu avioane marca Antonov.  In dupa-amiaza zilei de 20 decembrie, insa, in jurul orelor 17, deci in apropierea orei prevazute pentru decolarea cursei obisnuite, pasagerii pentru Sibiu au fost invitati si dusi la Aeroportul Otopeni unde au fost imbarcati intr-un avion marca ROMBAC care a decolat in jurul orelor 18,30 si a aterizat pe aeroportul Sibiu in jur de ora 19.  Fac precizarea ca in dupa-amiaza aceleiasi zile, cu aproape 2 ore inaintea decolarii acestei curse, a aterizat pe aeroportul Otopeni avionul prezidential cu care Ceausescu s-a reintors din Iran. Conform datelor furnizate de agentia TAROM Bucuresti, in avionul respectiv spre Sibiu au fost imbarcati 81 pasageri.  In radiograma cursei sint consemnate domiciile doar la o parte din pasageri, cu mentiunea ca unele sint incomplete, lipsind fie localitatea, fie strada, fie numarul, iar la restul pasagerilor figureaza doar mentiunile ,rezervat’ sau Pasaport RSR.  In urma investigatiilor efectuate, au putut fi identificati doar 44 de pasageri, majoritatea avind domiciliul in municipul si judetul Sibiu, stabilindu-se ca au fost persoane trimise in delegatie la foruri tutelare din capitala, sau studenti plecati in vacanta, iar citiva domiciliati in judetul Alba.  Mentionez ca asupra acestor persoane nu planeaza nici un dubiu.  Dubiile sint create insa in primul rind de faptul ca mai multi pasageri figureaza cu domiciliul in municipiul Bucuresti, dar in realitate nu domiciliaza la adresele consemnate, iar la unele adrese sint intreprinderi.  Un alt element creator de dubii il constituie prezenta in avionul respectiv a unui inspector de la Departmentul Aviatiei Civile, cu numele de Nevrozeanu, care nu figureaza pe lista pasagerilor si cu privire la care s-a stabilit ca, in trecut, se deplasa cu avionul in cazuri speciale doar pe relatia Moscova, fiind un bun cunoscator al limbii ruse.  Mai multi pasageri sustin ca in partea dreapta din fata a avionului au sesizat un grup de barbati, mai inalti, atletici, imbracati sportiv, multi dintre ei fiind blonzi, grup care li s-a parut suspect.  Aceste afirmatii se coroboreaza cu faptul ca in zona respectiva a avionului nu a stat nici unul din pasagerii identificati.  Mai mult, verificindu-se la hotelurile din municipiul Sibiu persoane care aveau numele celor 37 de persoane neidentificate, s-a constatat ca doar un pasager neidentificat care figureaza pe listele TAROM-ului cu domiciliul in municipiul Bucuresti, care nu exista la adresa respectiva din localitate, a fost cazat la hotelul Bulevard, dar in registrul de evidenta figureaza cu un alt domiciliu din Bucuresti.  Ambele domicilii, si cei din diagrama TAROM si cel de la hotel sint false.  Cu ocazia acelorasi verificari s-a constatat ca in perioada respectiva in hotelurile din Sibiu au fost cazati multi turisti sovietici, in special la Imparatul Romanilor, Continental, si Bulevard, situate in zona centrala a municipiului.  Fac mentiunea ca din hotelurile respective s-a tras asupra manifestantilor si a armatei. Am omis sa precizez ca pe aeroportul Otopeni, in avionul ROMBAC au fost incarcate sute de colete identice ca format, dimensiuni si culoare, de marime apropriata unei genti diplomat, precum si ca, cu citeva minute inaintea decolarii cursei spre Sibiu, de pe acelasi aeroport au decolat curse ROMBAC spre Timisoara si Arad.  Consider ca, in legatura cu pasagerii neidentificati, sint posibile doua versiuni, respectiv sa fie au fost luptatorii U.S.L.A. trimisi in sprijinul lui Nicu Ceausescu, fie au fost agenti sovietici trimisi sa actioneze in scopul rasturnarii regimului Ceausescu.

Monica N. Marginean:  Ce alte demersuri a facut Comisia de ancheta pentru elucidarea misterului celor 37 de pasageri neidentificati?

Marian Valer:  Am luat contact cu unul din loctiitorii comandamentului trupelor U.S.L.A. din capitala, caruia i-am solicitat sa-mi puna la dispozitie pe cei trei insotitori U.S.L.A. ai avionului ROMBAC.  Loctiitorul mi-a spus ca acestia au fost audiati de un procuror militar si nu mai este de acord sa fie audiati inca o data.

Monica M. Maginean:  “MARIAN VALER:  Asistam la ingroparea Revolutiei,” Expres nr. 33, septembrie 1990, p. 2.

[Observatiile mele:  S-a stabilit ca pe 19 decembrie Nicu Ceausescu a cerut din partea lui Tudor Postelnicu “ceva trupe” (Nicu Silvestru, fostul sef al Militiei din Sibiu, spune ca Nicu i-a povestit ca ar cerea “specialistii [lui] din Bucuresti”) si Postelnicu i-a instiintat lui Iulian Vlad, seful Securitatii despre cererea aceasta.  Si insotitorii USLA n-au vrut sa povesteasca despre acesti 37 pasageri neidentificati.  Ce putem credea?  Ca acesti 37 pasageri neidenticati au fost inventati?  Au fost oamenii DIA (care de altfel au calatorit de la Buzau, nu de la Bucuresti, si nu cu un avion ROMBAC)?  Sau au fost intr-adevar turisti sovietici, spetznaz acoperiti?  HAI SA FIM SERIOSI!  Acesti pasageri neidentificati au venit cu insotitorii USLA, dupa o cerere a lui Nicu Ceausescu pentru “ceva trupe” de la Postelnicu si Vlad (atentie! nu de la Milea).  Nu e destul de clar ca au fost securisti?!!!

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Richard Andrew Hall. The 1989 Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game (2005)

CWIHP. New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania (December 2001)

e-Dossier No. 5

New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania

Documents Translated and Introduced

by Mircea Munteanu

1

Recently released Romanian documents translated by the Cold War International History

Project (CWIHP) shed new light on how, in December 1989, the dramatic albeit mostly peaceful

collapse of Eastern Europe’s communist regimes came to its violent crescendo with the toppling

and execution of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Following Solidarity’s electoral victory

in Poland, the demise of Communist authority in Hungary, the fall of Erich Honecker, a close

friend and ally of Ceausescu, and, finally, the deposing of Bulgaria’s Todor Zhivkov, Romania

had remained the last Stalinist bulwark in Eastern Europe. Much to everybody’s surprise,

however, an explosion of popular unrest in mid December 1989 over Securitate actions in

Timisoara quickly engulfed the Ceausescu regime, leading to the dictator’s ouster and execution.

CWIHP previously documented from Russian sources how, confronted with the violent

turmoil in Romania, the US administration sought intervention by the Soviet Union on behalf of

the oppositionforces. On Christmas Eve, 24 December 1989, with Moscow some eight hours

ahead of Washington, US Ambassador Jack Matlock went to the Soviet Foreign Ministry and met

with Deputy Foreign Minister I. P. Aboimov. According to the Soviet documents, the message

Matlock delivered— while veiled in diplomatic indirection— amounted to an invitation for the

Soviets to intervene in Romania. The Russian documents recorded that Matlock, apparently on

instructions from Washington, “suggested the following option: what would the Soviet Union do

if an appropriate appeal came from the [opposition] Front? He let us know that under the present

circumstances the military involvement of the Soviet Union in Romanian affairs might not be

regarded in the context of ‘the Brezhnev doctrine.’” Repudiating “any interference in the

domestic affairs of other states,” Aboimov— probably referring to the then ongoing US invasion

of Panama— proposed instead “that the American side may consider that ‘the Brezhnev doctrine’

is now theirs as our gift.”

2

The newly accessible Romanian documents, obtained by Romanian historians Vasile

Preda and Mihai Retegan, bring to light the Soviet reaction to the Romanian events in Timisoara

and Bucharest through the perspective of the Romanian ambassador in Moscow, Ion Bucur. His

cables, now declassified, illustrate the isolated and paranoid stance of the Ceausescu regime at the

height of its final crisis.

The events of December 1989 in Romania started, inconspicuously enough, with the

attempted relocation of the ethnic Hungarian Calvinist pastor László Tökés from his parish in

Timisoara. The failed attempts of the police (Militia) forces, joined by the secret police

(Securitate), to remove the pastor from his residence enraged the local population. Dispelling the

so-called “historical discord” between Hungarians and Romanians in the border region, the

population of Timisoara united together to resist the abuses of the regime.

Ceausescu’s reaction was a violent outburst. Blaming “foreign espionage agencies” for

inciting “hooligans” the ordered the Militia, the Securitate, the patriotic guards and the army to

use all force necessary to repress the growing challenge to the “socialist order.” The repression

caused over 70 deaths in the first few days alone; hundreds suffered injuries. By 20 December

however, it became clear that the popular uprising could not be put down without causing

massive casualties, an operation which the army did not want to undertake while Ceausescu was

1

For more information, please contact the CWIHP at Coldwar1@wwic.si.edu or 202.691.4110 or Mircea

Munteanu at MunteanuM@wwic.si.edu or 202.691.4267

2

See Thomas Blanton, “When did the Cold War End” in CWIHP Bulletin #10, (March 1998) pp. 184-191.


Page 3

out of the country. After the army withdrew in the barracks on 20 December, the city was

declared “liberated” by the demonstrators.

Ceausescu returned from a trip in Iran on 20 December and immediately convened a

session of the Politburo. He demanded that a demonstration be organized in Bucharest

showcasing the support of the Bucharest workers for his policies. The demonstration proved to be

a gross miscalculation. The popular resentment had, by that time, reached a new peak: The

demonstration quickly degenerated into chaos and erupted in an anti-Ceausescu sentiment. The

violent suppression of the Bucharest unrest rivaled that of Timisoara.

3

Securitate, police and army

forces fired live ammunition into the population in Piata Universitatii (University Plaza) and

close to Piata Romana (Roman Square).

The following documents show the attempts of the Romanian regime to maintain secrecy

on the events taking place in Romania— even with regard to its increasingly estranged Soviet ally.

From restricting the access of Russian tourists in Romania beginning with 18 December

4

(Document No. 1) to the demands made by the Romanian embassy in Moscow to the Soviet

leadership to prevent the Soviet media from publishing news reports about “alleged events”

taking place in Timisoara, Cluj and, later, Bucharest (Documents Nos. 4 and 5),Bucharest sought

to limit the damage to the regime’s image of stability. Afraid that information about the events

taking place in Romania would tarnish Ceausescu’s image of “a world leader,” the Foreign

Ministry instructed the Romanian embassies not to respond to any questions concerning the

“alleged” events and demanded that all actions taken by the Romanian government were

legitimate by virtue of its sovereignty. (Document No. 2).

The documents also present a picture of a regime grasping at straws, accusing even

former allies of conspiracy, and believing that isolation would insure its survival. Ceausescu’s

longstanding hysteria about the machinations of “foreign espionage agencies” — and his growing

mistrust towards Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev— reached new heights in his accusation that

turmoil in Romania was used by the Warsaw Pact to oust him (Ceausescu) from office, a

suggestion that struck Aboimov as utter “insanity.” (Documents Nos. 5 and 7). Quite the

contrary, the US-Soviet conversations suggest, was actually the case.

3

Official statistics place the death figure at 162 dead (73 in Timisoara, 48 in Bucharest, and 41 in the rest

of the country) and 1107 wounded (of which 604 in Bucharest alone).

4

There were persistent rumors, during and after the 1989 events in Romania that the Soviet KGB sent

numerous agents in Romania in December 1989. Some accounts accused the KGB of attempting to

destabilize the regime while others accused them of attempting to shore it up. Likely both accounts are

somewhat exaggerated. While it is clear that the KGB was interested in obtaining information about the

events, it is unlikely that it attempted to interfere, either way in the unfolding of the events. It is more likely

that the closing of the borders both with the USSR but also with Hungary and Yugoslavia, is likely that

stranded numerous transistors on Romanian territory.


Page 4

Document 1

Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Moscow

to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bucharest)

18 December 1989, 12:35 pm

Comrade Ion Stoian, Candidate Member of the Executive Political Committee

5

of the Central

Committee of the Romanian Communist Party (CC PCR), Foreign Minister,

1. We took note of your instructions (in your telegram nr. 20/016 750 of 17 December

1989)

6

and we will conform to the orders given.

We have taken actions to implement your instructions, both at the consular section of the

Embassy and at the General Consulate in Kiev.

[Furthermore] we would [like to] inform that the Director of the TAROM

7

office [in

Moscow] received, through his own channels, instructions regarding foreign citizens traveling to

our country.

2. Considering the importance of the problem and the nature of the activity of issuing

visas to Soviet citizens, we would like to mention the following problems [which have arisen],

[problems] to which we would like you to send us your instructions as soon as possible.

A. Beginning with the morning of 18 December of this year, Soviet citizens have begun

to make telephonic inquiries to the Embassy from border crossings into Romania, implying that

there are hundreds of vehicles which are not allowed to cross [the border] into our country. [W]e

anticipate that the Soviet government will ask for an explanation with regard to this decision

taken [by the Romanian government]. We ask that instructions be sent explaining the way we

must deal with the situation if it arises.

B. Continuously, at the Consular Section, we have given transit visas to Soviet Jews

who have the approval [of the Soviet government] to emigrate to Israel, as well as to foreign

students studying in the Soviet Union. Since the director of the TAROM office has received

instructions that he is to continue boarding transit passengers without any changes, we would like

to request instructions with regard to the actions we must take in such situations.

C. Considering the great number of Romanian citizens that are living in the Soviet

Union who during the holidays travel to our country, we would like to know if we should issue

them visas.

D. For business travel to Romania, the instructions given to TAROM are that the

applicants must show proof [of an invitation] from the ir Romanian partners.

Please inform whether we must inform the Soviet government of this requirement since

the official Soviet delegations use, for their travels to Bucharest, exclusively AEROFLOT

8

and

that we have no means of [us] controlling the planning of such travels.

5

Politburo

6

The 17 December telegram is not available at this time.

7

The state-owned Romanian National Airline— Transportul Aerian Român

8

Soviet Airlines.


Page 5

We are experiencing similar problems in dealing with the possible situation of Soviet

citizens with tourist passports, which have received a visa prior to the [17 December 1989]

instructions and who will be using AEROFLOT for their travel to Romania.

E. We request that the Civil Aviation Department send instruction to the TAROM office

regarding the concrete actions that should be taken in connection with the 20 December flight

[from Moscow to Bucharest] so that they are able to make the final decision, during boarding,

regarding the passengers [that are to be allowed on to the plane].

We would [like to] mention that the list of passengers is given to the Director of

TAROM, from AEROFLOT or other [travel] companies, without any mention of the purpose of

the trip.

(ss) [Ambassador] Ion Bucur

[Source: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs— Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe

(AMAE), Moscow/1989, vol. 10, pp. 271-272. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu]

Document 2

Telegram from the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Bucharest) to all Embassies

19 December 1989

Cde. Chief of Mission,

In case you are asked during the exercise of your diplomatic attributes (we repeat: only in

case you are asked) about the so-called events taking place in Timisoara, reiterate, with all clarity,

that you have no knowledge of such events. After this short answer, and without allowing you to

be drawn into a prolonged discussion, resolutely present the following:

We strongly reject any attempts to intervene in the internal affairs of S.R. Romania, a free

and independent state. [We reject] any attempt to ignore the fundamental attributes of our

national independence and sovereignty, any attempt at [harming] the security interests of our

country, of violating its laws. The Romanian [government] will take strong actions against any

such attempts, against any actions meant to provoke or cause confusion, [actions] initiated by

reactionary circles, anti-Romanian circles, foreign special services and espionage organizations.

The [Romanian] socialist state, our society, will not tolerate under any circumstances a violation

of its vital interests, of the Constitution, and will take [any] necessary action to maintain the strict

following of the letter of the law, the rule of law, without which the normal operation of all

spheres of society would be impossible. No one, no matter who he is, is allowed to break the laws

of the country without suffering the consequences of his actions.

Instruct all members of the mission to act in conformity with the above instructions.

Inform [the Minister of Foreign Affairs] immediately of any discussions on this topic.

Aurel Duma [Secretary of State

9

, MFA]

[Source: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs— Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe

(AMAE), Ministry Telegrams, vol. 4/1989, pp. 387-388. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea

Munteanu.]

9

Assistant Deputy Minister— Secretar de State.


Page 6

Document 3

Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Moscow

to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

21 December 1989, 7:35 am

Cde. Ion Stoica, Minister [of Foreign Affairs],

Cde. Constantin Oancea, Deputy Minister [of Foreign Affairs],

DRI

10

On 20 December 1989, during a discussion with G. N. Gorinovici, Director of the

General Section for Socialist Countries in Europe, I expressed [the Romanian government’s] deep

indignation in regards with the inaccurate and tendentious way in which the Soviet mass media is

presenting the allegedevents taking place in Timisoara. I stressed that the stories made public by

radio and television are based on private, unofficial sources, and not on truthful information.

Many stories refer to the Hungarian press agency MTI, which is known for its antagonistic

attitude towards our country. I mentioned that V. M. Kulistikov, Deputy Chief Editor of the

publication Novoe Vremia, during an interview given to Radio Svoboda, expressed some opinions

vis-ŕ-vis Romania with are unacceptable. I brought to his [Gorinovici’s] attention the fact that on

19 December, Soviet television found it necessary to air news regarding the events in Timisoara

in particular, and in Romania in general, four separate occasions.

I argued that such stories do not contribute to the development of friendly relations

between our two countries and that they cannot be interpreted in any other way but as an

intervention in the internal affairs concerning [only] the Romanian government. I asked that the

Soviet government take action to insure the cessation of this denigration campaign against our

country and also to prevent possible public protests in front of our embassy. Gorinovici said that

he will inform the leadership of the Soviet MFA. In regards with the problems raised during our

discussion, he said that, in his opinion, no campaign of denigrating Romania is taking place in the

Soviet Union. “The mass media had to inform the public of the situation,” Gorinovici indicated,

in order to “counter-balance the wealth of information reaching the Soviet Union through

Western airwaves. Keeping silent on the subject would have only [served to] irritate the Soviet

public.” Following this statement, he recapitulated the well-known Soviet position with regards to

the necessity of allowing a diversity of opinions and ideas be expressed in the context of

informing the Soviet public about world events.

(ss) [Ambassador] Ion Bucur

[Source: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs— Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe,

Moscow/1989, vol. 10, pp. 297-298. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu.]

10

Directia Relatii I— Directorate 1, Socialist Countries, Europe


Page 7

Document 4

Informational Note from the Romanian Embassy in Moscow

to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bucharest)

21 December 1989, 8:00 am

Cde. Ion Stoian, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Cde. Costantin Oancea, Deputy Foreign Minister,

DR1

During the evening of 20 December 1989, I was invited in audience at I. P. Aboimov,

Deputy Foreign Minister of USSR. He related to me the following:

1. Lately, the Soviet press published news in connection to events unfolding in Romania,

specifically with the events in Timisoara. It is true that some of the published materials are based,

generally, on foreign [i.e. not Romanian] sources. It is evident that the [Soviet] mass media need

information on the basis of which to inform the public. Aside from this, during meetings with

foreign journalists, there were many requests addressed to the Soviet [government] to state its

position in regards with the events taking place in Romania as they were presented by various

press agencies. Furthermore, during his recent visits in Brussels and London, [Foreign Minister

Edward] Shevardnadze

11

was asked to state his opinion vis-ŕ-vis those events. In London, after

the official talks ended,

12

the Soviet Foreign Minister had a difficult time convincing [Prime

Minister Margaret] Thatcher that there should be no comments to the press on the events

allegedly taking place in Romania. The [Romanian] Foreign Ministry is also informed that

interest in this matter was expressed during working meetings of the Second Congress of the

People’s Deputies taking place in Moscow at this time.

13

The [Soviet] ambassador in Bucharest

was instructed to contact the Romanian government and obtain, from authorized officials,

information to confirm or refute the version of the events distributed by foreign press agencies.

To this date, the Soviet Embassy was unable to obtain and transmit any such information.

Due to such problems, the Soviet government asks that the Romanian government send

an informational note, even one that is restricted [cu caracter închis] regarding the events that are

really taking place in Romania. [The Soviet government] is interested in receiving information

that is as comprehensive as possible. If information is not received, it would be extremely

difficult to create an effective set of directions for the Soviet mass media, with which there are,

even so, many difficulties. [The Soviet government] is worried that, based on the news reported

in the press, some of the deputies participating at the sessions, would ask that the 2

nd

Congress of

the People’s Deputies take a position vis-ŕ-vis the alleged events taking place in Romania. The

MFA prepared for the deputies an information note in which it stresses that it does not have any

official information, but it is possible that this argument will not accepted long. Based on the

information available to the MFA, the Congress will adopt a resolution with regards to the US

military actions in Panama.

Of course, there is no connection between the two events. In Panama, a foreign military

intervention is taking place, while in Romania the events are domestic in nature. I. P. Aboimov

stressed his previous request that the Romanian government send, in the spirit of cooperation

11

Edward Sevardnadze traveled to Brussels and London at the end of 1989. On 19 December he met at

NATO HQ with NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner and Permanent Representatives of NATO

countries.

12

Prime Minister Thatcher met Shevardnadze in London on 19 December 1989.

13

The Second Congress of the People’s Deputies began its session on 12 December 1989.


Page 8

between the two countries, an informational note truthfully describing the current situation in the

country.

2. The Soviet MFA received a series of complaints that the border between the Soviet

Union and Romania has been closed for Soviet citizens, especially tourists. The Soviet

government was not previously informed with regards to this development. [T]his omission

causes consternation. The Soviet government is not overly concerned with the situation, but

[notes that] it creates difficulties with tourists that have already paid for and planned their

vacations accordingly.

3. With regards to the above statements, I said that I would, of course, inform Bucharest

of this. At the same time, I expressed the displeasure [of the Romanian government] with the fact

that the Soviet radio, television and newspapers have distributed news regarding events in

Romania taken from foreign news agencies, agencies that are distributing distorted and overtly

antagonistic stories regarding the situation in Romania. I gave concrete examples of such stories

published in newspapers such as Izvestia, Pravda, Komsomolskaia Pravda, Krasnaia Zvezda,

stories distributed by western press agencies as well as the Hungarian Press Agency MTI, which

is known for its antagonistic attitude towards our country. In that context, I mentioned that the

Romanian government has not requested that the Soviet Union inform it concerning events

unfolding in Grozny or Nagornîi-Karabah, nor has it published any news stories obtained from

Western press agencies, believing that those [events] are strictly an internal matter concerning

[only] the Soviet government.

I expressed my displeasure with the fact that some Soviet correspondents in Bucharest—

including the TASS correspondent— have transmitted materials from unofficial sources, which

contain untruthful descriptions of the events and which create in [the mind of] the Soviet public

an erroneous impression of the situation existing in our country. I stressed the point that such

behavior is not conducive to strengthening the relationship between our peoples and

governments, on the contrary, causing [only] serious damage [to said relationship]. I brought to

the attention of the Deputy Foreign Minister in no uncertain terms that a resolution of the

Congress of the People’s Deputies [concerning] the alleged events taking place in Romania

would be an action without precedent in the history of relations between the two countries and

would cause serious damage to the relationship.

At I. P. Aboimov’s question, I described the events regarding the situation of pastor

László Tökes, as described in your memorandum, stressing that this information does not have an

official character. I presented, in no uncertain terms, the decision of [the government of] Romania

to reject any attempts at interference in the internal matters of Romania. I expressed the decision

[of the Romanian leadership] to take any necessary measures against disruptive and diversionary

actions perpetrated by reactionary, anti-Romanian circles, by foreign special services and

espionage agencies (servicii speciale si oficinele de spionaj staine). With regard to the issue of

tourists crossing the border in Romania, I said that I did not posses an official communication in

this regard. I suggested that some temporary measures were adopted due to the need to limit

access of certain groups of tourists [in the country]. [Those limitats were imposed] due to

difficulties in assuring their access to hotel rooms and other related essential conditions. Those

limitations do not apply to business travel or tourists transiting Romania. I reminded [I. P.

Aboimov] that the Soviet government had introduced at different times such limitations on travel

for Romanian tourists to certain regions [of the Soviet Union] (Grozny and Armenia), which

[had] provoked dissatisfaction.

4. The conversation took place in a calm, constructive atmosphere.

(ss) [Ambassador] Ion Bucur


Page 9

[Source: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs— Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe

(AMAE), Telegrams, Folder: Moscow/1989, vol. 10, pp. 299-302. Translated for CWIHP by

Mircea Munteanu.]

Document 5

Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Moscow

to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

21 December 1989, 2:00 pm

Comrade Ion Stoica, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

1. On 21 December 1989, at 12:00 pm, I paid a visit to Deputy Foreign Minister I. P.

Aboimov to whom I presented a copy of the speech given by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu,

General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party [PCR] and President of the Socialist

Republic of Romania [SRR], on the 20 December 1989 over radio and television. I. P. Aboimov

made no comments with regard to the speech. He requested that the Soviet side receive

information as to whether,during the events taking place in Timisoara, any deaths had occurred

and what the current situation in the city was.

2. Aboimov said that during the 19 December discussions between the Soviet ambassador

in Bucharest and Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu, the latter expressed his disapproval with the official

declarations made by Soviet officials concerning the events in Timisoara. He [Ceausescu] said

that those [actions taking place in Timisoara] are the result of strategies developed beforehand by

[member nations of] the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO). [Ceausescu] suggested that certain

officials in Bucharest told ambassadors from socialist countries that they have information with

respect to the intention of the Soviet Union to intervene militarily in Romania.

As for the so-called official declarations [Aboimov added], they probably refer to a reply

made by Cde. E[dward] Shevardnadze, [Soviet] Minister of Foreign Affairs to a question from a

Western journalist during his trip to Brussels. [The question] referred to the events in Timisoara

and [the question of] whether force was used there. Cde. Shevardnadze answered that “I do not

have any knowledge [of this], but if there are casualties, I am distressed.” Aboimov said that, if

indeed there are casualties, he considered [Shevardnadze’s] answer justified. He stressed that E.

Shevardnadze made no other specific announcement in Brussels [with regards to the events in

Timisoara]. Concerning the accusations that the actions [in Timisoara] were planned by the

Warsaw Pact, and specifically the declarations with regard to the intentions of the USSR,

14

Aboimov said that, personally, and in a preliminary fashion, he qualifies the declarations as

“without any base, not resembling reality and apt to give rise to suspicion. It is impossible that

anybody will believe such accusations. Such accusations”— Aboimov went on to say— “have

such grave repercussions that they necessitate close investigation.”

He stressed that the basis of interaction between the USSR and other governments rested

on the principles of complete equality among states, mutual respect, and non-intervention in

internal affairs.

(ss) [Ambassador] Ion Bucur

[Source: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs— Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe

(AMAE), Moscow/1989, vol. 10, pp. 303-304. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu.]

14

Ceausescu repeatedly accused the Soviet Union in December 1989 of planning an invasion of Romania.


Page 10

Document 6

Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Moscow

to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bucharest)

22 December 1989, 07:30 am

Cde. Constantin Oancea, Deputy [Foreign Affairs] Minister

Directorate 1— Socialist Countries, Europe

During a conversation between N. Stânea and V. L. Musatov, Deputy Director of the

International Department of the Central Committee (CC) of Communist Party of the Soviet Union

(CPSU) [Musatov], referring to the situation in Eastern European countries, declared:

The processes taking place [in Eastern Europe] are the result of objective needs.

Unfortunately, these processes taking place are [sometimes] incongruous. In some countries, such

as Hungary and Poland, the changes that took place went outside the initial limits planned by the

[local] communists, who have [now] lost control. The situation is also becoming dangerous in

Czechoslovakia and the German Democratic Republic [GDR]. At this time, in Bulgaria the

[Communist] Party is trying to maintain control, however, it is unknown which way the situation

will evolve. As far as it is concerned, the CPSU is trying to give aid to the communists.

Representatives of the CC of the CPSU have been or are at this time in the GDR [and]

Czechoslovakia to observe the situation personally. The attitude towards the old leadership is

regrettable. For example, [East German Communist Party leader] E[rich] Honecker will be

arrested. In the majority of these countries there are excesses against the communists. The Soviet

government is preoccupied with the future of “Our Alliance.” [The Soviet government] is

especially interested in the evolution of events in the GDR, in the background of the discussions

taking place regarding reunification. The Soviet Union is following all these events, but is not

getting involved in the internal affairs of the respective countries.

.

(ss) [Ambassador] Ion Bucur

[Source: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs— Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe

(AMAE), Moscow/1989, vol. 10, p. 313. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu.]

Document 7

Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Moscow

to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bucharest)

22 December 1989, 04:20 pm

Cde. Ion Stoian, Minister of Foreign Affairs,


Page 11

On 22 December 1989, at 02:00 pm I. P. Aboimov, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister,

called me at the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Accompanying me was I. Rîpan, [Embassy]

secretary. V. A. Lapsin, [Soviet MFA] secretary was also present.

Aboimov said that he was instructed to present, on behalf of the Soviet leadership, the

following reply to the message sent [by the Romanian government] through the Soviet

ambassador in Bucharest [during his discussion with Nicolae Ceausescu on 19 December].

“The message sent [by] the Romanian nation on 20 December of this year, has been

carefully examined in Moscow. We consider the problems raised in the message as very serious,

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since they are dealing with the basic issues of our collaboration.

In the spirit of sincerity, characteristic for our bilateral relations, we would like to

mention that we are surprised by its tone and the accusations regarding the position and role of

the Soviet Union with respect to the events taking place in Timisoara. We reject wholeheartedly

the statements with regard to the anti-Romanian campaign supposedly taking place in the Soviet

Union, not to mention the accusation that the actions against Romania have allegedly planned by

the Warsaw Treaty Organization [WTO]. Such accusations are unfounded and absolutely

unacceptable. Just as absurd are the declarations of certain Romanian officials who are suggesting

that the Soviet Union is preparing to intervene in Romania. We are starting, invariably, from the

idea that, in our relations with allied nations, as well as with all other nations, the principles of

sovereignty, independence, equality of rights, non-intervention in the internal affairs. These

principles have been once again confirmed during the [WTO] Political Consultative Committee

summit in Bucharest.

It is clear that the dramatic events taking place in Romania are your own internal

problem. The fact that during these events deaths have occured has aroused deep grief among the

Soviet public. The declaration adopted by the Congress of the People’s Deputies is also a

reflection of these sentiments.

Furthermore, I would like to inform you that our representative at the UN Security

Council has received instructions to vote against convening the Security Council for [the purpose

of] discussing the situation in Romania, as some countries have proposed. We consider that this

would be an infringement of the sovereignty of an independent state by an international

organization.

We want to hope that, in the resolution of the events in Romania, wisdom and realism

will prevail and that political avenues to solve the problems to the benefit of [our] friend, the

Romanian nation, will be found.

Our position comes out of our sincere desire not to introduce into our relationship

elements of suspicion or mistrust, out of our desire to continue our relations normally, in the

interest of both our nations, [and in the interest of] the cause of peace and socialism.

I. P. Aboimov asked that this message be sent immediately to Bucharest.

(ss) [Ambassador] Ion Bucur

[Source: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs— Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe

(AMAE), Telegrame, Folder Moscow/1989, vol. 10, pp. 324-325. Translated for CWIHP by

Mircea Munteanu]

15

Ceausescu had accused the Soviet leadership, in cooperation with “other Warsaw Pact members” of

masterminding the events taking place in Timisoara, and of preparing an attack on Romania.

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