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 ‘spitalul coltea’

Bullets, Lies, and Videotape: The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989 (Part I: “His name was Ghircoias…Nicolae Ghircoias”) by Richard Andrew Hall

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 20, 2010

Bullets, Lies, and Videotape:

The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989[1]

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 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.

Part I

His name was Ghircoias…Nicolae Ghircoias.

And in Romania in December 1989 and January 1990, Nicolae Ghircoias was a very busy man.

We know, officially, of Nicolae Ghircoias’ actions in the last days leading up to the fall of the regime of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu on 22 December 1989, as a result of what he and others said at a trial later in January 1990.  In bureaucratic parlance, Colonel Nicolae Ghircoias, was the Director of the Criminalistic Institute of the Militia’s [Police’s] General Inspectorate.   In colloquial terms, in December 1989 it appears that this amounted to being something of a “cleaner,” or “fixer,” the kind of guy who could make unpleasant things—such as corpses—go away, without leaving a trace.

After regime forces opened fire on anti-regime protesters in the western city of Timisoara on 17 and 18 December 1989, Colonel Ghircoias was dispatched to recover the corpses of those with gunshot wounds from the city’s morgue.  The unautopsied cadavers of 43 demonstrators were stolen from the morgue in the dead of night and then transported to the outskirts of the capital Bucharest by refrigerated truck, where they were cremated.[2] Ghircoias was also in charge of collecting and destroying the hospital records and any other incriminating material that might indicate not just the death, but also the life of those who had perished—the official explanation for the disappearance of these citizens was to be that they had fled the country, thus taking their documents with them.  In other words, Colonel Nicolae Ghircoias’ job was primarily, it seems, the destruction of evidence.[3]


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]


[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]]


[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]

[1]For some of my previous publications on this topic, see Richard Andrew Hall:

Hall 2008,

Hall 2006,

Hall 2005,

Hall 2004,

Hall 2002,

Richard Andrew Hall, “Theories of Collective Action and Revolution:  Evidence from the Romanian Transition of December 1989,” Europe-Asia Studies 2000, no. 6 (September 2000).

Richard Andrew Hall, “The Uses of Absurdity:  The ‘Staged-War’ Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” East European Politics and Societies vol 13, no. 3 (Fall 1999) (University of California Berkeley Press).

[2] For a good discussion of this in English, which explains how cremation practices were  at odds with Romanian burial traditions, see the article entitled “The Red Mask of Death:  The Evil Politics of Cremation in Romania 1989,” in the journal Mortality, no. 15 (1).

[3]For more information online, see, for example,,,,, Even the 1994 SRI report admits that confusion surrounding the identity of those who were cremated stems from Ghircoias’ burning—after the flight of the Ceausescus on 22 December—of all relevant documents he had seized from the Timisoara county hospital  Thus, it seems appropriate to say Ghircoias’ job involved making things disappear…

[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” 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 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,  For a discussion, see Hall 2008.

[7] Screen capture from 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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Cugir si Bucuresti: gloante dum-dum inainte si dupa 22 decembrie 1989

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 17, 2008

Cugir, 21 decembrie 1989

Dl. Alexandru Iosa, împuşcat în picior cu gloanţe “dum-dum” în 21 decembrie 1989

Condamnaţii Revoluţiei
Generalii represivi – în libertate, plevuşca vânturată după gratii

Evenimentele din decembrie 1989 au fost rând pe rând fie subiect de tocat în campaniile electorale, fie motiv de dispută publică. La un moment dat, subiectul a devenit extrem de incomod pentru unii şi atunci vinovaţii au fost spălaţi de păcate, uneori în văzul lumii, fără nici o ruşine pentru memoria celor care au murit, fără nici o reţinere din partea celor care şi-au construit gloria politică pe jertfa lor. În prezent, în penitenciare mai sunt doar câţiva dintre cei care au linşat cadre ale Miliţiei. Toţi generalii care în decembrie 1989 au dat ordin sau au tras în manifestanţi sunt în prezent liberi: fie le-au fost amnistiate pedepsele, fie aşteaptă acasă pronunţarea instanţelor, cândva… Potrivit informaţiilor noastre, lucrătorii fostei securităţi şi reprezentanţi ai trupelor USLA, care au executat pedepse pentru că au tras în 1989 în populaţia ieşită în stradă, au cerut ulterior daune morale statului român. Unii dintre ei le-au şi primit…

Dl. Alexandru Iosa, împuşcat în picior cu gloanţe “dum-dum” în 21 decembrie 1989 şi care a fost timp de aproape 10 ani şeful asociaţiei revoluţionarilor din Cugir ne-a declarat că cei care l-au linşat pe cpt. Valentin Pop şi i-au profanat cadavrul nu au intrat, sub nici o formă, în categoria revoluţionarilor. Dânsul ne-a explicat că, cel mai probabil, gestul comandantului de miliţie de a se bate cu mâna peste tocul pistolului i-a încitat pe oamenii din faţa miliţiei. Mai mult, Alexandru Iosa a precizat că mânia maselor s-a îndreptat asupra cpt. Pop mai mult pentru că simboliza un aparat al opresiunii comuniste decât din răzbunare personală, deoarece acesta era comandant în Cugir de doar 6 luni de zile.
În încercarea de a reabilita imaginea tatălui său, Valentina Pop a trimis în acest an un memoriu pe adresa preşedintelui Ion Iliescu. Memoriul a fost făcut public, în plenul Camerei Deputaţilor, de deputatul PRM de Alba, Emil Crişan.

Cugir, 21-22 decembrie 1989

“CUGIR:  Revolutionari achetati, criminali in libertate,” Expres, nr. 6, 9 martie 1990, p. 6.

“…Se tragea din birourile securistilor si s-a mai tras si cu o pusca de vinatoare si s-a mai tras cu gloante dum-dum si militia ardea ca o torta si oamenii au intrat in incendiu si atunci locotenentul major Mezei Dorin a sarit de la etaj cu pistolul mitraliera…Sint peste 40 de raniti si unii au primit gloante in cap dar cu totii sint in viata.  Doi raniti sint in spitalele din RFG si unul este in Anglia.  Cel din Anglia a fost impuscat cu dum-dum….UNDE SINT CEI CARE AU TRAS IN OAMENI?”                 –Vasile Neagoe

si la Bucuresti, 21-22 decembrie 1989

POPTEAN Petre, născut în 27.12.1965, la Margău lângă Huedin, domiciliat în Bucureşti str. Carpaţi 54, a lucrat ca şofer la ITB. In 21 Decembrie s-a dus în oraş să-şi protejeze sora care ieşea de la serviciu. Amândoi au plecat pe Calea Victoriei şi au ajuns la Dalles, unde cu groază au asistat la strivirea Mioarei Mirea de către tancheta ce intrase în mulţime făcând să sară în sus capete, mâini şi picioare într-un vacarm asurzitor. Prin sângele ce băltea pe jos, Petre i-a strigat sorei că se duce să ridice răniţii. Pe când era aplecat, a fost lovit în abdomen şi şoldul stâng de cartuşe dumdum care i-au provocat răni mari. Sora lui, Monica, a reuşit să oprească o salvare cu număr de Târgovişte, dar până la Spitalul 9 nu a mai rezistat. Aproape de ora 18 s-a stins Petre.

Spitalul Coltea (Cristian Calugar, “Cine a tras gloante explozive?” Flacara, 13 februarie 1991, p.9)

1. Nicolae Lucian, adus pe data de 21 (?) decembrie 1989. Diagnostic: fractura cominutiva femur sting in treimea inferioara, cu leziune de artera si vena femurala si pierdere de substanta prin plaga impuscata.

2. Necunoscut, adus pe 22 decembrie, ora 1, decedat la ora 1.30. Diagnostic: hemoragie peritoneala cataclismica cu plage de vena porta, case splinice, zdrobire de pancreas prin plaga impuscata hipocondru sting. Plaga zdrobita de colon travers.

Spitalul Municipal Rezerva nr. 3

“…O sa ne omoara pe toti, uite, asta de la mine din buzunar e primul glonte scos in spitalul nostru, dintr-o fetita de 12 ani.  In salon e un baiat, foarte grav ranit, un glonte dum-dum, d-ala, i-a facut praf diafragma, creasta iliaca, la iesire perforatia era cit o moneda de 5 lei….”

Andreea Hasnas, “Reportajul unui film cu TERORISTI,” Expres, nr. 10 (6-12 aprilie 1990), p. 5.

“In noaptea de 23 se reintorc in framintate zona a fostului cc.  In corpul A. Rebeca este impuscata in ambele picioare.  Este transportata la Spitalul Municipal.  I se extrase unul dintre gloante si revine in acele locuri tulburi.  In fata Directii a 5-a.  Eugen Cercel este impuscat cu doua gloante explozive care i-au zdrobit bazinul si picioarele.  Este invalid pe viata, si in carutul sa, se afla la mama sa in Moldova...”

Emil Munteanu, “Doi revolutionari [Rebeca Doina Cercel si Cazimir Benedict Ionescu], doua destine…” Romania Libera, 20 februarie 1992, p. 1.

Generalul Dan Voinea (interviu cu Romulus Cristea): “Nu exista victime (persoane impuscate) nici de la gloantele cu cap vidia, nici de la dum-dum.”

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Ce spun medici despre (ne)existenta gloantelor dum-dum in decembrie 1989? (Bucuresti)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 15, 2008

“Cine a tras gloante explozive?”

Revolutia din decembrie 1989 a lasat in urma ei foarte multe intrebari fara raspuns dintre care una destul de dureroasa este aceasta: cine a tras si mai ales cine a dat ordin sa se traga cu gloante explozive? Daca in rindurile care urmeaza nu putem raspunde acestor intrebari, cei putin vom reduce in actualitate o problema care este ignorata si trecuta sub tacere de cei care ar trebui s-o rezolve.

Inainte de toate, ce este un glont exploziv? Ca aspect si dimensiuni, nu se deosebeste de un glont obisnuit de calibrul 7,62 mm, deci poate fi folosit ca munitie pentru pistolul automat AKM. Ce il deosebeste de un glont obisnuit este faptul ca odata patruns in tinta, glontul “dum-dum” explodeaza, raspindind o puzderie de schije si producind distrugeri infioratoare in regiunea in care a intrat. Deci, daca cu un glont obisnuit se scoate adversarul din lupta, prin folosirea unui exploziv este sigur ca i se provoaca acestuia o rana care il va chinui toata viata, in cazul in care va supravietui leziunilor provocate de schije si puternicei hemoragii care insoteste de obicei o astfel de rana. Iata de ce acest tip de munitie a fost interzis de multi ani, prin tratate internationale.

Domnul profesor Nicolae Angelescu, seful Sectiei Chirurgie a Spitalului Coltea a avut amabilitatea sa ne explice citeva din aspectele tratamentului chirurgical al ranilor produse de gloante explozive:

–Sint mai multi factori, care contribuie la a face ca o plaga provocata de un astfel de glont sa fie greu de tratat si greu de vindecat. In primul rind prin explozia glontului se produc distrugeri masive de tesuturi in zona in care aceasta a patruns si uneori aceste tesuturi nu se mai pot reface. In al doilea rind, fragmentele metalice rezultate (?) in urma exploziei se raspindesc pe o intindere mare si de aceea nu pot fi extrase in totalitate, pentru ca extragerea lor ar provoca pacientului o rana mult mai mare decit cea produsa de glontul in sine. Deci, dupa operatie mai ramin in corpul pacientului destule fragmente metalice si acestea constituie surse de infectie care il agraveaza starea.

Pentru a va ajuta sa va dati seama cum arata si ce inseamna o rana produsa de un glont exploziv, va prezentam in continuarea diagnosticele de internare ale celor adusi in Spitalul Coltea, impuscati cu astfel de gloante:

1. Nicolae Lucian, adus pe data de 21 (?) decembrie 1989. Diagnostic: fractura cominutiva femur sting in treimea inferioara, cu leziune de artera si vena femurala si pierdere de substanta prin plaga impuscata.

2. Necunoscut, adus pe 22 decembrie, ora 1, decedat la ora 1.30. Diagnostic: hemoragie peritoneala cataclismica cu plage de vena porta, case splinice, zdrobire de pancreas prin plaga impuscata hipocondru sting. Plaga zdrobita de colon travers.

3. Radu Traian, adus pe data de 23 decembrie 1989. Diagnostic: plaga transfixianta glezna stinga cu fractura cominutiva tuberozitatea calcaneana. Sectinue artera si vena tibiala. Fractura deschisa cominutiva maleola interna dreapta.

4. Gherman Dumitru, adus pe 25 decembrie 1989. Diagnostic: plaga impuscata antrebat sting bipolara, cu explozie de ulna, in treimea distala si lipsa de substanta osoasa, sectiune de tendoane muschi flexori ai carpului si degetelor si sectiune de pachet vasculo-nervos ulnar.

5. Astafei Petre, adus pe 22 decembrie 1989, decedat. Diagnostic: plaga impuscata toraco-abdominala cu ruptura de ficat si rinichi drept. Hemopneu-motorax drept, hematom intraperitoneal, stare de soc hemoragic, fractura cominutiva coastele 7,8, si 9 drepte.

6. Soldat Constantinoiu Vasile, adus la data de 24 decembrie 1989, decedat. Diagnostic: hemotorax sting masiv cu soc hemoragic prin plaga impuscata cervico-toracala cu ruptura vertebrelor toracale T2, T6, ruptura vaselor vertebrale si a vaselor de la baza gitului….

Cristian Calugar, Flacara, 13-19 februarie 1991 (nr. 6) , pp. 8-9.

Generalul Dan Voinea (interviu cu Romulus Cristea): “Nu exista victime (persoane impuscate) nici de la gloantele cu cap vidia, nici de la dum-dum.”

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