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 ‘timisoara decembrie 1989’

Stănculescu: Istoria va lămuri ce s-a întâmplat la Timișoara … Ce spune Ghipsulescupedia?

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on May 21, 2014

(purely strictly personal views as always, based on more than two decades of prior research and publications, thank you)

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

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: #2 Shattered Glass: Securitate Vandalism to Justify Timisoara Crackdown

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: #3 “Anti-terrorism” and Regime Repression

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: #4 Timisoara Demonstrators Injured and Killed by Dum-Dum Bullets

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: #5 Timisoara (Podul Decebal) Evidence Suggests only the Securitate Had Dum-Dum Bullets

S

Silvana Patrascanu (cu Florin Stanescu si Marian Capota), “Certificatele de deces ale sotilor Ceausescu au fost intocmite ilegal in biroul lui Victor Atanasie Stanculescu,” Evenimentul Zilei nr. 388, septembrie 1993, p. 3.

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“–A venit doctor Vladimir Belis de la…

–Sa intre!

–Imediat!

–Poftiti, domnule director!…Luati loc!…

–Domnule general Stanculescu, speram sa ne vedem in conditii mai bune!…Am tras asa o frica…

–De ce? Va temeti de armata?

–Nu!….Vai de mine!…Astia care trag! Teroristii!…

–Trupele fidele dictatorului!…Securistii!….

–Am auzit ca securitatea s-a predat la dumneavoastra, inca din 22 decembrie!…

–Nu toti!…Mai sunt!…Nu i-ati vazut pe astia de la USLA?

–Da, teribil! Erau tot in drum!…Scuipa lumea pe ei!

–Ne-au atacat!…Au vrut sa ia in forta cladirea ministerului…

–Nu vorbiti!…

–Da!…Ei veneau cu blindatul iar, in jur, de la blocurile astea altii sareau gardul…Atacau!…Dom’le, ce dexteritate! Aveau o detenta formidabila!…Dintr-un salt, erau de partea asta! Apoi, inapoi!…Tot asa!…

–Nemaipomenit!…I-am vazut pe uslasii aia care au atacat posta mare!…

–Le-ati facut autopsie?

–Nu!…Se poate asa ceva? Sambata, am dat zi libera!…Daca-i liber, nu primim nici cadavre!…Direct la cimitir!…Eu eram ocupat cu niste ziaristi straini!…Obraznici, insistenti!

–Ce doreau sa afle?

–Prostii!…Cu ce au fost impuscati, aia din piata, tipul de munitie, identitate victimelor…Curiosi, foc!…

–Asa sunt invatatii…Ce le-ati spus?…

–Ce sa le spun? Adevarul!…La noi, fiind zi libera, nu au fost aduse cadavre!…Doar cateva!…Le asezasera in mijlocul holului!…I-am luat la rost pe brancardierii de la spitale! …Au mudarit marmura, pe jos!…Se poate?

–Deci, nu au fost autopsiate!…

–Se poate?…Eu am vazut cativa la Spitalul Coltea!…N-am inteles mai nimic, domnule general!…Cum dracu’?…Plaga prin impuscare cu arma de foc! Asta am inteles!…Dar, dupa o patrundere la nivel femural, glontul sa se plimba si sa iasa la nivel intercostal?!…E aproape imposibil!…Iar, la iesire, sa produca o ruptura de tesuturi, imensa!…Si organele interne facute varza?…N-am inteles!…[nota mea: deci rezultatele unui glont exploziv / dum-dum / softnosed ?]

–Sper ca nu ati dezbatut cu ziaristi!…

–Se poate?…Asa ceva nu se discuta!…Ei erau curiosi care sunt teroristii!…Navalisera pe aia, pusi pe marmura, marcati cu litera T: le-am zis ca te-ul ala inseamna transport, nu teroristi!…

–S-au potolit?

–Da, dupa ce au inteles!…Oricum, pentru mine ramane o enigma!…Si doctorii de la Coltea erau derutati! Nu mai spun ca ranitilor le era frica sa-si dea numele real!…Iar doctorii aveau in spate baieti care abia asteptau sa-i noteze!…Dezastru!…In noaptea lui 21, mai multi raniti au fugit din spitale!…

–Chiar asa?

–Da!…Mi-au spus doctorii!…Mortii n-au mai putut sa fuga!

–Au fost adusi la dumneavoastra!…

–Da…O parte!…

–Si nu le-ati facut autopsie!…

–V-am spus!…Nu!…S-a bagat doctorul [Florin] Stanescu [vezi alta postare], pana sa iau eu masuri!…

–Ce-a facut?

–Cateva autopsii!…A extras mai multe proiectile!…

–Unde sunt?

–N-aveti grija!…Le-a predat la Procuratura, impreuna cu rapoartele de constatare medico-legala!…Nu va fie teama!…Pe maini bune! [Intr-adevar!]…M-am interesat eu!

extras din Ion Costin Grigore, Cucuveaua cu pene rosii, Bucuresti: Editura Miracol, 1994, pp. 73-74.

“Macelarii”

“–Cine?

–Doctorul Florin Stanescu, de la Institutul de Medicina Legala!…

–Ce vrea?

–Nu stiu! Va cauta pe dumneavoastra!…E pe linia doi!…

–Bine! Iau eu legatura!…Alo!…Procurorul Vasiliu!…

–Domnul Eugen Vasiliu?…Va salut!…

–Salut!…

–Domnule procuror, vreau sa va aduc niste materiale!…

–Ce materiale?

–Stiti dumneavoastra!…Cu evenimentele din decembrie!…Dosarul…

–Care dosar, dom’le?

–Cel constituit pentru…

–Nu mai e nici un dosar dom’le doctor!…A fost inchis!…Din lipsa de probe!

–Da, dar vedeti, atunci s-a lucrat!…

–Cand?

–Pe 23 decembrie!…Nu a fost sambata libera!…Nu era…

–Se ce-i cu asta?

–Deci, se puteau face autopsii!…

–Si?

–S-ar fi aflat cine a tras, cine sunt teroristii!…

–Lasati, dom’le, povestile!…N-au fost teroristi!…

–Ma rog, cei care au dat ordin sa se traga!…

–Cine?

–Fosta nomenclatura!…

–Exclus!…

–Tot ei au dat ordin sa nu se faca autopsii!…

–Baliverne!…Pai, dom’le doctor, aia erau nebuni sa dea un astfel de ordin? Doar
eu il cunosc de 25 de ani! Aia este o prostie, o minciuna, nu exista un asemenea
ordin!…

–Verbal…

–Nici asa!…Ascultati-ma putin!…Eu, doctor, te tai pe tine, mort si scot un
glont de la tine. Pai, pana nu am arma, pot sa ma cac pe el de glont! Glontul nu
releva nimic! Eu am suficiente gloante din care sa inteleg ce s-a intamplat in
revolutie!…

–Cred ca vorbiti despre proiectile si nu despre gloante!…Banuiesc ca sunteti un
profesionist!…Dar, ma rog!…De ce nu continuati?…

–Pai, nu v-am spus ca dosarul e inchis? Din lipsa de probe! Cum dracu’sa
stabilesti care a tras, care a ucis, care a schilodit?…

–Simplu! Prin expertiza balistica coroborata cu concluzile medicului legist!…

–Povesti!…Nu se poate asa ceva!…Fapta nu exista!…

–Ba da!…Cum nu exista doi oameni cu aceleasi amprente digitale, nu exista doua
arme de foc care sa creeze pe proiectile expulzat din teava urme identice!…

–Cand veti fi dumneavoastra sef in procuratura, asa sa faceti! Deocamdata, eu
sunt…

–Se pare ca ati ignorat disparitia unui intreg carnet semnat in alb…

–Nu am fost sesizat!…

–Va sesizez eu, acum, desi sunt sigur ca stiti…

–Da, va rog!…Poftiti la registratura, cu buletinul de identitate sa depuneti o
plangere!…

–Adica, va faceti ca nu stiti ca doctorul Belis a sustras carnetul si l-a lasat
in birou la generalul Stanculescu?…

–Doctorul Belis este director! El nu poate fi acuzat ca a sustras ceea ce avea
dreptul…Din punct de vedere juridic…

–Tara ma tem ca nu prea va cunoasteti meseria…

–Eu ma tem si mai tare in privinta dumitale!…

–Domnule Vasiliu, lumea vorbeste ca ati fost mana in mana cu colonelul Tudor
Stanica, seful anchetelor…

–Ce-i rau in asta? Caracterul activitatii…

–Lasati, lasati!…Activitatea nu va obliga sa impartiti ciubucurile obtinute de la carciumarii arestati, care stateau mai mult acasa pe timpul arestului…

–Asta-i o calomnie ordinara!…

–Asa vorbeste lumea!…Iar procesele se terminau totdeauna in coada de peste!…Din
lipsa de probe!…Evident!…Ca si acum!…

–Nu permit sa fiu calomniat!…Va dau in judecata!

–Va rog!…Poate asa mai lamurim cate ceva!…Abia astept! Domnule procuror, exista
si proba veritatii!…Eu o pot trece cu brio!…V-am salutat!…

–Ordonati, dom’ procuror-sef!…

–Bai, fiti mai atenti! Nu mai imi dati legatura cu toti nebunii!…Notati
problemele!…De-astea sunteti acolo!…”

[Ion Costin Grigore, Cucuveaua cu Pene Rosii. Roman-gazeta., Bucuresti: Editura
Miracol, 1994, pp. 70-72.]

 

*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’.’

“Asta nu este pentru urechile publicului…”: Muammar Gaddafi, teroristi libieni, Plan Z-Z, si decembrie 1989 in Romania

mai mult despre subteranele speciale aici (Ted Koppel v. Dan Voinea):  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)

din cartea lui Perva si Roman, aflam de ce in martie 1991 ca si din senin Victor Stanculescu si-a amintit despre gloante vidia si le-a prezentat pentru presa:

“spre a fi mai explicit voi arata ca, in diminetile acelui decembrie cind veneam spre casa de la ziar cu masina unui coleg, secretarul nostru de redactie George Ecliserescu, geamul din spate al Daciei sale a fost strapuns de un asemenea glonte pe care l-am gasit apoi infipt la garnitura de cauciuc, din partea din stinga fata a parbrizului”

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from Orwellian Positively Orwellian Part III a fistful of bullets

Bucharest: Stanculescu’s unexpected revelation prompted a participant in the Revolution to challenge Stanculescu’s claim to ignorance as to the source of the bullets.  Ironically, while this challenge suggests Stanculescu may have being playing coy and not telling everything he knew, it does not contradict Stanculescu’s claim that the ammunition was not the Army’s, but rather buttresses it:

Balasa Gheorghe:  I am very intrigued by the interview given by General Stanculescu to the newspaper ‘Tineretul Liber,’ an interview in which he avoids the truth.

 

From [Securitate] Directorate V-a, from the weapons depot, on 23-24 December 1989, DUM-DUM cartridges, special cartridges that did not fit any arm in the arsenal of the Defense Ministry were retrieved.  Three or four boxes with these kinds of cartridges were found.  The special bullets were 5-6 cm. in length and less thick than a pencil.  Such a cartridge had a white stone tip that was transparent.  All of these cartridges I personally presented to be filmed by Mr. Spiru Zeres.  All the special cartridges, other than the DUM-DUM [ones] were of West German [FRG] make. From Directorate V-a we brought these to the former CC building, and on 23-24 December ’89 they were surrendered to U.M. 01305.  Captain Dr. Panait, who told us that he had never seen such ammunition before, Major Puiu and Captain Visinescu know about [what was turned over].

 

In the former CC of the PCR, all of those shot on the night of 23-24 December ’89 were shot with special bullets.  It is absurd to search for the bullet in a corpse that can penetrate a wall….[44]

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S-a vorbi mult in perioada crimelor din Decembrie ’89 despre gloante speciale cu care erau ucisi tineri si virstnici, gloante care–zice-se nu se aflau in dotarea unitatilor noastre militare. S-a vorbit mult pina s-a tacut si dupa ce s-a facut suficient s-a redeschis discutia de la “nu exista asa ceva!” Gloante speciale n-au existat!–s-au grabit sa spuna mai marii nostri. Dovezi!–cerea Elena Ceausescu intr-o anume situatie. Dovezi!–cere procurorul general M.U.P. Cherecheanu. Dovezi!–se alatura domnul general A. Stanculescu.

Pentru a cauta dovezi este nevoie de putina munca pe care organele in drept nu sint dispuse a o efectua. Se platesc lefuri grase ca sa se taca mai mult decit sa se faca. Bunaoara, la citeva saptamini dupa ce am predat Procuraturii dosarul cu furturile din C.C., procurorul care preluase ancheta de la subsemnatul, intrebat fiind daca a avansat cu ceva, mi-a spus ca nu si ca sa-l sprijin eu ca…Altfel spus, noi scriem–noi rezolvam. Va trebui pina la urma sa cerem adoptarea unei legi prin care sa ni se subordeneze Politia (sau S.R.I.-ul) ca sa-i spunem noi ce si cum sa faca. Pina atunci insa, ne vom limita la dovezi-marturii pe care oamenii le dau, le semneaza si raspund pentru ele.

Consemnam mai jos doua astfel de marturii despre gloante speciale dar si despre altele, marturii ale unor revolutionari din Decembrie ’89…

“UN ASTFEL DE CARTUS AVEA IN VIRF O PITRA ALBA, TRASPARENTA”

BALASA GHEORGHE: Sint foarte intrigat de interviul acordat de dl. general Stanculescu ziarului “Tineretul Liber”, interviu in care acesta ocoleste adevarul.

Din Directia a V-a, din depozitul de munitie, au fost scoase pe 23-24 decembrie 1989 cartuse DUM-DUM, cartuse speciale care nu se potriveau la nici o arma din dotarea M.Ap.N. S-au gasit trei-patru cutii cu astfel de cartuse. Gloantele speciale, erau lungi de 5-6 cm si putin mai groasa decit un creion. Un astfel de cartus avea in virf o piatra alba, transparenta. Toate aceste cartuse i le-am prezentat personal, spre a fi filmate, d-lui Spiru Zeres. Toate cartusele speciale, in afara de DUM-DUM era de provenienta RFG-ista. Din Directia a V-a au fost predate U.M. 01305. Capitan doctor Panait, care a spus ca pina atunci nu vazuse astel de munitie, maior Puiu si captian Visinescu stiu de ele.

In fostul sediu C.C. P.C.R., toti cei impuscati in noaptea de 23 spre 24 decembrie ’89 au fost impuscati cu gloante speciale. Un glont care trece prin zid e absurd sa-l cauti in trupul celui impuscat. Dar s-au mai gaist si altele in Directia a V-a, si anume:

armele de vinatoare ale lui Ceausescu. Erau vreo 5 arme unicat cu infrarosii:

–pistoale de salon cu teava lunga pentru antrenament;

–generator de inalta frecventa pentru tortura;

–statii de emisie-receptie;

–aparatura de foto de ultimul tip;

–dosarul de pregatire al celor de la USLA. Era un dosar de aproximativ 25 cm grosime si cit am stat acolo, sa pazesc, am rasfoit aproape jumatate din el;

–dosarul cu toate tunelurile de sub Bucuresti, cu iesiri si evacuari din cladiri importante, cum sint: C.C., Cotroceni, Casa Poporului, Primaverii (cu vilele din imprejurimi si insula din lac). Pe aceste scheme se arata exact sistemul de comunicare intre ele;

–buletine de identitate cu biletul inauntru pe care scria: “disparut in timpul anchetei”;

–casetele cu toate filmele facute cu vizitele lui Ceausescu;

–trei fisete cam de 1 m fiecare, pline cu pasapoarte. De exemplu erau trei pasapoarte cu aceeasi fotografie dar cu nume diferite;

–un dosar in care erau trecute diverse persoane aflate sub supravegherea anumitor ofiteri USLA.

–Impreuna cu mine, in cladirea CC PCR–corp. B. au mai fost si cunosc acestea urmatorii: ing. Minea Radu, Catalin Constantin, Varban Viorel, Catalin Crosu, Costel Ciuhad, Neagu George, Stoica Florin, maior Puiu si capitan Visinescu–de la regimentul de garda, capitan doctor Panait de la U.M. 01305 Bucuresti. Toate cele gasite au fost filmate de catre Spiru Zeres, iar apoi predate si transportate la U.M. 01305 Bucuresti pe 23 si 24 decembrie 1989.

“S-AU GASIT LAZI INTREGI, CONTININD DE LA GLOANTE SPECIALE, PINA LA GLOANTE DE VINATOARE”

Ing. MINEA RADU (cel care s-a ocupat de primirea pazirea si predarea celor gasite in Directia a V-a):

“S-au adus din Directia a V-a in incaperea aleasa de noi la parterul C.C.-ului, urmatoarele:

–extrem de multa munitie, lazi intregi de la gloante speciale pina la gloante de vinatoare sovietice, occidentale;

–foarte multe pasapoarte, pasapoarte diplomatice, pasapoarte in alb, legitimatii de serviciu. Printre legitimatii am gasit-o pe cea a lui ADALBERT COMANESCU–seful de Stat Major al generalului Neagoe. Legitimatia asta era formata din trei parti. Functie de situatie se arata pe partea corespunzatoare, datele din interior fiind codificate: era intr-un plastic albastru, special, cred ca era magnetic, iar fotografia era color;

–o multime de lazi pe care nu le-am desfacut;

–documente secrete carate cu paturile. Printre ele erau programate de actiune pentru situatii deosebite, cu nume de cod de calculator, pentru pregatirea ofiterilor de securitate. Erau de exemplu, moduri de actiune pentru dispersarea si anihilarea grupurilor mici. Mai erau moduri de actiune in intreprinderi fara ca ofiterii respectivi sa se deconspire. La sfirsitulul unor astfel de documente era o lista cu cursanti si cu semnaturile lor. In foarte multe din listele astea preponderenta era feminina: circa trei sferturi erau femei. Din ce-am citit despre dispersarea grupurilor mari, se recomanda ca niciodata sa nu se incerce direct aceasta, ci, mai intii, sa se desfasoare actiuni pentru spargerea lor in grupuri mai mici si acestea sa se anihileze separat;

–dozimetre, contoare Geiger, osciloscoape multispot, truse electronice de depanare, calculatoare, aparatura foto;

–truse chimice de teren;

–o ladita cu obiecte de valoare (farfurii de argint masiv, grele, foarte vechi, datind de prin 1700);

–gheme intregi de sirma de platina pentru filigran;

–un stilou dozimetru, de care multi s-au speriat; era de provenienta sovietica, nichelat si gradat in multiroentgen;

codor pentru transmisiii U.K.V. Despre acesta s-a spus la TV ca ar fi o bomba pentru a arunca in aer subsolul. S-a aflat, de fapt, de ce nu interceptam noi ceea ce transmiteau ei prin statii. Aceasta fiindca se lucra pe o frecventa putin deasupra frecventei acordate si cu aceste codoare-decodoare se lucra pentru a transmite-receptiona. Daca nu le aveati si intrai intimplator pe frecventa, nu intelegeai nimic;

–masina de codat, cu calculatoare afisate pe ea. Masina asta am predat-o cu multa grija armatei, a fost pusa numai ea intr-un TAB si transportata l adapost pe 24 decembrie 1989;

–pustile de vinatoare ale lui Ceausescu. Cineva mi-a spus ca o pusca de acel tip valora cit trei Mercedes-uri. Si acestea, impachetate separat in paturi, au fost predate armatei;

–niste truse pistoale foarte ciudate;

–seturi intregi de fiole cu substante neoparalizante, de productie occidentala;

–in sala de mese de la subsolul C.C.-ului s-au gasit doua caiete, gen condici cu numele ofiterilor de securitate care luau masa acolo;

–o lista tiparita cu intreprinderile din Bucuresti, care continea in plus numerele de telefon si camerele unde puteau fi gasiti ofiterii de securitate din intreprinderile respective. Toate acestea au fost predate actualuli maior Puiu si unui locotenent-colonel:

–agende ale fostilor demitari in care erau trecute numele si numerele de telefon ale femeilor cu care aveau legaturi amoroase. In dreptul unor astfel de nume era trecut si ce le dadusera acestora in schimb: pantofi, fustele de piele, haine, caciuli de blana etc. Intr-o dimineata l-am surprins pe Varban Viorel sunind la o astfel de femeie si incercind sa o santajeze….

Cu toate cite s-au gasit exista caseta video facuta de dl. Spiru Zeres inainte de a le fi predat armatei.

Sint in cele doua declaratii de mai sus, suficiente elemente pentru o ancheta a Politiei sau Procuraturii. Adresele celor doi nu trebuie neaparat publicate. Acestea deoarece, din cite stim, toti cei care au pus piciorul in fostul sediu C.C. au…dosare gata facute.

[Dan Badea, “GLOANTE SPECIALE SAU CE S-A MAI GASIT IN CLADIREA DIRECTIEI A V-A,” Expres, 16-22 aprilie 1991]

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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: #2 Shattered Glass: Securitate Vandalism to Justify Timisoara Crackdown

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on February 13, 2014

(Purely personal views as always, based on over two decades of research and publications inside and outside Romania)

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe–Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.  This (likely aperiodic) series looks at 25 things I have learned about the events of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  The numbering is not designed to assign importance, but rather–to the extent possible–to progress chronologically through those events.

Significance:  I have essentially been the only researcher who has consistently advocated this understanding.  Most others–including Peter Siani-Davies–tended to dismiss it.  Now we have documentary evidence that it took place.

An excellent documentary from 1991 posted to the internet by Florin Iepan only recently and seen rarely if at all since its showing in 1991.  There is much interesting information in this film.  (The film seems to start at min. 19:00 and has to be rewound to its beginning.)  Here, I will focus on the claim beginning at approximately min. 17:40 that the destruction of Timisoara shops and storefronts was organized and a pretext to justify–including legally–the repression by the Ceausescu regime of Timisoara demonstrators.  Interior Minister Tudor Postelnicu’s declaration of 17 March 1990 confirms this claim and the observations of eyewitnesses.

Timisoara Decembrie 1989 / Timisoara December 1989,

regia/directed by – Ovidiu Bose Pastina
imaginea/camera – Doru Segal

Sahiafilm 1991

Tudor Postelnicu (Ministerul de Interne in decembrie 1989):  “Unii militari de la trupele de securitate ale brigazii Timisoara au facut unele provocari la unele magazine si vitrine spargind geamurile sa imprastie participantii de pe straziile din apropriere, apoi au intrat in altercatie cu ei, si acum (?) vor sa le faca militia ordine.  ‘Nu am aflat ca costa provocare a zis Gl. Nuta, am trimis pe …” (17.III.1990) 

http://sensidev.com/fc/dosare%20de%20urmarire%20penala/dosar%20%20de%20urmarire%20penala%20volumul%2011/IMG_2576.JPG (Dosarul de Urmarire Penala, Vol. 11, IMG 2576)

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Before we move on here, it is worth noting how this destruction was covered in Peter Siani-Davies’ 2005 volume The Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  As I have written on many occasions, Siani-Davies’ volume is wonderfully-written and is excellent, but the claim by Daniel Chirot that is a “near-definitive” account is far off the mark.  One of the negative characteristics of Siani-Davies’ work is the use of “filler” rational choice, cui bono arguments where he concludes there is not enough information to make a valid judgment.  The problem is the question is never one of “what was possible?” “what makes ‘sense’?” but rather what did happen?

Thus, for example in the case of the destruction of Timisoara Siani-Davies argues that there was already enough of a basis for the regime to crackdown, therefore why would they need to create a pretext for cracking down:  “Given the seriousness of the situation and the fact that shots had already been fired elsewhere, the security forces hardly needed to produce a further ‘excuse’ for the massacre which was to follow.” (p. 68)

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Back to exploring more of the evidence…

An excerpt from Chapter 5 of 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.  The Beginning of the End: Timisoara, 15-17 December 1989

The “Window Breakers”

The reportedly unusual scope of physical destruction which occurred in Timisoara, particularly on the afternoon and evening of 17 December 1989, has fueled revisionist arguments. Estimates of the damage during the Timisoara unrest are in the neighborhood of four to five billion lei (approximately forty to fifty million dollars at the time), a reasonably large sum given Romania’s standard of living at the time. A huge number of windows was broken and as many as 300 to 400 stores suffered some sort of damage, although relatively few were actually looted. On the evening of 17 December, stores, vehicles, and kiosks were burning in at least ten different areas of the city.[65]

Former Securitate officers clearly wish to link this destruction to the “foreign tourists” who were supposedly so ubiquitous in Timisoara during these days.[66] Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, former Securitate Director Iulian Vlad argued at his trial that

…the acts of vandalism, theft, destruction, arson… acts without precedent…could not have been the work [“opera”] of the faithful [apparently referring sarcastically to Tokes’ parishioners], nor the revolutionaries. They were produced by elements which wished to create a certain atmosphere of tension.[67]

Eyewitness accounts recorded soon after the events–therefore at a time before the various plots and scenarios had permeated the popular imagination–support the hypothesis that the vandalism was organized. Moldovan Fica remarks:

I admit that I cannot escape a certain conclusion. All of this [destruction] was done by a group of about five or six individuals, whose calm demeanor and self-control continues to stay with me to this day. They did not run from the scene, they appeared as if they did not fear anything; I would say that, in fact, they were doing what was required of them, something which had been ordered directly of them![75]

Describing destruction in a different part of the city, Andras Vasile observed that

…four young men with shaved heads and wearing civilian clothes had sticks–I would term them special sticks–1.7 to 1.8 meters long, equipped with metal rings on the top of them. They were breaking the windows, but not taking anything, as if they only had something against the windows, something which they thus went about with great enjoyment…they were led by two individuals in leather jackets.[76]

Other eyewitnesses supply details which confirm the widespread character of the vandalism; its undeniably organized quality; the disinterest of its perpetrators in looting the stores; and the almost “drugged” nature of the perpetrators, who seemed unperturbed by the chaos and repression going on around them.[77]

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997/

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Moldovan Fica (martor ocular)

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Andras Vasile (martor ocular)

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Ioan Savu discussed the windowbreakers as follows:

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Other depictions of this event available online:

Conducerea partidului, alarmată, a trimis în Piaţa Maria, conform Ordinului 02600, numeroşi miliţieni şi trupe speciale, pentru a lichida manifestaţia care luase amploare. Circulaţia în zonă se întrerupsese. În Piaţa Maria au fost trimişi aproximativ 200 de activişti de partid, miliţieni şi numeroşi ofiţeri de securitate, îmbrăcaţi în haine civile. Au urmat ciocniri violente, mai ales după ce manifestanţii s-au încolonat şi au pornit spre sediul CJ PCR, strigând “Libertate”, “Vrem pâine”, “Vrem căldură”, “Azi la Timişoara, mâine în toată ţara”.
În acea seară echipe de miliţie dinainte pregătite au spart vitrinele magazinelor din centrul oraşului, pentru a avea argumente pentru o intervenţie în forţă. Desigur, multe vitrine au fost sparte şi de derbedei, asupra cărora s-au găsit bunuri furate. În acea noapte au fost arestate aproape 5-600 de cetăţeni. Ei au fost duşi la Penitenciarul oraşului, unde au fost bătuţi în mod bestial. În zilele care au urmat arestării au fost anchetaţi în vederea trimiterii lor în judecată. Bineînţeles, dacă Revoluţia n-ar fi reuşit.

“Azi la Timişoara”
Ivan Sabin

http://revista.memoria.ro/?location=view_article&id=371

Totuşi, se ştie că în acele zile fierbinţi din Timişoara au existat „personaje neidentificate” care au acţionat în mai multe zone ale oraşului. Am să amintesc aici doar două aspecte concrete cu privire la implicarea acestora în evenimentele din Timişoara. În zilele de 16 şi 17 decembrie au fost sparte aproape toate vitrinele magazinelor din zona centrală a oraşului. Sunt zeci de declaraţii ale revoluţionarilor care fac o descriere clară a celor care au spart acele geamuri. Au fost oameni bine îmbrăcaţi, robuşti şi tunşi scurt. Aceştia erau dotaţi cu nişte beţe speciale cu care printr-un gest scurt şi foarte bine exersat loveau vitrinele, după care plecau fără a încerca să sustragă ceva din magazine. Aceste persoane au fost văzute chiar şi de forţele de ordine desfăşurate în acea zonă, care în mod ciudat nu au luat măsuri împotriva lor, ci au acţionat împotriva manifestanţilor ce demonstrau împotriva regimului ceauşist. Un alt aspect relatat de mulţi timişoreni se referă mai ales la zilele de 17-19 decembrie, când, în rândul cordoanelor militare din diferite dispozitive amplasate în zonele importante ale oraşului, între soldaţi, erau intercalate persoane mai în vârstă, nebărbierite îmbrăcate doar parţial în uniforme militare, care nu făceau parte din acele unităţi militare.

Cine au fost acele „persoane neidentificate”? De ce s-a dorit în unele cercuri, cu insistenţă chiar, acreditarea ideii că oamenii au fost scoşi în stradă de agenţi străini? De ce, chiar şi după 20 de ani, se fac afirmaţii de genul: cadavrele celor arşi la Crematoriul „Cenuşa” erau ale unor agenţi străini? Nu voi căuta acum răspunsuri la aceste întrebări, dar, cu siguranţă, ele există.

Kali Adrian Matei

nascut in 30 iulie 1968 la Timisoara, muncitor la IJPIPS (1989), profesor de istorie la Liceul de informatica (1998), impuscat in spate

La Bijuterii concetatenii nostri tigani carau ce puteau. Numai la “Modex” nu era spart. Un grup de oameni se uitau cum niste indivizi bine instruiti spargeau geamurile de linga restaurantul Bulevard. Am rugat oamenii sa apere Modexul, pentru ca era clar ca spargatorii n-aveau nimic comun cu revolta.  30 septembrie 1995  http://timisoara.com/newmioc/4.htm

“În data de 14 decembrie, securitatea a spart toate gemurile din partea străzii principale, iar clădirea arăta ca o cetate asediată. Fostul primar al Timişorei, Petre Moţ l-a vizitat pe Tokes şi a ieşit la geam pentru a vorbi mulţimii. Moţ a cerut să se pună geamuri noi. Erau foarte multe maşini ale securiştilor. Întreaga stradă era ocupată. Se făcea filaj. Eu locuiam acolo, ba intram, ba ieşeam. Nu se vorbea încă revoluţie. Era o solidaritatea faţă de pastor”, declarat Iosif Kabai (foto), care locuieşte şi acum în clădirea bisericii reformate.Citeste mai mult: adevarul.ro/locale/timisoara/16-decembrie-1989-ziua-timisoara-s-a-strigat-data-democratie-jos-comunismul-1_50bd3d887c42d5a663c8e01f/index.html

Radu Tinu cu Angela Bacescu…

The reportedly unusual scope of physical destruction which occurred in Timisoara, particularly on the afternoon and evening of 17 December 1989, has fueled revisionist arguments. Estimates of the damage during the Timisoara unrest are in the neighborhood of four to five billion lei (approximately forty to fifty million dollars at the time), a reasonably large sum given Romania’s standard of living at the time. A huge number of windows was broken and as many as 300 to 400 stores suffered some sort of damage, although relatively few were actually looted. On the evening of 17 December, stores, vehicles, and kiosks were burning in at least ten different areas of the city.[65]

Former Securitate officers clearly wish to link this destruction to the “foreign tourists” who were supposedly so ubiquitous in Timisoara during these days.[66] Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, former Securitate Director Iulian Vlad argued at his trial that

…the acts of vandalism, theft, destruction, arson… acts without precedent…could not have been the work [“opera”] of the faithful [apparently referring sarcastically to Tokes’ parishioners], nor the revolutionaries. They were produced by elements which wished to create a certain atmosphere of tension.[67]

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RADU TINU:…SINGURLE COMPLEXE COMERCIALE RAMASE INTREGI AU FOST CELE DIN FATA MILITIEI JUDETENE SI CEL DE LANGA FABRICA “MODERN”…

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The significance of window-breaking as a justification for repression–something the Securitate would have realized–was outlined by Nicolae Ceausescu in his teleconference of 17 December 1989 as follows:

“Oricine intra intr-un Consiliu Popular, intr-un sediu de partid sau sparge un geam la un magazin trebuie sa primeasca riposta imediat.

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Col. Ion Popescu (sef IGM)’s defense lawyer appealed to Legea 21 and Decretul 121 specifically as obligating Interior Ministry (M.I.–Militia and Securitate) forces to intervene in response to the breaking of windows of commercial units…

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Thus, the breaking of windows, which according to Interior Minister was instigated and carried out in part by Securitate Brigade 30 under the command of Ion Bunoaica served a bureaucratic and legalistic function–a tactic not unknown in the annals of other totalitarian or authoritarian regimes…

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An excerpt from Chapter 5 of 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.  The Beginning of the End: Timisoara, 15-17 December 1989

The “Window Breakers”

The reportedly unusual scope of physical destruction which occurred in Timisoara, particularly on the afternoon and evening of 17 December 1989, has fueled revisionist arguments. Estimates of the damage during the Timisoara unrest are in the neighborhood of four to five billion lei (approximately forty to fifty million dollars at the time), a reasonably large sum given Romania’s standard of living at the time. A huge number of windows was broken and as many as 300 to 400 stores suffered some sort of damage, although relatively few were actually looted. On the evening of 17 December, stores, vehicles, and kiosks were burning in at least ten different areas of the city.[65]

Former Securitate officers clearly wish to link this destruction to the “foreign tourists” who were supposedly so ubiquitous in Timisoara during these days.[66] Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, former Securitate Director Iulian Vlad argued at his trial that

…the acts of vandalism, theft, destruction, arson… acts without precedent…could not have been the work [“opera”] of the faithful [apparently referring sarcastically to Tokes’ parishioners], nor the revolutionaries. They were produced by elements which wished to create a certain atmosphere of tension.[67]

“A group of former Securitate officers” wrote to the Ceausist Democratia in September 1990 that after the Militia and Securitate refused to respond to the demonstrations provoked by the “foreign tourists”: “they advance[d] to the next stage: the massive destruction of public property designed to provoke forcible interventions–human victims were needed.”[68]

Nevertheless, here is how one opposition journalist, Grid Modorcea, has described the strange character of Timisoara destruction:

For the first time in history, a revolution…was announced in a previously unknown and absolutely original manner, both literally and figuratively speaking: through the methodical breakage of thousands of windows. On 16 and 17 December 1989, Timisoara was the city of [glass] shards. Well-trained groups of athletes spread throughout the town, tactically, but energetically smashing to pieces hundreds of huge windows without apparently being interested in stealing from these stores…they were like mythical Magis coming to announce the end of one world and the beginning of another. And they gave it an apocalyptic quality: the sound produced by the breaking glass was infernal. The panic this caused was indescribable….Those who “executed” the windows did so with karate-like kicks while yelling “Liberty and Justice”!…The crowds of people who came out into the streets transformed spontaneously into columns of demonstrators, of authentic revolutionaries. The effect was therefore monumental: the breaking of the windows unleashed the popular revolt against the dictator.[69]

Modorcea is convinced that the Tokes case was “merely a pretext” and that “someone–perhaps those who planned the vandalizing of the windows–has an interest in preventing it from being known who broke the windows.” Although Modorcea maintains he is unsure who was responsible, he insists on observing that:

Only the Customs people know how many tourists there were. All were men and long-haired. Inside their cars they had canisters. This fits with the method of the breaking of the windows, with the Molotov cocktails, and the drums used as barricades–they were exactly of the same type….To what extent the new regime which came to power was implicated, we cannot say![70]

Many Timisoara protesters appear torn between wishing to rationalize the extensive destruction as the courageous response of an enraged, long-suffering population, and denying that the perpetrators could have come from among their ranks. Even those investigators attuned to the retroactive psychology of the protesters cannot help but admit that widespread destruction occurred and that it could not have been wholly spontaneous.[71] Furthermore, as Laszlo Tokes has observed in discussing the events at Piata Maria, manipulation and attempts to instigate the crowd to violence were constant features during these days.

Tokes maintains that Securitate provocateurs had tried to agitate the crowd by shouting things like, “Let’s break into the house. The Securitate are in there; they’re trying to kidnap Laszlo Tokes! Let’s rush them!” and by appealing for him to “Come down into the street and lead us!”[72] According to Tokes:

I was alarmed at the obvious provocation from individuals in the crowd clearly intent on making the situation uncontrollable….Later, thinking about the events of those two days, I realized that the authorities would have had a great deal to gain if the situation had become a riot.[73]

Mircea Balan questions whether the protesters would have set stores on fire which were located on the ground floor of the buildings in which the protesters themselves lived.[74] Moreover, he wonders how even the revolutionary fury of the crowd could drive protesters to break so many windows, particularly given the presence of repressive forces on the streets. It is what Balan has termed the “systematic devastation” of property which raises questions.

Eyewitness accounts recorded soon after the events–therefore at a time before the various plots and scenarios had permeated the popular imagination–support the hypothesis that the vandalism was organized. Moldovan Fica remarks:

I admit that I cannot escape a certain conclusion. All of this [destruction] was done by a group of about five or six individuals, whose calm demeanor and self-control continues to stay with me to this day. They did not run from the scene, they appeared as if they did not fear anything; I would say that, in fact, they were doing what was required of them, something which had been ordered directly of them![75]

Describing destruction in a different part of the city, Andras Vasile observed that

…four young men with shaved heads and wearing civilian clothes had sticks–I would term them special sticks–1.7 to 1.8 meters long, equipped with metal rings on the top of them. They were breaking the windows, but not taking anything, as if they only had something against the windows, something which they thus went about with great enjoyment…they were led by two individuals in leather jackets.[76]

Other eyewitnesses supply details which confirm the widespread character of the vandalism; its undeniably organized quality; the disinterest of its perpetrators in looting the stores; and the almost “drugged” nature of the perpetrators, who seemed unperturbed by the chaos and repression going on around them.[77]

Mircea Balan has little doubt who committed this “systematic destruction”:

Demonstrators might have thrown rocks in windows, but the destruction of the entire store was not their work…Nobody need believe that for such a thing foreign intervention was necessary, seeing as there were enough first-class specialists in destruction and demolition right here at home. The Securitate could not have been foreign to what happened, no matter how much it fiercely attempts to deny this today. They were professionals in the art of destruction. They needed a justification for the bloody repression.[78]

In March 1990, Puspoki had been willing to identify the culprits more specifically. According to Puspoki, as the demonstrators began to gather to prevent Tokes’ eviction:

The USLA’s Sabotage and Diversion team was readied to break store windows, to devastate and set fires–to create the conditions necessary for mass repression: the existence of disorder in the streets and theft on the part of the demonstrators.[79]

Securitate Major Radu Tinu’s observation that the commercial complex “in front of the county Militia building” (i.e. the Inspectorate in which both the Securitate and Militia offices were located) was one of only two such complexes in the whole city to remain intact during these days may also be an indication of the source of the destruction.[80]

It is possible then that to the extent that this destruction did indeed contain an organized component, it was designed by the regime to subvert and cast suspicion upon the intentions of the protesters and to create a pretext for repression. To the extent that an organized component did contribute to the destruction, it was far more likely to have been regime forces attempting to undermine the protests than foreign agents attempting to provoke an uprising against the regime.

[65].. See, for example, Grid Modorcea, “Spargerea Geamurilor [The Breaking of the Windows],” Expres Magazin, no. 49 (1991), 8-9; Mircea Bunea, “Eroii noi si vechi [New and old heroes],” Adevarul, 2 February 1991, in Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 448-449; Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 57-58.

[66].. See, for example, the comments of Radu Tinu, the deputy director of the Timis County Securitate, in Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 67-85.

[67].. Mircea Bunea, “Ipse Dixit,” Adevarul, 21 February 1991, in Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 463. Vlad’s determination to emphasize that these were “acts without precedent” makes one wonder if they were indeed without precedent.

[68].. A group of former Securitate officers, “Asa va place revolutia? Asa a fost! [You like the revolution? Here is how it was!],” Democratia, no. 36 (24-30 September 1990), 4. The lengthy defense by these officers of the Fifth Directorate in this letter suggests that they were members of this directorate.

[69].. Modorcea, “Spargerea Geamurilor,” 8.

[70].. Ibid.

[71].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[72].. Tokes, With God, for the People, 153, 156.

[73].. Ibid., 156.

[74].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[75].. Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 96.

[76].. Ibid, 118. The fact that the two persons supervising the destruction are described as having worn “leather jackets” strongly suggests they may have been Securitate men. Mihai Decean claims that on a train headed for Bucharest on 25 December (therefore after Ceausescu’s flight), he helped in the arrest of two USLA officers whom he describes as “athletic, with shaved heads, and wearing leather jackets.” See Laura Ganea, “La Timisoara se mai trage inca” Tinerama, no. 77 (July 1991), 3.

[77].. Ibid., 71, 122. Some of the eyewitnesses cited in Modorcea, “Spargerea Geamurilor,” say similar things; Modorcea, however, gives them a very different interpretation.

[78].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[79].. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (III).”

[80].. Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 80.

The following was added some years later as a footnote to the section above in republications of this chapter.  Badea says here “many years later” Postelnicu admitted this, but as we can now see from the Timisoara files, he wrote it in his declaration/statement dated 17 March 1990.

(In connection with the “window breakers” we do know a little more today than we did then back in 1996.  Dan Badea wrote in 1999 Bunoaica and the Window Breakers that “Tudor Postelnicu, the Interior Minister at the time, was to declare many years later that the “breaking of the windows” was a mission executed by personnel from the 30th Securitate Brigade led by col. Ion Bunoaica).  Orele 20.00 – 21.00: Sint sparte toate vitrinele magazinelor de pe Bulevardul 6 Martie (Tudor Postelnicu, ministru de interne la acea vreme, avea sa declare multi ani mai tirziu ca “spargerea vitrinelor” a fost o misiune executata de militari ai Brigazii 30 Securitate condusa de col. Ion Bunoaica).

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

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Revizionism securist despre spargerea vitrinelor la Timisoara si cateva adevaruri incomode pentru securisti-revizionisti

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 27, 2013

(as always, a strictly personal point of view, based on research dating back to the 1990s and my dissertation defended at Indiana University in December 1996…not for nothing did I include in the title of my dissertation “the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism”!!!; punct de vedere strict personal, ca intotdeauna)

Iata, ce scrie Evenimentul Zilei, un ziar, despre care se spune, ca este mai putin influentat de interesele fostilor securisti…

Marian Ştef, fost securist din Timișoara

”Nu m-au lăsat, la Proces, să vorbesc despre agenții KGB”

Când a început Procesul Revoluţiei, Ştef a ajuns martor al apărării. “Am încercat să povestesc despre “combinezoanele negre” , adică despre agenţii KGB care au făcut atmosferă la Revoluţie. Nu m-au lăsat. În seara de 16 decembrie, aproape de biserica lui Tokes, undeva între orele 19 şi 20, i-am văzut 
prima dată pe agenţi. Erau opt, îmbrăcaţi în negru. Spărgeau vitrinele la Librăria Mihail Sadoveanu şi îi îndemnau şi pe puştanii de stradă să facă la fel. Mi-a sărit în faţă vocea lor: vorbeau româneşte, dar suna diferit. Aveau accent străin. Peste trei zile, am reîntâlnit  combinezoanele negre  pe podul de la Elba, când a fost incendiat un tractor. Erau 12. Instigau oamenii. Au introdus elemente de teroare în rândul oamenilor”, îşi aminteşte fostul ofiţer de contraspionaj economic. A condus singur, jumătate de an, SRI. Dacă la Revoluţie a fost trecut în rezervă, odată cu toate cadrele din fosta Securitate, la scurt timp după înfiinţarea SRI, în august 1990, s-a angajat în structură. Avea gradul de locotenent major. A avut o evoluţie interesantă. Patru ani mai târziu a fost numai prim adjunct al şefului SRI, funcţie pe care a deţinut-o opt ani. Şase luni din această perioadă a condus singur serviciul. S-a pensionat în 2006. 

Citiţi mai mult: Destăinuirile unui fost SECURIST din Timișoara: Revoluția a fost animată cu agenți KGB – EVZ Special > EVZ.ro http://www.evz.ro/detalii/stiri/povestea-securistului-de-bine-revolutia-a-fost-animata-cu-agenti-kgb-1073612.html#ixzz2odWHnsHx 
EVZ.ro

De ce nu cred in ceea ce spune fostul securist

1) Marturia olografica lui Tudor Postelnicu din 17 martie 1990

2) Martori oculari din cartea lui Titus Suciu, Reportaj cu sufletul la Gura (Timisoara, 1990)

3) Un detaliu “scapat” dintr-un interviu intre Radu Tinu, fost securist din Timisoara, si Angela Bacescu in 1991

1)

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Tudor Postelnicu (Ministerul de Interne in decembrie 1989):  “Unii militari de la trupele de securitate ale brigazii Timisoara au facut unele provocari la unele magazine si vitrine spargind geamurile sa imprastie participantii de pe straziile din apropriere, apoi au intrat in altercatie cu ei, si acum (?) vor sa le faca militia ordine.  ‘Nu am aflat ca costa provocare a zis Gl. Nuta, am trimis pe …” (17.III.1990)  http://sensidev.com/fc/dosare%20de%20urmarire%20penala/dosar%20%20de%20urmarire%20penala%20volumul%2011/IMG_2576.JPG (Dosarul de Urmarire Penala, Vol. 11, IMG 2576)

Cateva observatii:

a) Postelnicu nu spune nimic despre asa-zisii “turisti sovietici” sau “turisti rusi” (o tema revizionista foarte populara) …nu spune ca ei au facut distrugerea…

b) In schimb, Postelnicu spune ca securistii au facut provocarile…dar atentie:  nu spune ca ei le-au facut sa intareasca demonstrantii, ci “sa imprastie participantii de pe straziile din apropriere…”

deci nu intr-un scop ca detonatorii a unei revolutii (alta tema revizionista foarte populara), ci ca o tactica din arsenalul represiunii!

Nicolae Serban, “Cine a tras?” Romania Libera, 23 martie 1991, p. 2a.

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2) Ioan Savu, declaratie, 11 iulie 1991

Ioan Savu discussed the windowbreakers as follows:

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An excerpt from Chapter 5 of 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.  The Beginning of the End: Timisoara, 15-17 December 1989

The “Window Breakers”

The reportedly unusual scope of physical destruction which occurred in Timisoara, particularly on the afternoon and evening of 17 December 1989, has fueled revisionist arguments. Estimates of the damage during the Timisoara unrest are in the neighborhood of four to five billion lei (approximately forty to fifty million dollars at the time), a reasonably large sum given Romania’s standard of living at the time. A huge number of windows was broken and as many as 300 to 400 stores suffered some sort of damage, although relatively few were actually looted. On the evening of 17 December, stores, vehicles, and kiosks were burning in at least ten different areas of the city.[65]

Former Securitate officers clearly wish to link this destruction to the “foreign tourists” who were supposedly so ubiquitous in Timisoara during these days.[66] Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, former Securitate Director Iulian Vlad argued at his trial that

…the acts of vandalism, theft, destruction, arson… acts without precedent…could not have been the work [“opera”] of the faithful [apparently referring sarcastically to Tokes’ parishioners], nor the revolutionaries. They were produced by elements which wished to create a certain atmosphere of tension.[67]

Eyewitness accounts recorded soon after the events–therefore at a time before the various plots and scenarios had permeated the popular imagination–support the hypothesis that the vandalism was organized. Moldovan Fica remarks:

I admit that I cannot escape a certain conclusion. All of this [destruction] was done by a group of about five or six individuals, whose calm demeanor and self-control continues to stay with me to this day. They did not run from the scene, they appeared as if they did not fear anything; I would say that, in fact, they were doing what was required of them, something which had been ordered directly of them![75]

Describing destruction in a different part of the city, Andras Vasile observed that

…four young men with shaved heads and wearing civilian clothes had sticks–I would term them special sticks–1.7 to 1.8 meters long, equipped with metal rings on the top of them. They were breaking the windows, but not taking anything, as if they only had something against the windows, something which they thus went about with great enjoyment…they were led by two individuals in leather jackets.[76]

Other eyewitnesses supply details which confirm the widespread character of the vandalism; its undeniably organized quality; the disinterest of its perpetrators in looting the stores; and the almost “drugged” nature of the perpetrators, who seemed unperturbed by the chaos and repression going on around them.[77]

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997/

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Moldovan Fica (martor ocular)

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Andras Vasile (martor ocular)

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3) Radu Tinu cu Angela Bacescu…

The reportedly unusual scope of physical destruction which occurred in Timisoara, particularly on the afternoon and evening of 17 December 1989, has fueled revisionist arguments. Estimates of the damage during the Timisoara unrest are in the neighborhood of four to five billion lei (approximately forty to fifty million dollars at the time), a reasonably large sum given Romania’s standard of living at the time. A huge number of windows was broken and as many as 300 to 400 stores suffered some sort of damage, although relatively few were actually looted. On the evening of 17 December, stores, vehicles, and kiosks were burning in at least ten different areas of the city.[65]

Former Securitate officers clearly wish to link this destruction to the “foreign tourists” who were supposedly so ubiquitous in Timisoara during these days.[66] Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, former Securitate Director Iulian Vlad argued at his trial that

…the acts of vandalism, theft, destruction, arson… acts without precedent…could not have been the work [“opera”] of the faithful [apparently referring sarcastically to Tokes’ parishioners], nor the revolutionaries. They were produced by elements which wished to create a certain atmosphere of tension.[67]

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RADU TINU:…SINGURLE COMPLEXE COMERCIALE RAMASE INTREGI AU FOST CELE DIN FATA MILITIEI JUDETENE SI CEL DE LANGA FABRICA “MODERN”…

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Revisiting the Myths of the Revolution. Part II: The “Timisoara Syndrome” or the “False Timisoara Grave (the Paupers Cemetery)/Massacre”

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 21, 2013

Myth No. 1:  The “Timisoara Syndrome”…The “False/Fake Timisoara Massacre”…”Madonna and Child”

Of the three myths that I am exploring in this series, conspiratorial explanations tend to outweigh postmodernist explanations perhaps most heavily in the coverage of this first myth (for part I of this series, see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/21/revisiting-the-myths-of-the-romanian-revolution-part-i-the-hegemony-of-conspiratorial-and-postmodernist-explanations/ ).

Myth 1:  The “Timisoara Syndrome” or the “False Timisoara Grave (the Paupers Cemetery)/Massacre”

Myth 2:  The water is posioned!  (Apa este otravita!)

Myth 3:  The Romanian Television building is in danger, danger of an explosion!   (TVR e in pericol–Pericol de explozie!)

I will address two aspects of Myth no. 1 below:  1) the presumed intentionality of the digging up of corpses unrelated to the Timisoara repression (the Paupers Cemetery, 22 December 1989) with intent to disinform public opinion (domestic and foreign) and 2) that the ultimate false character of the Timisoara Paupers Cemetery episode is evidence of the absence of a true Timisoara massacre.

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Jacques Levesque in The Enigma of 1989 (1997, University of California Press, p. 195, online at http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft4q2nb3h6;chunk.id=0;doc.view=print) captures quite well popular conspiratorial explanations of the “fake grave,” and “false massacre” it was supposedly used to suggest, in the following passage:

Let us mention some examples. The reports and horrifying images of the mass grave “discovered” in Timisoara are still a vivid memory; they came several days after the repression of the mid-December demonstrations against the reassignment of the ethnic Hungarian pastor Laszlo Tokes. The demonstrations were followed by riots, which gave the initial push to the Romanian “revolution.” The newspapers reported that 4,630 corpses had been discovered. Several months later, it was learned from doctors’ accounts that some thirty of the corpses shown “exhumed” by television around the world had been stolen from the city morgue and hospitals in the night of December 21–22. Disconcertingly, the “mass grave” may have been constituted after its discovery was announced the day before by East German and Hungarian press agencies. To this day, no one has been able to establish firmly who organized this staging, and precisely to what ends. As far as the purpose of the “grave” is concerned, several interpretations were put forth and supported: to bring about a revolt in the country; to raise the greatest possible indignation on the international level in order to make the leaders of the coup accepted and acclaimed; or to make the Securitate, which was blamed for the carnage, the incarnation of all the Ceausescu regime’s evils, in order to better clear the army and its leaders, who joined the side of the new government, or essentially constituted it. It was later learned that it was the army, and not the Securitate, which opened fire.

Andrei Codrescu, well-known poet and National Public Radio commentator, (The Hole in the Flag. A Romanian Exile’s Story of Return and Revolution (New York, William Morrow and Company, 1991, pp. 203-204) recounts the same incident in this memorable description:

“The Romanian ‘Revolution’ was entirely televised, all those of us who believed for years with Gil Scott-Heron that ‘the revolution will not be televised’ were shaken by it. In truth, there were two revolutions: a real revolution that was not televised and that continues, particularly in Timisoara, and a studio revolution that fooled the entire world. Who could forget the piles of corpses stacked like cordwood in front of the Timisoara cathedral?…Or the image of the mother and child shot with a single bullet, lying in the arms of death? Watching these images in New Orleans via CNN, I was moved and enraged, along with millions of others in the world. We now know. The mass graves discovered in Timisoara and presented to the world as proof of the Hitlerite insanity of Securitate were in fact bodies dug out of a pauper’s cemetery with autopsy scars visible. Many of them were in an advanced state of decay…And the extraordinary picture of the mother and her baby killed with the same bullet, seen thousands of times on all the world’s TV screens, was a gross collage. A woman who had died of alcoholism had had an unrelated dead baby placed on her chest for video purposes.

In 1999, journalist John Sweeney recounted the incident in The Guardian as follows:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1999/nov/07/johnsweeney.theobserver

Millions dead, but who’s counting?

The truths that exist behind press reporting

Eighteen bodies lay beneath an electricity pylon on white plastic sheets in the pauper’s cemetery, naked to the sky. The stink of the dead hung in the pre-dawn air; nearby were the graves from which they had been disinterred. The bodies were soiled by the dirt from the graves, their nudity obscene. On one woman’s stomach lay a perfectly formed foetus, its skin stained an unnatural purple, as if it had come from a jar. Thirty paces away lay the corpse of what looked like an old man, his feet bound by twisted wire: tortured? Nineteen corpses in all. It was Timisoara, Saturday, 23 December, 1989, and the news agencies were saying 4,000, 40,000, 60,000 dead. Where were the mass graves?

There was something strange – unsatisfactory – about the 19 bodies. Eight corpses had stitches in their stomachs, perhaps from autopsies; some of the rest were so badly decomposed the flesh had rotted from the bones. They did not look like they had been killed the previous Sunday, the flashpoint of the Romanian revolution.

Not 60,000 dead in Timisoara, but 19, and fishy at that. My reward for reporting this was a tiddly piece on page three. News desk lionhearts like big numbers from reporters sent to cover mass murder.

Le Monde in March 2000 (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:cswQZh6E7W0J:mondediplo.com/2000/03/07kospress+syndrome+timisoara+halimi&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us) commented:

Barely 10 years earlier, despatched to Timisoara to view some old corpses dug up by the propaganda department of the new Rumanian regime, a journalist from the France 2 television channel had commented, “These pictures are here to prove that 4,630 people died at the hands of the secret police” (22 December 1989).

Nor, even in Romania, has this incident lost its utility as a touchstone for mendacity, as the following article by Grigore Cartianu from August 2011 (http://adevarul.ro/news/societate/certificatul-rebel-1_50a7b8a27c42d5a66369f0b1/index.html) demonstrates:

“Neroziile spuse atunci vor rămâne în antologia dezinformării. Unele erau minciuni sfruntate (povestea cu robineţii de aur), altele făcături ordinare (cadavrele din sceneta „mama şi copilul” nu aparţineau unor martiri ai Revoluţiei şi nici nu erau victime ale represiunii ceauşiste, ci zăceau de prin noiembrie în Cimitirul săracilor din Timişoara, fiind dezgropate doar pentru şedinţa foto-video).” 

(Who is Grigore Cartianu?  No less than Vladimir Tismaneanu, the dean of communist and post-communist Romanian studies in the United States, has exalted in both English and Romanian, Grigore Cartianu’s investigations of the December 1989 events–see http://www.movingimagesource.us/articles/how-was-ceausescu-possible-20110929 and http://tismaneanu.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/deshumarea-lui-ceausescu-un-pas-spre-adevar/  “Este un lucru demonstrat cu prisosinta si de onesta ancheta jurnalistica a lui Grigore Cartianu (publicata sub titlul de carte: “Sfârşitul Ceauşeştilor”).” )

Finally, this episode has become immortalized in postmodernist literature, thanks to its invocation and development by Jean Baudrillard, as follows:

“The Timisoara Syndrome”

Jean Baudrillard (trans. Chris Turner), The Illusion of the End (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1994), pp. 54-61 “The Timisoara massacre.”

p. 55 “It was not the dead that were the scandal, but the corpses being pressed into appearing before the television cameras, as in the past dead souls were pressed into appearance in the register of deaths.”

p. 60 “And yet there will, nonetheless, have been a kind of verdict in this Romanian affair, and the artificial heaps of corpses will have been of some use, all the same one might ask whether the Romanians, by the very excessiveness of this staged event and the simulacrum of their revolution, have not served as demistifyers of news and its guiding principle…Who can say what responsibility attaches to the televisual production of a false massacre (Timisoara), as compared with the perpetrating of a true massacre?”

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The idea about “some old corpses dug up by the propaganda department of the new Rumanian regime,” that Novi Sad TV journalists (presumably then, according to this conspiracy theory, Yugoslav agents), or, most ridiculous of all, Securitate agents themselves, were responsible for digging up and presenting the corpses from the Paupers’ cemetery (all views that have gained expression through the years) is simply WRONG.

How do we know?  From what eyewitnesses have described.  Here 30 yr. old Ion Gogoara described in Titus Suciu’s Raport cu Sufletul la Gura (1990) that the makeshift grave in the Paupers’ cemetery was found by kids, that when he got there there were about 30 people gathered placing candles, and that all this took place at about 10:30 or 11 am on the morning of 22 December 1989, thus before Ceausescu’s flight from power (but at a time when Timisoara was long already beyond the regime’s control).

Indeed, it was those missing loved ones who were the first to the Paupers Cemetery

Virgil Botoc told Marius Mioc in 1995 how, on 22 December 1989, he was searching frantically for his 13 year old daughter Luminita and how, he and others participated in the removal of the corpses and put them on some sheets.  As Mioc has noted, precisely because many of those who had lost loved ones in the repression of the previous days did not know yet that many corpses had been transported from the hospitals and morgue to be incinerated, they looked frantically anywhere they could, including the Paupers’ cemetery.

Botoc Virgil (tatal lui Luminita Botoc) In 22 dimineata la cimitirul saracilor s-au dezgropat niste morti. Am fost si eu acolo sa vad daca n-o gasesc pe Luminita. Aici era o groapa comuna, o alta groapa cu un singur mort si inca un mort in capela. Mortii fusesera ingropati dezbracati. Unii erau cusuti cu sirma, cel din capela avea si picioarele legate cu sirma. Am scos mortii, i-am pus pe niste cearsafuri.  http://timisoara.com/newmioc/33.htm

Marius Mioc: “Filmarea din 22 decembrie a fost cu cadavre dezgropate din cimitirul săracilor. Aceia nu erau morţi din revoluţie ci sărăntoci fără familie îngropaţi pe cheltuiala Primăriei. Familiile celor morţi în revoluţie, care nu găseau cadavrele celor dragi (fuseseră incinerate, dar nu se ştia asta pe atunci), în disperare au căutat pe unde le-a trecut prin minte, şi au dezgropat şi morţii de la cimitirul săracilor. S-a crezut atunci sincer că aceia sînt morţi din revoluţie.” http://piatauniversitatii.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=974

So, we have our answer to the first part of Myth no. 1:  The only intentionality of those who dug up the corpses in the Paupers Cemetery was that those looking for their loved ones were frantically searching everywhere and anywhere for traces of them.  (That the Paupers Cemetery was then linked to, or interpreted through the lens of inflated and erroneous death tolls (for a discussion of these, please see the following, courtesy of William Totok, http://www.halbjahresschrift.homepage.t-online.de/neumann.htm) and the widespread view of the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu as (late) communism in its highest stage, is ultimately a different story.)

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Perhaps worst of all, while the Paupers cemetery on 22 December 1989 and the “Timisoara syndrome” have become part of an international literature on journalistic manipulation and/or error, those who invoke this example tend to be oblivious to the real mass grave of victims from the Timisoara uncovered in mid-January 1990 (including, Virgil Botoc’s 13 year old daughter Luminita)

FBIS (AFP 16 January 1990, lower right column):

Marius Mioc has detailed this episode extensively as follows:

“Renaşterea Bănăţeană” din 16 ianuarie 1990 despre groapa comună din cimitirul eroilor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AuwsQFuKLw

Groapa comună din cimitirul eroilor descoperită în ianuarie 1990

Tatulici & Tatomir – Povestea Timişorii (7). Groapa comună din cimitirul eroilor octombrie 28, 2010

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Al şaptelea fragment din filmul “Povestea Timişorii” realizat de Mihai Tatulici şi Virgil Tatomir şi difuzat în 1991 la TVR. În acest fragment am combinat 3 fragmente diferite din filmul original, pentru a avea un articol explicativ complet despre problema gropii comune din cimitirul eroilor din Timişoara. Deci există o oarecare abatere de la succesiunea din filmul domnilor Tatulici şi Tatomir, pe care am considerat-o necesară pentru a înlesni analiza problemei gropii comune a revoluţiei din Timişoara. La sfîrşitul serialului, cînd voi da şi playlistul complet, cei interesaţi vor putea vedea filmul aşa cum a fost el prezentat iniţial. La transcrierea înregistrării comentariile mele ulterioare sînt inserate în text cu litere cursive, între paranteze drepte.

Vezi şi primele 6 fragmente prezentate pe acest blog:
15 decembrie 1989
16 decembrie 1989
În jurul lui Tokes
Dezvoltarea mişcării revoluţionare în 16 decembrie 1989
Lupte între manifestanţi şi forţele de ordine
Calea Lipovei şi Girocului, 17 decembrie 1989

Transcriere înregistrare:
00:00 Virgil Boţoc: În timpul ăsta a trecut o mulţime de oameni. Pur şi simplu nu i-am putut să-i văd cîţi or fost. Şi strigau diferite plancarde. Şi atuncea fata aia mai mare vine la maică-sa: “mămică, mergem şi noi”. “Nu mergi niciunde”. În timpul ăsta o trimis la mine fata că-i dau voie. Aia mică o luat fîşul de pe cuier şi o coborît jos. Şi atuncea îmi zice sora ei geamănă: “tăticule, Luminiţa o coborît jos”. Zic: “noi avem ceva de făcut”. Cînd ajung jos (neînţelegibil) plecase. Cînd am ajuns în Calea Lipovei, în spatele bisericii, s-or tras focuri de avertisment de la aviaţie, roşu, şi i-am zis lu’ nevastă-mea: “fii atent că se trage”. Zice “nu se trage”, şi atunci au început focuri. După care am văzut că fata n-o venit toată noaptea acasă. M-am dus în zonă, dimineaţă. În zonă, că acolo locuiesc, m-am întîlnit cu mulţi prieteni, şi m-am interesat. Din care m-am întîlnit şi cu prietenul ăsta, Avădanei, care a lucrat cu mine foarte mulţi ani. Şi-l întreb “mă Ştefane, s-o tras? Ce-i pe aicea?”. Că plouase, nu s-o cunoscut nici un semn, nimic. Zice “mă, s-o tras”. Ce, eu uite mi-o dispărut fata. Zice “cu ce-o fosta asta a ta îmbrăcată?”. “C-un fîş roşu, aşa”. Zice “uite aici o fost împuşcată mortal. Eu, zice, am luat-o, am pus-o pe bancă, şi banca o fost îngustă şi i-a legat mîinile cu o sfoară, cu ceva, ca să nu i se rupă mîinile”. Zice “du-te la Clinicile Noi”. Am fost la Clinicile Noi, am vorbit cu autopsierul, am mers cu fata geamănă, cu sora ei, îmbrăcată într-aceeaşi formă. Şi întreb pe autopsierul: “domnu’, nu vă supăraţi, o fost o fată adusă aicea?”. Zice “da”. “Şi dac-o vedeţi, o cunoaşteţi?”. Zice “da”. Zic “îi asta sau nu-i asta?”. Zice “cum Dumnezeu, astă fată o fost împuşcată în inimă”. Zic “nu, sora ei”. “Bă, dacă veneai cu juma’ de oră, o găseai aicea, da-i plecată [spitalul] judeţean”. Atunci m-am dus la morgă la judeţean, am întrebat, m-am întîlnit cu, adică, cu asistenta, asistenta mi-o spus “vorbeşti cu domnul doctor Dressler”. Domnul doctor Dressler o spus că nu este nici un mort în morgă şi nu lasă pe nimeni în morgă. În timpul ăsta vine domnul locotenent major Rosu, nu mai ştiu exact cum îi zice pentru că el a fost cu paşapoarte pentru plecare în străinătate. Şi am fost plecat în Libia. El pe mine, eu pe el l-am cunoscut, el pe mine nu m-a cunoscut. Şi mi-o pus arma la cap: “Ce faci mă aici scandal?”. Şi atuncea zic “domnu’ Rusu, dumneavoastră pe mine nu mă cunoaşteţi, dar eu pe dumneavoastră vă cunosc”. Şi atuncea o lăsat arma. Mai era un militar care citea o carte. În fine, era cu o carte în mînă, cam aşa ceva. A doua zi iară, a treia zi iară, nici un…, n-am putut să rezolv nimica.
02:43 Virgil Tatomir: S-a încercat să vi se dea un certificat de deces pe care scria că fata dumneavoastră ar fi suferit şi ar fi murit de hepatită?
02:52 Virgil Boţoc: Da. Da, şi atuncea, da, mi s-a eliberat aşa ceva, un certificat din ăsta, şi atuncea am fost nevoit să mă duc, să scot adeverinţă de la şcoală precum că fata mea n-o fost bolnavă şi nici nu ştiu unul din familia lu’ Boţoc, că asta a fost şi discuţie cu domnul doctor Dressler, că să-mi arăte cel puţin o internare a unui din familia lui Boţoc de diagnosticul de hepatită cronică, cum o scris acolo. N-am putut să dau nici de un rez…, n-am putut să aflu nimica.
03:20 Virgil Tatomir: Aţi apelat la sprijinul procuraturii?
03:22 Virgil Boţoc: Da. Am fost la domnul procuror [Romeo] Bălan, am dat declaraţii, am lăsat fotografii. O spus că să am răbdare, că sînt 61 de indivizi arestaţi şi sînt în anchetă. Şi atuncea poate o recunoaşte vreunul că-i dusă la Bucureşti la cremator[procurorul se referea la cadavrele furate din morga spitalului şi arse la crematoriul din Bucureşti (linc), între care bănuia că se află şi Luminiţa Boţoc]. Şi în 15 ianuarie cînd am fost ultima dată, o spus, dimineaţa, o spus că mai sînt 3 de anchetat şi să viu peste două sau trei zile. Şi cînd m-am dus la lucru am aflat că s-or dezgropat morţii în groapa comună (neînţelegibil). Şi atunci am fost şi mi-am recunoscut fata. Am ridicat-o de acolo, am îngropat-o creştineşte.
03:57 Virgil Tatomir: Vi s-a eliberat un nou certificat de deces.
03:59 Virgil Boţoc: Da, mi-a eliberat un nou certificat, moartă în revoluţie.
04:03 Comentariu Mihai Tatulici (pe fondul unor imagini filmate la ansamblul memorial din cimitirul eroilor din Timişoara consacrat victimelor revoluţiei): Virgil Boţoc şi-a pierdut fiica în 17 decembrie 1989. Ucisă pe stradă. A regăsit-o, a regăsit cadavrul ei, în ianuarie, în groapa comună. E printre cei fericiţi, care şi-au putut îngropa creştineşte copilul. Povestea aceasta este însă doar un crîmpei din trista şi dramatica istorie a morţilor Timişoarei. Tot aşa cum pentru morţi s-a ieşit în stradă, tot aşa trebuie să ţinem la aflarea adevărului. Virgil Boţoc îi face acum mormînt frumos fiicei sale. Cine nu respectă morţii, n-are nici un Dumnezeu. [aici se încheie prima parte din filmul prezentat, dar continui cu un fragment din a 2-a parte, legat tot de problema gropii comune]
05:04 Comentariu Mihai Tatulici (pe fondul unor imagini filmate în cimitir, la dezgroparea unor morţi): Sînt încă multe întrebări la care trebuie să răspundă justiţia, în ceea ce priveşte morţii Timişoarei. Aceste întrebări trebuie repede adresate unor oameni care încă sînt vii şi ştiu. Măcar pentru a linişti spiritele, pentru a risipi confuziile. Cum e cazul gropii comune din cimitirul săracilor. Gazetari nedocumentaţi şi persoane fără competenţele necesare au isterizat mulţimile prezentînd aici orori care nu se confirmă. Am avut ocazia să citim puncte de vedere ale unor medici legişti de talie internaţională. Trebuie analizate şi referinţele doctorului Dressler. Condamnarea publică fără argumente e la fel de păguboasă azi ca şi înainte de decembrie 1989. Aceste lucruri trebuie exact prezentate de procuratura militară Timişoara, care deţine informaţii exacte, tocmai pentru a le delimita de cele reale şi extrem de grave.
06:09 Virgil Tatomir: Timişoara continua să îşi caute cu înfrigurare morţii revoluţiei. O făcea şi cu speranţa că odată cu găsirea celor care nu ajunseseră la crematoriu, se va dezgropa şi adevărul. Această deshumare s-a efectuat în 15 ianuarie 1990 în cimitirul, în urma insistenţelor unui părinte îndurerat, Virgil Boţoc, carre îşi căuta fata şi cu care aţi făcut cunoştiinţă în episodul trecut. Cîteva lucruri se impun a fi aici accentuate, şi bune şi rele, pentru că s-a iscat multă vîlvă în jurul acestui caz. Înhumarea într-o groapă comună a unui număr de 9 cadavre s-a făcut destul de tîrziu, în 28 decembrie. S-a susţinut că morţii erau încă neidentificaţi pînă la acea dată. Dacă după victoria revoluţiei a recurge la o groapă comună rămîne o faptă de neacceptat, cel puţin din punct de vedere moral, trebuie spus că în baza datelor cunoscute pînă acum s-au însăilat şi erori. Între care unele aruncate intenţionat sau nu, direct sau indirect, pe seama doctorului Dressler [pe atunci, şeful laboratorului de medicină legală din Timişoara] şi a şefului administraţiei cimitirelor. Izvorîte din cunoaşterea incompletă a unor situaţii şi date, ele trebuie detaşate de adevăr.
07:37 Axente Bociort [pe atunci, şeful administraţiei cimitirelor din Timişoara]: Pe data de 27 decembrie 1989, am ridicat de la spitalul judeţean, din morgă, 11 cadavre între care 9 au fost neidentificate iar 2 identificate. Am ajuns la cimitirul eroilor. Aceste cadavre au fost depuse în capelă, urmînd ca în data de 28 cadavrele neidentificate să fie înhumate. Din lipsă de groapri, şi situaţia, întrucît se trăgea prin cimitir, nu am reuşit să facem groapa cu personalul existent şi s-a apelat la excavatoristul Miron Alexandru, care a săpat groapa comună, urmînd ca să se facă slujba religioasă de părintele Micu Constantin. Şi înhumarea celor 9 cadavre neidentificate s-a făcut în groapa comună respectivă.
08:49 Virgil Boţoc: Într-adevăr, erau 8 cadavre, din care 3 erau în sicrie şi retul în lăzi. Şi buldozeristul care-o săpat groapa era acolo mort, că l-or recunoscut părinţii. Erau din Suceava. După ce-o săpat groapa, că chiar aşa o fost, şi aia este martori, şi şeful cimitirului poa’ să spuie lucrul ăsta, a avut şi cheile de la buldozer pe piept. Şi a avut singura lovitură în partea stîngă, nu, în dreapta, a avut gaură în dreapta, aici [arată de fapt spre tîmpla stîngă].
09:19 Comentariu Mihai Tatulici: Respectînd durerea unui copil care şi-a pierdut un copil în revoluţie, trebuie totuşi să facem necesarele precizări: Domnul Boţoc nu are argumente că i s-ar fi eliberat un certificat de deces prin hepatită. Cu aceeaşi uşurinţă, preia şi alte zvonuri. Cum să afirmi, liniştit, că un om e mort, cînd el e viu? Chiar dacă la Timişoara s-a spus că în acea groapă se afla şi excavatoristul care a făcut-o. Cînd e mult folclor, rămîne puţin loc pentru adevăr.
09:49 Alexandru Miron (excavatorist): În data de 28 decembrie 1989 am fost solicitat să fac acest lucru în cimitirul eroilor. Să sap o groapă comună pentru înmormîntarea mai multor cadavre care erau, n-avea cine să le înmormînteze. Şi am fost solicitat şi am făcut lucrul acesta. După cum vedeţi, mă aflu aicea viu şi nevătămat, n-am avut nici o problemă, nimic absolut. Şi cam asta este situaţia.
10:27 Comentariu Virgil Tatomir: S-au făcut ulterior morminte îngrijite, iar arhitectul Alămureanu a conceput şi un monument pe măsură [monumentul eroilor revoluţiei din cimitirul eroilor, prezentat în filmare, este făcut după schiţele domnului Pompiliu Alămureanu, care după revoluţie a ocupat pentru scurt timp şi postul de primar al Timişorii]. Dar ele nu ţin încă loc de adevăr, ci numai de aducere aminte. Fiecare martor are adevărul lui. Cert e că din momentul în care s-a vărsat sînge, drumul era fără întoarcere. Mămăliga explodase!

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The disjuncture, between the allegedly intentional presentation of a “false grave” connoting an allegedly “false massacre”–the widely-mediated, so-called “Timisoara Syndrome”–with the reality of a real mass grave of massacre victims found the next month but with little (domestic or foreign) mass media coverage, leads me here to propose the term, “The ‘Timisoara syndrome’ syndrome” or when a postmodernist conclusion is sufficiently intellectually-enticing that it creates its own reality–and thereby frames, discourages, and obscures any further search for reality.

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

Dosarele Revolutiei de la Timisoara: Tudor Postelnicu “Unii militari de la trupele de securitate ale brigazii Timisoara au facut unele provocari la unele magazine si vitrine spargind geamurile sa imprastie participantii…” (17.III.1990)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 16, 2013

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Tudor Postelnicu (Ministerul de Interne in decembrie 1989):  “Unii militari de la trupele de securitate ale brigazii Timisoara au facut unele provocari la unele magazine si vitrine spargind geamurile sa imprastie participantii de pe straziile din apropriere, apoi au intrat in altercatie cu ei, si acum (?) vor sa le faca militia ordine.  ‘Nu am aflat ca costa provocare a zis Gl. Nuta, am trimis pe …” (17.III.1990)  http://sensidev.com/fc/dosare%20de%20urmarire%20penala/dosar%20%20de%20urmarire%20penala%20volumul%2011/IMG_2576.JPG (Dosarul de Urmarire Penala, Vol. 11, IMG 2576)

Cateva observatii:

1) Postelnicu nu spune nimic despre asa-zisii “turisti sovietici” sau “turisti rusi” (o tema revizionista foarte populara) …nu spune ca ei au facut distrugerea…

2) In schimb, Postelnicu spune ca securistii au facut provocarile…dar atentie:  nu spune ca ei le-au facut sa intareasca demonstrantii, ci “sa imprastie participantii de pe straziile din apropriere…”

deci nu intr-un scop ca detonatorii a unei revolutii (alta tema revizionista foarte populara), ci ca o tactica din arsenalul represiunii!

3) Lipseste din nenorocire continuarea acestei marturii din paginile dosarele revolutiei de la timisoara la http://dosarelerevolutiei.ro/

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An excerpt from Chapter 5 of 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.  The Beginning of the End: Timisoara, 15-17 December 1989

The “Window Breakers”

The reportedly unusual scope of physical destruction which occurred in Timisoara, particularly on the afternoon and evening of 17 December 1989, has fueled revisionist arguments. Estimates of the damage during the Timisoara unrest are in the neighborhood of four to five billion lei (approximately forty to fifty million dollars at the time), a reasonably large sum given Romania’s standard of living at the time. A huge number of windows was broken and as many as 300 to 400 stores suffered some sort of damage, although relatively few were actually looted. On the evening of 17 December, stores, vehicles, and kiosks were burning in at least ten different areas of the city.[65]

Former Securitate officers clearly wish to link this destruction to the “foreign tourists” who were supposedly so ubiquitous in Timisoara during these days.[66] Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, former Securitate Director Iulian Vlad argued at his trial that

…the acts of vandalism, theft, destruction, arson… acts without precedent…could not have been the work [“opera”] of the faithful [apparently referring sarcastically to Tokes’ parishioners], nor the revolutionaries. They were produced by elements which wished to create a certain atmosphere of tension.[67]

“A group of former Securitate officers” wrote to the Ceausist Democratia in September 1990 that after the Militia and Securitate refused to respond to the demonstrations provoked by the “foreign tourists”: “they advance[d] to the next stage: the massive destruction of public property designed to provoke forcible interventions–human victims were needed.”[68]

Nevertheless, here is how one opposition journalist, Grid Modorcea, has described the strange character of Timisoara destruction:

For the first time in history, a revolution…was announced in a previously unknown and absolutely original manner, both literally and figuratively speaking: through the methodical breakage of thousands of windows. On 16 and 17 December 1989, Timisoara was the city of [glass] shards. Well-trained groups of athletes spread throughout the town, tactically, but energetically smashing to pieces hundreds of huge windows without apparently being interested in stealing from these stores…they were like mythical Magis coming to announce the end of one world and the beginning of another. And they gave it an apocalyptic quality: the sound produced by the breaking glass was infernal. The panic this caused was indescribable….Those who “executed” the windows did so with karate-like kicks while yelling “Liberty and Justice”!…The crowds of people who came out into the streets transformed spontaneously into columns of demonstrators, of authentic revolutionaries. The effect was therefore monumental: the breaking of the windows unleashed the popular revolt against the dictator.[69]

Modorcea is convinced that the Tokes case was “merely a pretext” and that “someone–perhaps those who planned the vandalizing of the windows–has an interest in preventing it from being known who broke the windows.” Although Modorcea maintains he is unsure who was responsible, he insists on observing that:

Only the Customs people know how many tourists there were. All were men and long-haired. Inside their cars they had canisters. This fits with the method of the breaking of the windows, with the Molotov cocktails, and the drums used as barricades–they were exactly of the same type….To what extent the new regime which came to power was implicated, we cannot say![70]

Many Timisoara protesters appear torn between wishing to rationalize the extensive destruction as the courageous response of an enraged, long-suffering population, and denying that the perpetrators could have come from among their ranks. Even those investigators attuned to the retroactive psychology of the protesters cannot help but admit that widespread destruction occurred and that it could not have been wholly spontaneous.[71] Furthermore, as Laszlo Tokes has observed in discussing the events at Piata Maria, manipulation and attempts to instigate the crowd to violence were constant features during these days.

Tokes maintains that Securitate provocateurs had tried to agitate the crowd by shouting things like, “Let’s break into the house. The Securitate are in there; they’re trying to kidnap Laszlo Tokes! Let’s rush them!” and by appealing for him to “Come down into the street and lead us!”[72] According to Tokes:

I was alarmed at the obvious provocation from individuals in the crowd clearly intent on making the situation uncontrollable….Later, thinking about the events of those two days, I realized that the authorities would have had a great deal to gain if the situation had become a riot.[73]

Mircea Balan questions whether the protesters would have set stores on fire which were located on the ground floor of the buildings in which the protesters themselves lived.[74] Moreover, he wonders how even the revolutionary fury of the crowd could drive protesters to break so many windows, particularly given the presence of repressive forces on the streets. It is what Balan has termed the “systematic devastation” of property which raises questions.

Eyewitness accounts recorded soon after the events–therefore at a time before the various plots and scenarios had permeated the popular imagination–support the hypothesis that the vandalism was organized. Moldovan Fica remarks:

I admit that I cannot escape a certain conclusion. All of this [destruction] was done by a group of about five or six individuals, whose calm demeanor and self-control continues to stay with me to this day. They did not run from the scene, they appeared as if they did not fear anything; I would say that, in fact, they were doing what was required of them, something which had been ordered directly of them![75]

Describing destruction in a different part of the city, Andras Vasile observed that

…four young men with shaved heads and wearing civilian clothes had sticks–I would term them special sticks–1.7 to 1.8 meters long, equipped with metal rings on the top of them. They were breaking the windows, but not taking anything, as if they only had something against the windows, something which they thus went about with great enjoyment…they were led by two individuals in leather jackets.[76]

Other eyewitnesses supply details which confirm the widespread character of the vandalism; its undeniably organized quality; the disinterest of its perpetrators in looting the stores; and the almost “drugged” nature of the perpetrators, who seemed unperturbed by the chaos and repression going on around them.[77]

Mircea Balan has little doubt who committed this “systematic destruction”:

Demonstrators might have thrown rocks in windows, but the destruction of the entire store was not their work…Nobody need believe that for such a thing foreign intervention was necessary, seeing as there were enough first-class specialists in destruction and demolition right here at home. The Securitate could not have been foreign to what happened, no matter how much it fiercely attempts to deny this today. They were professionals in the art of destruction. They needed a justification for the bloody repression.[78]

In March 1990, Puspoki had been willing to identify the culprits more specifically. According to Puspoki, as the demonstrators began to gather to prevent Tokes’ eviction:

The USLA’s Sabotage and Diversion team was readied to break store windows, to devastate and set fires–to create the conditions necessary for mass repression: the existence of disorder in the streets and theft on the part of the demonstrators.[79]

Securitate Major Radu Tinu’s observation that the commercial complex “in front of the county Militia building” (i.e. the Inspectorate in which both the Securitate and Militia offices were located) was one of only two such complexes in the whole city to remain intact during these days may also be an indication of the source of the destruction.[80]

It is possible then that to the extent that this destruction did indeed contain an organized component, it was designed by the regime to subvert and cast suspicion upon the intentions of the protesters and to create a pretext for repression. To the extent that an organized component did contribute to the destruction, it was far more likely to have been regime forces attempting to undermine the protests than foreign agents attempting to provoke an uprising against the regime.

[65].. See, for example, Grid Modorcea, “Spargerea Geamurilor [The Breaking of the Windows],” Expres Magazin, no. 49 (1991), 8-9; Mircea Bunea, “Eroii noi si vechi [New and old heroes],” Adevarul, 2 February 1991, in Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 448-449; Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 57-58.

[66].. See, for example, the comments of Radu Tinu, the deputy director of the Timis County Securitate, in Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 67-85.

[67].. Mircea Bunea, “Ipse Dixit,” Adevarul, 21 February 1991, in Bunea, Praf in Ochi, 463. Vlad’s determination to emphasize that these were “acts without precedent” makes one wonder if they were indeed without precedent.

[68].. A group of former Securitate officers, “Asa va place revolutia? Asa a fost! [You like the revolution? Here is how it was!],” Democratia, no. 36 (24-30 September 1990), 4. The lengthy defense by these officers of the Fifth Directorate in this letter suggests that they were members of this directorate.

[69].. Modorcea, “Spargerea Geamurilor,” 8.

[70].. Ibid.

[71].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[72].. Tokes, With God, for the People, 153, 156.

[73].. Ibid., 156.

[74].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[75].. Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul, 96.

[76].. Ibid, 118. The fact that the two persons supervising the destruction are described as having worn “leather jackets” strongly suggests they may have been Securitate men. Mihai Decean claims that on a train headed for Bucharest on 25 December (therefore after Ceausescu’s flight), he helped in the arrest of two USLA officers whom he describes as “athletic, with shaved heads, and wearing leather jackets.” See Laura Ganea, “La Timisoara se mai trage inca” Tinerama, no. 77 (July 1991), 3.

[77].. Ibid., 71, 122. Some of the eyewitnesses cited in Modorcea, “Spargerea Geamurilor,” say similar things; Modorcea, however, gives them a very different interpretation.

[78].. Balan, “Masacrul.”

[79].. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (III).”

[80].. Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 80.

The following was added some years later as a footnote to the section above in republications of this chapter.  Badea says here “many years later” Postelnicu admitted this, but as we can now see from the Timisoara files, he wrote it in his declaration/statement dated 17 March 1990.

(In connection with the “window breakers” we do know a little more today than we did then back in 1996.  Dan Badea wrote in 1999 Bunoaica and the Window Breakers that “Tudor Postelnicu, the Interior Minister at the time, was to declare many years later that the “breaking of the windows” was a mission executed by personnel from the 30th Securitate Brigade led by col. Ion Bunoaica).  Orele 20.00 – 21.00: Sint sparte toate vitrinele magazinelor de pe Bulevardul 6 Martie (Tudor Postelnicu, ministru de interne la acea vreme, avea sa declare multi ani mai tirziu ca “spargerea vitrinelor” a fost o misiune executata de militari ai Brigazii 30 Securitate condusa de col. Ion Bunoaica).

Other depictions of this event available online:

Conducerea partidului, alarmată, a trimis în Piaţa Maria, conform Ordinului 02600, numeroşi miliţieni şi trupe speciale, pentru a lichida manifestaţia care luase amploare. Circulaţia în zonă se întrerupsese. În Piaţa Maria au fost trimişi aproximativ 200 de activişti de partid, miliţieni şi numeroşi ofiţeri de securitate, îmbrăcaţi în haine civile. Au urmat ciocniri violente, mai ales după ce manifestanţii s-au încolonat şi au pornit spre sediul CJ PCR, strigând “Libertate”, “Vrem pâine”, “Vrem căldură”, “Azi la Timişoara, mâine în toată ţara”.
În acea seară echipe de miliţie dinainte pregătite au spart vitrinele magazinelor din centrul oraşului, pentru a avea argumente pentru o intervenţie în forţă. Desigur, multe vitrine au fost sparte şi de derbedei, asupra cărora s-au găsit bunuri furate. În acea noapte au fost arestate aproape 5-600 de cetăţeni. Ei au fost duşi la Penitenciarul oraşului, unde au fost bătuţi în mod bestial. În zilele care au urmat arestării au fost anchetaţi în vederea trimiterii lor în judecată. Bineînţeles, dacă Revoluţia n-ar fi reuşit.

“Azi la Timişoara”
Ivan Sabin

http://revista.memoria.ro/?location=view_article&id=371

Totuşi, se ştie că în acele zile fierbinţi din Timişoara au existat „personaje neidentificate” care au acţionat în mai multe zone ale oraşului. Am să amintesc aici doar două aspecte concrete cu privire la implicarea acestora în evenimentele din Timişoara. În zilele de 16 şi 17 decembrie au fost sparte aproape toate vitrinele magazinelor din zona centrală a oraşului. Sunt zeci de declaraţii ale revoluţionarilor care fac o descriere clară a celor care au spart acele geamuri. Au fost oameni bine îmbrăcaţi, robuşti şi tunşi scurt. Aceştia erau dotaţi cu nişte beţe speciale cu care printr-un gest scurt şi foarte bine exersat loveau vitrinele, după care plecau fără a încerca să sustragă ceva din magazine. Aceste persoane au fost văzute chiar şi de forţele de ordine desfăşurate în acea zonă, care în mod ciudat nu au luat măsuri împotriva lor, ci au acţionat împotriva manifestanţilor ce demonstrau împotriva regimului ceauşist. Un alt aspect relatat de mulţi timişoreni se referă mai ales la zilele de 17-19 decembrie, când, în rândul cordoanelor militare din diferite dispozitive amplasate în zonele importante ale oraşului, între soldaţi, erau intercalate persoane mai în vârstă, nebărbierite îmbrăcate doar parţial în uniforme militare, care nu făceau parte din acele unităţi militare.

Cine au fost acele „persoane neidentificate”? De ce s-a dorit în unele cercuri, cu insistenţă chiar, acreditarea ideii că oamenii au fost scoşi în stradă de agenţi străini? De ce, chiar şi după 20 de ani, se fac afirmaţii de genul: cadavrele celor arşi la Crematoriul „Cenuşa” erau ale unor agenţi străini? Nu voi căuta acum răspunsuri la aceste întrebări, dar, cu siguranţă, ele există.

Kali Adrian Matei

nascut in 30 iulie 1968 la Timisoara, muncitor la IJPIPS (1989), profesor de istorie la Liceul de informatica (1998), impuscat in spate

La Bijuterii concetatenii nostri tigani carau ce puteau. Numai la “Modex” nu era spart. Un grup de oameni se uitau cum niste indivizi bine instruiti spargeau geamurile de linga restaurantul Bulevard. Am rugat oamenii sa apere Modexul, pentru ca era clar ca spargatorii n-aveau nimic comun cu revolta.  30 septembrie 1995  http://timisoara.com/newmioc/4.htm

“În data de 14 decembrie, securitatea a spart toate gemurile din partea străzii principale, iar clădirea arăta ca o cetate asediată. Fostul primar al Timişorei, Petre Moţ l-a vizitat pe Tokes şi a ieşit la geam pentru a vorbi mulţimii. Moţ a cerut să se pună geamuri noi. Erau foarte multe maşini ale securiştilor. Întreaga stradă era ocupată. Se făcea filaj. Eu locuiam acolo, ba intram, ba ieşeam. Nu se vorbea încă revoluţie. Era o solidaritatea faţă de pastor”, declarat Iosif Kabai (foto), care locuieşte şi acum în clădirea bisericii reformate.Citeste mai mult: adevarul.ro/locale/timisoara/16-decembrie-1989-ziua-timisoara-s-a-strigat-data-democratie-jos-comunismul-1_50bd3d887c42d5a663c8e01f/index.html

Ioan Savu discussed the windowbreakers as follows:

0282

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Shattered Glass:  The Interior Ministry’s Self-Generated Pretext for the Repression of Demonstrators in Timisoara in December 1989

The significance of window-breaking as a justification for repression–something the Securitate would have realized–was outlined by Nicolae Ceausescu in his teleconference of 17 December 1989 as follows:

“Oricine intra intr-un Consiliu Popular, intr-un sediu de partid sau sparge un geam la un magazin trebuie sa primeasca riposta imediat.

0007

Col. Ion Popescu (sef IGM)’s defense lawyer appealed to Legea 21 and Decretul 121 specifically as obligating Interior Ministry (M.I.–Militia and Securitate) forces to intervene in response to the breaking of windows of commercial units…

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Thus, the breaking of windows, which according to Interior Minister was instigated and carried out in part by Securitate Brigade 30 under the command of Ion Bunoaica served a bureaucratic and legalistic function–a tactic not unknown in the annals of other totalitarian or authoritarian regimes…

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

Final Boarding Call for TAROM’s special ROMBAC service from Bucuresti to Sibiu: Would the large party of suspicious “Soviet tourists” please report to the gate immediately! (III)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 14, 2013

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/a-response-to-watts-ii-preliminary/

PARTS 1 AND 2

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/08/11/final-boarding-call-for-taroms-special-rombac-service-from-bucuresti-to-sibiu-would-the-large-party-of-suspicious-soviet-tourists-please-report-to-the-gate-immediately-ii/

 https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/08/10/final-boarding-call-for-taroms-special-rombac-service-from-bucuresti-to-sibiu-would-the-large-party-of-suspicious-soviet-tourists-please-report-to-the-gate-immediately-i/

In the last episode, I discussed how high-level local and national Securitate officers were unable to find a foreign role in the Timisoara unrest, even though Nicolae Ceausescu and Securitate Director Iulian Vlad explicitly instructed them to find such a link (indicatii pretioase from top to bottom).

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/04/29/high-time-to-unpack-already-why-the-restless-journey-of-the-soviet-tourists-of-the-romanian-revolution-should-come-to-an-end/

Larry Watts maintains that “Ceausescu 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.” (With Friends Like These, 2010, p. 26 (endnote #26)

Let us look, however, at how Mircea Munteanu himself characterized these documents:

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 (footnote 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.

footnote #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.

e-Dossier No. 5 New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania Documents Translated and Introduced by Mircea Munteanu

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/e-dossier5.pdf

Significantly, then, there is no mention of “Ceausescu protesting a sudden influx Soviet “tourists” to Moscow at the time.”  Instead, as Munteanu discusses, the access of Soviet citizens to Romania was restricted beginning 18 December 1989–Munteanu speculates, in part to “maintain secrecy on the events taking place in Romania,” and in part because of Ceausescu’s longstanding hysteria about the machinations of “foreign espionage agencies” (that this was Ceausescu’s suspicion and mindset is clear; that it had a genuine basis in reality is not–as even his leading Securitate officers dispatched to Timisoara were to admit (https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/04/29/high-time-to-unpack-already-why-the-restless-journey-of-the-soviet-tourists-of-the-romanian-revolution-should-come-to-an-end/)

It is also worth looking at exactly what is written in the documents from this E-dossier.  Here is an important excerpt from Romania’s Ambassador to Moscow, Ion Bucur:

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.
Document 4
Informational Note from the Romanian Embassy in Moscow
to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bucharest)
21 December 1989, 8:00 am

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The critical passage of Ion Bucur’s dispatch above is probably the following:  “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 have written on this subject several times in the past, for example here http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1342503.html

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)…

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?

Bucur’s statement was corroborated by press reporting at the time:

FBIS-EEU-89-242 (19 December 1989), p. 85.  Paris AFP in English 1430 GMT 19 December 1989.

Vatin, Yugoslavia, Dec. 19 (AFP)

Romania’s borders are now closed to all but Soviet travellers, who pass through Romania to return home after shopping trips to Yugoslavia….

An AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE reporter was curtly told to “go back home, only Russians can get through,” after two Romanian border guards–one armed with a Kalashnikov rifle with an Alsatian guard dog at his side–carried out a detailed inspection of the license plates on some 15 cars waiting to cross.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/28/yugoslavia-romania-border-19-december-1989-an-agence-france-presse-reporter-was-curtly-told-to-go-back-home-only-russians-can-get-through/

I have been using this source since back in the 1990s when I wrote my dissertation (defended December 1996) at Indiana University (Bloomington), but I still get a kick out of it when I come across it–particularly in light of the seemingly never-ending, snowballing revisionism which alleges that the Timisoara uprising was sparked by “Soviet tourists” or “Russian tourists,” etc.

18-19 December 1989: The Timisoara Crackdown in Ceausescu’s Absence

Considering the centrality of the “foreign tourist” scenario to Securitate-inspired accounts of the December events, it is interesting to note the actions taken by the Ceausescu regime on 18 December 1989. At the close of the emergency CPEx meeting on Sunday afternoon, Nicolae Ceausescu had announced:

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, outside 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.[5]

On Monday, 18 December 1989, in typical Ceausist-style it was therefore announced that Romania would not accept any more tourists because of a “shortage of hotel rooms” and because “weather conditions” were “not suitable for tourism.”[6] Ironically, the only ones exempted from this ban were: “Soviet travellers coming home from shopping trips to Yugoslavia”(!)[7]

excerpt from https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997-chapter-6-18-22-december-1989/

Therefore, not only were Securitate officers unable to find a foreign hand behind the Timisoara unrest, but the Ceausescu regime which blocked the entrance of new Soviet citizens into the country and supposedly had suspicions about those “in transit” through the country, appear to have done nothing to expel or stop the very people they suspected.

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

Final Boarding Call for TAROM’s special ROMBAC service from Bucuresti to Sibiu: Would the large party of suspicious “Soviet tourists” please report to the gate immediately! (II)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 11, 2013

[not for reproduction without prior author permission; based on multiple publications from earlier research]

Part I https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/08/10/final-boarding-call-for-taroms-special-rombac-service-from-bucuresti-to-sibiu-would-the-large-party-of-suspicious-soviet-tourists-please-report-to-the-gate-immediately-i/

As I alluded to in Part I, the suggestion that dozens of Soviet agents posing as “Soviet tourists” flew unperturbed on a special TAROM ROMBAC flight from Bucuresti Otopeni to Sibiu, the fiefdom of Nicolae Ceausescu’s son, Nicu, on Wednesday 20 December 1989, begs even more basic questions:  how the heck did they get into the country, travel to the capital, and to the capital’s airport in the first place, let alone gain entrance to the airport, pass through security (supposedly with guns in their luggage!), and board the plane?

After all, those who posit a role for the Soviet tourists in the December 1989 events frequently claim that the Soviet tourists were present and involved in the Timisoara unrest of 15-19 December 1989.  A brief search just from just the past few years reveals the (Ro)mania about the “Soviet tourists” in December 1989 has hardly abated:

http://www.historia.ro/exclusiv_web/general/articol/invazia-sovietica-trebuia-sa-inceapa-constanta

http://www.libertatea.ro/detalii/articol/25-000-de-spioni-kgb-au-stapanit-romania-aproape-un-an-428106.html

(invokes Larry Watts claim, which recycles an older claim by Petre Roman from 1994, from With Friends Like These (English edition), p. 26 Footnote #90 )

http://www.exploziv-news.ro/lovitura-de-stat-1989/729-un-american-acuza-lovitura-de-stat-din-decembrie-1989-orchestrata-de-moscova-miza-impiedicarea-unirii-romaniei-cu-basarabia-cotropirea-ardealului-de-catre-ungaria-si-distrugerea-unitatilor-romanesti-anti-kgb.html

http://www.bookiseala.ro/grigore-cartianu-crimele-revolutiei/38586.html

http://www.adevarulshop.ro/crimele-revolutiei-sangeroasa-diversiune-a-kgb-istilor-din-fsn.html

(the last two are Grigore Cartianu’s writings; Cartianu was promoted by Vladimir Tismaneanu and IICCMER here ”).”http://tismaneanu.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/deshumarea-lui-ceausescu-un-pas-spre-adevar/ “ and  http://tismaneanu.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/joi-11-30h-dezbatere-publica-la-iiccmer-armand-gosu-raluca-grosescu-grigore-cartianu-mihail-neamtu/)

http://www.agero-stuttgart.de/REVISTA-AGERO/COMENTARII/Rolul%20turistilor%20straini%20in%20lovitura%20de%20stat%20de%20Brudascu.htm

http://www.evz.ro/detalii/stiri/operatiunea-kgb-decembrie-1989-423201.html

THE FOLLOWING SHOULD, IN A PERFECT WORLD, DEMOLISH THE THESIS ABOUT THE ALLEGED ROLE OF SOVIET TOURISTS IN SPARKING THE TIMISOARA UPRISING!

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/04/29/high-time-to-unpack-already-why-the-restless-journey-of-the-soviet-tourists-of-the-romanian-revolution-should-come-to-an-end/

The Timisoara files about December 1989 are now publicly available (when the link works!) on the Internet at http://dosarelerevolutiei.ro/.  What they show is that Securitate, Militia, and other regime officials from Timis County were asked by Bucharest–communicated via the person of Securitate Director, General Iulian Vlad–to investigate the role of foreign elements, specifically tourists, in the Timisoara protests of mid-December 1989.  But they were not the only ones.  General Vlad tasked senior Securitate officials from Bucharest sent to Timisoara to report back to him on this very topic alleging external involvement and manipulation of the Timisoara demonstrations.  What remains unclear is how much of this tasking was General Vlad communicating his own “hypothesis” or how much of it was he relaying Nicolae Ceausescu’s “theory” about what was going on.  This much is clear:  neither those stationed in Timis County, nor those officials sent from Bucharest could find evidence of a foreign hand in the Timisoara uprising, despite being asked to investigate exactly this aspect.  How do we know this?  From their own written confessions immediately after the December 1989 events.  (Below are four of them:  Nicolae Mavru, Liviu Dinulescu, Emil Macri, and Filip Teodorescu.)

Niculae Mavru, fost sef al sectiei ‘Filaj si investigatie’ de la Securitatea Timis, declaratia din 13 ianuarie 1990:  …la ordinul col. Sima Traian, am primit…misiuni de a observa si sesiza aspecte din masa manifestantilor, din diferite zone ale orasului in sensul de a raporta daca sint straini (ceea ce nu prea au fost) care incita la dezordine, acte de violenta sau altfel de acte…

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25 iunie 1991

“Desi ne-am straduit nu am putut raporta col. Sima implicarea completa a vreunui cetatean strain in evolutia demonstratiilor cit si fenomenlor care au avut loc la Timisoara,..”

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“Sarcina primordiala pe care am primit-o de la col. Sima a fost daca in evenimentele declansate la Timisoara erau implicate elemente straine din afara tarii.  Cu toate eforturile facute nu a rezultat lucru pe linia mea de munca.”

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26 iunie 1991, Declaratia lui Liviu Dinulescu, cpt. la Serviciul de Pasapoarte al jud. Timis (in decembrie 1989, lt. maj. ofiter operativ Securitate judetean la Serv. III, care se ocupa de contraspionaj)

“Precizez ca anterior declansarii evenimentelor de la Timisoara din datele ce le detineam serviciul nostru nu rezulta vreun amestec din exterior in zona judetului Timis.”

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Generalul Emil Macri (seful Dir. II-a Securitatii, Contrainformatii Economice),

Declaratie 2 ianuarie 1990:

“Rezumind sintetic informatiile obtinute ele nu au pus in evidenta nici lideri si nici amestecul vreunei puteri straine in producerea evenimentelor de la Timisoara.  Raportarea acestor date la esalonul superior respectivi generalului I. Vlad a produs iritare si chiar suparare…”

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Filip Teodorescu (adj. sef. Dir III Contraspionaj D.S.S.), Declaratie, 12 ianaurie 1990: 

Seara [luni, 18 decembrie 1989], dupa 23:00, responsabili (anumiti ?) de generalul-maior Macri Emil pe diferitele linii de munca au inceput sa vina sa-i raporteze informatiile obtinute.  Au fost destul de neconcludente si cu mare dificultate am redat o informare pe care generalul-maior Macri Emil a acceptat-o si am expediat-o prin telex in jurul orei 01:00 [marti, 19 decembrie 1989.  In esenta se refera la:

–nu sint date ca ar exista instigatori sau conducatori anume veniti din strainatate…

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Posted in decembrie 1989 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Dosarele Revolutiei si Expertize Balistice: Cine a tras in voi cu gloante explozive?

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on May 16, 2013

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

On 1 December 2012, Doru Teodor Maries and Asociatia 21 decembrie 1989 made images of many of the official files investigating the events of December 1989 in Timisoara available on the Internet at http://dosarelerevolutiei.ro/ .  Among the copies available are testimonies from victims of the repression of the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, witnesses of the repression, relatives of the victims of the repression, and members of regime forces that either participated in the repression or were witnesses to it.  These documents allow researchers the ability to confirm or infirm claims made in the Romanian media or accounts published since December 1989.

[VA ROG, DACA VRETI, AJUTATI-MA CU TRANSCIERILE ILIZIBILE!  VA MULTUMESC!!!]

Romulus Cristea (ziarist, Romania Libera, 22 decembrie 2005):  – Munitia speciala, gloantele cu cap vidia sau dum-dum, a provocat victime? Presa de la acea vreme a fost plina cu astfel de relatari…

General-magistrat Dan Voinea – Nu exista victime (persoane impuscate) nici de la gloantele cu cap vidia, nici de la dum-dum. Pe durata evenimentelor s-a folosit munitie de razboi, munitie normala care se gasea la vremea respectiva in dotarea Ministerului de Interne si a Ministerului Apararii Nationale. Confuzia si informatiile false au aparut de la faptul ca se foloseau calibre diferite si, deci, zgomotul produs era altfel perceput.  http://www.romanialibera.ro/opinii/interviuri/toti-alergau-dupa-un-inamic-invizibil-58783.html

Robert Buzatu “a fost lovit de un glont exploziv”

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Georgian Baran “[pe 25 decembrie 1989]…teroristul a tras asupra mea, cred ca erau gloante dum-dum, mi-a lovit…”

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Csikos I[?] “Cred dupa rana [?]  ca au fost gloante dum-dum”

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Dobosan “am fost ranit…cu gloante dum-dum”

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Alexandru Kos “[pe 23 decembrie 1989] am fost impuscat…cu o arma de calibru mare si probabil cu gloante dum-dum”

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Florin Nicoara “Am fost lovit in soldul drept cu un glont dum-dum”

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Griga “civilii au fost impuscati cu gloante plate [?], care asa cum spuneau medicii cu rupt tesuturile”

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Andrei Jubea “glontul special de culoare alb”

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Iosif Cota “gloante crestati”

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/30/dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-declaratia-lui-mircea-stoica-8-ianuarie-1990-40-ani-topometrist-impuscat-patru-luni-spitalizat-decedat/

Mircea Stoica (declaratie, 8 ian 1990):  “Cind am ajuns aici, la poarta o voce de militar din garnizoana s-a exprimat:  “Ce faceti mai — voi toti cu BUM-BUM sau DUM-DUM si ni-i trimiteti noua sa ne spalam pe cap cu ei.”

 

Mircea Stoica (declaration, 8 January 1990):  “When I got there, I heard a soldier’s voice from the garrison exclaim:  “What are you guys doing? You all with your BUM-BUM or DUM-DUM and then you send`em to us to solve the problem [almost impossible to solve]” <very angry, pissed off>

(my sincere thanks to Gigga Adrian Tudor for this transcription and translation of the quote!)

Popovici:  “Mi-am revenit intr-un camion militar in care eram multi civili unii morti fiind adusi la garnizoana militara.  La garnizoana eu am fost dat jos si predat unui cpt (capitan) sau unui lt.major (locotenent major). vazand rana mea n-a vrut sa ma primeasca exprimand: Voi trageti cu dum dum si noi sa raspundem pentru acest lucru.”  (my thanks to A.K. for this transcription)

Popovici:  “I came to in a military truck in which there were lots of civilians some dead being brought to the military garrison.  At the garrison I was taken down and surrendered to a captain or lt. major, who looking at my wound did not want to receive me, exclaiming:  You shoot with dum-dum bullets and we are held responsible for it.”

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize the important similarity between the testimonies of Mircea Stoica and Ioan Popovici:  both are party to/overhear military personnel referring to the 1) use of DUM-DUM bullets, 2) that those who are using them are clearly not fellow soldiers and instead likely M.I./Securitate personnel, and 3) the Army personnel are resentful of essentially being left to “hold the bag” for the results of the DUM-DUM munitions!

———————————————————————————————————————————

Stoica Mircea, 40 ani, topometrist, Bd. Republicii, impuscat mina si picior http://www.timisoara.com/mioc/REVT06~1.HTM

197. Partea vătămată Stoica Maria cere 500000 lei, lunar, contribuţie de întreţinere, motivînd că, în decembrie 1989, soţul ei, Mircea Stoica a fost împuşcat, patru luni spitalizat, a rămas handicapat (gradul II de invaliditate), apoi a decedat.  În dovedirea cererii, depune acte de spitalizare şi de stabilire a capacităţii de muncă, care atestă vătămarea, cauzele şi consecinţele ei. Mai depune: declaraţia împuşcatului, actul lui de deces, actul de căsătorie şi carnetul de muncă (vol. 6 p. 304; vol. 10 p. 58-60, 170, 245-250; vol. 14 p. 54-61; vol. 27 p. 179-207).

http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/mmioc/curteasup/docs/0307pciv.htm

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“Cind am ajuns aici, la poarta o voce de militar din garnizoana s-a exprimat:  “Ce faceti mai — voi toti cu BUM-BUM sau DUM-DUM si ni-i trimiteti noua sa ne spalam pe cap cu ei.”

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intreaga declaratie e aici:

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in legatura cu declaratia aceasta, vezi si https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/02/dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara/ ,

Procesul de la Timisoara (II). Audierea partii civile Popovici Ion: “…Atata retin foarte bine minte, ca ofiterul a spus, cica: ‘Nu, voi trageti cu dum-dum-uri si dupa aia Armata raspunde.’”

Popovici:  “Mi-am revenit intr-un camion militar in care eram multi civili unii morti fiind adusi la garnizoana militara.  La garnizoana eu am fost dat jos si predat unui cpt (capitan) sau unui lt.major (locotenent major). vazand rana mea n-a vrut sa ma primeasca exprimand: Voi trageti cu dum dum si noi sa raspundem pentru acest lucru.”  (my thanks to A.K. for this transcription)

Popovici:  “I came to in a military truck in which there were lots of civilians some dead being brought to the military garrison.  At the garrison I was taken down and surrendered to a captain or lt. major, who looking at my wound did not want to receive me, exclaiming:  You shoot with dum-dum bullets and we are held responsible for it.”

available on this site http://www.banaterra.eu/romana/procesul-de-la-timisoara-1990-1991-vol-v ].  The following is from Volume V.]

Some excerpts: P.C.:  Ati dat o declaratie?   Po. I. :  Da  P.C.:  O mentineti?  Po. I. Da (p. 827) P.C.:  “Inteleg sa fiu audiat in cauza ca parte civila”, da?  V-as ruga sa faceti putin liniste!  “Mentin declaratia de la Procuratura si…” (p. 833)

Po. I.:  …Da [am fost ranit].  Si dupa aceea a venit unul dintre trei [civili mai in varsta] dupa mine, m-a tarat pana la masina si la masina, acolo, am luat o bataie…ca n-am putut doua saptamani nici sa mananc nimica.  M-a lovit cu patul de arma in falca si cu bocancii in cap.  Si m-au dus, m-au dus la Garnizoana.  La Garnizoana m-au aruncat din masina si a venit ofiterul de serviciu.  Au venit si acestia trei a spus lu’ ofiterul de serviciu, cica:  “Luati-l si duceti-l  la arest.”  Atata retin foarte bine minte, ca ofiterul a spus, cica:  “Nu, voi trageti cu dum-dum-uri si dupa aia Armata raspunde.  Voi omorati oameni si raspunde Armata dupa aceea.”  Asta tin minte precis.  Si de acolo mi-am dat seama ca nu poate sa fie soldati aceia. (p. 830)

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Doru Sciadei

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“In urma radiografiei facute la Spitalul Judetean au spus ca am 2 schije in picior…consemnat de medicul radiolog si chirurg, care m-au consultat.

Convingerea mea este ca in acest atac (pe ?) Calea Girocului, asupra unor oameni pasnici si (?) s-au folosit cel putin doua tipuri de gloante, convingerea intirita de glontul scos din coapsa (?) si schijele din piciorul meu, care cred ca provin de un glonte exploziv.

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Doina Gherasim glonte dum dum

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Cristian Rusu “S-a tras cu gloante dum-dum”

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SIX Doctors/Medical personnel from Timisoara alone have discussed the use of dum-dum bullets against demonstrators in Timisoara…

Doctors also reported on the wounds caused by explosive bullets (i.e. dum-dum bullets):  In this dispatch from Agence France Presse, relayed by Radio Free Europe on 25 December 1989, Dr. Aurel Mogosanu, a medic in the intensive care unit of a Timisoara hospital, says based on his thirty years of experience, some of the wounds could only have been CAUSED by EXPLOSIVE BULLETS SHOT AT THE PROTESTERS”

sursa (documentele Europa Libera disponsibile la):  http://media.hotnews.ro/media_server1/generic_file-2009-12-22-6754154-0-radio-bucuresti-25-dec-pdf.pdf (p. 49 of 82)

©AFP Général – Lundi 25 Décembre 1989 – 08:33 – Heure Paris (386 mots)
Roumanie, prev Nuit de Noel a l hopital central de Timisoara De l un des envoyes speciaux de l AFP, NICOLAS MILETITCH
   TIMISOARA (Roumanie) 25 dec – Devant l hopital central de Timisoara, dimanche soir, une quarantaine de camions remplis de medicaments et de produits alimentaires tout juste arrives, attendaient d etre decharges.
   ” L aide nous vient d un peu partout. Hongrie, RFA, Tchecoslovaquie, France, Yougoslavie, URSS, Bulgarie, Italie… ” , indique a l AFP l un des soldats qui gardent l hopital. Les militaires sont partout autour de l hopital, sur les toits, dans les cours et meme a l interieur.
   ” Des hommes de la Securitate ont tire pres de l hopital a plusieurs reprises, ces dernieres heures ” , explique le docteur Aurel Mogosianu, chef du service de soins intensifs, en donnant des ordres a un soldat qui passe, la mitraillette a l epaule, dans un couloir, entre les malades.
   Le Dr Mogosianu, qui a une trentaine d annees d experience, pense que certaines blessures particulierement horribles, n ont pu etre provoquees que par des balles explosives tirees contre les manifestants.
   Dans une salle de soins intensifs, une femme de 23 ans essaie de parler au docteur, puis renonce. ” C est un cas difficile. Elle a eu le dos transperce par une rafale ” , precise le Dr Mogosianu.
   En bougeant a peine la main, la jeune femme esquisse le ” V ” de la victoire pour dire ” au revoir ” . Un effort irrealisable pour son voisin qui a recu une balle dans le cou, impossible a extraire.
   Comme la plupart de ses collegues, le docteur travaille, a peu de choses pres, 24 heures sur 24 depuis le debut des evenements. Dans un coin, une infirmiere dort, ecroulee sur une chaise.
   Pour faire face a l afflux de blesses, la television de Bucarest a demande a tous les etudiants en medecine du pays de se rendre dans les hopitaux de la capitale et de Timisoara, ou la situation est la plus critique.
   Victor Jancu, 20 ans, a entendu cet appel. Dans la nuit de vendredi a samedi, il a quitte Cluj et reussi a rejoindre Timisoara, a plus de 300 kms de la, en arretant des camions.
   Quelques visiteurs arrivent a l hopital, portant a la main une petite branche de sapin : a Timisoara aussi, on voudrait feter Noel.
   nm/jga/vr.
Tous droits réservés : ©AFP Général
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mai mult despre Dr. Aurel Mogosanu in decembrie 1989:  http://www.sorinbogdan.ro/2009/12/timisoara-18-decembrie-1989/.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/09/30/procesul-de-la-timisoara-iii-audierea-martorului-rodica-novac-directorul-directiei-sanitare-timis-13-iunie-1990/

Rodica Novac’s claim is corroborated elsewhere by four other medical officials on call during the Timisoara repression.  First, in Romanian, by Dr. Atanasie Barzeanu, then in Hungarian by three doctors (Vladimir Fluture, Csaba Ungor, and Andras Goga) present and performing surgery in Timisoara hospitals from 17-19 december 1989 who recount separately their discovery of dum-dum exploding bullets among the bullets with which demonstrators arriving at the hospital had been shot.  december 1989: temesvari orvosok, dum-dum golyok, es a roman forradalom

Sava Florica, 33 de ani, vinzatoare la Loto-pronosport in cartierul Fabric, impuscata din mers, in Piata Traian

Barzeanu Atanasie, 65 anit, medic primar, doctor in stiinte, chirurg, Spitalul Judetean Timisoara

“…sintem deci in 18 decembrie…Pe la orele doua si patruzeci, cind inchideam o operatie–Sava Florica, 33 de ani, vinzatoare la Loto-pronosport in cartierul Fabric, impuscata din mers, in Piata Traian, dintr-un ARO, pacienta prezentindu-se o echimoza cu distrugerea tesuturilor (plaga in diametru de 15 centimetri), a tesuturilor din regiunea epigastrica, inclusiv a muschilor drepti abdominali, cu ruptura a colonului ascendent transvers si a jejuno-ileonului, fiind in stare de soc grav traumatic, hemoragic–, fara sa-mi poti explica nici macar acum cu ce fel de gloante a putut fi lovita, pentru ca nu am identificat nici orificiul de iesire si nici pe cel de intrare, a venit o asistenta de la Chirurgie I, care mi-a spus sa merg la domnul Ignat.”

Titus Suciu, Reportaj cu Sufletul la Gura, (Editura Facla 1990), pp. 133-134.

The following first appeared in Gyorgy Mandics’s Temesvari golgota (1991) pp. 348-349 and is reprinted in his A Manipulalt Forradalom (2009).  [My guess is this is also the source for the reference to dum dum bullets in the German language wikipedia entry for http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rum%C3%A4nische_Revolution_1989 — Hans Vastag, György Mandics, Manfred Engelmann: Temeswar. Symbol der Freiheit. Wien 1992. ]

pp. 348-349

Ket esetuk volt az elejen.  Ezert is hivtak be oket.  Egy 14 eves gyermeket a haz elott lottek le, szinte a szomszedban, egy golyoszoros ARO-rol talaltak el; egy oreg nenit a ter tuloldalon, az erkelyen ertek a golyok.  A zarja ment ki, kicsit nagyott hallott mar, amire is csoda, 64 evesen, azt hirtelen ugy erezte, hogy labaibol kimegy minden ero es lecsusott az erholya.  Na milyen gyonge lettem egyszeruen–mondotta maganak. de ahogyan fel akart tapaszkodni meg lepve tapasztalt, hogy vertocsa gyult alatta.  Bekialtolt a vegenek aki egy szomszed segitsegevel athozta a nenit a legkozelebbi korhazba, itt a Marasti ter tuloldalan, az uj Klinikakba, avagy hivatalos neven a 2 szamu korhazba, ahol rogton osszecodult mindenki csodat latni.  Ekkor hivtak be Baranziekat es minden mozgositato orvost, hiszen a fegyverek ropogatak.  Azota is kisebb nagyobb megszakitasokkal, felfelecsapolt a gepfegyverek, golyoszorok, geppisztolyok langzivatarja, remulettel telitva az ejszaki eget.

p. 349

De azt a ket elso esett nem kovettek ujabbok.  Igz aztan volt ido alaposan szemugyre venni a nenit akinek combjan elol egz akkora lyuk tatongott mint egy egy lejes, a comba hatso felen ahol eltavotott a golyo, ott viszont mar akkora mint egy otlejes.  Fluture doktor, az egzik sebesz erosen kototte az ebet a korohoz, hogy ez egz specialis dum-dum robbanogolyo okozta seb, hiszen a szakirodalomban azt irjak, hogy csak ez a robbannolovedek-fajta-amelyet ugyan az ENSZ eltitott, am a nemzetkozi terrorizmusban kulonesen divatos ma is–okoz az izomszovetbol kijovet sokkal nagyobb roncsolasokat mint a bemenetnel.  Az orvosok odazarandokoltak a sebesulthoz, mivel egzik sem latott semhogy dum-dum golyo utotte sebet, de egyaltalan lott sebet sem soha eleteben.  Igz aztan csak szivtak a rangeletrahoz igazodva a sebesz foorvosok az amerikai Kentet, a foamnesztezialogus a holland pipadohanyt, az asztalyos orovosok a bolgar BT-t, a fonoverek a jugoslav Vikend-et, a noverek es helyapolok a roman Snagov-t, Golfot.  Es vartak.

(Note: it is unclear who the 64 yr. old described was…there are several individuals without ages listed as injured or dead during the events, but I think it more likely the age of the woman is incorrect)

Jozsef Gazda Megvalto karacsonyErdelyi magyar tulelok emlekeznek. (1990)

Ungor Csaba:  Ket ora utan senkit be nem hoztak, senkit be nem engedtek, egyetlen sebesult sem.  A korhazbol kikanyarado  mentoautokra is lottek.  Ket ora utan mindre, ami mozgott, jarokelo, auto, mindenre lottek, csak hogy ok tudjak begyujteni a sebesulteket s a halottakat.  Kiderult az elso golyok utan, amiket a sebekbol gyujottek ossze, szedtek ki, hogy nem eles katonai toltenyekkel lottek, hanem dum-dum golyokkal, amik nagy rombolasokat okoztak.  Egy 16 eves, ketszer sebesult gyermek meselte el, ok azt hittek, hogy hosok, azt hittek, hogy meg fogjak menteni a forradalmat, mert biztosra vettek, ha a felnottek sorfala ele allnak, nem fognak belejuk loni.  Lottek rajuk is.

Goga Andras:  A masodik izgalomkelto esemeny volt kedden delelott, hogy az osszes regiszterunk–mind a surgossegen, mind az osztalyon–, melyekre felirtuk a muteteinket, eltuntek, a mai napig sem talaltuk meg.  Bennuk voltak az ev osszes mutetei[***]…En aznap kettot operaltam.  Egy tuntetonek a bore alol vettem ki egy nagyon kulonleges golyok, nem is golyot, egy ilyen repeszdarabot, melyet a katonasag aztan megvizsgalt, s azt mondtak, nekik nincs tudmasuk, hogy ez mi lehet.  Egy masiknak pedig fejserulese volt, persze abban nem talaltam golyot, atment rajta.

In early March 1990, AFP reported the declared findings of surgeons in Bucharest, attesting to the fact that many of those wounded on 21-22 December 1989 in Bucharest had been shot with exploding bullets, DUM-DUM bullets.  This is a critical article (and description of an event that I believe has gotten almost no coverage inside or outside Romania).  Lt. Gnl. Traian Oancea, chief of surgery in part of the Central Military Hospital in Bucharest, and Dr. Nicolae “Nae” Constantinescu, chief of surgery at the Coltea Hospital, discussed this at a meeting of the Society of Surgeons in Bucharest.

This was also discussed by Bucharest medical personnel at a 1994 conference:

AMFITEATRUL FACULTATII DE MEDICINA

“Decembrie 1989, in spitalele din Bucuresti”

Mihail Lechkun, Romania Libera, 10 februarie 1994, p. 2

“In decembrie 1989 a fost o disponsibilitate pentru bestialitate, pe care nu am crezut-o capabila la poporul care fac parte, ” a declarat dl. conf. dr. Nicolae Constantinescu (Spitalul Coltea), in cadrul conferintei care s-a desfasurat marti seara in Amfiteatrul Mare al Facultatii de Medicina din Bucurest, avand ca subiect “Decembrie 1989, in spitalele din Bucuresti”.  Printre invitatii Ligii Studentilor in Medicina, organizatorul acestei conferinte, s-au numarat:  dl. prof. dr. Petre Andronescu, prorector, dl. dr. Constantin Antofie, dl. prof. dr. Marian Ciurel, dl. prof. conf. dr. Dan Niculescu, dl. conf. dr. Nicolae Constantinescu, dl. prof. conf. dr. Ilie Pavelescu, dl. dr. Eduard Geambasu, toti medici chirurgi din Capitala care au fost confruntate cu fluxul de raniti din decembrie 1989.  “Documentatia pe care am avut-o, nu o mai avem,” a spus dl. prof. dr. Marian Ciurel (Spitalul de Urgenta) amintind totusi faptul ca au fost inregistrate date intr-o lucrare de doctorat.  “Putini dintre cei raniti au fost socati psihic,” isi aminteste prof. dr. Petre Andronescu (Spitalul Colentina).  Revolutionari si raniti au primit acelasi tratament, “stim doar ca la o parte din bolnavi s-au schimbat catusi” isi aminteste dl. prof. dr. Marian Ciurel.  Peste 60 la suta din ranitii adusi la Spitalul Coltea erau impuscati lateral sau din spate.  S-a tras si asupra oamenilor care au stat ghemuiti, acestia suferind astfel leziuni complexe.  Pe langa datele statistice prezentate, medicii prezenti au atras atentia asupra naturii leziunilor care, in numar mare, au fost cazate de munitie al carie efect a fost mai mult distrugerea, mutilarea decat scoaterea din lupta.  In acest sens, deosebit de interesante au fost datele prezentate din lucrarea de diploma, a medicului M. Briciu:  “S-a tras cu gloante explozive”. Concluziile ce se pot trage din faptul ca cei adusi in spitale, in intervale de timp distincte, prezentau leziuni corespunzatoare anumitor portiuni din corp, demonstreaza existenta unor ordine asupra locului unde trebuia ochit.  “Cred ca Romania va fi capabila sa constituie acel ecran care sa protejeze de acum inainte natia de asemenea manifestari,” a spus dl. conf. dr. Nicolae Constantinescu, remarcand aspectul benefic al unor astfel de conferinte.

NOR WERE THESE THE ONLY DOCTORS AND MEDICAL PERSONNEL–FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC–WHO ATTESTED TO THE USE OF DUM-DUM EXPLODING AND OTHER ATYPICAL, UNUSUAL MUNITIONS USED DURING THE EVENTS OF DECEMBER 1989

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/08/08/doctors-and-dum-dum-bullets-in-romania-in-december-1989-i-dr-manuel-burzaco-medecins-sans-frontieres/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/08/10/doctors-and-dum-dum-bullets-in-romania-in-december-1989-ii-trimisi-in-strainatate-italia-franta-austria-anglia-si-germania-pentru-tratament/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/08/11/doctors-and-dum-dum-bullets-in-romania-in-december-1989-iii-ce-spun-medici-romani/

Other posts with documents from dosarele revolutiei…

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/16/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-i/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/19/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-ii/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/20/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutie-de-la-timisoara-iii/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/21/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-iv/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/27/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-v/

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

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

High Time to Unpack Already: Why the Restless Journey of the “Soviet tourists” of the Romanian Revolution Should Come to an End.

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on April 29, 2013

(purely personal views as always, based on two decades of research and publication, not for reproduction, thank you!)

Somewhere out there, on the Great Highway in the Sky, or perhaps more fittingly, the Beltway of one of Dante’s circles, the “Soviet tourists” (alternatively, “Russian tourists”) of December 1989 in Romania continue to drive around, aimlessly, and, of course, as we are so often told, not staying in hotels.  Sadly, for the lovers of absurdity, this never-ending holiday from reality must–or at least should–come to an end.  Here’s why:

The Timisoara files about December 1989 are now publicly available (when the link works!) on the Internet at http://dosarelerevolutiei.ro/.  What they show is that Securitate, Militia, and other regime officials from Timis County were asked by Bucharest–communicated via the person of Securitate Director, General Iulian Vlad–to investigate the role of foreign elements, specifically tourists, in the Timisoara protests of mid-December 1989.  But they were not the only ones.  General Vlad tasked senior Securitate officials from Bucharest sent to Timisoara to report back to him on this very topic alleging external involvement and manipulation of the Timisoara demonstrations.  What remains unclear is how much of this tasking was General Vlad communicating his own “hypothesis” or how much of it was he relaying Nicolae Ceausescu’s “theory” about what was going on.  This much is clear:  neither those stationed in Timis County, nor those officials sent from Bucharest could find evidence of a foreign hand in the Timisoara uprising, despite being asked to investigate exactly this aspect.  How do we know this?  From their own written confessions immediately after the December 1989 events.  (Below are four of them:  Nicolae Mavru, Liviu Dinulescu, Emil Macri, and Filip Teodorescu.)

Niculae Mavru, fost sef al sectiei ‘Filaj si investigatie’ de la Securitatea Timis, declaratia din 13 ianuarie 1990:  …la ordinul col. Sima Traian, am primit…misiuni de a observa si sesiza aspecte din masa manifestantilor, din diferite zone ale orasului in sensul de a raporta daca sint straini (ceea ce nu prea au fost) care incita la dezordine, acte de violenta sau altfel de acte…

0331

25 iunie 1991

“Desi ne-am straduit nu am putut raporta col. Sima implicarea completa a vreunui cetatean strain in evolutia demonstratiilor cit si fenomenlor care au avut loc la Timisoara,..”

0173

“Sarcina primordiala pe care am primit-o de la col. Sima a fost daca in evenimentele declansate la Timisoara erau implicate elemente straine din afara tarii.  Cu toate eforturile facute nu a rezultat lucru pe linia mea de munca.”

0174

26 iunie 1991, Declaratia lui Liviu Dinulescu, cpt. la Serviciul de Pasapoarte al jud. Timis (in decembrie 1989, lt. maj. ofiter operativ Securitate judetean la Serv. III, care se ocupa de contraspionaj)

“Precizez ca anterior declansarii evenimentelor de la Timisoara din datele ce le detineam serviciul nostru nu rezulta vreun amestec din exterior in zona judetului Timis.”

0197

Generalul Emil Macri (seful Dir. II-a Securitatii, Contrainformatii Economice),

Declaratie 2 ianuarie 1990:

“Rezumind sintetic informatiile obtinute ele nu au pus in evidenta nici lideri si nici amestecul vreunei puteri straine in producerea evenimentelor de la Timisoara.  Raportarea acestor date la esalonul superior respectivi generalului I. Vlad a produs iritare si chiar suparare…”

IMG_1219

IMG_1215

Filip Teodorescu (adj. sef. Dir III Contraspionaj D.S.S.), Declaratie, 12 ianaurie 1990: 

Seara [luni, 18 decembrie 1989], dupa 23:00, responsabili (anumiti ?) de generalul-maior Macri Emil pe diferitele linii de munca au inceput sa vina sa-i raporteze informatiile obtinute.  Au fost destul de neconcludente si cu mare dificultate am redat o informare pe care generalul-maior Macri Emil a acceptat-o si am expediat-o prin telex in jurul orei 01:00 [marti, 19 decembrie 1989.  In esenta se refera la:

–nu sint date ca ar exista instigatori sau conducatori anume veniti din strainatate…

IMG_1453

IMG_1438

All this is important to keep in mind when coming across claims about the alleged role of these tourists in the overthrow of the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu:  none of the authors purporting such claims have addressed the documents above.  Among the authors who allege such a role and whose work is available on the Internet are the following:

James F. Burke (citing Grigore Corpacescu, General Iulian Vlad, and a well-known article from September 1990 in Democratia) http://www.ceausescu.org/ceausescu_texts/revolution/december_revolt_moscow.htm (I have dealt with these allegations here https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/12/29/presa-din-1990-despre-turistii-rusi-din-decembrie-1989/, and  https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/22/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-iii/)

Catherine Durandin (citing Radu Portocala) http://www.diploweb.com/english/romania/durandin1.htm  (I have addressed this allegation here https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/24/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-four/)

Alexander Ghaleb (fn. 9, citing “police sources”) http://www.sferapoliticii.ro/sfera/165/art03-Ghaleb.php

Jacques Levesque (citing a 1992 book by Filip Teodorescu) http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft4q2nb3h6&chunk.id=d0e6746&toc.id=d0e6638&brand=ucpress

John Simpson (citing Virgil Magureanu and the SRI) http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/ten-days-that-fooled-the-world-1387659.html

Alex Mihai Stoenescu (p. 186 of 340, Petre Roman citing Mihai Caraman) http://www.scribd.com/doc/105257958/Alex-Mihai-Stoenescu-Istoria-Loviturilor-de-Stat-Din-Romania-Vol-4-1

Larry Watts (fn. 90 p. 26, Petre Roman citing Mihai Caraman) http://www.larrylwatts.com/excerpts/with_friends_like_these_excerpts.pdf  (Roman ironically himself undermined such a claim here:  http://adevarul.ro/news/eveniment/petre-roman-ceausescu-acceptat-controlul-psihiatric-proces-putea-scape-1_50ad124a7c42d5a6638e48ab/index.html)

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

The Securitate’s “Recovered Memories” about Timisoara

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on April 25, 2013

The declarations of senior Securitate officers Filip Teodorescu, Emil Macri, Liviu Dinulescu, and Nicolae Mavru from late December 1989/early 1990

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/17/filip-teodorescu-adj-sef-dir-iii-contraspionaj-d-s-s-nu-sint-date-ca-ar-exista-instigatori-sau-conducatori-anume-veniti-din-strainatate/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/16/emil-macri-rezumind-sintetic-informatiile-obtinute-ele-nu-au-pus-in-evidenta-nici-lideri-si-nici-amestecul-vreunei-puteri-straine-in-producerea-evenimentelor-de-la-timisoara/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/10/liviu-dinulescu-cpt-la-serviciul-de-pasapoarte-al-jud-timis-precizez-ca-anterior-declansarii-evenimentelor-de-la-timisoara-din-datele-ce-le-detineam-serviciul-nostru-nu-rezulta-vreun-amestec-di/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/06/secretele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-col-niculae-mavru-fost-sef-al-sectiei-filaj-si-investigatie-de-la-securitatea-timis/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/ultimul-raport-al-securitatii-catre-nicolae-ceausescu/

Below some of my discussion of the Securitate’s “recovered memory”

through the years (1996, 2002, 2005)

“Asa va place revolutia?  Asa a fost!” Democratia, septembrie 1990, din partea fostilor ofiteri din Directia V-a a Securitatii.

Raportul SRI, publicat in Adevarul, 13 iulie 1994.

image-81

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

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.

Please Note:  This article is not to be cited, reproduced, translated, or used in any form without the acknowledgement and permission of the author.

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)

image-72

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)….

SOURCES

“Baricada (Bucharest),” 1990.

Burke, J. F., 1994, “The December 1989 Revolt and the Romanian Coup d‘etat,” at http://www.timisoara.com/timisoara/coup.html.

Ciobotea, R., 1991, “Politia Politica in Instanta [The Political Police on Trial],” “Flacara,” 3 July.

“Cotidianul” (Bucharest), 1999, web edition, http://www.cotidianul.ro.

CWIHP (Cold War International History Project), 2001, “New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania,” (ed. Mircea Munteanu), at http://wwics.si.edu/topics/pubs/e-dossier5.

Corut, P., 1994, Cantecul Nemuririi [Song of the Undying] (Bucharest:  Editura Miracol).

Deletant, D., 1995, Ceausescu and the Securitate:  Coercion and Dissent, 1965-1989 (Armonk, NY:  M.E. Sharpe).

“Evenimentul zilei” (Bucharest), 1999, web edition, http://www.evenimentulzilei.ro.

“Europa (Bucharest),” 1990, 1991.

Hall, R.A., 1996, “Ce demonstreaza probele balistice dupa sapte ani? [Seven Years After:  What Does the Ballistics’ Evidence Tell Us]” trans. Bobeica, A., in “22 (Bucharest),” 17-23 December.

Hall, R. A. 1997, “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., 1999, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged War Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” in “East European Politics and Societies,” Vol. 13, no.3, pp. 501-542.

Hall, R. A., 2002, “Part 2:  Tourists are Terrorists and Terrorists are Tourists with Guns,” “The Securitate Roots of a Modern Romanian Fairy Tale:  The Press, the Former Securitate, and the Historiography of December 1989,” Radio Free Europe “East European Perspectives,” Vol. 4, no 8.

“Jurnalul National,” (Bucharest), 2004, web edition, http://www.jurnalul.ro.

“New York Times,” 1989.

“Romania Libera,” 1990.

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

“The Times (London),” 1990.

“Zig-Zag” (Bucharest), 1990.

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cleared March 2002

RFE/RL Reports Print Version  E-mail this page to a friend

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).

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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

—————————————————————————-

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]

[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.

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