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 ‘Tudor Postelnicu’

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 March 15, 2013


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) (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


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

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

“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:

Ioan Savu discussed the windowbreakers as follows:




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.


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…



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…

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

“Dinca si Postelnicu au fost prinsi de pantera roz!”: 22 decembrie 1989

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 21, 2009

all videos posted by aetziu to youtube

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decembrie 1989 : “Inca o Fateta a Diversiunii”

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on July 31, 2009

Sint citeva publicatii care gazduiesc cu seninatate unele actiune sa le zicem…ofensive indreptate impotriva armatei.  Nu stim in ce masura le avantajeaza sau nu aceste sageti otravite, nici nu ne-am propus sa aflam.  Probabil ca n-am avea nici cine stie ce sanse, intrucit serviciile de informatii puse in slujba minuitorilor de zvonuri si calomnii beneficiaza si de alte…servicii, lesne de inteles de ce factura.  De ce lesne?  Pentru ca le demasca…stilul materialelor publicate, o anume arie de notiuni si informatii, precum si modul de a le aranja, astfel incit, in continuare, castanele sa fie scoase din foc tot cu mina altuia…Numai ca astfel de intentii nu pot ramine chiar neobservate si nesesizate.  Semnele de mirare ca si nedumeririle celor care scriu si intreaba nu sint de fel cuminti si nevinovate.  Dimpotriva.  Veninul iese din coltii scosi din alveole inainte de muscatura, capul ascuns in nisipul fierbinte nu poate ascunde si clopoteii din…inima impietrita de otrava.  Sarpele n-a murit.

     Este si cazul intrebarii pe care si-o pune, cuminte, domnul G.I. Olbojan in numarul din 23-29 aprilie al publicatiei “Express” [sic. Zig-Zag ] “Mortii din TIR-ul frigorific — ofiteri D.I.A.?”  Ce aveti cu omul?  In fond, el doar intreaba.  Oricare cetatean al acestei tari poate sa intrebe orice!  Altfel n-ar mai fi democratiei!  Sursa de incredere care i s-a destainuit se vede, nu i-a dat si raspunsul cel mai potrivit, de vreme ce autorul articolului cu pricina inca intreaba.

     Dupa parerea autorului acestui articol, armata trebuia neaparat sa-si creeze un…inamic.  Doar si in poligon isi monteaza tiinte ca sa traga in ele, nu ?  De ce n-ar face-o in strada?

     Si apoi, dupa ce si-ar fi ucis proprii ofiteri–si probabil, nu pe cei mai slabi–ar fi trebuit sa-i recupereze, si sa-i fure adica de la morga!  Si a apelat, pentru aceasta, la bunavointa militiei si securitatii.  Prin aceasta remarcandu-se in fata “comandamantului suprem.”  Extraordinar!  Dupa cum se vede, armata si-a facut singura un…motiv!  Oare chiar asa naiv sa fie autorul articolului?

     Sa fim seriosi, domnilor!  In afara de citiva cercetasi care aveau misunea sa culeaga informatii si sa raporteze ce se intimpla in strada (o astfel de misiune este absolut necesara cind actioneaza armata), nici un alt ofiter n-a fost in strada decat cu subunitatea pe care o comanda.  Dar si cei care au fost acolo faceau parte din subunitatile de cercetare si nu din ceea ce autorul articolului respectiv numeste D.I.A.!  Intr-adevar, in depozitia sa, inculpatul Filip Teodorescu a dat un exemplu, in maniera in care o stim cu totii.  Si care nu se deosebeste prea mult de cea in care a scris articolul.  A se citi:  stim mai mult.  dar…atentie!  Sursa la care va referiti, domnule Olbojan, stia deci ca un intrus care, vezi doamne, ar fi fost de la D.I.A. (cu acte in regula!) ar fi avut misiunea sa destabilizeze activitatea inspectoratului M.I. !  Ar fi facut-o in prezenta lui Macri, a lui Teodorescu si a celor mai buni contraspioni ai tarii la acea data!  Al dracului trebuie sa fi fost instrusul asta!

     Serviciul de contrainformatii ai armatei, stimabili calomnitori, retineti, se compunea din lucratori ai Ministerului de Intere, care controlau fiecare miscare a cadrelor si ostasilor din toate unitatile si de la toate esaloanele, mai ales de la cele mari !  Si daca se intimpla ca vreunul sa aiba vreo legatura (inclusiv amoroasa) neprincipiala, ei erau primii care informau pe cei interesati.  Ei stiau totul si nu le scapa nimic despre sistemul de informare de la toate nivelurile!  Le-ar fi scapat tocmai o astfel de actiune!  Ia mai ginditi-va!

     Au fost sustrase file din registrele garzii, au fost impuscati raniti in lift, plus toate celelalte pe care dumneavoastra le sistematizate pe puncte si de puneti in spinarea armatei!

    Nu se stie nimic si totusi sursa dumneavoastra, care le stie pe toate, va lasa fara raspuns.  Deznodamintul cel mai fericit pe care il intrevedeti este si el tot un fel de a…confectiona tinte de carton sa avem in ce trage.  Cartoane inca mai exista (ziarele se tiparesc pe altceva) , dar si cind se vor termina, n-o sa le simtim prea mult lipsa.  Tintele se pot confectiona si din altceva.  Din plastic sau din oameni vii, chiar si dintre morti.  Daca nu ajung, cei vii, puteti trage si in cei morti.  Armata are destui.  Doar e democratie!  Tot trebuie sa aiba tintele din poligon culoare kaki, nu?  Chiar si cele de la casa denumita Postelnicu, de ling aeroportul Otopeni erau, in marea lor majoritate, kaki!

     Sa concluzionam.  Blinzii oameni ai lui Teodorescu si ai celorlalti (de profesie securisti, culegatori de informatii) n-au facut altceva decit sa contacteze pe cei din retea (a se citi pe informatori), in timp ce armata (prin D.I.A.) si-a scos patruzeci de ofiteri in bataia pustilor proprii!  Ei, blinzii nostri securisti, au stat de o parte si au asistat la acest spectacol straniu, in calitatea lor de contraspioni si, bineinteles, de organe de ordine.  Ei nu stiu nimic, ei n-au vazut nimic.  Au venit, au privit, au verificat daca sint sau nu sint spioni straini si au aflat-o spun, poate acum, prin intermediul unei surse demne de incredere si al unui semnatar de articol — ca si de cealalta parte a baricadei au fost tot…cei de la armata.  Deci armata si-a omorit patruzeci de oameni, apoi si i-a furat, iar acum ar trebui, probabil desfiintata, imbracat in zeghe si, de ce nu, trimisa iarasi sa termine canalele, sa stringa recolta, sa curete WC-ului, eventual sa lustruiasca cizmele, celor care vor primi misiunea sa o controleze si sa faca pe gardienii.  Pina aici totul e clar.

     Autorul scrie ca “lipsesc din proces si nici nu se face caz de absenta lor cei care au ales cadavrele si au facut sa dispara registrele cu evidenta ranitilor si mortilor.  Daca respectivi indivizi ar fi fost ofiteri de securitate, ar fi prezenti in proces si condamnati cu toata asprimea.”  Daca s-ar sti cine sint aceia, fiti sigur, domnule Olbojan, ca nu i-ar ocoli nimeni.  Poate ati uitat ca insesi cadrele armatei au cerut ca toti cei ce se fac vinovati de cele intimplate la Timisoara sa fie arestati.  Nu asta va intereseaza insa pe dumneavoastra, ci altceva.  Scopul pe care il urmariti este probabil acela de a mai crea inca o mica diversiune, pe linga toate celelalte.  Intrebarea care se pune este:  in folosul cui?  Nu este exclus ca si acest nevinovat articolas, pierdut intr-un podval, sa faca parte din acelasi sistem diabolic de actiune psihologica si radioelectronica, de dezinformare si razboi al zvonurilor si miniciunilor care, daca armata n-ar fi fost inteleapta si ferma pe pozitie, ar fi dus aceasta tara la cel mai cumplit dezastru.  Dumneavoastra (sau cei care v-au indemnat sa scrieti) stiti foarte bine cu ce anume se ocupa D.IA. (asa cum si inculpatul Teodorescu stie).  Si tocmai din acest motiv intreprinderea pe care o faceti mi se pare cel putin josnica.

     Cunosc bine armata romana, domnule Olbojan.  Toate armele si toate componentele ei au un loc in inima mea.  Ar trebui, daca sintet totusi roman, sa-l aiba si in inima dumneavoastra.  Va inchipuiti oare ca armata s-ar fi dedat la astfel de acte?  Poate tot ca, armata si-a creat si acele puhoaie de tinte aeriene false, pentru a-si consuma rachetele si munitia si a se juca de-a…razboiul!

     Ca sa puteti dormi linistit, domnule semnatar al articolui cu pricina, va informez ca treaba celor din D.I.A. este cu totul alta.  Spre folosul apararii acestei tari.  Si nu a vreunui regim politic.  Nici a vreunui clan sau vreunui stat in stat.  Cum a fost cel pe care incercati sa-l slujiti.

(Colonel V. Gheorghe, “Inca o Fateta a Diversiunii,” Armata Poporului, nr. 18 (21) joi 3 mai 1990, p. 1, p. 3a)

N-au fost vorbe in vint…Olbojan s-a dovedit a fi, intr-adevar, si deloc intimplator…un fost securist…si din articolul lui (incoace) s-a nascut ipoteza ca D.I.A. ar fi fost teroristii din decembrie…o ipoteza pretuita a fostei securitatii, imbratisata de catre Gheorghe Ratiu (fost sef Dir I, politia politica), Nicolae Plesita, Ion Hotnog, Teodor Filip, Dumitru Burlan (fostul doppelganger al lui Nicolae Ceausescu) si multi alti fosti securisti…

Cazul lui Gheorghe Ionescu Olbojan

Radio Free Europe Research “East European Perspectives”

3 April 2002, Volume  4, Number  7


By Richard Andrew Hall

Less well known than the comparatively high-profile cases of Corut and Bacescu is the case of Gheorghe Ionescu Olbojan. Olbojan’s treatment by the Romanian press corps differs little from that of Corut and Bacescu. Like Corut and Bacescu, in the early 1990s Olbojan was writing in the pages of Ion Cristoiu’s publications — specifically “Zig-Zag” in 1990. By the late 1990s, journalists who wrote about Olbojan’s publications did not hesitate to identify him as a former Securitate officer. A reviewer of Olbojan’s 1999 book, titled “The Black Face of the Securitate,” and Ion Mihai Pacepa in the satirical weekly “Catavencu” described Olbojan’s allegations that Ceausescu was overthrown by the Soviet Union in conjunction with Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Israel, and bluntly stated that Olbojan was a disgruntled former Securitate officer (“Catavencu,” 23 July 1999). Filip Ralu, a journalist working for the daily “Curierul national,” was even more specific: Olbojan, he wrote, was a DIE (Foreign Intelligence Directorate) officer (“Curierul national,” 19 March 2001).

Why so bold and so sure, we might ask. Because it was no longer a secret: Olbojan had admitted in print — at least as early as 1993 — that he indeed served in the former Securitate. On the dust jacket of his 1994 book “Pacepa’s Phantoms,” a polemic apparently in response to criticisms of his earlier book, “Goodbye Pacepa,” his editor proudly touts the “latest raid effected by former Securitate officer Gh. Ionescu Olbojan” (Olbojan, 1994). Inside, Olbojan describes how he was recruited in the 1970s while at the Bucharest Law Faculty, finished a six-month training course at the famous Branesti Securitate school, and worked at an “operative unit” of the “Center” from 1978 to 1982 and then at the famous Securitate front company “Dunarea” until being forced — he claims — to go on reserve status in 1986 after violating certain unspecified “laws and regulations of security work” (Olbojan, 1994, pp. 17-19). According to Olbojan, as early as the fall of 1990 — at a time when he was writing a series on the makeup of the former Securitate and when Cristoiu would address him with the words, “Olbojan, did you bring me the material?” — he “pulled back the curtain of protection behind which he had been hiding for so long” and revealed to a fellow journalist his Securitate background (Olbojan, 1994, pp. 14-15). There is thus no doubt here: It is not a question of supposition or innuendo by this or that journalist — Olbojan has publicly admitted to a Securitate past.

In the ninth issue of “Zig-Zag,” which appeared in April 1990 — an issue in which Angela Bacescu wrote a famous piece revising the understanding of the deaths of a group of Securitate antiterrorist troops at the Defense Ministry during the December events, a piece that was vigorously contested by journalists in the military press (for a discussion, see Hall, 1999) — Olbojan wrote an article entitled “Were The Corpses In The Refrigerated Truck DIA Officers?” (Olbojan, 1990). In the article, Olbojan attacked the official account regarding the identity of 40 bodies transported by the Securitate and by the Militia from Timisoara to Bucharest on 18-19 December 1989 for cremation upon the express orders of Elena Ceausescu. The FSN regime maintained that these were the cadavers of demonstrators shot dead during antiregime protests, but Olbojan now advanced the possibility that they might have been the corpses of members of the army’s elite defense intelligence unit, DIA.

Olbojan’s “basis” for such an allegation was that nobody allegedly had come forward to claim the corpses of the 40 people in question and therefore they could not have been citizens of Timisoara. Mioc counters that this is preposterous, and that unfortunately this myth has circulated widely since Olbojan first injected it into the press (Mioc, 2000b) — despite the publication of correct information on the topic. Mioc republished a list with the names, ages, and home addresses of the (in reality) 38 people in question and noted that it was published in the Timisoara-based “Renasterea Banateana” on 2 March 1991, the Bucharest daily “Adevarul” on 13 March 1991, the daily “Natiunea” (also published in Bucharest) in December 1991, as well as in the daily “Timisoara” on 29 November 1991 — but significantly was refused publication in Tudor’s “Romania Mare”!

On the face of things — in the spring 1990 context of a publication that appeared courageous enough to stand up to the rump party-state bureaucracy and with no public knowledge about Olbojan’s past — Olbojan’s article could be interpreted as a laudable, if poorly executed, effort at investigative journalism or at worst as innocuous. But context can be everything, and it is in this case. It seems significant that Olbojan considers his April 1990 “Zig-Zag” article important enough to reproduce in its entirety in his 1994 book “Pacepa’s Phantoms” and then discuss the impact the article had upon getting people to rethink the December 1989 events and how later works by other authors (including those with no connection to the former Securitate but also including the previously-mentioned notorious former Securitate officer Pavel Corut) confirmed his allegations (Olbojan, 1994, pp. 276-299).

The importance of suggesting that the cadavers transported to Bucharest for cremation were the bodies of army personnel and not average citizens may not be readily apparent. To make such a claim insinuates that the Iliescu leadership was/is lying about the December events and therefore should not be believed and may be illegitimate. It also insinuates that the events may have been more complicated and less spontaneous than initial understandings and the official history would have us believe: If those who were transported to Bucharest for cremation were not average citizens but army personnel, then is it not possible that Timisoara was a charade, a manipulation by forces within the regime — perhaps with outside help — to overthrow Ceausescu and simulate both revolutionary martyrdom and political change?

Moreover, it was significant that Olbojan maintained that the cadavers belonged not just to any old army unit but specifically to DIA. The army’s DIA unit — a unit which appeared to benefit organizationally from the December events, including having its chief, Stefan Dinu, for a time assume the command of the Romanian Information Service’s (SRI) counterespionage division (until his former Securitate subordinates appear to have successfully undermined him and prompted his replacement) — would during the 1990s become a common scapegoat for the post-22 December “terrorism” that claimed over 900 lives in the Revolution and initially had been blamed uniformly upon the Securitate (see, for example, Stoian, 1993 and Sandulescu, 1996). If the 40 cadavers were indeed DIA officers, then anything was possible with regard to the post-22nd “terrorism” — including that DIA, and not the Securitate’s antiterrorist troops, had been responsible for the tremendous loss of life. Indeed, in his 1994 book “Pacepa’s Phantoms,” Olbojan claims just that: In December 1989, there allegedly had been no Securitate “terrorists,” the “terrorists” had been from DIA, and it is they who were thus culpable for the bloodshed (Olbojan, 1994, pp. 276-291).

Nor can it be said that the timing of Olbojan’s publication was of inconsequence here: The trial of the Securitate and Militia officers charged with the bloody repression of demonstrators in Timisoara in December 1989 had begun the previous month and was still in progress at the time of the article’s appearance. Olbojan’s allegation clearly had implications for the verdicts of this trial. Mioc has noted of Olbojan’s account: “[T]he theory of the ‘mystery’ of the 40 cadavers would become the departure point for efforts to demonstrate the presence of foreign agents in Timisoara” (Mioc, 2000a). Indeed, during the Timisoara trial, reputed Securitate “superspy” Filip Teodorescu had attempted to implant this idea and would later reveal that among those his forces had arrested during the Timisoara events were two armed, undercover DIA officers in a Timisoara factory — the massive influx of foreign agents supposedly having eluded the “underfunded and undermanned” and “Ceausescu-distrusted” Securitate (Teodorescu, 1992). For Mioc, Olbojan’s echoing of Teodorescu’s attempts to muddy the historical waters of the birthplace of the Revolution, and Olbojan’s specific effort to sow wholly unnecessary confusion about the identity of the 40 cremated corpses (an issue which no one had considered the least bit suspicious until that time) cannot be separated from Olbojan’s admitted collaboration with the Securitate and his warm praise of that institution throughout most of the 1990s.

Significantly, even at the time, Olbojan’s account sparked innuendo in the press regarding his past, his credibility, his capacity for the truth, and his agenda in writing such an article. Unfortunately, but very tellingly, these accusations came not from the civilian press — of any political stripe — but from the military press. Colonel V. Gheorghe wrote in early May 1990 that Olbojan’s account was merely “yet another face of the diversion,” the latest in an emerging campaign attempting to exonerate the Securitate for the bloodshed, blame the army, plant the idea that the December 1989 Revolution was little more than a coup d’etat engineered from abroad, and cast doubt upon the spontaneity and revolutionary bravery of those who protested against Ceausescu and participated in the December events (Gheorghe, 1990).

Mioc notes accurately that “[I]n order for the [Olbojan’s] disinformation to succeed, the article was written in an anti-Iliescu and anticommunist style,” but he seems to imply that this was an exception (Mioc, 2000b). As the next two parts of this three-part article will demonstrate, far from being an exception, such an approach — in fact the dovetailing and entangling of Securitate disinformation with the agenda of the anti-Iliescu/anticommunist opposition — was all too common and ultimately a key cause of the destruction of the truth about the December 1989 Revolution and the Securitate’s institutional responsibility for the tremendous loss of life in those events.

(Richard Andrew Hall received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University in 1997. He currently works and lives in northern Virginia. Comments on this article can be directed to him at

SOURCES Bacescu, A., 1990a “Adevarul despre Sibiu,” [The Truth On Sibiu] in “Zig-Zag,” (Bucharest) 19-26 June.

Bacescu, A., 1990b “Noi lumini asupra evenimentelor din decembrie 1989,” [New Light On The December 1989 Events] in “Romania Mare,” (Bucharest) 21 August.

“Curierul national,” (Bucharest) 2001, Internet edition,

Gheorghe, V., 1990, “Inca o fateta a diversiunii,” in “Armata poporului,” (Bucharest), 3 May.

Hall, R. A., 1997, “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.

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.

Iftime, C., 1993, Cu Ion Cristoiu prin infernul contemporan [With Ion Cristoiu Through The Contemporary Inferno], (Bucharest: Editura Contraria).

“Catavencu,” (Bucharest), 1999 (Internet edition),

Mioc, M., 2000a “Ion Cristoiu, virful de lance al campaniei de falsificare a istoriei revolutiei,”

Mioc, M., 2000b “‘Misterul’celor 40 de cadavre,”

Olbojan Ionescu, G., 1990 “Mortii din TIR-ul Frigorific — ofiteri DIA?” [Were The Corpses In The Refrigerated Truck DIA Officers?] in “Zig-Zag,”, no. 23, 23-29 April.

Olbojan Ionescu G., 1994, Fantomele lui Pacepa [Pacepa’s Phantoms], (Bucharest: Editura Corida).

Sandulescu, Serban, 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).

Shafir, M., 1993, “Best Selling Spy Novels Seek To Rehabilitate Romanian ‘Securitate,'” in “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report,” Vol. 2, no. 45, pp. 14-18.

Siani-Davies, P., 2001, “The Revolution after the Revolution,” in Phinnemore, D. Light, D. (eds.), Post-Communist Romania: Coming to Terms with Transition (London: Palgrave), pp. 1-34.

Stoian, I., 1993, Decembrie ’89: Arta Diversiunii, [ December ’89: The Art Of Diversion], (Bucharest: Editura Colaj).

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

Compiled by Michael Shafir

Dumitru Burlan si ipoteza DIA

Late last July, there was a book-signing in Bucharest. The man signing books was Dumitru Burlan—64 years old, a colonel in the former Securitate’s Fifth Directorate, and, last but not least, Nicolae Ceausescu’s so-called “unique double.” On the occasion of his book-signing, Burlan was kind enough to say a few words about his book to the journalists gathered for the event. A correspondent for Reuters quoted Burlan as declaring: “Romania’s secret service [i.e. the Securitate] staged Nicolae Ceausescu’s down fall…the KGB wanted to overthrow Ceausescu, even his son Nicu did…I wrote the book to show the Romanian people a small part of the truth.”

The title of Burlan’s book is “Sensational: After 14 Years Nicolae Ceausescu’s Double Speaks!” That it is possible that anything could be “sensational” in Romania after the past 14 years is in itself difficult to believe. The bigger problem with the title, however, is that Burlan did not really wait 14 years to “confess.”

Two years ago Burlan gave a multipart interview to the Romanian monthly “Lumea Magazin” ( 2001/politica_si_servicii_secrete.html). In that interview, he commented on the biggest enduring controversy of the Romanian Revolution: Who was responsible for the violence that claimed 942 lives—85% of the total 1,104 people who died in all “between 22 December, when the Ceausescus fled power, and Christmas Day, when they were tried and executed? At the time, elements of the Securitate who remained loyal to the Ceausescus—the so-called ‘terrorists'”were blamed for the bloodshed. However, despite the pledge by the former communists who seized power from Nicolae Ceausescu to prosecute those responsible, justice has never been served.

In the same interview, Burlan answers that those responsible for the bloodshed “were from the Army, [specifically] from DIA [the Army’s intelligence unit].” According to Burlan, the DIA were also responsible for the placement of gunfire simulators “so that everything—[the staged war that Ceausescu’s successors allegedly put in motion]—would appear credible.”As for the Securitate, Burlan protests: how could they have done anything “with just their Makarov pistols?”

Burlan’s answers seek to accredit the idea that the former communists who took power from Ceausescu simulated resistance by alleged Ceausescu loyalists in order to ease their seizure of power and gain a revolutionary legitimacy they otherwise would have lacked. The Securitate were thus victims of their poor image among the populace and of a power grab by unscrupulous nomenklaturists who wished to legitimize themselves by heaping false blame on the Securitate.

Burlan’ s argument that the revolution was “staged,” some group other than the Securitate was responsible for the post-22 bloodshed, and that the Securitate did not open fire is a familiar tale by now. What has changed through the years is that certain variants—including the DIA variant Burlan markets—have become more common in the literature and interviews of the former Securitate and Ceausescu nostalgists. One doesn’t have to look far to see former high-ranking Securitate officers accrediting the idea that DIA, and most assuredly not the Securitate, bears responsibility for the December bloodshed. Just in the past three years, former Securitate officials such as Nicolae Plesita, Teodor Filip, and Ion Hotnog have argued this thesis. Nor is it the least bit surprising that these same officials marry the thesis with another perennial Securitate favorite: the suggestion that Russian and Hungarian agents posing as tourists—for those who with a distaste for detail, “occult forces”—played a seminal role in provoking the downfall of the Ceausescu regime and in the bloodshed that followed the Ceausescus’ flight from power. (For additional discussion of these ” tourists” see l.)

The DIA variant, so dear to the hearts of Ceausescu’s double and his Securitate counterparts, has a long and fabled history. In the early and mid-1990s, it became a favorite of the opposition to the communist successor regime of President Ion Iliescu—an opposition that included many of those who had suffered most under the old regime. (After being voted out in 1996, Iliescu returned to the presidency in the 2000 elections.) In the opposition press, noted journalists such as Ioan Itu and Ilie Stoian at “Tinerama,” Cornel Ivanciuc [dovedit mai tirziu ca un colaborator al fostei securitatii] at “22” and later at “Academia Catavencu, ” and Petre Mihai Bacanu at “Romania Libera” promoted the DIA thesis at one time or another.

Opponents of the Iliescu regime believed the “staged war” story and its DIA variant be cause it seemed plausible given the undemocratic way the Iliescu regime behaved in the early post-Ceausescu years, and because it compromised Iliescu and his associates by suggesting that they “stole the revolution” through an elaborate plan to feign resistance by pro-Ceausescu elements of the Securitate. As with all beliefs that are viewed as spontaneous, grassroots/bottom-up, and therefore “pure,” the “staged war” theory possessed a power and hold on the imagination that ideas regimented “from above,” by a regime, can simply never achieve. Moreover, it possessed something of an (intellectual) haiduc romanticism and it was empowering at a time when the opposition was hounded by the Iliescu regime and weak, providing opponents with an issue of comparative consensus that could bind them together and provide them political identity. The theory thus fit with their fears, suspicions, and prejudices, and was politically expedient—a potent mixture that left them ripe for manipulation.

Unfortunately, very few of the opposition were familiar with or cared about the origins of the DIA thesis. The DIA thesis was older than they realized. Gheorghe Ratiu, the former head of the Securitate’s First Directorate (the one most considered “the political police”), was disseminating the theory back in early 1992. Indeed, the DIA theory can be traced back to a November 1990 interview with a former Securitate officer in a well-known provincial weekly (“Nu”), and probably even earlier—to two articles written by Gheorghe Ionescu Olbojan for “Zig-Zag” magazine in April 1990 and particularly July 1990. In fact, Olbojan lauded himself for this accomplishment—and for its spread and influence since—in a book he published in 1994. Olbojan’s pre-1989 occupation deserves mention, however: as he admits in the book, he worked for the Securitate. The roots of the DIA theory thus lie in the former Securitate. (For additional discussion of the Olbojan case see

For the former Securitate, the DIA theory had one goal above all others, and it is as old as history itself: blame someone else in order to hide your own responsibility. Unfortunately, although some journalists in Romania have written with skepticism and sarcasm about the effort of Ceausescu’s double to disinform history, it is telling that they leave much of his discussion of the Revolution untouched. The confluence of blind political partisanship, opportunism, half-truths, misinformation, and disinformation a la Burlan have simply debased and devalued the currency of truth as regards what exactly happened in December 1989. To believe in Romania today that the Securitate were responsible for the vast majority of the bloodshed in December 1989 is to be viewed as the equivalent of a flat-earther.

If not Ceausescu himself from the grave, at least his double, is having the last laugh.

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