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 ‘turisti rusi decembrie 1989’

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #8 Romania closes its borders to almost all foreigners…except Russian tourists returning from shopping trips to Yugoslavia (18-19 December 1989)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 19, 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 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:  During the meeting of the equivalent of the Politburo of the Romanian Communist Party on the afternoon of 17 December 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu 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.”  On 18 December 1989, in the aftermath of the bloodbath of regime repression that had transpired in Timisoara the night before, it was officially announced–in typical Ceausist- (and undeniably Orwellian) style–that Romania would not accept any more tourists because of a “shortage of hotel rooms” and because “weather conditions” were “not suitable for tourism.”  Only it turned out in practice one group of tourists from a neighboring communist state were exempted from this requirement:  Soviet tourists returning home from shopping trips in Yugoslavia…

image0

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.

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.

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/

 

An excerpt from

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 [minus the xeroxes] and thus has not been revised in any form.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997-chapter-6-18-22-december-1989/ (traducere de catre Marius Mioc 18-19 decembrie 1989 )

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]

[from Mircea Bunea, Praf in ochi:  Procesul celor 24-1-2 (Editura Scripta, 1994), p. 34.]

image0-001

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]

Thus, it is intriguing to see how former Securitate Colonel Filip Teodorescu tailors his characterization of Timisoara on 18 December to account for this change:

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.”[8]

[from Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat, 1992, p. 92]

image-68

This raises the question of why, if the Soviet tourists were the ones suspected from the first of being behind the unrest, it should have been exactly they who were given continued access into Romania? One of the most effective rejections of the “tourist” scenario came in 1991 from “a group of [Army] officers from the Timisoara garrison.” In an open letter, they proclaimed:

If they [the tourists] appeared suspect to the special forces of the Securitate and counter-military intelligence, why did they not attempt to keep them under surveillance? During this period, did the Securitate and the counter-intelligence officers not know how to do their jobs? Did they somehow forget why they were paid such weighty sums from the state budget?[9]

[Un Grup de Ofiteri din Garnizoana Timisoara, Romania Libera, 15 octombrie 1991
“4.  Existenta unui mare numar de turisti straini, care s-au deplasat (cu autoturisme) spre Timisoara si prin Timisoara.
Cine au fost acei turisti?  Turisti banuiti, si ei, de intentii destabalizatoare.
Daca fortelor speciale de securitate si contrainformatii militare li s-au parut suspecti, de ce nu s-au procedat la verificarea acestora?  Oare in acel rastimp, securistii si contrainformatorii nu mai stiau sa-si faca meseria?  Au uitat pentru ce erau platiti, din bugetul statului, cu bani grei?”]

As we mentioned earlier, in an interesting psychological twist the former Securitate sometimes appear to attribute their own actions to others, especially the convenient phantom-like “foreign tourists.” Some of the Securitate‘s arguments also appear to be based on the manipulation and perversion of real information which has been ripped from its context and placed in another one which suits the Securitate‘s institutional interests better. For example, the comments of the Yugoslav News Agency (TANJUG) correspondent at the Vatin border post on 20 December 1989 may give us a hint as to where the idea of “foreign tourists travelling in convoys of cars” originated from:

People who spent a long time at this crossing point today say that the Romanian government is even accompanying private cars of tourists returning home via Romania. They usually wait until five or six of them assemble and then let them continue in convoys led by official Romanian cars.[10]

[5].. See Mircea Bunea, Praf in Ochi. Procesul Celor 24-1-2. (Bucharest: Editura Scripta, 1994), 34.

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

[7].. Agence France Presse, 19 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-242, 19 December 1989.

[8].. Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat: Timisoara decembrie 1989 (Bucharest: Editura Viitorul Romanesc, 1992), 92.

[9].. Un grup de ofiteri din garnizoana Timisoara, “FRICA DE PROPRIUL POPOR… [Fear of your own people]” Romania Libera, 15 October 1991, 2a.

[10].. Belgrade TANJUG, 2137 GMT 20 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-244, 21 December 1989, 80. Disinformation is frequently thought of as synonymous with the “big lie,” but indeed the most effective disinformation always contains a kernel of truth. Frequently, real facts are merely presented out of context. It is also intriguing to note the almost Freudian mirror-imaging quality of this disinformation–a characteristic common to totalitarian regimes. This is especially the case when it comes to the accusations of foreign powers being engaged in “terrorist actions”–an eerily accurate description of the Ceausescu regime’s own actions.

—————————————-

In combination with the following declarations from late December 1989 and early 1990 by senior officials of the former Securitate, dispatched to find evidence of Nicolae Ceausescu’s (/General Iulian Vlad’s) theory of what was transpiring in Timisoara, but who found no evidence of such involvement, this should be a body blow to the revisionist “recovered memory” regarding “Russian/Soviet tourists” in the Timisoara uprising.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/23/nicolae-ceausescus-paranoia-as-a-theory-for-explaining-december-1989/

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/

 

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #1 The Securitate Deny Foreign Instigation of the Timisoara Uprising

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #2 Shattered Glass: Securitate Vandalism to Justify Timisoara Crackdown

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #3 “Anti-terrorism” and Regime Repression

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #4 Timisoara Demonstrators Injured and Killed by Dum-Dum Bullets

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #5 Timisoara (Podul Decebal) Evidence Suggests only the Securitate Had Dum-Dum Bullets

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revoluion: #6 The Securitate Sends a Coded-Message to Its Undercovers in the Field (“Citeva sfaturi pentru cei aflati in aceste zile la mare,” Scinteia Tineretului, 18 December 1989)

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #7 Nicolae Ceausescu Leaves on a Less-than-spontaneous Trip to Iran (18 December 1989)

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Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

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: #8 Romania closes its borders to almost all foreigners…except Russian tourists returning from shopping trips to Yugoslavia (18-19 December 1989)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 1, 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:  During the meeting of the equivalent of the Politburo of the Romanian Communist Party on the afternoon of 17 December 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu 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.”  On 18 December 1989, in the aftermath of the bloodbath of regime repression that had transpired in Timisoara the night before, it was officially announced–in typical Ceausist- (and undeniably Orwellian) style–that Romania would not accept any more tourists because of a “shortage of hotel rooms” and because “weather conditions” were “not suitable for tourism.”  Only it turned out in practice one group of tourists from a neighboring communist state were exempted from this requirement:  Soviet tourists returning home from shopping trips in Yugoslavia…

image0

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.

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.

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/

 

An excerpt from

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 [minus the xeroxes] and thus has not been revised in any form.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997-chapter-6-18-22-december-1989/ (traducere de catre Marius Mioc 18-19 decembrie 1989 )

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]

[from Mircea Bunea, Praf in ochi:  Procesul celor 24-1-2 (Editura Scripta, 1994), p. 34.]

image0-001

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]

Thus, it is intriguing to see how former Securitate Colonel Filip Teodorescu tailors his characterization of Timisoara on 18 December to account for this change:

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.”[8]

[from Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat, 1992, p. 92]

image-68

This raises the question of why, if the Soviet tourists were the ones suspected from the first of being behind the unrest, it should have been exactly they who were given continued access into Romania? One of the most effective rejections of the “tourist” scenario came in 1991 from “a group of [Army] officers from the Timisoara garrison.” In an open letter, they proclaimed:

If they [the tourists] appeared suspect to the special forces of the Securitate and counter-military intelligence, why did they not attempt to keep them under surveillance? During this period, did the Securitate and the counter-intelligence officers not know how to do their jobs? Did they somehow forget why they were paid such weighty sums from the state budget?[9]

[Un Grup de Ofiteri din Garnizoana Timisoara, Romania Libera, 15 octombrie 1991
“4.  Existenta unui mare numar de turisti straini, care s-au deplasat (cu autoturisme) spre Timisoara si prin Timisoara.
Cine au fost acei turisti?  Turisti banuiti, si ei, de intentii destabalizatoare.
Daca fortelor speciale de securitate si contrainformatii militare li s-au parut suspecti, de ce nu s-au procedat la verificarea acestora?  Oare in acel rastimp, securistii si contrainformatorii nu mai stiau sa-si faca meseria?  Au uitat pentru ce erau platiti, din bugetul statului, cu bani grei?”]

As we mentioned earlier, in an interesting psychological twist the former Securitate sometimes appear to attribute their own actions to others, especially the convenient phantom-like “foreign tourists.” Some of the Securitate‘s arguments also appear to be based on the manipulation and perversion of real information which has been ripped from its context and placed in another one which suits the Securitate‘s institutional interests better. For example, the comments of the Yugoslav News Agency (TANJUG) correspondent at the Vatin border post on 20 December 1989 may give us a hint as to where the idea of “foreign tourists travelling in convoys of cars” originated from:

People who spent a long time at this crossing point today say that the Romanian government is even accompanying private cars of tourists returning home via Romania. They usually wait until five or six of them assemble and then let them continue in convoys led by official Romanian cars.[10]

[5].. See Mircea Bunea, Praf in Ochi. Procesul Celor 24-1-2. (Bucharest: Editura Scripta, 1994), 34.

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

[7].. Agence France Presse, 19 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-242, 19 December 1989.

[8].. Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat: Timisoara decembrie 1989 (Bucharest: Editura Viitorul Romanesc, 1992), 92.

[9].. Un grup de ofiteri din garnizoana Timisoara, “FRICA DE PROPRIUL POPOR… [Fear of your own people]” Romania Libera, 15 October 1991, 2a.

[10].. Belgrade TANJUG, 2137 GMT 20 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-244, 21 December 1989, 80. Disinformation is frequently thought of as synonymous with the “big lie,” but indeed the most effective disinformation always contains a kernel of truth. Frequently, real facts are merely presented out of context. It is also intriguing to note the almost Freudian mirror-imaging quality of this disinformation–a characteristic common to totalitarian regimes. This is especially the case when it comes to the accusations of foreign powers being engaged in “terrorist actions”–an eerily accurate description of the Ceausescu regime’s own actions.

—————————————-

In combination with the following declarations from late December 1989 and early 1990 by senior officials of the former Securitate, dispatched to find evidence of Nicolae Ceausescu’s (/General Iulian Vlad’s) theory of what was transpiring in Timisoara, but who found no evidence of such involvement, this should be a body blow to the revisionist “recovered memory” regarding “Russian/Soviet tourists” in the Timisoara uprising.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/23/nicolae-ceausescus-paranoia-as-a-theory-for-explaining-december-1989/

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/

 

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

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

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: #6 The Securitate Sends a Coded-Message to Its Undercovers in the Field (“Citeva sfaturi pentru cei aflati in aceste zile la mare,” Scinteia Tineretului, 18 December 1989)

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: #7 Nicolae Ceausescu Leaves on a Less-than-spontaneous Trip to Iran (18 December 1989)

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

(Redux) decembrie ’89: Sorin Rosca Stanescu, “turisti sovietici,” dezinformare securista, si orbirea partizana a intelectualilor romani

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 9, 2014

decembrie ’89: Sorin Rosca Stanescu, “turisti sovietici,” dezinformare securista, si orbirea partizana a intelectualilor romani

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 2, 2009

image-74

In vara aceasta, pe site-ul Tupeu, Control, Monopol ! (TCM), omul TCM a scris cum in in timpul mineriadei din iunie 1990 a stat de vorba cu SRS–Sorin Rosca Stanescu–si cum SRS era atunci un mare dusman al FSN-ului….Da, e adevarat, asa a fost…Din nenorocire, totusi, e incomplet, nu este adevarul intreg…fiindca la acelasi timp, SRS era un fost colaborator cu securitatea, mai precis cu USLA (detaliu important)…si a difuzat dezinformarii de provenienta securista…de exemplu, basmul cu “turisti sovietici” din decembrie ’89…sigur ca pina astazi ori n-a sesizat acest lucru TCM, ori nu vrea sa-l recunoasca…o lume impartita in alb si negru este mult mai placuta…

image-73

Ignorat cu desavarsire de catre intelectuali romani…acest articol a devenit renumit si chiar foarte pretuit printre fosti securisti (Filip Teodorescu) si functionari ceausisti (Radu Balan, Timisoara)…OARE DE CE?

image-72

Radu Ciobotea, Flacara, iulie 1991

image-70

image-69

Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat, 1992 (si aceasta carte este citata de catre TCM, dar desigur ignoreaza cu desavarsire discutia aceasta….)

image-68

image-67

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! (IV)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 16, 2013

Part I :  Just how absurd is the Soviet tourist scenario?! 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/

Part II:  Senior Securitate officials sent to Timisoara cannot find the “foreign tourists” Nicolae Ceausescu and Iulian Vlad claim are behind the unrest.  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/

Part III:  The Ceausescu regime bans new Soviet travellers to the country…but allows those “in transit,” already in Romania, to stay…and apparently, despite supposedly having great suspicions of their actions, do nothing to stop them… https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/08/14/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-2/

I hope to develop this, part IV, at another time…for now, some previously related content in reference to the famous ROMBAC flight of 20 December 1989 from Bucuresti (Otopeni) to Sibiu:

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

The Securitate’s last report to Nicolae Ceausescu:

Please note:  no mention whatsoever of the alleged role played by “Russian tourists” or “Soviet tourists” in allegedly fomenting the Timisoara uprising, or of their supposed presence on the ROMBAC of 20 December 1989

published in Evenimentul Zilei, 28 iulie 1992, p. 3.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2009/10/04/decembrie-89-citeva-indoieli-stirnite-de-un-articol-din-revista-22-cazul-ivanciuc-si-teza-turistilor-sovietici/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2009/03/26/a-ruse-by-any-other-name-general-stanculescu-the-soviet-tourists-and-december-1989/

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.

Part 3: Ruse

A SECURITATE RIDDLE: SOVIET “TOURISTS” AND THE OVERTHROW OF THE CEAUSESCU REGIME

Although I have written a good deal on the “tourist” conundrum in the past (see, for example, Hall 2002), I have not formally addressed the role of foreign histories of Ceausescu’s overthrow in the historiography of December 1989, particularly in regard to this topic. In the wake of the broadcast of Brandstatter’s “Checkmate” documentary in February 2004, Vladimir Bukovski’s invocation of journalist John Simpson’s 1994 article on the topic (discussed in Part 2 of this series) suggests, however, that it needs to be broached in greater detail. Moreover, as the year-long look-back at the December 1989 events in “Jurnalul National” shows, the “tourist” question—somewhat surprisingly to me—has become more and more central to arguments about the Revolution, thereby amplifying what is already tremendous confusion over the events in the Romanian press and public. Of course, as has traditionally been the case, the Soviet/Russian tourists figure prominently, and, to a lesser extent, the Hungarian tourists. However, the stock of other tourist groups has also gone up. For example, the role of Yugoslav (specifically Serb) tourists has found a greater emphasis, and, seemingly out of nowhere, so have East German/STASI tourists! The principal sources for all of these allegations are, as usual, former Securitate and Militia officers, with some military (intelligence) personnel thrown in for good measure.

FOREIGN FORUM, ROMANIAN CONTEXT

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact first mention of “the tourists” and their alleged role in the Revolution, but it appears that although the source of the claim was Romanian, the publication was foreign. James F. Burke, whose name is unfortunately left off the well-researched and widely-consulted web document “The December 1989 Revolt and the Romanian Coup d‘etat,” alludes to the “Romanian filmmaker” who first made these allegations (Burke, 1994). The claims are contained in an article by Richard Bassett in the 2 March 1990 edition of “The Times (London).” According to Bassett,

“Mr. [Grigore] Corpacescu has no doubt that the revolution here was carefully stage-managed—as was the case in Prague and East Berlin—by the Russians…According to Mr. Corpacescu a party of Soviet ‘tourists,’ all usually on individual visas, arrived in Timisoara two days before the first demonstration outside Mr. [i.e. Pastor] Tokes’ house. Police records trace them reaching Bucharest on December 20. By the 24th, two days after Ceausescu fled by helicopter, the Russians had disappeared. No police records exist to indicate how they left the country. (“The Times (London),” 2 March 1990)

But Bassett’s interlocutor, Mr. Corpacescu, says some strange things. Bassett is not clear but it appears that Corpacescu suggests that the post-Revolution Interior Minister Mihai Chitac, who was involved in the Timisoara events as head of the army’s chemical troops, somehow purposely coaxed the demonstrations against the regime because the tear-gas cannisters his unit fired failed to explode—the failure somehow an intended outcome. But beyond this, Corpacescu, who is at the time of the article filming the recreation of Ceausescu’s flight on the 22nd—using the same helicopter and pilot involved in the actual event—makes the following curious statement:

“The pilot of this helicopter is an old friend. I have many friends in the police, Timisoara was not started by the Hungarian pastor, the Reverend Laszlo Tokes [i.e. it was carefully stage-managed…by the Russians].” (“The Times (London),” 2 March 1990)

The pilot of the helicopter was in fact Vasile Malutan, an officer of the Securitate’s V-a Directorate. What kind of a person would it have been at that time—and how credible could that person have been–who has the pilot as an old friend and “many friends in the police?” And it would have been one thing perhaps two months after the revolution to talk about the presence of foreign agents “observing” events in Timisoara, but to deny the spontaneity of the demonstrations and denigrate Tokes’ role at this juncture is highly suspicious. I have been unable to unearth additional information on Mr. Corpacescu, but his revelations just happen to serve his friends extremely well—particularly at at time when the prospect of trials and jail time, for participation in the repression in Timisoara and elsewhere during the Revolution, still faced many former Securitate and Militia [i.e. police] members.

THE FORMER SECURITATE AND MILITIA REMINISCE ABOUT THE SOVIET “TOURISTS”

A week after “The Times” article, the chief of the Securitate’s Counter-espionage Directorate, Colonel Filip Teodorescu, mentioned at his trial for his role in the Ceausescu regime’s crackdown in Timisoara that he had in fact detained “foreign agents” during the events there (“Romania Libera,” 9 March 1990). In his 1992 book, he developed further on this theme, specifically focusing on the role of “Soviet tourists:”

“There were few foreigners in the hotels, the majority of them having fled the town after lunch [on 17 December] when the clashes began to break out. The interested parties remained. Our attention is drawn to the unjustifiably large number of Soviet tourists, be they by bus or car. Not all of them stayed in hotels. They either had left their buses or stayed in their cars overnight. Border records indicate their points of entry as being through northern Transylvania. They all claimed they were in transit to Yugoslavia. The explanation was plausible, the Soviets being well-known for their shopping trips. Unfortunately, we did not have enough forces and the conditions did not allow us to monitor the activities of at least some of these ‘tourists’” (Teodorescu, 1992, p. 92).

Reporting in July 1991 on the trial involving many of those involved in the Timisoara repression, Radu Ciobotea noted with what was probably an apt amount of skepticism and cynicism, what was telling in the confessions of those on trial:

Is the End of Amnesia Approaching?…

Without question, something is happening with this trial. The Securitate doesn’t say, but it suggests. It let’s small details ‘slip out.’…Increasingly worthy of interest are the reactions of those on trial….Traian Sima (the former head of the county’s Securitate) testifies happily that, finally, the Securitate has been accepted at the trial, after having been rejected by Justice. Filip Teodorescu utters the magic word ‘diplomats’ and, suddenly, the witness discovers the key to the drawer with surpise and declares, after five hours of amnesia, that in Timisoara, there appeared in the days in question, foreign spies under the cover of being journalists and diplomats, that in a conversation intercepted by a mobile Securitate surveillance unit Tokes was reported as ‘well,’ and that all these (and other) counterespionage actions that can’t be made public to the mass media can be revealed behind closed doors to the judge….[Timis County party boss] Radu Balan ‘remembers’ that on 18 December at midnight when he was heading toward IAEM, he passed a group of ten soviet cars stopped 100 meters from the county hospital. (It turns out that in this night, in the sight of the Soviets, the corpses were loaded!).” [emphasis in the original] (Flacara, no. 27, 1991, p. 9).

The reference to the corpses being loaded is to an operation by the Militia and Securitate on the night of 18-19 December 1989, in which the cadavers of 40 people killed during the repression of anti-regime protesters were secretly transported from Timisoara’s main hospital to Bucharest for cremation (reputedly on Elena Ceausescu’s personal order).

Finally, as yet another of many possible examples, we have the recollections of Bucharest Militia Captain Ionel Bejan, which apparently appeared in print for the first time only in 2004, in a book by Alex Mihai Stoenescu (excerpted in “Jurnalul National,” 7 December 2004). According to Bejan, around 2 AM on the night of 21-22 December, not far from University Plaza, where at that moment regime forces were firing their way through a barricade set up by protesters (48 were killed that night, 604 wounded, and 684 arrested), he spotted two LADA automobiles with Soviet plates and two men and a woman studying a map and pointing to different locations among the surrounding buildings. Bejan recalled:

“One thing’s for sure, and that is that although they looked like tourists, they didn’t behave like tourists who had just arrived in town or were lost, especially as close by there were compact groups of demonstrators, while from armored personnel carriers there was intense warning fire and a helicopter hovered overhead with lights ablaze. I don’t know what kind of tourist tours somewhere in such conditions. They left the impression that they were sure of themselves, they didn’t need any directions, proof which was that they didn’t ask us anything even though we were nearby and, being uniformed Militia, were in the position to give them any directions they needed. One thing’s for sure when I returned to that location in January 1990…the buildings displayed visible signs of bullet holes…[emphasis added]” (“Jurnalul National,” 7 December 2004)

STRANGE “TOURISTS”…STRANGER STILL, THE REACTIONS OF THE AUTHORITIES

We can agree with Ionel Bejan in one respect. One thing is for sure: these were some very strange tourists. (They give a whole new meaning to the term, “adventure tourism.”) As curious as the “Soviet tourists” themselves is how little the Romanian authorities who claim to have seen them did to stop them—or even try to collect more information about them. Why is it that no official questioned the enigmatic “Soviet tourists” or asked them to leave the area when, as Radu Balan claims, he saw ten LADAs outside the Timis county hospital at 1 AM in the morning the night the cadavers of protesters were being loaded onto a truck for cremation? Or, as Ionel Bejan claims, he spotted several of them in the center of Bucharest at 2 AM, when the area was essentially a warzone of regime repression? The regime had closed the borders to virtually all other foreigners, tourists or otherwise, it was trying to prevent any word of the repression from reaching the outside world, and yet Romanian authorities were not concerned about these “tourists” taking pictures or relaying what they were seeing?!

As I have written before, if it was obvious before 18 December, as these Ceausescu regime officials claim, that “Soviet tourists” were involved in the events in Timisoara, then why was it precisely “Soviet travelers coming home from shopping trips to Yugoslavia” who were the only group declared exempt from the ban on “tourism” announced on that day (see AFP, 19 December 1989 as cited in Hall 2002b)? In fact, an Agent France-Presse correspondent reported that two Romanian border guards on the Yugoslav frontier curtly told him: “Go back home, only Russians can get through”!!! The few official documents from the December events that have made their way into the public domain show the Romanian Ambassador to Moscow, Ion Bucur, appealing to the Soviets to honor the Romanian news blackout on events in Timisoara, but never once mentioning—let alone objecting to—the presence or behavior of “Soviet tourists” in Romania during these chaotic days of crisis for the Ceausescu regime (CWHIP, “New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania,” 2001). It truly strains the imagination to believe that the Romanian authorities were so “frightened” of committing a diplomatic incident with the Soviets that they would allow Soviet agents to roam the country virtually unhindered, allowing them to go anywhere and do anything they wanted.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…A “SOVIET TOURIST” ENCORE IN 1990

Add to all of this (!), the allegations that the “Soviet tourists” were seen again on the streets during major crises in 1990, such as the ethnic clashes between Romanians and Hungarians in Tirgu Mures in March 1990 (for evidence of the reach of the allegation of KGB manipulation via the “tourist” mechanism both in December 1989 AND in March 1990, see Emil Hurezeanu, “Cotidianul,” 23 December 1999; according to Hurezeanu, “It appears they didn’t leave the country until 1991, following a visit by [SRI Director] Virgil Magureanu to Moscow”!). Then there is the famous April 1991 interview of an alleged KGB officer—who spoke flawless Romania and was in Romania during the December 1989 events—who the interviewer, the vigorous anti-Iliescu foe, Sorin Rosca Stanescu, claimed to have just stumbled into in Paris. Of all the reporters who could have stumbled into a KGB officer present in Romania during the Revolution—the only such case I know of—it was Rosca Stanescu, who, it turned out later, had been an informer for the Securitate until the mid-1980s—but not just for anybody, but for the USLA. Intererstingly, although the article appeared on the non-descript page 8 of the primary opposition daily at the time (“Romania Libera”), the aforementioned Filip Teodorescu and Radu Balan invoked it in support of their contentions regarding the the “tourists” (for a discussion of this, see Hall 2002). Even more suprising, or not, depending on your point of view, in his April 1991 article, Stanescu attempted to tie together December 1989 with December 1990 (!):

“As you will recall, persistent rumors have circulated about the existence on Romanian soil [in December 1989] of over 2,000 Lada automobiles with Soviet tags and two men in each car. Similar massive infiltrations were witnessed in December 1990, too, with the outbreak of a wave of strikes and demonstrations. What were the KGB doing in Romania?” (emphasis added) (“Romania Libera,” 18 April 1991)

Indeed, what were they doing in Romania? But, more aptly:

WHO COULD THEY HAVE BEEN?

Some other recollections and comments may offer clues to the answer to this vexing question. For example, the Caransebes Militia Chief claims he helped a group of “Soviet tourists” coming from Timisoara on the night of 20-21 December when one of their cars—as usual, “it was part of a convoy of 20 cars, all of the same make and with 3-4 passengers per car”—went off the road (from “Europa,” no. 20, 1991, see the discussion in Hall 2002b). According to Teodorescu, the “tourists” greeted the militia chief with the phrase “What the hell? We are colleagues; you have to help us” (Teodorescu, 1992, p. 93). The militia chief opines that despite their Soviet passports, “to this day, I don’t really know where they were from.”

Nicu Ceausescu, Nicolae’s son and most likely heir and party secretary in Sibiu at the time of the Revolution, claimed that he also had to deal with enigmatic “tourists” during these historic days (the following several paragraphs borrow heavily from Hall 2002b). From his prison cell in 1990, Nicu recounted how on the night of 20 December 1989, a top party official came to inform him that the State Tourist Agency was requesting that he — the party secretary for Sibiu! — “find lodgings for a group of tourists who did not have accommodation” He kindly obliged and made the appropriate arrangements (interview with Nicu Ceausescu in “Zig-Zag,”, no. 20, 21-27 August 1990).

Interestingly, in the same interview Nicu discusses the “tourists” for which he was asked to find accommodations in the context of a group of mysterious passengers who had arrived by plane from Bucharest on the evening of 20 December 1989. We know that in the period immediately following these events, the then-military prosecutor, Anton Socaciu, had alleged that these passengers from Bucharest were members of the Securitate’s elite USLA unit (Special Unit for Antiterrorist Warfare) and were responsible for much of the bloodshed that occurred in Sibiu during the December events. Nicu Silvestru, chief of the Sibiu County Militia, admitted in passing in a letter from prison that on the afternoon of 19 December in a crisis meeting, Ceausescu’s son announced that he was going to “call [his] specialists from Bucharest” to take care of any protests (“Baricada,” no. 45, 1990). Ceausescu’s Interior Minister, Tudor Postelnicu, admitted at his trial in January 1990 that Nicu had called him requesting “some troops” and he had informed Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad of the request (“Romania Libera,” 30 January 1990.)

The rewriting of the story of the Revolution, the “tourists,” and the “terrorists” was already in full swing, when in August 1990, Nicu wryly observed:

“…[T]he Military Prosecutor gave me two variants. In the first part of the inquest, they [the flight’s passengers] were from the Interior Ministry. Later, however, in the second half of the investigation, when the USLA and those from the Interior Ministry began, so-to-speak, to pass ‘into the shadows,’ — after which one no longer heard anything of them — they [the passengers] turned out to be simple citizens…” (interview with Nicu Ceausescu in “Zig-Zag,” no. 20, 21-27 August 1990).

The impact of this “reconsideration” by the authorities could be seen in the comments of Socaciu’s successor as military prosecutor in charge of the Sibiu case, Marian Valer (see Hall 1997, pp. 314-315). Valer commented in September 1990 that investigations yielded the fact that there were 37 unidentified passengers on board the 20 December flight from Bucharest and that many of the other passengers maintained that “on the right side of the plane there had been a group of tall, athletic men, dressed in sporting attire, many of them blond, who had raised their suspicions.” The USLA, which were responsible for airport security and had “air marshals” on all flights (three in this case), refused to discuss the identity of these passengers with Valer. While investigations revealed that during this time there “were many Soviet tourists staying in Sibiu’s hotels,” they also established that “military units were fired upon from Securitate safehouses located around these units as of the afternoon of 22 December, after the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime.” He thus carefully concludes:

“As far as the unidentified passengers are concerned, there are two possible variants: Either they were USLA fighters sent to defend Nicu Ceausescu, or they were Soviet agents sent to act with the intent of overthrowing the Ceausescu regime” (“Expres,” no. 33, September 1990).

Clearly, one of these hypotheses is a lot more plauisble than the other…As I wrote in December 1996, partly based on the statements of the Military Prosecutor Marian Valer who stepped down from investigating the Sibiu events in fall 1990, citing duress: “thus as the USLA began to disappear from the historiography and therefore history of the Revolution, so the Soviet tourists began to enter it.” (Hall, 1996).

“ORWELLIAN…POSITIVELY ORWELLIAN:”

PROSECUTOR VOINEA’S CAMPAIGN TO SANITIZE

THE ROMANIAN REVOLUTION OF DECEMBER 1989

by Richard Andrew Hall

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

Sibiu, 19-22 December 1989

In Sibiu, Siani-Davies tells us:

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

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

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

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

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2009/12/18/hai-sa-ne-punem-capul-in-ghips/

in decembrie 1989, “temuta” unitate DIA Batalionul 404…avea…80 de luptatori!

Contrast this with the signs that exist pointing to the mystery passengers as having been from the Securitate/Interior Ministry, in particular the USLA. Nicu Silvestru, chief of the Sibiu County Militia, admitted in passing in a letter from prison that on the afternoon of 19 December 1989, in a crisis meeting, Nicolae Ceausescu’s son, Nicu, party head of Sibiu County, announced that he was going to “call [his] specialists from Bucharest” to take care of any protests.[156] Ceausescu’s Interior Minister, Tudor Postelnicu, admitted at his trial in January 1990 that Nicu had called him requesting “some troops” and he had informed Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad of the request.[157] If they were, indeed, DIA personnel, why would Nicu have called Postelnicu, and Postelnicu informed Vlad of the request—would such a request not have been relayed through the Defense Minister?

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

“…[T]he Military Prosecutor gave me two variants. In the first part of the inquest, they [the flight’s passengers] were from the Interior Ministry. Later, however, in the second half of the investigation, when the USLA and those from the Interior Ministry began, so-to-speak, to pass ‘into the shadows,’ – after which one no longer heard anything of them – they [the passengers] turned out to be simple citizens…”[158]

Beginning, at least as early as August 1990, with the allusions of Major Mihai Floca, and later seemingly indirectly confirmed by former USLA officer Marian Romanescu, it was suggested that when USLA Commander Ardeleanu was confronted at the Defense Ministry on the night of 23/24 December 1989, Ardeleanu reportedly admitted that “30 were on guard at [various] embassies, and 80 had been dispatched to Sibiu with a Rombac [aircraft] from 20 December 1989 upon ‘orders from on-high’.”[159] Finally, and along these lines, we bring things full circle—and recall our “phantoms in black” again in the process—with the testimony of Army officer Hortopan to the same Serban Sandulescu at the Gabrielescu Commission hearings:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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17 April 2002, Volume  4, Number  8

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

By Richard Andrew Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“There were few foreigners in the hotels, the majority of them having fled the town after lunch [on 17 December] when the clashes began to break out. The interested parties remained. Our attention is drawn to the unjustifiably large number of Soviet tourists, be they by bus or car. Not all of them stayed in hotels. They either had left their buses or stayed in their cars overnight. Border records indicate their points of entry as being through northern Transylvania. They all claimed they were in transit to Yugoslavia. The explanation was plausible, the Soviets being well-known for their shopping trips. Unfortunately, we did not have enough forces and the conditions did not allow us to monitor the activities of at least some of these ‘tourists’” (Teodorescu, 1992, p. 92).

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

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

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

Nicu Ceausescu, Nicolae’s son and most likely heir and party secretary in Sibiu at the time of the Revolution, claimed that he also had to deal with enigmatic “tourists” during these historic days. From his prison cell in 1990, Nicu recounted how on the night of 20 December 1989, a top party official came to inform him that the State Tourist Agency was requesting that he — the party secretary for Sibiu! — “find lodgings for a group of tourists who did not have accommodation.” He kindly obliged and made the appropriate arrangements (interview with Nicu Ceausescu in “Zig-Zag,”, no. 20, 21-27 August 1990).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW THE ‘TOURISTS’ ENTRY INTO THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF DECEMBER 1989 PARALLELS THE EXIT OF THE SECURITATE
In commenting in August 1990 upon how the details of the state’s case against him had changed since early in the year, Nicolae Ceausescu’s son, Nicu, ironically highlighted how Securitate forces had begun to fade away from the historiography of the December 1989 events. In the August 1990 interview from his prison cell with Ion Cristoiu’s “Zig-Zag” (mentioned above), Nicu discusses the “tourists” for which he was asked to find accommodations in the context of a group of mysterious passengers who had arrived by plane from Bucharest on the evening of 20 December 1989. We know that in the period immediately following these events, the then-military prosecutor, Anton Socaciu, had alleged that these passengers from Bucharest were members of the Securitate’s elite USLA unit (Special Unit for Antiterrorist Warfare) and were responsible for much of the bloodshed that occurred in Sibiu during the December events (for a discussion, see Hall, 1996). In August 1990, however, Nicu wryly observed:

“…[T]he Military Prosecutor gave me two variants. In the first part of the inquest, they [the flight’s passengers] were from the Interior Ministry. Later, however, in the second half of the investigation, when the USLA and those from the Interior Ministry began, so-to-speak, to pass ‘into the shadows,’ — after which one no longer heard anything of them — they [the passengers] turned out to be simple citizens…” (interview with Nicu Ceausescu in “Zig-Zag,” no. 20, 21-27 August 1990).

The impact of this “reconsideration” by the authorities could be seen in the comments of Socaciu’s successor as military prosecutor in charge of the Sibiu case, Marian Valer (see Hall 1997a, pp. 314-315). Valer commented in September 1990 that investigations yielded the fact that there were 37 unidentified passengers on board the 20 December flight from Bucharest and that many of the other passengers maintained that “on the right side of the plane there had been a group of tall, athletic men, dressed in sporting attire, many of them blond, who had raised their suspicions.” While investigations revealed that during this time there “were many Soviet tourists staying in Sibiu’s hotels,” they also established that “military units were fired upon from Securitate safehouses located around these units as of the afternoon of 22 December, after the overturning of the Ceausescu regime.” He thus carefully concludes:

“As far as the unidentified passengers are concerned, there are two possible variants: Either they were USLA fighters sent to defend Nicu Ceausescu, or they were Soviet agents sent to act with the intent of overthrowing the Ceausescu regime” (“Expres,” no. 33, September 1990).

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A KGB officer wanders in France. He is losing his patience and searching for a way to get to Latin America. Yesterday I met him in Paris. He talked to me after finding out that I was a Romanian journalist. He fears the French press. He knows Romanian and was in Timisoara in December 1989. As you will recall, persistent rumors have circulated about the existence on Romanian soil of over 2,000 Lada automobiles with Soviet tags and two men in each car. Similar massive infiltrations were witnessed in December 1990, too, with the outbreak of a wave of strikes and demonstrations. What were the KGB doing in Romania? Witness what the anonymous Soviet officer related to me in Paris:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCES

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

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

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

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

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

“Democratia” (Bucharest), 1990.

“Europa,” (Bucharest), 1991

“Expres,” (Bucharest), 1990.

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

Hall, R. A. 1997a, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University).

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Totusi iubirea” (Bucharest), 1991.

“Ziua” (Bucharest), 1999.

“Zig-Zag” (Bucharest), 1990.

Compiled by Michael Shafir

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/04/15/sibiu-decembrie-1989-faimoasa-geanta-diplomat-si-tragatorii-din-poduri/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/12/30/decembrie-1989-turistii-si-sovietici/

Am scris despre “misterul” acesta de multe ori intre 1996 si 2005…

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O singura intrebare…modesta:  aveau cumva uslasii vreo “acoperire” atunci cand erau “in teren”?  Si daca aveau, care ar fi fost aceasta “acoperire”?!
 
Asistam la Ingroparea Revolutiei

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

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

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

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

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


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).

An interesting–if slightly confused–discussion of the “tourists”/ USLA in Sibiu in December 1989!

http://portalulrevolutiei.ro/forum/index.php?topic=3.615

Re: @ REVOLUTIA SIBIU 1989 @
« Reply #615 on: March 08, 2010, 15:31:24 PM »

Fac apel la oricine care a fost in seara de 21 spre 22 (ora 11,30-11,50) pe strada(actuala)Revolutiei, sau a vazut autoturismele parcate vis-sa vis de fosta Brutarie Nesciuc trei albe si una rosu inchis “Lada”. Va intreb daca cele 11 persoane imbracate cu scurta albastre tip jeans,  pantaloni deschisi la culoare, doi cu caciula de blana, trei cu caciula de lana impletita de culoare inchisa, si restul cu capul gol care au intors autoturismele parcate din capatul strazii si incendierea acestora? Statura lor era atletica? Cine a mai vazut apoi aceste persoane (acest gen) in afara de Piatza Mare din 21 decembrie ora 11,30 cand l-au protejat pe domnul care a iesit in fatza scutierilor cu copilul ridicat pe maini? (in dreptul Casei Albastre)
Aceleasi persoane au fost si in data de 21 decembrie la ora 9 in fata intrarii in magazinul Dumbrava, cand au “jenat” fara nici o teama scutierii si politistii care incercau sa prinda persoanele care fugeau prin magazin…Mai apelez la locatarii Blocului de garsoniere “turn” din coltul Calea Dumbravii-Milea, sa ne trimita o informatie cu intamplarile din 23-25 de la etajul 7-8, cu persoanele in combinezon de culoare inchisa care au coborat pe partea dinspre magazin din balcon in balcon, inclusiv despre persoana decedata, daca are legatura cu acel incident.O alta intrebare extrem de importanta: stie cineva cine a organizat “filtrele” de pe strazile Sibiului?Va multumesc
O precizare: Autoturismele erau parcate pe str Dobrun inspre str. Berariei Era pe trotoarul brutariei particulare (Nescuc sau Cibu, nu mai stiu cum se chema)

Re: @ REVOLUTIA SIBIU 1989 @
« Reply #623 on: March 11, 2010, 14:16:55 PM »

Acesti emanati, aceste lichele, nu-si puteau face jocurile, acapararea puterii totale, precum si inaintasii lor Dej si Ceausescu, decat prin forta represiunii armate. Parte din armata a reactionat pasnic, datorita onor ofitzeri care au dovedit mai multa logica, parte din armata a jucat rolul de dusman al romanilor. La Sibiu, avem tot mai multe date care intaresc teoria ca Dragomir a fost teroristul Nr. 1 in acele zile, ajutat si de grupul USLA trimis de la Bucuresti la Sibiu, pentru protectia lui NC, si care s-au reantors la “locul faptei” dupa ce l-a pus pe Nicu in siguranta. Ei au fost aceia care au comis executiile din Piatza Mare in ziua de 21 decembrie ora 11,45 cu primele victime ucise sau ranite. Au fost repartizati in patru puncte ale pietii: In podul Casei Albastre, in podul actualei Primarii, in podul de deasupra Tunelului Generalului si in podul de deasupra magazinului Moda. De aici, au deschis foc inspre demonstranti. Au deschis foc si pe data de 22 decembrie inspre hotelul Imparatul Romanilor din acelasi pod de deasupra Tunelului Generalului care avea corespondent cu celelalte poduri dinspre magazinul Covorul. Aceste grupe ale USLA nu aveau insemne de grad sau arma, nu purtau boneta militara si aveau la dispozitie doua microbuze ale unitatii 01512 care i-a transportat in tot acest timp. Un grup al USLA era incepand din ziua de 21 decembrie ora 07 la sediul Judetenei de partid, ocupand garajul din curtea din sapate cu munitie si armament special. Se poate descoperi foarte repede, numele persoanelor care au fost trimise la SIBIU cu Rombacul in dupa-amiaza zilei de 20 decembrie, ca urmare a convorbirilor indelungate purtate de Nicu si Bucuresti, despre demonstratia anuntata pentru dimineata zilei de 21 decembrie de la Mag Dumbrava. In timpul convorbirii telefonice, in biroul lui Nicu se afla Traian Popsa, fostul director de la IJIM Sibiu, maiorul Dragomir, seful Garzilor judetene Pescaru, secretar al CJPCR Sibiu si Niculae Hurubean, prim secretar la Alba care se afla in trecere prin Sibiu. Aceste trupe USLA au purtat alternativ, combinezoane negre, uniforma militara sau haine civile…
Lovitura de stat cu spectatori, cum zice Cornel Dinu, a functionat atata timp cat au avut nevoie pentru a pune mana pe putere acesti derbedei bolsevici-kaghebisti

Posted in decembrie 1989 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 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…

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

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

Yugoslavia-Romania border (19 December 1989): An AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE reporter was curtly told to “go back home, only Russians can get through”!

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on March 28, 2013

image0

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.

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/

In combination with the following declarations from late December 1989 and early 1990 by senior officials of the former Securitate, dispatched to find evidence of Nicolae Ceausescu’s (/General Iulian Vlad’s) theory of what was transpiring in Timisoara, but who found no evidence of such involvement, this should be a body blow to the revisionist “recovered memory” regarding “Russian/Soviet tourists” in the Timisoara uprising.

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/

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

Presa din 1990…despre “turistii rusi” din decembrie 1989

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 29, 2010

Printre primele trei articole din 1990 care au discutat “turistii rusi” sau “turistii sovietici” din decembrie 1989:

1) martie 1990, din partea unui om–Grigore Corpacescu–care se lauda ca “am mulţi prieteni în poliţie.”

2) iunie 1990, din partea lui Sorin Rosca Stanescu (fost informator pentru USLA)

3) septembrie 1990, din partea fostilor ofiteri din Directia V-a a Securitatii.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/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/

traducere de catre Marius Mioc http://mariusmioc.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/rich-hall-brandstatter-10/#more-4435

O enigmă securistă: “Turiştii” sovietici şi răsturnarea regimului Ceauşescu

Deşi am scris destul de mult în trecut despre enigma “turiştilor” (vezi, de pildă, Hall, R. A., 2002, “The Securitate Roots of a Modern Romanian Fairy Tale: The Press, the Former Securitate, and the Historiography of December 1989” [Rădăcinile securiste ale unui basm românesc modern: presa, fosta securitate şi istoriografia lui decembrie 1989], “Part 2: Tourists are Terrorists and Terrorists are Tourists with Guns” [Partea a 2-a: Turiştii sînt terorişti şi teroriştii sînt turişti înarmaţi], Radio Free Europe “East European Perspectives” [“Perspective est-europene”, radio Europa Liberă], Vol. 4, nr. 8), nu am discutat în mod formal rolul poveştilor străine despre răsturnarea lui Ceauşescu în istoriografia lui decembrie 1989, în particular legat de această problemă. În urma difuzării documentarului “Şah-mat” a lui Brandstatter în februarie 2004, invocarea de către Vladimir Bukovski a unui articol din 1994 a ziaristului John Simpson pe această problemă sugerează totuşi că e nevoie de o analiză mai amănunţită. Mai mult, după cum arată retrospectiva care a durat un an de zile din “Jurnalul Naţional” despre evenimentele din decembrie 1989, problema “turiştilor”, oarecum surprinzător pentru mine, a devenit centrală în dezbaterile despre revoluţie, astfel amplificîndu-se confuzia asupra evenimentelor din presa şi publicul din România. Desigur, conform tradiţiei, turiştii sovietici/ruşi au făcut figură proeminentă şi, într-un grad mai mic, turiştii unguri. Totuşi, şi stocul altor grupuri de turişti a crescut. De pildă, a fost mai puternic subliniat rolul turiştilor iugoslavi (mai exact, sîrbi) şi, apărînd parcă din senin, cel al turiştilor est germani/STASI! Principalele surse pentru aceste afirmaţii sînt, ca de obicei, foştii ofiţeri de securitate şi miliţie, cu niţel personal din serviciile de informaţii ale armatei aruncat în ciorbă pentru o bună măsură.

Forum străin, context românesc

Este greu de indicat cu exactitate prima menţiune a “turiştilor” şi a pretinsului lor rol în revoluţie, dar se pare că deşi sursa afirmaţiei era românească, publicaţia a fost străină. James F. Burke, al cărui nume este din nefericire neglijat de binecunoscutul şi consultatul document de pe internet “The December 1989 Revolt and the Romanian Coup d’Etat”, face o aluzie la “producătorul de film român” care a făcut pentru prima oară aceste afirmaţii (Burke, J. F., 1994, “The December 1989 Revolt and the Romanian Coup d‘etat”, la http://www.timisoara.com/timisoara/coup.html [lincul respectiv nu mai funcţionează; funcţiona în momentul în care domnul Hall şi-a publicat prima oară lucrarea]). Susţinerile apar într-un articol a lui Richard Bassett în “The Times” (Londra) din 2 martie 1990: “Domnul [Grigore] Corpăcescu nu are îndoieli că revoluţia a fost pusă în scenă cu grijă de ruşi – cum a fost cazul şi în Praga sau Berlinul de Est. Conform domnului Corpăcescu un grup de “turişti” sovietici, cu vize individuale, au ajuns în Timişoara cu două zile înaintea primei demonstraţii din faţa casei pastorului Tokes. Evidenţele poliţiei îi arată ajungînd la Bucureşti în 20 decembrie. În 24, două zile după ce Ceauşescu fugise cu elicopterul, ruşii dispăruseră. Nu există evidenţe ale poliţiei care să arate cum au părăsit ţara”.

Dar domnul Corpăcescu, interlocutorul lui Bassett, mai spune nişte lucruri ciudate. Basset nu este clar, dar se pare că Corpăcescu a sugerat că ministrul de interne postrevoluţionar Mihai Chiţac, care a fost implicat în evenimentele din Timişoara ca şeful trupelor chimice, cumva i-a întărîtat intenţionat pe demonstranţi împotriva regimului deoarece grenadele cu gaze lacrimogene pe care unitatea sa le-a aruncat n-au explodat – lipsa exploziei fiind cumva voită. Dar mai mult decît asta, Corpăcescu, care la vremea articolului filma o reconstituire a zborului lui Ceauşescu din 22 decembrie, folosind acelaşi elicopter şi pilot ca în evenimentul real, a făcut următoarea afirmaţie ciudată:

“Pilotul acestui elicopter îmi este un vechi prieten. Am mulţi prieteni în poliţie, Timişoara nu a început cu preotul ungur Laszlo Tokes [adică a fost cu grijă pusă în scenă de ruşi]“. (“The Times” (Londra), 2 martie 1990).

Pilotul elicopterului era Vasile Maluţan, un ofiţer al Direcţiei a 5-a a Securităţii. Ce fel de persoană ar fi la acea vreme, şi cît de credibilă poate fi o astfel de persoană, care este un vechi prieten cu pilotul şi “are mulţi prieteni în poliţie”? Şi ar fi fost un lucru poate ca două luni după revoluţie să vorbeşti despre prezenţa agenţilor străini “observînd” evenimentele din Timişoara, dar a tăgădui spontaneitatea demonstraţiilor şi a ponegri rolul lui Tokes este foarte suspect. Nu am fost în stare să găsesc informaţii suplimentare despre Corpăcescu, dar revelaţiile sale se întîmplă să îi slujească prietenii foarte bine, în special într-o perioadă în care perspectiva unor trimiteri în judecată şi a unor sentinţe cu puşcăria pentru participarea la represiunea din Timişoara şi din alte părţi în timpul revoluţiei, încă ameninţa mulţi membri ai miliţiei (poliţiei) şi securităţii.

Sorin Rosca Stanescu (fost informator pentru USLA) despre "turisti rusi" din decembrie 1989 (Romania Libera, 14 iunie 1990)

Directia V-a Securitatii despre "turisti rusi" (Democratia, septembrie 1990)

e cam nostim…Xeroxul acesta dateaza din toamna 1990 cand incepeam sa studiez limba romana la universitatea din indiana la bloomington (da, stiu, mai merge greu, nu e vina profesoarelor mele)…se pare ca biblioteca noastra a comandat revista aceasta “Democratia”–ca si in cazul, revista “Europa”–probabil pe baza de titlul “occidental”…habar n-aveau ca era vorba de reviste facute de fosti stalpi politici ai regimului ceausist si de fosti securisti.

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decembrie ’89: Sorin Rosca Stanescu, “turisti sovietici,” dezinformare securista, si orbirea partizana a intelectualilor romani

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 2, 2009

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In vara aceasta, pe site-ul Tupeu, Control, Monopol ! (TCM), omul TCM a scris cum in in timpul mineriadei din iunie 1990 a stat de vorba cu SRS–Sorin Rosca Stanescu–si cum SRS era atunci un mare dusman al FSN-ului….Da, e adevarat, asa a fost…Din nenorocire, totusi, e incomplet, nu este adevarul intreg…fiindca la acelasi timp, SRS era un fost colaborator cu securitatea, mai precis cu USLA (detaliu important)…si a difuzat dezinformarii de provenienta securista…de exemplu, basmul cu “turisti sovietici” din decembrie ’89…sigur ca pina astazi ori n-a sesizat acest lucru TCM, ori nu vrea sa-l recunoasca…o lume impartita in alb si negru este mult mai placuta…

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Ignorat cu desavarsire de catre intelectuali romani…acest articol a devenit renumit si chiar foarte pretuit printre fosti securisti (Filip Teodorescu) si functionari ceausisti (Radu Balan, Timisoara)…OARE DE CE?

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Radu Ciobotea, Flacara, iulie 1991

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Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat, 1992 (si aceasta carte este citata de catre TCM, dar desigur ignoreaza cu desavarsire discutia aceasta….)

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