The Ceausescu Trial, Paper Airplanes, and Whiskey…or When Prose and Innuendo Substitute for Historical Research
(purely personal views, based on over two decades of prior publications and research)
Anybody the least familiar with my historical research on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 knows my disdain–since my dissertation research year in Romania 10/93-7/94–for Professor Vladimir Tismaneanu’s writings on this subject. Tismaneanu is an excellent–if partisan–historian of ideas and political philosophy. He is a remarkably superficial and inaccurate historian of events. For Tismaneanu, as for so many Romanianists (particularly Romanian emigres) and Romanian intellectuals, December 1989 is, at least in its broader features, settled history. Sure, they may say “we don’t know” or “we may never know,” but their behavior suggests very fixed and impervious-to-contradiction views. Thus, Tismaneanu assumes he is on firm and uncontroversial ground when he suggests that in December 1989 there was never any real threat from Ceausescu loyalists and that the trial and execution of the Ceausescus was just an exercise in getting rid of potentially inconvenient witnesses and creating a mantle of legitimacy for the nomenklaturists who had seized power–stolen or hijacked the popular, anti-communist revolution–on 22 December 1989. There is thus little risk, and even less controversy, in what he writes: after all, what self-respecting, important Bucharest intellectual would think otherwise? This view of generally settled history is liberating, as it means that a writer can feel free to dispense with recounting the finer points of historical details and instead move on to focusing on narrative, prose, and essay-writing. It is one thing when a novelist and poet such as Andrei Codrescu does this–as he did in his The Hole in the Flag–it is another thing when the person doing it presents himself as a historian, even if he specifies what he writes as political histories, thereby freeing himself from the some of the constraints–extensive sourcing–of conventional histories.
(from the 1993 documentary, The Last Day, by Arnaud Hamelin)
As an example, Tismaneanu invokes Army General Victor Stanculescu’s making of paper airplanes and drinking Scotch (or alternatively, washing his hands with whiskey) during the trial of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu on Christmas Day, 25 December 1989. He speaks of “blood, lies, and whiskey” in the second essay below. He clearly attempts to suggest by not-too-thinly-disguised innuendo that Stanculescu cynically approached and behaved at the trial, almost bored by the trial with its outcome known from the start. For Tismaneanu, this is evil incarnate and “proof” that everything was a sham in December 1989, that Stanculescu, Ion Iliescu, Virgil Magureanu and the National Salvation Front (or as he says, the “Front to Save the Nomenklatura”) were in full control of what was transpiring and were intent on eliminating the Ceausescus so as to silence knowledge of their own secrets, misdeeds, and crimes of the present and more distant past. Thus, for Tismaneanu, the history of December 1989 has long since passed from research into narrative, into anything from Shakespearian stage scenes to Christian metaphors. This also explains Tismaneanu’s abysmal response to having his understanding of December 1989 challenged by inconvenient facts: “Am I not entitled to my own views?”; “You have the right to believe what you believe, and I have the right to not believe it”; “I prefer to talk about works on December 1989 such as…”, etc. etc. so that he doesn’t have to scrutinize his longstanding, fixed narratives…
Martial, enigmatic si taciturn, Victor Atanasie Stanculescu (1928-2016) a dus cu el in mormant nenumarate secrete. A fost omul de incredere al clanului Ceausescu in tranzactii obscure legate de comertul cu arme. A ajuns general-locotenent, adjunct si chiar prim-adjunct al ministului apararii, s-a bucurat de increderea cabinetului nr 2, esentiala pentru acceptarea de catre cabinetul 1. A participat la masacrul de la Timisoara cand armata si trupele de securitate au tras in protestatarii neinarmati. A revenit la Bucuresti, a simulat o fractura la picior, a ajuns la sediul CC si i-a imbarcat pe sotii Ceausescu insotiti de Manea Manescu in celebrul helicopter. A virat oportunist si s-a raliat noii puteri. A fost, impreuna cu Virgil Magureanu, regizor si actor in pseudo-procesul din 25 decembrie. Facea avioane de hartie si consuma scotch. Moartea dictatorului si a sotiei sale a fost decisa de gruparea Stanculescu-Iliescu-Magureanu, rezultata din alianta celor trei factiuni nomenclaturiste grupate in asa-zisul Front al Salvarii Nationale (Frontul Salvarii Nomenclaturii): armata, aparatul de partid si securitatea. A facut o imensa avere, a fost judecat, condamnat, dar nu s-a cait niciodata. Nomenclatura are interese si angoase, nu remuscari…
Un proces politic real ar fi avut destule lucruri de lamurit privind un sistem care a spoliat si a terorizat Romania vreme de decenii. Dar nu adevarul istoric era obiectivul farsei sangeroase de la Targoviste, ci reglarea de conturi cat mai rapida in interiorul nomenklaturii. Un fals exorcism devenea argumentul pentru o esuata regenerare democratica. Victor Stanculescu povesteste in film ca, inainte de a intra in sala unde s-a tinut acea mascarada, s-a spalat pe maini, precum Pilat din Pont (sunt cuvintele lui, nu ale mele). Cum nu curgea apa, a folosit whiskey. Sange, minciuni si whiskey: iata formula care sintetizeaza finalul comunismului din Romania si debutul intortocheatului, buimacitorului post-comunism.
As with so many things in Tismaneanu’s accounts of December 1989, his allusions and references are decontextualized or simply inaccurate or ignorant. This stretches far back, to Tismaneanu and his fellow Romanian intellectuals’ infatuation with French analysis of Ceausescu’s downfall from 1990, and his and Matei Calinescu’s consequent invocation of the claim that “the trial of the Ceausescus lasted nine hours but only “fifty-odd minutes” was shown on the tape, that the execution of the couple had been faked, since Nicolae had likely suffered a heart-attack—“during the trial or during a separate interrogation, possibly under torture”—that caused Elena to go into hysterics, which necessitated that she be killed on the spot “gangland style.” ” (multiple eyewitnesses have since disconfirmed such innuendo-laden and fact-free speculation, see discussion in my 2005 article, 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/.) As tacit admission, that perhaps he was careless in so easily consuming the French account, Tismaneanu later dropped any and all reference to these earlier claims.
It is telling that when one reads the analysis of the “mysteries of the Revolution” in National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu’s engaging “The Hole in the Flag” or in Matei Calinescu and Vladimir Tismaneanu’s penetrating “The 1989 Revolution and Romania’s Future”—both of which appeared in 1991—French sources dominate the discussion of what happened in December 1989. None of the skepticism about the accuracy of the French sources—as related in the comments of Popovici, Floca, and Stoica above—is voiced in these accounts.
The Walls Come Tumbling Down…
What is arguably still the best historical account of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, Gale Stokes’ “The Walls Came Tumbling Down (1993),” repeats as fact a list of allegations regarding the trial of the Ceausescus that first were given publicity by Vladimir Tismaneanu and Matei Calinescu. (Even where Stokes cites others, those articles are usually themselves derivative and their arguments can be traced back to Tismaneanu and Calinescu). Based in large part on the broadcast of the full tape of the Ceausescus’ trial and execution in April 1990, analyses in the French press, and the allegations of French forensic experts (which apparently derived solely from having watched the tape (!)), Tismaneanu and Calinescu clearly showed their preference in a 1991 article for the French theory of the events. They therefore write that the trial of the Ceausescus lasted nine hours but only “fifty-odd minutes” was shown on the tape, that the execution of the couple had been faked, since Nicolae had likely suffered a heart-attack—“during the trial or during a separate interrogation, possibly under torture”—that caused Elena to go into hysterics, which necessitated that she be killed on the spot “gangland style.” (Stokes, 1993, pp. 292-293, n.118; Calinescu and Tismaneanu, 1991, p. 45-46, especially n. 14). They then go on to speculate that the 1 March 1990 suicide of the chief judge of the trial, General Gica Popa, “could have been an act of desperation by an essentially honest man” who would have had to go through “the criminal charade” of sentencing two corpses to death.
Of course, all of these judgments—and I contend this is the cornerstone of so many accounts/theories of the Revolution, although many researchers do not appear to acknowledge or realize it—are premised on their understanding of the identity and intentions of the “terrorists.” For example, if one believes there was no real “terrorist” threat, then one can countenance a leisurely nine-hour trial and the idea that the Ceausescus died during a “separate interrogation, possibly under torture.” On this question, Tismaneanu and Calinescu clearly reject the idea that those firing were fighting to topple the new leadership and restore the Ceausescus to power:
“In retrospect, the purpose of the reports of terrorism appears to have been to create apprehension among the populace and induce people to forgo further public demonstration against communism. It was used, in effect, to help the new power structure.” (Calinescu and Tismaneanu, 1991, p. 45, n. 12)
As to the allegations made by Calinescu and Tismaneanu in their 1991 account: even at the time of their article, there were very strong reasons to question the validity of their information and speculation. Numerous testimonies by Army personnel present at Tirgoviste while the Ceausescus were there negate their claims (see, for example, the interviews in “Ceausestii la Tirgoviste,” “Flacara,” 19 December 1990, pp. 8-10, which place the length of the trial anywhere between 50 minutes and one hour). As I wrote in 1997: “…even a year after the events, one of the eyewitnesses to what transpired, Maria Stefan, the cook in the officer’s mess, continued to maintain that the trial itself lasted ‘an hour’ (Hall, 1997, p. 342). When it comes to the question of Nicolae having been tortured prior to his death, Ratesh in 1991 notably stated that this version was “attributed to an official of the Romanian Ministry of the Interior”—i.e. likely former Securitate, and indeed given its utility for them it is not surprising that the former Securitate have sought to promote this idea in their literature on the Revolution (Ratesh, 1991, p. 76). Military and civilian personnel present at the execution are simply dismissive at the contentions of the French forensic experts that the Ceausescus were already dead by the time they were executed (they have effective counter-arguments regarding bloodflow—Nicolae’s greatcoat, Elena’s hysterical reaction by that point). They consider it ridiculous and the product of Westerners with no knowledge of the events (this comes through again on several occasions in the year long set of interviews in “Jurnalul National” during 2004).
Ceausestii la Tirgoviste, Flacara no. 51 (19 decembrie 1990), pp. 8-10.
So what of Tismaneanu’s many direct and indirect allegations in the above quotations? I will break down a few of them below.
The context for Stanculescu’s making of paper airplanes during the trial: Stanculescu’s own words in the interview where he discussed making paper airplanes is diametrically opposed to Tismaneanu’s innuendo.
The circumstances of the decision to try and execute the Ceausescus. Far from Iliescu in particular leading the charge to eliminate the Ceausescus–purportedly based on Tismaneanu’s innuendo that Iliescu and the others needed to get rid of these inconvenient witnesses–Iliescu was slow to accede to the decision to try and execute the Ceausescus, as a quote from Gelu Voican Voiculescu makes clear (I used this quote in an article that appeared in 2000 in the academic journal Europe and Asia Studies, so Tismaneanu really as no excuse for not weighing it or alibis for not mentioning something because it didn’t appear in an academic peer-reviewed journal.)
Reaffirming the idea that those who organized, pursued, and carried out the trial were not hellbent from the beginning on eliminating the Ceausescus, as Tismaneanu would have us believe, is the story of the delivery of insulin to the diabetic Nicolae Ceausescu on the night of 24-25 December 1989 so that he would not go into a state of diabetic shock/coma.
Tismaneanu gives no idea as to why the Ceausescus ended up specifically at Tirgoviste, and why they had also been accompanied in their flight by not just Manea Manescu, but also Emil Bobu? The flight of the Ceausescus at midday on 22 December 1989 was less of a pell-mell flight than an evacuation, attempting as best as possible, but albeit unsuccessfully, to follow a pre-established route and plans.
Because of Tismaneanu’s innuendo and his lack of unconcern with historical detail, the reader gets no sense of what was going on in Tirgoviste outside of the military barracks where the Ceausescus were being held–additional important context to understand Stanculescu’s “making of paper airplanes.”
Context: Interview between Ion Cristoiu and Victor Atanasie Stanculescu, from which Tismaneanu’s gets the anecdote about Stanculescu making paper airplanes…but fails to relay the context of Stanculescu’s action as described by Stanculescu himself.
De ce n-aţi făcut o barcă? Aţi făcut un avion, pentru că vă amintea de avioanele din copilărie?
Da. V-am spus. Şi tensiunea era mare şi, la un moment dat, mă agasaseră nişte întreruperi, care au venit din afară. Cei de la Bucureşti au întrebat de vreo patru ori. Nicolae Militaru se interesa la telefon: Care e stadiul? Ce faceţi?
Se vede în film că, din când în când, vine la dumneavoastră un ins. Vă spune ceva şi pleacă.
Şi această presiune m-a enervat teribil.
Nu vă enerva Procesul, ci faptul că vă sâcâiau ăia, de la Bucureşti.
Nu că mă sâcâiau, mă suspectau, legam asta de faptul că era să ne doboare cu elicopter cu tot.
A, şi din cauza asta făceaţi avioane. Aţi făcut ceva.(Cât timp a răspuns la întrebări, generalul s-a trudit să facă un avion de hârtie. N-a reuşit să-l ducă până la capăt.)Ăla e avionul?
Nu, nu l-am făcut bine.
Nu mai ştiţi să faceţi avioane, domnule general.
M-am uitat la dumneavoastră.
V-am rugat să faceţi un avion de hârtie şi să-l aruncaţi spre mine. Atunci, după ce l-aţi dat gata, de ce nu l-aţi aruncat? Nu era atmosfera?
Nu era. Acolo, la Proces, era nepotrivită o acţiune de genul acesta.
Dumneavoastră făceaţi un avion nu pentru că vă plictiseaţi.
Nu. Îl făceam ca să ies din tensiunea creată de acţiunile din afară, ale celor de la Bucureşti, care încercau să se implice în desfăşurarea propriu-zisă a Procesului.
La un moment dat – am văzut pe bandă, vine un domn şi dumneavoastră îi daţi o hârtie… Tot n-aţi făcut avionul ăla? Poate-l facem împreună. Domnule general, nu ştiţi să faceţi avioane, nu eraţi dumneavoastră la Târgovişte.
Păi, nu ştiţi că şi constructorii noştri de avioane n-au mai rămas în ţară, au emigrat.
Ştiţi să faceţi avion de hârtie sau nu ştiţi?
Ştiaţi deci, dar acum nu mai ştiţi. Spuneţi-mi, la un moment dat vine un domn şi dumneavoastră îi daţi o hârtie. Mai ţineţi minte?
Da. I-am spus: comunică să aibă răbdare, că acţiunea se desfăşoară.
Aţi scris asta pe hârtie?
Aţi scris pe o hârtie ca să le spună celor de la Bucureşti. Ei erau neliniştiţi. N-aveau încredere în dumneavoastră?
Nu. Pentru că erau speriaţi. Au trăit tot timpul cu groaza că poate să existe şi forma a doua, Contrarevoluţia, declanşată de conducerea de partid şi de stat a României.
2) Gelu Voican Voiculescu claims that he prevailed upon Ion Iliescu to consider the immediate execution of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu only after the attacks of 23/24 December 1989, with the memorable phrase: “Sir, do you want to end up like Allende?” (cited in this following article from 2000: https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/theories-of-collective-action-and-revolution-2000/ , see page 1088).
from Bacescu 1994 above, and Sandulescu 1996 below:
Nicolae Deca cu Petre Mihai Bacanu, “Ceausescu nu s-a gandit sa fuga din tara,” Romania Libera, 23 decembrie 1993, p. 15.
“Nicolae Ceausescu nu s-a gandit nici o clipa sa fuga din tara, pentru ca elicopterul avea suficient combustibil sa ajunga in Irak sau Iran, locuri care, cred eu, i-ar fi asigurat viata.”
Tirgoviste was one alternate in a longstanding plan…
Mirel Curea, Evenimentul Zilei, nr. 317, 9 iulie 1993, p. 3
Ted Koppel’s ABC News special Death of a Dictator (April 1990) has a good deal of discussion of Nicolae Ceausescu’s famous watch (ceasul lui Ceausescu), which allegedly had a radio-transmitter beacon in it…hence his continuous checking of his watch (as the first speaker below explained, looking at his watch and looking at the sky and looking back again, as if he was waiting for someone or something)…it lasted all the way up through his trial.
The time turned out to be: the final minutes of his dictatorial regime and life…
5) Does the evidence support the contention of Front leaders that the Tirgoviste garrison was under attack and that they feared a suicidal rescue attempt by Ceausescu loyalists? According to General Gheorghe N. Popescu (commander of the anti-aircraft artillery unit based in the garrison) tank, anti-tank, armored vehicles, and “mountain hunter” units and sub-units were summoned to Tirgoviste during these days to strengthen the defense of the town, bringing the total number of troops involved to 1,200. Major Ion Tecu maintains that the garrison was so heavily-fortified that it would have taken at least an entire division to conquer the barracks. General Popescu describes some familiar conditions during the days and nights while the Ceausescus were held at the Tirgoviste garrison:
Among the numerous incidents from that time, I would first of all emphasize the false objectives, the false targets, the false alarms, in a word the disinformation…the barracks were shot at, there was especially shooting from the direction of the train station, from the nearby high school, there was shooting from the neighboring blocks of flats, from the roofs of those blocks. These men were prepared by Ceausescu….I am convinced that elements of the Securitate were not foreign to these activities.
Lt. Col. Ion Mares recounts an incident from the morning of 23 December as follows:
[The telephone rang] I picked the telephone up and heard: “If in thirty minutes you don’t surrender the traitors we will wipe you from the face of the earth!”…Exactly thirty minutes later at 7:25 a.m. gunfire was opened against the barracks and on the radar five targets appeared. Later five helicopters were seen first-hand. Whether they were helicopters, balloons, or whatever I don’t know if we will ever know. What is certain is that it was thirty minutes after the threat.
Fearing that if the Ceausescus’ exact whereabouts were not kept secret, the Securitate might launch a successful rescue raid or Army soldiers or townspeople might take justice into their own hands and lynch the couple, the commanding officers of the Timisoara garrison spread disinformation of their own. For example, even after the Ceausescus had been brought within the garrison at 6:35 p.m. on Friday 22 December, groups of Army officers were dispatched into the countryside in search of the couple. While being moved from room to room on the base, the Ceausescus were made to wear Army greatcoats and hats. According to Lt. Col. Mares, “it is certain that by the time of the execution on 25 [December], no more than fifty percent of the personnel at the barracks knew of their [the Ceausescus’] presence [on the base].”
Moreover, realizing their phone calls were probably being listened to, they even lied to Front leaders in Bucharest about exactly where the couple was being held. When those officials charged to carry out the trial arrived on 25 December, they requested that they be taken to the “nearby wood” where the Army had hidden the Ceausescus: the Ceausescus had in fact never left the barracks but this is where the Tirgoviste commanders had told Bucharest the couple was located. Furthermore, because of information on the evening of 24 December that the land and air campaign of the “terrorists” would increase, and because it was difficult to move the Ceausescus from room to room in the barracks as the gunfire intensified, between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. on 25 December, the Ceausescus were hidden in an armored transport on the base.
Ceausestii la Tirgoviste, Flacara no. 51 (19 decembrie 1990), pp. 8-10.
For those who interacted with the Ceausescus after they were taken into custody on 22 December 1989, the Ceausescus dropped important details to understand what was going on and would transpire in the days that followed. From my 2006 article:
Constantin Paisie, one of the Militia officers involved in the transport and custody of the Ceausescus later that afternoon of 22 December, makes clear upon whom the Ceausescus were placing their bets to rescue them:
“Sir, they didn’t know what was going on. Indeed, they gave indications that they were waiting for someone to come and take them away to some place in which they would be more secure, for, you see, first and foremost they were banking on the Securitate. I know that at a moment, Nicolae Ceausescu told me to take him to a unit of the Securitate, a special unit at Baneasa, but from the Militia and the Army he didn’t expect any immediate help.”
Nicolae Ceausescu isi incuraja sotia, spunandu-i ca e vorba de un moment trecator si ca totul va reintra in normal? Domnule, ei nu stiau ce se intampla in tara in timpul acela. Intr-adevar, dadeau semne ca ar astepta sa vina cineva sa-i scoata din toata treaba asta si sa se simta ei mai in siguranta, dar, vedeti, ei in primul rand pe Securitate se bazau. Stiu ca la un moment dat, Nicolae Ceausescu mi-a spus sa mergem la unitatea aia de Securitate, o unitate speciala la Baneasa, dar din partea Militiei sau a Armatei nu se astepta sa-i vina sprijinul imediat. http://jurnalul.ro/campaniile-jurnalul/decembrie-89/ceausestii-au-crezut-ca-o-sa-i-salveze-cineva-71314.html
Here’s betting that the “special unit” at Baneasa in question was the one Marian Romanescu departed from above (page 39)—using a cover ID—the “Special Unit for Antiterrorist Warfare,” based at Baneasa…
 Constantin Paisie, interview by Marius Tuca, “Ceausestii au crezut ca o sa-I salveze cineva,” Jurnalul National, 18 March 2004, online edition. USLA training in the Baneasa area is mentioned in Stoian, 1993, pp. 85-85.
Nicolae Ceausescu told Nicolae Deca that he planned to “organize the resistance” in Tirgoviste.
It is important to reconstruct what was transpiring in Targoviste itself during December 1989 and what people who were on the ground–and not those flown in from Bucharest, i.e. the likes of Stanculescu, Voican Voiculescu, Magureanu, and yes, Dan Voinea–say about what they experienced. To her credit, Ruxandra Cesereanu (http://anatolicoblogg.blogspot.com/2014/12/cesereanu-ruxandra-ceausescus-trial-and.html) touches upon the works of Viorel Domenico, such as Ceausescu la Targoviste: 22-25 decembrie 1989, but she missed or chooses not to draw attention to some important details that come out of that 1999 volume.
“Totodata eu cred ca (seful Securitatii locale, Col.) Dinu nu era strain de actiunile desfasurate impotriva unitatii. De pilda, intr-o noapte, m-a scos afara, in curtea unitatii, si auzind in oras zgomote, imi spunea, ‘Fii atent, astea sunt ABI-uri…In 10 minute, incep sa traga…’ Stia totul, de parca isi confirma un plan cunoscut dinainte. Si mi-a mai spus, ‘Teroristii si antiteroristii sunt pregatiti dupa aceleasi principii si reguli, fac aceeasi instructie.’”
Captain Gheorge Bobric’s recounting of Securitate Col. Dinu’s comment, according to which “…notice, those are ABIs [Securitate USLA vehicles]…in ten minutes, firing will begin…The terrorists and anti-terrorists are trained according to the same principles and rules, they go through the same training.” p. 157
The remainder of pages 156 and 157 also contain important, interesting clues:
For example, Boboc continues:
“Then, there was Major Oancea, also from the county Securitate. Hardly had he come from his mission in Timisoara, on 22 December, but he presented himself to Kemenici (at a time when all the Securitate personnel had been sent home) and he “surrendered to the Revolution.” Kemenici accepted him and dressed him in an Army soldier’s uniform, armed and with the appropriate patch (?), and held him in the unit. He walked through the unit with missions assigned to him by the Kemenici-Dinu tandem. But his principal mission was to investigate with captain Stoian–the Securitate’s military counter-intelligence officer for the unit, the terrorists captured and brought to the barracks.
“For example, I brought one, turned over by revolutionaries, who had been captured shooting in MICRO 11. He was covered in blood, armed, had an ID from Botosani, and was named Balan. And there were were many other such suspects given to the two investigators. In the night before the trial they all disappeared, without a trace, from arrest in the unit. As did Major Oancea!”
Such stuff of course never appears in the Romanian press. Nor do the notes from Army’s “Journal of Military Operations” which suggest that even after the Ceausescus had been executed they were still fighting the “terrorists.”
(Indeed, I would argue: if you don’t know what happened between 26 December 1989 and 24 January 1990 after the Ceausescus were executed 25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #25 After the Ceausescus Were Executed: The Counter-Revolution is Disappeared (26 December 1989 – 24 January 1990), there is no way you can possibly accurately judge the decision to execute the Ceausescus.)
see the entries for 26-30 December 1989:
Finally, it is worth remembering something long since forgotten: what the Ceausescus said themselves at their trial.
(Printed from a microfiche machine in late 1990/early 1991 at Indiana University (Bloomington)’s Main Library. It contains an excerpt long since forgotten, especially among those who deny the idea of Securitate terrorists and mercenaries loyal to Nicolae Ceausescu who fought on after 22 December 1989. Below it, in Romanian, what Adrian Paunescu’s Totusi Iubirea in May 1991- June 1992 under the title “Adevarata stenograma a procesului Nicolae Ceausescu – Elena Ceausescu” (xeroxed spring 1997 Babes-Bolyai University Library, Cluj, Romania))
Prosecutor: But those who shot at the young people were security men, the terrorists.
Elena Ceausescu: The terrorists are from the Securitate.
Prosecutor: The terrorists are from the Securitate?
Elena Ceausescu: Yes.
the actual conversation per the Romanian version is somewhat more nuanced than the translation above (which lacks the original Romanian)
Presed (Prosecutor): Dar la Bucuresti, in tinerii care au murit, cine a tras, peste care au trecut tanchetele Securitatii? A unei parti… [“tanchetele Securitatii, a unei parti…” this may be a reference to the ABIs of the USLA and/or a mistake/intentional mischaracterization of the concomitant participation of Army tanks in the Bucharest repression of 21/22 December 1989]
E.C. (Elena Ceausescu): Pai, da, tero…
(N.C. (Nicolae Ceausescu) il face semn sa taca) (Nicolae Ceausescu signals her to be quiet) [this is very revealing…clearly, Elena was stumbling into saying more than she should and Nicolae wanted to cut her off)
Presed: Teroristi? Teroristi?
E.C. Teroristii se spun ca sint, pe aicea vorbeau oamenii, ca sint al Securitatii?
Presed: Teroristii sint ai Securitatii?
E.C. Asa se vorbea.
Acuz: Si Securitatea nu era a comandamentului suprem?
That the terrorists were affiliated with the Securitate was recognized by Securitate General Iulian Vlad in his–still unpublished by the Romanian media– declaration of 29 January 1990, which can be found here:
An interesting personal testimony below: