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Against its original purposes, the Romanian Securitate Archive  is used now by regular citizens to access their family’s past.  Oana Lungescu published a documentary on BBC about  State Secrets with very good examples of  Romanian Securitate legacy.

Here is a short piece from the article about the terrible family history of Ioana Voicu Arnautoiu and the way she recovered it.

“A concert violinist, she was born in a cave in the Carpathian mountains. Her parents were partisans, part of a small desperate band that resisted the communist takeover in the 1950s.They held out for nine years – surviving sometimes on boiled bark – before the Securitate hunted them down.

Now it is the Securitate’s own records that are revealing Ioana’s family history, in 85 thick files and a collection of black-and-white photographs.

One shows her mother climbing out of the cave and going down a ladder, carrying baby Ioana under one arm like a doll.

Before her father was executed, the Securitate took a last photograph of his gaunt face, with dark, haunted eyes. Her mother died later in prison.

Ioana was spared. Aged two, she was taken to an orphanage and adopted by a loving family. She grew up without knowing who she really was – until Communism fell and the archives opened.

Her story might be unbelievable – if the Securitate had not archived everything so thoroughly.” (Oana Lungescu- Romania Securitate legacy 20 years after revolution)

Lungescu raises interesting questions about the role Securitatea had in documenting life during Communism. The State had to know everything and now, people have access, at least in part, to what the State knew of them.  Ioana Voicu Arnautoiu says in the documentary that she is thinking about putting her family history into a book. Working on such books is a needed exercise for Romanian society. Even though affecting individuals this drama was felt by the whole society and Securitate practices combined with the lack of information channels changed our information habits.

Many are still amazed by the way people chose to act even though they have freedom to be informed and access to information. People that worked on the case of  Ioana Voicu Arnautoiu parents could, presumably, be  successful business men nowadays (as is the case with the Securitate person that had Herta Muller, the Nobel prize winner in literature, under observation). One needs to take a step back and notice the destines that, even though shared the same geographical space,  were parallel  as long the State was not “in danger”.

What the evil library did was to document those intersections.  Looking back at these documents can help us figure out where and why deviations in behaviors took place. That would help understand the current “informed” decision Romanians make and how they can be helped to take part succesfuly in the global Information Society.

A number of people attacked the Romanian ex-president Ion Iliescu with coins at a commemoration of 1989 Revolution in Bucharest. The security was needed so he can be  taken away from the scene untouched.  Accusations of  Iliescu betraying the Revolution and the people that died for the freedom of Romania seem to take him  by surprise every time… It’s been 19 years of looking for answers  that would explain, at least in part, the tragedy of those days and the aftermath.  The classical media reactions are somehow wondering how come people did not forget about all this, how come they are still wondering and getting mad at things that happened 19 years ago…

Respect for the  people that know what questions they need to answer and are fighting to get those answers sending  clear messages about that. This is a warning message to any politician  in Romania:  you cannot continue to ignore  people’s sacrifices and fight for truth.

Respect for the people that died in 1989 Revolution. May God rest their souls.

Respect for people that were on the streets in December 1989. Multumesc (Thank you).

When I first heard this expression I was not sure what it meant. It took me a long time to figure out and have a pretty good idea about what it is. Now I also have a good example to make other understand it:)

So we have the Olympic Games from Beijing. We have a long expected Opening Ceremony for that. And you have a NBC television. What can happen?  NBC decides that this ceremony will be so memorable that everybody needs to see it so they record and broadcast it in prime time and they get record ratings for that. Great!

Well, no so great because from 7AM when the Ceremony started until in the evening when NBC broadcasted it in USA people could not watch it anywhere. The broadcasting rights were purchased by NBC (including the digital ones) so…no way to access it legally.

This leaves people with no option when there should be one. This is just because the numbers don’t look good for some… This is a price to high too be acceptable and no rating can be used as an explanation!

Unfortunatelly the people don’t seem to even notice this… after all the show was great 😦

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