Dictionary of East European History since 1945

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party's higher ideological school in Bucharest. There he studied for a while and was eventually made into a low-level party official.

But this was not the end of the story. The secret police saturated the Jiu Valley with a wave of terror. Some strikers were forcibly moved to mines in other parts of the country, and they were replaced by other miners from different regions. Several leaders of the workers, not as obedient and meek as Dobre, were killed in "accidents." The strikers were, thus, thoroughly cowed. The tragedy of this was that the outside world hardly learned about the affair and, therefore, had no chance to voice its protests.


Almond Mark, The Rise and Fall of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu ( London, 1992); Ratesh Nestor , Romania: The Entangled Revolution ( Washington, DC, 1989).

Letter of the Six (1989). During the spring of 1989, Romania's international isolation was becoming apparent. In March, even the Soviet Union supported a United Nations resolution ordering a commission to investigate human rights abuses in Romania. This was the moment taken by six former leaders of the Romanian Communist party to publish an open letter calling for the replacement of Nicolae Ceausescu (see Ceausescu, Nicolae and Elena) as head of the party and government.

All six of them were older comrades who had lost the power struggle won by the younger Ceausescu. They proclaimed that the leader discredited socialism with his policies. They attacked "systematization" (see Systematization) as a means of destroying Romanian historical traditions. They stated that the building of the huge and hideous Palace of the People in the center of Bucharest was a crime and that the law forbidding Romanians to meet and converse with foreigners was an abomination. They criticized Ceausescu for "discrediting" the security services by using their personnel against workers who demanded their rights, and against old party members like themselves. They demanded that Ceausescu stop exporting food, abandon "systematization," renew Romania's traditional relations with the European nations and abide by the Helsinki agreements that he signed.

The oldest signer of the letter was Constantin Pirvulescu, ninety-four years old at the time, a founding member of the Romanian Communist party. Another was Alexandru Barladeanu, also a veteran communist. Gheorghe Apostol (see Apostol, Gheorghe), another signer of the letter, was a former contestant for power with Ceausescu. Corneliu Manescu, who joined the dissenters, was an early favorite of Ceausescu and, until 1974, he was foreign minister of Romania. Grigore Ratianu, another signer, shared a fate similar to that of Manescu.

The actual writer of the letter was Silviu Brucan (see Brucan, Silviu), one of the most persistent Marxist critics of Ceausescu. In the late 1960s, he, too, was ousted from power and was relegated to the academic world. Some observers of the Romanian scene asserted that Brucan was tying to obtain Soviet help for an internal putsh According to this version, he approached the KGB for support, but the uncer


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Dictionary of East European History since 1945
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