tainty that surrounded Mikhail Gorbachev's accession to power made the Soviet leader cautious even after the publication of the "Letter of the Six" and Brucan was declined. The fact that Brucan was allowed to travel abroad, is proof that he had protection on the highest levels.
Ceausescu's sycophants assured the leader that the letter was proof positive of the demise of the opposition. But the signatories were the most senior communists in Romania, and Barladeanu and Brucan were well known for their Soviet connections. But none of them could conceivably be a competitor to replace Ceausescu at the helm. They were a nuisance, especially because they sent copies of the letter to Western embassies.
Ceausescu's main concern was to deter other possible opponents to imitate the old-timers. Consequently, the signatories were accused of spying for various Western intelligence services. The secret police pulled them all in and tried to pressure them to admit their guilt. Together with their elderly wives, they were removed from their comfortable homes in Bucharest and were transferred to the city's slums into dingy apartments without running water and electricity. They were told that, if they did not retract the letter, they would be facing the possibility of being tried for treason. Only Gheorghe Apostol caved in to the pressure. He signed a confession implicating Brucan as the ringleader in a plot hatched by the CIA. But it seems that someone intervened, possibly Gorbachev, because there was no trial. Thereafter, each week, a "TASS correspondent," Nikolai Morozov, visited the Brucans to make sure of their well-being. During the 16th party congress in November 1989, Brucan quietly disappeared from Bucharest and turned up in Moscow. He and the other signers of the "Letter of the Six" survived the ouster and execution of the Ceausescu couple.
Almond Mark, The Rise and Fall of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu ( London, 1992); Behr Edward , Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite ( New York, 1991).
Luca, Vasile (1898-?). Luca was an ethnic Hungarian from Transylvania, whose original given name was Vazul. He joined the Romanian Communist party in the 1930s, was arrested in Bessarabia by the Romanian police, tried, and sentenced to a long prison term. In 1940, when the Soviet Union regained Bessarabia, following the Nazi-Soviet pact, Luca was liberated by Russian soldiers from his jail cell. He spent the war years in the Soviet Union and acquired Soviet citizenship. In 1944, he returned to Romania with the Red Army, together with Ana Pauker (see Pauker, Ana) and Emil Bodnaras (see Bodnaras, Emil) as Joseph Stalin's Romanian emissaries. Immediately after his return, Luca became a member of the Politburo of the Romanian Communist party and assumed control over the party's affairs. In 1947, in the first purely communist government, he was minister of finance. But his authority went way beyond his ministry. In 1952, however, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (see Gheorghiu-Dej, Gheorghe) won the internal struggle for power, and Luca, together with Pauker and Bodnaras, was expelled from the leadership.