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> Romanian post war resistance movements
cnflyboy2000
Posted: December 20, 2007 03:59 pm
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QUOTE (Jeff_S @ December 20, 2007 12:35 am)

I'm surprised I didn't notice this thread before. An interesting topic in my opinion. I find the length of time some of these movements lasted as amazing.


Same here.

I've read elsewhere of these Romanian groups though, and wonder if they were not unparalled anywhere in the former so-called "eastern bloc". Aside from Hungary, 1956, and of course, Poland in the 80's (Solidarity), I'm unfamiliar with any (ongoing) resistance movements, armed or otherwise.

I heard that there is still standing in Pitesti a particularly notorious securitate prison building where many resisters were taken when captured and tortured, killed.
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Jeff_S
Posted: December 21, 2007 09:16 pm
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Yes, that's why I asked the question. What level of "resistance" is necessary to qualify? One guy with some anti-communist literature buried in his woodshed may be brave and principled, but he's not going to overthrow a government. Something on the scale of Tito's partisans in Yugoslavia is a totally different matter.

I consider Solidarity to be somewhat different -- not clandestine, but a direct political challenge to the regime. And I would say this was only successful in the end because the Soviets were unwilling to intervene to prop up their client state.
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Victor
Posted: December 22, 2007 08:37 am
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Motivations varied considerably, as did the composition of the groups. Some were former professional soldiers that had a deep hate of Communism, some were peasants that would not give up their land to the state's collective farms, some were simply trying to hide from the Securitate in the wilderness.

The "arrival of the Americans" myth may seem ironic today, but in the late '40s it was real. We must take into consideration the fact that almost none of pre-war political figures realized after 23 August 1944 that Romania was already given to Stalin and thought that the Western Powers will aid them. How can we judge the common people for continuing to hope in a miracle ? It just needed someone to start a rumour.

The groups weren't too big and they usually had supporters in the villages at the foot of the mountains. This is how most of them survived, but it was also the key to their capture.

In its early years, the Securitate was probably overwhelmed by the huge numbers it had to arrest, torture, interrogate, guard, kill and pursue. The partisans were not a powerful threat to the Communist regime, so likely they weren't considered a high priority case. Plus a few men can be hard to track in the wilderness.
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mateias
Posted: December 22, 2007 11:41 am
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Maybe the total number of highly active people engaged in guerilla-type fighting was less than 10,000. However, one must reconsider their courage knowing that they had to act in a country invaded by 1,000,000 Russian soldiers and NKVD advisers in each county and institution until 1958 when practically all these groups had been crushed down (and Russians accepted to go). The communist authorities had to set up Securitate REGULAR troops in 1949 and together with Militia troops they tracked the resistance fighters, even by using airplanes to control their movements. Sometimes thousands of regular troops had to be deployed to capture just a few fighters. The penal code had to be modified several times, punishing harshly freedom fighters and their supporters (to intimidate them) and encouraging people to betray - for ransom (they were considered criminals and everywhere in the world, even in the USA authorities pays hefty ransoms for tracking down criminals !)or "voluntarily" - even their close relatives and friends.
In fact, there were two peaks of anticommunist armed resistance activities - one by late '40s-early '50s (myth of American's arrival) and in the aftermath of the Hungarian revolution in 1956.
Denis Deletant, an English historian, wrote several books in English on this matter and there are several museums dedicated to the political prisoners and freedom fighters - most of them are former prisons (Sighet, Pitesti, Fagaras).
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contras
Posted: January 01, 2010 01:51 pm
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This freedom fighters were suported by local inhabitants, who gave them supllies, informnations and, many times, safe heaven. After the fall of one group, suporters were locked up by hundreds, many times thousands. Without local suport, they cannot survive.
An example about the life of partizans can find in books wrote by survivals.
Ion Gavrila Ogoranu, Brazii se frang, dar nu se indoiesc (7 volumes). First 2 volumes were about his life between 1948-1989, his fight in Fagaras Mountains (1948-1956), his escape and his life as an outlaw (1956-1976), arresting and prison (1976), liberation (1976) and fall of communism (1989). Intersting thing, his life was saved by Kissinger, who asked Ceausescu about Ogoranu in 1974, before Nixon's visit, and before Ogoranu was arrested. He lived between 1956 and 1976 at Galtiu, near Alba Iulia, in secret, in Ana Sabadus's house, widow of an dead comrade, killed at Gherla prison. Later he married her.
The third volume is about the support groups, peasants, intelectuals who supported his group of fighters. Vol 4 is about documents in Securitate's archives about his group and actions to anihilate them (over 100 Securitate actions in 8 years). Vol 5 is about his youth, life before 1948, his activity in Fratia de Cruce (Young Legionars). Vol 7 is about armed groups in Apuseni Mountains, many of them (the legionars) he knows before the events.

About "coming of americans" myth, it wasn't so foolish. They expected a future confrontation between Western powers and Soviets, the moment when Cold War will become Hot. Were many tensions at some moments (Berlin crisis in 1948, Koreean War (1950-1953). This Romanian armed groups, intended to hide themselves and begin to act at the right moment. They intended to act like real partisans in time of war. Soviets feared them for the same reason, they had a guerilla fight in ww2 against Germans, and know how efective could be such a movement.
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contras
Posted: January 03, 2010 09:13 pm
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About this period, and this fight, there were not much related stories. In "Memorial museum of anticomunist resistance" in Sighetu Marmatiei, former prison were died many of Romanian patriots, are some parts dedicated to partisan fighters. If you have sometimes occasion to go there, don't missed it. It's just in centre of the city. I assure you will impressed.
There are few memories about this armed resistance movement against communism, because are are a very few survivors. One of them is the books of Ion Gavrila Ogoranu, Brazii se frang, dar nu se indoiesc.
Other is the diary of Vasile Motrescu, a partisan from Bukovina, recovered by Securitate's archives. It apears after 90's, under title Vasile Motrescu, The diary of a partisan. It is interesting, Vasile Motrescu saved Ogoranu's life and his fellow comarades in 1951, but he was captured and executed in 1957, I think. His diary is recounted personally, day by day, and noted at this time. It coveres about 3 years of hidden and fighting against Securitate's troops.
One of his comarade, Gavril Vatamaniuc, lived today, but I don't had his memories. All I know is one fight, when Securitate's troops surrounded them, and they make their way outside the encirclement. Motrescu killed 2 members of Securitate and one haunting dog, and Vatamaniuc killed one soldier.
Vatamaniuc lived, I think, in Suceava.
If there is somebody on this forum who lives somewhere near Suceava, please go an take him a video interwiew. It is important, maybe would be the last time we can hear about him, because is very old.
Thank you very much,
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contras
Posted: February 03, 2010 11:00 pm
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Maybe the first romanian movie about partisan fightings in Romania after ww2:

http://www.monitorfg.ro/index.php?option=c...ocale&Itemid=29
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 04, 2010 12:44 am
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Hallo everybody,
a brief intervention to topic, from the stories of my grandfather, living in Babana, in Arges. He said that most of the resistance fighters he knew or heard about were ex- Legionaries, former royal army soldiers and officers, and also priests and rich peasants. He said that immediately after the war the popular support was significant and many peasants helped them, but after 1951-52 the fear of the Securitate and the Party led many to refuse to assist and supply them. The communist propaganda tell them in the context of organized assemblies in the villages that the fighters were actually bandits and robbers, and everybody who help them, will share their fate. The Militie personnel was the most feared since the fell into the hands of Securitate meant virtually the end of the life. The Militie workers were the one who warned the resistance fighters supporters to stop helping them ... or else ... they gave them to the Securitate... He said that many peasants tried to justify their fear by spreading the same rumours as the communists -as the fighters were bandits and robbers-...
Just some memories... I also appreciate very much the topic... keep doing the good job!
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cnflyboy2000
Posted: February 06, 2010 06:11 pm
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QUOTE (contras @ January 04, 2010 02:13 am)
In "Memorial museum of anticomunist resistance" in Sighetu Marmatiei, former prison were died many of Romanian patriots, are some parts dedicated to partisan fighters.
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contras
Posted: February 06, 2010 08:52 pm
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Thank you, cnflyboy2000, for the link. It is very useful for those who are interested in that part of our history.
But I believe it must be visited. There are many apreciations from many personalities, that this memorial at Sighet is, after that one of Auswitz, the most important remember museum of Europe.
If you had sometimes the possibility to visit Maramures area, don't miss this museum.
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contras
Posted: February 17, 2010 10:09 am
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contras
Posted: July 07, 2010 07:12 pm
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About Susman group in Rachitele, some news here:

http://www.adevarul.ro/locale/cluj-napoca/..._283771792.html
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Hawk
Posted: January 16, 2011 06:57 pm
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Is any literature available in English?

I am form Lithuania, the guerrilla war is my study subject.


thanx,
Juozapas
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contras
Posted: January 21, 2011 06:57 pm
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Portrait of a fighter as a young man, full movie, here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YktLoiUFDFM
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mg92aa
Posted: March 20, 2011 09:58 pm
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The work you are doing here is vital. We, soldiers in the West, knew that some groups fought on after the Soviets over ran their countries. Some of us had a sickening feeling that groups may have been abandoned; and that some had been encouraged and then abandoned. But we could not have known just how large the movements were!
Please, tell us more. We owe you much more than we can pay, at least we can now listen.
I apologise to the nameless that we did not come to your aid. If only ....
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