Virgil MAGUREANU talks to Alex Mihai STOENESCU


Authors: Virgil Magureanu, Alex Mihai Stoienescu

  Publishing House: RAO, 2008.

Alex Mihai Stoenescu admits this volume comprises the interviews with Virgil Magureanu during 2005 to 2008 and "they are part of what the civilized world calls Recent History".

Upon a thorough and unbiased reading, the book reveals several decisions, actions, measures and counter-measure taken in the country and abroad before and during the events in December 1989 and in the years that followed, when Virgil Magureanu was the head of the Romanian Intelligence Service, "a secret service made of the officers of the former Security, without actually being the former Security service".

We hence learn, from an authorized source, about the Soviet involvement in the actions in December 1989, and about the involvement of other states and secret services. Magureanu admits that "ever since September 1989, the calendar of changes that would intervene in Eastern Europe had been already set, with clear specifications for every country,  dates, days, hours. But the reports of the Security service in that period were trying not to upset the chief of state by linking the rapid changes in the respective states to the great powers agreement".

The two authors refer to a series of arguments, statements and new data in their dialog, thought they do not do that in a perfectly chronological order. They start on the evening of December 20 1989, when the USSR ambassador was called to the headquarters of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, to receive an official protest concerning the Soviet involvement in the events from Timisoara. Magureanu is clear when he says "I know for a fact that there were specially trained groups within conflict hotspots and those groups had been trained to participate into such actions". Also, he mentions other conflict hotspots in Arad, Oradea and Cluj.

Also interesting is the fight for power in the first months of 1990, as well as the way the Security service operated. However, the Security service is presented as an institution that stop existing and functioning.

No less interesting are the stage details in the miners protests, why the government Petre Roman fell, the reactions of the leaders back then and also the role played by human character and pride in their political actions.

This volume gives us the opportunity to see some of the hidden details during the years of transition towards democracy, to find out about the "political police" and also about the existence of other data and information which cannot be divulged as they are state secrets.

The historian Alex Mihai Stoenescu believes that some data disclosed in the book are essential for Romania's recent history, as they refer to "the first two years of anarchical liberty, when the state fell in December 1989 was trying to rebuild its first democratic institutions".

However, in the same trend of other books written on the Romanian Revolution, this book also exonerates the Security service of any responsibility or blame for being involved in many tragic events  the Army is seen as the main institution of repression.


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