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Dej-A-Vu. Early Roots of Romania's Independence by Johanna Granville

Dej-A-Vu. Early Roots of Romania's Independence by Johanna Granville



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A surfeit of books and articles exist about Ceauşescu, while surprisingly few address his predecessor, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. Perhaps this is due to Ceauşescu's defiance of Moscow, the stark dichotomy between his foreign and domestic policies, length of his incumbency, flagrant nepotism, and televised execution by firing squad on December 25, 1989. There is also a tendency to forget who made Romania's greater independence vis-a-vis Moscow possible and who first established the pattern of
foreign policy openness and "liberalness" coupled with domestic repression. Romania under Gheorghiu-Dej has commonly been viewed as one of the most loyal of Soviet allies in 1956. However, it was Dej who - inspired by the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Austria in 1955 - masterminded the exodus of Soviet troops (1958) and KGB advisors (1964) from Romania and conceived the April 27, 1964 "declaration of independence." Indeed, Romania became the only Warsaw Pact country from which both Soviet troops and advisors were actually withdrawn during the Cold War. Ceauşescu's later audacity toward Moscow would have been highly unlikely had Soviet troops still been stationed throughout Romania.
Drawing on archival documents, published memoirs, and recent Romanian scholarship, this article will examine the patterns of deception Dej employed to achieve greater independence from the Soviet Union. The cunning strategist feigned loyalty to Khrushchev (whom he loathed) and kept a low profile in order to survive destalinization and eventually expel Soviet troops from his country. Unlike Ceauşescu, Dej forfeited short-term forms of ego gratification in exchange for a long-term, but permanent, fait accompli (a country rid of Soviet troops).
A surfeit of books and articles exist about Ceauşescu, while surprisingly few address his predecessor, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. Perhaps this is due to Ceauşescu's defiance of Moscow, the stark dichotomy between his foreign and domestic policies, length of his incumbency, flagrant nepotism, and televised execution by firing squad on December 25, 1989. There is also a tendency to forget who made Romania's greater independence vis-a-vis Moscow possible and who first established the pattern of
foreign policy openness and "liberalness" coupled with domestic repression. Romania under Gheorghiu-Dej has commonly been viewed as one of the most loyal of Soviet allies in 1956. However, it was Dej who - inspired by the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Austria in 1955 - masterminded the exodus of Soviet troops (1958) and KGB advisors (1964) from Romania and conceived the April 27, 1964 "declaration of independence." Indeed, Romania became the only Warsaw Pact country from which both Soviet troops and advisors were actually withdrawn during the Cold War. Ceauşescu's later audacity toward Moscow would have been highly unlikely had Soviet troops still been stationed throughout Romania.
Drawing on archival documents, published memoirs, and recent Romanian scholarship, this article will examine the patterns of deception Dej employed to achieve greater independence from the Soviet Union. The cunning strategist feigned loyalty to Khrushchev (whom he loathed) and kept a low profile in order to survive destalinization and eventually expel Soviet troops from his country. Unlike Ceauşescu, Dej forfeited short-term forms of ego gratification in exchange for a long-term, but permanent, fait accompli (a country rid of Soviet troops).

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Published by: szerzo on Jul 25, 2009
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Source: Johanna C. Granville, "Dej-a-Vu: Early Roots of Romania's Independence," East European Quarterly, vol. XLII, no.

4 (Winter 2008), pp. 365-404.

Dej-a-Vu: Early Roots of Romania's Independence
Johanna Granville Once upon a time, according to Romanian jokesters, the American CIA and FBI competed with Nicolae Ceauşescu's Securitate to prove superiority in apprehending criminals. They released a rabbit into the forest and all agreed that the first agency to catch it would win the contest. The CIA planted informants throughout the forest, questioned all plant and animal witnesses, and eventually concluded that the rabbit never existed. The FBI tried next, but with no leads after two weeks, burned the forest completely, rationalizing that the elusive rabbit deserved to die. Then the Romanian first secretary sent in the Securitate. After one hour, a huge bear, bruised and bleeding, limped out of the forest, with paws high over his head, whimpering, "Okay! Okay! I'm a rabbit!" The joke, writ large, juxtaposes American impatient, short-term thinking with Romanian ruthlessness, a Ceauşescuan world in which one is guilty until proven innocent and where torture-induced confessions prove guilt. Delighted in 1967 when Ceauşescu refused to sever ties with Israel during the Six Day War, established diplomatic relations with West Germany, and denounced the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia a year later, Washington decided to reward him - sending U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit Bucharest (August 2-3, 1969); inviting Ceauşescu thrice to visit Washington (October 1970, December 1973; and April 1978); and conferring Most Favored Nation status to Romania (August 1975).1 Time Magazine put Ceauşescu's face on the cover of its March 18, 1966 issue and quoted the future dictator: "The word freedom can be spoken in many languages, but it has the same meaning […] People must be fully equal, have the right to express their opinion, and be able to take part in the guiding of society."2 With their 1

simplistic enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend mindset, Washington officials failed to understand that Ceauşescu's ostensibly "liberal" foreign policy stance masked horrendous abuses of human rights at home -- exporting food despite acute shortages at home, censuring writers and religious groups, arranging fatal accidents for strike leaders;3 firing thousands of disgruntled miners; outlawing contraceptives and abortions, resulting in tragic deaths and swelling orphanages;4 bulldozing Hungarian villages in Transylvania, and transforming Romania into the poorest of Warsaw Pact countries in order to pay off ten billion dollars in foreign debt. A surfeit of books and articles - and jokes - exist about Ceauşescu, while surprisingly few address his predecessor, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. Perhaps this is due to Ceauşescu's defiance of Moscow, the stark dichotomy between his foreign and domestic policies, length of his incumbency, flagrant nepotism, and televised execution by firing squad on December 25, 1989.5 As Romanian scholar Vladimir Tismăneanu put it, "In the avalanche of incriminating material relating to the Ceauşescu family dictatorship, there is a tendency to forget who presided over the Stalinization and Sovietization of the country […] The name of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej has only been mentioned occasionally."6 One can go still further. There is also a tendency to forget who made Romania's greater independence vis-a-vis Moscow possible and who first established the pattern of foreign policy openness and "liberalness" coupled with domestic repression. Romania under Gheorghiu-Dej has commonly been viewed as one of the most loyal of Soviet allies in 1956.7 However, it was Dej who - inspired by the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Austria in 1955 - masterminded the exodus of Soviet troops (1958) and KGB advisors (1964) from Romania and conceived the April 27, 1964 "declaration of independence." Indeed, Romania became the only Warsaw Pact country from which both Soviet troops and advisors were actually withdrawn during the Cold War.8 Ceauşescu's later audacity toward Moscow would have been highly unlikely had Soviet troops still been stationed


throughout Romania. As Dej opined to the Romanian ambassador to the United States, Silviu Brucan, in 1956: “if I don’t do a U-turn now in our relations with the Soviet authorities, we are lost.”9 Drawing on archival documents, published memoirs, and recent Romanian scholarship, this article will examine the patterns of deception Dej employed to achieve greater independence from the Soviet Union. The cunning strategist feigned loyalty to Khrushchev (whom he loathed) and kept a low profile in order to survive destalinization and eventually expel Soviet troops from his country.10 Unlike Ceauşescu, Dej forfeited short-term forms of ego gratification in exchange for a long-term, but permanent, fait accompli (a country rid of Soviet troops). Just two months after the twentieth congress of the communist party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), February 14-25, 1956, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerul Afacerilor Externe, or MAE) took measures to resume diplomatic relations with several capitalist democracies, and even NATO members, such as Norway, Iceland, Greece, Brazil, Burma, as well as with less stable countries like Sudan and Uruguay.11 MAE also attempted to resolve old financial issues with the United States, Great Britain, and Greece. MAE sent a proposal to Washington on March 7, 1956, for example, to begin negotiations to resolve the problem of sequestered or liquidated Romanian funds in the United States. Robert Thayer, the U.S. minister to Romania, replied and suggested a further exchange of memoranda about both this issue and about the restrictions imposed on the U.S. legation in Bucharest and the statute regarding American citizens in Romania.12 Romanian officials issued a visa for an American agricultural expert to visit Romania and requested a visa for a Romanian agricultural expert to visit the United States.13 In addition, the Romanian government accepted an invitation from Washington to send two or three representatives to the United States for an expense-paid, two-week visit so they could "observe the bipartite electoral process." Other bloc states were invited, but only the Romanians - like


the Russians - accepted, and thus from October 21 until after election day on November 6, the very period spanning the Hungarian revolution, three Romanians freely toured Washington, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Washington proposed the visit on a reciprocal basis, hoping to get invited to observe "elections" in Romania. However, by January 24, 1957, the Bucharest regime, following the Soviet cue, welshed on the swap agreement, stating that an American visit to Romania would be "inappropriate at the present time."14 Bucharest also sent industrial goods and Romanian oil and communications experts to Egypt in May. In return, President Nasser promised to send advisers on irrigation techniques.15 Moreover, Bucharest invited a Brazilian delegation to visit Romania in June to become acquainted with Romanian folklore, music, dance and costumes. The Bucharest regime also invited to Romania a cultural delegation from India, consisting of musicians and dancers and headed by the deputy minister of foreign affairs, and then sent a delegation to visit India the following September 1956.16 Finally, correspondents from "free world" press agencies such as Reuters and Agence France-Presse were invited to visit Romania in 1956, as well as journalists from Swiss and Austrian newspapers, such as Gazette de Lausanne, Der Bund, Basler Nachrichten, Tribune de Genève, and Wiener Zeitung and Die Presse. Representatives from Chilean newspapers (La Nación, Ercilla, and Las Últimas Noticias) were invited as well.17 In 1956 Dej also invited to Romania a number of delegations from the Soviet Union, as if to signal his interest in destalinization and the new line. He put up a façade as the loyal Soviet satellite, eager to learn from the Soviet experience. Between March and October 1956, at least four delegations visited Bucharest: a womens’ group (March 5-19), the Soviet Komsomol (April 16-23), a group of “old militants” (mid-October, 1956), and a delegation of the All-Union Society of Cultural Ties Abroad (Vsesoiuznoe Obshchestvo Kul'turnykh Sviazei s Zagranitsei, or VOKS) on October 6-25.18 The Bucharest leadership also invited


Soviet historian A. Glucovschi from the Soviet Academy of Social Sciences, who arrived in Romania on October 20, to do research and write a dissertation on the history of the Romanian workers movement.19 To Aksionov, the director of the Soviet Komsomol delegation, Dej gushed: “These kinds of meetings are very important and we want them to be more frequent. If youngsters meet, they exchange opinions and become friends.”20 The Soviet women who had visited earlier in March, however, were not fooled by Dej’s outwardly fawning, Potemkin-village façade. "We were struck by the pageantry," A. G. Tukanova told Chişinevschi and others candidly. "We know we are in a friendly country, so you can dispense with the charade. We should have met to work through specific problems together. Instead, the formal atmosphere made us uncomfortable." Tukanova also complained about the gustatory extravagance. “On Saturday we met with Professor Parhon, where we had to eat, even if we had eaten breakfast. We then went to the folklore institute, where we had to eat again. From there we went to the conservatory, and we had to eat yet again.” She chided, “You must not waste your money and time like this. In our country we save money carefully.”21 A wide range of activities were planned for the period from October 6-November 6, 1956, which happened to be “Romanian-Soviet Friendship Month.” These activities included an opening ceremony in the Atheneum Hall chaired by the noted professor of endocrinology at the University of Bucharest, Constantin Ion Parhon; "week of Soviet books" (October 15-21); Soviet motion picture festival (October 20 and November 7); a “day of friendship between Romanian and Soviet youth” (October 29); a cross country race from Romania to the Soviet border; meetings between Romanians and citizens from Soviet Moldavia; as well as meetings between citizens from individual Romanian and Soviet (Ukrainian) cities: Constanţa and Odessa, and Ploieşti and Boryslav (a small city in the Lviv province in western Ukraine).22


Bucharest also sent Romanian delegations to the USSR. Two Romanian composers went to Moscow to participate in the Second Soviet Congress of Composers (May 7-17). These were Ion Dumitrescu and Alfred Mendelsohn, first secretary and secretary of the Composers Union of Romania respectively.23 Ten Romanian military officers (three generals and seven commissioned officers) were chosen in August 1956 to go to Moscow to attend the Voroshilov (General Staff) Military Academy, considered by the communist world to be the most prestigious military academy for senior officers.24 The Romanian government also approved the requests of those Romanian citizens who wanted to immigrate permanently to the USSR, such as Onisim Spinov, director of the MarxismLeninism evening school in Bistriţa.25 On October 20, the Bucharest regime made arrangements to send Romanian writers to Iaşi and to invite writers from Soviet Moldavia to Romania.26 Dej and the Foreign Ministry paid extra attention to strengthening relations with Hungary between January and August 1956 by offering financial and humanitarian aid, promoting the exchange of knowledge, and making other gestures of good will. In late January, MAE decreed that the Romanian ministry of armed forces would pay for all expenses incurred by Hungarian military officers while visiting Romania.27 According to a report of March 22 by the engineer, Ştefan Mitică, the Danube River - blocked up by ice overflowed onto 130,000 hectares, or about 502 square miles, completely ruining 167 houses and inundating as many as 12,000 other houses, leaving about 30,000 Hungarians homeless. In response, the Dej regime sent wood, bricks, glass for windows, and tiles for roofing.28 That same month, the Dej administration decided to offer free medical care to all Hungarian diplomats.29 The Romanian Ministry of Armed Forces invited several Hungarian officers to Romania to participate in a conference about antiaircraft defense on February 29.30 Antiaircraft defense has intensely preoccupied Romanian communist leaders ever since World War II, when Allied B-24s bombed the oilfields of Ploieşti (August


1, 1943) and Bucharest itself (April 4 and 15, 1944) in an effort to stop Bucharest from supplying the Axis armies with oil, grain, and other industrial products.31 In April Hungarians participated in the fourth congress of mathematicians in Romania. Gergely Szabó, the Hungarian minister of chemical industry, and his Romanian counterpart, signed a treaty on August 21, 1956 for the construction of a pipeline to supply Hungarian factories with Romanian methane gas.32 On August 5, 1956 a Hungarian delegation led by István Dobi, chairman of the Hungarian Presidential Council, visited Romania to study its agricultural system.33 The Dej regime also made gestures of good will: planning films on RomanianHungarian friendship (April 10, 1956);34 returning to Hungarian authorities a document confiscated by Romanian troops in 1919 (June 21, 1956);35 and relaxing rules on the issuance of visas to expedite travel between the two countries (August 15, 1956).36 By August 20, Ambassador Popescu reported that the “average number of citizens passing through the checkpoint at the Romanian border town of Curtici is 1,000-1,200 daily," and that "Romanian and Hungarian frontier guards are cooperating well."37 The lenient policy on visas originated from a Soviet directive issued shortly after the twentieth CPSU congress in February 1956 aimed at facilitating travel for citizens within the Warsaw Pact countries, but Bucharest would sharply reverse the policy after the student demonstration in Budapest on October 23-24.38 The Hungarians invited Romanians to visit also, but on a far smaller scale, probably because Mátyás Rákosi, and his successor, Ernő Gerő, were too besieged with popular demands to atone for their past sins. Judging from the telegrams sent to and from MAE between February and August 1956, the Dej regime invited at least twice as many Hungarian delegations to Romania (seven), than both Hungarian leaders invited Romanian delegations to Hungary (three). In late April, 1956, for example, Melita Apostol - wife of Gheorghe Apostol and one of the directors of the Romanian broadcasting system


(Radiodifuziunea Română) - visited Hungary for ten days to interact with her colleagues in the Hungarian radio broadcasting business, including its president, Valéria Benke.39 On April 9, the Hungarian minister of foreign affairs, János Boldoczki, admitted to Popescu that Hungary had “done too little to advertise Romania's achievements in the press and radio.” In a scene reminiscent of the novel The Ugly American, Popescu responded by insisting in his telegrams back to Bucharest that Romania gasconade and take credit for every action to help Hungary.40 The 1919 document returned to Hungary, for example, “should be published in the press as a friendly gesture by Romania, reinforcing RomanianHungarian friendship.”41 The Romanian foreign ministry made special efforts to strengthen ties with the population in Debrecen, a Hungarian city only twenty miles (thirty-two kilometers) west of the Romanian border, where anti-Romanian sentiment predominated. Debrecen had twice served as the capitol of Hungary: during the Hungarian revolution of 1848-9 and again after the fierce Battle of Debrecen in October 1944. In April 1919, Romanian troops invaded Hungary to stop a Hungarian conquest of Transylvania and to defeat Béla Kun’s 133-day Hungarian Soviet Republic (March 21-August 1, 1919). They completely controlled the city of Debrecen and pillaged Budapest, inflicting so much property damage that the international peace conference in 1919 did not require Hungary to pay war reparations to Romania. After the signing on June 4, 1920 of the Treaty of Trianon, Debrecen became a border city overnight. The treaty awarded to Romania the historical region of Transylvania, which now comprises nearly 103,600 square kilometers of central and northwest Romania, or sixteen present-day counties.42 Thousands of Hungarian refugees from Romanian Transylvania quickly converged at Debrecen. On February 11, 1956, fifteen Romanian military officers from the garrison in the Romanian border town of Oradea (Nagyvárad) left for Debrecen to take part in the city’s celebration, beginning on February 12, of “liberation” after World War II. The Debrecen


City Council planned the event as part of a “week of friendship."43 During the visit, the Debrecen officials suggested building a monument to commemorate those 58,330 Romanian soldiers who were wounded, killed, or declared missing in the Battle of Debrecen (October 6 - October 28, 1944), since there were already two monuments in the heart of the city honoring the 19,713 Soviet soldiers killed or missing in the battle. Popescu advised his superiors in Bucharest to contact one of the city councils in Romania “preferably one where there is a marble or granite quarry” - and offer the Hungarians the necessary marble or stone in order to erect the monument.44 Another Romanian diplomat, Babuci, urged MAE officials to send a blueprint of the monument to the Debrecen officials to speed up production.45 A Hungarian parliamentary delegation visited Romania later, from August 15 to 25, 1956, headed by Sándor Rónai, president of the parliament and candidate member of the Politburo of the Hungarian Workers' Party (Magyar Dolgozók Pártja or MDP).46 Ironically, despite these friendly gestures in the spring and summer of 1956, anti-Romanian sentiments festered in Debrecen, the city where the Hungarian revolution actually began and where the first casualties occurred. Students rallied in front of the Lajos Kossuth University at 11:00 a.m. on October 23, a good four hours before the fateful demonstration in Budapest began. According to Ambassador Popescu's reports, the Hungarians read a "manifesto of twenty points." When they got to the sixteenth point, requesting that international organizations address problems of Hungarians in Romania, people shouted "Mindent vissza" and "Erdélyt vissza" (Transylvania back; everything back).47 Simultaneously with the Dej regime's welcoming, opening gestures in Romanian foreign policy in the spring and summer of 1956, however, the leadership kept tight rein on potential dissenters at home. Having slowly clawed his way to the apex of power, Dej had no intention of losing control. He had not figured among the privileged “Muscovites” trained by the Comintern in the USSR and swept into power shortly after World War II


like so many others throughout Europe (Rákosi, Walter Ulbricht, Klement Gottwald, Bolesław Bierut, Josip Broz Tito, Maurice Thorez, and Palmiro Togliatti). He had to wait until 1952 to emerge as the de facto chief potentate of the Romanian Workers Party (Partidul Muncitoresc Român, or PMR), after ousting the "Stalinist faction" (foreign minister Ana Pauker,48 finance minister Vasile Luca,49 and minister of internal affairs Teohari Georgescu)50 On June 2, 1952, Dej became prime minister and assumed the post as first secretary three years later, at the plenum of September 30-October 1, 1955. Dej's long years in prison (1933-1944) taught him the value of perseverence and precise timing - skills that enabled him later to weather the destalinization process. His late rise to power may even have helped Dej to maintain authority in 1956, since he had had less time than his Muscovite colleagues (Pauker, Luca, Petre Borilă, Valter Roman, Dumitru Petrescu, Leonte Răutu and others) to accumulate enemies. Unlike Pauker, and some of the elite Muscovites in the international communist movement (e.g. Rákosi, Ernő Gerő, Mihály Farkas, József Révai, Roman Zambrowski, Jakub Berman, and Rudolf Slánský), Dej was also not Jewish, which also benefited him, given the anti-Semitism prevailing among communist elites at the time.51 In the midst of his growing unpopularity, Rákosi faced especially harsh prejudice, given Hungarians' memories of another Jewish communist leader, Béla Kun, whose policies of nationalizing industry and agriculture during his fourmonth regime (1918-1919) alienated the population. To avoid being accused of Titoism, Dej helped engineer the detention and later arrest of minister of justice Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu on April 28, 1948, after two years of ongoing surveillance by the Securitate. The show trial of Pătrăşcanu was scheduled for the spring of 1950, but Soviet KGB chief Lavrenty Beria ordered it to be postponed. Pauker and Luca then began a campaign to implicate all those who had fought in the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. This would have affected people close to Dej, such as Gheorghe Vasilichi, who had fought in Spain and befriended Pătrăşcanu, but who had also


participated in the Griviţa strike with Dej. The clandestine communists imprisoned in Romania during World War II were vulnerable, Dej realized. In order to save his own life, he limited the number of suspects through cunning sabotage in 1950. He worked behind the scenes to link the Pauker-Luca group with Pătrăşcanu for a proper show trial, but then rumors of Stalin's health problems started to spread in September 1952. Dej decided to wait again. After the demotion of the Pauker-Luca group, the deaths of Stalin and Beria, and Khrushchev's reconciliation with Tito, the Romanians no longer needed a flashy show trial. However, to prevent Khrushchev from replacing him with Pătrăşcanu, Dej orchestrated a trial, which - because Pătrăşcanu refused to "confess" - took place secretly in front of a select audience (April 6-14, 1954), and Pătrăşcanu was executed at 3:00 a.m. on April 17, 1954.52 Even Dej’s pro-Stalin mask slipped shortly after the Generalissimo’s death, when Dej stalled on the proposal to rename monuments and towns after Stalin. At the PMR Politburo meeting of March 13, 1953, for example, Politburo member Chivu Stoica suggested naming the locomotive factory in Iaşi after Stalin. Emil Bodnăraş (then Minister of Defense and later Minister of Transportation) said: “I think we should ask them [the Russians] their opinion." Constantinescu pointed out how the Poles had named the town of Katowice "Stalinogród" (literally, the city of Stalin). But Dej just observed that Romania already had a town named after Stalin (Braşov), as well as a region of Bucharest called Stalin. He did not think it a good idea to ask the Russians their opinion because “it is not pleasant for them.”Although the PMR Politburo ultimately decided to name a series of factories, state farms, and monuments after Stalin over the next two years (1953-1955), Dej had simply urged: “Let’s obtain Stalinist results in the fields of industry, agriculture, and culture, and raise our level of awareness.”53 These results would be the best way to show our “dedication to the eternal memory of comrade Stalin,” he said.


Dej's less than stupefacient obeisance to the legends of communism is also illustrated by his disinclination to attend every key commemoration. At the March 12, 1956 PMR Politburo meeting, Chişinevschi reminded his colleagues that they should all meet on March 14 in Bucharest to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of Karl Marx’s death. Dej objected: The entire Politburo does not have to meet. We only need to convene for Stalin's seventieth birthday and the anniversary of Lenin's birth (April 22, 1870). Constantinescu countered: "Marx is the founder of scientific socialism. At the celebration of the liberation of China, we were all present in the presidium." But Dej insisted, “We need to prioritize which public demonstrations to attend, so we are not harassed (hârţuiască ) all the time with meetings," he said. It “decreases our prestige” when someone visits and we all go to the airport to wait.54 These remarks reveal the pragmatic, opportunistic side of Dej, who saw little use in honoring dead men; it would be more profitable to feign deference to the current leadership of the USSR so as to eventually break away from it. Concurrent with the crescendoing cacophony of mea culpas by Stalinist satraps and posthumous rehabilitations of murdered innocents throughout the bloc, the Dej leadership - as we will see - proceeded in the opposite direction. The earliest literary thaw developed in Hungary, 1953-1954, coinciding with Imre Nagy's brief tenure as Prime Minister (1953– 1955), during which he promoted the "New Course," a program to ease social tensions, end compulsory agricultural deliveries, and slow the rate of collectivization. Early poems written in 1953 and 1954 sharply diverged from the optimism of socalist realist literature by illustrating the exploitation and anger of the impoverished peasantry and the pain of dashed expectations: Péter Kuczka's Nyírségi napló (Nyírség Diary, 1953); László Nagy's Gyöngyszoknya (Skirt of Pearls, 1954); Zoltán Zelk's Este egy munkásvonaton (Evening on a Workers’ Train, 1954); and Ferenc Juhász's Tékozló ország (The Prodigal Country, 1954). New journals like Új Hang and Művelt Nép were established, which published the


works of previously suppressed writers, such as Magda Szabó, János Kodolányi, Lajos Kassák, Miklós Mészöly, Lőrinc Szabó, and István Vas. In October 1954 the poet Géza Képes established the Magvető publishing firm, which began publishing other previously banned works. In 1955 a younger generation of writers made their debut in an anthology of short stories entitled Emberavatás (Human Initiation), including Margit Szécsi, István Simon, Erzsébet Galgóczi, István Csurka, and Sándor Csóori. Gyula Illyés published poems calling for individual and national freedom, such as Bartók (1955) and Hunyadi keze (Hunyadi’s Hand, 1956). Written in 1950, his famous poem denouncing Stalinism, Egy mondat a zsarnokságról (A Sentence on Tyranny), finally appeared in Irodalmi Újság on November 2, 1956. Gyula Háy's article "Freedom and Responsibility," published in the same newspaper on September 10, 1955, urged the removal of bureaucratic barriers in art, which then inspired the drafting on October 18 of a memorandum demanding literary freedom, signed by sixty-four writers.55 Although the CC MDP denounced the memorandum as "rightist deviationist," Rákosi and his followers could not muffle the intellectuals, who pushed him increasingly on the defensive. On March 27, 1956 Rákosi gave a speech which, albeit unpublicized, rehabilitated László Rajk (the first victim of Stalin's anti-Tito campaign and former minister of internal affairs) and simultaneously discredited himself, since he had used Rajk's guilt to fuel numerous successive purges. Eventually, on July 18-21, 1956, Rákosi resigned and both János Kádár (then party secretary of the thirteenth district of Budapest) and József Révai (former minister of education) reentered the Hungarian Politburo.56 Crowds then forced the leadership to rebury Rajk's remains, along with those of Dr. Tibor Szönyi, András Szalai, and György Pálffy on October 6, 1956, which observers later construed as a “rehearsal for the [Hungarian] revolution.” Meanwhile, one day later, on June 28, workers staged a bloody revolt in the historical town of Poznań in western Poland. On August 4, 1956, the communist regime rehabilitated


and readmitted former first secretary Władysław Gomułka into the party.57 As in Hungary, however, the thaw began in Poland long before the twentieth CPSU congress. Broadcasts on Radio Free Europe beginning in September 1954 by Józef Światło, a high official of the Polish security police who defected in 1953, and Ilya Ehrenburg's novel "The Thaw" translated into Polish (Odwilż) in April 1955 - eroded the party's authority. In January 1955, the gifted Polish film director, Andrzej Wajda, then thirty-nine years old, debuted his first film "A Generation" (Pokolenie) about the Polish resistance. Although containing some lip service to socialist realist doctrine and not as remarkable as "Canal" (Kanał, 1957) and "Ashes and Diamonds" (Popiól i diament, 1958), the film excels in its striking images, motifs, fast-paced scenes, and high-contrast lightning. In March reformist intellectuals established the discussion club "Crooked Circle" (Krzywe Koło) in Warsaw and similar clubs spread throughout Poland. Warsaw became the venue for the World Youth Festival (July 31-August 14, 1955), attended by 30,000 foreign guests. At an exhibit during this festival entitled "Against War, Against Fascism," young artists and sculptors dared to debut their oil paintings that deviate from socialist realist art glorifying the proletariat's struggle toward socialist progress. These included Hilary Krzysztofiak's "Jaw" (Szczęka); Przemysław Brykalski's "Nudity" (Akt ), showing a male prisoner's bare back covered with bloody welts; Waldemar Cwenarski's expressionist "Conflagration" (Pożoga) displaying skulls amidst wild red flames; Marek Oberländer's "Branded" (Napiętnowani) depicting three Jewish men with Soviet-style red stars painted on their bald pates or foreheads; and Andrzej Wróblewski's "Mothers" (Matki) featuring inter alia a young woman feeding her infant, one breast exposed. Adam Ważyk published his "Poem for Adults" (Poemat dla dorosłych) on August 21, 1955, exposing the hypocrisy of socialism. "They drink sea water, crying: 'lemonade!' returning home secretly to vomit," he wrote.58 On April 12, 1956, a group of intellectuals in Warsaw sent a letter to the Chairman of the Council of State, condemning past abuses by the Polish security service and court system.59


In the People's Republic of China on May 2, 1956, chairman Mao Zedong launched the "hundred flowers bloom" campaign. After another speech on February 27, 1957 to reinvigorate the campaign, millions of letters began pouring in to the prime minister's office, especially between June 1 and July 17, 1957.60 In East Germany, as early as the Writers' Congress in January 1956, the Minister of Culture Johannes Becher complained of the bigotry of Wilhelm Girnus, the Ulbricht regime's propaganda guru.61 Writer Willi Bredel, president of the Academy of Art and veteran of the Spanish Civil War, rebuked Ulbricht at the congress of the SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) in March 1956. About the same time, the literary scholar Hans Mayer from Leipzig maligned as "primitive" the Gorky-Stalin formula that writers should be "engineers of human souls."62 In April 1956, Wolfgang Harich, a thirty-nine-year-old lecturer of Marxism at Humboldt University in East Berlin and editor-in-chief of Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, launched an argument about the preeminence of Marxist philosophy in the natural sciences, calling for more rationality in ideological polemics. The idealistic philosopher also penned a reformist “platform” and gave it to Georgii Pushkin, the Soviet Ambassador to the East Germany (German Democratic Republic, or GDR) on October 25, 1956. The loyal Soviet functionary - who had earlier served as Soviet ambassador to Hungary at the height of the anti-Tito campaign in the late 1940s - promptly handed it over to Ulbricht, who summoned Harich for a meeting.63 Harich enthusiastically explained his plans: disbandment of the Stasi, German reunification (envisaged in left Social Democratic terms), a purge of stalinist holdovers in the SED (including Ulbricht himself), legalization of the political opposition, and free elections.64 The newspaper Wochenpost published speeches by Tito and Gomułka, anti-GDR articles from the Polish press, and even Western press reports about the events in Hungary. The weekly newspaper Der Sonntag, edited by Gustav Just, published the


satirical parable, "A Modern Multiplication Table," describing how a math teacher had been drilling his pupils that two times two is nine. His colleagues decided to correct the problem gradually, telling students that two times two is eight, later that two times two is seven, and so on. To their shock, however, they learned that the naughty pupils had already scribbled on bathroom walls the "heresy" that two times two is four.65 Likewise in Prague, Czechoslovakia, at the Second Writers' Congress on April 22-29, 1956, writers such as the Slovak novelist Ladislav Mňačko, the childrens' poet František Hrubín, and Jaroslav Seifert, the first Czech to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1984), demanded greater artistic freedom and the release of imprisoned writers.66 A few days later, on April 26-27, a group of chemistry students of the faculty of math and physics at Charles University, including Ladislav Neměc, Michael Heyrovský, Zdeněk Herman, Stanislav Vavřička, and Zdeněk Dolejšek, convened a meeting under the auspices of the Communist Youth League (Komunistický Svaz Mládeže). They drafted a bold student resolution, calling for a public reassessment of the Slánský trial and stating that "the view of [first secretary Antonín] Novotný that the Central Committee (CC) must decide the most important questions of the party" is wrong.67 Then in Bratislava (May 12) and in Prague (May 20), thousands of students participated in the traditional student festival known as "Majáles," featuring parades with elaborate floats and clever slogans mocking the communist leadership.68 Albeit brief, another "thaw" occurred in Bulgaria, even before the twentieth CPSU congress. At a conference of the writers' union in December 1955, writers openly criticized Hristo Radevski, the union's secretary-general. In one article novelist Pavel Vezhinov groused about the "violation of artistic freedom" in Bulgaria.69 In the September 1957 issue of the newly resurrected and lively journal Plamak ("Flame"), Stoyan Daskalov published a story "From Love," about a party member's alleged misbehavior during a visit to the Soviet Union.70 Other works from the Bulgarian thaw include the poem "Silence" by


Atanas Dalchev;71 the play "Fear" by Todor Genov;72 the novel An Unauthentic Case by Emil Manov73; the play "The Buried Sun" by Orlin Vassilev;74 and the novel The Roads Bypass One Another 75 by Dragomir Assenov.76 Indeed, Bulgaria was the third satellite, in addition to Hungary and Poland, in which the twentieth CPSU congress and destalinization process led directly to the ouster of the incumbent Stalinist leader. This is perhaps due to the fact that, for the Stalinist Bulgarian leader Vulko Velev Chervenkov, as well as for Rákosi and Polish first secretary Edward Ochab, the chief victim of the anti-Titoist purges in their countries had been murdered or purged too long ago and thus they could not salvage their careers by pinning all Stalinist abuses on the respective martyr. Whereas the Rajk trial and execution occurred in September 1949, the demotion of Gomułka in November 1949, and the Kostov trial and execution in December 1949, the executions of Slánský and purge of the Pauker-LucaGeorgescu group occurred in 1952, and the execution of Pătrăşcanu took place in 1954.77 Accordingly, on April 17, 1956, after the April Plenum of the CC of the Bulgarian Commuist Party (Bulgarska Komunisticheska Partija, or BKP), Todor Zhivkov, who had become first secretary in 1954, accused Chervenkov of Stalinist abuses. Anton Yugov, the former chief of the Committee for State Security (popularly known as Darzhavna sigurnost, or DS), replaced Chervenkov as prime minister. (Zhivkov himself later assumed the prime ministership in 1962.) At one meeting in Sofia on April 11, 1956, attendees concluded that the personality cult had resulted in unjust punishment of innocent people, including the arch victim Traicho Kostov.78 A wave of rehabilitations ensued.79 In the midst of this liberalization in the domestic politics of neighboring socialist bloc countries, the Dej leadership actually reversed course. He stalled even longer than Hungarian leader Matyás Rákosi and East German leader Walter Ulbricht in reporting on the twentieth CPSU congress of February 1956. Just as Novotný and his colleagues Antonín Zápotocký (president) and Viliam Široký (prime minister) blamed Stalinist mistakes on the


safely liquidated scapegoat Slánský to exculpate themselves, Dej deftly claimed that the PMR had already been "disinfected" of all Stalinists in 1952, when Foreign Minister Ana Pauker, Minister of Finance Vasile Luca, and Minister of Internal Affairs Teohari Georgescu were ousted. Tipped off in advance by Alexandru Moghioroş (Sándor Mogyorós) that Constantinescu and Chişinevschi were plotting against him, Dej orchestrated a thorough clearing of the air at the Politburo sessions convened on April 3, 4, 6, and 12, 1956. A closing of ranks among the party elite then ensued, which would enable the party leadership to avoid a Hungarian-style revolt in Romania six months later.80 Other factors extrinisic to Dej's personality also helped him to control the population and survive destalinization. Although sporadic, partisan resistance continued in the Carpathian mountains until the early 1960s, no major unrest had erupted earlier in Romania after World War II, particularly one forcing the communist leadership to implement reforms, unlike in East Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1953, in Poland in 1956, in the Russian Soviet Republic (Noril'sk and Vorkuta in 1953, Novoshakhtinsk and Kimovsk in 1955), in the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan (Kengir in 1954, Ekibastuz in 1955), and Tbilisi, Georgia in March 1956.81 This can perhaps be attributed to the mass arrests and deportations between 1944 and 1951 of those groups of people who might oppose the Bucharest regime (e.g. ethnic Germans and Serbs, noncommunist politicians, kulaks, intellectuals, and clerics). The Bucharest authorities had more or less broken the Romanians' spirit. Indeed, Romania lacked the hallmarks of a thaw. No revolt had erupted in the years after Stalin's death, nor had a recently rehabilitated leader emerged with a popular reformist agenda. Romanian intellectuals had not signed any petition demanding changes, and no political discussion circle swelled in attendance. Certainly neither high-level defectors from the secret police broadcasted grisly revelations on Radio Free Europe, nor did philosophers proffer explicit "platforms" for remodeling society. No newly revived


journals or newspapers published increasingly bolder, more critical articles. In general, no novels, poems, films, paintings, or newspaper articles sharply diverged from socialist realist tenets. Two exceptions are the candid poems of the young Nicolae Labiş or the novel by Marin Preda, Moromeţii ("The Moromete Family"), written in 1955 recounting the sufferings of a family of peasants who lose their land and dignity in the interim between two totalitarian regimes.82 In contrast to the intelligentsia in the bloc countries described above, the Romanian intelligentsia remained paralyzed. Dej and the party ideologue Leonte Răutu disempowered them by coaxing the dull writer Alexandru Jar into denouncing the cult of personality among the intelligentsia in an interview for Gazeta Literară (April 12), which led to his expulsion from the Writers’ Union in May 1956. 83 The writer “leads a double life (viaţa dublă) - one that is split between his private thoughts and public persona,” Jar groused in another speech at a party meeting in the Stalin region of Bucharest in May.84 Dej’s selection of Jar, of all people, succeeded in discrediting in the intelligentsia’s eyes the entire destalinization effort, which intellectuals assumed to be a sham. To placate intellectuals, the regime allowed the publication of some previously banned works by the poets Octavian Goga, George Bacovia, and Tudor Arghezi, and the novelists Liviu Rebreanu and Camil Petrescu. Nevertheless, already coopted and controlled by the party’s main instruments, the creative unions - Writers’ Union, Composers’ Union, and Fine Artists’ Union - the Romanian intelligentsia avoided an open clash with the Dej regime. They limited themselves to “safer” literary polemics and affiliated themselves with rival journals like Gazeta literară (led by Zaharia Stancu, Petru Dumitriu, and Paul Georgescu), Viaţa românească (headed by Ovid Crohmălniceanu, Nicolae Tertulian, and Marin Preda); Utunk (the Hungarian-language journal of the Writers Union led by Mihai Beniuc), or Steaua (led by Anatol Baconski in Cluj).85 In fact, one Romanian novelist, Petru Dumitriu,


actually denounced the Hungarian revolution in the Writers’ Union’s official weekly.86 The Romanian literary journal Contemporanul also chastised Polish writers for rejecting the "universally valid" concept of "socialist realism" and "wondered" if Polish literature could flourish if it continued on this "new" course.87 Lacking ties with oppositional figures in the party leadership like Constantinescu and Chişinevschi, intellectuals did not even try to set up an opposition movement. While thousands of political prisoners were released in neighboring bloc countries, Dej organized new waves of purges and arrests to stifle writers and artists, accusing them of “bourgeois nationalism,” "seeking refuge in the past," and "loss of contact with the people."88 On June 16-17, 1956, just one week before the Polish workers’ revolt in Poznań (June 28), Dej even purged a group of old communist veterans, the so-called “Eremia group.”89 For allegedly opposing the party’s economic and membership policies, Dej expelled General Ion Eremia from the party, and censured his “accomplices,” such as Constantin Agiu, Victor Duşa, Dumitru Petrescu, and others.90 Thus, while fêting visiting delegations of old Soviet militants, Dej pitilessly amerced Romania’s own old militants, even some of his most loyal supporters who had participated in the Griviţa railway strike of February 15-16, 1933, the key legitimizing event for the underground Romanian communists. Trained as an iron turner, fifty-year-old Petrescu had staunchly supported Dej when they were confined together in Doftana prison. He protested his fate. “I performed self-criticism on June 14. I wasn't aware of my shortcomings…[T]he Politburo didn’t tell me what they disapproved of in my statement…[I]f they had told me which things were sinful [nejuste], I would have taken the correct position.”91 But Dej did not budge. Although Petrescu had participated in the Griviţa strike like Dej himself, and had been sentenced in 1933 to fifteen years of hard labor, the underground communist network had nevertheless helped Petrescu to escape from Doftana and go on to study at the Leninist school of the Comintern


in Moscow from 1935-1938,, leaving Dej behind in prison until 1944.92 Petrescu thus qualified as one of the elite Muscovites whom Dej envied and distrusted.93 On June 1956 the Dej leadership again came under attack for its past errors, not by political colleagues or intellectuals, but by lower party officials. However, as reported by Imre Juhász (third secretary, ad interim, in the Hungarian Embassy in Bucharest), Dej made sure that such attacks were made in small, private meetings of the party aktiv (core of activists), certainly not in any large public fora like the Petőfi Circle in Budapest. Juhász transmitted a conversation between Jenő György, de facto third secretary of the Hungarian Embassy, and "comrade M.K.," one of the elite physicians for members of the PMR nomenklatura. Even in the face of frequent harsh criticism, M.K. observed, Dej and his colleagues exhibited "extraordinary patience" [rendkívüli türelem] and answered each remark calmly, "in a politician's tone" of voice.94 At some meetings, officials rebuked Dej for his many romantic escapades with ravishing actresses, such as Dina Cocea and Elvira Godeanu of the Bucharest National Theater. To be sure, these affairs were not exactly illicit, since Dej was, after all, a bachelor by 1933. In 1926 he had married Maria Stere Alexe, the daughter of a local trader and an allegedly compulsive tippler, but she initiated divorce proceedings in the year of the Griviţa strikes. He had wanted in 1938 to marry Elena Sârbu (a militant communist and sister of Victoria Sârbu, the mistress of Ştefan Foriş), but she died while in the Piteşti prison during the bombings in 1944.95 Dej's infringement of individual rights at home extended even to his own daughters when their love interests harmed his political image. Party officials condemned the "scandalous behavior" of the two young women, who shared their father's fascination with the stage and professional entertainers. Dej's younger daughter, Constantina ("Tanţi"), born in 1931, earned a degree as an engineer and lectured at the Bucharest Polytechnic Institute, but she fell in love with the "bourgeois" singer Cezar Grigoriu. Enraged, Dej in 1956 instructed Colonel Isidor Hollinger, head of the Securitate's counter-espionage


directorate, to interrogate and beat him. Against her father's will, Tanţi nevertheless eloped with Grigoriu.96 After rumors of his infidelity, she later divorced him and married the actor Stamate Popescu.97 Dej's older daughter, Vasilica or "Lica" (1928-1987) became an actress herself and starred in several films in the early 1960s. She achieved a degree of prominence, more due to her father's clout, than to any inborn talent. As contemporary critics said, Lica was "nu e talentata, dar e tare-n tată" (not talented, but strong-in-father). In 1958, in her sister Tanţi's apartment, Lica met Gheorghe Placinteanu, a dapper thirtyfour-year-old medical doctor and recent divorcé. The thirty-year-old actress began a secret affair with him, despite the fact that she was already married to the lawyer Marcel Popescu and had three small children.98 She then divorced Popescu that same year. Nevertheless, Dej had Placinteanu accused of speculation and sentenced to five years in prison. Lica swore she would wait for him, but tragically, Placinteanu died in jail two years later, allegedly of heart failure.99 In 1961, Lica married the engineer Gheorghe Rădoi, director of the Steagul Roşu (Red Flag) factory in Braşov. While he did not flinch from beating or murdering his daughters' undesirable boyfriends, Dej also did not hesitate to dole out plum jobs to the ones he did favor. Setting an example of nepotism for Ceauşescu, Dej appointed Rădoi as minister of the machine construction industry in 1963, and deputy prime minister in 1965.100 He had promoted Lica's first husband, Marcel Popescu, to the CC PMR as minister of foreign trade in 1954, and then as minister of trade from 1957 to 1959.101 Ceauşescu, of course, went further, appointing his wife Elena - a high school dropout - as deputy prime minister, his son Nicu as secretary of the Union of Working Youth (Uninea Tineretului Muncitoresc or UTM), his younger brother Ilie as deputy defense minister, his older brother Marin as head of the Romanian trade mission in Vienna, and roughly three dozen other members of the Ceauşescu clan as high officials in the party and government. Like his predecessor, incidentally, Ceauşescu also punished his offspring for their choices of romantic partners.


When his older son Valentin, a physicist, married Iordana (Dana) Borilă, Petre Borilă's daughter, the dictator forbade his daughter-in-law from setting foot in any of his many homes.102 The best defense is offense. To counter any accusations that Dej himself suffered from a cult of personality, he immediately dumped the 52-year-old Elvira Godeanu in reaction to the officials' criticism. He also moved into a smaller villa and reduced the number of his personal bodyguards from five to two. Other high officials, who previously had two or more bodyguards, such as Ceauşescu (then secretary of the CC PMR responsible for organizational problems), János (Ion) Fazekas (member of the CC PMR and Secretariat), and Mihai Mujic (general secretary of the Central Council of Trade Unions) were restricted to just one bodyguard or were deprived altogether.103 Claiming that the party had already purged itself in 1952 of Stalinists; squelching the challenge of Constantinescu and Chişinevschi in March-April; disarming the intelligentsia; expelling old veterans from the party; keeping party debates off the streets; and downsizing his personal life were just the beginning in Dej's quest to stay in power, prevent unrest in Romania, and achieve more independence from Moscow. In stark contrast to his attempts to expand contacts in foreign policy, Dej maintained firm control of domestic politics, including strict control of the press. While the BBC and Radio Free Europe, Borba and Politika, the abovementioned East German Wochenpost, and other newspapers and radio stations provided detailed accounts of events in Hungary, all a Romanian citizen could glean from the party paper Scânteia and Romanian news agency Agerpress was that on the night of October 23, certain "subversive, hostile elements," prepared well in advance by the foreign "imperialists," had tried to use a student demonstration to stir up a "counterrevolutionary rebellion." According to the articles in Scânteia, despite the fact that these "fascist hooligans" had robbed stores and broken windows of apartments, the Hungarian army itself soon maintained order, independent of the Soviet army.104 Reams of


newsprint were devoted to Dej’s visit to Yugoslavia on October 20-29, 1956 so as to distract readers from the events in Hungary.105 Indeed, as the vortex of events in Hungary accelerated, the Romanian press grew more sycophantic in observance of Romanian-Soviet Friendship Month. Hence the irony, that while Soviet tanks were crushing the Hungarian freedom fighters twice in a two-week period, Romanians paid unctuous homage to the Kremlin the entire month, thanking it for its “policy of peace” and for “Soviet assistance to Romania."106 This distortion and servility frustrated Romanian citizens, of course, but it also enraged Hungarian journalists. As envoy F. Păcuraru reported back to Bucharest from Budapest, an editor named Vajna from the Hungarian Telegraphic Agency (Magyar Távirati Iroda or MTI) stated that the “Stalinist immobility” and “cowardly servility” of the Romanian communist party strengthen the Soviet Union’s belief that it can “redden the Eastern countries even farther.” The noted poet Zoltán Zelk107 opined that the Romanians’ servility, as expressed in the press, could hinder the process of “socialist democratization.”108 Romanian journalists and diplomats, in turn, were shocked by the vehemence of the Hungarians' anti-Sovietism. Indeed, in their written accounts of events in Hungary in 1956, Romanian apparatchiks revealed more about their own prejudices than the events they described. According to one Securitate report, Edmund Pollák, a Romanian citizen of Hungarian ethnicity and editor for the Scientific Publishing House (Editura Ştiinţifică), was "scandalized" by the anti-Soviet attitude of a Hungarian journalist and communist party member named Kurti, who had not even been in Hungary since October 25, 1956.109 Romanian diplomat Elena Benkö reported the gist of Hungarian articles in an alarmed tone. “Lately, the radio and press have been using the terms 'Stalinism' and 'Rákosism' with greater frequency.”110 She continued: “The main newspapers have published several articles which highlight Mátyás Rákosi’s guilt for what has happened in the past few


years.” The attention Imre Nagy received after October 13, when he rejoined the MDP amazed her. Even before Hungarian newspapers published on October 16 Nagy’s letter to the CC MDP requesting readmittance, she wrote, “comrade Magda Jaboru, deputy minister of education, publicly announced, during a meeting of the Petőfi Circle [Petőfi Kör], that the problem would soon be resolved.” On October 18-19, “the entire Hungarian daily press” publicized Nagy’s reinstatement as professor in the department of agricultural economy of the Karl Marx Faculty of Political Economy. Nagy repeatedly received "congratulatory telegrams," like the one from the agrarian section of the Journalists’ Union, which the radio and newspapers publicized. In fact, she wrote, in certain circles, people even complained that only the Politburo, and not the CC, decided to readmit Nagy into the party. "Some say this is because there was too much opposition in the CC about readmitting Nagy, or that there was too little time before the Hungarian delegation left for Yugoslavia."111 Of all the Hungarian newspapers, Benkö wrote, Népszava took the most "sensationalist approach" to events. It published on October 14 a declaration by Pál Justus (one of the victims in the Rajk affair who was freed from prison in 1955) regarding László Rajk’s last words. Népszava was also the only newspaper to publish a declaration by Rajk’s wife, announce the decision of the peoples' council in Tolna county to change a street name from Rákosi to Rajk, and to publicize the ceremonial reburials of the rest of the people implicated in the Rajk trial. Such reburials took place every Saturday afternoon for the past three weeks, Benkö stated. Népszava's "hostile provocation" [provocare dusmănoasă] was not surprising, she added; its editor was Zoltán Horváth - erstwhile deputy general secretary of the Social Democratic Party and political prisoner from 1951 to 1956.112 Meanwhile, in Dej’s Romania, few former political prisoners and members of noncommunist political parties could escape rearrest by provocation or at least harassment, let alone become editors of newspapers. According to newly declassified Securitate documents,


including speeches by Alexandru Drăghici (minister of internal affairs) and Gheorghe Pintilie (a Soviet agent and deputy minister of internal affairs), the agency - well in advance of the Hungarian revolt - had delineated the categories of suspicious people to be shadowed closely. The black list included former political prisoners, landlords, merchants, priests, kulaks (chiaburi), former members of non-communist parties, and legionaires (i.e. members of the Iron Guard, an ultranationalist, anti-Semitic, fascist movement active from 1927 until the 1940s). 113 Muffling the Romanian press was only one of a vast array of rigorous security measures that the Dej regime implemented at the height of the Hungarian uprising. Whereas in Hungary in December, women could get away with physically pummeling Soviet military officers without punishment, in Romania, innocent students were arrested en masse just for asking for more information about Hungary.114 In addition to inaugurating a pattern of simultaneous openness in foreign policy and repression at home, Dej also choreographed the exodus of Soviet troops from Romania in 1958, a feat necessitating patience, tact, and deception. Nothing would have happened against the Russians' will, of course, but Dej and his colleagues subtly planted the seed in Khrushchev's mind and then let him believe it was Khrushchev's own idea from the start. Article 21 of the Paris Peace Treaty (September 15, 1947) had legalized the Soviet troop presence in Romania.Consequently, the signing on May 15, 1955 of the Austrian State Treaty, providing for a free and sovereign Austria thrilled the Romanians, especially Dej.115 He knew, however, that if you want something badly enough, it is best to pretend the opposite. In an article in the London Observer on July 31, 1955, émigré Hungarian journalist Lajos Lederer claimed that the Soviet Union intended to pull out all troops from Romania by October 1, 1955.116 Soon thereafter, A. I. Bradford, vice president of United Press International, sent a telegram to Dej to clarify. In a full-page article in Scânteia on August 12, 1955, the Romanian general secretary angrily denied the claim and stressed that


the Soviet army would remain in Romania as long as NATO existed.117 However, at a PMR Politburo session that same month, officials did indeed discuss the issue. In fact, despite having been selected by the PMR Politburo to raise the issue of troop withdrawal with Khrushchev personally when the latter visited Romania for the August 23 holiday, Dej behind the backs of the Politburo members - coopted Bodnăraş instead for the task.118 Although Pătrăşcanu was now safely liquidated, Dej wanted to avoid alienating Khrushchev by the proposal and being replaced as a result. He knew that the Russians trusted Bodnăraş more, due to the latter's long experience in the USSR and fluency in Russian. With Bodnăraş Dej rehearsed possible arguments to use to persuade Khrushchev. One of them worked especially well. As Khrushchev later recalled in his diary: The Romanians exchanged glances. Obviously they had already talked this matter among themselves. […] 'We just didn't want you to think that we were standing firm on Socialist positions because your troops are stationed on our territory. We're standing firm because we believe in building Socialism and in following Marxist-Leninist policies, and because our people recognize us as their leaders and support us completely.' I was more than satisfied […] I believed the Romanian comrades were sincere.119 Dej also took great pains not to appear overly eager to see the troops leave. He responded only six days later to the long-awaited letter from Khrushchev of April 17, 1958, announcing plans to withdraw troops.120 When the Soviet general secretary wrote on September 9, 1958 that most of the Soviet advisors would also be recalled, Dej waited until September 26 to briefly "accept" the proposal.121 He even requested on January 22, 1959 that Moscow send five more military specialists to Romania.122 By December 1964, Romania became the first and only Warsaw Pact country from which both Soviet troops and advisors were completely withdrawn during the Cold War, but these events received surprisingly little attention at the time.123 This can be explained, in part, because the West downplayed it as merely one of "Khrushchev's gambits in his maneuvering with the West," but also because the Dej regime itself eschewed fanfare in the press. The party leadership permitted only two foreign press correspondents - one each from the London Observer and 27

the West German press agency, Deutsche Presse-Agentur - to cover the event. It forbade personnel from Western embassies from traveling to the major cities to witness the exiting troops.124 Ordinarily, a self-respecting sovereign leader might want nothing better than to send his country's erstwhile occupiers packing and to avenge the abuses from 1944 on. Dej, however, let the Russians take the credit whenever possible, making sure the press portrayed the troop departure as the Russians' own magnanimous gesture, and not in any way a retreat. Ignoring the advice of the Soviet women two years earlier, Dej spared no expenses to make the point; the ends justified the masochistic means. Brummagem ceremonies were held to thank the Soviet Union for "liberating" Romania. No one mentioned either the fact that the Romanians had fought alongside the Russians against the Germans in World War II, or that the Soviet occupation had bled the Romanian economy dry. According to the inventory compiled by a Soviet-Romanian commission that convened between April 10 and July 29, 1958, the Russians had appropriated property valued at well over ninety million lei, including a total of 5,658 rooms; 60,093 pieces of furniture; 304 pieces of equipment [utilaje]; 1,977 barracks or other buildings; and 7,674.35 hectares (about 17.30 acres or .07 square kilometers) of land.125 Romanian citizens lodged at least twenty-nine complaints regarding fatalities or property damages. All but three were rejected as groundless. While Soviet authorities paid 21,900 lei to three citizens whose relatives were killed in car accidents caused by Russians, the Romanian government in four other cases paid pensions to children whose parents Russians had accidentally killed.126 On August 5, 1958, General M. Gusev sent a list of the Soviet advisors’ expenses to General-Lieutenant Ion Tutoveanu, head of the Romanian High Command, demanding reimbursement.127 The Bucharest regime quietly foot the bill. To the Soviets' cheek, the Romanians turned the other. They bestowed gifts and awards instead. All Soviet commanders of large units received leather bound photo albums of the


Romanian army, collections of military songs, glossy postcards, cigarettes, and bottles of wine and ţuică (Romanian plum brandy). The Presidium of the Grand National Assembly solemnly awarded the "Freedom from the Fascist Yoke" Medal to all the Soviet armed forces in Romania.128 Manufactured crowds of thousands greeted the departing Soviet forces at major railroad stations such as Timişoara, Iaşi, Galaţi, and Bucharest. Applecheeked young girls in colorful costumes gave the men flowers and gifts, apparently unaware of how Russian soldiers had raped girls their age just over a decade earlier. Conclusion In short, thanks to the regime of Dej - not Ceauşescu - Romania became the first bloc country to expel both Soviet troops and advisors. Barely two weeks after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, intelligence reports warned of a massive deployment of Soviet troops on Romanian borders. Had Soviet troops still been stationed within Romania, Ceauşescu probably would not have challenged Moscow's authority so blatantly. To be sure, the troop withdrawal by itself was not the only causal factor in Romania's growing obstreperousness regarding the USSR. Tensions between the two countries both preceded and succeeded the withdrawal in 1958, including Soviet efforts to keep Romania primarily agricultural. Long years in prison and the slow climb to power taught Dej that deception is the best stratagem. As his comment to Silviu Brucan indicates, his actions were deliberate. Masking repression at home with bridge-building in foreign policy enabled the Romanian leader to survive destalinization, while patient obsequiousness influenced the Khrushchev regime to withdraw Red Army troops in 1958. Bucharest reached out to foreign scientists, press correspondents, academics, artists, party veterans, and womens' and youth groups from Western countries, the USSR, and Hungary, especially the city of Debrecen. At the same time, Dej engineered further purges of party officials, silenced Constantinescu and Chişinevschi, and scapegoated Alexandru Jar into discrediting any destalinization in creative endeavors. With the exception of the arch Stalinist and anti-Titoist Albania, 29

Romania was the only country where intellectuals avoided an open clash with the regime, influenced partly by the lack of any earlier revolt in post-war Romania that would have forced the regime to make concessions. Meanwhile, literary thaws actually preceded the twentieth CPSU congress in Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, and the GDR and later burgeoned briefly in Czechoslovakia and Mao's China. Unjustified mass arrests, torture, and nepotism prevailed long before Ceauşescu took power. Even today, although Romania has now joined the European Union (January 1, 2007), blackmail and bribe-taking continues in government circles. The Roma (gypsies) confront serious discrimination. Fagin-style criminal gangs from Romania are trafficking thousands of other gypsy children into Great Britain to work as pickpockets. Many orphans spawned by Ceauşescu's anti-abortion law - some of whom are not even mentally ill - have been committed to psychiatric institutions, where they suffer from malnutrition and infection. Little legal protection exists against domestic violence and police brutality. Both President Traian Băsescu and Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu have themselves made racist slurs. Băsescu has also been accused of nepotism vis-a-vis his twenty-five-yearold daughter Elena, now General Secretary of the Youth Organization of the DemocratLiberal Party (PDL). Twenty-twenty hindsight is the occupational hazard of historians. If déjà vu is familiarity without awareness, then hindsight is awareness without familiarity. The past may not repeat itself, but the international community must not be deceived by lofty words and instead hold each country accountable for its actions, both at home and abroad.




On December 15, 1972, Romania became a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and in 1973 Romania became the first Warsaw Pact country to conduct less than one-half of its foreign trade with other communist nations. Well over fifty-five percent of Romanian trade by 1980 was with the industrialized free-enterprise countries or with developing countries. H. Jeffrey Leonard, Pollution and the Struggle for the World Product (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006): p. 148; Peter N. Stearns and William L. Langer, ed., The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically Arranged (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001), p. 901. 2 "Ready to Fight," Time Magazine, September 6, 1968. http://www.time.com/time/ magazine/article/0,9171,900323,00.html. 3 In other cases, Securitate doctors reportedly subjected strike leaders to five minutes of chest Xrays to guarantee the eventual development of cancer. See R. J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century (London and New York: Routledge, 1994): p. 355. 4 Decree 770 proscribing abortion was promulgated on October 1, 1966. Between 1966 and 1989, as many as ten thousand women died of complications from illegal abortions. Nicola Gavey, Just Sex? The Cultural Scaffolding of Rape (London; New York: Routledge, 2005): p. 123. With typical black humor, Romanians tell the story of the policeman who caught two teenagers having sex in the park. The girl was sentenced to two years in prison for prostitution, the boy to three years for rape, and the policeman to five years for illegal contraception. Quoted in Barbara Łobodzińska, Family, Women, and Employment in Central-Eastern Europe (Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1995), p. 206. By the late 1980s, two hundred thousand unwanted babies were placed in state orphanages and received little human nurturing. Those who lived there for one to three years now have permanent personality disorders as teenagers and adults. See Theresa L. Puckett, Medical Mission to Romania: An Inward and Outward Journey (Victoria, B.C.: Trafford, 2003): p. 19, and John Dowling, The Great Brain Debate: Nature or Nurture? (Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press, 2004): p. 130. Also Gail Kligman, The Politics of Duplicity Controlling Reproduction in Ceauşescu's Romania (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), p. 190. 5 Born as Gheorghe Gheorghiu (1901-1965), the Romanian leader affixed the name "Dej" to his surname in the early 1930s, after working in a salt mining city of that name in northwestern Romania, sixty kilometers north of Cluj. For brevity's sake, I will refer to him in this article simply as "Dej." 6 Vladimir Tismăneanu, Fantomă lui Gheorghiu-Dej (Bucharest: Univers, 1995): p. 105. English translation is by Dennis Deletant, Communist Terror in Romania: Gheorghiu-Dej and the Police State, 1948-1965 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999): p. ix. 7 See, for example, Dennis Deletant, "Romania within the Warsaw Pact: Ambivalence and Ambiguities, 1955-1981 Collection," at http://www.ispaim.ro/warsaw/fore.htm. The view that Moscow regarded Romania as a loyal ally is expressed in Vladimir Tismăneanu, "Gheorghiu-Dej and the Romanian Workers’ Party: From De-Sovietization to the Emergence of National Communism,” Working Paper no. 37 (Washington: Cold War International History Project (CWIHP), Woodrow Wilson Center, May 2002): p. 33; and János M. Rainer, Nagy Imre: politikai életrajz, 1953-1958, vol. 2 (Budapest: 1956-os Intézet, 1999), p. 346. Even the Romanian people themselves regarded their country as the most obedient Soviet ally. A Securitate agent overheard the comment in late October, 1956, that "in all the peoples' democracies, rebellions have taken place, and it is only Romania that is loyal to the Soviet Union."ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 74/1956, ff. 34-41, "Buletin informativ intocmit de Secţia Organelor de partid a CC al PCR, Bucureşti, 28 octombrie 1956, oră 20.30” in Corneliu Lungu and Mihai Retegan, 1956 Explozia: Percepţii române, iugoslave şi sovietice asupra evenimentelor din Polonia

şi Ungaria (Bucharest: Editura Univers Enciclopedic, 1996): p. 116. Historian Stephen FischerGalaţi argues, on the contrary, that Dej may have planned a nationalist course as early as 1945 and began to implement it as early as 1955. See Fischer-Galaţi, Twentieth Century Rumania, 2d ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991) and Bernard A. Cook, Europe Since 1945: an Encyclopedia (New York; London: Garland, 2001): p. 643. 8 Soviet troops remained in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and East Germany until the early 1990s. Troops were permanently stationed in Czechoslovakia only after the 1968 Prague Spring. However, Soviet army units never reached Albania, and only passed through Yugoslavia in 1944, never to return there. Soviet troops left Bulgaria in 1947 and Austria in 1955. The Securitate and KGB continued to share intelligence data in the ensuing decades, however. 9 Silviu Brucan, Generaţia irosită. Memorii (Bucharest: Editurile Univers & Calistrat Hogas, 1992): p. 72. Also cited in Ioana Boca, 1956. Un an de ruptură. România între internaţionalismul proletar şi stalinismul antisovietic (Bucharest:Fundaţia Academica Civică: 2001), p. 125. 10 The official name for the Romanian national archives (Bucharest) is Arhivele Naţionale Istorice Centrale (ANIC), or National Central Historical Archives of Romania. Communist party archival documents were delivered to the National Archives after 1989. The Foreign Ministry archive is known as Arhivă Diplomatică Ministerul Afacerilor Externe (Arh. MAE). To my knowledge, all documents cited alone here have not yet been published or translated into English. These include Politburo minutes, protocols, and diplomatic telegrams sent to the Romanian leaders in Bucharest from Budapest. All passages are cited in the original Romanian as they appear in the documents. However, it should be noted that in 1993 the Romanian Academy decided to reverse the orthographic reform of 1953. Except at the beginning of a word or in compound words, the letter â replaces î (e.g. România, not Romînia). See Dennis Deletant, Colloquial Romanian: A Complete Language Course, 2nd ed. (London and New York: Routledge, 1995), p. 7. 11 Arh. MAE (Bucharest), fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 49, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 22057. Trimisă de MAE către Ambasada României din Budapesta 16. IV. 1956 oră 08.00. Also Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 84, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 24241. Trimisă de MAE (DR 3) către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 31. V. 1956. 12 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 68, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 22077. Trimisă de MAE (DRI) către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 13. V. 1956 oră 14.00. Financial discussions began in Athens in early May, and a Romanian economic delegation headed by M. Novac went to London in late May. See Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 71, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 25851. Trimisă de MAE (DR 3) către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 28. V. 1956; and Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 49, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 22057. Trimisă de MAE către Ambasada României din Budapesta 16. IV. 1956 oră 08.00. 13 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 84, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 24241. Trimisă de MAE (DR 3) către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 31. V. 1956. 14 ANIC (Bucharest), Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 113/1956, f. 42. "Notă transmisă de Insărcinatul cu Afaceri al S.U.A. la Bucureşti Ministerului Afacerilor Externe, 20 septembrie 1956." Also see Don Dixon, "Russia and Four of Her Satellites Invited to Observe Free Elections in U.S." The Washington Post and Times Herald (September 29, 1956), p. 1; "Election Bid Declined by Two Satellites," The Washington Post and Times Herald (October 17, 1956), p. A15; and "Romanians See U.S. Vote; Now Welsh on Swap," Chicago Daily Tribune (January 25, 1957), p. 11. 15 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 73, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 24208. Trimisă de MAE către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 16. V. 1956 oră 14.00. Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 90, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 24526.

Trimisă de MAE către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 6. VI. 1956 oră 15.00. 16 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 236. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 27. V. 1956. Also Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 73, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 24208. Trimisă de MAE către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 16. V. 1956 oră 14.00. 17 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 90, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 24526. Trimisă de MAE către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 6. VI. 1956 oră 15.00. 18 See, respectively, ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 24/1956, filele 1-6. “Stenograma şedinţei cu delegaţia femeilor sovietice, din 19 martie 1956;" dosar nr. 43/1956, ff. 1-13, "Stenograma întîlnirii cu delegaţia Comsomolului, care ne-a vizitat ţara (23.IV.1956)"; dosar nr. 117/1956, f. 4. "Protocol nr. 51 al şedinţei Biroullui Politic al CC al PMR din ziua de 12 octombrie 1956"; and dosar nr. 110/1956, ff. 5-6. "Plan de măsuri pentru sărbătorirea Lunii Prieteniei Româno-Sovietice (7.X. - 7.XI. 1956)." The exact date of the dinner given in honor of the old Soviet militants was not specified. Founded in April 1925, VOKS sought to popularize the cultures of the Soviet republics overseas. On April 8, 1994, it was renamed the Russian Center of International Scientific and Cultural Collaboration of the Government of the Russian Federation (Rossiiskii Tsentr Mezhdunarodnogo Nauchnogo i Kul'turnogo Sotrudnichestva pri Pravitel'stve Rossiiskoi Federatsii, or Roszarubezhtsentr). 19 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 120/1956, f. 4. “Protocol nr. 43 al şedinţei Secretariatului CC al PMR din ziua de 20 octombrie 1956.” Glucovschi's first name was not given. 20 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 43/1956, f. 1. “Stenograma întîlnirii cu delegaţia Comsomolului, care ne-a visitat ţara (23.IV.1956). Aksionov's first name was not mentioned in the document. 21 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 24/1956, ff. 3, 5. “Stenograma şedinţei cu delegaţia femeilor sovietice, din 19 martie 1956. Tukanova's full name was not provided. 22 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 110/1956, ff. 1-2. “Plan de măsuri pentru sărbătorirea Lunii Prieteniei Româno-Sovietice (7.X. - 7.XI. 1956). 23 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 40/1956, f. 43, 6 aprilie 1956. 24 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 120/1956, ff. 41-42, 15.IX.1956. 25 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 129/1956, filele 1-4. “Protocol nr. 46 al şedinţei Secretariatului CC al PMR din ziua de 12 noiembrie 1956.” 26 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 120/1956, f. 4. "Protocol nr. 43 al şedinţei Secretariatului CC al PMR din ziua de 20 octombrie 1956." 27 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 27. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 25. I. 1956. 28 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 131. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta câtre MAE, 22. III. 1956, oră 15.00. 29 On March 5, MAE informed the Hungarian embassy that diplomats could be treated free of charge at the elite polyclinic of the PMR's own CC members. Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 31, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 23320. Trimisă de MAE către la Ambasada României din Budapesta, 6. III. 1956, oră 17. 30. 30 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 76. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta câtre MAE, 22 feb. 1956. 31 John F. Kreis, Piercing the Fog: Intelligence and Army Air Forces in World War II (Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, 2004), p. 210. 32 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 146. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 9. IV. 1956, oră 18.30; and Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 2, număr 83, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 372.

Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 21. VIII. 1956, oră 15.10. 33 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 2, număr 6, #14926, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 289. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 05. VII. 1956, oră 18.30. 34 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 146. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapest către MAE, 10. IV. 1956, oră 08.00. 35 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, #13759, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 274. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 21. VI. 1956. 36 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 2, număr 54, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 342. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 09. VIII. 1956. 37 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 2, număr 81, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 369. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 20. VIII. 1956, oră 18.30. Ion Popescu (1906-1993) served as Romanian ambassador to Hungary from December 7, 1955 to February 7, 1959. His surname is often hyphenated as Popescu-Puţuri, because he was born in the village of Puţuri, Dolj county, in southwestern Romania. After Dej's death in 1965, Ceauşescu appointed Popescu to lead a party commission to rehabilitate key purge victims, such as Ştefan Foriş, Lucretiu Pătrăşcanu, Vasile Luca, and Miron Constantinescu. See “Ion PuţuriPopescu,” in Florica Dobre and Liviu Marius Bejenaru, eds. Membrii C.C. al P.C.R., 1945-1989: Dicţionar (Bucharest: Editura Enciclopedica, 2004): 484-485. 38 See the telegrams: Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 22, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 22323. Trimisă de MAE către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 22. II. 1956 oră 13.30; and dosar nr. 37, volum 2, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 28913. Trimisă de MAE (Mălnăşan) către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 24. X. 1956 oră 19.20. 39 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 40/1956, f. 1. “Protocol no. 17 al şedinţei Secretariatului CC al PMR din 18 aprilie 1956.” Melita Apostol (née Scherf), a Romanian journalist and veteran communist party member, married Gheorghe Apostol in 1944, but separated from him in 1956. They divorced in the early 1960s, and Gheorghe married an opera singer. Melita Apostol served as director of the Romanian broadcasting system (Radiodifuziunea Română) and served on an emergency committee at the height of the Hungarian crisis to monitor all mass-media materials that covered the crisis. Valéria Benke, member of the CC of the MDP, served as president of the Hungarian radio from February 1955 until November 1, 1956, when she was dismissed by the provisional workers' council of the Hungarian Radio. She later became a member of Kádár's press council. 40 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 146. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapest către MAE, 9. IV. 1956, oră 18.30. In the novel The Ugly American (New York: Norton, 1958), William Lederer and Eugene Burdick depict American representatives in Southeast Asia as culturally insensitive in comparison to their Russian counterparts. Moreover, Russian aid to the locals is widely advertised, while U.S. aid packages are not even labeled. 41 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, #13759, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 274. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 21. VI. 1956. 42 Although not part of the core territory of the historic principality of Transylvania, the historical regions of Crişana and Maramureş, and the Romanian section of the Banat are considered by many to be part of Transylvania today. 43 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 55. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta câtre MAE, 7 februarie 1956. Also Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 18. Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 22826. Trimisă de MAE către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 11. II. 1956 oră 12.00.


Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, număr 48, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 121. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta câtre MAE, 13. III. 1956, oră 18.00. Casualty figures from David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House, When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler (Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 1995): pp. 294-5. 45 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 37, volum 1, număr 85, Telegramă cifrată ieşită nr. 24829. Trimisă de MAE (Babuci) către Ambasada României din Budapesta, 31. V. 1956. Babuci's first name is not indicated in the document. 46 See Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 2, număr 33, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 315. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 27. VII. 1956. Also Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 81. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta câtre MAE, 28 feb. 1956, oră 18.00. Ambassador Popescu also attended. 47 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 210/Ungaria 2, f. 1, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 502. Trimisă de Popescu, de la Ambasada României din Budapesta, către MAE, 11 ianuarie 1957. For detailed accounts of events in Debrecen, see the books by Tibor Filep: Forradalom a debreceni egyetemken, 1956 (Debrecen: Debreceni Egyetem Kossuth Egyetemi Kiadója, 2006); Debrecen 1956: forradalom, nemzeti ellenállás, megtorlás (Debrecen: Csokonai Kiadó, 2000), and A debreceni forradalom, 1956. október: tizenkét nap krónikája (Debrecen: Piremon, 1990). 48 Ana Pauker (Hana Rabinsohn) served as minister of foreign affairs from 1948 until May 27, 1952, when she was expelled from both the PMR Politburo and CC Secretariat (but not from the party itself until 1954). She was briefly arrested, but released without a trial due partly to Stalin's death and Molotov's protection (February 20-April 20, 1953). Unlike many of her male counterparts in other East European communist countries, she spent her last seven years in quiet retirement, working as a translator and editor for the Political Publishing House (Editura Politică) in Bucharest from September 20, 1953 until the day she died, June 3, 1960. She was posthumously rehabilitated in 1968. See "Ana Pauker" in Dobre and Bejenaru, eds. Membrii C.C. al P.C.R, pp. 453-4. 49 Like Pauker, Vasile Luca (László Luka) was expelled from the Politburo and CC Secretariat on May 27, 1952. Of the trio, he was the only one whom no one in the Kremlin defended when Dej went to Moscow in January 1952 seeking permission to purge his colleagues. Luca was arrested for “rightist deviation” and economic sabotage and sentenced to death in 1954. His sentence was later changed to hard labor for life, but he died nine years later, on July 27, 1963, in the infamous prison of Aiud. He was posthumously rehabilitated in 1968. "Vasile Luca" in Dobre and Bejenaru, eds. Membrii C.C. al P.C.R., p. 365. 50 Teohari Georgescu was a member of the CC and Politburo from 1945 to May 27, 1952. Unlike Pauker and Luca, Georgescu was treated more leniently, probably because Lavrenty Beria had defended him; he had not spent World War II in Moscow; and because he was an ethnic Romanian. He was arrested and interrogated for three years (1953-1956), but released in April 1956, even though he pleaded guilty to the charges of both left and right-wing deviationism. He worked as a proofreader until 1963, served as a CC candidate member (1972-1974), and died on January 30, 1976. "Teohari Georgescu" in Dobre and Bejenaru, eds. Membrii C.C. al P.C.R, pp. 287-8. 51 Rudolf Slánský (1901-1952) was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. He and thirteen other officials (all Jewish) were arrested in November 1951. After prolonged torture, Slánský confessed to engaging in "Trotskyite-Titoist-Zionist activities in the service of American imperialism" during the show trial (November 20-27, 1952). Hanged on December 3, 1952, he was not posthumously rehabilitated until May 1968.


For background on the Pătrăşcanu case, see George H. Hodos, Show Trials: Stalinist Purges in Eastern Europe, 1948-1954 (New York: Praeger, 1987): pp. 99-101 and Vladimir Tismăneanu, Stalinism for All Seasons: A Political History of Romanian Communism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003): pp. 110-120. Had Pauker and Luca succeeded, the trial would have affected Petre Borilă, Valter Roman, and Leonte Răutu, all of whom had fought in Spain. According to Hodos, Borilă and Roman stated in 1961 that Dej's actions saved their lives (Hodos, p. 99). 53 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 22/1953, “Stenograma şedinţei Biroului Politic al CC al PCR din 12 Martie 1953, ff. 17-18, 26. 54 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 22/1953, “Stenograma şedinţei Biroului Politic al CC al PCR din 12 martie 1953, f. 20. 55 Open Society Archive (hereafter OSA), box 28, folder 4, no. 20, "Hungarian Writers' Fight Against the Party," September 18, 1956, on http://files.osa.ceu.hu/holdings/300/ 8/3/text/28-4-20.shtml. For more information on the Hungarian writers' struggle with communist authorities and the protocols of the Writers' Congresses, see the two books by Éva Standeisky: Az írók és a hatalom, 1956-1963 (Budapest: 1956-os Intézet, 1996); and Írók lázadása: 1956-os írószövetségi jegyzőkönyvek (Budapest: A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Irodalomtudományi Intézete, 1990). Also see László Kósa , ed. A Cultural History of Hungary (Budapest: CorvinaOsiris, 2001): pp. 249-349; and György Péteri, Academia and State Socialism: Essays on the Political History of Academic Life in Post-1945 Hungary and East-Central Europe (New York, 1997). 56 As early as May 12, 1956, Ambassador Popescu reported to Bucharest that Rákosi would give a speech more self-critical than the earlier one delivered on March 12-13, 1956, and would announce certain upcoming rehabilitations. He also reported a rumor that Kádár would be appointed as the new minister of internal affairs. In fact, László Piros was the minister of internal affairs from 1954 to October 27, 1956. Kádár was rehabilitated on October 9, 1954, but not readmitted into the MDP Politburo until the July 18-21 plenum. See Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, #9840, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 180. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 12. V. 1956 oră 18.00. 57 From 1943 to 1948, he had served as first secretary of the Polish United Workers Party Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, or PZPR - was purged in November 1949, and subsequently languished in prison from 1951 to 1954. 58 See Polish original in Nowa Kultura (August 21, 1955), or Ryszard Matuszewski and Seweryn Pollak, Poezja polska. Antologia (1914-1939) (Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1984). For an English translation, see Edmund O. Stillman, Bitter Harvest: the Intellectual Revolt behind the Iron Curtain (New York: Praeger, 1959), p. 129. Ważyk also wrote a moving poem about the 1956 uprising. See "Qui tacent clamant," The Hungarian Quarterly, no. 182 (2006), p. 105. 59 See chapter three "Thaw" in Anthony Kemp-Welch, Poland under Communism: a Cold War History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007): pp. 49-75; and Jan Skórzyński, "From Thaw to Restoration: A Chronology," http://www.culture.pl /en/culture/artykuly/es_1956_kalendarium. Also Marek Haltof, Polish National Cinema (New York: Berghahn Books, 2002); Kathleen M. Cioffi, Alternative theatre in Poland, 1954-1989 (Amsterdam, Netherlands: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1996). 60 Colin Mackerras and Donald Hugh McMillen, Dictionary of the Politics of the People's Republic of China (London and New York: Routledge, 1998): p. 113. 61 The German politician and poet Johannes R. Becher (1891-1958) served as minister of culture of the GDR from 1954 to 1958. For his criticism of the Khrushchev regime during the "thaw," he was demoted in 1957. He died of cancer one year later. The German journalist and editor Wilhelm Girnus (1906-1985) served consecutively as deputy editor of the party newspaper Neues

Deutschland, professor of literature at Humboldt University, and editor-in-chief of the journal Sinn und Form of the Academy of the Arts. An inveterate neostalinist, he was appointed secretary of state for university affairs in February 1957, following the Polish and Hungarian events, on the eve of the Harich trial (March 1957). Harich had attacked Girnus when he was an advisor for the State Commission for Art and Art Criticism, which was eliminated after the June 1953 revolt. Seeing Harich sentenced in 1957 to ten years in prison for revisionism must have been must have sweet revenge. OSA, box 24, folder 1, no. 30, "Zigzags of University Policy in the GDR," Aug. 27, 1958, on http://www.osa.ceu.hu/files/holdings/300/8/3/text/24-1-30.shtml. 62 OSA, box 23, folder 10, no. 192, "Dissidence among East German Writers and Scholars," Feb. 6, 1957, on http://files.osa.ceu.hu/holdings/300/8/3/text/23-10-192.shtml. 63 “Ehrlos in die Grube?” Der Spiegel nr. 13 (1991), p. 100. 64 Not surprisingly, Harich was arrested on November 29, 1956 and, after his trial that ended on March 9, 1957, he was sentenced to ten years in prison for establishing a "counterrevolutionary" group. Since Harich was a reader for the publishing firm, Aufbau-Verlag, and a contributor to the publisher's newspaper Der Sonntag, both Walter Janka (director of the publishing house) and Gustav Just (the newspaper's editor-in-chief), as well as others, were also imprisoned for five and four years, respectively. Harich was released in 1964 and rehabilitated in 1990. 65 This paragraph draws on the document: OSA, box 23, folder 10, no. 161, "Notes on the Harich Trial," March 10, 1957, on http://files.osa.ceu.hu/holdings/ 300/8/3/text/23-10-161.shtml. Der Sonntag's editor-in-chief Gustav Just (1921 - ) was dismissed from his position on January 22, 1957. 66 Jirí Holý, Writers under Siege: Czech Literature Since 1945 (Brighton, UK: Sussex Academic Press, 2008): 41. Also Jaromír Navrátil, The Prague Spring 1968: a National Security Archive Documents Reader (New York: Central European University Press, 1998), p. 116. 67 John P. C. Matthews, Majáles: the Abortive Student Revolt in Czechoslovakia in 1956 (Washington, D.C.: Cold War International History Project, 1998), p. 14. An English translation of the resolution can be found in the appendix of this paper. 68 After this brief "thaw," Novotný banned the Majáles festival for the next nine years, i.e. until 1965. Generally a mass revolt did not take place in Czechoslovakia in 1956, in part because of the earlier crisis in several cities in 1953, particularly in Plzeň (Pilsen), May 31 - June 2, 1953, where the population protested the currency reforms, which had amounted to an extreme devaluation of peoples' savings. As a result, the regime lowered prices as many as six times between 1953 and 1956 and raised wages and pensions. By 1956 the Czech and Slovak population did not experience the kinds of economic hardships that Hungarians and Poles did. Khrushchev himself mentioned the superior state of the Czechoslovak economy at the emergency session of the CPSU presidium on October 24, 1956, which was attended by representatives from the other Warsaw Pact states. "If a person's belly is full, he won't listen to the enemies" [E]sli zhivot u cheloveka nabit, on ne stanet prislushivat'sia k nedrugam. "Zapiska o zasedanii Prezidiuma TsK KPSS, 24 oktiabria 1956," in István Vida et al., Sovetskii Soiuz i Vengerskii Krizis 1956 Goda: Dokumenty (Moscow: Rosspen, 1998), p. 365. Also see Oldřich Tůma, "The Impact of the Hungarian Revolution on Czechoslovakia, 1956-1968," in János M. Rainer and Katalin Somlai, eds. The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Soviet Bloc Countries: Reactions and Repercussions (Budapest: the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, 2007), pp. 69-78. 69 Pavel Vezhinov (1914-1983) was a Bulgarian science fiction writer. His real name was Nikola Delchev. The 1956 film, Sledite ostavat ("The Traces Remain") was based on one of Vezhinov's novels. One of his most noted novels was Barierata (Barrier), written in 1977. Vezhinov also worked on the screenplays for the first successful Bulgarian television show that began in 1969 ("On Every Kilometer"). Karl Kaser and Elisabeth Katschnig-Fasch, Gender and Nation in South Eastern Europe (London: Global, 2006): p. 80.

A Dmitrov prize laureate, Stoyan T. Daskalov (1909-1985) wrote several novels and short stories, including "A New Attitude Toward Life." His novels inspired movies such as "Troubled Road" (Nespokoen pat) in 1955. 71 Atanas Hristov Dalchev (1904-1978) was a poet, critic, and prodigious translator of poetry and fiction from French, Spanish, English, German, and Russian into Bulgarian. Due to political pressure by communist authorities between 1945 and 1956, he published only translations. 72 Todor Genov (1903-1988) was a prolific belletrist, playwright, journalist, and literary critic. His play "Fear" parodied Hristo Radevski, the secretary-general of the Writers Union. He performed self-criticism as a result at a party meeting of Bulgarian writers, November 29December 1, 1957. He was purged from the editorial board of the journal Plamak in December 1958. He later served as chairman of the control council in 1966. See three documents in OSA: box 5, folder 1, no. 53 (April 21, 1958); box 5, folder 3, no. 41 (October 16, 1959); and box 6, folder 6, no. 196 (April 22, 1966). http://www.osa.ceu.hu/ digitalarchive/rferl_br/index.jsp. 73 Emil Manov (1918-1982) wrote more than thirty books, many of which inspired movies such as "The Steep Path" (Stramnata pateka) in 1961; "Captive Flock" (Pleneno yato) in 1962; "The End of the Summer Holidays" (Krayat na edna vakantziya) in 1965; "The End of the Summer" (V kraya na lyatoto in 1967 (based on the novel Flight of Galatea); The Quiet Fugitive (Tihiyat begletz) in 1972; and "Snapshots as Souvenirs" (Snimki za spomen) in 1979 (based on the novel Moeto parvo lyato). In April 1966 Manov was elected as deputy chairman of the Bulgarian Writers' Union. 74 Orlin Vassilev (1904-1977) was a noted lyric poet, playwright, and short story writer. He wrote the play "The Buried Sun" in 1959, well after the Hungarian revolt, even after Chervenkov tried to suppress all dissent as Minister of Education and Culture from February 1957 to June 1958. See OSA, box 5, folder 3, no. 41, J. F. Brown, "Report on Bulgaria: Background and Current Situation October 1959," Oct. 16, 1959, on http://files.osa.ceu.hu/holdings/300/8/3/text/5-3-41.shtml. 75 Dragomir Assenov (1926-1981) was the penname for Jacque Melamed, a Bulgarian-born Jewish writer who held several administrative posts in the Bulgarian Writers Union and even traveled extensively in the West. He wrote three books about Bulgarian Jews living during World War II (The Brown Horizons, 1961; The Big Stone House, 1963; and The Fruits of the Winds, 1966). See OSA, box 7, folder 2, no. 158, "Bulgarian Literature Today: A Survey," May 23, 1969, on http://files.osa.ceu.hu/holdings/300/8/3/text/7-2-158.shtml. 76 This paragraph draws on Charles Moser's chapter on Bulgarian literature in Vasa D. Mihailovich, White Stones and Fir Trees: An Anthology of Contemporary Slavic Literature (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1977), pp. 77-78. Also see J. F. Brown, "Frost and Thaw in Bulgarian Culture," Studies in Comparative Communism, vol. 2, no. 3-4 (July and October 1969): 95-120; Atanas Slavov, The "Thaw" in Bulgarian Culture (Boulder, Colo.: East European Monographs, Columbia University Press, 1981; Atanas Slavov, With the Precision of Bats (Passaic, NJ: Occidental Press, 1986); and Tibor Iván Berend, Central and Eastern Europe, 19441993: Detour From the Periphery to the Periphery (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996): p. 104. 77 In other cases the die-hard Stalinists "conveniently" died, as in the case of Klement Gottwald (March 14, 1953 roughly a week after Stalin's death) and Bolesław Bierut (March 12, 1956). Unlike Rajk and Kostov, Gomułka was never put on trial and thus not sentenced to death. He refused to confess to any of the accusations of a "lack of vigilance with regard to enemy agents." 78 Traicho Kostov (1897-1949), former President of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers and General Secretary of the CC BKP, was executed two days after a show trial (December 7December 14, 1949), during which he was accused of plotting to overthrow the Bulgarian

government and collaborating with British, American and Yugoslav intelligence services. Ten other party officials were sentenced at this show trial, which took place roughly two months after the László Rajk trial (September 16-24, 1949). Unlike Rajk, Kostov did not plead guilty. 79 The CC BKP published its decision on legal rehabilitation on September 9, 1956. See OSA, box 59, folder 4, no. 128, "The Zhivkov Report: a Summary and Analysis," Dec. 12, 1961, on http://files.osa.ceu.hu/holdings/300/8/3/text/59-4-128.shtml. Zhivkov cracked down after the Hungarian crisis. In May 1956, after the journal Otechestven Front advocated that education should have a religious component, its editor, Vladimir Topencharov, a brother-in-law of Traicho Kostov, was forced to resign, both as editor and as president of the Bulgarian Union of Journalists. R. J. Crampton, Bulgaria (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007): p. 346. 80 Dej never forgot the insubordination of Constantinescu and Chişinevschi. Timed perfectly with the ousting of the Anti-Party Group in Moscow, the PMR expelled the two officials from the Politburo at the plenum (June 28-July 3, 1957). Chişinevschi was also expelled from the Secretariat. Exactly one year later, at the plenum of June 9-13, 1958, the party forced the two men to recant again and expelled them from the party soon thereafter, on June 25, 1960. Ceauşescu rehabilitated Constantinescu in April 1968, while Chişinevschi died in 1963. 81 On the unrest within the Soviet Union in the 1950s, see the books by Vladimir A. Kozlov, Massovye Besporiadki v SSSR pri Khrushcheve i Brezhneve (Novosibirsk: Sibirskii Khronograf, 1999); Kramola: Inakomyslie v SSSR pri Khrushcheve i Brezhneve, 1953-1982. Rassekrechennye Dokumenty Verkhovnogo Suda i Prokuratury SSSR (Moscow: Materik, 2005); and Kozlov, S.V. Mironenko, O. V. Edel'man, et al. 58-10. Nadzornye Proizvodstva Prokuratury SSSR po Delam ob Antisovetskoi Agitatsii i Propagande. Anotirovannyi Katalog. Mart 1953-1958 (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnyi Fond "Demokratiia," 1999). 82 Both Marin Preda and Nicolae Labiş were probably murdered. Shortly after his last, extremely anti-communist, novel, Cel mai iubit dintre pământeni ("The Most Beloved of Earthlings") was published, Preda was found dead (May 16, 1980), apparently shot in the head. Labis, a precocious and gifted poet, expressed in his poetry his disillusionment with the communist system, particularly with the recent Soviet intervention in Hungary and the Dej regime's failure to pursue a genuine course of destalinization. As he was boarding a train late on the night of December 9-10, 1956, the twenty-one-year-old slipped onto the tracks, hitting his head and fracturing his spine. He died on December 22, 1956. Many strongly suspect that a Securitate agent pushed him. His first volume of poetry was published in 1956 while he was still alive, and subsequently reprinted in later editions. See Primele iubiri; poezii (First Loves) (Bucharest: Editura pentru Literatura, 1962). For an insightful discussion of the Romanian intelligentsia and its reaction to the events of the 1950s, see Boca, 1956. Un an de ruptură, pp. 62-73. Also see the chapter on 1956/1968 in Marcel Cornis-Pope and John Neubauer, History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe: Junctures and Disjunctures in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: J. Benjamins, 2004): pp. 83-106. 83 “The cult of personality emerged in our creative methods, to the detriment of depicting the true Communist,” Jar said during the interview. See “În întâmpinarea Congresului Scriitorilor: Problemele actuale ale prozei. De vorbă cu Alexandru Jar” in Gazeta literară, no. 15 (109), April 12, 1956, p. 1. For an insightful analysis of the Jar case, see Vladimir Tismăneanu, Arheologia terorii (Bucharest: Editura Allfa, 1996), pp. 101, 110. 84 See the stenograph of Alexandru Jar's speech in Elisabeta Neagoe, Problematica cultului personalităţii în mediul literar din România. Cazul Alexandru Jar in Cristina Anisescu, ed. Arhivele Securităţii (Bucureşti, Editura Nemira, 2004), pp. 473-481. 85 See Tismăneanu, Stalinism for All Seasons, p. 110; and Ioana Boca, 1956. Un an de ruptură, pp. 63, 69.

86 87

Tismăneanu, Stalinism for All Seasons, p. 150. OSA, box 38, folder 5, no. 119, "Contemporanul on Polish Writers and Gomułka," March 11, 1957, on http://www.osa.ceu.hu/files/holdings/300/8/3/text/38-5-119.shtml. 88 NARA (Washington, DC). RG 59, OSS - INR Reports. Paper prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, IR no. 8005, Washington, April 27, 1959. http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/frus/frus58-60x1/04easteur3.html 89 The Petőfi Circle was a discussion group for intellectuals that, although initially approved of by the communist leadership, later acquired an anti-Stalinist orientation. 90 A party committee was appointed as early as June 1955 to investigate the “anti-party activity” of activists Ion Eremia, Dumitru Petrescu, Constantin Agiu, Victor Duşa, Mihai Levente and Bucur Schiopu. See ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 76/1956, “Cu privire la activitatea antipartinică a unor membri de partid,” f. 175. No date, but probably summer 1956. Constantin Agiu served as an undersecretary in the ministry of agriculture in the Petru Groza government (March 6, 1945-December 30, 1947). Victor Duşa was one of the Romanians who fought in the Spanish civil war (1936-1939) with the international brigades and later served as chairman of state arbitration. Ion Eremia wrote a book two years later exposing the Dej regime (Gulliver în Ţară Minciunilor, or "Gulliver in the Land of Lies"), published in France, and was imprisoned from 1958 to 1964. His daughter, Irina Bragin, wrote a satirical memoir, Subterranean Towers: A Father-Daughter Story (New York: iUniverse, 2004). 91 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR, dosar nr. 193/1956, f. 22, “Scrisoare de Petrescu Dumitru către Biroului Politic al CC al P.M.R., 31 octombrie 1956.” 92 Tismăneanu, Stalinism for All Seasons, p. 123. 93 “Dumitru Petrescu,” in Dobre and Bejenaru, eds. Membrii C.C. al P.C.R., p. 467. Petrescu was rehabilitated by Ceauşecu in 1968 and appointed the following year as vice chairman of the State Council. Other Romanians who studied in Moscow, particularly at the Comintern's Leninist School, included Constantin Pârvulescu, Iosif Chişinevschi, Petre Borilă, and Gheorghe Stoica. 94 Hungarian National Archive, Budapest (Magyar Országos Levéltár, or MOL, Budapest), KÜM, XIX-J-1-j-Rom-27/a-006162/1956, 30.XI.1956, old. 2-4, document #5 in Andreea Andreescu, Lucian Nastasă, and Andrea Varga, eds., Minorităti Etnoculturale. Mărturii documentare. Maghiarii din România (1956-1968) (Cluj-Napoca: Fundaţia CRDE, 2003), p. 129. 95 Ioan Anton Datcu, "Iubiri pasionale. Amoruri interzise," Magazin Pagini Româneşti (May 31, 2008). http://pagesroumaines.com/Magazin/Iubiri-pasionale-22-Amoruri-interzise.html. Reportedly "the party" then tried to set Dej up with the geologist Maria Sârbu (the sister of both Victoria and Elena Sârbu), but Dej objected to this meddling in his personal life. Vladimir Tismăneanu, "Senatul EVZ: Doamnele Aristocratiei Rosii" Ziare.com (March 21, 2007). http://www.evenimentulzilei.ro/articole/detalii-articol/435282/SENATUL-EVZ-Doamnele. 96 See "Dosare ultrasecrete: amantul Licai Gheorghiu, exterminat in închisorile comuniste," Ziua (October 20, 2007), no. 4065. http://www.ziua.ro/display.php?id =228274&data=2007-10-20. 97 On Dej's private life, see MOL, KÜM, XIX-J-1-j-Rom-27/a-006162/1956, 30.XI.1956, old. 2–4, document 5 in Andreescu et al., Maghiarii din România, 131, nn. 5 and 6. Ioan Anton Datcu, "Iubiri pasionale. Amoruri interzise," Magazin Pagini Româneşti (May 31, 2008). http://pagesroumaines.com/Magazin/Iubiri-pasionale-22-Amoruri-interzise.html; "Dosare ultrasecrete: amantul Licai Gheorghiu, exterminat in închisorile comuniste," Ziua (October 20, 2007), no. 4065. http://www.ziua.ro/display.php?id =228274&data=2007-10-20; Tismăneanu, Fantomă lui Gheorghiu-Dej (Bucharest: Univers, 1995): pp. 108, 131; Deletant, Communist Terror in Romania, pp. 13-14; and Marius Oprea, "Lica şi Tanţi Dej se iubeau cu doi burgheji," Cuvîntul (May 25-31, 1992), nr. 21 (121). For biographies of Dej, see Stelian Tănase, Elite şi societate. Guvernarea Gheorghiu-Dej, 1948-1956 (Bucharest:

Humanitas, 1998); and Paul Sfetcu, 13 ani în antecamera lui Dej (Bucharest: Fundaţia Culturală Română, 2000). 98 Their names are Smaranda [Sanda], Gheorghe, and Mândra. See "Dosare ultrasecrete: amantul Licai Gheorghiu, exterminat in închisorile comuniste," Ziua (September 20, 2007), no. 4065. Http://www.ziua.ro/display.php?id=228274&data=2007-10-20. Also Vladimir Tismăneanu, "Senatul EVZ: Doamnele Aristocratiei Rosii" Ziare.com (March 21, 2007). Http://www.evenimentulzilei.ro/articole/detalii-articol/435282/SENATUL-EVZDoamnele. For an interview with Lica's youngest daughter, Mândra, see Lavinia Betea, "Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Bunicul Meu," Magazin Istoric (December 2003): pp. 66-72. 99 See the Securitate's "referat"on Placinteanu written in October 1958 and published in "Dosare ultrasecrete: amantul Licai Gheorghiu, exterminat in închisorile comuniste," Ziua (October 20, 2007), no. 4065. Http://www.ziua.ro/display.php?id=228274&data=2007-10-20. 100 MOL, KÜM, XIX-J-1-j-Rom-27/a-006162/1956, 30.XI.1956, old. 2-4, document #5 in Andreescu et al., Maghiarii din România, p. 132, n. 5. See also Vladimir Tismăneanu et al., Comisia prezidenţială pentru analiza dictaturii comuniste din România. (Bucharest, 2006). http://www.wilsoncenter.org/news/docs/RAPORT%20FINAL_%20CADCR.pdf, p. 94, n. 186. Ceauşescu stripped Rădoi of all his political appointments after Dej's death from lung cancer on March 19, 1965. 101 MOL, KÜM, XIX-J-1-j-Rom-27/a-006162/1956, 30.XI.1956, old. 2-4, document #5 in Andreescu et al., Maghiarii din România, pp. 132n. 5. 102 Lucia Ivănescu, "Ce cadouri primea Ceauşescu de ziua lui (Interviu cu Camil Roguschi, fostul arhitect al palatelor Carmaciului" Cronica Română (January 26, 2007). http://www.cronicaromana.ro/astazi-nea-nicu-ar-fi-avut-89-de-anice-cadouri-primea-Ceauşescude-ziua. 103 MOL, XIX-J-1-j-Rom-27/a-006162/1956, 30.XI.1956, old. 2-4, document #5 in Andreescu et al., Maghiarii din România, p. 132, n. 6. 104 Aurelian Grigorescu, “Reflectarea revoltei din Ungaria (în Scânteia – octombrie/noiembrie 1956)” in Ioana Boca, ed. Fluxurile şi refluxurile stalinismului (Sighet Annals, no. 8, 1954–1956) (Bucharest: Fundaţia Academica Civică, 2000), p. 613. 105 Ibid., p. 616. 106 ANIC, Fond CC al PCR/Cancelarie, dosar nr. 110/1956, filele 5-6. “Plan de măsuri pentru sărbătorirea Lunii Prieteniei Româno-Sovietice (7.X. - 7.XI. 1956). 107 Zoltán Zelk (1906-1981) was a prolific poet and writer. Ethnically Jewish, he was a member of the Hungarian Writers Union, and once wrote poems glorifying Stalin and Rákosi for liberating Hungary. Later, in the spring of 1955, together with other writers (e.g. Tibor Déry, Gyula Háy, and Tamás Aczél) he advocated a new form of socialism adapted specifically to Hungarian conditions. On November 19, 1957, Zelk was sentenced to three years in prison, but was amnestied in 1958. 108 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 210/Ungaria 2, f. 6. “Raport.” Scris de F. Păcuraru, 10. XII. 1956. The first names of both Păcuraru and Vajna are not given in the document. 109 “Notă informativă întocmită de un ofiţer de Securitate pe baza unei delaţiuni, înregistrându-se atitudinea unor intelectuali maghiari faţă de evenimentele din Ungaria," 11 decembrie 1956, document #32 in Andreescu et al., Maghiarii din România, p. 233. Kurti's first name is not mentioned in the document. 110 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 210/Ungaria 2, nr. 95/1956, f. 3. Trimisă de Elena Benkö de la Ambasada Republicii Populare Române din Budapesta către MAE (Direcţia i Relaţii), 20. X. 1956. 111 Ibid., f. 1. "Jaboru" is a highly unusual surname in Hungarian and thus may be misspelled in the original document.

Ibid., f. 2. ACNSAS (Arhiva Consiliului Naţional pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securităţii, or Archive of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives), fond documentar, dosar nr. 114, ff. 910. Cited in Elisabeta Neagoe and Liviu Pleşa, “Radiografi a Securităţii în anul 1957,” in Cristina Anisescu, ed. Arhivele Securităţii (Bucharest, Editura Nemira, 2004): p. 163. 114 Arh. MAE, fond Budapesta, dosar nr. 7, volum 1, număr 49, Telegramă cifrată intrată nr. 281. Trimisă de Popescu de la Ambasada României din Budapesta către MAE, 4. XII. 1956, oră 19.00. 115 Although the word ‘neutrality’ is never mentioned in the text of the treaty, the Austrian parliament legally incorporated neutrality, as well as a ban on foreign military bases, into the Austrian constitution five months later, on October 26, 1955. 116 The London Observer, incidentally, is the same newspaper that printed statements that would mislead some Hungarian insurgents to keep fighting Soviet tanks well after the initial invasion on November 4, 1956. "[I]f Hungarians hold out for three or four days, then the pressure upon the government of the United States to send military help to the freedom fighters will be irresistible." The reporter noted that the U.S. Congress cannot vote for war during presidential elections (scheduled for Tuesday, November 6). On November 4, Zoltán Thury broadcast on Radio Free Europe a "Short World Press Review" containing an excerpt from this article. See Johanna Granville, The First Domino: International Decision Making during the Hungarian Crisis of 1956 (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2004): pp. 172-3. 117 See document #18 in Constantin Hlihor and Ioan Scurtu, The Red Army in Romania (Iaşi; Portland: Center for Romanian Studies, 2000): pp. 249-250. 118 Accounts on this point differ. During the April 3, 1956 Politburo session, Constantinescu complained that Dej had secretly recruited Bodnăraş to raise the issue with Khrushchev, despite the Politburo's decision that Dej should do it. However, according to an interview in 1994 with Apostol (then 81 years old), the Politburo members had chosen Bodnăraş due to the latter's fluency in Russian. See "Şedinţa Biroului Politic al CC al PMR din 3 aprilie 1956” in Alina Tudor and Dan Cătănuş, eds. O destalinizare ratată. Culisele cazului Miron Constantinescu - Iosif Chişinevschi (Bucureşti: Editura Elion, 2001), p. 58; and interview with Gheorghe Apostol by Ioan Scurtu and Virginia Calin, document #19 (October 20, 1994) in Hlihor and Scurtu, The Red Army in Romania, p. 251. 119 Nikita S. Khrushchev, trans. Strobe Talbott, Khrushchev Remembers; the Last Testament (Boston: Little, Brown, 1974): p. 228. 120 See "Scrisoarea lui N. S. Hruşciov, adresată CC al PMR, cu privire la retragerea trupelor sovietice de pe teritoriul României," document #57 (April 17, 1958); and "Scrisoarea de răspuns a lui Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, adresată CC al PCUS, prin care se exprimă adeziunea la propunerea Uniunii Sovietice de a-şi retrage trupele din România," document #58 (April 23, 1958) in Ioan Scurtu, România retragerea trupelor sovietice, 1958 (Bucharest: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogica, 1996), pp. 273-274. 121 See Scrisoarea CC al PCUS către CC al PMR cu privire la rechermarea consilierilor sovietici din România," document #87 (September 9, 1958); and Scrisoarea de răspuns a CC al PMR către CC al PCUS," document #89 (September 26, 1958) in Scurtu, România retragerea trupelor sovietice, 1958, pp. 374-376 and 378-379, respectively. 122 “Scrisoarea lui Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, adresată lui N. S. Hruşciov," document #91 (January 22, 1959) in Scurtu, România retragerea trupelor sovietice, 1958, p. 382. 123 Deletant, Communist Terror in Romania, p. 285. 124 Sergiu Verona, Military Occupation and Diplomacy: Soviet Troops in Romania, 1944-1958 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1992), pp. 141, 143, 147-8. 125 "Situaţia bunurilor preluate, cu plată sau fără, de la trupele sovietice ce s-au retras din România," document #90 (December 30, 1958) in Scurtu, România retragerea trupelor sovietice,


1958 (Bucharest: Editura Didactică şi Pedagogica, 1996), pp. 379--381. 126 "Raportul gen.-col. Leontin Sălăjan, adresat Consiliului de Miniştri, privind activitatea Comisiei mixte româno-sovietice," document #88 (September 18, 1958) in Scurtu, România retragerea trupelor sovietice, 1958, pp. 376-378. 127 "Adresă a generalului-colonel Gusev către generalul-locotenent I. Tutoveanu, cu referire la situaţia cheltuielilor efectuate de URSS cu consilierii militari sovietici din armata română," document #85 (August 5, 1958) in Scurtu, România retragerea trupelor sovietice, 1958, p. 371. 128 Hlihor and Scurtu, The Red Army in Romania, p. 188.

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