Blue communist graffiti on marble wallWell, I’m not going to comment much, for the ones who know how the (not only Communist) propagandistic wooden language sounds like, this post will be as clear as the day, for those who don’t – read my comments, and don’t take any quote literally!

My source today will be from Prof. Andrei Oțetea’s A Concise History of Romania (English edition edited by Andrew MacKenzie), published at Robert Hall Limited, London. Here it goes…

Romanian history is not a chronicle of kings and queens such as British children, learning the history of their own country, once had to commit to memory. True, there were Dacian kings, but the last of these, Decebalus, took his own life when his forces were overwhelmed by the Roman Emperor Trajan in A.D. 106. When the Emperor Aurelian withdrew from Dacia in A.D. 271 a long period of chaos followed until the separate principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia emerged in the fourteenth century. These to principalities merged under A.I. Cuza in 1859 and he may be said to be the first prince of Romania. His reign, however, was brief; he was deposed, and in 1866 Prince Charles de Hohenzollern Sigmaringen, an officer in the Prussian army, was elected Prince of Romania. He was crowned king in 1881. His descendant, King Michael, abdicated in 1947, so the reign of the Hohenzollern kings may be said to be a comparatively brief one. (pp 15-16)

So… From here we understand that between 106 A.D. and 1866 there was a monarchic void in the land which will become Romania. No Kings, no Queens, no Princes and Princesses. Just a brief mention of something in the fourteenth century.

As I point out in Romanian Journey, the religious situation in present-day Romania requires some explanation. According to the Constitution, freedom of religious worship is guaranteed to all Romanian citizens [My Comment: all except Greek Catholic and anybody who disses the regime]. The largest Church in Romania is still the Orthodox, to which eighty per cent of the believers belong, followed by the Roman Catholic (1,300,000 members) and by the reformed Reformed (Presbyterian), with between 700,000 and 800,000 members, an indication that this Church has maintained its strength during the past fifty years. The bulk of the worshippers at Roman Catholic and Reformed Churches are Hungarians. A decree acknowledges freedom of organization for fourteen religious bodies: the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Gregorian Church, the Old Rite Christian Church, the Evangelical Church, the Lutheran Synodal Presbyterian Church, The Reformed Church (Calvinist), the Unitarian Church, the Christian Baptist Cult, the Seventh Day Adventist Cult, the Pentecostal cult, the Christian Cult according to the Gospel, the Jewish Cult and the Muslim Cult. The Serbian Orthodox Vicariate also operates within the law. (25)

These Churches (or Cults as the Romanian Government terms them) have advantages which are unknown to their counterparts in the West. Not only does the State pay one-third of the salaries of the clergy but it repairs their churches, usually with the help of the congregation, and it also builds new churches for them. (26)

Umm… blowing bubbles in the pond, are we? This freedom of religion idea is similar to the equality between sexes as promoted by the Ceausescu regime: all people are equal, but family planning (not to say abortion!), any deviation from the norm is strictly forbidden! Oh, and not to mention the utter lack of reference to the Greek Catholic Church!

In recent years, under the influence of tourism and Western films and television serials, the regime has become much more relaxed than it was. Further relaxation can be expected if the international situation does not deteriorate. (33)

Yes, indeed, it was relaxed. The fact that it was the worst decade of Communist Romania as an established regime, but it was the poorest (not as poor & “relaxed” as North Korea, but not too far from it – and guess from whom Ceausescu took inspiration in his latter years?)

And some classic quotes taken from here and there:

Romania’s political regime during that period between the two World Wars became involved in the tightening of the domination of the big industrial and financial bourgeoisie, and this gave a reactionary character to the power of state. (437)

The Romanian Communist party considered King Carol’s dictatorship as a profoundly anti-popular regime and the expression of Romanian reactionary circles. The Party documents, however, pointed out that Carol’s dictatorship should not be taken for a fascist dictatorship and that the main enemy was the Iron Guard.

Starting from this premise, the Communist Party established in June, 1938, a programme of action which included a number of economic, social, and political measures designed to re-establish the political picture of 1936 and unite all the patriotic forces in order to strengthen the resistance capacity of the Romanian people against the danger of a joint Nazi-Horthy aggression. (467)

THE victory of the anti-fascist insurrection of August, 1944, opened up a new era in Romania’s history. It was the beginning of a popular revolution in the course of which Romanian society underwent constant transformation. The Romanian Communist Party, which had been formed in 1921 but was forced underground, was now in a strong position to influence events with the help of the Russian liberators. (498)

I can quite understand that many Romanians want to emigrate, attracted by an easier life and the profusion of consumer goods in the West, and I can also understand why their leaders want them to stay and help in the reconstruction of their country, pillaged for centuries by the Turks and, more recently, by the Nazis. How this will work out remains to be seen. [my note: Revolution, baby!] (557)

And a last one:

Romanian is still grappling with her problems in these years of world recession, and her planners would be the first to admit that some aspects of the economy, such as those connected with the energy and agriculture, show shortcomings that have yet to be overcome. If peace can be maintained, the future for Romania is surely bright. (558)

So… Again, for those of you who are not familiar with this kind of language, it is not only a truncated view presented to unsuspecting readers (All’s well in the Eastern front), written in a time when Ceaușescu was shaking hands with leaders from both the Iron Curtain and the (so-called) West. I am more than open to (counter-)arguments to this post, but if you have quotes or links that would support my claim, I’d be even happier to add them here.

Thank you, and God bless … [insert country/person/doctrine]!

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