The attentions of the army

Officers of the army started to take a stand against me in the Press. Vatra Major Vasile Ţîra called on me to withdraw from politics temporarily, that I may return at a suitable subsequent moment.

Major Olimpiu Solovăstru ended his own attacks by inviting me to go and meet the officer corps.

I accepted the invitation over the phone, but they kept postponing the meeting, while spreading rumours that I was the one who had something to hide. Finally I set the date for March 7, but my communiqué was not published by the Romanian-language newspapers, and this led to the assumption that I even corresponded with the Romanian army in Hungarian.

The meeting did not take place, because General Cojocaru intervened to advise that the army did not intend to meet the representatives of any political party.

On another occasion during this time, the military men among the Vatra leaders became incensed after I managed to torpedo their legal arguments concerning the exchange of leadership which they had carried through at Band. At Band, a large village 30 kilometres from Târgu Mureş, the Hungarians and some of the Romanians insisted that the National Salvation Front presidency and mayoralty should be given to one Romanian, Victor Onea. The opposing camp wanted to remove him at all costs. The army assisted on this: Major Ţîra and his friends went to Band and had elected a Temporary Council of National Unity from which Onea was omitted, and which saw the restoration of the old guard.

The Band people invited me to the protest meeting which they held the next day. Many people warned me, with “full of good intentions”, to go there only under the protection of the army.

I felt that if the Band people invited me, I could not go with the army, and so I went in my service car, availing myself of the company of my friend, Cimbi, who had also accompanied me to Timişoara for the Tőkés’s hearing.

Onea had spoken up for making peace between Romanians and Hungarians, and for equal rights. At the meeting he was cheered.

When I asked to speak, old Hungarian women claimed in a loud voice that I had been paid off, etc. Ignoring this distraction, I said that the election of the previous day which had been carried out with the “cooperation” of the military was invalid. This was because parliament was due to enact in only two days’ time a new law on the establishment of the Provisional Council of National Unity.

I said that State power organs which were not regulated by law could simply not be established. I ended my legal argument by asserting that this meant that the old leadership, i.e. Onea’s, remained the valid one.

The following case is also characteristic of Colonel Judea’s role: after the March 16 pharmacy battle, Gábor Kolumbán, head of the Odorheiul Secuiesc National Salvation Front and his friend, Márton Gajzágó, deputy head of the Covasna County National Salvation Front, conducted intentionally misleading telephone conversations, counting on respectively checking that the officially non-existent Securitate was listening in. They told stories according to which workers in the Matrica factory were welding iron rods to have to hand when they needed to beat Romanians. After one of these bogus conversations, Judea called them and wanted to know what kinds of weapons were being manufactured in Odorheiul Secuiesc.

Also in early March, Mihai Suciu, one of the editors of Vatra’s Cuvîntul Liber, rang me to ask for an interview. Of course I agreed, for it was consistently my view that we had to do everything in our power to make Romanian public opinion aware of our genuine views and demands.

My condition was that the full text should be published and that before it was printed, I should be able to check the interview. He agreed.

To my surprise, an entire team came for the interview, not only Mihai Suciu. He was accompanied by the editor-in-chief, Lazăr Lădariu, the journalist V. Bărbulescu, and Major Vasile Ţîra!

I first thought that we could do without the representative of the army, but then I told myself “If I do not consider this debasing, then it does not trouble me.”

The interview was published in three parts beginning March 15, under an imposing headline. “We Do Not Need Leaders Who Are Blemished...” But they departed from our agreement in four essential matters:

1) They did not print the Romanian translation for the term “LE VED”; thus for a person who does not speak Hungarian it was not clear how grammatically incorrect the text painted on Avram Iancu’s statue was.

2) I stressed that my opinion about Smaranda differed from theirs. They published that I did not express an opinion.

3) They omitted their questions and my answers concerning the Securitate, according to which I said that an honest Romanian patriot could not have undertaken Securitate work in recent years since he had to see that the power which he thus served had ruined his country. I added that the terror of the Securitate had extended Ceauşescu’s rule by at least five years.

4) Regarding the army, I said that I disapproved of its accepting a political role. This passage was “forgotten”.

As we reached the critical days of mid-March, I began to be threatened over the phone more and more frequently. I always picked up the receiver at night not knowing if it was my friends from abroad who were inquiring after me or not. This was the sweepstakes of those days: the caller either feared for my life, or threatened my life.