In 1974, Motion Against Dictatorship

This is an automated translation of an article published in "Opinia Studenteasca", 13 Februarie 1990 - original in Romanian. The translation will be corrected time-permitting.


I met him in the 70s. As I had not seen him, for years, on the streets of Iasi, I thought he had established his residence in another part of the country. Therefore I was somewhat surprised when a few days ago, Col. Eng. Gheorghe Zodian visited us at the office. To give him the opportunity to present himself to the readers.

-I worked first at C.F.R. Then in 1967, while functioning as Head of Regional Iasi Interior Ministry, after a long series of shenanigans and harassment, I was removed from work, with the group of colleagues in the state apparatus and Party, who could not be trusted to implement the dictatorial policies of Ceausescu. Basically, I was forced to retire at age 52 and then, after one year, fictionally re-hired. Three months after that, I was placed also fictionally in reserve and re-retired under the provisions of the new pension law (in those three months I refused to work and to receive monetary remuneration, protesting verbally and in writing). Following these targeted maneuvers, my pension was reduced in half. To secure income for my family basic needs, I started to work for D.S.A.P.C. (renamed ICPROM).

then 1974 arrived. Former rail engine driver (George Zodian has held some other positions, including Director General and Deputy Minister of Transportation) presented at the party general assembly - in preparation for Congress XI PCR - a motion of protest against the cult of personality and abuses practiced by Nicolae Ceausescu and his family. (Already had been "slipped" in leadership positions Elena Ceausescu, Nicu Ceausescu, Ion Ceausescu, Gheorghe Petrescu and others). The author also requested, however, that the motion be referred to municipal and county conferences of the party and then to the national Congress. Copies of the motion were sent by the signatory to the newspaper "Scanteia" and [similar] magazines "socialist era" and "Party work".

What followed? The prime-secretary of the county party pressured Gheorghe Zodian, followed by threatening actions of intimidation, saying the motion "is not a party material, but an indictment, an accusatory act", especially since at the end the signatory requested that a commission be formed to determine the damage thus created to the Romanian people, to punish the guilty. Assuming the risks Gheorghe Zodian categorically refused to withdraw the motion, but the motion was not, in the end, disclosed to the Congress. Reprisals followed starting with illegal home searches. On February 5, 1975, he was arrested and sent to Bucharest at the famous criminal investigations department of Securitate on the Rahovei Street. The interogatories involved General Lt Neculai Plesita and General Major V. Gheorghe. "You're lucky you were Deputy Minister of Transport, otherwise our hands wouldn't be shaking" (i.e., "we wouldn't be hesitating") - they told him. Ceausescu's servants further asked Gheorghe Zodian to withdraw the motion. He resisted all investigations, intimidation and pressure. "After the first session, I was taken to a cell where several times a day they'd take me out for questioning. A staged trial followed. In August 1975, I was tried behind closed doors, by the Bucharest Military Court." For the crime of breaching handling rules of secret and top secret documents, he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment. On appeal, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence to one year and eight months, with conditional suspension.

But the shennanigans continued. Gheorghe Zodian was removed from his job, was pursued, hunted. Friends were not allowed to visit him. Even his two children suffered, unable to finish their studies in their selected specialties.

Gheorghe Zodian is an honest man who does not want more popularity around his person. But he disagrees with the classification of his conviction in Article 1, letter "a" of Decree-Law of January current year on amnestiesy and pardons because he was the victim of a forged criminal trial. He was a political prisoner.

(You can access the original article in typed and scanned version.)