Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej was the leader of Romania before Ceausescu. A few months ago, I read an article about the fact that it is inexplicable how people cry at the death of tyrants like Stalin, Mao Zedong, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej and others. How can be there affinity between executioner and his victims, asked the author.
When Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej died, in 1965, my mother was 9 years old. She saw the funeral on television. Everyone was crying: in homes, on the streets, in schools, in institutions … everywhere. Romanians were crying, Hungarians were crying, Jews were crying, Gypsies were crying, but less the Germans. Gypsies do not spit and curse, they were crying. How is it possible, the journalist asked himself rhetorically, to cry after a torturer, after the one who fulfilled the prisons with intellectuals, who exterminated the country’s elite and deported the leaders of villages in the Danube Delta on reed work?
Probably the journalist was very young and did not know what it wouldn’t mean mean to not have a piece of bread to eat because the peasant was saboteur and did not pay the annuity quota. People cried when Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej died because he was perceived as the man due to which they have a piece of bread to eat. Stalin was perceived by Soviet people as the father who saved them from the Nazis and Mao Zedong was perceived by the Chinese people as the one who provided them the daily bowl of rice.
Regarding to Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej, not all intellectuals were put in jail, but the ones who were reactionary. Even the communist leaders, some were intellectuals (Dr. Petru Groza, Ion Gheorghe Maurer etc). Like any regime or like any man, enough mistakes have been made.
My mother said: “All I have, house and apartment, during the communist regime were made, and to my parents, this regime gave them a chance, otherwise nobody could have a place because of bourgeois, they took all functions”. Correct of not, fair of not, right or wrong, these were her words.
Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej was perceived not only like the father who provides the daily piece of bread, but as the man who led the Russians out of the country. The Russians were paid everything they asked, such as products and people deported to labor camps. A whole “mountain” of uranium from Baita city was taken by the Soviet Union.