The book Survivors. Testimonies of Romania’s Communist Prisons (2014), which contains 19 interviews and photographs of former political detainees, many being the last interviews they made about the prison experience and the struggle to obtain a place in the Communist society after en masse liberation in 1964.
Our aim is to revive recent history events and understand its current days’ consequences by revealing real people’s destinies, real lives and experiences. The young generation needs to understand the role communism had in mutilating the souls and the families, as dr. Galina Raduleanu, a survivor of Communist prisons, has said in Survivors.
The Communist regime in Romania (1946-1989) destroyed the elites and led a consistent campaign to change people’s faith and values; today, these survivors are the living proof that people can stand up to a political regime. But at what costs? Their health, their careers, their families, the peace of mind of their children. But not their conscience.
The number of Romanian political detainees during the Communist regime is not known exactly, due to the high number of prison, work camps and documents, due to the frequent move of prisoners from one prison to another (Octav Bjoza recalls being moved through 14 prisons in 7 years), but historians estimate at least 150,000 people; there were not isolated cases, but country-wide resistance against the Soviet occupation. There have been at least 4,000 women and hundreds of minors among them. These figures estimate the impact of the anticommunist resistance and the sufferance of the families – because as far as one member of the family was arrested, the entire family was put under surveillance, blackmailed, their wealth confiscated.