Vasile Dudeanu

* 1928

  • "We weren't given any water except for a bucket of water per day, which would of course get dirty - we would take turns: someone one day, someone else tomorrow - and when the bucket was full, we would take it outside. When you grabbed the handles, you would get dirty from all that dirt, no matter how much you tried not to shake it, it was still full, so you got dirty anyways. We were only allowed outside half an hour a day for a walk. They would take us outside in the prison yard of Jilava, make us stand in a line, one behind the other, without looking to the left or right and without talking to each other. We would walk around in circles for half an hour together with the guard. If you dared to open your mouth, the guard would swear at you and snap you, and would then get everybody back inside. We were young and we managed to cope. But there were also older people who would get tired. There were priests, ministers, officers, doctors, all kind of people of all ages."

  • "I: Being surrounded by intellectuals, especially by our teachers, we learned foreign languages, mathematics, each with his area of expertise. How did we do this? We would put DTT (which we were given against lice) in a bag or in a handkerchief, then soaked the bottom of the dish (that we received for eating and washing), smeared it with soap and used the handkerchief to spread the DTT dust - it would turn into slime. We would strike the spoons we used for eating with a stone the best we could, so they would turn into some sort of knives, which we then used to sharpen little sticks we could use for scratching that slime. We wrote our math lessons or other things we were taught like this. When we heard the guard, we wiped off what we had written. Or when the bread arrived. Before bringing us the food, they would give us a bread cut in quarters. It was cut in quarters because it was round. We organized ourselves in the cell like in a committee. We even had a chief of the room. We received the bread at the door because they wouldn't let us go any further. Together with other brothers in pain, we would go and take the blanket with the bread. We then shared the bread among groups of four. Because it was never enough, to avoid the hunger obsession which we all felt, we would give out numbers: one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four... so in groups. We would take one bread, the quarters were, of course, not cut equally. R: A smaller piece, a larger piece. I: And then, every day, we had like a scale, also made out of a wooden stick, with two thorns and a thread. We would push the stick inside the bread and weigh the pieces, the first one in line would then receive the largest quarter of bread. The next day it was someone else's turn to take the largest piece. We would take the bread one after the other, one, two, three, four - the last one received the smallest loaf. And the last one was first in line tomorrow, you know?"

  • "I: (…) they started threatening us: „On your knees! Line up one after another!” and I don't know what else, and then chased us: „Forward, march!” They made us walk from the railway station to the prison, to Poarta Albă. R: How long did you have to walk? I: Oh! We didn't walk much, the prison was near to the railway station. We walked for about fifteen minutes! R: I see. I: Yes. So we walked for a while and then got inside an enclosure, which was surrounded by a barbed wire fence and lookout posts, where they let us go. When I found myself under the free blue sky, I thought I was half free. I was no longer locked in a cell, I was outside in the yard. After that, after forcing us inside, they lined us up in the middle of the yard and started splitting us up. They assigned me to a barracks. The barracks were marked: A, B, C... you know? They assigned me to a C barracks. I climbed into bed and went to sleep. In the morning, when the program started, they took us outside into the yard and lined us all up, all detainees who had just arrived. They started asking us questions: What is your profession? What sentence did you receive? I was wise not to say I was a student. I said: „I'm a carpenter, sir!” R: What do you mean you were wise? What would have happened, had you told them you were actually a student? I: I would have had to work on the land, pushing wheelbarrows with earth. R: So a much harder work! I: Exactly, a harder work! But as a craftsman, they needed people like this."

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    Bucharest, Romania, 12.05.2011

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This was our purpose: to chase away the communists from our country

Ioan Ioniţă, member of the anticommunist group Column VI, sentenced to 6 years
Ioan Ioniţă, member of the anticommunist group Column VI, sentenced to 6 years
photo: Arhiva foto a Memorialului Victimelor Comunismului şi al Rezistenţei - fond Doina Ioniţă

Vasile Dudeanu was born on April 12, 1928, in Bucharest. Still in high school, left without a father and specializing in wood processing, Vasile Dudeanu started working in a workshop, making small parts for violins. In 1948, along with several students of the Industrial High School in Bucharest, supporters of the National Peasant’s Party and of the monarchy, Vasile Dudeanu became a member of an anti-communist organization called Column VI. Gradually, more and more students, and eventually teachers, started joining the organization. Column VI had a statute, its members held meetings and managed to get weapons. Their main action consisted of printing and distributing anti-communist and anti-Soviet manifestos. The leaflets were created with the help of a stamp with letters made of rubber. The members of the organization saved money on transportation by walking to school, in order to buy paper. The leaflets were distributed in Bucharest and the surrounding area. The members of the group, as well as other people who had gotten in touch with them, were arrested in two waves, one in November 1949 and the other in the spring of 1950. Following two trials, more than 30 persons received sentences of 1 to 7 years in prison. Vasile Dudeanu was arrested on November 11, 1949, and, following a trial held in October 1950, was sentenced to 4 years of hard prison for “plotting against the socialist order”. After more than four years spent in prison, in Jilava, Valea Neagră, Poarta Albă and Gherla, Vasile Dudeanu was released on January 5, 1954.After his release, Dudeanu first started working in the local industry in Titu, near Bucharest, then got a job at a furniture factory in Bucharest. He is currently living in Bucharest and is an active member of the Association of Former Political Detainees in Romania.