Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania
The Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania , also known as the Tismăneanu Commission (Comisia Tismăneanu), is a commission instituted in Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 by President
President of Romania
The President of Romania is the head of state of Romania. The President is directly elected by a two-round system for a five-year term . An individual may serve two terms...

 Traian Băsescu
Traian Basescu
Traian Băsescu is the current President of Romania. After serving as the mayor of Bucharest from June 2000 until December 2004, he was elected president in the Romanian Presidential Elections of 2004 and inaugurated on December 20, 2004...

 to investigate the Communist regime
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

 and provide a comprehensive report allowing for the condemnation of Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 as experienced by Romania.

Formed in April 2006 as a panel headed by political scientist Vladimir Tismăneanu
Vladimir Tismaneanu
Vladimir Tismăneanu is a Romanian and American political scientist, political analyst, sociologist, and professor at the University of Maryland, College Park...

, it focused on examining the activity of institutions that enforced and perpetuated the communist dictatorship, "the methods making possible the abuses, the murders, the felonies of the dictatorship, the flagrant violations of human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and the role of some political figures in the maintaining and the functioning of the totalitarian
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

 regime in Romania".

The Commission presented its final report to Parliament
Parliament of Romania
The Parliament of Romania is made up of two chambers:*The Chamber of Deputies*The SenatePrior to the modifications of the Constitution in 2003, the two houses had identical attributes. A text of a law had to be approved by both houses...

 on December 18, 2006. It has been adopted as an official document of the Romanian Presidency and published on its website. The report confirms Romania as the first former Eastern Bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 country to officially condemn its Сommunist regime. The quality, conclusions and choice of commission members of the report are subject to debate within the Romanian society. Starting on January 8, 2007, modifications were made to the report to correct errors and omissions.


The following members were selected by the Commission's President Vladimir Tismăneanu: Sorin Alexandrescu, Sorin Antohi
Sorin Antohi
-Biography:Antohi was born in Târgu Ocna. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Iaşi and a DEA from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. He taught history at the University of Michigan, at the University of Bucharest and at the Central-European...

 (resigned September 13, 2006), Mihnea Berindei, Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu (resigned December 2006), Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu
Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu
Constantin-Grigore Dumitrescu, also known as Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu or Ticu Dumitrescu , Olari, Prahova, was a Romanian politician and president of the Association of Romanian Former Political Prisoners....

, Paul Goma
Paul Goma
Paul Goma is a Romanian writer, also known for his activities as a dissident and leading opponent of the communist regime before 1989. Forced into exile by the communist authorities, he became a political refugee and currently resides in France as a stateless person...

 (dismissed April 2006), Radu Filipescu
Radu Filipescu
Radu Filipescu is a former Romanian anti-Communist dissident. He is the youngest son of Zorel Filipescu and Carmelita-Ileana Filipescu. His elder brother is Doru Filipescu, a well known orthopedic surgeon on Sf. Ioan Hospital, in Bucharest...

, Virgil Ierunca
Virgil Ierunca
Virgil Ierunca was a Romanian literary critic, journalist and poet...

 (died September 28, 2006), Sorin Ilieşiu, Gail Kligman, Monica Lovinescu
Monica Lovinescu
Monica Lovinescu was a Romanian essayist, short story writer, literary critic, translator, and journalist, noted for her activities as an opponent of the Romanian Communist regime. She published several works under the pseudonyms Monique Saint-Come and Claude Pascal. She is the daughter of...

, Nicolae Manolescu
Nicolae Manolescu
Nicolae Manolescu is a Romanian literary critic. As an editor of România Literară literary magazine, he has reached a record in reviewing books for almost 30 years...

, Marius Gheorghe Oprea, Horia-Roman Patapievici
Horia-Roman Patapievici
Horia-Roman Patapievici is a Romanian physicist and essayist who currently serves as the head of the Romanian Cultural Institute. Between 2000 and 2005, he was a member of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives, supporting more openness regarding the files of the...

, Dragoş Petrescu, Andrei Pippidi, Romulus Rusan, Levente Salat, Stelian Tănase
Stelian Tanase
Stelian Tănase is a Romanian writer, historian, journalist, political analyst, and talk show host. Having briefly engaged in politics during the early 1990s, after the fall of the Communist regime, he has remained a leading figure of the Romanian civil society.A founding member of both the Group...

, Cristian Vasile
Cristian Vasile
Cristian Vasile was a Romanian, well-known tango-romance singer between 1928 and 1949, famous for songs like "Zaraza", "Aprinde o ţigară", "Ce să-ţi mai scriu", "Pentru tine am făcut nebunii", "Nunuţo". He died in 1974 in Sibiu...

 and Alexandru Zub
Alexandru Zub
Alexandru Zub is a Romanian historian, biographer, essayist, political activist and academic. A former Professor at the University of Iaşi, noted for his contribution to the study of cultural history and Romanian history, he is currently head of the A. D. Xenopol Institute of History and Archeology...


Pillars, enforcers, and supporters of Communism

The report identifies several individuals as responsible for officially-endorsed violent methods. Several of their biographies were reviewed as part of the 660 page report. Among those identified included former Romanian President Ion Iliescu
Ion Iliescu
Ion Iliescu served as President of Romania from 1990 until 1996, and from 2000 until 2004. From 1996 to 2000 and from 2004 until his retirement in 2008, Iliescu was a Senator for the Social Democratic Party , whose honorary president he remains....

, Romanian senators Corneliu Vadim Tudor
Corneliu Vadim Tudor
Corneliu Vadim Tudor is leader of the Greater Romania Party , writer, journalist and a Member of the European Parliament...

 and Adrian Păunescu
Adrian Paunescu
Adrian Păunescu was a Romanian poet, journalist, and politician. Though criticised for praising dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, Păunescu was called "Romania's most famous poet" in a Associated Press story, quoted by the New York Times.-Life:Born in Copăceni, Bălţi County, in what is now the Republic...

), and the Commission President's father, Leonte Tismăneanu
Leonte Tismaneanu
Leonte Tismăneanu was a Romanian communist activist and propagandist.Born into a Jewish family in Soroca, Bessarabia, Russian Empire , he joined the Romanian Communist Party in the early 1930s. He engaged in illegal communist activities in Bucharest, Galaţi, Brăila and Soroca...

. In the category comprising those found to be "guilty of enforcing and perpetuating a regime built on crimes" were Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej
Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej
Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej was the Communist leader of Romania from 1948 until his death in 1965.-Early life:Gheorghe was the son of a poor worker, Tănase Gheorghiu, and his wife Ana. Gheorghiu-Dej joined the Communist Party of Romania in 1930...

, Ana Pauker
Ana Pauker
Ana Pauker was a Romanian communist leader and served as the country's foreign minister in the late 1940s and early 1950s...

, Gheorghe Apostol
Gheorghe Apostol
Gheorghe Apostol was a Romanian politician, deputy Prime Minister of Romania and a former leader of the Communist Party, noted for his rivalry with Nicolae Ceauşescu.-Early life:...

, Gheorghe Rădulescu, Manea Mănescu
Manea Manescu
Manea Mănescu was a former Romanian communist politician who served as Prime Minister for five years during Nicolae Ceauşescu's Communist regime....

 and Ion Iliescu. Among those found responsible for political indoctrination
Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology . It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned...

 were Ion Iliescu, Mihai Roller, Paul Niculescu-Mizil, Valter Roman
Valter Roman
Valter or Walter Roman , born Ernst or Ernő Neuländer, was a Romanian communist activist and soldier. During his lifetime, Roman was active inside the Romanian, Czechoslovakian, French, and Spanish Communist parties as well as being a Comintern cadre...

, and Silviu Brucan
Silviu Brucan
Silviu Brucan was a Romanian communist politician. Though he disagreed with Nicolae Ceauşescu's policies, he never gave up his communist beliefs and did not oppose communist ideology...


A special category comprises those participants in the cultural life who were found to have actively supported the Сommunist regime. The Report mentions Eugen Barbu
Eugen Barbu
Eugen Barbu was a Romanian modern novelist, short story writer, journalist, and correspondent member of the Romanian Academy. The latter position was vehemently criticized by those who contended that he plagiarized in his novel Incognito and for the anti-Semitic campaigns he initiated in the...

, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, Dan Zamfirescu, Ion Dodu Bălan, Dinu Săraru, Adrian Păunescu, Ilie Bădescu, Mihai Ungheanu, Nicolae Dan Fruntelată, Artur Silvestri and Ilie Purcaru. The Săptămâna magazine, directed by Eugen Barbu and Corneliu Vadim Tudor, was considered "the main platform for manipulative pseudo-nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 during the late years of the Ceauşescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...


The report mentions Mihai Bujor Sion and Leonte Tismăneanu among the main activists of the Romanian Communist Party
Romanian Communist Party
The Romanian Communist Party was a communist political party in Romania. Successor to the Bolshevik wing of the Socialist Party of Romania, it gave ideological endorsement to communist revolution and the disestablishment of Greater Romania. The PCR was a minor and illegal grouping for much of the...

. Those identified as involved in the regime's propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 apparatus are Matei Socor (head of the Agerpres news agency), Paul Niculescu-Mizil, Leonte Răutu, Eugen Florescu and Ion Iliescu. Ghizela Vass
Ghizela Vass
Ghizela Vass , a Romanian Communist, was an activist and politician of the Romanian Communist Party...

 and Ştefan Andrei
Ştefan Andrei
Ştefan Andrei is a former Romanian communist politician who, among others, served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania . He was arrested after the 1989 overthrow of the Nicolae Ceauşescu regime.-Early life:...

 were identified as main agents of the Communist regime involved in policies pertaining to external affairs.

Other conclusions

The report also contradicts President Băsescu's earlier assertion (a thesis also supported also by the Left and nationalist groupings of the Romanian political spectrum
Politics of Romania
Politics of Romania take place in a framework of a semi-presidential parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Romania is the head of government and the President of Romania exercises the functions of head of state. Romania has a multi-party system. Executive...

) that the Communist secret police
Secret police
Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

, the Securitate
The Securitate was the secret police agency of Communist Romania. Previously, the Romanian secret police was called Siguranţa Statului. Founded on August 30, 1948, with help from the Soviet NKVD, the Securitate was abolished in December 1989, shortly after President Nicolae Ceaușescu was...

, can be divided into two distinct sections - one serving the regime, the other ensuring the nation's security. Vladimir Tismăneanu was quoted by Adevărul
Adevărul is a Romanian daily newspaper, based in Bucharest. Founded in 1871 and reestablished in 1888, it was the main left-wing press venue to be published during the Romanian Kingdom's existence, adopting an independent pro-democratic position, advocating land reform and universal suffrage...

"We [the Commission] reject on a scientific basis the existence of two kinds of Securitate, one of before 1965, Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

ist and anti-patriotic
Patriotism is a devotion to one's country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy...

, and the other one devoted to the people and to the patriotic values".


Critics of the report of the Tismăneanu commission have focused on three problems: the choice of events and personalities included in the report, the moral authority of the commission members and the conclusions of the report.

Choice of events and Communist figures

Anti-Communist dissidents Victor Frunză and Ionel Cana published a protest letter criticising the fact that the report failed to mention Bessarabia and Bukovina, which were the main target of Soviet expansionism. They contend that the pro-Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 position concerning Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 and Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

 was one of the main "structural defects of the communist group of Romania". A similar position has been taken by other personalities such as Victor Roncea, president of the Civic Media Association, who denounced the crimes committed by the communists in Soviet-occupied Bessarabia and Bukovina before, during and after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The Communist repression on these two territories was proposed for inclusion in the report by dissident Paul Goma
Paul Goma
Paul Goma is a Romanian writer, also known for his activities as a dissident and leading opponent of the communist regime before 1989. Forced into exile by the communist authorities, he became a political refugee and currently resides in France as a stateless person...

 as early as May 2006, in an open letter to Romanian president Traian Băsescu.

Romanian journalist Ion Cristoiu
Ion Cristoiu
Ion Cristoiu is a Romanian journalist. He was editor-in-chief of the daily Evenimentul Zilei during its heyday in the 1990s, when the average daily circulation topped 600,000, making it the most read newspaper in Romania, and one of the most read in Eastern Europe as well...

 considers the personalities nominated are perceived as political enemies of Traian Băsescu, the current president of Romania, who initiated the commission.. Writer and Ziua
Ziua was a major Romanian daily newspaper published in Bucharest. It was published in Romanian with a fairly sizeable and often informative English section. Ziua was founded in 1994 by Sorin Roşca Stănescu, eventually becoming foreign-owned...

editor Dan Ciachir considers that the choice of events and the conclusions of the report put an undue weight on the relations between the Romanian Orthodox Church
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

 with the Communist regime, and especially in relation with the interdiction of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church..

Moral authority of the commission

Tismăneanu's father was, according to the report, one of the main propagandists in charge of communist indoctrination. One of members of the Commission (Sorin Antohi) was a collaborator of the Securitate who lied about his academic credentials. Antohi is a close collaborator of Tismăneanu and still edits a scientific journal chaired by Tismăneanu. Another member, Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu, resigned after declaring he was not aware of his nomination on the commission. Mihnea Berindei, also a member, was accused of being a Securitate collaborator. The exiled writer and dissident Paul Goma was invited and later fired from the commission after only nine days by Tismăneanu.

Conclusions of the report

Some critics have noted that condemning a political doctrine is useless because the crimes of the regime should be condemned, and dangerous because existing communist states could be take it as an attack. Some believe President Traian Băsescu's choice to declare the Communist regime as illegitimate on the basis of the report is also dangerous because it may be interpreted as an annulment of all international treaties in which Communist Romania took part.

The volume Iluzia Anticomunismului summarizes a number of critiques, including lack of narrative continuity, poor organization and failure to engage the problem at more than symbolic level.
Sorin Adam Matei
Sorin Adam Matei
Dr. Sorin Adam Matei is an Associate Professor of Communication at Purdue University, where he specializes in studying the creation, use, and application of new media technologies...

  criticizes the report for its lack of rigor, amalgamation with no obvious plan of various pre-written book chapters and articles, and for adopting as conclusion a document written before the report was even written. He also points to the lack of juridical basis or consequence of the report. He calls for a second edition of the report, a "Report on Communism 2.0" to be documented and rewritten by historians and legal scholars who have a sound understanding of the legal implications of such a document. Michael Shafir pointed to the fact that the language of the report is unsuitable for a historical work and to conceptual confusions. He believes that "genocide" is not an appropriate word in this context, that the head of the commission, V. Tismăneanu, used theories and concepts without proper attribution and that throughout the report uses a faulty citation policy. It was also noted that the report mixes all victims of the Communist regime into a single category, making no distinction between democratic leaders and former Iron Guard
Iron Guard
The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...

members. Important dissident leaders are also omitted from the report.

On January 8, 2007, modifications to the report corrected some errors and omissions.. The legal status of these changes to a final report adopted as official Presidency document is unclear.

External links

Final Report of the Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania
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