My generation among generations
Maria Mateoniu

How can I write about the ?90s disregarding the Revolution, because, for those of my age it is then when everything has started, the awakening and the disappointment, once with the shattering moment when down the streets of Ti-mişoara people were being gunned down, stepped over by tanks?

The 1989 Revolution was a shock, because, due to my indoctrinated child?s naiveté I would still believe that Ceauşescu had no idea of what was going on in the country, had no idea that the shops were empty and we had nothing to eat. I used to tell myself that he was lied to by those surrounding and franticly applauding him during the Party?s plenary meetings. I cannot explain myself where this need to believe in a good Ceauşescu came from, probably from an incessant urge to believe in something good, in an ideal.

And as the belief in God seemed appropriate only for na?ve and less learned people, I left my grandmother alone to go to church, because my mother was being caught in her job at the factory and I carried on with my rather earthly and quite revolutionary ideals.

I was a student, belonging to the YCU1, when the Revolution started in Târgu-Jiu. Without it, I could have become the vivid reincarnation of the new man.

This thought startles me even now, giving me shivers down my spine, hence a sometimes-ravishing revolt against communism, against manipulation and the well-concealed lie.

I remember the inspection we had, just a few weeks before the Revolution and which remained carved into my mind like a foretoken.

We were waiting for an inspector from Bucharest, a certain comrade Vlăduţescu, if I?m not mistaken, and our economy teacher had long warned us that we were supposed to learn from the party?s plenary meetings and from Ceauşescu?s speeches.

She had also indicated us what exactly to learn and each of us had to know by heart a certain part, everything was staged, the roles were well distributed.

I also remember the teacher?s sickly fluster and now, that I think of it, I recall that it must have been a severe control, dictated by fear.

The fear of collapse, because in the Soviet Union there was Gorbaciov?s Perestroika and the other communist countries had already changed their orientation. Romania was the only one left, with a Ceauşescu standing his ground, determined to carry on with his spectral ideas.

1 Young Communist Union.

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