Major emotion operating nationwide.
The Head of the State: was afraid of complots, criminal attempts, and the operations of the ?foreign agencies?.
The whole political apparatus holding state leadership: fear of the next day, when they might well lose what they had (i.e. power), because the Party was into the ?staff rotation? habit.
The entire population: fear of the Securitate, fear for the future, as it was known that anything that was not forbidden was compulsory. (51)
Talk about politics was only done surreptitiously, people did not dare speak out loud, they never knew who was listening. If the person you were talking with was not one of your closest acquaintances, you didn?t have the courage to speak as freely as we do now. Because you never knew if he was going to tell on you or not or if there was anyone else listening. Whenever you talked with someone in the street, you looked right and left, before and behind you.
Nevertheless, you were not afraid to go out at night. Day or night, streets were safe, even if in the dark. Because the law was obeyed and the militia was strong!
If some militia officer caught you at night in some park or even in the street, he asked you to identify yourself: the ID and the work permit. They needed to know whether you were employed or not, and if you weren?t, that was not good at all!
If you were unemployed they sent you to the work force. Everyone had to work. Everyone had to have a work place, just that there was the privileged sort, who could get the shadow in summer and the warmth in winter, and never raised a finger, ?cause no one ever asked. (22)
This furtive talk (in the family) was a real adventure for me. We used to whisper when we discussed certain issues among ourselves and even when there was no need for that. I for one would talk too loud, because I?d spend the summer holidays with my grandparents, in the countryside, where people usually speak loudly. When I came home, I had to adjust to the whispering tone, and my parents always told me to tone it down, for fear some neighbor might hear us. I didn?t understand why I should refrain from talking too much with my schoolmates, and in case some person came under discussion, why I should withhold my opinion and better say I knew nothing, heard nothing, saw nothing related to that person. Were I to tell my opinion, it could have turned against me. Even after ?89 I still kept the habit, ?cause ?you never knew who you?re talking to?.
This is how young people grew up ? in this fear of the other. It was easy for me to leave behind this mentality, since back then I was only a child, but mature persons found it very difficult, and there are people now who still think as they used to. (M. C. J., 109)