The Flame Literary Circle appeared as a response to the Hippie movement in the West. They tried to stop the powerful influence that this movement was having on young persons at the time, so they tried to invent a replica. It was something rather similar with what they did in the West. There were lines like: ?Let?s make love on the cannons? And it was said that young people had indeed sex behind the stadium, not on the cannons of course, but on the benches. They also drugged themselves with a tube of toothpaste named ?Opium?, which had a slight hallucinogenic effect.
Many things could be done at these meetings. I remember that I recited a poem with Santa Claus, although Mister Claus replaced Santa Claus everywhere. It was a pretty good safety valve at the time, but which eventually proved uncontrollable. The case from Ploiesti is well known, when a storm broke during such a gathering, and all the participants on the stadium crowded at the gates and they died trampled under feet. About seven people died then. (153)
I never got to The Flame Literary Circle. I just saw some things on TV. I heard very different opinions, of enthusiastic as well as disgusted people. Even now, some consider it a dirty manipulation of population, while others see it as an assembly of real talents. As far as I am concerned, without a personal direct experience, it was both a manipulation and an assembly. (111)
FLEEING THE COUNTRY
It was very hard to flee the country, the borders were severely guarded. The risk was enormous: you could even get shot on trying to cross the border or you could be put in jail for many years and in the fiercest of them all ? Gherla and Aiud in particular. The passing area was on the western border, over the Danube, towards the Serbs. (A.-I. B., 34)
There is a big lake near Orsova, where people used to come and try cross the border to Yugoslavia. There were some rotten boatmen there who took them to the other side of the lake and told them, ?OK, that?s it, you?re in Yugoslavia now, give us our money and from now on you?re on your own!? The poor bastards waited till next day and found they were still on Romanian ground? Many were tricked like that? (S. C., 28)
Only party members or winning sportsmen were allowed to leave the country (generally the sportsmen were UCY members). Whoever tried to flee and was caught, was directly sent to prison ? from 3 to 15 years. All relatives would suffer then, up to 3rd degree relatives. If those who fled were party members, all relatives were expelled from the Party and lost their jobs. (O. S., 41)