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30 Years since the Timisoara Revolution: december 1989 – december 2019. Participation of the staff from the Neuropsychiatry Services for Children and Adolescents at the events in Timisoara in December 1989 and the ensuing transformations

Autor: Constantin Lupu
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SUMMARY
The change of social order following the Romanian revolution in Timisoara, in December 1989, was experienced by the medical staff and the allied professions from the Clinical Center for Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry. During the revolution, children, adolescents and adults were killed, with more than 1200 dead heroes shot by criminal terrorists. Th ere were also many victims with panic attacks and other serious neuropsychiatric conditions that were treated by our specialists [1]. Th e injured children admitted to the surgery, paediatric orthopaedics, ophthalmology, paediatric and contagious sections also benefi ted from our medical and psychotherapeutic interventions. Th e revolution continued in the following period by establishment of political, economic and social measures and changes. Th e borders of the country were opened and we were able to enrich ourselves with the much needed professional novelties in medicine. Th e most important news for us was the birth of RSCANP in January 1990, this being the fi rst non-governmental medical organization in Romania with an apolitical and independent, decentralized character, and consequently neuropsychiatry and mental health centres for children and adolescents in all the counties of the country have been established. Moreover, the right to organize annual professional meetings with the title of congresses, conferences, consorts and the right to participate in international scientifi c events have been decreed. Th e bibliography is comprehensive, it covers the chronological description of the events of the revolution and the participation of the medical-sanitary personnel from Timisoara and from the country in the development and victory of the revolution in December 1989.
Keywords: the Romanian revolution in Timisoara – December 1989; December 15th and 31st 1989; RSCANP; child, adolescent

For all of us, December is the month of Christmas holidays and gifts, there are moments of memories and joys for children, young people and adults. But here is that. in December 1989, we experienced unique events in our lives, with more changes in one month than in other decades.
That was a stormy December followed by gaining our freedom. We recall those events remind as follows: on Friday, December 1, 1989, towards lunch, I was summoned to the chief accountant of the children’s hospital; she announced me that a large amount of money had been received from the Timis Health Department, as I has often asked for repairs and replacement of the roofs of the two buildings of the NPI section. There were significant amounts left over from other hospitals in the county, but I was to spend them entirely with “expense account” until December 30, 1989, otherwise the bank withdrew the money entirely. It was Saturday, that is, the end of the week; the accountant did not think I could find a contractor, while the accountant and the hospital administrator did not know anyone for such great works. It happened that I had some connexions at Ceraminca Bohm Factory in Jimbolia, which was nationalized in 1948, but the heiress, Lenore Bohm was a nurse at us at the NPI, while the accountant at Ceramica was the sister of our head nurse, Rodica B.
We arrived on Sunday, December 3, at the Director of the Enterprise in Jimbolia, and managed to agree with the 5 carpenters to start the work, but a series of conditions, that we called “the big IF”, followed: if wooden material could be found, if we would receive additional quota of gasoline to transport the workers to the site in the morning and back to their homes in Jimbolia in the evening, and also to transport to the special pits the tonnes of tarpaulins resulting from the cleaning of the roofs.
The Swabian carpenters proved to be very dedicated and diligent, so we had an extended site until December 31st. The pieces of wood were brought green from a cooperative in the Aries Valley, being freshly harvested, but others could not be found. We had a 12 hour day job and although at 16:30 it was dark, the craftsmen worked with lanterns, sometimes with bulbs from the public network (if we received electricity) even in full moonlight; and the temperatures were like in summer. On December 8th, Professor Emil Magureanu, Secretary General of the Academy of Romanian Medical Sciences, arrived from Bucharest to attend a meeting of the ARMS branch in Timisoara. We knew each other from repeated meetings in Bucharest, the professor being the husband of our colleague M.D. Sanda Magureanu who had asked me to be Emil’s hosts. It was a pleasant mission: we discussed the epidemiology of neuropsychiatric diseases in children and adolescents. On Saturday, December 9th, I showed my guest around the cities of Timisoara and Arad, which he did not know, and on Sunday, December 10th, we visited the dendrological park in Bazos. Those visits were appreciated as “wonderful drugs for relaxation and exercise”. In the evening, the professor travelled back to Bucharest by train. The days of the revolution in Timisoara and Bucharest followed, and on December 24th, Emil Magureanu was shot in the head and died in their home, in the arms of his wife. I experienced the beginning of the revolution like this: on December 15th, all my colleagues from the NPI centre got off the tram as usual at the Sinaia stop (today, Al. Mocioni Square) but, at the previous stop, at St. Mary’s, we had seen a crowd of people gathered in front of the Reformed Church. In the tram, we had found out that they were parishioners guarding Pastor L. Tokes who was to be expelled from Timisoara, because of his anticommunist and anti-Ceausescu conceptions and sermons [2].
During the next day and the following night, the number of those civilians increased, but also many masked police and military men appeared in special equipment. Other masked people were brought with military trucks, from which men with sticks and picks came down, too, and started to break the doors and windows of the stores near the Reformed Church, and to spark off fires with the help of petroleum liquids brought with them in the respective cars [3], in order to demonstrate that the people of Tokes cause destruction and brutally oppose official measures, so they could be considered the enemies of the state regime. The news of those manoeuvrers was spread in factories, universities and schools, therefore, on December 16th, people went on strike and walked in columns towards the Reformed Church. On Saturday, December 16th, the number of protesters had increased, the protests spread throughout the city, having a clear character against the political regime. Soldiers in fighting equipment were brought to the streets, tanks and amphibious armoured vehicles (TAB), equipped for combat appeared, too. It was a hot “summer” day, on all the big streets, columns of protesters came to the Opera Square as well as the military troupes that would occupy the city centre. On Sunday, December 17th, I rushed to the clinic thinking of the children in the hospital and of my colleagues [4].
At 08:00, at the on call guard report, we were only 4: M.D. Blaj, who handed over the guard service of the previous night, the head nurse, Eva, a secondary doctor and the undersigned. It was reported that, at each street, the pedestrians were controlled, and at intersections the vehicles were controlled: terrorists and weapons were searched for with patrols of militia and soldiers legitimizing and detaining suspects. At each control, we were put to face the wall, waiting for the control of documents and bodily control, a “legal” reason to be tardy at work. All pedestrians were stopped for 2 or 3 such controls. On Sunday, December 17th, in the afternoon, the protesters set off for Opera Square and at the crossing of the nearby bridge, the shooting of the protesters started. The same day, terrorists and snipers that appeared in the city also shot hungry and shuddery children who gathered on the steps of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Every day the Opera Square was occupied by demonstrators who amplified the anti-communist and anti-Ceausescu demands and slogans [5].

Among the protesters there were civil security infiltrators who mimicked the lighting of a cigarette and transmitted news to their headquarters. I could hear nearby: “There are many, they have no weapons, some of them are accompanied by their children”. From the commemorative volume “Votive light” I would mention stories of some photographers present among the demonstrators [6].
Thus, Constantin Duma, from Foto Agerpres, related: a photograph from those days in the situation of repression, could be used to recognize the revolutionaries which might lead to the arrest with aggression and the sentence to years of imprisonment, maybe even to death, with the accusation of conspiracy against the state regime. If the Revolution had succeeded, those photographs were blaming the Ceausescu political power and proving the acts of mass murder, that is, of genocide. Photographer Mircea Radu, a journalist at Timisoara’s official newspaper of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) called “The Red Flag” remembered that a “soldier” at 4-5 m away from him said: “if I see you again with the camera, I’ll put the bayonet in your throat” [7]. Also in the book “Votive light”, historian Titus Suciu reports: “The facts that happened at one point are known by the descendants either by means of the written word or by images. Although this is not his basic profession, through photographs, the distinguished doctor Constantin Lupu is a historian of the Revolution” [8].
Writer Vasile Bogdan: “This time, too, Dr. Lupu was where he should be. After devoting his entire life to awakening young people from the darkness of their mind, after many years of having lived away into the darkness of the earth, bringing out to light unspeakable values, after organizing those concerts in the Romanesti Cave, unique in our country and one of the few in the world, he also went out on the streets of the Revolution and did what few had in mind to do then, to photograph. And he preserved, for our memory, written evidence and photographs, the most expressive definition of the Timisoara Revolution. “I took photographs because I felt and understood that very important events were happening. What I think was successful were the pictures and slides with tanks that came, loaded with military and civilians. There were a lot of people in the square, an amazing event, quite grandiose, as I had never seen before. I took pictures in front of the Cathedral and in other areas of the Revolution” [9].
We were all late for work because there were traffic restrictions in the city, but, by 9am, everyone in the day’s chart had arrived. I admired the courage and dedication of the colleagues from NPI but also from the other hospitals in Timisoara, during all those days of December ‘89. The traffic was controlled: in each street, pedestrians had their identity checked, no groups of passers-by were allowed, and, at the intersections, the cars were controlled by young people with white or tricolour banners. Protesters appeared in factories and student dormitories. People who arrived at NPI for consultations, admissions or prescriptions, told us that, in the city, they had seen trucks with soldiers dressed in uniforms and foreign cars. On Sunday evening, the demonstrators gathered in front of the Reformed Church marched to the Opera Square, and the military received order and opened fire on unarmed protesters killing about 100 people and injuring over 300 people. Over 900 protesters were arrested under conditions of aggression and ill-treatment [10].
The news about these crimes and manoeuvres, the arrest of peaceful protesters spread around the city, in factories and in student dormitories. It was important that, throughout December 1989, there were summer temperatures, facilitating the movement of protesters. In the NPI Clinic, children and adolescents were admitted, with or without family, the majority of them from other localities, all the places being occupied. During the night of December 17th /18th there was rain with lightning and thunder like in summer. On Monday 18th and Tuesday, December 19th, security officers and civilians came to the County Hospital and to other hospitals. They searched for wounds with bullets, bullet splinters or explosive cartridges and shot them with silent weapons, while suffocating others with pillows or plastic bags. The traces of the December 17th evening crimes had to be erased. The book “Votive light” specifies: “The doctors were extraordinary, they made every effort to keep the revolutionaries from getting into the hands of those criminals” [15]. The dead were gathered at the morgue of the County Hospital, from where they were transported to the crematorium in Bucharest, in order to eliminate the evidence of the shootings while the records of hospitalizations and operations disappeared. On the morning of December 19th, we received a phone call from Timis Directorate of Public Health, a kind of order to discharge the patients from the NPI Hospital because we will no longer receive food for the children, but beds will be needed for possible victims.
We tried to transport the patients by the ambulance car will, which was still allowed to circulate. At the hospital’s kitchen we decided to prepare boiled potato soup with pickled cucumbers from the summer reserves. But we were NOT able to discharge the children from the hospital because the trains could not enter or leave the train stations in Timisoara, and the children’s family members from Timisoara could not arrive at the NPI Hospital. In the centre of the city, 2 tanks were placed by the walls of the Opera, House with turrets aimed at protesters and 3 TABs (army fighting machines). There were gunfires targeting unarmed protesters. There were snipers who killed unarmed civilians in the city and in the Opera Square. But in the afternoon of December 19th, all the military of the Romanian Army in Timisoara ranged themselves on the revolutionaries’ side [12]. The revolutionary protesters also went to the County Committee of the Communist Party which they occupied, while, in the Opera Square, the revolutionaries made their demands with powerful and commanding slogans “Freedom”, “Down with the dictatorship” “Down with communism”.
On December 20th, under the impetus of those slogans, a revolutionary committee declared from the balcony of the Opera: Timisoara the first town in Romania free of communism, and a priest urged us to pray. The mass of people, including the undersigned, kneeled down, saying Our Father. We entrusted our life, freedom and future, the Christian symbol of peace and love among people [12] and in the following days of the Revolution the protesters filled the space between the Opera and the Metropolitan Cathedral by adding the slogan “Today in Timisoara, tomorrow all over the country”. There were over 40,000 people, mostly youths who came in columns, with the tricolour flag without the communist coat of arms, with slogans “We want bread and heat”, “Down with communism”, etc. [6]. In the following days, the demonstrations ignited in Arad, Lugoj and in more and more localities, bursting in Bucharest during the meeting convened by Ceausescu to “unmask the enemies” in Timisoara, where the force of the revolutionary protesters was increasing every day [9]. In Timisoara, many patrols of militia and military personnel were installed. They stopped the passers-by, checked their identity documents and searched them while sending some of them to prison. On such a control, the suspects had to wait for a long time, people were stuck with their backs to the wall, and the soldiers assured us that “the military cares about citizens”. Traffic by buses, cars and trams was subject to the same controls. On December 21st, we were stopped by a barrage of young people with white or tricolour banners looking for weapons and terrorists (figure 1).

Friday, December 22nd, I left the hospital at 12:30 with my wife (whose workplace was at the Construction Company near the NPI Clinic, in C. Porumbescu Boulevard towards The Balcescu Square) with the thought of reaching the centre. But in Balcescu Square we stopped: someone had opened a window and placed there a black and white television set on whose screen we could see the broadcast of the meeting in Bucharest with Ceausescu’s escape from the roof of the Central Committee building [4]. Believe me, I am able to tell you how people reacted: those occasional TV viewers, after a moment of deep silence, they applauded, laughed and then, all of us got dispersed. With this, the desire to go to the centre became quite stressful. But, because we were near the house of a special friend, we decided to take him with us, too.
I am sure you have heard about Professor Eduard Pamfil. A special man, a great humanist, a renowned personality of Timisoara and not only, professor of medicine, specialised in psychiatry, an artist and creator of ideas. He lived in the current Sorin Titel Street and we decided to take him with us to the Opera Square. The professor was an aged man, did not have a radio, did not have a television set, knew nothing of what had happened in the city other than from hearsay, from the neighbours. He was aware that everyone was going to gather in the centre, he had heard something about the movements in the city, reprisals and shootings, but his representation was far from the reality of those days. “Professor, would you come with us, come to the centre, the whole city will be there because Ceausescu has fled away. He ran away, we enter a new era … “.
The Professor looked at us in puzzlement, being rightly dismayed. “How should Ceausescu have run away, my dear ones? What goes on through your head, what are these words? Do you want to suffer, do you really ask for trouble?”. We did not give up so easily, I insisted, but, unfortunately, we were on opposite poles, the Professor could not believe his ears, he simply could not imagine that we were talking about an accomplished fact. His hindrance was actually explainable. Like many of our great men, he had been in detention for a few years and knew one was not to joke with the Communists. I insisted that he should accompany us for about 20 minutes, maybe more, I did not succeed, but at one point he uttered a memorable sentence, although I am convinced that even then he did not believe what I kept telling him. His words came out spontaneously, simply and solely because had the ability to always release memorable phrases, and what he said on that occasion was really extraordinary “Just fancy, communism was born on the Neva and drowned in the Bega!”. It was our turn to be left without a reply.
I knew him well, I knew that every sentence was profound, and at the same time, brilliant, but the above sentence really surprised us. Unfortunately, with all our insistence, Professor Pamfil stayed home, so we went to the centre without him. The Opera Square was full of people. Agitation, joy, indescribable enthusiasm. To say nothing about the slogans, so well known by any of us, the ones with “Down with Ceausescu! … Freedom!, Ceausescu the criminal from Scornicesti, Down with communism” and others. The terrorists continued to shoot unarmed people and the dead and wounded were gathered at the County Hospital. From here they were transported and burned at the crematorium in Bucharest. During the rest of December, day and night, the revolutionaries remained at the demonstrations, and all the medical staff worked among the victims, and in hospitals, polyclinics and medical offices, proving their dedication to the profession, the spirit of sacrifice and heroism in the conditions of civil war in of those days [13]. At that time and in the following days we felt close and supportive to each other. At the NPI Clinical Centre, all the colleagues: physicians, nurses, psychologists, all the health and administrative staff, as well as the teachers from the general school operating within the clinic: were present at their job in three service shifts. We arrived at the program by going through identity checks, searches, sometimes amid bullets, we all felt that the sick children were waiting for us, we supported each other in safety, some colleagues preferred to sleep in a corner of the hospital to be on duty.
In the following part, we shall recollect the events and the 30-year anniversary (1989-2019) of the Romanian Anti-Communist Revolution, which is celebrated throughout the country and at our agencies abroad between December 15th and 31st. The presence of child and adolescent neuropsychiatrists from Timisoara was important in those days when young, peaceful demonstrators such as children from boarding schools, from special schools in Timisoara and Lugoj, homeless children as well as all the other schoolchildren or students, were attacked, injured and shot. This participation was spontaneous, being determined, as the children used to say, by “the three f’s: famine, freezing and fear” More than 120 minors and youths came to us, brought by the ambulance, sent by the district doctors or by the school doctors, and some appeared on their own initiative, requesting food, clothes, heat and anxiolytic or sleeping pills. At the NPI Clinic: on the morning of December 24th, 1989, on Christmas Eve, I removed N. Ceausescu’s painting from the wall of the room used guard service reports, courses and professional meetings, replacing it on December 28th with a photograph of a boy from the fourth form (the son of photographer Marin Dogaru) and I brought home the white statue called “Mother and child” created by University Professor Nicolae Adam, the head of the “Nicolae Grigorescu” sculpture department in Bucharest. The author achieved this work in the years 1956-1958 for his sister and his niece, Gabriela, the only girl among the family boys. The donation was dedicated to all NPI Timisoara employees by engineer Gabriela Lupu, who, during that period, was the head of the technical sector of the Children’s Hospital; the donation was to be recorded in the inventory of our section. The photograph of the boy and the statue “Mother and daughter” have been for years the symbol of our professions dedicated to the lives, health and protection of children and adolescents. The last days of December 1989 were approaching.
The army came to terms with the revolutionaries, the tanks and armoured vehicles were withdrawn, but in Timisoara, day and night, shots and bursts of automatic weapons could be heard, many terrorists being identified and arrested. The purpose of those shootings was to frighten the population so that no new protesters and claims would emerged. In the NPI Clinic Hospital, there were many hospitalized children who were undergoing treatment, but they could not sleep because, in the gardens around the institution, shootings were triggered several times during the night. Those shootings scared the children, their families and the medical staff from the night shifts. During the day, carpenters and builders worked to finish the roofs, so they fixed the last tiles on December 31st. But, in the following nights, the shooting salvoes continued so that on January 2nd, 1990, at noon, we announced the commander of the new military structure of the city, requesting a control of the gardens around the hospital. In a few minutes the antiterror platoon led by a young lieutenant appeared. The soldiers climbed the fences and the officer climbed the roof with me where we could direct the military. Shortly after, they reported: “We have found a machine in a large crate with a battery and an installation that was started and thus, the firing of shots was triggered repetitively at 2-3 hour distance, terrorizing those in the NPI Hospital and the surrounding neighbours.
This simulator was transported to the Headquarters of the Timisoara Garrison. We have presented in our descriptions the Timisoara revolution as a historical event of peaceful manifestations, with a large participation of children, adolescents and youth. This was the reason which enabled us to call it the revolution of children and youth in Romania [12]. Under the impetus of the media and information about the citizens’ right to organize in NGOs, we summoned our colleagues from the Timisoara University Center area, at the NPI section in Arad; our host was M.D. Judith Krisbay. The dates of the meeting were January 28th -30th, 1990. At this meeting, colleagues from 8 counties participated, the results of the previous year’s activities were read, and, in the end, M.D. PhD. C. Lupu proposed that the ROMANIAN SOCIETY OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT NEUROLOGY, PSYCHIATRY AND ALLIED PROFESSIONS (RSCANP) should be established. The proposal was supported and accepted by unanimous vote, the report establishing the RSCANP being drafted on January 30th, 1990 [14,15]. In order to make known the events during the Revolution of December 1989 in Timisoara and the participation of neuropsychiatric specialists, we have presented repeatedly, in reports and communications illustrated with photographs and diacolor images, aspects from manifestations, reprisals and examples of psychopathological sufferings during and after the events of the revolution, to be known by the specialist and by the international press.
The first presentation was in April 1990, at the International Congress of Psychopathology in Budapest, followed by presentations at the Congress of the French Society of Paediatric Psychiatry – Amiens, August 1990, the National Congress in Montpellier, the EACD Congress in Helsinki April 1991, Linz, October 1991, at the sessions of the Danish Red Cross: Copenhagen 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, IACAPAP London 1993, Amsterdam 1994 as well as within the International Foundation for Child and Family. Bucharest 1994 and 1995 or at the RASCANP congresses 1993 and 1995 [16,17,18]. The events described in this article have given a new value to the neuropsychiatry of the child and adolescent, not mentioned in the publications until now, that of active participation of children and medical specialists and of allied professions in a revolution. Knowing about this participation, we have obtained a recognized place of honour and interest on the international field. The memory of the martyr heroes, young children and adults is commemorated by religious memorials, wreaths, launches of publications, memorial exhibitions and concerts. All the events are organized by the 16 foundations and associations that preserve the memory of the revolution. The youth and children participated in the December 1989 revolution, they were also victims, but in the end they defeated those who oppressed them. They presented the victory sign for posterity (figure 2).
After killing the children on December 17/18 1989, our colleague, the psychologist Dumitru Ciumageanu read us his lyrics describing the oppressive regime and the crimes that killed innocent children: „From the polished black rifle The monster pulls on the trigger The crazy and lifeless bullet Fly to the living target It pierces the chest and kills The child rose to his star He’ll look innocent at us He will now shine the endless millennia… ” After the more whispered recitation, it followed our silence and the thoughts that accompanied the children shot at Timisora, on their way to freedom and immortality. I also had tears that no one has shed until today. In the days of the revolution we were present, we did our duty as carers and we felt united with the protesters in the city.

CONCLUSIONS
During the December 1989 Revolution, the people, the entire country, hoped and succeeded in taking steps for change and progress. Our medical specialties and specialists in Neurology, Psychiatry, Genetics for children, adolescents, young people and their families, participated in the revolutionary movements of December 1989, benefiting together with the whole people, of Europeanization, the development and networking with specialists from other countries. We have annual congresses, we have continued the research in important chapters of neuropsychiatry, such as genetics and etiopathogenesis. Of course, we want these medical departments to benefit from material support, from an increase in the number of medical specialists and allied professions, knowing that we have lived in freedom for 3 decades. Bibliography titles with multiple sources of information are mentioned, including precise references about the progress of the revolutionary events of December 1989 and about the consequences of the transition period that followed throughout the

BIBLIOGRAPHY
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13. Suciu Titus, Bogdan Vasile: Candelă împotriva timpului, Ediția I, Editura Memorialul Revoluției 1990.
14. Suciu T.: Miracolul Timișoara. Editura Poligrafi a Timișoara 2000.
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16. Szabo L.V. : Revoluția din 1989 în spitalele timișorene. Editura Memorialul Revoluției, 2014.
17. Tomoni D.: Elevi timișoreni în decembrie 1989. Memorial Nr. 2/2013, pag. 28-48. 18. Asociația Memorialul Revoluției din decembrie 1989: Conferința Internațională „După 30 de ani. Moștenirea otrăvită a comunismului”, Timișoara, 26-28 noiembrie 2019.
Ordinul