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The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile

The IICCR has undertaken a series of field campaigns so as to exhume anti-communist fighters executed by the Securitate

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One of the most important aims of our investigation activities is to identify the places where the victims of the communist regime were buried. The Institute is particularly interested in those people who were executed (usually shot to death) without trial by the Securitate. Once information has been gathered, the victims are then identified, based both on field and documentary research, as well as on oral testimonies. The next step is finding the places where these people were buried. Extensive field research is essential at this point.

In 2009, the IICCR has undertaken a series of investigation campaigns so as to exhume several anti-communist fighters executed by the Securitate in the 1950s. The majority of the actions in this field were a success in the sense that the mortal remains of most partisans that the IICCR was looking for were found. Efforts are still being made so that the initiated campaigns are complete.

The main stages of the foregoing initiative are as follows:

  • based on a petition received by the IICCR from Simion Mureşan’s relatives, the Institute started a series of local investigations which resulted in the identification of the burial place of Simion Mureşan, shot on 5 October 1949. The main cause of the crime was represented by the fact that the victim offered support and housing to surveilled persons, who publicly showed resistance to the state politics and to the communist authorities of the time.  The exhumation took place on Thursday, 22 October 2009, in Sântejude Vale village, Ţaga commune, Cluj County;
  • in the interval 27 August – 2 September 2009, the experts of the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania undertook two special investigations campaigns on Valea Arieşului, Alba County. The first campaign took place in the interval 27-28 August 2009, in Sălciua Commune, Alba County. This action aimed at the disinterment of the mortal remains of Andrei Meşter. It was followed by a second campaign, in the interval 1-2 September 2009, in the hamlet of Ancăieşti, Dealul Capsei Village, Alba County. The remains of Nicolae (Mişu) Selagea were disinterred during the campaign. Both Andrei Meşter and Nicolae (Mişu) Selagea were swiftly executed by the Securitate;
  • in June 2009, experts within the Institute for the investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania searched for the mortal remains of Alexandru Macavei, leader of the „Dabija-Macavei” anti-communist group. He was shot by the Securitate on 31 July 1949, in the settlement of Muşca, Alba County and his remains are yet to be identified;
  • in the settlement of Teregova, Caraş-Severin County, Petru Anculia, Iovan Berzescu, Horia Smultea, Gheorghe Urdăreanu made the object of the IICCR’s investigations as they had been members of two anti-communist organisations led by the notary Gheorghe Ionescu, and respectively, the Duicu brothers. The first two died fighting the Securitate on 22 February 1949 and the other two were shot by the Securitate on 12 March 1949. Anculia Moise and Iovan Berzescu were identified and re-buried by their families. The mortal remains of Horia Smultea and Gheorghe Urdăreanu were not found, but investigations will be taken again in the autumn of the current year. The campaign was undertaken in June 2009;
  • during April and May 2009, experts within the Institute for the investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania disinterred the mortal remains of four anticommunist dissidents, killed by the Securitate’s officers in 1949 and 1952. In the interval 27-28 April 2009, in the vicinity of Nepos village, Bistriţa-Năsăud county, the remains of Ioan Leonida Bodiu, Ioan Stefan Burdeţ, Toader Dumitru were identified. The second exhumation took place between 6 and 7 May, near Băieşti village, Hunedoara county. The remains of Vitan Petru were identified as well.