Communists Romania Priests16 Years of Detention

Freedom

“After 16 years spent in prisons and forced labour camps, with the exception of those ten months between 1955-1956, I was finally and trully free” Ratiu recalled.

“Before I left, a man of Securitatii, informed me that it was strictly prohibited to speak of what happened to me and that I should focus on admiring the achievements of the communist regime for the greater good of the people. Then he threatened us, the prisoners, with death” Ratiu wrote.

When Ratiu arrived in his village, he discovered a new world. The people were afraid and hopeless. “We lost everything, they took our properties, and we were forced to work in collectivised farms. We are nothing but slaves” the locals would say.

After he was freed, in 1964, Ratiu found out that all those born in the USA, such as himself, were able to get American citizenship and move there.

“I was born in Pennsylvania, but my parents came back to Romania after my birth” the priest recalled. He made a request to the American embassy in Bucharest for citizenship, but the answer was negative. Only in 1969, when Nixon visited Romania and found out about this issue, Ratiu was able to get the necessary approvals and move back to America.

He returned to the USA in 1970, in Aurora, Illinois, where he was able too preach in a Roman Catholic church.

“I was very thankful. However, I would forever be part of this beautiful mysticism that the Greek-Catholic Christianity represents”.

***

This is the end of the first part of the book. You can read the entire part here.

The second part of the book – The Re-education – will be about the infamous brainwashing experiment from Pitesti.

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