Romania will declassify millions of communist secret police files, recordings

Almost nine million Securitate files, recordings and other documents will be handed over to a government council as Romania finally begins to reveal the extent of the obsessive surveillance machine of late Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu.

The Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives said Wednesday it had begun procedures to declassify and transfer the files which are kept by the Romania’s intelligence agency.

The Securitate which was indirectly controlled by the Communist leader kept tabs on Romanians, stifling dissent. It is estimated to have had hundreds of thousands of informants, some of them children.

They spread their tentacles into every walk of life, even schools, as Ceausescu became more paranoid in the late 80s. He was toppled and executed during the 1989 revolution

In all, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) will hand over 2.9 million recordings, 49,000 paper files and 6 million electronic files, Agerpres reported.

The first batch is 3,502 files with 10,000 volumes of informants reports. The files contain information on spy networks, documentation, criminal cases, and inoperative cases. Some 3,200 film rolls, 7,600 microfilms which have about 184,000 files on them.

The paper files stretch for 1,200 liniar meters. The agency will also hand over a further 6 million electronic files.

This handover is the ‘result of inter-institutional dialogue” between the government council and the intelligence agency. “There is a determination on both sides to bring this process to a good conclusion.”

The files will be archived and then made available to the public “so they can know Romania’s history from the communist period.”

The council was set up in 2000. Its main task was to vet candidates running for office. Ordinary people are also allowed to see their files or the files of relatives who were victims of the communist regime.



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