Romanian theater union strips actor of award for spying for the Securitate secret police

Romania’s theater union has canceled a prestigious award it gave to a Romanian actor after he was exposed as a former collaborator of the communist-era secret police, the Securitate.

UNITER said that Alexandru Repan’s reporting on colleagues, journalists and diplomats for  Nicolae Ceausescu’s secret police was “incompatible with the union’s values: democracy, respect for human rights, and professional solidarity,” it said in a press release on Tuesday.

In 2012, a court handed Repan, 82, a guilty verdict for collaborating with the dreaded secret police, but the knowledge was not widely public.

This month UNITER  gave Repan, a stage and film actor, an award for his lifetime activity. In its press release it said it did not “contest the exceptional artistic activity of the actor.”

The  Appeal Court ruled that Repan had informed on dissent among actors, diplomats and journalists during the communist era, putting their lives under the scrutiny of the secret police and preventing them from traveling abroad.

Ceausescu’s Securitate were active in every walk of life: in offices,  factories, churches and schools. Neighbors spied on neighbors, colleagues reported on their co-workers, especially any criticism of Ceausescu or communism.

In tandem with his illustrious acting career, Repan he was covertly reporting on actors and others who criticized Ceausescu’s regime and its shortcomings under the code name ‘Hans’

The Securitate recruited him in  1974 when he was 34 and one of the best-known artists of the day.

He signed a written pledge with the Securitate where he also promised to spy on foreign diplomats, reported.

His code name was inspired from the first role he played at the Nottara Theater in Bucharest.

Among the people he reported on was the famous pan flute musician  Gheroghe Zamfir who moved abroad to pursue greater artistic freedom in the 1970s.

“He (Zamfir) was especially insolent about Romania and insulting about events and high-ranking politicians. I had to tell the person who invited us that if he uttered another monologue like that, I’d have to heave the place,” Repan wrote.

In 1975 he wrote an informant’s note about one of his colleagues.

“P.P hopes to leave Romania legally, with all his family with the help of the Red Cross and if not he will take advantage of a foreign tour or something else. But he’s scared his wife will find another man.”

During his long career, Repan acted in dozens of films and plays including “Michael the Brave” directed by Sergiu Nicolaescu, 1970. “the White Lace dress” directed by Dan Piţa, 1989 and Youth without Youth. Directed by  Francis Ford Coppola in 2007.

The court ruled that the people he spied on suffered consequences. “The Securitate kept tabs on them. They were banned from leaving the country.”



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