Mihail Decean Exhumation of martyr-heroes with an excavator
A first solitary attempt

I had in mind the drawing attached to the IICCMRE press release, named The Fight with the Bandits on Muntele Mare, and said to myself that if the drawing, surely the work of a professional, rendered the real location of the mass grave, it could help us identify it.

The books I have mentioned include the participants declarations’ from the files of the partisans’ trials, as well as proofs written by Securitate agents and taken from the same files. From these books I remembered that the five partisans killed in the battle at Muntele Mare-Groşi had been thrown into and buried in the food storage facility which had been dug at a low depth and with a surface of a few square yards.

There is a glade around the partisan camp; it appeared after the trees had been cut in the past five years. This glade shelters the ruins of the “casemate”, the bigger cottage located 30 yards to the left of the smaller cottage, looking up towards the mountain slope, according to the drawing. Nowadays, the ruins of the small cottage are no longer visible. Neither is the food storage facility, which according to the drawing again, is very close to the smaller cottage, to the left and slightly higher.

These items of information and the ruins of the bigger cottage in front of me helped me to imagine, while watching the surroundings carefully, the location of the mass grave. I started looking for it while flattening or walking through the raspberry stems that had grown over 6 feet tall. I stopped in the middle of an area of a few square yards, lower than the ground around, which could have been the location of the mass grave. I asked Gheorghe Petrov to come and see the place. He wouldn’t come, as his only care was the excavator, but shouted at me from about twenty yards: “It cannot be there, you’re wasting your time!” He was right, I realized it, since that place was too high compared to the ruins of the “casemate”, which on the drawing was placed approximately in line with the smaller cottage. I left that area and I climbed down a few yards, in the same direction, through the raspberry bushes, when...