Mihail Decean Exhumation of martyr-heroes with an excavator
The first surprise

My first surprise came on our way back to Cluj-Napoca, on the same day, September 18, 2010. It was very dark before leaving Bistra, the village of our courageous expedition. I was driving the all-terrain vehicle on the road along Arieş Valley, towards the town of Turda.

I suddenly heard Mărioara, who was sitting behind me, next to Doina and Nelu, shouting angry, violent words at me. She seemed to be having a hysterical fit, she was uncontrollable, maybe she needed medical treatment... I did not stop the car, though I should have done in order not to endanger the traffic, as well as our own safety. I started to yell at her while driving. I might have frightened her, because she calmed down...and I said to myself that I had finally found a way to calm a hot octogenarian spirit.

My dear cousin’s violent reproaches were based on the imaginary idea that I once had put some blame on her, a family gossip that had been maintained with “pitiful” ability 35-40 years before (she remembered it that very moment) by her nephew, her sister’s son, Cornel Dobrescu, whom she ironically called “Darwin’s successor” or “the disciple of the great atheistic and materialistic scholars” etc., in her book cited above (p. 94). Cornel refused to attend the exhumation of his uncle, Petru Decean, so I kept him informed of what was happening and he showed some interest in the events. He refused to attend the exhumation both because he knew that Mărioara, his aunt, whom he has refused to talk to for too many years, would also be there, and for reasons known only by himself. If these reasons have any psychiatric cause, they might excuse his gesture of ingratitude towards the memory of his uncle, Petru Decean.

After the exhumation, I fully understood Cornel Dobrescu’s strange behavior. He expressed his opinion about his uncle Petru Decean in an e-mail that he sent me after he had watched an episode about the anti-communist resistance group led by Major Nicolae Dabija, the first of the documentary series entitled Memorialul Durerii (The Memorial of Suffering), well known and highly appreciated thanks to the laudable efforts that Lucia Hossu Longin has made to make our recent history known to the public.

Leaving aside the psychiatric delirium, his previous insulting e-mails and his spelling mistakes, the fragment below is relevant to his strange way of thinking; poor Cornel must have written it in a brief moment of lucidity. It is about the uncle he once admired. Cornel spent his childhood and adolescence with his maternal grandparents; he used to call them Mom and Dad, but he totally forgot about them in the last and most difficult years of their life. He called his parents by their names – Nică and Gheorghe, but there were senseless breaks in their relationship as well. Cornel was raised by his grandparents and Mărioara until he could live on his own. In the following fragment he shows signs of delusional thinking, in a manner specific to the Securitate agents, meaning to belittle me and his partisan-hero-martyr uncle: My dear uncle, what happened to Petru Decean in the mountains is a little different from what you are describing these days. I am speaking only about him, not the other partisans. He was a student of the Faculty of Law in Bucharest. While home on holiday, some villagers who were sympathizing with the people in the mountains who were also fighting for their cause, convinced him to go to Muntele Mare (The Big Mountain) and see if they needed anything, for the villagers wanted to do something for them... Petru Decean happened to be there precisely when the assault against them took place with its well-known consequences. The same happened  vice versa lots of years later, when... a citizen named Mihai Decean found himself among the “revolutionary” Securitate agents, in the balcony of the Opera House in Timişoara. If those gunshots that killed the young people in front of the Cathedral had not been fired by the people in the Opera House balcony or other balconies of the Central Committee building in Bucharest, they would have had the same fate. They would have been killed too. Today we wouldn’t talk about Iliescu or... the revolutionary Mihai Decean. Mihai Decean would have died as a hero who sympathized with the “revolution”, like uncle Petru on Muntele Mare.

Anyone who reads the contents of my website (www.mihaildecean.ro) or my book entitled Mărturiile unui naiv corigibil sau singur printre securiști (Testimonies of a Corrigible Naive or Alone among Securitate Agents, Brumar Publishing, Timișoara, 2006) will see how much of a “supporter of the Perestroika-type revolution of Iliescu” I was.

If Cornel Dobrescu were interested in knowing his uncle Petru Decean better, he could request his file from CNSAS, since this is legally possible. Should he do this, he could be struck by the muse of writing and might become (with the help of a grammar teacher) the author of a realistic biography of his uncle.

When we reached our destination, late in the evening of September 18, 2010, Mărioara apologized to me. I accepted her apology and everything went back to normal, as if nothing had happened. Doina, her niece, insisted that I shouldn’t accept her apology, but I was sure Mărioara would eventually calm down and thank me for everything we had done together that day. Anyway, even if she had not apologized, I would have forgiven her, for I know she is a good-hearted woman, despite the misfortunes in her life. However, Cornel Dobrescu, Mărioara’s nephew, will never apologize, to her or to me, for his unimaginable offences. This is how he replied when I suggested to him that we should pay Mărioara a reconciliation visit, as she had agreed to forgive him “for everything”: Isn’t she ever going to die, for God’s sake? She will read her dearest nephew’s last message only when she reads this book. Meanwhile, she has assured me that nothing he does can surprise her any longer.

As far as I am concerned, my dear nephew threatened me that if “my nails were itchy” and I wrote this book about the true national heroes, me who (...), he would write a review in which he would reveal my real biography (...) that does not entitle me to deal with heroes. My poor, poor nephew! Maybe he believes his mission is to publish my biography recreated in the laboratories of Ceauşescu’s secret police. (Oh my! I have become important towards the end of my life, when I am about to turn 70.) How else am I to understand the threat he sent me in an e-mail? If you dare continue defiling our true national heroes with your filthy mouth in any kind of media, I will denounce you publicly... That’s all I have to say.

I am not surprised at all, but I wonder: is he, by any chance, chased by the shadows of the Securitate relics who are still active and hate to see the written or audiovisual mass media disclose their “major” interest in the heroes and details about the exhumation of the Romanian national martyrs whom the Securitate agents once called “bandits and terrorists”? What am I supposed to think, how should I interpret this threat? Could my darling nephew be my relative, my good friend and at the same time my “dear denunciator”? His intimidation, may the ground eat him! (this is a regional saying used specifically in the Transylvanian village of Mihalţ and expressing pity for the one it is addressed to; I honestly hope he understands it, since he is nearly 80 and I am worried that his condition is worsening), reminds me of the threats with physical elimination that my “well-meant” colleagues or even former family friends whispered in my ear in 1990-2003. In those days I contributed to several local and national newspapers; my articles are included in the above-mentioned book. Maybe I was afraid back then, but too much time has passed for me to still fear threats stuffed with the obsolete fatuity specific to the Securitate informants. Come to think of it, everything about him becomes very clear. Right at the beginning of his carrier as a high-school teacher, the Romanian society pushed him aside, as if he had suffered from a social disease, one that was worse than the sick multilaterally developed socialist society itself, if this were possible; and after he emigrated with his family to the United States, the American society also placed him among the people with a bad reputation. Thus, his entire family was humiliated. He blames the Securitate for everything that happened to him here in Romania, but who else but himself persecuted him in the United States? And if he really was persecuted by the Securitate in Romania, how was it possible that in 1981 or 1982 he obtained a tourist visa for Greece, a capitalist country, which facilitated his emigration to the United States? He might have been helped by the Securitate, under circumstances that no one except him knows, since he asked for help with his visa from Vasile Florea, a superior Securitate officer and uncle Cornel’s son-in-law. Once you sign the deal with the Devil, the Securitate never exonerates you from fulfilling your obligations as long as you live. People say it; they can see it and feel it. Would it be the same in his case? So, despite the fact that I dislike it, I keep offering him the opportunity to delight in mocking me, Mărioara, Petru Decean’s memory or anyone else he wants, since he has the annoying habit of mocking people. In truth, he is the worthy successor of his deceased father, Gheorghe Dobrescu, who had always humiliated his family, mocking his father-in-law, Florian Decean, and his mother-in-law, Maria Decean, precisely those who, helped by Mărioara, had raised and taken care of two of his children (Cornel and his brother, Florean Dobrescu, already deceased). Gheorghe Dobrescu used to tell the villagers in Mihalţ that “my mother-in-law and my father-in-law only gave birth to whores and partisans”. That’s how the father and later his son thanked the relatives who had helped them.