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

Mărioara was working on her book. The manuscript was not ready for print and it could not be sent to a publishing house as it was then. I offered to help her have it typed on a laptop. I stayed in her house in Cluj for a few days, until the manuscript was finally typed by a woman from that city. Mărioara and I dictated the text and she typed it on the computer.

I still have the copy of the manuscript on my computer. We had previously agreed that we would both make arrangements for her brother’s official exhumation. We knew that, without the arrangements indicated by Petrov, the official exhumation could not take place and her brother could not be reburied in the Christian tradition. Mărioara’s desire to rebury her brother became her highest aspiration, legitimate and natural at the same time.

With the help of Petru Stânea (Petrică), my nephew of second degree maternal cousin who at that time was the priest of the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic Parish in Mihalţ, our native village in Alba County, I contacted archaeologist Paul Scrobotă, Gheorghe Petrov’s collaborator, via e-mail; then, on Paul’s recommendation, I contacted Gheorghe Petrov, whom I asked when the exhumation would take place. (At present, Petrică Jr. is the Very Reverend Iconom Stavrofor of St. Helena Romanian Greek Catholic Church in Cleveland, USA – the first Romanian church built in America.) My conversations about the exhumation with Gheorghe Petrov, as well as his discussions with Mărioara, continued not only on the phone, but also via email or face to face, until the exhumation finally took place, after repeated delays that started in the summer of 2010 and lasted until the summer of 2015.

All this time, as Gheorghe Petrov calmly and patiently explained to me in letters via email, all kinds of different priorities would come up. I did not know what to think about it any longer; we can state today that the official procedures for obtaining approval for exhumation were not a priority of IICCMRE, since so many years passed until the exhumation took place.

Odd things occur uncontrollably. This is the only explanation for the fact that even the sister of a partisan of anti-communist armed resistance group – I mean Maria Decean, who had told me that her only wish was to rebury her brother in the Christian tradition and that that was her only reason to live – changed her mind regarding some of her legitimate and natural thoughts.

Mărioara did not explain anything to me so that I could understand why she had second thoughts, and I did not insist on her giving me an explanation in order to avoid another quarrel. She did not say and I did not ask why she had decided to publish her book when I was out of the country for more than a month, in the summer of 2012, although we had agreed otherwise. Nor did she explain, and I did not ask, why she insisted on holding a religious service to commemorate her brother and his four comrades from Mihalţ, Petru’s native village, before the exhumation. Moreover, in her book she wrote something different from the manuscript that we had edited together, namely she stated her total disagreement with any action to exhume the remains of the partisans: They, the unknown national martyrs, will be blessed by a proper funeral and, as I disagree with any kind of profanation, I will make a statement in front of a notary that no one shall ever move their remains from the place where the sad fate and God decided to bury them 63 years ago (p. 97); she offered several copies of her book to people from her native village, where she raised a commemorative metal cross (a hand-made piece made of construction pipes).

Oh, my dear Mărioara, I did not expect this from you! It is Satan, not God, that decided that the partisans of Muntele Mare-Groşi be killed and thrown like garbage in a secret mass grave. It is Satan that worked through the former Securitate agents against the national martyr heroes and continues to work through the current agents against their memory and the memory of people like you, not allowing you to live the quiet life you deserve. There is another thing in Mărioara’s book that I cannot understand. She wrote: Now the circle is closed. After the pilgrimage I made to those historical places, I have a last great obligation, a last wish and a last duty. To see the martyred heroes’ remains with my own eyes, to raise a cross for these five brave people who sacrificed their lives for justice and freedom and to have them buried in the Christian tradition (p. 93).However, if you go three pages forward, you will find the fragment I quoted before!