16 dic. 2009

Timisoara. I treni arrivavano in orario.

20 years on, the BBC has gained access to a remarkable document, the Timisoara station-master's log from November and December 1989. Hand-written, it meticulously records the details of each train which arrived in Timisoara North railway station during the revolution.

On 16 December 1989, between 2040 and 2240 in the evening, single wagon train 15/II arrived in Timisoara from Bucharest. It was met by the station chief.
All other trains had to make way for it.
The timing is significant.
The protest gathering was still outside Pastor Tokes's house - the marchers had not yet moved off into the city. According to Radu Tinu - at that time the number two in the Timis county Securitate - the deputy police chief of Romania, the deputy chief prosecutor, and a Securitate general were on that train.

Uniformed security forces first opened fire on the crowd on the afternoon of 17 December.

There is another intriguing entry, from 0755 on the morning of 21 December. The protests had spread to other cities by then, but Ceausescu was still in power in the capital.
Supplementary train 1006/A, with two brand new carriages, their windows blacked out, loaded with USLA - anti-terrorist troops - arrived in the outskirts of Timisoara.
From there, they set out across the botanical gardens towards the city centre. Were they sent to fight the army, and seize back control?
(Romania's bloody revolution remembered)

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