Cicerone Ioniţoiu, Victimele terorii comuniste. Arestaţi, torturaţi, întemniţaţi, ucişi. Dicţionar P-Q [The Victims of the Communist Terror. Arrested, Tortured, Imprisoned, Killed. Dictionary P-Q]

(revised by Filip-Lucian Iorga)

Maşina de scris Publishing House, Bucharest, 2006

The dictionary of The Victims of the Communist Terror, of which we now publish the eighth volume, contains information about around 70,000 people, arrested, detained, tortured and killed, in the Communist prison system.
The author of this writing, Cicerone Ioniţoiu, was himself a former political prisoner and gathered the information in decades, defying the required sacrifices for completing such a project. He searched the archives of several institutions, the press of the time, documents kept by the administration of the cemeteries, inscriptions on the tombs, and, above all, he recorded what the survivors of those appalling years remember.

Presentation on the back cover

It is of utmost importance to know what happened to us. Unfortunately, we can’t really say we do. Other nations catalogue, with a vengeful thoroughness, the victims of the acts of oppression in the past. We, although we were subjected to a literal genocide, carelessly live exclusively in the present, not hearing the groans of the two millions of our compatriots decades ago, whom we thus imprison once again, in a sombre and cold national amnesia.
We do our duty to publish the dictionary, to save what can be saved of the information about the disaster that befell us after the World War II.

Alex. Ştefănescu

With a significant doze of self-sufficiency and oblivion, I’ve accepted the task of revising the letter P from the dictionary of the victims of communism, written by Cicerone Ioniţoiu. I was, like every other history “specialist” – even those in the making – quite sceptical concerning the information quality of the piece; I was, on the other hand, quite certain that revising will not take too much of my time and it will not be excessively difficult. But actually plunging into work and the issues I’ve encountered gradually taught me to appreciate the subject I was struggling with. By finding out what a laborious process revising was, which meant verifying all the data and styling the files that the author had gathered in time, I have finally understood, although incompletely, the Herculean work done by Cicerone Ioniţoiu in gathering information about the victims of communism. He wasn’t a specialist, but his consistent efforts would amaze most of the contemporary historians and not only them. He was only one man, but he was more efficient than whole institutions and armies of clerks in his inquiry of the communist past. By going through the pages of the dictionary, where I even found acquaintances of my family, people about whom nobody knew anything for more than half a century, I started to feel overwhelmed with the responsibility I had for the people whose biographies, ample or expedite, according to the quantity of historical traces they comprised, passed through my hands. Each detail became relevant and every carelessness of mine meant a serious impiety. I am aware that the gaps cannot be completely filled: this dictionary will always be incomplete, even at further editions. Some data will be erroneous, some biographies will remain either snubbed or too romanticized. However, even these gaps speak loudly about the profoundly destructive nature of the communist regime. Even an incomplete list of the notable people martyred by the communists and about whom we’ll find details in the dictionary is enough: Augustin Pacha, Alexandru Paleologu, Eduard Pamfil, P. P. Panaitescu, Petre Pandrea, Victor-Liviu Pandrea, Constantin Pantazi, Arsenie Papacioc, Victor Papacostea, Ovidiu Papadima, Victor Papilian, Edgar Papu, Vasile Paraschiv, Vasile Pascu, Paskandi Géza, Mihai Paulian, Justin-Ştefan Paven, Paul Păltănea, Zenovie Pâclişeanu, Justin Pârvu, Ion Pelivan, Isac Peltz, Nicolae Penescu, Cornel Petrasievici, Miliţa Petraşcu, Constantin Titel Petrescu, Marcel Petrişor, Ion Petrovici, Dinu Pillat, Ginel Plăcinţeanu, Antonie Plămădeală, Cornel Pleşoianu, Ioan Ploscaru, René-Radu Policrat, Mary Polihroniade, Gheorghe Polizu-Micşuneşti, Aurel Pomârleanu, Valer Pop, Grigore T. Popa, Stelian Popescu, Ion Popescu-Loredan, Alexandru Popescu-Necşeşti, Mihai Popovici, Ghiţă Popp, Nicolae Porsenna, Radu Portocală, Nicolae Prodanoff, Dragoş Protopopescu. Men, women and children. Dignitaries, priests, intellectuals, peasants, workers. Members of the National Peasants’ Party, liberals, legionaries, socialists, even communists. All social classes, all crafts, all nationalities have their representatives. Going over the names you almost feel as if you were on some sort of Noah’s ark. Because that is what this dictionary of the communism’s victims actually is: a Noah’s ark of Romanian remembrance, where Cicerone Ioniţoiu is trying to save whatever he can from our memories, from all of us. Our duty, towards the martyrs and towards our perennial need for truth, is to get our memories in this boat as well, as many as we still possess, in order to prevent their sinking in Lethe, forever.

Filip-Lucian Iorga, România literară journal