Weekly newsletter

Recognition for the Timisoara Demonstrators of 1989

Hungary Today 2022.12.17.
15 December 1989: Solidarity rally in front of Tőkés’ vicarage in Timisoara

Speaking at a press conference on the 33rd anniversary of the start of the 1989 revolution that overthrew the communist dictatorship in Romania, László Tőkés thanked the people of Timisoara (Temesvár) for rallying around him when he called for them, and for staying when he sent them away out of fear for their safety.

The pastor was responding to accusations that he had not embraced the spirit of the uprising on December 16, 1989, by repeatedly sending the crowd demonstrating outside the vicarage back to their homes.

He said it was a great satisfaction for him to see the solidarity rallies organized in support of him and the Reformed community of Timisoara. At the same time, he felt responsible for the people gathered- he did not want to cause them any trouble, he feared for their lives and safety. He had in mind the example of his colleague Ernő Újvárossy, who disappeared in September 1989 under still unexplained circumstances and whose body was found two days later in a forest near Timisoara. He added that he had not expected their protest to topple the Ceausescu dictatorship. That is why he sent the protesters home.

Photo via László Tőkés’ press office

“The responsibility was on my shoulders, because I had called my followers here. Aware of this responsibility and seeing that I could no longer control the crowd’s manifestations, I asked them to go home,” he said.

However, he also believed that “God’s will was done” because the people did not listen to him and did not in fact go home.

I myself could not have written such a script at that time. Even today, I pay tribute to those who started the revolutionary movement,”

Tőkés said.

In Romania, a solidarity demonstration in support of Tőkés began on December 15, 1989, which turned into an anti-Ceausescu and anti-communist demonstration on December 16. On December 17, the communist authorities fired on the people, but on December 20, the army fraternized with the demonstrators. The popular uprising spread to several Transylvanian cities and Bucharest on December 21. On December 22, the rule of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown.

The anniversary of the change of regime is not an official holiday in Romania. Official commemorations are held by local and state authorities in Timisoara from December 16 to 20, and in Bucharest from December 21 to 22.

embed_article article_id=225889]

This article was originally published on our sister site, Ungarn Heute.

Featured photo via Facebook/Memorialul Revolutiei

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>