Romania: The Shadow of the Past | European Journal | DW | 11.09.2013
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European Journal

Romania: The Shadow of the Past

For the first time, Romania's judicial system is looking for those responsible for the mass murder of political prisoners during the communist era.

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The detention center in Ramnicu Sarat in eastern Romania was a dreaded place. Under the supervision of prison commander Alexandru Visinescu, intellectuals, members of the clergy and politicians who criticized the regime were detained here between 1956 and 1963. Now Romania's highest public prosecutor has started proceedings against the 88-year-old. Visinescu is said to have excelled in the mass murders of political dissidents. For victims and their relatives, the trial is only the beginning. More than 600,000 people in Romania were imprisoned on political grounds after World War II. One in five didn't survive imprisonment.