The Cynicism of Nationalization

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We’ve written about nationalization before (i.e. the confiscation of private property done by the Communist administration in Romania). It was a painful experience for many thousands of middle class and upper class citizens (as well as many lower class, despite contrary Communist propaganda), who were left over night without any property, and labeled as criminals, saboteurs and “exploiters of the working class”. It wasn’t just buildings, factories and land that were confiscated, but also means of production and livestock (such as oxen, cattle, carts or horses that were confiscated from well-off peasants). However, the account below, given by Pavel Stefan, Romania’s communist Minister of Internal Affairs between 1952-1953, offers proof of the cynicism behind this indiscriminate measure taken by the communists:

There was an attorney called Calota, who helped us (author’s note: the Communists) a lot in 1945. He was arrested because he was a member of the National Peasants’ Party, and his house was confiscated. I asked him why he was arrested, maybe he told something he shouldn’t have. He told me he didn’t. Then, I decided to call Gheorghe Pintilie (author’s note: the general director of Securitate, i.e. the Secret Police), and ask him, because he personally knew Calota very well. Pintilie replied: “Who knows how many people we arrested, just because we needed their homes!?”

Want to hear more Communist stories? Join us on our upcoming walking tours!

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