15 June 2019
The article proposes an analysis of the situation of minorities in Romania during the communist regime, focusing on the Jewish, Hungarian and German communities. Based on the opinions of Romanian specialists, (Victor Frunză, Vlad Georgescu, Ghiță Ionescu, Vladimir Tismăneanu, Lucian Boia), and Westerners (Dennis Deletant, Keith Hitchins, Katherine Verdery, Catherine Durandin) the article considers the social status of the above-mentioned groups, specifying how they related to the internal political regime and to the international conjuncture. The two communist leaders, Gheorghe Gheroghiu-Dej and Nicolae Ceaușescu, had a similar policy towards the Jewish community. More specifically, the emigration of the Jews to Israel was encouraged because it brought consistent economic gains for the RPR and later the RSR. Nicolae Ceaușescu, however, changed the conditions of the exchange, relying on the power of the US dollar. As regards the ethnic Hungarians, assimilation strategies were applied, such as settling Romanians in areas with a population consisting of ethnic minorities, moving Hungarians into areas inhabited by Romanians, and reducing education in minority languages. Under these conditions, in the 1980s, clandestine publications of the samizdat type appeared, coordinated by representatives of the Hungarian community. The Germans were accepted, for political and economic reasons, as a minority who would participate with the Romanians in the construction of the new state. Both the Germans and the Jews who benefited from the opportunity to emigrate did not engage in dissent that would endanger their departure.