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This paper was presented in a slightly different form, with more illustrations, at the Sixth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania, Historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity: Romania, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region in comparison, hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, Faculty of History and Political Sciences of Ovidius University of Constan?a and International Summer School of The University of Oslo, Norway, May 22-23, 2015. Supported by a grant from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway, The EEA Fund for Bilateral Relations, contract no. 910/20.03.2015.
The Western European impressions of the Romanian communist state are that the secret police, Securitatea, were everywhere and controlled everything. As a foreign - Norwegian - student in Romania in 1978-79, I did not really care. When the archives were opened, it turned out that my roommate at the students' hostel had in fact a file of some 500 pages -- also covering later years. That file contained photos of him -- and myself, and a reference to my own file. In October 2009, I saw my file at the Romanian Securitate, from the period when I was a student in Bucharest in 1978-1979. This turned out to have only 20 pages. However, both my roommate's story, which he used as raw material for a book ('Verdacht.' Mijn Securitatedossier, Uitgeverij Atlas, Amsterdam/Antwerpen 2009, ”Suspect.” Dosarul meu de la Securitate, Editura Trei, Bucureşti 2013), and my own story provide some insight into what the Securitate did - and did not. Horrible as the system was, and of course with fatal consequences for millions of innocent people, my conclusion is that they did not deserve their pay.
Impresiile occidentale cu privire la statul comunist român sunt că poli?ia secretă, Securitatea, era omniprezentă ?i controla totul. Ca student străin – norvegian – în România anilor 1978-1979, nu-mi păsa. Când s-au deschis arhivele s-a dovedit că de fapt colegul meu de cameră de la căminul studen?esc avea un dosar de circa 500 de pagini – ce acoperea ?i perioada ulterioară. Dosarul con?inea ?i fotografii de-ale sale ?i de-ale mele, precum ?i o referire la dosarul meu. În octombrie 2009, mi-am văzut dosarul întocmit de Securitatea română. Acesta s-a dovedit a avea doar 20 de pagini. Totu?i, povestea colegului meu de cameră, pe care a utilizat-o ca material pentru o carte ('Verdacht.' Mijn Securitatedossier, Uitgeverij Atlas, Amsterdam/Antwerpen 2009, ”Suspect.” Dosarul meu de la Securitate, Editura Trei, Bucureşti 2013), precum ?i propria mea poveste oferă o anumită perspectivă asupra a ceea ce Securitatea făcea – ?i nu făcea. Oribil a?a cum era acel sistem, ?i, desigur, cu consecin?e dramatice asupra a milioane de oameni nevinova?i, concluzia mea este că nu-?i merita salariul.
Keywords: student life, Securitate, secret services