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January 25, 2022

Posthumous statements at passing of Doina Cornea, a symbol of Romanian anti-communist resistance

The anti-communist dissident Doina Cornea passed away overnight Thursday at 88, in her home in Cluj Napoca, after a long illness.


Personalities of the public space deplore Doina Cornea’s disappearance


“Mrs. Doina Cornea, the most fragile and yet strongest moral strength of Romania’s 20th century’s last two decades, has left us for a world where she won’t have to protest anymore. She used to be, all by herself, the civil society of a country that didn’t even know the definition of this notion and for two decades, she kept our place, everybody’s place in front of Europe and of the entire world, may God whom she believed in with devoutness repay her and give her the peace and rest she deserves,” poetess Ana Blandiana, an anti-communist dissident herself, told AGERPRES.

‘This is troubling news, because Mrs. Doina Cornea used to be an example of verticality, strength, moral firmness. Her courage might seem reckless if we think that she has voiced certain extremely tough truths for the communist regime, in a period in which the people obviously were afraid of any kind of attitude firstly after the terror unleashed by the (political police) Securitate in Romania,’ historian Marius Oprea stated.

Doina Cornea will forever remain an example for the young generations of what means courage, decency and balance, said the Senate’s President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, adding that she has supported the values she believed in – democracy, freedom of thought and speech.

Former Prime minister and European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos on Friday wrote on his Facebook page that the anti-communist dissident Doina Cornea made him acknowledge what endurance and determination in front of a totalitarian rule means, but also that ‘nothing is too much to defend one’s freedom’.

‘Her belief and those who withstood the system, that nobody could take away the thought of freedom, could be passed further if only we assume what we are and what we used to be to the very end. If we assume that we could change when we understand better what happens around us, so the ones who come could assess the price of freedom properly,’ said Ciolos.

The Institute for the Communism Crimes’ Investigation and the Romanian Exile’s Memory (IICMER) feels sorry for the passing of Doina Cornea, former dissident of the communist rule. Former member of the IICMER’s Scientific Council in 2006-2009, Doina Cornea became a symbol of the fight against the Ceausescu rule, on Friday informs a message by the said institute, sent to AGERPRES.

‘The moment of passing of Mrs. Doina Cornea I have lost a true friend. Sadly we say good bye to the one who used to be a constant militant of the Romanian-Hungarian dialogue. Her ceaseless fight for the democracy’s values and her opposition during the communist period, have been and will forever remain exemplary. May God rest her in peace!’ UDMR Chairman Kelemen Hunor wrote on his Facebook page.

‘She was called the Iron Lady of the Romanian anti-communist resistance. Perhaps she would’ve deserved a life hero title. Because modesty used to have a name, we called it simply Doina Cornea. Now, at her passing we pray for her forever rest. God forgive her!’ said the Romanian Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea.


Klaus Iohannis: Doina Cornea was the embodiment of Romanian courage and resistance in communist times


In a message of sympathy released this Friday on the death of anti-communist dissident Doina Cornea, President Klaus Iohannis said that she has been the embodiment of “Romanian courage and resistance in communist times”.

In the condolence message to the family and all those who knew and cherished the tiny-framed but unyielding activist, the head of the state says:

“I learned with deep sadness about the passing of Mrs. Doina Cornea, one of the highest-profile voices of anti-communist dissidence. I pay tribute to this personality of our recent history who Doina Cornea was. In the grim years of dictatorship Doina Cornea stood up to the oppressive regime, penned numerous texts and letters she then sent to Radio Free Europe, released manifestos, contacted – defying dangers that are unfathomable today – journalists and contemporary personalities to denounce the abuses of the totalitarianism of the Ceausescu rule. With her signature resilience she endured shadowing, persecution, investigations and humiliation by the Securitate political police. She supported the uprising of Brasov workers in 1987, and in December 1989, braving the barrage of bullets, she joined the anti-communist rally in Cluj-Napoca. After the toppling of communism, she remained an authentic voice of civil society.”

According to the President, Doina Cornea has represented to many fellow Romanians the voice of freedom and hope.

“Her actions and stances in the name of anti-communist dissidence make Doina Cornea an icon of asserting the spirit of human freedom, and to the future generations she is the image of feminine civic spirit and heroism. I offer my condolences to the family and to all those who have known and cherished her,” the President said in his message released to the press by the Presidential Administration.


Romanian Academy’s President Ioan-Aurel Pop: Doina Cornea, legendary face, comparable to Harriet Beecher Stowe


The President of the Romanian Academy, Ioan-Aurel Pop, compared Doina Cornea with the author of the famous novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, who is known to have had a frail stature but who succeeded in overturning a world of injustice.”

“For me, as I had the privilege of knowing her personally, she remains like a legendary face, comparable to that of American writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, who, through the novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’, succeeded in overturning a world of injustice, preparing one of liberty and equality.

This little and fragile lady is said to have been welcomed by President Abraham Lincoln, who was surprised that such a frail woman overturned such a big [unjust] world. And she, coming out from the president, told the journalists that the head of state was one of those rare people who, even when they become great, do not cease to be good,” said the President of the Romanian Academy.

“The disappearance of Doina Cornea from this world has a special significance for the community of UBB (Babes-Bolyai University, ed. n.) professors and students, because this Lady of the anti-communist protesting spirit was a teacher of Alma Mater Napocensis. It is true that the institution did not know how and could not, in those dictatorship times, protect and treasure her as she deserved, but gratitude to great personalities often comes in history after their death. This is not an excuse but a remark,” Ioan-Aurel Pop said in a reply given to the press when learning about the death of the writer who lived in Cluj-Napoca.



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