Doina Cornea

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Doina Cornea (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈdojna ˈkorne̯a]; 30 May 1929 – 3 May 2018)[1] was a Romanian human rights activist and French language professor. She was notable as a dissident during the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu.

Activism[change | change source]

Cornea illegally sent the first letter to Radio Free Europe in 1982. It was the first in a series of texts and protests against the Nicolae Ceaușescu regime.[2] She saw the crisis not just an economic one, but also a spiritual crisis.She said that the Romanian people "a people fed solely on slogans", who value more material values rather than spiritual values, which she defined as the ones which "generated intelligence, ethics, culture, liberty and responsibility".[2]

In August 1987, she addressed an open letter to Nicolae Ceaușescu, in which she advocated reform in the higher education: greater academic freedom.

Beliefs[change | change source]

She argued for freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom of travel; on the economic side, her letter (which may have been drafted by other collaborators) argued for closing down loss-making factories, re-tooling factories for being able to compete with foreign companies, hiring foreign managers and recreation of private land ownership, as well as the stopping of the Systematization programme.[3]

House arrest[change | change source]

Cornea was put on house arrest by the Securitate (Romanian government officials).[4] Following a documentary shown on Belgian television, an international campaign for her release began. Resolutions arguing for her release were passed by the European Parliament and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.[5]

She was released 21 December 1989 (during the Romanian Revolution, on the day before the Ceaușescu regime fell);[4]

Personal life[change | change source]

Cornea born in Brașov, Romania. Cornea began studying French and Italian at Cluj University in 1948. In 1980, she published her first samizdat book, Încercarea Labirintului.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Dennis Deletant, Ceaușescu and the Securitate: Coercion and Dissent in Romania, 1965-1989, M.E. Sharpe, London, 1995, ISBN 1-56324-633-3.