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Extracts From The Book:

Princess Marthe Bibesco
Ana Blandiana
Smaranda Braescu
Madelene “Madi” Cancicov
Nina Cassian
Elena Ceausescu
Ioana Celibidache
Queen Elisabeth of Romania
Princess Gregoire Ghica
Princess Ileana of Romania
Dora D’Istria
Monica Lovinescu
Ileana Malancioiu
Queen Marie of Romania
Dr. Agnes Kelly Murgoci
Mabel Nandris
Countess Anna de Noailles
Ana Novac
Oana Orlea
Ana Pauker
Marta Petreu
Elisabeta Rizea of Nucsoara
Sanda Stolojan
Leontina Vaduva
Anca Visdei
Sabina Wurmbrand

"Blouse Roumaine" - Extracts from the Book
selected and introduced by Constantin Roman.

Princess Ileana of Romania, Archduchess of Austria,
Orthodox Abbess “Mother Alexandra” (9)

(b. Bucharest, 1909 – d. 1991, Pennsylvania)
Charity Worker, Orthodox Abbess, Exile

20. Arrested:
“It is a feature of the Communist system to make those arrested disappear so that one not only knows nothing of the charges but has no idea whether the victim has been killed, sent to Russia, or is around the next corner being secretly tortured.”
“I live Again”, Golancz, London 1952)

100. Critical Spirit:
“Romanians tend to be mercilessly critical and mocking toward anything that is not intellectually irrefutable. In the past we used to consider this ‘taking to pieces’ of everything a destructive element in the Romanian mentality. Someone once said, ‘Romania is the country where success has no success!’ But at this moment such critical attitude stood us in good stead, for the wholesale propaganda did not go down as quickly as the Russians evidently expected. People were not impressed inwardly, even when they had to conform outwardly.”
“I live Again”, Golancz, London 1952)

105. Death Penalty:
Now the death penalty is against the Romanian Constitution, as well as against the religious principles of Romanians. It existed only on the front, in time of war, for spies and traitors. Since this sentence of so-called People’s Tribunal was therefor breaking one of the fundamental laws of the country, the point at issue immediately ceased to be whether or not the generals were guilty as charged. It became the question whether or not Romanian generals were to be condemned to a penalty contrary to the Constitution, in a court contrary to law (since officers can be judged only by a military tribunal) by persons we did not count as Romanians. The indignation aroused everywhere was great, and all spoke openly about it. Indignation was voiced, but no protest was really addressed to the authorities.”
On the death sentences of Romanian generals who fought on the Eastern front
“I live Again”, Golancz, London 1952)

161. Fascist:
“Instead, ‘privacy’ is labelled as one of those perverted ‘bourgeois’ notions fostered by ‘Fascists’. In Romania about this time the word ‘Fascist’ began to be bandied about in the most incongruous way to denote anything not Communist. I once read in the same article references to ‘Anglo-Hitlerists’ and ‘Monarcho-Fascists’, among other strange creatures, all mentioned in ‘Scanteia’, a leading Communist paper. Phrases like this were supposed to be swollowed whole by the faithful, but the desired result was not always attained, because Romanians tend to be mercilessly critical and mocking toward anything which is not ilellectually irrefutable.”
“I live Again”, Golancz, London 1952)

356. Pauker, Ana:

Last, but certainly not least was Ana Pauker. A big, stout woman, with short, untidy grey hair, fierce blue eyes, under lowering eyebrows, and a fascinating smile which was not spoiled by the fact that her upper lip hung over her lower one, she made one know that here was a real personality. I have always felt when I was with her that she was like a boa constrictor which has just been fed, and therefor is not going to eat you – at the moment! Heavy and sluggish as she seemed, she had all that is repellent and yet horridly fascinating in a snake. I could well imagine, simply for watching her, that she had denounced her own husband, who in consequence was shot; and my further acquiantance with her showed me the cold and dehumanized brilliance by which she had reached the powerful position she occupied.”
“I live Again”, Golancz, London 1952)

357. Peasants:
“Our peasants are not the dregs of the population, who have gradually sunk down to the bottom of society because they had neither ability nor ambition to achieve education. The Romanian peasant class does include such people, who exist in every country, but it also includes the most able, keen-witted and intelligent of people as well! At no time in her history has litteracy been in Romania a test of brains, ability or ambition. It is never unusual to find that a leading statesman, writer, military man, or artist has illiterate parents or is from a humble, peasant home to which he often returns for sympathy and encouragement.”
“I live Again”, Golancz, London 1952)

434. Savagery:
“Romania had close contacts with both German and Russian armies in World war I, as well as in those first years of World War II. Both German and Russian soldiers were hated by the fiercely independent Romanians, but no one on the ground could fail to realize that German ruthlessness was minited, while Russian savagery had no limits. For more than twenty years, over the border between Romania and Russia had come fugitives with tales of brutality and oppression; and these had been augmented during the past year by fugitives from the provinces of Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina, which Russia had stolen.” Stories of property confiscation, of the methods of the secret police, of the bloody extermination of any who objected to the system, of the desecration of churches, of the deliberate destruction of family life, and of the immense and horrible forced-labour camps – these things which most of the world has only recently began to hear of, were common knowledge in Romania for more than twenty years before 1941.”
“I live Again”, Golancz, London 1952)

457. Soviet Army:

“Can you think what it is like to sit waiting for brigands, knowing that you are at their mercy, that there is no law or order to which you could appeal? It is a condition to which the American civilization has forgotten about since the days of its frontier. The Soviet army was not like anything which had been seen since the days of Genghis Khan’s Tartar hordes. Soldiers arrived on foot, in carts, on horseback, in haphazard groups. Sometimes there were many, sometimes few, but they were all armed to the teeth with the most modern weapons. They did not worry about food or anything else. With frightening and inhuman simplicity they took what they wanted at the point of gun, and they shot at people with that complete lack of feeling which a normal man has when he shoots at a cardboard target.”
“I live Again”, Golancz, London 1952)

Princess Ileana of Romania

The Princess Ileana was born, in 1909 in Bucharest, Romania, the youngest daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie. She was an aunt of King Michael of Romania. Princess Ileana was related through her mother, Queen Marie to the royal families of Great Britain and Russia.
She married, at the age of 22, Archduke Anton of Austria, withwhom she had six children. In March 1944, in order to escape Nazi persecution she moved her family back to Castle Bran in Romania. This was the romantic castle which formerly was he home of her mother Queen Marie. Unfortunately soon after her return to Romania, Ileana had to confront the invading Russian armies, the advent of Communism and finally the abdication of King Michael in 1947. This caused her and her family to move to Argentina, then the United States. She eventually joined the holy orders of the Orthodox Church as Mother Alexandra and served as abbess of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, until her death, in 1991.

Bran Castle - Transylvania - Dracula

After the fall of Ceausescu, Mother Alexandra visited Romania, in 1990, at the age of 81. Her memoirs of the troubled history of Romania, were published in 1951 and they are the source of our quotations, which give a unique portrait of the Communist dictatorship in the making (q.v.Ana Pauker, Russian armies)


Romania, Ileana of, Princess, “I live Again”, Golancz, London 1952)

Romania, Ileana of, Princess,

Romania, Ileana of, Princess,

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