Greg Collins

Romania The Romanian Securitate

135 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

Thought I'd initiate a thread on the Securitate, show what I've been able to find and see what others have been able to get their hands on.

To begin, here's the Order for Service to Socialist Country - 3rd Class (Ordinul "?n serviciul patriei socialiste"), awarded to Captain Florean Sularea on October 23rd, 1963. It has the "franked" signature of President Gheorghiu-Dej. The award, box, document and it's "cylinder" are all here. Unfortunately the ribbon is not.

Edited by Greg Collins

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The next, and higher, order is the Order for Distinguished Services in Defense of the Social Order and the Country - 3rd Class (Ordinul "Pentru servicii deosebite aduse ?n ap?rarea or?nduirii sociale ?i de stat") awarded to Colonel Stancu Marin on August 21st, 1973. President Ceausescu's "franked" signature is at the bottom.

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ID: 5   Posted (edited)

The Medal for Distinguished Services in Defense of the Social Order and the Country (Medalia "Pentru servicii deosebite aduse ?n ap?rarea or?nduirii sociale ?i de stat"), RPR version awarded between 1953 and 1965. This is the elusive silver variant of the award. The box, unlike many Romanian awards, does not have the name of the award on the cover.

Edited by Greg Collins

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The RSR version (1965-1989) in turquoise-coloured box with name on the lid.

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A couple of Medals for Service to Socialist Country (Medalia "?n serviciul patriei socialiste"). The gold (1st Class) is the RPR version and was awarded between 1963-1965. The silver (2nd Class) ia the RSR version and was awarded between 1965-1989. The delapidated case that has , unfortunately, come in two parts is for the gold medal.

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A final post for now... a couple pairs of epaulets, one colonel and the other lieutenant, flanking a Young Trooper of the Securitate badge.

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An interesting topic, but I guess most of these awards were for members of the Security Troops (certainly the shoulder marks in the post no. 8). I guess they were anyhow the most visible, in contrast to the members of the more elusive sections of the State Security Department.

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A final post for now... a couple pairs of epaulets, one colonel and the other lieutenant, flanking a Young Trooper of the Securitate badge.

Can you post a close up of the Young Trooper badge.

Thank you.

Kevin in Deva.

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ID: 11   Posted (edited)

One of the issues I'm facing in the pursuit of Securitate items is the length and breadth of the organization- more or less similar to what I faced in collecting the DDR Stasi. Many in uniform were part of the more visible community- military units, police- but so many never wore, or at least rarely wore, a uniform in the commission of their day to day duties. As I collect that which is more visible (orders, medals, badges and small insignia- I don't do uniforms as I would need another house), I'm more or less stuck with the units that did display these items (security and militia).

Here's a close up of the badge along with the same insignia on one of the shoulderboards.

Edited by Greg Collins

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Actually, I just found out that the direct translation of the badge is "Friend of Security Troops"... no mention of "youth" or "young" as I was led to believe. So, with that in mind, could this be a badge to indicate a monetary donation or, possibly, some sort of auxiliary?

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There is a series of "Friends of . . ." Badges, including "Friends of the Fire-brigade", "Friends of the Library" etc . . etc. . . probably aimed at the youth members of the Communist Party, Young Pioneers etc..etc..There is a lot of items being attributed to the "Securitate" just for sales purposes, and I am living in Romania since 2003 and have never seen a "Securitate" Uniform, in the flesh or on any pictures, possibly because they wore ordinary military uniforms and opperated on a strict "need to know" basis as it suited their work to have a low profile.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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The very few images I have seen of the Securitate show individuals in street clothing, more or less the same as our FBI or CIA (or any of a long list of "alphabet soup" agencies we have here in the US), so I quite understand what you're telling me. It seems the Securitate operated similarly to the Stasi when it came to the uniformed services... used who they needed but kept them in the uniform they already had. Of course, the Stasi (MfS) had the Watch Regiment, but that was largely cerrimonial. Would you say that I would be more accurate in describing my collection as "Security and Militia" rather than "Securitate"?

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The very few images I have seen of the Securitate show individuals in street clothing, more or less the same as our FBI or CIA (or any of a long list of "alphabet soup" agencies we have here in the US), so I quite understand what you're telling me. It seems the Securitate operated similarly to the Stasi when it came to the uniformed services... used who they needed but kept them in the uniform they already had. Of course, the Stasi (MfS) had the Watch Regiment, but that was largely cerrimonial. Would you say that I would be more accurate in describing my collection as "Security and Militia" rather than "Securitate"?

Hallo GC, :beer:

IMHO I think you have a good idea, in your above post, (I do not claim in any way to be an expert)

but I do attend many Collectors Fairs here and a lot of items are being pushed as "Securitate"

are not connected specifically to this organization.

There are awards and medals specific to the "Securitate" but, unless you have the Brevet

stating that, then the chances are the person was not a member.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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Like any other secret service, the State Security Department usually kept a low profile for its activities. For obvious reasons, the members of its more elusive sections wore street clothing for their activities. It was also possible that some high ranking officers of the police were also officers of the State Security Department, but to what extent they had two uniforms I do not know.

However, as I said before, the members of the Security Troops were those who routinely wore the uniforms with the distinctive blue colour. The lower ranks were conscripts who did thier military service with the Security Troops instead of the Army or Navy. Their duties resembled those of gendarmerie and indeed in the late 1940s they absorbed the personnel of the gendarmerie and in the 1990s they were reorganised again as the gendarmerie.

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Thanks for all the replies... it seems that, without a list of Securitate personnel, it would even be hard to match up a brevet... and I sure have not seen a list (if one survived 1989). I guess the best we can do is say this award was for the protection of the social order and the state and could have been for a member of the Securitate. Or simply say this award was for a member of internal security (militia, security) and leave it at that.

I have a question at this point... do any of you know of a book or website that would show Romanian uniforms of 1947-1989? I'm familiar with the world insignia website, but have no reference to uniforms whatsoever. I'd certainly appreciate any help in this area.

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ID: 18   Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the replies... it seems that, without a list of Securitate personnel, it would even be hard to match up a brevet... and I sure have not seen a list (if one survived 1989). I guess the best we can do is say this award was for the protection of the social order and the state and could have been for a member of the Securitate. Or simply say this award was for a member of internal security (militia, security) and leave it at that.
Recently, I sold some items to a fellow G.M.I.C. member, and hopefully he will add pictures to this thread,

amongst which was a Brevet which stated his (the owner of the items) position as the Chief of the Securitate Office

in the mining town of Petrosani, Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania.

Kevin in Deva.

Edited by Kev in Deva

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Thanks for all the replies... it seems that, without a list of Securitate personnel, it would even be hard to match up a brevet... and I sure have not seen a list (if one survived 1989). I guess the best we can do is say this award was for the protection of the social order and the state and could have been for a member of the Securitate. Or simply say this award was for a member of internal security (militia, security) and leave it at that.

It depends on the award. The Order "In the Service of the Socialist Homeland (?n serviciul patriei socialiste) was for the members of the police and was the equivalent of the Order for Military Merit of the armed forces. On the other hand, the Order for Distinguished Merits in the Defense of the Social and State Order (Pentru merite deosebite aduse ?n apărarea or?nduirii sociale şi de stat) was destined for the members of the security services.

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I have been told that, like the KGB (USSR) and the MfS (DDR), the Dinamo was the athletic club of the Securitate/Ministry of the Interior. I've also been told that a certain amount was deducted from police paychecks for the Dinamo football clubs in both Bucharest and Victoria. Here's an older (I'd say '50's or '60's), nice looking and well made badge of a "Young Dinamo-ist".I would imagine this (youth athletics) was a useful tool in spotting and cultivating potential future agents. The badge is un-numbered and with a standard pin back.

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I have been told that, like the KGB (USSR) and the MfS (DDR), the Dinamo was the athletic club of the Securitate/Ministry of the Interior. I've also been told that a certain amount was deducted from police paychecks for the Dinamo football clubs in both Bucharest and Victoria. Here's an older (I'd say '50's or '60's), nice looking and well made badge of a "Young Dinamo-ist".I would imagine this (youth athletics) was a useful tool in spotting and cultivating potential future agents. The badge is un-numbered and with a standard pin back.

I would not go that far. Dinamo was indeed the sporting club of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but since this was not the same thing as the State Security Department I do not think that it was really the recruiting ground for the latter. On the other hand, I could imagine that many coaches of Dinamo were also instructors in the police schools.

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Wasn't the Securitate part of the ministry of internal affairs from 1972 when the council of state security and the so-called "ministerul afacerilor interne" were joined under the name "ministerul de interne"? I realize this would be after the production of this particular pin. The opportunity for recruitment was a supposition on my part as just about every country I know of engages in that sort of thing. We certainly do here in the US.

This is a problem that I am encountering often in this facet of my collecting- maybe even more so than with my DDR MfS collection. What is Securitate? What is Militia? What is Security Troops? Do they overlap? When? And, in the few instances where there is written material available, the data only enforces these questions. The only answer I can really come up with is that there was a "fluid" overlap between State Security and Internal Affairs during the entire course of the Romanian Communist State, and to really say you're collecting the Securitate, you have to collect both. That is, until better data- if it exists- presents itself. This is my approach, anyway.

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Wasn't the Securitate part of the ministry of internal affairs from 1972 when the council of state security and the so-called "ministerul afacerilor interne" were joined under the name "ministerul de interne"?

I think the State Security Department was part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs even earlier, but due to the nature of its activities it had a special position. It had a relatively small number of employees in comparison to the number of its collaborators/informers recruited through a whole range of methods.

What is Securitate?

Secret service/intelligence agency

What is Militia?

Police force

What is Security Troops?

"Gendarmerie"

Do they overlap? When? And, in the few instances where there is written material available, the data only enforces these questions. The only answer I can really come up with is that there was a "fluid" overlap between State Security and Internal Affairs during the entire course of the Romanian Communist State...

The information is indeed scarce, but I think that it was much less overlap than imaged. The Ministry of Internal Affairs was the big umbrella for both the police and the state security. Both departments had indeed attributes in internal affairs, but their nature differs. The police usually had assignments regarding individuals, while state security, as its name says, had more to do with state affairs. Anyhow, as I said before, it is quite possible that high ranking police officers also had positions in the state security (or vice versa), but that could be more a sign of separation of the duties of the two departments than of overlap. It is also possible that one department called the other if they realised that the things they investigated were of a different class.

...and to really say you're collecting the Securitate, you have to collect both. That is, until better data- if it exists- presents itself. This is my approach, anyway.

This is probably the safe approach, but some distinctions could still be made, e.g., a high ranking state security officer could have had police insignia, but that does not make any police insignia automatically a distinction of the state security. Unfortunately, as Kevin said, nowadays many items are being sold as Securitate based only on thin associations that are difficult if not impossible to prove. You really need to find the paperwork to prove the associations and that is not always available.

Anyhow, because of all the uncertainties your collection would better be described as "security and militia", as you said it earlier, or even better "Ministry of Internal Affairs".

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Thanks for the detailed reply; all the information I can get really helps in this pursuit. I think what this all boils down to, as a collector, is avoiding the "hype" that surrounds the term "Securitate" and realize the misuse of the term, either intentionally or not, by some dealers to enhance the saleability of their product, which may simply be associated with the normal police or security troops. I certainly understand and agree, and have seen it happen certainly with DDR items where so much is advertised as "Stasi" that absolutely is not.

In the meantime, I'll continue the quest for written and web materials on the subject to try to gain a better understanding and, of course, use the information gained to enhance the collection.

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In the meantime, I'll continue the quest for written and web materials on the subject to try to gain a better understanding and, of course, use the information gained to enhance the collection.

I guess you already know the links I indicated in this thread.

I have heard that there are quite a few fakes of rare Romanian orders on the market, most likely those without cases and ribbon bars, so be aware. Unfortunately I cannot give further advice how to tell a fake from a genuine item. Other than that, good luck in your quest.

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