On Thursday, 18 November 2021, the Czech organization Post Bellum in partnership with the Civic Academy Foundation-Memorial to the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance organized a workshop entitled The Romanian Revolution Seen Through the Eyes of a Child Participant.
The event gave students of the Czech Gymnázium Ladislava Jaroše in Holešov and Romanian students of the Dragoș Vodă National High School in Sighetu-Marmației the chance to meet with Nicoleta Giurcanu-Matei, who recounted her experience during the events of December 1989.
As a child, Nicoleta Giurcanu-Matei participated in the Romanian Revolution of December 1989, in Bucharest On December 21, Nicoleta Giurcanu, then only aged 14, took to the streets to protest against the Communist dictatorship, along with her father and her 12-year-old brother. The three were detained, interrogated and subjected to beatings while in the custody of the Militia, before being transferred to Fort 13 in Jilava.
On December 22, Nicoleta Giurcanu and her brother were sent to a correctional centre in Romania’s capital city, where they were subjected to inhuman treatment: they were stripped naked, beaten, drenched in water, forced to kneel and beg for forgiveness from the portraits of Elena and Nicolae Ceauşescu. The two were released to their mother on the evening of December 23 after a lengthy search.
The event The Romanian Revolution Seen Through the Eyes of a Child Participant is part of the project Behind Closed Doors. Growing up under Totalitarian Regimes / Growing up in Wartime, an EU funded project within the Europe for Citizens – European Remembrance programme, which was implemented by a partnership between the URBAN Association (Bosnia and Herzegovina) as the lead partner, the Civic Academy Foundation – Memorial to the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance (Romania), the ATRIUM Association (Italy) and Post Bellum (Czech Republic). The event took place online on the Zoom platform.
The event coincided with the annual Czech festival Velvet Revolution in Schools, which celebrates the Velvet Revolution of 1989 through a series of debates and events