My best friend who lived two blocks away called me right after my daughter went to school. She asked how I was feeling, but I could sense there was more she wanted to talk to me. Our conversations on the phone were listened by the secret police Securitate, I knew that. Not only ours, but of the entire country.
People spied on people, and Securitate spied on everybody.
“Did you hear anything about what was going on at The Maria Square?” She whispered while I was taking my son’s jacket off.
We let the children play in the boys room and we went in the kitchen.
“Somebody said there were people who gathered in front of the Reformat Church to back up their pastor, pastor Tokes.”
I didn’t know who pastor Tokes was. The Reformat Church had their services in Hungarian and I didn’t speak the language.
“The Securitate was going to evict him from the parochial house because he spoke against the system from the pulpit. His congregation didn’t let them take him, but made a human chain in front of the main door, in the street. More of that, people from our church and our pastor and people from the Pentecostal Church joined them and stayed there through the night.”
I couldn’t understand. “How could that help?”
My friend continued in a low voice. “They sang hymns and prayed together and the communists just sat there. Then somebody shouted, ‘Freedom! We want freedom!’ And everybody called for freedom in one voice.”
I was paralyzed. “Did they arrest them?”
“I don’t know. We’ll find out more when our husbands will come home from work.”
It was still morning and my little son and I left her house to go and stand in the line for food. I was stacking up on butter, eggs and flour of good quality for Christmas. Our rations were small, but every day I would get something and, being with my son, we could get double portions.
It was ice cold out there and the line was outside, as usual. We took our spot and I gave my son a sugar candy to keep him happy while waiting in the cold winter wind.
He was used to that.