Journalists Searching for Ioan Timiş, One of the Border People of 1975

At Mişcarea de Rezistență, Marina Constantinoiu and Istvan Deak continue their long investigative series Frontieriştii (The Border People) launched on March 15, 2016 and documenting the atrocities committed against those who tried to cross Romania’s closed borders between 1949 and 1989.

In their September 30, 2016 installment—In 1975, State Security Accused the Border Guards of Covering Up for the Border People—the two journalists write about a Romanian man who succeeded in fleeing the country and who might now live in the United States. His name is Ioan Timiş and he was born on October 30, 1958 in Borșa-Maramureș, Romania.

The journalists learned about Mr. Timiş from his old friend Mihai Stăuceanu (already profiled in the series) and also from declassified files belonging to the Romanian Ministry of the Interior. On June 22, 1975, at the age of sixteen, Mr. Timiş crossed the Serbian broder, and later made it all the way to Austria. Now Marina Constantinoiu and Istvan Deak are trying to get in touch with him in order to show him his CNSAS files, to document his story and to learn more about the other men who accompanied him at the time.

From their article mentioning Mr. Timiş (in Romanian):

La data de 22.06.1975, Batalionul Oravița a raportat că în noaptea de 21/22 a avut loc o trecere frauduloasă descoperită de postul control format din soldat Tănase Constantin, la ora 06:00, în raionul pichetului Vărădia, pe direcția B.62/3. “Urmele sunt acoperite de infractori, însă în marginea interioară a fâșiei se observă clar două tipare. După ce a ajuns la locul trecerii, lt.col Petre Ion, comandatul B.Oravița, a raportat la brigadă că este vorba de urme facute de animale, 6-8 porci mistreți”. La data de 10 iulie s-a constatat dispariția încă din data de 20 iunie a lui Timiș Ioan, născut la 30.10.1958 în Borșa-Maramureș, elev anul I la școala profesională Reșița, cu domiciliul în Vărădia. El a trimis o vedere din Austria părinților prin care îi anunța că a ajuns cu bine. “Deci se concluzionează în mod cert că autorii trecerii sunt numitul Timiș Ioan și o altă persoană, se pare un fost coleg de-al său”, spune documentul.

The journalists’ email addresses are provided at the end of their article. For more information about their project, here are two other installments in the series Frontieriştii translated into English and Italian by the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa:

I also wrote about the series Frontieriştii in How to (Not) Kill and Bury Your History, March 16, 2016.

Any help in locating Mr. Timiş is welcome and appreciated.

2 thoughts on “Journalists Searching for Ioan Timiş, One of the Border People of 1975

  1. I would suggest to go to Traiskirchen, Austria, where the refugee camp was located and check the records for his name. The problem with Traiskirchen was that it was very hard to go to USA unless one had a sponsor. Also, the more time one spent in Traiskirchen, the less chances to go to USA and that is why so many Romanians were stuck in Austria. However, some have left to Latina refugee camp (near Roma,Italy) and apply for immigration to USA. Those who went from Traiskirchen to Germany had to spend time in another camp where they would learn German language on a fast track. I forgot the name of the city in Germany but it was close to the border with Austria (I corresponded with a former classmate which spent about a year there). I spent 20 days in prison in the city of Negotin, Serbia and 5 weeks in Padinska Skela refugee camp near Belgrade, Serbia. From Belgrade it was very easy to go to Canada which would take all the communists and terrorists and those which USA immigration would reject. I would say that most Romanians which went to Canada were former communist members. The only communists which made it to USA were those sent by Ceausescu (so they emigrated with passports from Romania) as informers especially in communities where Romanians had churches. Sweden has taken Romanians in batches every 6 month. In Portland,Oregon, the pastor of the largest Romanian Pentecostal church in USA was a communist from Cluj.
    Well, as far as “porci mistreti”, we encountered hundreds of them (about half a mile from the border) so we had climb in the trees until they moved away.
    If Mr. Timis made it to USA, the “World Catholic Church” organization paid for his airline ticket since they did for every refugee coming from Europe. I don’t know where their headquarter is (possible Chicago) but I doubt they kept the records for such a long time.

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