"The most terrible act of barbarism in the modern world"Alexander Solzhenitsyn
"The delirious imagination of Turcanu (the chief torturer - our note) was unleashed above all when he was dealing with students who believed in God and who strove not to renounce their belief. Thus, some were baptised each morning: their heads plunged into a bucket of urine and faecal matter, while the others around chanted the ritual of baptism. This would last until the contents of the bucket started to bubble. When the recalcitrant prisoner was on the point of drowning, he would be pulled up, given a short respite in which to breathe, then submerged once more."
- Virgil Ierunca, The Pitesti Phenomenon, Paris, 1981, p.37.
"In the so-called act of depersonalisation, the students were forced, under torture, permanent and unimaginable torture, to betray all they held dear: God, their own parents, brothers, sisters and friends. They were constrained to drink urine and to eat faeces! The human being was thereby annihilated. Disgusted at his weakness, he would never be able to recover himself before his own conscience. The pain was beyond the power of human endurance."
- Eugen Magirescu, The Devil's Mill: Memories of Pitesti Prison, Editura Fronde, Alba-Iulia, Paris, 1994, p.6
"Then they undressed me (...) What followed is indescribable... beatings on the head to induce stupefaction; beatings in the face, for disfigurement; thousands of blows to the back, below the ribs, in the plexus, on the soles of the feet. Dozens of faints and then all over again, for hours on end, and the eye at the peep hole always watching, always watching. They shattered my ribs, lungs, liver, kicking my bones, my kidneys with shod feet."
- Eugen Magirescu, The Devil's Mill, in Memoria no. 13, p.38
"When the victim was a theology student or a person with a certain religious feeling, he was made to genuflect to the bare bottom of one of the 're-educated', to call that bottom an icon and to kiss it. He would have to label the Holy Virgin 'the great whore' and Jesus Christ 'the great idiot crucified on the cross'. If it was known that the victim loved his parents, Turcanu would provoke him thus: Tell me, X, how did you sleep with your mother? or, Tell me how you caught your father raping your sister? The victim, after enduring the purgatory of 're-education', was never abandoned, but was also drawn into the caste of executioners."
- Ion Balan, The Prison Camp Regime in Romania, 1945-1964, Fundatia Academia Civica, 2000, p. 225
"Performances on religious subjects, black masses staged at Easter or Christmas, horrified the detainees. On such occasions, it was the theology students who were to suffer the most, dressed up as 'Christs', clothed in cassocks smeared with excrement. They were made to take 'communion' with urine and faeces, and instead of the Cross, a phallus was fashioned of soap, which all the others were made to kiss. Alongside them hymns were sung with scabrous words, in which the commonplaces were insults against Christ and the Virgin Mary. Sometimes the detainees would be stripped naked."
– Alin Muresan, Pitesti. The Chronicle of an Assisted Suicide, Polirom, Bucharest, 2008.
"Sexual plays also performed at the orders of Turcanu, naturally. On Good Friday, he shared out the roles: the 'ass' is fellated by 'Mary Magdalene', 'Joseph' sodomises the 'ass', which in its turn stands with its muzzle in the lap of the 'Virgin Mary whore', concomitantly sodomised by 'Jesus'. The re-educated, headed by Turcanu, displayed a diabolical pleasure in mocking the faithful, nicknamed 'mystics'. Such scenes had a terrible effect on the victims, who as a rule found their only solace in faith. However, after participating in the black masses, their entire faith was shaken to its foundations... (...) "
- Alin Muresan, Pitesti. The Chronicle of an Assisted Suicide, Polirom, Bucharest, 2008.
"...you were made to tug each other's genitals or one of them would put his penis in your mouth; if you soiled yourself during beatings you were made to eat your own faeces and to lick the dirtied long-johns or to eat another's faeces from your own mess tin, without being allowed to wash it after that; you were made to kiss each other's bottoms; you were made to urinate in each other's mouths; when you begged for water, you would be given urine from the bucket or they would urinate in your mouth, or others would spit in your mouth; you were made to spit in each other's bottoms and then lick it up; they would wipe a stick smeared in faeces from the WC on your mouth and in your mouth; you were made to stick your finger up your bottom and then suck it."
- Costin Merisca, The Pitesti Tragedy. Jassy, 1997, p. 70-71
"With indescribable fury they began to hit him, with fists, cudgels and feet. And to toss him from one to another, until the bloodied wretch fell almost senseless and could no longer rise. After they had given him a few more kicks to the head, two of them picked him up and threw him on the bunk, making him sit with his hands in his pockets and his head bowed, according to the order. Then another followed, then another, as though in a devilish ring dance intended to annihilate the last speck of physical and moral resistance of those who entered into their rabid game."
- Justin Stefan Paven, The Hell of Pitesti, in Memoria, no. 22, p. 66