Daily Archives: March 10, 2018

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Today’s Holiday: Moshoeshoe’s Day

Today’s Holiday:
Moshoeshoe’s Day

Moshoeshoe (c. 1790-1870) was a leader in South Africa who organized a group of tribes to fight the Zulu warlord Shaka. He called his followers the Basotho people, and although they succeeded in fending off the Zulu, they were drawn into war with Europeans who started settling their territory. In 1966, the Basotho nation became the independent kingdom of Lesotho within the British Commonwealth. The Basotho people honor their founder on this day with a wreath-laying ceremony in the capital city of Maseru, along with sporting events and traditional music and dancing. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Douglas Adams (1952)

Today’s Birthday:
Douglas Adams (1952)

Best known as the creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which began as a BBC radio series in 1978 and was thereafter adapted for a series of bestselling novels, a TV series, a record album, a computer game, and several stage productions, Douglas Adams was a talented writer and musician. Though his career was cut short by a fatal heart attack, he left behind a creative legacy that includes the “answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.” What is it? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: Spanish Flu Pandemic Begins (1918)

This Day in History:
Spanish Flu Pandemic Begins (1918)

One of the most devastating pandemics in human history, the Spanish flu was first observed at Fort Riley, Kansas, which was home to some of the tens of thousands of soldiers waiting to be deployed to Europe for combat in World War I. It came to be known as the Spanish flu after spreading to Spain, but its reach was global. Estimates vary, but at least 20 million people died from the pandemic. What was the only sizable, inhabited place in the world that had no documented outbreak? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Frederick Douglass

Quote of the Day:
Frederick Douglass

Let us render the tyrant no aid; let us not hold the light by which he can trace the footprints of our flying brother. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Murderball

Article of the Day:

Originally called murderball, wheelchair rugby, or quad rugby, as it’s called in the US, is a sport that combines elements of wheelchair basketball, ice hockey, and handball. Played on an indoor hardwood court, it is a contact sport, and physical contact between wheelchairs is an integral part of the game. The sport was created in 1977 by five Canadian wheelchair athletes who designed it for quadriplegic players with a wide range of functional ability levels. How are points scored in quad rugby? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: make game of (someone or something)

Idiom of the Day:
make game of (someone or something)

To ridicule, mock, or tease someone or something; to make fun of someone or something. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: bald-faced

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Brash; undisguised.
Synonyms: brazen, insolent, audacious, barefaced, bodacious, brassy
Usage: John’s excuse for missing work was such a bald-faced lie that his boss immediately fired him.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

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Panic, chronic anxiety and burnout: doctors at breaking point

Panic, chronic anxiety and burnout: doctors at breaking point
Decca Aitkenhead

All of us become patients, sooner or later, and there is no shortage of literature about our experience of the medical profession. Our health problems have produced numerous bestsellers, many of them written by the doctors who treat us. But until now I had read little – and must confess, thought even less – about who is taking care of them.

Doctors are more prone to mental health problems, it turns out, than any other profession. Their working conditions are more stressful and punishing than anything the rest of us have to deal with in a day at the office. When a junior doctor walked into the sea and drowned in 2016, her parents wrote: “Long hours, work-related anxiety and despair at her future in medicine were definite contributors to this awful and final decision.” Only last month, a trainee paediatrician killed herself following a panic attack at work.

A report in the British Medical Journal in 2011 found that a third of doctors have a mental health disorder. A Royal College of Physicians’ survey of junior doctors last year found that 70% worked on a rota that was permanently under-staffed, 80% felt their work put them under excessive stress, and a quarter felt it had a serious impact on their mental health.

A trainee paediatrician was so paralysed by fear of a baby or mother dying that he abandoned his career in medicine

Caroline Elton is an occupational psychologist who has worked with medics for more than 20 years. We meet at her north London home, where she now runs a private practice offering career coaching and psychotherapeutic support to doctors. Her manner is self-effacing and unassuming, but she is uniquely qualified to comment, having been employed by the NHS for the first 10 years of her career to observe hospital consultants in action, as part of a project to make them more effective teachers. She shadowed anaesthetists, went on ward rounds, observed surgery and sat in on supervision sessions, in order to give consultants feedback on how to improve their teaching work. “So I saw what it was like to be doing a lot of these different specialties. And it was a rich induction that proved to be completely fortuitous,” Elton smiles, because she then spent the next 10 years running an NHS careers advisory service for trainee doctors across London.

She’d expected the job to be all about guiding clients towards career paths they hadn’t previously considered, but much bigger emotional themes kept cropping up. “Coping with the transition from medical school; questioning whether they were suited to the practice of medicine; the impact of exposure to patient suffering; the seeming impossibility of reconciling family and professional demands; the emotional complexity of leaving or abandoning a medical career.” The combination of careers advice and psychological counselling was “a bizarre hybrid of a job”, and one very few people are employed by the NHS to do – but she wishes there were more. “The psychological wellbeing of the medical workforce is being completely ignored.”

The technological and medical advances in medicine are breathtaking, Elton acknowledges. But this has not been matched by understanding about the psychological load doctors bear. “We’re absolutely in the dark ages,” she says.

Elton has now written a book about her work, Also Human, which introduces us to a cast of medics in varying states of despair. There is a trainee paediatrician so paralysed by fear of a baby or mother dying in his care that he kept failing his final exam, and eventually abandoned his idea of a career in medicine. Another trainee vomited at work every day from anxiety and panic. I’d be surprised if anyone who reads it will ever look at doctors in the same light again.

For many doctors, the difficulties begin as soon as they leave medical school. Final exam results determine which graduates get first choice of the available jobs across the country, meaning the weakest are most at risk of finding themselves struggling in posts that stronger students avoided, isolated, far from home in unfamiliar towns where they have no support network.

I’d assumed the European working time directive, limiting junior doctors’ hours, had broadly solved the problem of unmanageable workloads. But the problem, Elton explains, is more “like a Rubik’s Cube”, because the reduction in hours has increased the frequency of handovers, destabilising teams and leaving juniors unsupported.

Often it’s that human-to-human encounter that eases the pressure. If you detach yourself, you’re not going to get that

“I’m not saying we should go back to the old days when junior doctors were working some zillion hours. But what it does mean is you’re now working with an ever-revolving team, with different people being on different schedules and different rotas. If a junior doctor is feeling very unsure of themselves or worried, and the person a couple of steps up the ladder doesn’t know them, they may not see that this person’s normally quite chatty but is very subdued. They haven’t got that intimate knowledge of the team to pick up on it. And nobody thought this through.”

Elton’s panicked young clients report shocking indifference from senior colleagues. When one was reduced to tears by a senior and went to her supervising consultant for help, his response was: “Of course this is how you feel. You’re an F1 [the most junior rank]. You’re a girl. You’re going to be upset.” A system engineered to suppress rather than promote empathy has grave consequences, Elton warns, for all involved.

Ever since the 60s, she explains, the model of “detached concern” towards patients has been the gold standard of the medical profession. “Of course doctors and nurses have to have the capacity to detach in the moment, or in the course of an operation for a longer period of time. But we need to interrogate whether that is the correct stance for all interactions.” Studies consistently find that as their training progresses, medical students’ empathy levels steadily decline. “It should be a switch that doctors can switch on and off, but it’s seen more as a personal quality that you take into all your dealings with patients. Unfortunately, I think the switch rusts.”

Conventional wisdom has it that medics cauterise their emotions to protect themselves, but the evidence suggests that in fact suppressing their feelings makes them burn out more quickly. Elton cites a recent study that found the most empathetic doctors reporting the lowest rates of stress and burnout. It sounds counter-intuitive, but she explains: “Very often it’s that human-to-human encounter that eases the pressure and creates a sense of flow. If you detach yourself, you’re not going to get that. You’re starving yourself of the very thing that will nourish you.”

Occupational psychologist Caroline Elton, who has worked with medics for more than 20 years. Photograph: Zed Nelson for the Guardian
Elton fears that medical schools have poor systems for identifying candidates whose emotional thermostat may prove all but impossible to adjust, or who simply lack the necessary resilience for the job.

She recalls running a workshop for senior faculty members of an Oxbridge medical school, where a clinician described an “academically brilliant” final-year student on placement in A&E who had needed his attendance form signed. The student had found his supervising consultant busy resuscitating a patient in cardiac arrest – and, quite undeterred, had literally waved the form under the consultant’s nose. To Elton’s astonishment, one of the faculty members, a medical school tutor, hearing this story pondered aloud: “Should I be worried about this student?”

“Duh! I mean, what is there not to be worried about when somebody has a decision tree: ‘Interrupt resuscitation, or don’t get my form signed’ and decides to interrupt the resuscitation? That person is not going to survive the complexity and messiness of the job.” Why wasn’t this instantly obvious to a medical school tutor? “Because the psychological component of what it takes to be a good doctor has sort of been excised.”

Too many trainee doctors realise too late they’re not cut out for the job. Many simply underestimate the commitment

The decision to train in medicine is made at 16, when students make their A-level choices. They are, Elton thinks, “really still just babies”. Secondary schools are liable to take any student who is good at science and assume a career in medicine is automatically a good idea. “They don’t have any understanding of what it’s actually going to be like, so they encourage pupils to apply. But if you’re very good at science and want to help people, being a doctor is not the only thing to do. The drugs, the technology – there have been people in labs who’ve done that work. You may not want them at your bedside, but you want brilliant brains doing that stuff. But schools don’t know about that.”

Too many trainee doctors realise too late they’re not cut out for the job. Many simply underestimate the commitment they’ve undertaken. “Something I don’t think people realise is how long this training takes. It’s mind-boggling.” The quickest route to qualification is to become a GP, which takes five postgraduate years. “But if you’re going to be a paediatric cardiologist it can be 12 years full-time – and then imagine if you’re doing that part-time.” Elton has lost count of the clients she has seen who want to quit but feel trapped by the fear of disappointing parents’ expectations.

“It’s a very noble profession. You are saving lives, and that is an amazing thing to be doing. Also, in this country there’s never been medical unemployment. So of course, there is incredible pride and pressure from young doctors’ families.” One client had “spent a staggering 15 years pursuing a career he never really enjoyed”; another had pushed himself for 10 years out of loyalty to his family, until severe panic attacks forced him to admit his real interest was actually elsewhere. Others had chosen the wrong specialty but felt stuck, the prospect of starting all over again in another discipline all but unthinkable. A study of obstetric trainees found a third regretted their choice; one of Elton’s clients had chosen oncology after her father died of cancer, only to have a traumatic experience on her very first day on a ward. The first patient looked exactly like her father; she promptly fainted at the foot of his bed.

More than half of medical students in the UK are now female, but Elton says the system has failed to adjust for this. “Nobody seems to have really thought about the fact, given the length of training, that the period which you’re trying to progress your training is the period in which you may also be hoping to have a family. Yet it’s so bloody obvious.” In a 2016 study of female trainee surgeons, one reported being repeatedly told, “You’re either a woman or a neurosurgeon, you can’t be both.” A neurosurgeon Elton counselled had been asked to edit an academic paper the day after her first child was born. When she said she couldn’t, her supervisor threatened to write to her research funders and “tell them about your lack of commitment. This will ruin your research career.”

The system is even less accommodating of doctors with health problems or disabilities, according to Elton. She cites the case of a medical student who was allowed to complete her medical degree after developing a visual impairment, only to be rejected for all foundation posts, without which she couldn’t progress to train in psychiatry, and eventually gave up and retrained as a teacher. “If you can’t stitch people up then you can’t go and be a surgeon. But if you want to be a psychiatrist you probably don’t need to stitch people up anyway.” A client applying to train as a GP was advised by her supervisor to lie on the forms, to conceal her diabetes, if she wanted to stand a chance of getting on to the course.

While expectations of doctors become more unrealistic, the dangers of an inadequate support system put all of us at risk

A prejudice against disability in the medical profession looks, on the face of it, baffling, but Elton has an explanation. “Just as doctors unconsciously position themselves in a separate category from the patients they treat, in order not to be overwhelmed by anxieties that they too could become sick,” she writes, so too do they “position themselves as ‘other’ than the disabled, in order to avoid confronting the possibility that they, too, might one day join their ranks”. In other words, “Doctors are supposed to be uber-able, not disabled.”

The picture Elton paints of chronic unhappiness, crippling anxiety and wasted talent makes me wonder how the NHS’s managers regard her. She no longer works in the NHS, but her view that the entire system by which we select, train and support doctors needs overhauling must be pretty confrontational. Is she considered an asset, or a nuisance? “I think both. I have some allies in quite senior roles in training different specialities who regard me as an asset. I’m sure there are others who think, ‘Oh that bloody Elton woman, bloody hell, I wish she’d shut up.’”

Elton warns that while our expectations of doctors become ever more unrealistic, the dangers of an inadequate support system put all of us at risk. She mentions the case of Dr Bawa-Garba, convicted of manslaughter following the death of a young boy in her care in 2011. The tragedy occurred on Bawa-Garba’s first day back on an acute ward following maternity leave; she’d been given no induction, the team was understaffed, and the computer systems failed. I spoke to a doctor just days after the GMC had successfully appealed to the high court in January to have Bawa-Garba struck off, and she told me she and all her colleagues were shocked by the news. If the system victimises and prosecutes doctors for mistakes made under impossible conditions, the doctor said, “There won’t be any doctors left by the time I’m old and need to be looked after. They’ll all have left.”

I ask Elton about another recent case of a doctor in court, this time for branding his initials on to livers during transplant surgery. “It’s such a terrible objectification of the patient,” she exclaims, looking dismayed. “I think it says something about power. In that moment you’ve got to psych yourself up, but that was somebody who psyched himself up a step beyond confidence, into omnipotence.” Delusions of omnipotence can be, she observes, just as dangerous as crises of confidence, but seldom recognised as such.

Interestingly, the best practice she ever came across in her work was in a hospice. The compassion and sensitivity displayed by one particular palliative care consultant was an object lesson in the dividend for patients of being treated by doctors with sound emotional wellbeing. I’m curious to know if she thinks it a coincidence that she found exemplary practice in a medical setting where staff knew they could do nothing to save lives. She considers the question carefully.

“I’ve seen some really, really burnt out, sour people working in hospices. So it’s not inevitable. But you can’t have the omnipotent defence, if you’re in a hospice, that you’re going to be on your white charger and zoom in and save lives. When you’re embracing the human condition, there has to be humility.”

‘Figure it out yourself, blue eyes’: an extract from Caroline Elton’s Also Human
Hilary, a GP, came to see me because she was thinking about leaving medicine. “I’ve reached the end of the road with general practice,” she explained. Like many other GP clients, Hilary told me that she felt present-day general practice pulls doctors in opposing directions. On the one hand, she lived in fear of incorrectly reassuring a patient that a particular symptom didn’t warrant a referral to a specialist for further investigation. On the other, she dreaded being singled out by her clinical managers as having an inappropriately high referral rate to specialist services. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

It was five years since Hilary had qualified as a GP, but even before she finished her training, she had started to doubt whether it was the right career for her. “I’m not a natural doctor,” she said. “I constantly feel like a square peg in a round hole.”

I asked Hilary to tell me about her first job as a doctor. She described how her heart sank when she saw from her rota that she’d been placed on the on-call team on her first day. This meant that, in addition to her responsibilities on the surgical ward to which she had been attached, she also had to assess new patients as they were admitted to the hospital for surgery. It’s a bit like trying to be in two places at once; nobody wants to be on call on day one.

On her first morning, she was immediately informed by the senior nurse on the surgical ward that, following surgery, one of the patients urgently needed to be seen by a doctor. Naively, Hilary asked which other doctors were available.

“Mr Baker, the surgical consultant, is on a course, Mr Shah, the registrar, is on annual leave and Dr Glover is off having worked a bunch of nights. It’s just you,” the nurse said.

The nurse led Hilary to the patient’s bedside. The first thing Hilary clocked was the patient’s strange, grey pallor. With extreme difficulty, the patient opened her eyes and whispered: “Doctor, am I going to die?” Then, a second later, a barely audible request: “Doctor, please call my family.”

‘Is there another doctor here?’ the junior asked, finding it hard to believe she was expected to fly solo

Hilary didn’t have a clue whether the patient was at death’s door, or whether she should summon the family; she also didn’t know whether there were medical interventions she should be making to save the patient’s life. Moving away from the patient’s bedside to confer with the nurse, Hilary asked for help.

“You’re going to have to get used to this,” the nurse told her. “Mr Baker never turns down an opportunity to operate. With some of the patients on this ward, it might have been better if they had escaped the knife. They’re often even sicker when they come out of theatre.”

A junior nursing assistant called the senior nurse away. Left on her own and unsure what to do next, Hilary decided to review the patient’s notes. There were no clues there, either. With mounting anxiety, she wondered whether she should call the registrar from another team, or ask the senior nurse to come back. Nothing that she had learned in medical school had prepared her for this situation.

By chance, Fiona, a fledgling doctor attached to another ward, walked down the corridor and caught sight of a panic-stricken Hilary.

“Are you OK?” she asked.

“Not really,” Hilary replied.

She led Fiona to the patient’s bedside; neither of them spoke as they peered down at the sickly looking patient, who had fallen asleep again.

“I’ll call my mum,” Fiona whispered.

Hilary thought Fiona was joking.

“Mum’s a nurse on the rapid-response team,” Fiona explained. “She’ll know what to do, and I am sure she will come if I ask.”

Fiona’s mother appeared five minutes later. She took one look at the patient, realised she was desperately unwell and called the consultant anaesthetist. A couple of minutes later, the anaesthetist appeared, agreed with his nursing colleague’s opinion and, less than 10 minutes after that, the patient was transferred to the high-dependency unit for urgent medical treatment.

The patient survived. And Hilary’s first day continued.

All the time that Hilary had been trying to sort out the desperately ill patient, her bleep had been going off, summoning her to the surgical assessment unit (SAU). As soon as the patient was transferred, she dashed down to the SAU and encountered an extremely angry nurse. “There are nine patients waiting. Where have you been?”

Before Hilary had the opportunity to explain, the nurse gave a rushed account of each of the nine patients whose names were on the whiteboard. Hilary absorbed almost nothing.

“Is there another doctor here?” she asked, finding it hard to believe that she was expected to fly solo on the SAU as well as on the ward.

“Emergency admission. Everyone’s in theatre,” was the unwelcome response. The nine names on the whiteboard were swimming in front of Hilary’s eyes. She was desperate to know if any of the names were higher priority than the others. “Could you possibly help me work out who I should see first?” Hilary asked.

“Figure it out yourself, blue eyes,” the nurse replied. And, with that, she walked off – probably to get on with her own enormous list of tasks.

A huge number of experiences brought me to my belief that the NHS doesn’t care. That it chews people up, spits them out

Over a decade had passed when Hilary told me about her day one, but she could still remember the face and name of the desperately ill patient. She could still recall that sense of panic and fear. I asked if she thought there was any relationship between her horrendous first day and her current feelings about her work; she told me she couldn’t see a link.

The following day, Hilary emailed me: “I was thinking yesterday about your question. On reflection, I think that my first day was just the beginning of a huge number of experiences (of myself and others) that brought me to my current belief on working within NHS medicine. That it just doesn’t care. That it chews people up, spits them out and then gets another well-meaning chump to replace them. Sorry if that sounds harsh, and I do have some sadness in writing it, but I also think it’s 100% true.”

It would be reassuring to think that Hilary’s experience was exceptional. Sadly, this is not the case. In the UK, all first-year doctors start work on the same day – the first Wednesday in August. Hilary’s conclusion was that her experience was, in fact, commonplace. “Lots of my F1 [first year] colleagues had similar experiences,” she told me. “And the following year, in a completely different hospital, the same thing happened to the F1 on my new team. That day, I had induction in the morning into my new role as an F2, and got to the wards only in the early afternoon. But the new F1 in the team had been left to firefight all morning. It happens all the time.”

Hilary’s conclusion is borne out by studies of first-year foundation doctors. A 2014 programme of research commissioned by the GMC reached the following conclusions: “The August transition was highlighted where F1s felt unprepared, particularly for the step-change in responsibility, workload, degree of multitasking and understanding where to go for help.” The study also emphasised how pressures on the healthcare system can affect recent medical graduates: “Trainees may feel prepared for situations when all goes to plan, but unprepared when exposed to high volumes of work which demand prioritisation and multitasking; or uncertain thresholds [not knowing when to refer to seniors]; inadequate team-working; or when seniors are not easily accessible.”

In 2009, a group of researchers at Imperial College in London found that, across England, in-hospital mortality was significantly higher in the week following the first Wednesday in August than in the previous week.

In 2011, an online survey reported that 90% of physicians in the UK felt that the August transition had a significant negative impact on patient care. Respondents highlighted the inadequacy of measures at local level to support junior staff in their induction, and to ensure patient safety. The title of the paper was August Is Always A Nightmare, taken from a comment by one of the physicians in the survey. August is the cruellest month, it seems, at least for patients in teaching hospitals in the UK.

What strikes me most forcefully about Hilary’s story is that the whole set-up seems so precarious. Given that day one is a national fixture across the whole country, why was the supervising consultant away on a course? The registrar should not have been allowed to go on annual leave at the same time. What if the patient had died and Hilary had been held responsible? Back-up provision should have been made on the surgical assessment unit in case all the experienced staff had to rush into theatre to deal with an emergency. Do we really want a system where a patient’s life depends on someone’s mother arriving in time?

All names have been changed

• This is an edited extract from Also Human, by Caroline Elton, published by William Heinemann at £16.99. To order a copy for £14.44, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846.

Commenting on this piece? If you would like your comment to be considered for inclusion on Weekend magazine’s letters page in print, please email weekend@theguardian.com, including your name and address (not for publication).

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9 martie – Ziua Deținuților Politici Anticomuniști din Perioada 1944-1989,,,Lupta anticomunista din Tara Fagarasului!

9 martie – Ziua Deținuților Politici Anticomuniști din Perioada 1944-1989,,,Lupta anticomunista din Tara Fagarasului…///

A fost stabilită prin Legea 247 din 5.XII.2011;
Conform Institutului de Investigare a Crimelor Comunismului în România, în timpul regimului comunist, în ţară au existat 44 de penitenciare principale şi 72 de lagăre de muncă forţată destinate deţinuţilor politici în care au pătimit peste 3 milioane de români, dintre care 800.000 de oameni au murit.

Lupta anticomunista din Tara Fagarasului…

Grupul Carpatin Făgărășan este una din grupările înarmate care au luptat în Munții Carpați împotriva regimului comunist din România. Numărul precis al acestora nu este cunoscut cu exactitate deoarece în arhivele Securității există doar tabele parțiale, care diferă de la an la an. Fundația „Luptătorii din Rezistența Armată Anticomunistă” a numărat peste 200 de grupuri.

Specialiștii Consiliul National pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securității au identificat următoarele zone in care au existat asemenea centre de rezistență: Maramureș, Arad, Munții Apuseni, Alba, Cluj, Crișul Alb, Sibiu, Hunedoara, Banat, Gorj, Craiova, Vâlcea, Sudul si Nordul Munților Făgăraș, Brașov, Dobrogea, Vrancea, Covasna, Bârlad, Bacău, Munții Rodnei, Suceava, Bistrița Năsăud, Bucovina.

Membrii Grupul Carpatin Făgărășan nu se considerau “partizani” – întrucât nu apărau nici un partid –, ci “haiduci”, deoarece luptau împotriva sistemului comunist. Obiectivul lor era să reziste în munți până la izbucnirea unui al Treilea Război Mondial, considerat a fi inevitabil, între forțele militare anglo-americane și cele sovietice. În acele momente Grupul Carpatin Făgărășan ar fi ajutat ofensiva anglo-americană la eliberarea României.

Martie 1944…

Rezistența armată anticomunistă din România a început în Bucovina, după ce trupele sovietice au intrat pe teritoriul României, acțiunea fiind coordonată de ofițeri ai Armatei Române.Rezistența armată s-a extins ulterior în toți munții României.

Toamna și iarna anului 1944…

Germanii au lansat parașutiști care aveau misiunea de a acționa la momentul oportun împotriva armatei sovietice. Câteva din grupurile care erau cunoscute de către regimul comunist s-au autodesființat, în timp ce altele, necunoscute regimului, au rămas în munți, până în 1948, când s-au reactivat.

Guvernul comunist, condus de dr. Petru Groza, a suprimat libertățile cetățenești și a instaurat treptat un regim de teroare.

Deoarece evenimentele s-au potolit cât de cât, mai exista speranța desfășurării unor alegeri libere și primirii unui ajutor occidental. Începând din noiembrie s-a accelerat organizarea rezistenței militare anticomuniste, implicându-se în ea ofițeri superiori.

Forțele anticomuniste, din care făceau parte Partidul Național-Țărănesc, Partidul Național Liberal, Mișcarea Legionară, grupurile din armata română, organizațiile studențești și alte forțe, se coalizează.

“Elevul Mogoș Ion, din comuna Toderița, împreună cu un grup de profesori și colegi de la liceul „Radu Negru” din Făgăraș au înființat o organizație de luptă împotriva abuzurilor comuniste ce se făceau din ce în ce mai simțite la sate”.
Cei mai mulți dintre studenții făgărășeni activi în mișcare, inclusiv majoritatea fraților de cruce de la Liceul „Radu Negru”, sunt arestați și închiși.

Aceia care au reușit să scape nearestați au constituit grupul de rezistență de pe versantul nordic al munților Făgăraș. În partea estică a județului Făgăraș, s-a organizat grupul „Vultanul”, sub conducerea învățătorului Pridon Ion, (Căpitan în rezervă, fost voluntar în Armata Română în Primul Război Mondial, din Părău). Alături de el se afla Marcel Cornea (student la Farmacie, din comuna Sinea), învățătorul Ioan Boamfă și tânărul Ioan Buta.

Ion Mogoș (elev) și cu Pică loan-Victor (amândoi din comuna Toderița și amândoi proaspăt eliberați din închisoare), împreună cu Niculae Mazilu (din comuna Leu), Ion Roșea (din comuna Râușor), au reînființat frăția de la Liceul „Radu Negru”. În octombrie „erau cooptați 10 elevi de la liceul “Radu Negru” din Făgăraș și alți tineri, în număr de 20, din comunele Toderița, Mîndra, Ileni și Rîușor”.

În acest an are loc fuziunea celor două grupuri :

-cea înființată de Mogoș Ion, Pică loan-Victor, Mazilu Nicolae și Ion Roșea, ce avea legături strânse cu elevii liceului „Radu Negru”din Făgăraș
a celor urmăriți de Securitate și fugiți în munte după 1948, strânși în jurul lui Ion Gavrilă-Ogoranu, cunoscut sub numele de Moșu
Scopul acestor grupări era de “”a pedepsi pe cei ce deposedau pe țărani de avutul lor, făcându-i să se teamă de o pedeapsă măsurată după gravitatea faptelor săvârșite și după dreptatea nescrisă, dar cerută de tradiția locurilor”.[4] O dovada in acest sens pot fi si versurile Marsului Rezistentei Fagarasene.
Cei care au făcut parte din aceasta grupare (care la început era cunoscută sub numele de banda “Hașu”, banda “Hașu-Gavrilă”, banda “Gavrilă”) sunt următorii:

Ilioiu Ion, Sofonea Remus (din Drăguș), Arsu Gheorghe (din Râușor), Radeș Virgil (student), Gheorghe Șovăială (din Berivoi, muncitor), Ion Chiujdea, (din Berivoi, student), Novac Ion (din Berivoi, elev), Mogoș Ion (din Toderița, elev), Pică loan –Victor (din Toderița, elev), Mazilu Nicolae (din Leu), Novac Petre, Pop Jean (pădurar, din Lisa), Hașu Laurian (din Breaza, student), Hașu Andrei (elev), Cîlțea Cornel (din Șonea), Cornea Marcel (student, din Sinea), Novac Gelu (din Făgăraș), Hașu Gheorghe (țăran), Malgan Mihai (student), Ramba Gheorghe (din Voivodeni), Moldovan Dumitru-Bambu (țăran, din Lisa), Moldovan Vasile, Bărcuț Ion (țăran, din Felmer), Pârâu Toma, zis Porîmbu, care refuzase să se mai întoarcă la armată, și încă mulți alții.

Ei trec la instituirea de depozite de arme și alimente în munți, identificarea gazdelor de sprijin și ajutorare cu alimente în caz de retragere în munți.

Echipamentul militar, armamentul și muniția aferentă le-a fost furnizată de către Ion Cîrlig (plutonier în Armată), Traian Monea (locotenent , comuna Veneția), Partenie Comșa (plutonier în Armată).

Serviciile medicale au fost inițial oferite de către doctorul Ion Halmaghi (comuna Comana), dar numărul persoanelor care au acordat asistență medicală a crescut în timp.

Gazdele lor au fost din comunele Râușor, Ileni, Mândra, Pârâu, Iași.

Viața în munte…
După ce au renunțat să mai doarmă în corturi, membrii Grupului Carpatin Făgărășan au stat in stâne, cabane de vânătoare izolate, peșteri și de multe ori la gazdele din sate (în fânare, grajduri, șure de paie).

Alimentele le obțineau de la oamenii din sate, de la stâne și cooperative, chiar de la cabane și de la turiști. Salariaților li se ofereau în schimbul alimentelor bonuri care să justifice faptul că acestea au fost date în folosul partizanilor. Era o metodă prin care se încerca protejarea acestora, astfel incât Securitatea să nu creadă că au cooperat cu membrii Grupului Carpatin Făgărășan.

Inițial au adăpostit alimentele în peșteri, dar ulterior au trecut la îngroparea alimentelor în diferite locuri.

Timp de aproape opt ani, “banda Gavrilă” a luptat cu forțele regimului: Miliție, Securitate sau chiar cu Forțele Armate.

În cele 146 dosare de urmărire ale Securității apar menționate 108 acțiuni întreprinse împotriva grupării, repartizate pe ani astfel:
16 acțiuni în 1950
7 acțiuni în 1951
15 acțiuni în 1952
23 acțiuni în 1953
25 acțiuni în 1954
18 acțiuni în 1955
4 acțiuni în 1956.[7]
Treptat membri grupării sunt capturați, condamnați la ani grei de închisoare sau uciși. Până în 1955, aproape toți oamenii lui Gavrilă au fost omorâți sau prinși prin trădare.

Ion Gavrilă – Ogoranu a fost singurul din grup care a scăpat, deoarece a reusit sa evite capcana în care au căzut ultimii săi opt camarazi. Un om de legătură, care se dovedise a fi recrutat de Securitate, le promisese că-i scoate peste graniță. Gavrilă a refuzat să plece din țară, iar după ce a aflat ce pățiseră ceilalți s-a ascuns, pentru 21 de ani, la Ana Săbăduș, din Galtiu – județul Alba. Cei doi s-au căsătorit în secret. Ion Gavrilă – Ogoranu a murit pe 1 mai 2006.

Caracteristici generale…

Fără un comandament unic pe țară, care să coordoneze acțiunile, fără o legătură externă permanentă, cu tactici și strategii diferite, rezultatele nu au putut fi de amploare. Se poate vorbi de o rezistență anticomunistă până în anii 1962, când a fost distrusă. Rezistența făgărășeană, ca de altfel întreaga rezistență anticomunistă pe țară, lucru ce reiese din documentele de atunci, a avut trei caracteristici:

  1. caracter național: “Componența eterogenă a grupurilor de rezistență, atât din punct de vedere al originii sociale, cât și al orientării politice este demonstrată și de documente din arhivele organelor represive. Astfel, dintr-o situație statistică întocmită de D.G.S.P. în anul 1951 rezultă că, pentru cele 804 persoane arestate ca membri sau sprijinitori a 17 grupări de rezistență din munți, situația din punct de vedere profesional era următoarea: 558 țărani de diferite stări, 71 muncitori, 30 mic-burghezi, 17 funcționari, 15 preoți, 15 comercianți, 13 militari deblocați și alții. Pentru același „eșantion”, apartenența politică avea următoarea configurație: 88 foști membri ai P.N.Ț.-Maniu, 79 foști membri în Frontul Plugarilor, 73 de foști legionari, 42 foști membri ai P.C.R. , 15 foști membri ai P.N.L.-Brătianu și alții”.

“A fost o mișcare națională nu prin existența unui centru unic de comandă sau a unei personalități care să coaguleze diversele grupuri, ci caracterul național trebui înțeles prin prisma structurii etnice, sociale și politice a membrilor, prin legăturile mai mult sau mai puțin efemere stabilite între diferitele grupări, prin scopul unic urmărit – înlăturarea comunismului”.[9]

  1. caracter creștin: “Desființarea cultului greco-catolic la 1 decembrie 1948 și măsurile de prigoană luată împotriva unor credincioși și preoți ai acestui cult au provocat și ele plecarea în munți a unor persoane urmărite de Securitate sub denumirea de „nereveniți”. Tot din motive religioase au plecat în munți sau au sprijinit lupta armată anticomunistă și credincioși și ierarhi ortodocși sau neo-protestanți”.
  2. caracter anticomunist: “scopul principal urmărit de aceste grupări poate fi ușor evidențiat: înlăturarea regimului comunist instituit în România”.

Tactica și strategia Grupului Carpatin Făgărășan….

Au avut la dispoziție cel mai compact masiv muntos din România, lung de 100 Km. și lat de 60 Km. fără căi de comunicație, împădurit. Grupul era format din tineri care se cunoșteau reciproc, se născuseră și trăiseră la poalele munților astfel încât în munți se simțeau în elementul lor.

Și-au extins activitatea pe o suprafață cât mai mare pentru a dispersa forțele trimise împotriva lor. Deoarece Grupul Carpatin Făgărășan nu a avut o conducere unitară, a fost mai dificil distrus. Celelalte grupuri care acționau în munte au fost mai ușor anihilate: forțele Miliției si Securității au putut să încercuiască acele zone și implicit să captureze sau să ucidă partizanii.

Au fost sprijiniți de populație: “În acești ani am găsit în suflete de români, adesea umili și nebăgați în seamă, atâta noblețe și atâta frumusețe, încât nu o viață, dar și o mie de vieți de ai avea, merită să le jertfești”.

Sute de familii din toate satele din Țara Oltului, sute de ciobani din Argeș și Muscel și pădurarii din zona Făgăraș au fost bănuiți de Securitate că oferă sprijin grupului Făgărășan. Spre deosebire de celelalte grupuri de rezistență din munți care nu mai aveau nici un supraviețuitor, mulți membri ai grupului Făgărășan au rămas în viață după 1990.

“Ceea ce ne-a mânat aici, a fost dragostea de acest neam, liberă de orice meschinărie. Am învățat să privim neamul nostru, ca de altfel orice în lume, prin prisma dragostei. EXIȘTI ÎN MĂSURA ÎN CARE IUBEȘTI; ȘI TE ÎNALȚI ÎN MĂSURA ÎN CARE TE JERTFEȘTI PENTRU ACEASTĂ IUBIRE”.

“Noi nu admirăm neamul nostru, nici nu căutăm să-l înțelegem și să-l studiem în virtutea nu știu cărui principiu scornit de mintea omenească. Noi îl iubim. Așa cum e. Așa cum își iubește copilul părinții lui. Și nu l-am schimba cu oricare altul, nici în gând, cum nici o mamă din lume nu și-ar schimba copilul ei. În inima și mintea noastră, n-au încolțit niciodată visuri și gânduri de emigrare prin nu știu ce țări fericite. Voim să rămânem aici părtași ai durerilor și bucuriilor neamului, al destinului său, în valul căruia voim și noi să ne contopim soarta noastră”.

“Și mai ales am simțit în ceasurile negre mâna lui Dumnezeu, atunci când slabele noastre puteri omenești ne-ar fi dus la moarte și deznădejde. Aici, pe crestele munților, am simțit cuvintele Domnului, care ne-a spus că fără El nu putem face nimic. Și noi, prin suferința noastră, am învățat să-L iubim. Căci până nu vei suferi tu însuți, măcar o palmă sau o înjurătură pe nedrept, până atunci nu vei putea înțelege, drama de pe Golgota. Aceste gânduri, adânc frământate în nopți lungi de iarnă, îngropați în zăpezi pe crestele Carpaților sau în ceasurile de veghe cu arma-n mână, vi le închinăm vouă, tineri din sate și orașe, ca semn al dragostei ce v-o purtăm, ca unora ce le va fi dat, când noi nu vom mai fi, să vadă și să desăvârșească marea și strălucita biruință românească”