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Rizea, Elisabeta (1912–2003)

Rizea, Elisabeta (1912–2003)

Romanian resistance hero and Gulag survivor. Name variations: Elizabeta Rizea. Born July 28, 1912, in Domnesti, in the southern Carpathians; died Oct 6, 2003, in Pitesti, Romania; married young.

Anti-Communist resistance fighter and Romanian peasant, became a symbol in the battle against tyranny; after their land was expropriated by the Communists, husband joined a resistance group in the Fagaras mountains and she supplied them with food and money (1945); captured by Romanian militia (summer 1949), was tortured and sentenced to 7 years for aiding criminals; after arrest of anti-Communist leader Gheorghe Arsenescu, was sentenced to another 25 years (1961), but pardoned 3 years later under a general amnesty; placed under constant surveillance, was pressured to become an informer; after the collapse of the Ceausescu regime, came to national attention when her story emerged in Romanian newspapers and film (1989).

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