Poiana Brasov

Liviu Babes

more than a year ago
March 2, 2011, marked the 22nd anniversary of one of the many forgotten stories of the last months of communist Romania: the self-immolation of Liviu Babes, a 47-year old man who, in front of horrified western European holidaymakers in Poiana Brasov, walked on to the Bradul ski-slope and shouted ‘Living in Romania is like living in Auschwitz‘ (or words to that effect) and set himself alight.

The story made newspapers worldwide (although not, unsurprisingly, in Romania), and Babes has every right to be considered one of the first martyrs of the Romanian revolution.

Babes is not entirely forgotten: a memorial below stands in Poiana Brasov, close to where he set himself alight; a street in Brasov is named after him, and there are apparently plans to raise a statue of him in the city.

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