Trying to escape from communist Romania
Unsatisfied with his life under the communist regime, Ioan Marin tried to cross the Romanian-Yugoslavian border with two close friends , Ion Iordan and Constantin Stanciu, in July 1961 when he was seventeen. They had chosen a crossing location at a spot called Ciuchici, a village near to Oravița. Before crossing the border, the boys stopped to buy supplies from a local store without realizing that because they were so close to the border they would raise suspicion from the villagers. Consequently, one of the store employees informed the authorities, and the three young men were soon surrounded by militia, arrested and questioned. “A citizen saw us there. He was a snitch, as they often are near the border. We got closer. We were so close to the border that we could already see into Yugoslavia. I said: ‘We've prepared, let's go, it's getting dark.’ We got into a hollow. Between Timişoara and Jimbolia there's this little corner. We wanted to cross the border there because it was less secure since everybody was afraid of this little corner, which was the narrowest. And I said, ‘Here's the weakest guard!’ And I got down into a pit, to wait there until it was dark. I said, ‘Let's eat, get ready and when it gets dark, we'll go’. One of the citizens from the store went and reported us to the militia and the border patrol. They surrounded us. The police was there first. I realized something was wrong when someone appeared on the coast. I said: ‘If he runs away, he might have blown the whistle on us and we might get caught.’ It was our clothes that gave us away. We were wearing city school uniforms, while people in the village, in Ciuchici, wore other clothing. The food we had gotten also made us stand out... So I said: ‘Pack up, let's get out of here!’ We hadn't started packing yet when the policeman appeared. He pulled the trigger, an automatic firearm, and told us: ‘Come on! Get out!’ He stripped us naked and got us out of the pit. Bare-naked, we were taken to the local police station in Chiuchici,” Marin recalled.