First revolutionary who got into the balcony of the Opera House in Timisoara, in December 1989
Ioan Chis told that when he saw the massive crowd standing there and waiting for a solution to the dramatic situation of the country, with only hope on its side, to give it courage, he proclaimed himself President of Romania, also beginning a first dialogue with the people, who applauded him. This happened while Nicolae Ceausescu was still the head of the state and the terror was at home in the blood-soaked city.
He confessed on Tuesday that when he entered the dark halls of the building, he felt how ‘strong emotions were telling him he was heading towards his own death’ and that only when he saw the lights of the city he realized that was a new beginning.
‘This is for the first time in twenty years when someone from the mass media looks for me and wants me to tell my story. In the meanwhile, there were many other people who appeared on TV, for the television channels accepted them in the beginning and then they became habitual clients’, Chis said.
The fact that Ioan Chis was ‘the first self-proclaimed President of the free post-communist Romania’ was also confirmed by the chair of the Timis County Council Constantin Ostaficiuc, who, ever since then addressed him only by the formula: ‘I salute you, Mr. President!’
Ioan Chis was very glad to tell everyone he was a lathe operator and a passionate with gardening, also telling how, when coming to receive his commemorative medal, he had problems with his bicycle’s chain. But, he still managed to arrive in time.