Under the Soviet regime, Ioana Anton and her family lived a "normal" peaceful life in Rumania. Ioana worked as a teacher and regularly travelled around the country with her husband and daughters. But their superficial well-being concealed the impossibility of going abroad, constant food shortages and invasion of privacy. Like many of her female friends, Iona didn't have access to modern contraceptives and had to undergo several illegal abortions putting her life and health at risk.
- Postcard Text
- I wish you all the best on Women's Day, success in your activity. Respectfully, Danut
- In the '80s, Ioana's brother-in-law, a young electrician, went to work in Iraq to earn a better salary. At the time it was very common for Romanian professionals to go to work in Iraq for a few years.
A portrait of Ioana Anton in 1974, when she was a 2nd-year student at Teacher Training College. After a three-year program, students could teach in Primary School. Despite the low wages, teaching was a highly respected profession. Since the '50s the Rumanian government made large investments in education: by the late '60s, illiteracy had been almost eradicated, and the number of teachers was three times higher than the pre-war figure.
A picture of Ioana and her friends returning from a trip from Ialomicioara Cave. The Cave, inside the monastery of Ialomicioara, in the Bucegi Mountains, was a popular tourist destination. At the time, many of their friends were tour guides. "Back then it was quite the fashion to attend guide school, make up a group and go to different places."
Ioana, her husband and a few friends on their way to a ski chalet they had rented. Ioana remembers the trip as being quite an adventure: to reach the chalet, "We took a bus carrying some pensioners, we walked, then we took a tractor and then, finally, we had to take a… concrete mixer, yes, the one which usually carries ballast."
Ioana and her husband with Andrea and Lorena, their daughters, at a wedding. While official propaganda depicted the period as "The Golden Age of Ceausescu", the economic situation was in fact dire. During the severely cold winter of 1984-85, people endured dramatic food shortages, military discipline was imposed on workers in the energy field, and heat and hot water were shut off.
Mr. Anton's 4th-grade group’s graduation. Both Ioana and her husband were primary-school teachers. Pupils received ideological training from kindergarten on. In primary school, the emphasis was placed on conformity and anti-individualism, and violations of the dress code were punished. Just a few years later, the education system began to fall apart, and by the end of the decade wearing the pioneer uniform was no longer compulsory.