This past July I had the great fortune of supervising and actively participating in an oral history project in Brasov Romania, a beautiful city in southern Transylvania.  Funded through the generosity of the Romanian-American "Aspera” foundation,the project was the brainchild of Lidia Bradley, a native Brasovian, who currently resides in Lincoln, Massachusetts.   Impelled by her deep affection for her hometown as well as her strong conviction that the complex and tragic history of her nation's past must be documented, Bradley found kindred spirits in IU Professors Maria Bucur and David Ransel and Professor Stefan Ungurean of Transylvania University in Brasov.  Soon the project was launched.  As a student of communist Romania who had already envisioned using an oral history approach in my dissertation, I was thrilled when Professor Bucur invited me to assist with the project.   Over the course of the next six months questionnaires were drawnup, letters of consent and deeds of gift were approved, and a research team was formed. The project began with a 3-day workshop led by Professors Bucur-Deckard and Ungurean and Smaranda Vultur, a Romanian oral historian who has published numerous works on deportations in communist Romania. The aim of the workshop was to outline the goals of the project and prepare the interviewing team (12 students of Professor Ungurean from the department of Sociology), and its two project supervisors (Carmen Hultuta from the Museum of the Romanian Peasant and myself) for oral history fieldwork. Clearly defined, the project, with a few notable exceptions, focused on the elderly populationt, as recording heir life stories was of greatest urgency and covered the period from the Second World War to the present day.  Since Brasov is a culturally diverse city that underwent rapid industrialization during the communist period, ethnicity, religion and industrialization/collectivization were central components of the questionnaire. Additionally, since Brasov claimed a sizable German population around the time of the Second World War, the deportation of Germans by the communists was a major focal point of many interviews.  Other issues suchas the communist transformation under Gheorgiu-Dej and Ceausescu, gender relations, popular, religious and communist festivals and holidays, memorials, reading habits and the effects of Romanias transition to democracy were explored.   Students were accompanied by Carmen and me for their first interview and there after they worked in teams of two and were responsible for three interviews per person.  From the onset we encountered problems,as many of our subjects were apprehensive or resistant to signing the informed consent form.  For our potential respondents, signing such a form recalled the bureaucratic communist past and was synonymous with suspicion, deception and often fear.  Fortunately, thanks to the patience, youth and genuine interest of our research team, most individuals agreed to sign once we explained that the form was in fact intended for their own protection. We lost only a few subjects.  By the end of July we boasted 45 interviews, some 1.5 hours long - others an entire seven hours long.   Our subjects ranged from former members of the Securitate (the Romanian Secret Police during the communist period) and those imprisoned by the Securitate, to aging women who had been deported to Russia as children and those who had spent their entire lives in Brasov, working as housewives or in one of the state factories. Men who had served as soldiers under Romanias WWII ally Germany, as well as a man who been an aviator in the Romanian air force during the communist period, were also interviewed.  Finally, members ofboth the Hungarian and German populations also shared their life stories.   Though no interview was devoid of some traumatic or tragic tale, the tone of each varied tremendously. While some subjects recounted the events of their past with stoical detachment, others plunged into their stories passionately, often tearfully. More poignantly however, the majority, when asked if they would change anything in the course of their lives, answered with an emphatic "no," implying that the passage of time had perhaps allowed them to at least somewhat reconcile their experiences. Although our respondents were eager to share their life stories with us, initially they were rather curious and even a bit baffled as to why we took such an enthusiastic interest in their lives, typically proclaiming, “My life? I have nothing interesting to tell you.” Fortunately for us, curiosity and bafflement turned into active engagement. Indeed, for many, it appeared that sharing their life stories was a cathartic and rewarding experience, allowing them to both get these stories "off their chests" and feel a greater connection to history.  In the end, the enthusiasm of our respondents coupled with the dedication, motivation and patience of our students was a crucial component in the project's success.The interviews will be housed in archives both at Transylvania University and IU. A web site is currently under construction that will feature excerpts from the interviews, situating them within the broader context of the history of Brasov. Professor Bucur and I will return to Brasov next summer to conduct further interviews.