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Timişoara (German Temeswar, Hungarian Temesvár, Serbo-Croatian Temišvar, population 332.000 in 2000) is a city in western Romania, in the Banat[?] region. An industrial city with extensive services, it was one of the first European cities to be lit by electricity. Timisoara is a multicultural city with influential minorities, mainly Germans, Hungarians, and Serbs, as well as Italians, Palestinians and Greeks. It was the birthplace of Johnny Weissmuller (an Olympic swimmer, best known for his role as Tarzan).

In December 1989 a popular uprising began in Timisoara against the Communist regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu. The Hungarian Methodist pastor Laszlo Tokes was ordered to be deported by the secret police (the Securitate[?]) and as a reaction his house was surrounded by members of his church. People supporting him, including people of Romanian origin, gathered at the central square (Opera square). The army was ordered to fire at the people by the Communist administration. A number of army officers refused to open fire and sided with the people. That was the beginning of the end for the Communist regime, which fell a week later.

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