Representative Ben Toma: From Communist Romania to the Arizona House Floor

VOC highlights the tragic and powerful stories of victims of communism through our award-winning Witness Project video and podcast series. Today, we are proud to present the newest episode of the Witness Project Podcast, featuring Rep. Ben Toma, who represents the people of Arizona after escaping communist surveillance in Ceaușescu’s Romania. 

After communists took power in Romania, Ben Toma’s family land was confiscated by the regime. The communist secret police, the Securitate, would eventually surveil the Toma home and daily lives because of their religious faith. Fearing for the safety of their children, Toma’s parents escaped communism in 1986 — it would be a year before Ben and his three siblings would join their parents in the United States.

Today, Rep. Ben Toma is Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. His experience under the Ceaușescu regime taught him the consequences of communism and the importance of freedom.

Last month, VOC was honored to host Rep. Toma at our inaugural International Cultural & Food Fair where guests witnessed his story of surviving communist oppression and achieving the American dream. Earlier this year, VOC had the privilege of helping to produce Rep. Toma’s witness testimony in partnership with the University of Arizona as part of the state’s new civics education initiative that requires students to learn about the courageous stories of those who fled communism.