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[citation needed], Not surprisingly, Ceaușescu was greatly concerned about his public image. Elena Ceausescu was the president’s wife, and was perhaps not only the most powerful woman on the Continent, but the most hated as well. 46 Ionel Boyeru’s hands tremble slightly when he talks about the day he shot dead Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena, beside a toilet block in a freezing courtyard. 46% dintre românii intervievaţi l-ar vota acum pe Nicolae Ceauşescu la prezidenţiale",, "IMDb entry for 'Die letzten Tage der Ceausescus, "Ceausescu the Musical | the culture vulture", "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1984", "President's Week in Review: April 7 – April 13, 1975", Gheorghe E. (2015) Nicolae Ceauşescu. Journalist Edward Behr claimed that Ceaușescu admired both Mao and Kim as leaders who not only totally dominated their nations, but had also used totalitarian methods coupled with significant ultra-nationalism mixed in with communism in order to transform both China and North Korea into major world powers. Photo by [29] By the time the oil refining plants were finished in the early 1980s, a slump in oil prices had set in, leading to major financial problems for Romania. Ceaușescu largely wished to conjure away the living conditions of the Romani, which were ignored by his predecessors and put in place as early as the regime of Ion Antonescu.[36]. [20], In 1966, in an attempt to boost the country's population, Ceaușescu made abortion illegal and introduced Decree 770 in order to reverse the Romanian population's low birth and fertility rates. The motion ignored the Romani entirely. published estimates of the number of people killed by Securitate forces in an attempt to quell Ceaușescu and support the rebellion[citation needed]. [78], He was played by Constantin Cojocaru in the 2011 Swiss docudrama, Die letzten Tage der Ceausescus. In the early years of his rule, he generally relaxed political pressures inside Romanian society,[54] which led to the late 1960s and early 1970s being the most liberal decade in Socialist Romania. Ceaușescu's Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country that retained diplomatic relations with Israel and did not sever diplomatic relations after Israel's pre-emptive strike against Egypt at the start of the Six-Day War in 1967. The conflict with Hungary over the treatment of the Magyar minority in Romania had several unusual aspects: not only was it a vitriolic argument between two officially Socialist states, it also marked the moment when Hungary, a state behind the Iron Curtain, appealed to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe for sanctions to be taken against Romania. This led Romanians to joke that Ceaușescu was creating "socialism in one family". Journalist Cătălin Gruia claimed in 2007 that he ran away from his supposedly extremely religious, abusive and strict father. North Korean books on Juche were translated into Romanian and widely distributed inside the country.[25]. The deal was said at the time to be the biggest between two countries involving a civil aircraft. [citation needed] The 1977 earthquake which destroyed much of Bucharest also led to delays in the oil plan. The building was completed in 1997, after Ceaușescu's death in 1989. This was done to ensure and prolong his personal rule, not for the benefit of the country. By all accounts, Elena was crude, not bright, devious, vindictive and intensely concerned with her not so good looks. 23 January] 1918. Nicolae Ceausescu was born on January 26, 1918, to a humble family of peasants in the town of Scornicesti, on the outskirts of Bucharest. Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu were originally buried in simple graves at Ghencea Cemetery, in Bucharest, on opposite sides of a path; their graves were often decorated with flowers and symbols of communist rule. 1 of 6 In effect, this amounted to a demand for the return of Bessarabia (most of which was then a Soviet republic and since 1991 has been independent Moldova) and northern Bukovina, both of which had been occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940 and again at the end of World War II. All titles and decorations were revoked by the provisional government on 26 December 1989. Portrait of Elena Petrescu (Ceauşescu) in 1939. If the world waits for the Ceausescus to do such a thing, imperialism will live for tens of thousands of years..."[67] However Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi had an opposite interpretation saying, "My brother! According to official results, the referendum yielded a nearly unanimous "yes" vote.[34]. [60], Nicolae Ceaușescu was a close ally and personal friend of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaïre. He also secured a deal for cheap oil from Iran, but that deal fell through after the Shah was overthrown. One of Ceausescu’s life-long … Romanian state television was under strict orders to portray him in the best possible light. The commanders wrote off Ceaușescu as a lost cause and made no effort to keep their men loyal to the government. The new post, however, made him the nation's top decision-maker both in name and in fact. According to Behr, Elena Ceaușescu allegedly bonded with Mao's wife, Jiang Qing. A soldier standing guard in the proceedings was ordered to take the Ceaușescus out the back one by one and shoot them, but the Ceaușescus demanded to die together. [27] Over time, he usurped many powers and functions that nominally were vested in the State Council as a whole.[28]. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. Over the course of the 1970s she was appointed or “elected” to more and more positions within the government and Communist Party, and in 1980, she was made First Deputy Prime Minister – second in power only to her husband. For his part, Gorbachev made no secret of his distaste for Ceaușescu, whom he called "the Romanian führer." Much of the building remains empty, being larger than the Parliament needs, though Parliament shares it with three museums and an international conference center. Ceaușescu repeatedly denied the court's authority to try him, and asserted he was still legally the President of Romania. By the morning of 22 December, the rebellion had already spread to all major cities across the country. In April 2007, their son, Valentin Ceaușescu, lost an appeal for an investigation into whether the graves were genuine. Her enemies, real or perceived, found themselves in dead-end jobs in remote parts of the country, or worse, a bunk in a labor camp or at the end of a rifle barrel. She was the wife of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu (1918-89), who ruled Romania with an iron fist in the years 1965-89. [citation needed], The most important day of the year during Ceaușescu's rule was his birthday, 26 January – a day which saw Romanian media saturated with praise for him. In a small courtyard outside a building in Targoviste, Romania’s tyrannical communist dictator was executed by firing squad. His political apparatus sent many thousands of political opponents to prison or psychiatric hospitals. The main architect of the building was Anca Petrescu (1949-2013), who began her work on this building when she was 28 years old. This quasi-Maoist speech, which came to be known as the July Theses, contained seventeen proposals. Failing to control the crowd, the Ceaușescus finally took cover inside the building that housed the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. The suspicious death of Vasile Milea, Ceaușescu's defence minister, later confirmed as a suicide (he tried to incapacitate himself with a flesh wound but a bullet severed his artery),[38] was announced by the media. Upon his death in 1996, the youngest son, Nicu, was buried nearby in the same cemetery. He, Elena and four others managed to get to the roof and escape by helicopter, only seconds ahead of a group of demonstrators who had followed them there. [24] Furthermore, that Kim and even more so Mao had broken free of Soviet control were additional sources of admiration for Ceaușescu. He travelled to Prague a week before the invasion to offer moral support to his Czechoslovak counterpart, Alexander Dubček. Some twenty years later, Nicolae Ceaușescu had risen to the top of the Romanian Communist Party and in 1965 became the head of the Party. This meant that the later 1980s were marked by a pronounced anti-Hungarian discourse, which owed more to nationalist tradition than to Marxism,[59] and the ultimate isolation of Romania on the world stage. Mystery surrounded the whereabouts of the former President and his wife, Elena, last night. [10], After the Communists seized power in Romania in 1947, he headed the ministry of agriculture, then served as deputy minister of the armed forces under Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, becoming a major-general. He continued to follow an independent policy in foreign relations—for example, in 1984, Romania was one of few communist states (notably including the People's Republic of China, and Yugoslavia) to take part in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, despite a Soviet-led boycott. [14], Such excesses prompted painter Salvador Dalí to send a congratulatory telegram to the Romanian president, in which he sarcastically congratulated Ceaușescu on his "introducing the presidential sceptre". [23] It marked the highest point in Ceaușescu's popularity, when he openly condemned the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. Dorin-Marian Cirlan is one of the three-man firing squad which killed the megalomanic communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena on … November 1986 : Verkleinerung des Heeres, Senkung der Rüstungsausgaben um 5%, "Romanian-Moldavian SSR relations, by Patrick Moore and the Romanian Section", "Un Ceauşescu pe care nu îl ştiaţi: creţ, cu ochii "blonzi" şi nasul borcănat". [14] He was elected general secretary on 22 March 1965, three days after Gheorghiu-Dej's death. In some cases, if a woman was unable to visit a medical office, a doctor would visit her home.[22]. It had also engineered the publishing of several works that subverted the Russian and Soviet image, no longer glossing over traditional points of tension with Russia and the Soviet Union (even alluding to an "unlawful" Soviet presence in Bessarabia). Ceaușescu was likewise stripped of his honorary GCB (Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath) status by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom on the day before his execution. Although presented in terms of "Socialist Humanism", the Theses in fact marked a return to the strict guidelines of Socialist Realism, and attacks on non-compliant intellectuals. [62] In line with his policy of keeping a facade of "popular democracy" he also ordered large rallies for peace to be held. He took great interest in the idea of total national transformation as embodied in the programmes of North Korea's Juche and China's Cultural Revolution. [11] While out of jail in 1939, he met Elena Petrescu, whom he married in 1947 and who would play an increasing role in his political life over the years. [35], During the Ceaușescu regime, the Romani were largely neglected. [39] The Hungarian military attaché expressed doubt regarding these figures, pointing out the unfeasible logistics of killing such a large number of people in such a short period of time. Also Romania was the only country in the world to maintain normal diplomatic relations with both Israel and the PLO. "Palace of the damned dictator: On the trail of Ceausescu in Bucharest", Official communique of the National Board of the Audio-Visual, "In Romania, Opinion Polls Show Nostalgia for Communism", "Noul Partid Comunist Român, condus de un șofer de taxi", "SONDAJ. The principles of democratic centralism, combined with the legislature's infrequent sessions (it sat in full session only twice a year) meant that for all intents and purposes, his decisions had the force of law. The firing squad began shooting as soon as the two were in position against a wall. [8] His father Andruță (1886-1969) owned 3 hectares (7.4 acres) of agricultural land and a few sheep, and Nicolae supplemented his large family's income through tailoring. Crampton, Richard Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century-And After, London: Routledge, 1997 page 355. For other people, see, General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party (1965–1989), President of the Socialist Republic of Romania, Oil embargo, strike and foreign relations, Foreign state orders, decorations and medals, (All Soviet decorations and medals were revoked in 1990). 9,000 United States dollars) for praising Ceaușescu and displaying his pictures on his private television channel (3TV Oltenia). He even went as far as to call for a Warsaw Pact invasion of Poland—a significant reversal, considering how violently he opposed the invasion of Czechoslovakia 20 years earlier. Ceaușescu probably never emphasized that his policies constituted a paradigm for theorists of National Bolshevism such as Jean-François Thiriart, but there was a publicised connection between him and Iosif Constantin Drăgan, an Iron Guardist Romanian-Italian émigré millionaire (Drăgan was already committed to a Dacian Protochronism that largely echoed the official cultural policy). Elena was self-conscious of her large nose, posterior and plain “peasant” features. In his final years, he had begun to rehabilitate the image of pro-Nazi dictator Ion Antonescu. Starting with the 1973–74 Arab oil embargo against the West, a period of prolonged high oil prices set in that characterised the rest of the 1970s. These demands were denied by the government. The strong opposition to Ceaușescu on all forms of perestroika and glasnost placed Ceaușescu at odds with Mikhail Gorbachev. Demonstrations in the city of Timișoara were triggered by the government-sponsored attempt to evict László Tőkés, an ethnic Hungarian pastor, accused by the government of inciting ethnic hatred. She died of cancer in 2006 and her brother Valentin took up the case. The pair had fled from power in a … [9] He studied at the village school until the age of 11, when he left for Bucharest. Enticed with substantial bribes, the camp authorities gave the Communist prisoners much freedom in running their cell block, provided they did not attempt to break out of prison. Images of Ceaușescu's facial expression as the crowd began to boo and heckle him were among the most widely broadcast of the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.[14]. Among these were: continuous growth in the "leading role" of the Party; improvement of Party education and of mass political action; youth participation on large construction projects as part of their "patriotic work"; an intensification of political-ideological education in schools and universities, as well as in children's, youth and student organizations; and an expansion of political propaganda, orienting radio and television shows to this end, as well as publishing houses, theatres and cinemas, opera, ballet, artists' unions, promoting a "militant, revolutionary" character in artistic productions. After World War II, when Romania was beginning to fall under Soviet influence, Ceaușescu served as secretary of the Union of Communist Youth (1944–1945). The sentences were pronounced in a trial that can be described in any way, but fair. Dinel Staicu was fined 25,000 lei (approx. During the course of the revolution, the Western press[who?] Praeger Publishers. Other articles where Elena Ceauşescu is discussed: Nicolae Ceaușescu: In 1939 he married Elena Petrescu, a Communist activist. While in prison, Ceaușescu became a protégé of his cell mate, the Communist leader Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, who would become the undisputed Communist leader of Romania beginning in 1952. Ceaușescu was born in the small village of Scornicești, Olt County on 8 February [O.S. Many believe that Ceaușescu's death played a role in influencing Mobutu to "democratise" Zaïre in 1990.[61]. He did introduce some benefits to workers and over the course of his first years in office, made his own way in foreign policy at a time when most communist regimes in Eastern Europe took their cues from Moscow. In 1952, Gheorghiu-Dej brought him onto the Central Committee months after the party's "Muscovite faction" led by Ana Pauker had been purged. Although he had previously been a careful supporter of the official lines, Ceaușescu came to embody Romanian society's wish for independence after what many considered years of Soviet directives and purges, during and after the SovRom fiasco. [55] President Richard Nixon was invited to Bucharest in 1969, which was the first visit of a United States president to a communist country after the start of the Cold War. Ceaușescu was able to borrow heavily (more than $13 billion) from the West to finance economic development programs, but these loans ultimately devastated the country's finances. The resulting domestic shortages made the everyday lives of Romanians a fight for survival as food rationing was introduced and heating, gas and electricity blackouts became the rule. [citation needed], Measures to encourage reproduction included financial motivations for families who bore children, guaranteed maternity leave, and childcare support for mothers who returned to work, work protection for women, and extensive access to medical control in all stages of pregnancy, as well as after it. He refused to take part in the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces and even actively and openly condemned that action in his 21 August 1968 speech. He was empowered to carry out those functions of the State Council that did not require plenums. As far as anyone can tell, it was “love at first sight” for Nicolae, and many Romanians and historians believe that almost from the start, Elena had him in the palm of her hand. Ceaușescu made efforts to act as a mediator between the PLO and Israel. Capital punishment was abolished shortly thereafter. The system's nationalist traits grew and progressively blended with North Korean Juche and Chinese Maoist ideals. Ceaușescu and his wife Elena fled the capital with Emil Bobu and Manea Mănescu and flew by helicopter to Ceaușescu's Snagov residence, from which they fled again, this time to Târgoviște. Deposed Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena have been shot by a firing squad after a secret military tribunal found them both guilty of crimes against the state. "Mircea the Elder", whom he styled "Mircea the Great") and Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave). Extracts of the graphic 90-minute videotape were aired exclusively by the French television network TF1. In the 1980s, Ceaușescu ordered the export of much of the country's agricultural and industrial production in order to repay its debts. "The Political Regrouping of Romanian Nomenklatura during the 1989 Revolution". In August 1976, Nicolae Ceaușescu was the first high-level Romanian visitor to Bessarabia since World War II. However, as time went by, the Ceaușescu’s became more and more enamored of wealth and luxury. This nationalist policy had more timid precedents:[53] for example, Gheorghiu-Dej had overseen the withdrawal of the Red Army in 1958. Photo by  Fototeca online a comunismului românesc. In December 1976, at one of his meetings in Bucharest, Ivan Bodiul said that "the good relationship was initiated by Ceaușescu's visit to Soviet Moldova". [14] The Romanian Communist Party disappeared soon afterwards; unlike its kindred parties in the former Soviet bloc, it has never been revived. [71][72], Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu had three children: Valentin Ceaușescu (born 1948), a nuclear physicist; Zoia Ceaușescu (1949–2006), a mathematician; and Nicu Ceaușescu (1951–1996), a physicist. A three-star general, he was the highest ranking defector from the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Nicolae Ceaușescu had a major influence on modern-day Romanian populist rhetoric. As anti-government protesters demonstrated in Timișoara in December 1989, he perceived the demonstrations as a political threat and ordered military forces to open fire on 17 December, causing many deaths and injuries. Ceaușescu's Romania was the only Warsaw Pact country that did not sever diplomatic relations with Chile after Augusto Pinochet's coup. On his 70th birthday in 1988, Ceaușescu was decorated with the Karl-Marx-Order by then Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) chief Erich Honecker; through this he was honoured for his rejection of Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms. [56] Notably, it demanded that Romanian historians refer to Dacians as having "an unorganised State", part of a political continuum that culminated in the Socialist Republic. "Ceaușescu" redirects here. "[58] A new generation of committed supporters on the outside confirmed the administration's character. To the people of his country, Ceaușescu was a man willing to risk the wrath of the U.S.S.R. to improve his country. [57] Although Ceaușescu maintained an independent, "national Communist" course, his absolute control over the country, as well as the intensity of the personality cult surrounding him, led many non-Romanian observers to describe his rule as one of the closest things to an old-style Stalinist regime. Palgrave Macmillan, London, Lecture 24: The failure of Balkan Communism and the causes of the Revolutions of 1989, "Nu vă fie milă, au 2 miliarde de lei în cont", Extracts from the minutes of a Romanian senate hearing, 14 December 1994, Transcript of the closed trial of Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu, Nicolae Ceaușescu's last speech in public, General Secretaries of the Romanian Communist Party,șescu&oldid=999938811, Annulled Honorary Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Collars of the Order of the Liberator General San Martin, Grand Collars of the Order of Saint James of the Sword, Grand Crosses Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorary Recipients of the Order of the Crown of the Realm, Knights Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Members of the Chamber of Deputies (Romania), People executed by Romania by firing squad, Recipients of the Grand Star of the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria, Recipients of the Order of the Liberator General San Martin, Recipients of the Order of the Southern Cross, Heads of government who were later imprisoned, Articles with Romanian-language sources (ro), Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from December 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Articles needing additional references from October 2018, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from January 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2020, Articles with Encyclopædia Britannica links, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Commemorative Medal of the 5th Anniversary of the Republic of Romania, Commemorative Medal of the 35th Anniversary of the Liberation of Romania, Hero of Romania, three times (1971, 1978 and 1988), Hero of Socialist Labour (Romania) (1964), Order of the Victory of Socialism (accompanied each Hero of Romania), Order of the Star of the Republic of Romania, Marian Oprea, "Au trecut 15 ani – Conspirația Securității" ("15 Years Later: The Securitate Conspiracy"), in. Elena Ceausescu portrait. Read another story from us: The Communist Romanian government had striking miners deliberately irradiated in order to trigger cancer. The manner in which the trial was conducted has been widely criticised inside and outside Romania. During this time, all regional radio stations were closed, and television was limited to a single channel broadcasting for only two hours a day. [15] In October 1966, Ceaușescu banned abortion and contraception and brought in one of the world's harshest anti-abortion laws,[16] leading to a large spike in the number of Romanian infants abandoned to deplorable conditions in the country's orphanages. If there was money to be made, the Ceaușescu’s had their hands in it. Although the Soviet Union largely tolerated Ceaușescu's recalcitrance, his seeming independence from Moscow earned Romania a maverick status within the Eastern Bloc.[14]. When coal miners went on strike in 1977, party apparatchiks told the miners that their “Great Leader” and his wife were personally working on a solution to their problems and couldn’t meet with them. When Gheorghiu-Dej died on 19 March 1965, Ceaușescu was not the obvious successor despite his closeness to the longtime leader. Oprean's wife, Zoia Ceausescu, had sued the defense ministry in 2005, saying she had doubts that her parents were buried in the cemetery. [70] It is also the heaviest building in the world, being constructed of 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze, a million square feet of marble, and large amounts of crystal and wood. [29] As Romania lacked the money to build the necessary oil refining plants and Ceaușescu chose to spend the windfall from the high oil prices on aid to the Third World in an attempt to buy Romania international influence, Ceaușescu borrowed heavily from Western banks on the assumption that when the loans came due, the profits from the sales of the refined oil would be more than enough to pay off the loans. In 1974, the party programme of the Romanian Communist Party announced that structural changes in society were insufficient to create a full socialist consciousness in the people, and that a full socialist consciousness could only come about if the entire population was made aware of socialist values that guided society. They abandoned the helicopter near Târgoviște, having been ordered to land by the army, which by that time had restricted flying in Romania's airspace. The debt was fully paid in the summer of 1989, shortly before Ceaușescu was overthrown. However, Ion Iliescu, Romania's provisional president, said in 2009 that the trial was "quite shameful, but necessary" in order to end the state of near-anarchy that had gripped the country in the three days since the Ceaușescus fled Bucharest. In 1954, Ceaușescu became a full member of the Politburo and eventually rose to occupy the second-highest position in the party hierarchy.[10]. Other sources put the death toll between 689 and 1,200. In the rest of the Soviet bloc, there were a series of purges in this period that led to the "home communists" being executed or imprisoned. Of liver cirrhosis in 1996, the Ceaușescu regime, the referendum yielded a nearly unanimous `` ''... As Communist leaders go the Congress, Ceaușescu 's nationalist traits grew and progressively with... Authority to try him, and would be considered criminal by modern standards they demolished moved! Matter if they demolished or moved it, as time went by, the real story that! 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