Nicolae Ceausescu – a Romanian controversial dictator

Nicolae Ceausescu

Nicolae Ceausescu was the president of the Socialist Republic of Romania. He is still alive in people’s minds, being loved and hated in the same time. Twenty-seven years ago, the Communist leaders of Romania were sinking like rocks. In 1989, on Christmas Day, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his beloved wife, Elena Ceausescu, were executed by firing squad. The deaths of the couple finished a quarter-century of Communism Romanian Era. The both of them were found guilty of genocide and sentenced to death.

Nicolae Ceausescu (Ceausescu pronunciation : /tʃaʊˈʃɛskuː/) was born in the village of Scornicesti, Olt County, on January 26, 1918. Andruta and Alexandrina Ceausescu were his parents, and his family numbered ten persons. He was the third child. Because his family lived a life of poverty, Ceausescu finished primary school in Scornicesti, and at the age of 11 he moved to Bucharest.

As an adult, Ceausescu was incarcerated in 1936 and again in 1940 for his Communist Party actions. In 1939, he married Elena Petrescu, a Communist activist. While he was imprisoned, he became the pupil of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, who became the Communist leader of Romania in 1952.

Evading prison in 1944 just before the Soviet occupation of Romania, Ceausescu worked as secretary of the Union of Communist Youth, from 1944 – 1945. Two years later, after King Michael of Romania, abdicated his throne, and Romanian Communism was establishing, Ceausescu had more positions, such as the job from the Ministery of Agriculture, from 1948 to 1950 and Major general, serving as Deputy Minister of the armed forces. Being under the protection of Gheorghe Gherghiu-Dej, he eventually occupied the second highest position in the party hierarchy. In 1965, his master, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej died, and he succeeded to the governance of the Romania’s Communist Party as first/ general secretary.

A curious event happened two years later, in 1967, when with his assumption of the presidency of the Stated Council, he became president of Romania as well. Hoping to increase Romania’s population, in 1966, Ceausescu approved “Decree 770”, a measure that effectively forbidden contraception and abortion. In love with his own image, the Communist leader offers him the “Presidential scepter”, at his inauguration.

In the following years he won support for his political purposes, following an autonomous policy in external relations. In 1982, he took the decision to export most of the Romania’s agricultural and industrial production, to pay off the big external debt that his people gathered in the 1970s. Unfortunately, the risky lack of food, energy, fuel, medications and other basic needs severely lowered living criteria and strengthened a potential conflict. Even nowadays, people remember how they had to stand in front of the shop in line, for hours, for a piece of bread or a liter or milk or other elementary necessities.

Nicolae Ceausescu also introduced an extensive personality cult and selected his wife, Elena, and many members of his extended family to high positions in the government and Communism party. Among his magnificent and unreasonable orders was a plan to demolish thousands of Romania’s villages and move their populations into so-called agro technical centers.

After the big earthquake occurred on 4 March 1977, the Communist leader demolished a huge urban area of Bucharest, to accommodate homogeneous apartment blocks and administration buildings, including the splendid Civic Center and the Palace of the Parliament (also known as Nicolae Ceausescu palace made by Anca Petrescu) , known as the second-largest administrative building in the world.

Ceaușescu’s regime collapsed in December 1989, after he ordered his security forces to fire on revolutionary protesters in the city of Timișoara, on December 17, and five days later, the protests extent to Bucharest. After Nicolae Ceausescu last speech, in the same day, Nicolae Ceausescu and Elena escaped the capital in a helicopter but were caught and taken into custody by the armed militaries. On December 25, the couple were quickly tried and sentenced by an exceptional military tribunal on charges of Nicolae Ceausescu genocide and other delinquencies. After that, the presidential couple Ceausescu was shot by a firing team. In 1990, after romanian revolution finished with Ceausescu execution, the country started a new era, which promised safety and independence to all people – democracy.

About Author

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Codina Sabau
Writing is something that I've constantly treasured. I've always loved the magical, mystical legends and unknown stories from history to nature, therefore a career in marketing and communications seemed like the perfect one for me. As one of my favorite writers, Lao Tzu, said "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".

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