Ceaușescu – Romania’s Last Dictator

On December 25th, 1989, Nicolae Ceaușescu, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Romania and his wife Elena were tried, convicted, and executed by firing squad. Prior to their arrest, Ceaușescu had overseen a disastrous series of economic missteps which led the country to experience high foreign debt, massive food shortages, and a decline in overall living standards. His unique blend of nationalist communism, setting it apart from the Soviet sphere and attempting to emulate the cult of personality and pageantry of the North Korean regime, created some initial fanfare abroad with his solidarity with the Prague Spring and criticism of the subsequent Warsaw Pact invasion. His rule in the 1970s, however, focused on solidifying a unified Romanian nationalism with an integrated education and conformity to ideology – backed up by a ruthless secret police that quelled any dissent. After a worldwide oil price collapse in the 1980s sent his investments in the refining business towards insolvency, Ceaușescu’s exports of the country’s food supply to pay off foreign debt sealed his fate.

— Brought to you by —

Very special guest Titus Flavius @Good_Roman_Boy

– Kultur Kampf: https://soundcloud.com/user-571934716

— Timeline —

-1918- Nicolae Ceaușescu born to peasant family of ten children
-1932- Ceaușescu becomes member of (illegal) Communist party
-1940-43- in jail during WWII, meets mentor Gheorghe Dej, who later becomes leader of Romania
-1944- Russian invasion into Romania
-1946- royal coup assassinates Romanian Prime Minister Antonescu, Dej assumes control
-1965- Dej dies, Ceaușescu appointed General Secretary
-1968- Ceaușescu criticizes Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, height of his popularity
-1973- OPEC oil embargo
-1977- Jiu valley miners strike
-1984- failed military coup
-1989- Ceaușescu and wife Elena tried and executed on live television

— References —

– Darkness at Noon, Koestler (1940)
– Deception Was My Job, Bezmenov (1984)
– The Cold War’s Strangest Bedfellows How Romania Sold Its Jews to Israel, and What It Got in Return, Beckerman (2005) – http://forward.com/culture/2923/the-cold-war-e2-80-99s-strangest-bedfellows-how-romania/
– George Orwell,1984 & Totalitarianism, Bowden (2010)
– Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, Applebaum (2012)

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