Nicolae Ceausescu

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Nicolae Ceausescu

President of Romania (from 1974)
In office
March 22, 1965 – December 22, 1989
Preceded by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej
Succeeded by National Salvation Front Council

Born January 26, 1918
Scornicesti, Olt County, Kingdom of Romania
Died December 25, 1989 (aged 71)
Targoviste, Dambovita County, Socialist Republic of Romania
Spouse(s) Elena Ceausescu (m.1946)

Nicolae Ceausescu (January 26, 1918 - December 25, 1989) was the Stalinist Communist dictator of Romania from the late 1960s until his overthrow in 1989. He is most famous in the West for his totalitarian governance, personal extravagance, and for banning abortion in an effort to increase the Romanian population. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of Communism in Eastern Europe, Ceausescu was overthrown by a popular uprising. Within days of being overthrown, he and his wife were both executed by a biased, impromptu military court on a wide variety of charges.

Newspaper headline of Ceausesce's fall

During his rule, which lasted from 1967-1989, Ceausescu employed propaganda to create a cult of personality. These measures ranged from painting him as having a much larger role in Communist philosophy than he actually did to the purely cosmetic: Ceausescu's relatively small stature (at 5 foot 5 inches) was never emphasized. During his role, Ceausescu oppressed any political dissent by imprisoning and even killing political enemies. He did take a very independent route in terms of relations with the USSR, most notably supporting the Czechs in the Prague Spring, when he strongly condemned Soviet intervention there. Ceausescu initiated a series of disastrous economic policies that led to widespread poverty among the Romanian people, while he lived in a lavish palace that remains one of the biggest ever built to this day. He was overthrown and, along with his wife Elena, was executed on Christmas Day 1989 without a real trial, after revolutions had toppled Communist dictatorships in other Eastern European countries, such as Albania, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and East Germany.

See also