ʃ ʃesku]; 26 January 1918[1] – 25 December 1989) was a Romanian Communist politician.

He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's last Communist leader. He was also the country's head of state from 1967 to 1989. A b f h y h v , h gh h f Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej's Communist government and, upon with the death of Gheorghiu-Dej in March 1965, h d d h d h f ’ P y G S y H w popular support for his independent, nationalistic political course, which openly challenged the dominance of the Soviet Union over Romania.[2] As a , ' w d by h U dS dW E w d h wy d f d f Romania in 1974. H w v , ' g b gyb d v By , h ule was the most rigidly Stalinist in the Soviet bloc.[3] His secret police, the Securitate, maintained strict controls over free speech and the media, and internal dissent was not tolerated. In 1982, with the goal of paying off Romania's large foreign deb , d d h x f h f h y’ g and industrial production. The resulting extreme shortages of food, fuel, energy, medicines, and other basic necessities drastically lowered living standards and intensified unrest. Ceausescu's regime was also marked by an extensive and ubiquitous personality cult, nationalism, a continuing deterioration in foreign relations with the Soviet Union, and nepotism. d f h d dh yf f ntigovernment d h y fT D b 17, 1989 Th d d B h and became known as the Romanian Revolution of 1989, and was the only violent overthrow of a communist government to occur during the revoluti f 1989 dh wf ,E ,f d h capital in a helicopter but were captured by the armed forces. On December 25 the couple were tried and convicted by a special military tribunal on charges of mass murder in a hastily organised two-hour dh wf w h h by f g q d 4] Contents [hide] 1 Early life and career 2 Leadership of Romania 2.1 The 1966 decree 2.2 July Theses 2.3 President of Romania 2.4 Pacepa defection 2.5 Foreign debt ’ g

he moved to Bucharest. a few sheep and he also supplemented his large family's income through tailoring.2 22 December 3.[5] Nicolae studied at the village school and.O y.3 Revolution 3. and then becoming an apprentice shoemaker.2 Overthrow 3.1 Statesmanship 5 Legacy 6" " 7 Honours and awards 8 Selected published works 9 Gallery 10 Notes 11 References 12 External links Early life and career [edit] Captured in 1936 when he was 18 years old. and imprisoned for two years at Doftana Prison for antifascist activities.3 Death 4 Personality cult and authoritarianism 4.2. at the age of 11.1 21 December Speech 3. w b h v g fS ş .[5] .1 T 3. Niculina Rusescu.2. initially living with his sister. A d ță w d3 hectares of agricultural land. 26 J y 1918 b g f h h d f f y f y) H f h .

when Romania was beginning to fall under Soviet influence. he headed the ministry of agriculture. but amid widespread infighting among older and more connected ff h P b d dd 8] H w dg secretary on 22 March 1965. three days after Gheorghiu-Dej's death. in 1934. he met Elena Petrescu.[7] Th f f f h . Gheorghiu-Dej brought him onto the Central Committee months after the party's "Muscovite faction" led by Ana Pauker had been purged. In 1952.Sg ț S . being arrested several times. he served as secretary of the Union of Communist Youth (1944–1945). then served as deputy minister of the armed forces under Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. despite his closeness to the longtime leader. Vă ă 1943). whom he married in 1946 and who would play an increasing role in his political life over the years. as a teenager.[5] He was first arrested in 1933. and . dh " d g g " and "distributor of communist and antifascist propaganda materials".[6] Soon after being freed. After World War II. Câmpulung and Râmnicu Vâlcea. h w f d Tâ g J wh he shared a cell with Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. he was given only small tasks. One of his first acts was to change the name of the party from the Romanian Workers' Party back to the Communist Party of Romania. at the age of 15 for street fighting during a strike and again. he became a full member of the Politburo and eventually rose to occupy the second-highest position in the party hierarchy. Craiova.[6] After the communists seized power in Romania in 1947.[6] By the mid-1930s. spending the time during the war in prisons and internment camps: Jilava (1940). but. Tâ g J 1943) 7] I 1943.H w d h w h f A x d Să d . h wh w v b h then-illegal Communist P y 5] w v v d h P y v (becoming a member in early 1932). he was arrested again and sentenced for "conspiracy against social order". becoming his protégé.[6] Leadership of Romania [edit] Meeting between US president Richard Nixon. becoming a Major General. he had been in missions in Bucharest.[7] While out of jail in 1940. first for collecting signatures on a petition protesting the trial of railway workers and twice more for other similar activities.[7] For these charges he was v d 6J 1936 by h B v Tribunal to 2 years in prison. Michigan congressman Gerald Ford and Nicolae 1973 w h bv Gh gh -Dej when he died on 19 March 1965. an additional 6 months for f d y ff d d S 7] H fh Doftana Prison. In 1954. b 1942).

the first to join the International Monetary Fund. In 1967. He also became eager to be seen as an enlightened international statesman.[8] d g (1975) w hF h J q h h d N D g h f w gy d y wards the United States and Western Europe. such as the opening of US relations with China in 1969 and the visit of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to Israel in 1977. Romania became a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). and Spain) h d h f f g .[9] In 1971.[12] The 1966 decree [edit] .[10] The presidential couple is received by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in June 1978 A series of official visits to Western countries (including the US. and the first to receive a US President. challenging the authority of the Soviet Union. he consolidated his power by becoming president of the State Council (head of state). he eased press censorship and ended Romania's active participation in the Warsaw Pact (though Romania formally remained a member). I y. able d f d g f 11] negotiated in international affairs. d h independent foreign policy. but actively and openly condemned that action. He not only refused to take part in the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces. He even traveled to Prague a week b f h v ff h z h v . France. A x d D bč A h gh h S v U g y d ' .h g independence from Moscow earned Romania maverick status within the Eastern Bloc. In the 1960s. Richard Nixon. g dependent foreign policy within the Soviet Bloc. Romania was the first Warsaw Pact country to recognize West Germany. b fg d h W W d.declare the country the Socialist Republic of Romania rather than a People's Republic. Romania and Yugoslavia were also the only Eastern European countries that entered into trade agreements with the European Economic Community before the fall of the Eastern Bloc. the United Kingdom. Also Romania was the only country in the world to maintain normal diplomatic relations with both Israel and the PLO.

Mothers of at least five children would be entitled to significant benefits. and introduced other policies to reverse the very low birth rate and fertility rate. North Korean books on Juche were translated into Romanian and widely distributed inside the country. he delivered a speech before the Executive Committee of the PCR. the population began to swell. while mothers of at least ten children were declared heroine mothers by the Romanian state. He was also inspired by the personality cults of North Korea's Kim Il-sung and China's Mao Zedong. b h y' . Few women ever sought this status. a considerable number of women either died or were maimed during clandestine abortions. Among these were: continuous growth in the "leading role" of the Party. .g d by K g J I fS M d d.M g dN hV 1971 H took great interest in the idea of total national transformation as embodied in the programs of North Korea's Juche and China's Cultural Revolution. he began to emulate North Korea's system.[15][16] July Theses [edit] Ce gw hN hK d K I S g 1971 Main article: July Theses v d h P ' b f h . On 6 July 1971. as well as in children's. Shortly after returning home. and an expansion of political propaganda. In turn. which came to be known as the July Theses. orienting radio and television shows to this end. The liberalisation of 1965 was condemned and an index of banned books and authors was re-established.[14] The government also targeted rising divorce rates and made divorce much more difficult – it was decreed that a marriage could be dissolved only in exceptional cases. youth participation on large construction projects as part of their "patriotic work". 1979 I 1966. h g . youth and student organizations. artists' unions. contained seventeen proposals. improvement of Party education and of mass political action.[13] Furthermore. which swelled the orphanage population (see Cighid). as well as publishing houses. a new problem was created by child abandonment. This quasi-Maoist speech. instead. an intensification of political-ideological education in schools and universities. promoting a "militant. ballet. By the late 1960s. revolutionary" character in artistic productions. theatres and cinemas.N hK . d b g . the average Romanian family during the time had two to three children (see Demographics of Romania). Transfusions of untested blood led to Romania accounting for many of Europe's pediatric HIV/AIDS cases at the turn of the 21st century despite having a population that only makes up around 3% of Europe's total population. opera.

in theory. a senior member of the Romanian political police (Securitate. Red Horizons: Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief (ISBN 0-89526-570-2).f g overhaul the architecture of the Security. the Theses in fact marked a return to the strict guidelines of Socialist Realism. Strict ideological conformity in the humanities and social sciences was demanded. b P d f h S b f . the Socialist Republic of Romania was the first of the Eastern bloc nations to have official relations with the Western bloc and the European Community: an agreement including Romania in the Community's Generalised System of Preferences was signed in 1974 and an Agreement on Industrial Products was signed 1980 O 4 A 1975. h v y g on American industry and elaborate efforts to rally Western political support. A 2-star general. v dJ d w hE H h Pacepa defection [edit] In 1978. the Party had hardly abandoned. Foreign debt [edit] . President of Romania [edit] Standard as President of Romania In 1974. in 1984. N dh wf w hE H h d g v T y 1975 Also. and attacks on non-compliant intellectuals. x d f ' g . Ion Mihai Pacepa. launching a Neo-Stalinist offensive against cultural autonomy. and culture was once again to become an instrument for political-ideological propaganda and hardline measures. He continued to follow an independent policy in foreign relations—for example.f h d gh power. Competence and aesthetics were to be replaced by ideology. reaffirming an ideological basis for literature that. professionals were to be replaced by agitators.The Theses heralded the beginning of a "mini cultural revolution" in Romania. Pacepa's 1986 book. he was the highest ranking defector from the Eastern B d g h dW H d f w w f b w g h g . Although presented in terms of "Socialist Humanism". State Security). defected to the United States. Romania was one of few socialist states (notably including the People's Republic of China. and Yugoslavia) to take part in the American-organized 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

adding a clause that barred Romania from taking foreign loans in the future. T d ] D h y fT w gg d by h g v -sponsored attempt to evict Lá z ó Tő é . d d d repay Romania's foreign debts. The referendum yielded a nearly unanimous "yes" vote. During h .[17][18] Revolution [edit] w v h w . B h f w g h. redf h fv y d f h P D g h g . h H g astor. h aged 71. believing it to be for a short time only and for the ultimate good. but these yd v d h y' f I h . . accused by the government of inciting ethnic hatred. The official explanation was that the country was paying its debts and people accepted the suffering. Members of his ethnic Hungarian congregation surrounded his apartment in a show of support. During the 1980s. whose governments briefly believed that he was an anti-Soviet maverick and hoped to create a schism in the Warsaw Pact by funding him. d d h x f h f h y' g d d production in order to repay its debts. dd h h f d gw w y f v b w b b w heavily (more than $13 billion) from the West to finance economic development programs. d speech denouncing the anti-Communist revolutions happening throughout the rest of Eastern Europe.d N ş ddressing his New Year's Eve message on TV and radio Main article: 1980s austerity policy in Romania ' d d f h S v U dh g h v f Czechoslovakia in 1968 drew the interest of Western powers. there was a steady decrease in the Romanian population's standard of living. gas and electricity blackouts became the rule. h d w d d f h . The resulting domestic shortages made the everyday life of Romanians a fight for survival as food rationing was introduced and heating.b h vy Main article: Romanian Revolution of 1989 In November 1989. especially in the availability and quality of food and general goods in shops. h y b f exports continued until the revolution in December. I h 1980 . d d v channel broadcasting only two hours a day. He organised a referendum and managed to change the constitution. the XIVth Congress of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) w . ' g f d f fv v T ş and Bucharest in December 1989.[citation needed] The debt was fully paid in the summer f 1989.

a mass meeting was staged. began like many of ' h v h y W h h "w d g g ". leaving the duty of crushing the T v h b d dh wf U h h v g f 20 December. 21 December. wh h y d h next day. wh h h b h v T ş terms of an "interference of foreign forces in Romania's internal affairs" and an "external aggression on Romania's sovereignty". which soon lost nearly all connection to its initial cause and became a more general anti-government demonstration."[19] He had seriously misjudged the crowd's mood. Others began chanting "Ti-mi. and when that did not work. killing and injuring men. h f y v d h b d g. 22 December [edit] d . d df visit to Iran. which had assembled in University Square and confronted the police and army at barricades. g h 1968 g wh h h d g h v f z h v by W wP f Overthrow [edit] 21 December Speech [edit] The mass meeting of 21 December. police and Security fired on demonstrators on 17 December 1989. The rest of the day saw an open revolt of the Bucharest population. he announced that they would receive a raise of 100 lei per month. The unarmed rioters were no match for the military apparatus concentrated in Bucharest. women and children.-ra! Ti-mi. b h T v f w d h V fA d d F E and by word of mouth. held in what is now Revolution Square. several people began jeering. the situation became even more tense. ' h v h d dy b d h y' memory. as the speech wore on. v . d v d y of the achievements of the "socialist revolution" and Romanian "multi-laterally developed socialist society. Official media d " v f f ".. which had little or no f f h T v f h d . booing and whistling at him. The country. Regular military forces. which cleared the streets by midnight and arrested hundreds of people in the process. He tried to silence them by raising his right hand.Romanian students spontaneously joined the demonstration. more and more people did the same. around 8 minutes into his speech.!" ' h d gf expression as the crowd began to boo and heckle him remains one of the defining moments of the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. On the next day. and he gave a televised speech from the TV studio inside Cen B d g B d g). O 18 D b 1989. Although the television broadcasts of the "support meeting" and subsequent events had been d.[8] Failing to h wd .

[20] Death [edit] M T fN dE G v fN dh wf E . . the defense minister (later confirmed as a suicide). wh h by h had restricted flying in Romania' Th w h d by h wh h listened to the radio. h f Tâ g v ş N Tâ g v ş h y b d d h h .[8] The PCR disappeared soon afterward. and unlike its kindred parties in the former Soviet bloc.000. One group of protesters forced open the doors of the building. only seconds ahead of a group of demonstrators who had followed them there. forcing him to take refuge in the building once more. it has never been revived. and probably much lower than that. pointing out the unfeasible logistics f g h g b f h h d f Af ' d h. During the course of the revolution. Believing that Milea had been murdered. wh w d in an elevator. h across the country reported a death toll of less than 1. by h .f ' S g v d . The Hungarian military attaché expressed doubt regarding these figures. the rank-and-file soldiers went over virtually en masse to the v . by now left unprotected.N f B h by h 22 D b 1989 By the morning of 22 December. The suspicious death of Vasile Milea. and no present-day Romanian party claims to be its successor. h yw y f w f . but the people in the square began throwing stones and other projectiles at him. wh h yf d g . He.h v gb d d d by h y. Elena and four others managed to get to the roof and escaped by helicopter. the western press published estimates of the number of people d by S f g dq h b Th increased rapidly until an estimated 64. They were eventually turned over to the army. Th y g d v w ' b dyg d d h d h gh h ff d onto the b y A h gh h y d d w . Gh v y B h ) f d h w hE B b dM Mănescu and headed.000 fatalities were widely reported across front pages. d d v h PEx P Ex v ) meeting and assumed the leadership of the army. the rebellion had already spread to all major cities across the country. was announced by h d I d y h f . wh h d w ff d d attempt to address the crowd gathered in front of the Central Committee building.

the elder son. The firing happened too soon for the film crew covering the events to record it. Upon his death in 1996.[23][24] Th w he last people to be executed in Romania before the abolition of capital punishment on 7 January 1990. 1988 .[21] while reportedly hundreds of others also volunteered.[22] Before his sentence was carried out. Th h y h w d h g f h d d w vd d d h f g y released in numerous western countries two days after the execution. h w d h g d g g gathering of w h dg d dyd d h ' h y yh . 27] q w d by h ' d gh Z and by supporters of their political views to move their remains to mausoleums or to purpose-built churches. Nicolae g "Th I " wh b g d g h w Af h h g. 25 D b .O h D y. These demands were denied by the government. They are buried on opposite sides of a path. Sergeant-Major Georghin Octavian and Dorin-Marian Cirlan. h b d were covered with canvas. was buried nearby in the same c y 26] A d g J N ț . A soldier standing guard in the proceedings was ordered to h b d h h Th v d f h h w h f g h h d h h d db h d h b d d d h b d g b x d Th w x ed by a gathering of soldiers: Captain Ionel Boeru. d dh w g y d f A h d f h q h w h were found guilty and sentenced to death. but they tend to be covered in flowers and symbols of the g I A 2007. Later that day.[25] Their graves are located in Ghencea Cemetery in Bucharest. h V f v g wh h h graves were genuine. The graves themselves are unassuming. On 21 July 2010. Nicu. The firing squad began shooting as soon as the two were in position against a wall. it was also shown on Romanian television. forensic scientists exhumed h b d f h f DNA 26] I w d d h h yw d d h f h 28] H f y d g z f v f h 26] Personality cult and authoritarianism [edit] S M N g h 70 h b hd y ' f d 55 y y f v y) f N .

He organised a successful referendum for reducing the size of the Romanian Army by 5% and held large rallies for peace. Romanian state television was under strict orders to portray him in the best b gh Add y. Consequences for breaking these rules were severe.[8] Statesmanship [edit] With Warsaw Pact leaders. w g y d b h b g N y fh showed him in his early 40s.65m (5 foot 5 inches) tall — was never emphasized on screen. w h (Proletkult). d h d g h ' h gh — he was 1. scu.gv gh f "G d ț " "Th G f h h "). Romania was the only Soviet-bloc country to attend the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. d y f f dg d Af d d] H w close ally and personal friend of dictator President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaïre. d Sy d ff d b w h PLO d I S y.[8] Such excesses prompted the painter Salvador Dalí to send a congratulatory telegram to the " d ă ".d v v y . unaware that it was a work of T v d w f P ' d f . and even had a king-like sceptre made for himself. but party-to-party between the MPR and the Romanian Communist Party. According to historian Victor Sebestyen. Many b v h ' d h y d f gM b "d "Z ï 1990 29] . Zhivkov of Bulgaria. d w b d for three months. Jord . leading Romanians to joke that w g" f y" N g y. Honecker of E G y. and Kádár of Hungary ' w h yE B y h dd w hI and did not sever diplomatic relations after Israel's launch of the Six-Day War in 1967 against Egypt. one producer sh w d f g f b g d g. 1987 (from left): Husák of Czechoslovakia. v dh wf E d h members of his family with important positions in the government. The Communist Party daily Scînteia published the message. it was one of the few days of the year when the average Romanian put on a happy face. 26 January—a day which saw Romanian media saturated with praise for him. Relations were in fact not just state-to-state. since appearing miserable on this day was too risky to contemplate. Jaruzelski of Poland. wh h h y g d h " d g h d sceptre". h f " P d ă " "L d ") d Th d y f h y d g 's rule was his birthday. G b h v f h USS .

' w h yW wP Chile after Augusto Pinochet's coup.[33] Nevertheless. 1951–1996) d d gh Z 1949–2006).[27] Praising the crimes of so-called totalitarian regimes and denigrating their victims is forbidden by law in . Th F f .000 x 9. the walls of which are decorated with portraits of his parents. who was a h Af h d h fh .[citation needed] This moon rock was presented by the Nixon Administration to Romania and is said to be worth 5 million dollars on the black market.F g d h L g fH d in 1978 he became an Honorary British Knight[30] G B.[31] y h dd v d w h I A g 1976.I dE I . 41% of Romanians would vote for 34] 35] d 63% h h h v w b b f 1989 35] 36] ' d y w w d z d g . according to opinion polls held in 2010. at one of his meetings in Bucharest. h d h g D S w f d 25. Ivan Bodiul said that "the good h w d by ' v S v M d v " 32] Legacy [edit] H N N . E w g d b " d" b h f S A d y h USA. One unresolved mystery that followed the death of Nicolae ' A 17 G dw M 37] wh h w ' h f h d h.[citation needed] . N scu was the first high-level Romanian visitor to Bessarabia since World War II. In December 1976. d 1989) h UK. dN h d h h d hy . f h . It premiered at the Los Angeles Theater Center in September 1995 and was attended by Romanian President Ion Iliescu. d .V b 1948) hy . 1976 .000 U d S d )f g dd y gh h v v h 3TV Oltenia). w tten and composed by Ron Conner. b h disappeared.w g d by h g d ploy through the consular cultural attachés of Romanian embassies in the countries involved. who was visiting Los Angeles at the time.N d d h f O h d x church.

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