Nicolae Ceausescu was born in Scornicesti, on January 26, 1918, in a poor peasant family. After joining the then-illegal communist movement, he gradually climbs up the political hierarchy until he becomes in 1965 the leader of the Romanian Communist Party.
The foreign policy he promoted during his first years as a ruler brought him the support of the population. He knew how to take advantage of Romanians’ national and anti-Soviet feelings.
In 1968 the Soviet army entered Czechoslovakia to suppress the revolutionary movement. Ceausescu was the only leader of a country signatory of the Warsaw Pact who would not provide armed support to the Soviet Union. Furthermore, he will formally condemn the action taken by the “big brother”.
As an immediate effect of this attitude his internal and international credibility increased rapidly and he seemed to become Western leaders’ favorite. In this context, it is worth mentioning Richard Nixon and Charles de Gaulle’s visits to Bucharest as well as Ceausescu’s official delegations in Western capitals.
However, Ceausescu’s visits to China and North Korea in 1971 mark a dramatic change in his policy.
Influenced by the results of the “cultural revolution” that he saw in those countries, he imposes back home a strong personality cult accompanied by a series of economic and social measures that would drastically affect the population: payment of Romania’s external debt – which led to mass starvation, intensifying propaganda, massive demolition of historic buildings and churches and replacing them with blocks of flats and an increasing isolation of the country.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party, President of the Socialist Republic of Romania and Supreme Commander of Romania’s armed forces was also called:
- outstanding revolutionary and devoted patriot
- genius of the Carpathians
- the oak of Scornicesti
- the champion of peace
- the most beloved son of his nation
- the party and the country’s brilliant leader
- out of the ordinary personality of the contemporary world
- hero of socialism
- great hero of peace, understanding and collaboration between all nations of the world
His wife, Elena Ceausescu, was also subject to the same cult of personality:
- Academic Doctor Engineer
- High-rank politician
- World-renowned scientist
- scientist permanently preoccupied by Romania’s scientific progress, by the goal of today’s world science and by the fate of world peace
Elena Ceausescu’s last words before execution were: “we fought together, we die together!