Nicolae Ceaușescu

  • conducător

    nicolae ceaușescu
    nicolae ceaușescu.jpg
    official photo of ceaușescu from 1965
    general secretary of the romanian communist party
    first secretary of the romanian workers' party (until 24 july 1965)
    in office
    22 march 1965 – 22 december 1989
    preceded bygheorghe gheorghiu-dej
    succeeded byposition abolished
    1st president of romania
    in office
    28 march 1974 – 22 december 1989
    prime minister
    • manea mănescu
    • ilie verdeț
    • constantin dăscălescu
    preceded byposition established
    succeeded bynational salvation front council (interim)
    president of the state council
    in office
    9 december 1967 – 22 december 1989
    prime minister
    • ion gheorghe maurer
    • manea mănescu
    • ilie verdeț
    • constantin dăscălescu
    preceded bychivu stoica
    succeeded byposition abolished
    personal details
    born(1918-01-26)26 january 1918
    scornicești, kingdom of romania
    died 25 december 1989(1989-12-25) (aged 71)
    târgoviște, socialist republic of romania
    cause of deathexecution by firing squad
    resting placeghencea cemetery, bucharest, romania
    nationalityromanian
    political partyromanian communist party (1932-1989)
    spouse(s)
    elena petrescu
    (m. 1947; died 1989)
    children
    • valentin
    • zoia
    • nicu
    signature
    military service
    allegiance romania
    branch/serviceromanian army
    years of service1948–1989
    rankro-army-of7.png lieutenant general
    battles/warsromanian revolution executed

    nicolae ceaușescu (/, romanian: [nikoˈla.e tʃe̯a.uˈʃesku] (about this soundlisten); 26 january 1918[1][2] – 25 december 1989) was a romanian communist politician and leader. he was the general secretary of the romanian communist party from 1965 to 1989 and hence the second and last communist leader of romania. he was also the country's head of state from 1967, serving as president of the state council and from 1974 concurrently as president of the republic until his overthrow and execution in the romanian revolution in december 1989, part of a series of anti-communist and anti-soviet union uprisings in eastern europe that year.

    born in 1918 in scornicești, olt county, ceaușescu was a member of the romanian communist youth movement. ceaușescu rose up through the ranks of gheorghe gheorghiu-dej's socialist government and, upon gheorghiu-dej's death in 1965, he succeeded to the leadership of the romanian communist party as general secretary.[3]

    upon his rise to power, he eased press censorship and openly condemned the warsaw pact invasion of czechoslovakia in his speech on 21 august 1968, which resulted in a surge in popularity. however, the resulting period of stability was very brief as his government very soon became severely totalitarian and was considered the most repressive in the eastern bloc at the time. his secret police, the securitate, was responsible for mass surveillance as well as severe repression and human rights abuses within the country, and he suppressed and controlled the media and press, implementing methods that were among the harshest, most restrictive and brutal in the world. economic mismanagement due to failed oil ventures during the 1970s led to skyrocketing foreign debts for romania. in 1982, he exported much of the country's agricultural and industrial production in an effort to repay them. the shortages that followed drastically lowered living standards, leading to heavy rationing of food, water, oil, heat, electricity, medicine and other necessities. his cult of personality experienced unprecedented elevation, followed by extensive nepotism and the intense deterioration of foreign relations, even with the soviet union.

    as anti-government protesters demonstrated in timișoara in december 1989, he perceived the demonstrations as a political threat and ordered military forces to open fire on 17 december, causing many deaths and injuries. the revelation that ceaușescu was responsible resulted in a massive spread of rioting and civil unrest across the country.[4] the demonstrations, which reached bucharest, became known as the romanian revolution—the only violent overthrow of a communist government in the turn of the revolutions of 1989.[5] ceaușescu and his wife elena fled the capital in a helicopter, but they were captured by the military after the armed forces changed sides. after being tried and convicted of economic sabotage and genocide,[6] they were immediately executed by firing squad on 25 december[7] and ceaușescu was succeeded as president by ion iliescu, who had played a major part in the revolution. capital punishment was abolished shortly thereafter.

  • early life and career
  • leadership of romania
  • revolution and death
  • ceaușescu's policies
  • legacy
  • cultural depictions
  • honours and awards
  • selected published works
  • gallery
  • references
  • sources
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Nicolae Ceaușescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu.jpg
Official photo of Ceaușescu from 1965
General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party
First Secretary of the Romanian Workers' Party (until 24 July 1965)
In office
22 March 1965 – 22 December 1989
Preceded byGheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej
Succeeded byPosition abolished
1st President of Romania
In office
28 March 1974 – 22 December 1989
Prime Minister
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byNational Salvation Front Council (interim)
President of the State Council
In office
9 December 1967 – 22 December 1989
Prime Minister
Preceded byChivu Stoica
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born(1918-01-26)26 January 1918
Scornicești, Kingdom of Romania
Died 25 December 1989(1989-12-25) (aged 71)
Târgoviște, Socialist Republic of Romania
Cause of deathExecution by firing squad
Resting placeGhencea Cemetery, Bucharest, Romania
NationalityRomanian
Political partyRomanian Communist Party (1932-1989)
Spouse(s)
Elena Petrescu
(m. 1947; died 1989)
Children
Signature
Military service
Allegiance Romania
Branch/serviceRomanian Army
Years of service1948–1989
RankRO-Army-OF7.png Lieutenant general
Battles/warsRomanian Revolution Executed

Nicolae Ceaușescu (/, Romanian: [nikoˈla.e tʃe̯a.uˈʃesku] (About this soundlisten); 26 January 1918[1][2] – 25 December 1989) was a Romanian communist politician and leader. He was the general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989 and hence the second and last Communist leader of Romania. He was also the country's head of state from 1967, serving as President of the State Council and from 1974 concurrently as President of the Republic until his overthrow and execution in the Romanian Revolution in December 1989, part of a series of anti-Communist and anti-Soviet Union uprisings in Eastern Europe that year.

Born in 1918 in Scornicești, Olt County, Ceaușescu was a member of the Romanian Communist youth movement. Ceaușescu rose up through the ranks of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej's Socialist government and, upon Gheorghiu-Dej's death in 1965, he succeeded to the leadership of the Romanian Communist Party as general secretary.[3]

Upon his rise to power, he eased press censorship and openly condemned the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in his speech on 21 August 1968, which resulted in a surge in popularity. However, the resulting period of stability was very brief as his government very soon became severely totalitarian and was considered the most repressive in the Eastern Bloc at the time. His secret police, the Securitate, was responsible for mass surveillance as well as severe repression and human rights abuses within the country, and he suppressed and controlled the media and press, implementing methods that were among the harshest, most restrictive and brutal in the world. Economic mismanagement due to failed oil ventures during the 1970s led to skyrocketing foreign debts for Romania. In 1982, he exported much of the country's agricultural and industrial production in an effort to repay them. The shortages that followed drastically lowered living standards, leading to heavy rationing of food, water, oil, heat, electricity, medicine and other necessities. His cult of personality experienced unprecedented elevation, followed by extensive nepotism and the intense deterioration of foreign relations, even with the Soviet Union.

As anti-government protesters demonstrated in Timișoara in December 1989, he perceived the demonstrations as a political threat and ordered military forces to open fire on 17 December, causing many deaths and injuries. The revelation that Ceaușescu was responsible resulted in a massive spread of rioting and civil unrest across the country.[4] The demonstrations, which reached Bucharest, became known as the Romanian Revolution—the only violent overthrow of a communist government in the turn of the Revolutions of 1989.[5] Ceaușescu and his wife Elena fled the capital in a helicopter, but they were captured by the military after the armed forces changed sides. After being tried and convicted of economic sabotage and genocide,[6] they were immediately executed by firing squad on 25 December[7] and Ceaușescu was succeeded as President by Ion Iliescu, who had played a major part in the revolution. Capital punishment was abolished shortly thereafter.