1989 Romanian Revolution – Fall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the peaceful revolution in the GDR and the overthrow of the old regimes in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, a chain of demonstrations, riots and bloody battles begins in Romania as well, culminating in the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu. Since his accession to power in 1965, Romania is increasingly becoming a Stalinist dictatorship. Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena rule the land almightily. With the help of the secret police Securitate they control all aspects of social life. In 1974 he was made president, whose decrees have the force of law – unique in socialist countries. In the 1970s and 1980s, the economic situation of the population deteriorated rapidly. Around the dictator and his family emerges a personality cult reminiscent of Stalin.
After bloody riots in Timisoara, Bucharest and others cities Ceausescu was overthrown, with the help of the military and the secret police on December 22nd, 1989. On the run, he and his wife Elena are arrested and sentenced to death in a show trial. Shortly thereafter, both were executed. The role of the military and the secret police in the overthrow of the Ceausescus is still controversial.
The revolution in Romania is considered to be the bloodiest in Eastern Europe, with more than 1,000 dead. It did not lead to a complete regime change. For the next ten years, former Communist party members, parts of the communist military and the Securitate remain in control of power.