Romania tends to conjure up images of eerie looking castles that house blood sucking vampires, but in a twenty four year period that ran from 1965-1989, there was a far greater evil that took hold of the nation. That was the period in which the country was run by the Ceausescu’s, and although Nicolae is the one who most people believed to be pulling all the strings, history has shown that his wife, Elena Ceausescu had a pretty large hand in what went on during those years.
While they were in charge, Romania was run as a police state, and the Securitate made sure that the people staying in line at all times, which usually was done with some rather brutal tactics. Refusing to co-operate meant being branded an “enemy of the state” at best, and disappearing in the night the more likely option. The way in which the country was run by the Ceausescu’s, combined with the general air of secrecy that surrounded all communist nations, meant that the rest of the world never got the full details of the atrocities that took place until after their reign was over.
That included the evilness of Elena, who many believed to have a larger thirst for power than her egomaniacal husband. She became infamous for two particularly unpleasant decisions, one of which is believed to have triggered their eventual demise, which cost the lives of thousands of her fellow countrymen. These were nor decisions that were whispered into her husband’s ear, and in fact Elena actually held several very high ranking positions within the Romanian government that allowed her to wield her power in unimaginable ways.
Perhaps the most shocking was her treatment of women, whom she believed should be forced to bear children to boost the falling birthrate in the country. To that end made it almost impossible for women to find any form of contraception, and even those that they did find more often than not didn’t work. Most families were struggling through horrible financial hardship, and the addition of children would only add to that plight. With that in mind, a shocking number of women sought out illegal abortions, with many of them dying in the process. It’s believed that Elena Ceausescu’s idea of women furthering the cause by having more children led to the deaths of over 10,000 women, as well as the orphaning of over 100,000 children, all of whom were forced to live in appalling conditions in state run orphanages.
The final straw may have been her decision to approve brutal attacks on demonstrators in the city of Timisoara. Laszlo Tokes, a pastor with the Hungarian Reformed Church had spoken out on several occasions about the Ceausescu’s treatment of those who lived in ethnic villages which had been cleansed and destroyed under the Ceausescu regime. This had led him to be harassed and attacked by members of the Securitate, and when demonstrators spoke out about his treatment, Elena made sure that the protest was shut down with a disgusting display of brutality and violence.
The deeds at Timisoara seemed to be the final straw for the Romanian public, and when communism finally started to fall, the Ceausescu’s were tried and found guilty of crimes against the people, with genocide at the top of the list of horrors. On December 25th, 1989, the Ceausescu’s were sentenced to death by firing squad, finally bringing their horrific reign to an end.
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