Romania marks 30 years since revolt against Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu

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Romanians are remembering those who died during the nine-day revolt against Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu some 30 years after the uprising and asking questions about the legacy of the revolution.


Born in 1918, Ceausescu become president of Romania in 1974 and built up an intense cult of personality, which ended with his overthrow in the anti-communist revolution of December 1989.

On December 21, 1989, Ceausescu gave a televised speech in Bucharest that ended when some in the crowd repeatedly interrupted him. The dictator fled the stage and people flooded the streets, confronted by soldiers and tanks. 

When the military turned on Ceausescu, he was doomed. Both he and his wife were executed after a show trial on Christmas Day. It was the last, and bloodiest, of the popular uprisings against communist rule in Europe that year.

Some 1,100 people died during the uprising in Romania, but details of what exactly happened during that time remain unclear.

"We still hope that, after 30 years, we are going to find the truth about the revolution and it is the authorities' duty to do so," said one woman attending the memorial in Bucharest marking the anniversary of the revolution.

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