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Interesting Facts About Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romanian Dictator

Nicolae Ceausescu was Romania’s leader from 1965 until 1989 when the communist regime was ended by a revolution.

The Romanian dictator was admired, feared, despised – all at the same time.

Today, there are still people living in Romania who think fondly of Ceausescu.

On the other hand, there are those who strongly remember the lack of freedom, poverty, and the struggle of buying food on a daily basis.

In this article, we want to reveal some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the communist leader.

Interesting Facts About the Romanian Dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu

1. He was uneducated

Ceausescu finished only the first four classes of elementary school. He was born in a village called Scornicesti, in Olt county and he had to move to Bucharest when he was only 11 years old.

Then, he became a shoemaker’s apprentice and did not continue going to school.

Palace of Parliament, Bucharest

2. He wanted to pay Romania’s external debts

The Romanian dictator became quite obsessed with this idea that he formulated as a doable theory.

In practice, this led to plenty of harsh restrictions for the population, which included rationalizing food, gas, water, and heating.

Because of this, people were poor and miserable, but Nicolae Ceausescu did manage to pay the entire external debt. He made the announcement about it on March 31st, 1989.

3. He survived a plane crash 

On November 4th, 1957, Ceausescu was on a plane headed to Moscow where he would attend the celebration of 40 years since the October (Bolshevik) Revolution.

The plane crash happened right before landing at the Moscow airport, Vnukovo. Due to low visibility because of the bad weather, the plane landed in a forest near the airport where it caught fire.

Four people died and the rest of the members managed to escape the plane before it burst into flames, including Nicolae Ceausescu.

4. He had diabetes

For the last 10 years of his life, the dictator suffered from diabetes. His treatment was all about keeping a strict diet, taking pills, and drinking teas from plants. Because of this, in April 1989, his health got worse because he refused to take insulin.

Ceausescu was in a hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state and the only solution to save him was to start the insulin treatment. His wife, Elena Ceausescu, hesitated because neither she nor he wanted for the dictator to become insulin dependent just like his brother.

Ultimately, she agreed to administer the insulin, and his health significantly improved in just a couple of days, which saved his life.

5. He was afraid of being shot

This is kind of ironic, considering the fact this is how he actually died.

After a brief trial that took place in December 1989, Ceausescu and his wife were executed. Right before he was shot, he started singing the hymn of the communist countries and his final words were:

Long live the Socialist Republic of Romania! History will revenge me!

Experience the Communist Legacy

Only after the couple died, people found out facts about the opulent life they had, their habits, and most of the secrets they kept away from the public eye.

If you’re interested in learning more about communism and find out some spicy details about that period in Romania, then The Last Days of Communism is the right tour for you.

Feel free to give us a call at  40 735 525 710 or write us a message at reservations@travelmaker.ro if you want to request further information about any of our tours.