Title

The Trial of Nicolae Ceausescu

Date

5-26-2016 10:00 AM

End Time

26-5-2016 10:15 AM

Location

WUC Columbia Room

Department

History

Session Chair

Patricia Goldsworthy-Bishop

Session Title

History Senior Thesis Presentations

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Patricia Goldsworthy-Bishop

Abstract

My thesis is that nationalism, as employed by the Romanian government under Nicolae Ceausescu, lead to the violence of the 1989 Revolution. While many Eastern European nations had revolutions in 1989, Romania’s revolution was the only one that reached high levels of violence as perpetrated by Ceausescu’s government. The primary source this talk examines is the transcript of Ceausescu’s trial after his capture. The trial took place on December 25, 1989 in a military base near Bucharest, Romania. Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were captured while attempting to flee the country after the military defected to the revolutionaries on December 22. The revolution’s leaders decided to put them both on trial and to have them executed to demoralize military officials who remained loyal to the Ceausescus. The verdict of the trial was already decided before the trial began and the Ceausescus were executed less than ten minutes after the verdict was handed down. The trial exposes some of Ceausescu’s nationalist motivations during the revolution, as he believed the protesters and revolutionaries were agents of the Soviet Union.

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May 26th, 10:00 AM May 26th, 10:15 AM

The Trial of Nicolae Ceausescu

WUC Columbia Room

My thesis is that nationalism, as employed by the Romanian government under Nicolae Ceausescu, lead to the violence of the 1989 Revolution. While many Eastern European nations had revolutions in 1989, Romania’s revolution was the only one that reached high levels of violence as perpetrated by Ceausescu’s government. The primary source this talk examines is the transcript of Ceausescu’s trial after his capture. The trial took place on December 25, 1989 in a military base near Bucharest, Romania. Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were captured while attempting to flee the country after the military defected to the revolutionaries on December 22. The revolution’s leaders decided to put them both on trial and to have them executed to demoralize military officials who remained loyal to the Ceausescus. The verdict of the trial was already decided before the trial began and the Ceausescus were executed less than ten minutes after the verdict was handed down. The trial exposes some of Ceausescu’s nationalist motivations during the revolution, as he believed the protesters and revolutionaries were agents of the Soviet Union.