The rise and fall of the communist "empire"


The serious crisis in the summer of 1940 led to the abdication of King Carol II in favour of his son Michael I (September 6, 1940); On August 23, 1944, Marshal Ion Antonescu was arrested under the order of King Michael I. The new government, made up of military men and technocrats, declared war on Germany (August 24, 1944).


After WW 2, together with other central and East European states, Romania came into the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence and experienced the harshness, shortages and constraints of the communist regime.

Soviet occupation following World War II led to the formation of a communist "peoples republic" in 1947 and the abdication of the king Michael of Romania who was exiled to Switzerland. The decades-long rule of President Nicolae Ceausescu became increasingly draconian through the 1980s. He was overthrown and executed in late 1989.

On December 16th, 1989, at Timisoara the popular revolt rapidly spread all over the country and in December 22 the dictatorship was overthrown owing to the sacrifice of over one thousand lives. The victory of the revolution opened the way for a re-establishment of democracy, of the pluralist political system, for the return to a market economy and the re-integration of the country in the European economic, political and cultural space. December 1989 opened a new page in Romanian history and it raised the possibility of commencing a new democratic era. Left wing social democrats dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power, but came back with the recent elections. Much economic restructuring remains to be carried out before Romania can achieve its hope of joining the EU. Romania’s acceptance into NATO is to be accomplished soon. If Romania reached the glimpses of democracy is still too soon to talk about.