On August 23, 1944, the Soviet army was already in northern Moldova since March, King Michael gives his consent to the removal of Marshal Antonescu by force if he refuses to sign the armistice with the United Nations. Following King Antonescu’s refusal, King Mihai ordered the marshal’s arrest, and Romania fights together with the Allies.
Less than 3 years after the occupation of Romania by the Soviets, in 1947, King Mihai I was forced to abdicate and the Romanian People’s Republic – state of popular democracy was proclaimed. The established regime, led by the Romanian Workers’ Party, strengthens its position through a Stalinist policy of discouraging any political opposition and changing the economic and social structures of the old bourgeois regime. In the early 1960s, the Romanian government began to assert a certain independence from the Soviet Union, without abandoning “revolutionary conquests.” In 1965 communist leader Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej dies, after which Romania enters a period of change. After a brief struggle for power, Nicolae Ceausescu, who became general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party in 1965, President of the State Council in 1967 and President of the Socialist Republic of Romania in 1974, came to the head of the Communist Party. President Nicolae Ceausescu became more and more authoritative in the 1980s.
Nicolae Ceausescu en route to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain during the official visit, June 13, 1978. (Rolls Press / Popperfoto / Getty Images / Guliver)
In the context of the fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe, a protest in mid-December 1989 in Timisoara quickly turned into a national protest against the socialist political regime, removing Ceausescu from power.
After the removal of the communist regime in Romania in December 1989 and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991), the Romanian state initiated a series of economic and political reforms.
The Anti-Communist Revolution of December 1989