Archive for December 2019

Deșteaptă-te, române!: The Romanian Revolution

December 23, 2019 @ 10:00 am

An aging dictator stood on a balcony overlooking Palace Square in Bucharest. 100,000 people stood before him, staring with blank faces. The dictator began is usual list of supposed achievements of his regime. However, the people watching him were starving, overworked, and suffered a year of having their electricity frequently turned off during the cold winters. Furthermore, all knew a rebellion had set the nearby city of Timișoara ablaze. As the dictators words dragged on, the patience of the crowd became more and more thin.

Soon, a lone person began repeating "Timi-șoa-ra, Timi-șoa-ra, Timi-șoa-ra…" The chant spread to the others in attendance, and became so loud, nobody could hear the dictator. He raised his hand in an attempt to silence them, too ignorant and arrogant to realize his people had enough. He stood in stunned silence before he was whisked away by his bodyguards. For the first time, the people of Romania had witnessed the weakness of their leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu, for the first time in his nearly 25 year reign. Four days later, he would be dead.

The Romanian Revolution was the last of the Eastern Bloc to overthrow its communist regime. Afterwords, the USSR would stand alone as its own system began to crumble.


Deșteaptă-te, române!, Romanian National Anthem

Summit, Jonny Easton

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Solidarity: The Polish Workers Strikes

December 9, 2019 @ 10:00 am

Before the Wall came down, before the days of Glasnost and Perestroika, the people of Poland began a series of defiant acts against their communist government. The Polish people suffered heavily during the Second World War under the brutal occupation of both the Nazis and Soviets. Following the end, the state remained a puppet of the Soviet Union. As the 1980s came around, the economy of Eastern Europe had stagnated due to Premier Brezhnev's limits on trade, production, and workers pay on its satellites. Things came to a head in Poland when it was decided an increase of prices was necessary, albeit while keeping salaries the same.

In the appropriately named Lenin Shipyard of Gdansk, the stevedores banded together to demand concessions from the government to improve working conditions in Poland, and bring the country closer to democracy. It was here the Solidarity movement began, the downfall of Poland's communist government commenced, and the ripples spread across Eastern Europe originated, which in turn would bring an end to the Warsaw Pact, and the Cold War itself.

Filed under Political History, European, Cold War ·

Pan Historia, and Other Nonsense
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