From the imposition of communist rule in 1945, Ceausescu’s secret police, the Securitate, remained shrouded in secrecy. This work benefits from access to the archives of the Securitate. The author draws on the memoirs, published and unpublished, of victims of the 1950s terror and on his own interviews with prominent dissidents. The result is a ‘dual’ history: that of the oppressor (the Securitate) and of the oppressed (the Romanian people) during Ceausescu’s years in power. The work also contains a documentary appendix of translations of Securitate documents and dissident literature, some of which has not yet been made public in Romania itself. The study deals fully with the methods and tactics used by Ceausescu in maintaining oppression, and draws on the testimony of many of his victims. It also analyses: the means by which communist rule was imposed on the country; the measures taken to revolutionise Romanian society; the dictator’s persecution of minorities; the role of intellectuals and the Orthodox Church; the policy of ‘systematisation’, or demolition of villages; and the dictator’s courting of the West in the 1970s and 1980s.
‘One of our best informed and most penetrating analysts of contemporary Romania has produced a volume of immense and varied value. He sets out to relate the complete history of the various agencies in communist Romania charged with enforcing the policies and plans of the unique and brutal brand of communism which lasted there until 1989. Deletant succeeds in this task in several ways and thereby creates for the student of the region and the country an invaluable piece of work.’ — Ronald H. Linden, University of Pittsburgh, Europe-Asia Studies
Dennis Deletant OBE is Emeritus Professor at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. He was formerly the Visiting Ion Rațiu Professor of Romanian Studies at Georgetown University. His previous books include Ceaușescu and the Securitate and Communist Terror in Romania, both published by Hurst.