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The 1989 Romanian Revolution and the Fall of Ceausescu

1989 was the year of remarkable popular uprisings throughout the world, most notably Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. December saw the fall of one of Eastern Europe’s most brutal dictators, Nicolae Ceaușescu and it did not come peacefully. The Romanian Revolution started in the city of […]

Saving a Lost Generation – The Rush to Adopt Romania’s Orphans

The despotic reign of Romania’s Nicolae Ceauşescu caused deplorable living conditions for Romanians and left its most vulnerable citizens – abandoned children —  to be literally warehoused. Orphanages were overrun due to Ceauşescu’s policy of making abortions and contraception illegal while also practically forcing women to have at least four or five children. Most could […]

Life in Ceausescu’s Romania

Romania in the 1970s was a study in contrasts. Traditionally a rich agricultural breadbasket, its backward economy could not provide enough food for its inhabitants.  A despotic, communist dictatorship, it still enjoyed a close relationship with the United States, as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger used Nicolae Ceausescu, who ruled Romania from 1967 to 1989, […]

A Foreign Service Spouse on a Mission: Combating Human Trafficking in Greece

Whether being assigned to a new post, taking on a new position, or learning a new language, the careers of Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) are continually evolving. However, they are often not alone on their diplomatic journeys. Many Foreign Service Officers carry out their duties overseas alongside their spouses. While there are certain responsibilities that […]

Ceaușescu and the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia: The Early Years of Dealing with a Dictator

The Romanian Führer. The West’s “favorite communist.” Both of these descriptions have been used to describe Nicolae Ceaușescu, the rapacious Romanian dictator of twenty-four years. Ceaușescu rose up through the Communist Party ranks in post World War II Romania, becoming party general secretary in 1965 and eventually obtaining the presidency in 1967. Despite later being […]

Money for Secrets: Making a Deal with a KGB Agent

Benedict Arnold. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Mir Jafar. All of these individuals have something in common: they all betrayed their countries. Even with the passage of time, an air of notoriety still clings to their names. Defection occurs in all countries and is fueled by the desire for money, power, or fame. Defection can also […]