Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

ever, hardly improved. A bilateral trade agreement was rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives, and most-favored nation status in trade was denied. Romania, being caught between the two conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and in Moldova, and beset by a resurgence of racist sentiments toward ethnic minorities domestically, is in a difficult situation. Relations with Turkey and Bulgaria were better than during Ceausescu's rule, but Romanian-Hungarian relations are stagnant.


Bibliography

Shafir Michael, and Ionescu Dan, "Political Change and Economic Malaise in Romania" Radio Free Europe Research Report, 1.1 ( January 1, 1993), pp. 108-112; Shafir Michael, "The New Romanian Government," Radio Free Europe Research Report, 1.2 ( January 12, 1992), pp. 35-38; --, "Romania's Torturous Road to Reform," Radio Free Europe Research Report, 1.1 ( January 3, 1992), pp. 96-104; Socor Vladimir, "Romania: Political Parties Emerging," Radio Free Europe Research Report, 1.7 ( February 16, 1990), pp. 28-35.

Postelnicu, Tudor (?-). A typical representative of the corrupt elite of the Ceausescu era (see Ceausescu, Nicolae and Elena), whose petty pilfering generated so much hatred for the regime among the population, Postelnicu climbed steadily in the ranks of the apparatchiki, to minister of state in the early 1980s, to the post of the minister of the interior, and finally to that of chief of the state security department. It was reported that, as minister of the interior, Postelnicu demanded that a "dead-letter box" be maintained in his office in the toilet, regularly supplied with Scotch whisky. It was well known that promotion in his ministry could be obtained through personal favors for the minister.

After the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime in 1989, Postelnicu, together with other members of the Politburo, were tried in January 1990. Although he was not responsible for the shooting at Timisoara ( Elena Ceausescu and the "committee of three" had given the order to fire on the crowds), he did give the order for the secret cremation of the victims. It was revealed at the trial that, upon his arrest, eleven radio sets, sixty-six cartons of Western cigarettes (each was worth a week's salary for ordinary Romanians), 400 bars of soap (a commodity for which Romanians stood countless hours in lines before stores), twenty-two pounds of gold, and 440 pounds of meat were found in his house. (Most Romanians were given meat on rare occasions at exorbitant prices, and only a precious few had freezers outside the highest echelons of the communist hierarchy.) Postelnicu was found guilty of abuse of power and was sentenced to life in prison.


Bibliography

Almond Mark, The Rise and Fall of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu ( London, 1992); Behr Edward , Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite ( New York, 1991).

Post-Stalin Changes in Romania . On August 19, 1953, Gheorghiu-Dej (see Gheorghiu-Dej, Gheorghe), the Romanian communist leader, declared that the Romanian Communist party had made mistakes in the past and that the leadership would

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