be spent to provide new housing for people displaced from the center of Bucharest by the building. In the end, the monstrous projects remained empty; but, after all, they were built to exclude the people. This was typical of the dictator who seems to have lost all sense of reality. He also ordered the resumption of the construction of the Danube-Black sea canal (see Danube-Black Sea Canal). That project, finished in 1984, was empty of traffic. The power stations that were built along the new canal had no fuel to run them, the new apartment houses built in Bucharest had no electricity and running water.
The people of Bucharest suffered greatly for the dictator's excesses. The streets leading to the House of People and the House of Science were straightened, and old houses, many of historical significance, were destroyed. Historical churches were moved and, in the process, their structures were damaged. People in the old houses were usually given only a few hours to pack their belongings, while the bulldozers were. already idling outside their homes. The old city center was practically emptied; in 1988 alone over 40,000 people were removed. But the imperial couple did not have the time to move into their new lodgings; the revolution ended their rule and, incidentally, their lives.
Almond Mark, The Rise and Fall of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu ( London, 1992); Galloway George, Downfall The Ceausescus and the Romanian Revolution ( London, 1991).
Religious Policies in Communist Romania . Romania's population belonged to a variety of religious denominations. As in the case of other East European nations, religion often defined nationality, and it was an important factor in preserving ethnicity and national cultures. Romanians, living under the control of two great empires for most of the last 500 years of their history, adhered to Orthodox Christianity as a defense of their nationality.
With the establishment of communist rule in 1945, and the return of northern Transylvania under Romanian administration, ethnic diversity was paralleled by religious diversity. Romanians were mostly Orthodox Christians, although there were also followers of Greek Catholicism among them. Hungarians were mainly Calvinists, but there were also Roman Catholics among them in Transylvania. The Germans adhered to Lutheran Protestantism. There were also Jews in Romania who survived the Holocaust.
The initial approach of the communists to religious issues was harsh. In 1948, a government decree simply abolished the Uniate (Unitarian) church, a denomination of Protestantism that originated in the sixteenth century. Harsh repression was used against Roman Catholics and Protestants alike. Small Protestant denominations, such as the Baptists, suffered greatly. The communists were determined to wipe out all ideological competitors. They pursued openly atheistic policies in schools and work places. Even some elements of the Orthodox church were persecuted. Priests and ministers of the Orthodox church were jailed or killed outright. Many religious people
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Publication information: Book title: Dictionary of East European History since 1945. Contributors: Joseph Held - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 424.
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