burned Nicolae Ceausescu's portraits and pamphlets. At first, the secret police did not intervene. Then special troops were trucked into the city and these troops beat hundreds of people. Some leaders of the demonstration were killed outright. Others were put on trial in December and sent to prison. Silviu Brucan (see Brucan, Silviu), an old party member and a Marxist theoretician-turned-dissident, noted that the Brasov riots signaled the anger of working people no longer willing to tolerate being treated as servants by the Ceausescus (see Ceausescu, Nicolae and Elena).
Galloway George, Downfall. The Ceausescus and the Romanian Revolution ( London, 1991); Gilberg Trond, Nationalism and Communism in Romania: The Rise and Fall of the Ceausescus Personal Dictatorship ( Boulder, CO, 1990); Ratesh Nestor, Romania: The Entangled Revolution ( Washington, DC, 1989).
Brucan, Silviu (1920-). Brucan joined the Romanian Communist party as a teenager in the late 1930s, and he became a Marxist theoretician. In 1944, when World War II had ended for Romania, Brucan was appointed editor-in-chief of the communist daily newspaper, Scinteia, and was an ardent propagandist for the dictatorship of the Communist party. In 1956, he was appointed Romanian ambassador to the United States and remained in Washington, D.C. until 1961. When he returned to Bucharest, he was appointed chairman of the state radio and television stations.
When Nicolae Ceausescu (see Ceausescu, Nicolae and Elena) was appointed general secretary of the Communist party, Brucan's political career was over. Presumably, the dictator did not trust him. He was then appointed professor at Bucharest University where he taught Marxism-Leninism. He wrote several books on Marxist theory and was permitted to travel abroad, including several visits to the United States. He lectured and taught at several American universities and published books in the United States by the approval of the Romanian government. However, when Brucan's books began to include several critical remarks about Romanian socialism, his travels were restricted.
In 1986, he contacted Radio Free Europe and received its help for travel. His direct, open criticisms of the Ceausescu regime came after the suppression of the Brasov riots in 1987 (see Brasov Strike). Less than a year later, however, he was once again permitted to visit the United States. He was in New York in 1988, when he gave a long and wide-ranging interview to Radio Free Europe. He roundly criticized the policies of the Ceausescu regime. He denounced the leader's "sectarianism" and his intolerance. He proclaimed that Ceausescu stifled creative thinking among Romanian intellectuals and condemned true Marxist thought to stagnation. He said that, if the regime continued on its current course, then Romania would be the first country in the world to plan deliberately its own underdevelopment for the year 2,000. He asserted that the Romanian government had become an obstacle to progress. Concluding the interview, Brucan stated that economic reforms must be accompanied by the democratization of politics in Romania.