1964, after Khrushchev had been removed from office, his successors signed an agreement with Romania for providing considerable technical and economic assistance for Romania's developing industries. This step implicitly recognized Romania's right to economic independence.
Matly Ian M., Romania: A Profile ( New York, 1970); Montias John M., Economic Development in Communist Romania ( Cambridge, MA, 1967).
De-Stalinization in Romania. Joseph Stalin's death in March 1953 was followed by a period of uncertainty in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The Soviet leaders were jockeying for power and issued often contradictory orders to their East European satraps. When Nikita Khrushchev finally emerged as the Soviet leader, he began to air the crimes committed by Stalin.
The Romanian communists saw no need to follow Khrushchev's lead. Even before Stalin's death, Ana Pauker (see Pauker, Ana) and Vasile Luca (see Luca, Vasile), the two most distasteful Stalinists had been removed from the party's leadership. But a discussion of Stalin's crimes and their effects in Romania would have compromised Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (see Gheor-ghiu-Dej, Gheorghe) and his followers.
Although the terror by which the communists ruled the country was somewhat relaxed, it was not completely eliminated. Nor were economic policies of the party changed. The Stalinist method of rapid industrialization accompanied by centralized planning and a collectivized agriculture remained in effect. The standard of living for most of the population remained low.
Gheorghiu-Dej sought other means to establish the party's internal legitimacy. The major means was an old-fashioned Romanian nationalism. This was something that everyone in Romania could understand and even approve: the liberation of the country from the Soviet yoke. The communist leaders accomplished their purpose without, however, relaxing their control over the population. The teaching of nationalist Romanian history, albeit in a distorted version, and the recall of Romanian historical traditions replaced the emphasis on Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism in schools and party propaganda. In the late 1960s, the trend continued; Ceausescu (see Ceausescu, Nicolae and Elena) began to stress that he was leading Romania to a more prestigious position in the world.
In 1963, Gheorghiu-Dej declared that every socialist state had the right to pursue its own way to socialism. He added that relations among socialist states must be based on equality and mutual advantage. Finally, he emphasized that noninterference in the internal affairs of states must be a guiding principle even within the socialist bloc. In other words, Gheorghiu-Dej reinvented the normal principles of international relations. When the Brezhnev-doctrine was announced in 1968, Romanian leaders vehemently denounced it as an imperialist design. After 1974, the Romanian communist regime placed increasing emphasis on nationalism, but it was combined with a terrorist regime that resembled Stalin's.