Socialist Unity Front of Romania. This mass organization was ostensibly the directing force of all other mass organizations in communist Romania, such as the labor unions, the National Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, the Union of Communist Youth, the National Women's Council, and the Writers' Union. The representatives of the Socialist Unity Front were also present in every organization in Romanian society. They were involved in the elections on the national and the local levels, and named candidates for all elective offices. Since all these elections were conducted by single lists of candidates, approved by the Communist party, being placed on one of these lists meant an "election" to office. The Socialist Unity Front was, of course, simply an arm of the Romanian Communist party. Its creation was intended to reach social strata not directly affected by party decisions. Their leaders were usually also members of the Communist party subject to party discipline. Their major task was to convince the citizenry that the party line was "correct" and that party policies were the only way to achieve prosperity for the population.
Fischer-Galati Stephen, The New Rumania: From People's Democracy to Socialist Republic ( Cambridge, MA, 1967); Graham Lawrence S., Romania: A Developing Socialist State ( Boulder, CO, 1982); Shafir Michael, Romania: Politics, Economics, and Society ( Boulder, CO, 1985).
Stalinist Terror in Romania (1947-1953). The Romanian secret police, organized and directed by the Soviet NKVD-KGB, began a series of arrests in 1947, usually executed during the night hours. From the spring of 1945 to 1947, the opponents of the communists were terrorized. In those years, the leaders of the National Peasant party, including Iuliu Maniu and Ion Michalache, were taken into custody. In October and November, 1947, they were tried on false charges and sentenced to life imprisonment By the end of that year noncommunist politicians had been intimidated to such a degree that they no longer offered any resistance to the communists. Ion Tatarescu and his fellow Liberal party ministers were removed from the cabinet and replaced by communists. The new minister of foreign affairs was Ana Pauker (see Pauker, Ana), a Muscovite; Vasili Luca (see Luca, Vasile), another Muscovite communist, took over the ministry of finance; the third member of the trio, Emil Bodnaras (see Bodnaras, Emil), was named minister of defense. On December 30, King Michael was forced to abdicate and leave the country. On April 13, 1948, a new constitution was introduced which proclaimed Romania a People's Democracy. There were further arrests and show trials, this time of "local" communists who were charged with Titoist deviation.
In February 1948, the Social Democratic party was forced into a merger with the communists. The united party took on a new name; the Romanian Workers party. The remnants of the National Peasant party and the Plowmen's Front, whose leadership cooperated with the communists in destroying their own organizations, joined the "new" party. A semi-independent Hungarian party was also absorbed into the com-