The Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe: An Introduction

By Richard F. Staar | Go to book overview

Chapter 7 ROMANIA:
Latin Island

THE HISTORY of Romania has indelibly affected the makeup of its population. While the communists seek to create a new world in the East European area, the path to their type of "socialism" is no longer the same for all countries. The roots of the past affect not only the attitude of the great masses of the people whom the totalitarian regimes hold captive. This very same past is locked into the attitudes of the current leaders.

These men lay claim to an infallible interpretation of Marxism-Leninism, but what they practice remains far removed from ideological purity. The contemporary Romanian dictatorship may have as firm a hold on the nation as any of its past rulers. Impeding the road to a national variety of socialism and a new world, however, are influences of the past which express themselves in a great variety of ways.

From the background of this land emanates the strong influence of its Latin heritage. Romanians point to this fact with pride today, proclaiming that they are Latins and not Slavs. As proof they cite their language, which has more than 60 percent of its roots in Latin and only 20 percent in Slavic derivatives. Because of this heritage, the views of the people generally have been proWestern and anti-communist. Perhaps this is the reason why much of the leadership within the communist party of Romania has come from ethnic minorities which felt no compunctions against aligning their goals with Russia and other Slavic groups.1

Because of Romania's alignment with the Axis powers during the Second World War, the U.S.S.R. took steps very early to press for a government which would be essentially pro-Soviet. Even so, the provisions on the organization

____________________
1
D. A. Tomasic, "The Rumanian Communist Leadership," Slavic Review, XX, no. 3 ( October 1961),478.

-154-

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