History

Watch the exact moment when a brutal dictator realizes the crowd has turned against him

One of the most chilling and transitional moments in history was captured on film back on December 21, 1989.

In the footage, Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu can be seen delivering a speech from the balcony of the Central Committee building overlooking Palace Square, now know as “Revolution Square,” where he praised the achievements of Romania’s socialist regime and its “multi-laterally developed socialist society.”

From Wikipedia:

“Thousands of workers were bused into the square under threat of being fired. They were given red flags, banners and large pictures of Ceaușescu. The workers were augmented by bystanders who were rounded up on Calea Victoriei. The crowd, now totaling up to 80,000, were given orders on where to stand, when to applaud and what to sing. The front rows of the assembly were made up of low-level Communist Party officials and members who acted as cheer-leaders. Immediately before them were plainclothes Securitate agents and a row of police militia, who kept the mass of the crowd about thirty yards back from the front of the Central Committee building. Ceaușescu appeared on the balcony of the Central Committee building and began as he had in years past, with a speech laden with the usual Marxist-Leninist ‘wooden language.’ However, he had badly misread the crowd’s mood. Only the front rows supported Ceaușescu with cheers and applause, with most of the crowd remaining impassive. Eight minutes into the speech, some in the crowd actually began to jeer, boo and whistle at him—a reaction considered unthinkable for most of Ceaușescu’s 24 years in power.”

At about 0:40 of the video is when the crowd begins to turn on him. The look on Ceausescu’s face is unforgettable – it’s the sudden realization that his 25-year reign is over.

Four days later on Christmas Day, he and his wife were executed by firing squad after being convicted of various crimes through a hastily-assembled military court.

Watch the dramatic moment from Ceausescu’s final speech in the video below (you can see a longer version here):

Featured image via screen grab

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Xenubarb Goromasu

    December 25, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    You can almost feel his terror. Sweet, like the tears of Dick Cheney.

  2. Avatar

    jondavis01

    December 25, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    The world keeps building up their hate against Cheney and Bush for the torture and false invasion of Iraq and we may yet see that, as the current or future administrations will face the choice of international sanctions against us or giving them up.

  3. Avatar

    Delia Vasile

    December 26, 2014 at 12:26 am

    I am a Romanian. Lots of unnecessary violence and deaths occured during those days. The execution (without a trial, per se) included. Still a “mystery” why all the blood had to be spilled, when all around much more peaceful falls of the communism were happening.
    There is much loss and trauma that go together with the “glory” you see in this images. Much confusion, still present today. And much injustice, despite these apparently rightful moments on camera…

    Lots of lessons to learn – not just about the fall of a dictator, but mainly about respect for human rights and human life. Still not quite learned in Romania, 25 years later…
    Oversimplifying the story of what happened is unhelpful and disrespectful to all those who were murdered or traumatized, physically or emotionally.

  4. Avatar

    MBJones

    December 26, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Hmmm. Tears of Dick Cheney. Not a happening thing. He’s had two hearts and not a single human emotion, unless you count greed.

  5. Avatar

    lordrasputin

    December 26, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Alas, he old buddy Robert McNamara died honored.

  6. Avatar

    Michael McVey

    December 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    This needs to happen to Obama.

  7. Avatar

    Michael

    December 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I would love to see Big Dick and a few others executed for crimes against humanity.

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  9. Avatar

    patrick mcmillan

    March 31, 2015 at 1:40 am

    Most people love the Pres. It’s just the fossil fuel lobby, and their outdated business model, that wants him disgraced.

  10. Avatar

    Charlie Ammen

    March 31, 2015 at 1:46 am

    The perfect example of a kneejerk reaction.

  11. Avatar

    Sekigahara

    March 31, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Sure, if President Obama behaved like Ceausescu. Which he hasn’t. At all. In the slightest. But, never mind what’s out here in the real world – it’s only your butt hurt that matters.

  12. Avatar

    ganditoruldinnoapte

    March 31, 2015 at 4:36 am

    At 1:17 the guy with the hat doesn’t tell him that they are entering the building, but that “Secu is coming”. Secu is short for Securitate, which was a branch of a secret service, a political police that reign terror on the citizenz of Romania.

  13. Avatar

    joenavas

    March 31, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    You’re an idiot.

  14. Avatar

    Evance Cannon

    March 31, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    This needs to happen to YOU!

  15. Avatar

    David Bledsoe

    April 1, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Hang bush and CHENEY at The Hague.

  16. Avatar

    Joseph Frato

    April 2, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Pretty moronic statement. Shouldn’t you be a little troll elsewhere?

  17. Avatar

    Michael Powers

    April 2, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    No doubt you like to see lynchings every weekend. Fantasize all you want. The bad old days aren’t coming back.

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    Randal Lanham

    May 31, 2020 at 4:36 am

    The author should have been more precise with his words. It was a communist government, saying was a socialist country is like saying America is a democracy today.

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