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Note: To read about Ceausescu, go to the ROMANIANS THE WORLD KNOWS ABOUT section for more Web links.
Romanian History -- from ICI.ro
A brief introduction to Romanian history, with links for further explanation.
History of Romanians -- by Ion Calafeteanu
Hosted by the Romanian Embassy in Washington, DC, this page offers probably the nicest one-(long)-page overview of Romanian history. Complete with pictures of artifacts, sights, rulers, and more.
Romania Has No Stake in Dracula
Before any eponymous theme park (Dracula Land) is built in Romania, Dracula needs to be negociated with Universal Studios. The message is that even if Vlad Tepes was real and Romanian, Count Dracula and his famous representations are a Universal Studios' invention. Kate Poland for BBC News, September 30, 2001. Added: October 7, 2001.
King Carol I of Romania
Read about the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen king, and King Ferdinand, Carol II, and Mihai I who succeded him to the Romanian throne.
Queen Marie of Romania, Papers -- from Kent State University, Ohio, US
Find here brief bio, a list of documents in Kent State University's special collection, and a digital copy of one of Queen Marie's photo albums (195 pages). A lot of horseriding, picnics, pictures of her children, photos of peasants and their houses and gypsies at the turn of the century (photographs date from 1904), pictures of a trip on the Danube and from "motor-drives", and more.
Queen Marie of Romania visits Spokane on November 2, 1926 -- on HistoryLink.org
Queen Marie memorabilia at the Maryhill Museum of Art
The Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington is home to a collection of Queen Marie memorabilia that includes her coronation gown and some of her jewelry. Added: March 31, 2010.
Princess Ileana of Romania -- on TravelRomania and Tom's Place
Tom's Place is home to much writing by Queen Marie and Princess Ileana of Romania, including Princess Ileana's memoir of 1951/2 I Live Again (Rinehart & Co., New York), written upon her arrival in New England in 1950. It also hosts a great many photographs of the Queen and her youngest daughter, rare documents which, together with the written accounts, make of Tom's Web site a little treasure site of Romanian history.
For a quick introduction to Princess Ileana's life and work (she was princess and nurse, social and charity worker, mother and abbess), see this short biography on Blouse Roumaine, which also includes a few excerpts from I Live Again. For more about Princess Ileana's autobiographical book, here's an introduction from TravelRomania. Added: October 2, 2005.
On May 26, 2006 Romania returned Bran Castle to Dominic Habsburg, Maria-Magdalena Holzhousen and Elisabeth Sandhofen, heirs of Princess Ileana who inherited the castle from her mother, Queen Marie. According to an agreement signed between these parties and the Ministry of Culture, the castle will remain open to visitors for another three years. By Alison Mutler, Bucharest Daily News, May 29, 2006. Added: May 29, 2006.
HRH Prince Carol of Romania [dies at 86]
Son of King Carol II of Romania and Zizi Lambrino, grandson of King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie, Prince Carol of Romania spent his life in France and England. Never fully accepted into the Romanian Royal Family, Prince Carol lived to 86 without meeting his step-brother, former King Mihai of Romania. Living on an allowance with his mother in Paris -- where he was educated as an artist --, and, later, after his father's death, winning back some of the latter's properties, Prince Carol had to support himself and his family by taking up a motley mix of jobs, from landscape painting, to book binding and picture frame restoring. He was married three times and had two sons, Paul and Alexander. The Daily Telegraph, February 09, 2006. Added: February 17, 2006.
A Red's White Elephant: in Ceausescu's Palace, Gigantism and Heartache
"He was a man who had heard of beauty and elegance, but had either never seen any, or could not recognize it when he did." Hence the "monstrous folly" that is the Palace of Parliament, in Hollywood Babylonian style, according to this author. Anthony Daniels draws a parallel between the wiping out of old Bucharest which made room for the Palace/House of the People and King Carol II's vision of the square in front of the Royal Palace. Both affected deeply the urban georgraphy, erasing architectural treasures and symbols. Daniel writes, for example, quoting Olivia Manning, about the Cafe Napoleon, demolished at the orders of King II in the process of enlarging the open space in front of today's National Museum of Art. Of the two rulers, however, Daniels sees the King as more aesthetically inclined. National Review, June 6, 2005. Added: February 23, 2006.
Jewish History of Romania
Discusses the fate of Jewish communities in Romania from the 14th century to the present times.
Romania takes steps to remove statues of dictator who killed Jews
The article briefly discusses the controversial historical figure of Marshal Antonescu and its perception among Romanians, and makes some interesting comments regarding the battle over statues honoring Antonescu. This author points out how, despite being banned in public places by an emergency ordinance passed in March of this year, these statues are still standing safely on private property. By Adam B. Ellick, April 19, 2002, on JTA News. Added: April 19, 2002.
The Ghost of Marshal Antonescu
The half-full, half-empty glass of Marshal Antonescu (to use, as this author does, Lucian Boia's evocative image) is being manipulated to rally party support or to avoid criticism from abroad. Flirting with Hitler yet not quite following all orders, Antonescu can be either doomed as a Jew killer or redeemed for ignoring Nazi orders and not being directly involved in the killings by the Romanian and German soldiers. Anti-communist sentiments complicate the picture in times when the emphasis is switching to the half-empty image emphasizing the killings of innocent people during WWII. By Ioana Lupea, on Transitions Online, December 12, 2001. Added: April 14, 2002.
Ceausescu's Trial, 1989 -- on Timisoara.com
English Transcript of the Trial of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, Tirgoviste army base, December 25, 1989.
The unfinished business of Romania's revolution
Twenty years after Ceauşescu was overthrown (and executed), The Independent's Daniel McLaughlin makes the case for a stolen revolution. December 24, 2009. Added: January 19, 2010.
Ceausescu execution "avoided mob lynching"
The BBC's Nick Thorpe talks to former communist army general and former deputy defense minister Victor Stănculescu -- who also served as deputy defense minister after 1989 --, who received a 15-year sentence for aggravated manslaughter for ordering the army to open fire on revolutionaries in Timişoara in December 1989. Victor Stănculescu denies the charges. At a press conference held after he was definitively convicted in October 2008, when asked who fired in Timişoara, he replied: "everybody." At the same conference he stated that he would have preferred death to prison. He also emphasized his role in conducting the trial of the Ceauşescus. See article in Romanian: Victor Athanasie Stănculescu: Trebuia să fiu tratat ca un general al Armatei române şi condamnat la moarte, in Cotidianul, October 15, 2008.
Nicolae Ceausescu -- on Ceausescu.com
Timeline of his life, a few articles, and discussion of the December 1989 events
-- Revolution, Revolt and Coup d'Etat . . . see if you can figure it out.
If you've read George Orwell's 1984 and want to delve deeper into a version of it turned into reality, get Pacepa's book.
History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness
Written in plain English, Lucian Boia's book is a non-romanticized view of Romanian history: who we are versus the versions we presented to ourselves and others throughout history. You'll read it fast and learn a lot. Central European UP, 2001.
Imagining the Balkans
Maria Todorova's book from 1997 uncovers the mechanisms which have turned a region into a negative counterpart to Western Europe. A must read for anybody who wants to understand European pride and prejudice. After you read Todorova's book, you'll understand better why a prince like Vlad Tepes could become more bloodthristy than other Western European rulers. Browse a few pages on Amazon. From Oxford University Press.
Dracula Myth Shot on Location by National Geographic
A new documentary of Vlad Tepes is poised to shed light on the myth of Dracula. The article explains some of the historical facts behind the legendary figure, starting with Dracula’s birth in Sighisoara in 1431 and ending with the doomed boyar feast of 1459 when the impaled those responsible for the death of his father and his brother. According to this article, there is also historical explanation for the famous cape of Dracula. Dracula’s father, Vlad Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, and, as such, was known to wear the society’s black cape on certain occasions. During his reign in Wallachia, one of the three major historical Romanian provinces, Vlad Dracula performed many acts of cruelty against his own people as well as the Turks, and continued to fight these long-standing enemies of the Romanian provinces. The documentary will contain footage from Curtea de Arges as well as Poienari Castle in former Wallachia. By Anamaria Flora, Nine O'Clock, February 21, 2006. Added: February 21, 2006.
Alison Mutler's Journal
Alison Mutler, chief correspondent for the Associated Press and president of the Foreign Press Association of Romania, writes about living in Bucharest in the early 1990s and about this summer, marked by a Rolling Stones concert and the death of Patriarch Teoctist. She remembers dining out at Continental Hotel or the old Capşa with fellow journalists, the lack of fresh vegetables at farmer's markets in winter, the dearth of good restaurants, a "shop diplomatic" where she used to buy French-styled cheese made in Tîrgu Mureş, the complex persona of Patriarch Teoctist. She then shares a few thoughts about the present, commenting on the heatwaves of this year and the Black Sea resorts of Mamaia and Năvodari. Vivid, October 3, 2007. Added: October 25, 2007.
National Ideology Under Socialism: Identity and Cultural Politics in Ceausescu's Romania
Katherine Verdery's overview of several decades under Ceausescu. While it focuses on the role of nationalism -- which actually subverted the Party who tried to appropriate it -- the book is really a great picture of an epoch.
The Holocaust in Romania : The Destruction of Jews and Gypsies Under the Antonescu Regime, 1940-1944
Originally written in French, this book by Radu Ioanid has earned the support of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to become a crucial document for the history of Romanian Jewry. Foreword by Elie Wiesel.
The Romanians, 1774-1866
By Keith Hitchins. Oxford UP, 1996.
Compulsory Happiness (Writings from an Unbound Europe)
By Norman Manea, Linda Coverdale (Translator). Northwestern UP, 1994.
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