Photo. The former headquarters of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party (now the Ministry of Internal Affairs building) in Bucharest, where Ceaușescu gave his final speech.
This speech was an annual event and carefully scripted by the regime to ensure both success and the appearance of popular support. Ceaușescu's final speech is a speech delivered by Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu on 21 December 1989. It was one of the most decisive moments in the Romanian Revolution of 1989. (Source: Wikipedia).
Thousands of workers were bussed into the square under threat of being fired. They were given red flags, banners and large pictures of Ceaușescu and his wife. 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 meters 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 "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 scream because there was a shooting that occurred in the background. Workers from a Bucharest power plant started chanting "Ti-mi-șoa-ra! Ti-mi-șoa-ra!"—a chant that was soon picked up by others in the crowd. In response, Ceaușescu raised his right hand in hopes of silencing the crowd; his stunned expression remains one of the defining moments of the end of Communism in Eastern Europe. After many people began to exit the square, Ceaușescu shouted over the public address system for them to "remain seated". He then tried to placate the crowd by offering to raise workers' salaries by 200 lei per month (about 18 U.S. dollars at the time, yet a 10%-20% raise for a modest salary) and student scholarships from 100 to 110 lei while continuing to praise the achievements of the past 42 years. He did not realize, however, that a real revolution was starting right before his eyes.
His security guard appeared, disappeared and, finally, hustled Ceaușescu off the balcony. At that very moment, many everyday Romanians saw the weakness of Ceaușescu's regime for the first time.
Video of Ceausescu’s Last Speech, December 1989, Making the History of 1989.
Nicolae Ceaușescu LAST SPEECH (english subtitles) 1/2
Romania is a different country today. Read more about adventures in Romania on Travel Explorations.
Stein Morten Lund, April 2015