The Archive of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989

A Catch-22 December 1989, Groundhog-Day Production. Presenting the Personal Research & Scholarship of Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

The Flight, Trial, and Execution of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on September 1, 2014

(purely personal views based on over two decades of research and publications)


Nicolae Deca cu Petre Mihai Bacanu, “Ceausescu nu s-a gandit sa fuga din tara,” Romania Libera, 23 decembrie 1993, p. 15.

“Nicolae Ceausescu nu s-a gandit nici o clipa sa fuga din tara, pentru ca elicopterul avea suficient combustibil sa ajunga in Irak sau Iran, locuri care, cred eu, i-ar fi asigurat viata.”

from the 1993 documentary, The Last Day, by Arnaud Hamelin


Why did Ceausescu not intend to flee the country?  Why did he tell Nicolae Deca that he planned to “organize the resistance” in Tirgoviste?

What “organized resistance”  would Nicolae Ceausescu have had in mind?

Tirgoviste was one alternate in a longstanding plan…

Mirel Curea, Evenimentul Zilei, nr. 317, 9 iulie 1993, p. 3

Ted Koppel’s ABC News special Death of a Dictator (April 1990) has a good deal of discussion of Nicolae Ceausescu’s famous watch (ceasul lui Ceausescu), which allegedly had a radio-transmitter beacon in it…hence his continuous checking of his watch (as the first speaker below explained, looking at his watch and looking at the sky and looking back again, as if he was waiting for someone or something)…it lasted all the way up through his trial.

The time turned out to be:  the final minutes of his dictatorial regime and life…

Let’s Go to the Videotape (IV) “Instead of denying access to the rest of the tunnels…the authorities now deny their very existence” (Ted Koppel, Bucharest, Romania, March 1990)

Important details of the Ceausescus’ capture, holding, trial, and execution can be found in the following:

Gelu Voican Voiculescu claims that he prevailed upon Ion Iliescu to consider the immediate execution of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu only after the attacks of 23/24 December 1989, with the memorable phrase:  “Sir, do you want to end up like Allende?”  (cited in this following article from 2000:  , see page 1088).



The effort on the night of 24/25 December 1989, to keep Nicolae Ceausescu alive, so that he could be tried and executed, continues to be a matter of dispute:


from Bacescu 1994 above, and Sandulescu 1996 below:


Viorel Domenico Ceausescu la Targoviste (1999) below



Captain Gheorge Bobric’s recounting of Securitate Col. Dinu’s comment, according to which “…notice, those are ABIs [Securitate USLA vehicles]…in ten minutes, firing will begin…The terrorists and anti-terrorists are trained  according to the same principles and rules, they go through the same training.” p. 157



Ceausestii la Tirgoviste, Flacara no. 51 (19 decembrie 1990), pp. 8-10.







Below, a copy printed from a microfiche machine in late 1990/early 1991 at Indiana University (Bloomington)’s Main Library.  It contains an excerpt long since forgotten from the trail of Ceausescus, especially among those who deny the idea of Securitate terrorists and mercenaries loyal to Nicolae Ceausescu who fought on after 22 December 1989.  Below it, in Romanian, what Adrian Paunescu’s Totusi Iubirea in May 1991- June 1992 under the title “Adevarata stenograma a procesului Nicolae Ceausescu – Elena Ceausescu” (xeroxed spring 1997 Babes-Bolyai University Library, Cluj, Romania)

Prosecutor:  But those who shot at the young people were security men, the terrorists.

Elena Ceausescu:  The terrorists are from the Securitate.

Prosecutor:  The terrorists are from the Securitate?

Elena Ceausescu:  Yes.


Adrian Paunescu’s Totusi Iubirea in May 1991- June 1992 under the title “Adevarata stenograma a procesului Nicolae Ceausescu – Elena Ceausescu.”





the actual conversation per this version is somewhat more nuanced than the translation above (which lacks the original Romanian)

Presed (Prosecutor):  Dar la Bucuresti, in tinerii care au murit, cine a tras, peste care au trecut tanchetele Securitatii? A unei parti… [“tanchetele Securitatii, a unei parti…” this may be a reference to the ABIs of the USLA and/or a mistake/intentional mischaracterization of the concomitant participation of Army tanks in the Bucharest repression of 21/22 December 1989]

E.C. (Elena Ceausescu):  Pai, da, tero…

(N.C. (Nicolae Ceausescu) il face semn sa taca) (Nicolae Ceausescu signals her to be quiet) [this is very revealing…clearly, Elena was stumbling into saying more than she should and Nicolae wanted to cut her off)

Presed:  Teroristi?  Teroristi?

E.C. Teroristii se spun ca sint, pe aicea vorbeau oamenii, ca sint al Securitatii?

Presed:  Teroristii sint ai Securitatii?

E.C. Asa se vorbea.

Acuz:  Si Securitatea nu era a comandamentului suprem?

That the terrorists were affiliated with the Securitate was recognized by Securitate General Iulian Vlad in his declaration of 29 January 1990, which can be found here:








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