Son of the Carpathians

26 January marks the birthday of Nicolae Ceausescu, whose career in Romanian politics lasted more than 40 years. Born in Southwestern Romania in 1918, he would become an apprentice to a shoemaker at age 11 in 1929, and three years later join the Romanian Workers Party. His political activities would result in his being jailed several times (the photo above is from a mug shot when Ceausescu was 18) on such charges as ‘conspiracy against social order’, ‘distributing anti-fascist literature’ and ‘contempt of court’. His first published article, ‘United Front of Youth’, would appear in 1944, just one year after having been liberated from a concentration camp. In 1948, he would be elected to the Grand National Assembly, and in 1965 he would be elected First Secretary, a position he would hold until his arrest and trial before a military court during the revolution of 1989. Immediately following a one hour trial, Ceausescu and his wife would both be executed. Ceausescu strode to the firing squad wall singing the ‘Internationale’ in a final act of defiance.