Nicolae Ceausescu's last speech in public
On December 21st 1989 Ceausescu held his last speech to the public. 80,000 people thronged this square, then called Piata Republica (Republican Square) today Piata Revolutiei (Revolution Square), located on Calea Victoriei. They were supposedly there for a rally to support the President after riots broke out in Timisoara over the arrest of an outspoken priest. Thinking he was among friends, Ceausescu appeared on the balcony of the Central Committee Building to address the crowd. However, eight minutes into the speech, people began to chant 'Ti-mi-soa-ra, Ti-mi-soa-ra.' As the chanting grew louder, the shock on Ceausescu's face pinpointed the true moment of his downfall - a moment televised all over Romania and, later, the world. Ceauseseceau looked shocked and TV censors pulled the plug on the broadcast. Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu retreated into the building and made the fatal mistake of waiting until the next morning to try and escape. A deified tyrant just a moment before, Ceausescu had turned into a defied and fallen despot the next. The Romanian Revolution had started. Within 24 hours, protesters had stormed the building and Ceausescu and his wife had escaped in a helicopter from the roof; but within days they had been tried and shot by a firing squad.
Click here for more details on the Romanian Revolution.
Click here for a longer audio-file of this speech