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Romania - 1951-1954

In 1948 the country's communist party, under Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, consolidated its power and promulgated a Soviet-style constitution. In 1948 the regime determined to reform the social structure and inculcate "socialist" values. The authorities tackled illiteracy, but they also severed links with Western culture, jailed teachers and intellectuals, introduced compulsory Russian-language instruction, rewrote Romania's history to highlight Russia's contributions, and redefined the nation's identity by glossing over its Western roots and stressing Slavic influences. Party leaders ordered writers and artists to embrace socialist realism and commanded teachers to train children for communal life.

  • QKBROIL (1951-54), which was superceded by Project SHELLFIRE in 1954, was a program to encourage the Rumanian people to resist communism; to establish a clandestine underground in Rumania to hamper Soviet / satellite military operations and to serve as a nucleus for wartime resistance; to undermine the political, economic, and military structure of communist Rumania; to develop a National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE) Political Center (Rumanian National Refugee Organization) as cover for overt activities and a covert operational support arm for OPC operations.

After Stalin died in March 1953, Gheorghiu-Dej forged a "New Course" for Romania's economy. He slowed industrialization, increased consumer-goods production, closed Romania's largest labor camps, abandoned the Danube-Black Sea Canal project, halted rationing, and hiked workers' wages. Romania and the Soviet Union also dissolved the Sovroms. Soon after Stalin's death, Gheorghiu-Dej also set Romania on its so-called "independent" course within the East bloc. Gheorghiu-Dej identified with Stalinism, and the more liberal Soviet regime threatened to undermine his authority. In an effort to reinforce his position, Gheorghiu-Dej pledged cooperation with any state, regardless of political-economic system, as long as it recognized international equality and did not interfere in other nations' domestic affairs. This policy led to a tightening of Romania's bonds with China, which also advocated national self-determination. In 1954 Gheorghiu-Dej resigned as the party's general secretary but retained the premiership; a four-member collective secretariat, including Ceausescu, controlled the party for a year before Gheorghiu-Dej again took up the reins. Despite its new policy of international cooperation, Romania joined the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact) in 1955, which entailed subordinating and integrating a portion of its military into the Soviet military machine. Romania later refused to allow Warsaw Pact maneuvers on its soil and limited its participation in military maneuvers elsewhere within the alliance.

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Page last modified: 22-11-2013 00:03:35 ZULU