Browse Primary Sources

Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU) Memorandum, 1986

Dobrica Ćosić is a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and is considered by many to be its most influential member. While Ćosić has been credited with writing the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which appeared in unfinished fashion in the Serbian public in 1986, he in fact was not responsible for its writing.

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Is Poland Lost?

These brief excerpts from a longer report by the environmental organization Greenpeace highlight the ecological collapse that was taking place all across Eastern Europe by the early 1980s. As extreme as the Polish case sounds, it was unfortunately typical rather than exceptional.

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Price Increases in Eastern Europe with Special Regard to Hungary

One of the most significant differences between the functioning of the East European Communist economies and the mixed-market economies of the West was the way in which prices for goods and services were determined. In a mixed-market economy, prices are determined by a combination of government regulation (especially taxes) and consumer demand.

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Discussion between Gorbachev and Mitterand about Romania, July 1989

The transcript of the Mitterrand – Gorbachev meeting of July 1989 illustrates the international awareness of the extensive control and repression of citizens in Ceauşescu’s Romania.

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Transcript of the closed "trial" of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, December, 1989

Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu fled from Bucharest by helicopter on December 22, but the pilot soon landed, claiming that they would be fired upon. The couple then hijacked a car but they were recognized, chased and caught by local police in Tirgoviste.

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The Timişoara Proclamation, March 1990

Written on March 11, 1990, the Timisoara Proclamation, was a 13-point document that called for continuing to build on the victory over the communist dictatorship achieved in December 16-20, 1989.

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Minutes of the Meeting between Nicolae Ceausescu and Mikhail Gorbachev, December 1989

The seemingly cordial conversation between the Soviet and Romanian communist leaders less than two weeks before the troubles started in Timişoara provides evidence of the wide differences between them. Ceauşescu wields the formulas of orthodox socialism, while Gorbachev tries to point him toward modernization, change, flexibility, and listening to the wishes of the Romanian people.

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Telegram from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to all Embassies, December 1989

As the confrontation in Timisoara continued, the Romanian government tried to stonewall in its diplomatic contacts, and thus control the flow of information, in the hope that the repression unleashed against protesters would succeed in pacifying the rebels and then the dictatorship could resume business as usual.

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Birth and Death in Romania, October 1986

In the last years of the regime, Pavel Câmpeanu, a prominent sociologist and a lifelong leftist and former prison cellmate of Nicoale Ceauşescu during World War II managed to smuggle out this article, which was published in The New York Review of Books.

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Grafitti from the Romanian Streets, December 1989-January 1990

In February 1990, the ethnographer Irina Nicolau and a few friends, printed 250 copies of Ne-a luat valul [On the Crest of the Wave], the first book published in Romania about the 1989 Revolution. Included were 141 pieces of graffiti from December 1989-January 1990.

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