Rumania Unfinished Revolution

Ceausescu is dead, but the country is entering a perilous new phase. Can the interim government win popular loyalty? Will the army take over? Does democracy stand a chance?

Over and over, as if to exorcise the evil of Nicolae Ceausescu's ironfisted 24-year reign, national television last week replayed the taped record of his final ignominious hours. Haggard, wrapped in a fur-lined overcoat, his hair in tangles, he sat with his wife Elena behind two folding tables pushed together to form a makeshift dock.

He had been so confident of his power: only a week earlier, he had ordered his security forces to fire on demonstrators in the city of Timisoara, near the border with Yugoslavia, as he flew off for an official visit to Iran. Now, under arrest and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!