Elena Ceauşescu

30 x 40 cm
Oil on linen
July 2022
Signed and dated on the reverse


The trial of Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu was held on 25 December 1989 by an Exceptional Military Tribunal, a drumhead court-martial with an essentially pre-determined outcome created at the request of a newly formed group called the National Salvation Front. It resulted in guilty verdicts and death sentences for former Romanian President and Romanian Communist Party General Secretary, Nicolae Ceaușescu, and his wife, Elena Ceaușescu.

The main charge was genocide—namely, murdering “over 60,000 people” during the revolution in Timișoara. Other sources put the death toll between 689 and 1,200. Nevertheless, the charges did not affect the trial. General Victor Stănculescu had brought with him a specially selected team of paratroopers from a crack regiment, handpicked earlier in the morning to act as a firing squad. Before the legal proceedings began, Stănculescu had already selected the spot where the execution would take place — along one side of the wall in the barracks’ square.

Nicolae Ceaușescu refused to recognize the tribunal, arguing its lack of constitutional basis and claiming that the revolutionary authorities were part of a Soviet plot.
See also