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Hundreds Visit Dictator Ceausescu’s Grave

December 7, 1993

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ Hundreds of people visited what is thought to be the grave of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu on his name day Monday, underscoring their belief that life was better under communism.

Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed by firing squad after a summary trial on Christmas Day 1989, and are believed buried about 20 yards apart at a cemetery in southwest Bucharest.

A few people visit every day to pay respects. Larger numbers come annually on St. Nicholas Day, when people named Nicolae, the Romanian variant of Nicholas, are honored.

Romanians are struggling with a slow, painful transition to market economics. The country has been hit by inflation of more than 300 percent and unemployment of almost 10 percent.

″I feel guilty that I went onto the streets,″ said 43-year-old technician Nicolae Stoicu, who visited the grave Monday. ″Just look at life now. There is no future for the children ... my son has no job.″

The grave, a simple mound of earth with no headstone, was covered with flickering yellow candles and brightly colored dahlias. Photographs of a smiling Ceausescu in his youth were stuck where a tombstone would have been.

″We didn’t achieve anything with this revolution,″ said Stela Manicu, 32, who traveled 180 miles with her husband to visit the grave.

″I think everyone pines for Ceausescu, but some are afraid to say it,″ said 70-year-old retiree Elena Marinescu.

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