Ceauşescu’s Finest Hour? Memorialising Romanian Responses to the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia
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In this chapter, Goina dissents from the perspective shared by many scholars of Romanian communism who see August 1968 as the moment when the indigenous population backed the ‘patriotic’ anti-Russian stance of their young ruler, Nicolae Ceauşescu. He explores the resonance of the 1968 events in Romanian collective memory through twenty oral history interviews conducted in an ethnically-mixed rural settlement in western Romania. The invasion proves to be not as present in local memory as one would expect after reading the historians who have addressed the subject. Goina questions the claim that the 1968 events brought Ceauşescu’s communist regime broad popular support and suggests that this assumption could, and most probably should, be qualified.