As North Americans celebrate Christmas, they may be unaware that the holiday was once banned in lands that had celebrated Christmas for centuries. Those lands would be the Communist states of Eastern Europe, whose Stalinist dictators were acting on principle.
As F.A. Voigt explained in his masterful Unto Caesar, Marxism-Leninism is not a philosophy or even a theory. It is a secular religion and in power best understood as “armed idolatry.”
Communist dictators want people to worship them, so they deploy the power of the state against any moral authority outside of the state. Christianity is a prime target, so banning Christmas was an easy call for Romania’s Nicolae Ceaucescu.
Ceausescu and wife Elena joined Communist youth movements and rose through the ranks. In 1965 Nicolae became general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party and ruled in the best Stalinist tradition. The Securitate, the regime’s secret police, sewed division among the people and built a vast network of informers. Midnight arrests, torture, and assassination were common.
“My grandfather was a priest, a liberal, he was in prison for a lot of his life,” recalled Ionel Boyeru in 2014. The priest managed to survive, but others were not so fortunate.
During a 1977 miners’ strike, Ceaucescu’s Securitate subjected union leaders to five-minute X-rays that caused cancer and killed off the strike leaders. By the end of the 1970s, as this account explains, Romania was one of the most oppressive states in the world.
Ceausescu bulldozed churches, monasteries and entire neighborhoods in Bucharest. Nicolae and Elena lived like royalty as the people lined up for the barest necessities. During the 1980s, as the economy went south, Ceausescu ramped up arrests and torture. The Romanian people weren’t going to take it anymore.
In the city of Timisoara, the Securitate attacked pastor Laszlo Tokes for criticizing the regime, and on December 17, 1989, the people organized an anti-government demonstration. Ceausescu ordered police and Securitate to fire on the crowds, killing nearly 100 protesters. Ceausescu gave a speech blaming anti-Romanian forces but the crowd only heckled the dictator. The regime then cracked down on the military.
“They made us sign a statement saying we didn’t agree with what was happening, and vowing we would support and protect Ceausescu,” recalls Boyeru, an officer and elite paratrooper. Mass protests broke out across the country and this time the military sided with the people. Ceausescu fled in a helicopter but the pilot forced a landing and soldiers took the couple into custody. Captain Boyeru then volunteered for a special mission.
He stood guard as Nikolae and Elena were swiftly tried for crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. Then on Christmas Day, Boyeru’s elite unit led the pair toward an outdoor toilet block in a courtyard. Nicolae sang the “Internationale,” while Elena screamed filth at a soldier, who hauled off and smashed her face.
The troops stood the pair against a wall, set their Kalashnikovs on full automatic, and fired. The persecutor, torturer and murderer was dead at last.
“Soldiers were crying with happiness,” recalled Boyeru. “People you previously might have thought agreed with the regime entirely were bursting out with excitement. We took out our hidden alcohol, a very bad brandy, and drank.” Boyeru’s grandfather, a former prisoner of conscience, took part in the celebration.
“Don’t worry,” he told Ionel. “I take all your sins upon myself.”
That day joyous Romanians openly celebrated Christmas for the first time in decades and the next year the nation held free elections. All good news, but there’s a footnote. The vile Ceausescu is the only Communist dictator who got what he deserved.
Josef Stalin, murderer of more than 20 million, died of a heart attack on March 5, 1953. According to The Black Book of Communism, Mao Zedong’s genocidal campaigns claimed more than 60 million victims. The “Great Helmsman” died peacefully on September 9, 1976, at the age of 82.
Albania’s Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha died of complications from diabetes on April 11, 1985. Hoxha was 76 years old. Erich Honecker, Communist dictator of East Germany and builder of the Berlin Wall, died of cancer in Chile on May 29, 1994, at the age of 81. Khmer Rouge dictator Pol Pot, whose campaign of genocide took down nearly 2 million innocents, about 21 percent of the population, died in his sleep on April 15, 1998.
Sado-Stalinist Fidel Castro, passed away peacefully on November 25, 2016, at the age of 90.
These murderers all deserved the fate of Nicolae and Elena Ceaucescu. On December 25, 2022, remember that Christmas when the Romanian people struck a long overdue blow for justice.
Remember too that last December Dr. Anthony Fauci was telling people not to invite unvaccinated relatives to holiday parties, and even urged the vaccinated to stay away from public events. This loathsome Lysenko figure is finally stepping down, some 40 years too late, but his destructive legacy is apparent on every hand.
In 2023 moving forward, the struggle against white coat supremacy is the struggle of memory against forgetting.