In December 1989, one month after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Romania was in the final hours of Nicolae Ceausescu’s totalitarian regime. After weeks of struggle and protest, this last stronghold of Stalinist communism was overthrown on 21 December 1989 by a coup d’état. Photographer Manuel Vimenet travelled to Bucharest to capture images of the events that followed the fall of the regime. In the palace square, which has become the site of many anti-Ceausescu rallies, demonstrators and armed forces are celebrating the collapse of one of the cruelest regimes in the communist bloc. In the streets, the soldiers arrest young people suspected of being pro-Ceausescu.
However, images of joy quickly followed images of horror. We discover that this revolution was one of the deadliest, leaving many victims behind. On 25 December 1989, after an expeditious trial, a court found the so-called “Conducator” (the guide) and his wife Elena guilty of genocide and sentenced them to death. This execution usher the beginning of a parliamentary democratic regime.