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Successor to the pro- Bolshevik wing of the Socialist Party of Romania , it gave ideological endorsement to a communist revolution to overthrow the Kingdom of Romania. The PCR was a minor and illegal grouping for much of the interwar period , and submitted to direct Comintern control. During the s, most of its activists were imprisoned or took refuge in the Soviet Union , which led to the creation of separate and competing factions until the s. The Communist Party emerged as a powerful actor on the Romanian political scene in August , when it became involved in the royal coup that toppled the pro- Nazi government of Ion Antonescu.
From until , it was for all intents and purposes the only legally permitted party in the country. The PCR was a communist party , organised on the basis of democratic centralism , a principle conceived by Russian Marxist theoretician Vladimir Lenin which entails democratic and open discussion on policy on the condition of unity in upholding the agreed upon policies.
When the Congress was not in session, the Central Committee was the highest body. Because the Central Committee met twice a year, most day-to-day duties and responsibilities were vested in the Politburo. The party leader was the head of government and held the office of either General Secretary, Premier or head of state, particularly, the President of Romania. Ideogically, the PCR was committed to Marxism—Leninism , a fusion of the original ideas of German philosopher and economic theorist Karl Marx , and Lenin, was introduced in by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin , as the party's guiding ideology and would remain so throughout the rest of its existence.
In , the Communist Party absorbed much of the Romanian Social Democratic Party , while attracting various new members. In the early s, the PCR's dominant wing around Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej , with support from Stalin, defeated all the other factions and achieved full control over the party and country.
After , the Party gradually theorized a "national path"to Communism. At the same time, however, the party delayed the time to join its Warsaw Pact brethren in de-Stalinization. From the s onward, it had a reputation for being somewhat more independent of the Soviet Union than its brethren in the Warsaw Pact. However, at the same time it became one of the most hardline parties in the Eastern Bloc.
It collapsed in in the wake of the Romanian Revolution. The party was founded in when the Bolshevik -inspired maximalist faction won control of Romania's Social-Democratic party—the Socialist Party of Romania , successor to the defunct Romanian Social-Democratic Workers' Party and the short-lived Social Democratic Party of Romania the latter was refounded in , reuniting those opposed to communist policies.
Government crackdown and competition with other socialist groups brought a drastic reduction in its membership—from the ca. The early Communist Party had little influence in Romania. At the same time, the left-wing political spectrum was dominated by Poporanism , an original ideology which partly reflected Narodnik influence, placed its focus on the peasantry as it notably did with the early advocacy of cooperative farming by Ion Mihalache 's Peasants' Party , and usually strongly supported the post territorial status quo—although they tended to oppose the centralized system it had come to imply.
In turn, the early conflict between the PCdR and other minor socialist groups has been attributed to the legacy of Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea 's quasi-Poporanist ideas inside the latter, as an intellectual basis for the rejection of Leninism. The PCdR's"foreign"image was due to the fact that ethnic Romanians were a minority in its ranks until after the end of World War II:  between and , none of its general secretaries was of Romanian ethnicity.
Shortly after its creation, the PCdR's leadership was alleged by authorities to have been involved in Max Goldstein 's bomb attack on the Parliament of Romania ; all major party figures, including the general secretary Gheorghe Cristescu , were prosecuted in the Dealul Spirii Trial.
The PCdR was thus unable to send representatives to the Comintern, and was virtually replaced abroad by a delegation of various activists who had fled to the Soviet Union at various intervals Romanian groups in Moscow and Kharkiv , the sources of a " Muscovite wing " in the following decades. Around the time of the party's Fifth Congress in , the Muscovite wing became the PCdR's main political factor: Joseph Stalin replaced the entire party leadership, including the general secretary Vitali Holostenco —appointing instead Alexander Stefanski , who was at the time a member of the Communist Party of Poland.
Through regained Comintern control, the interior wing began organizing itself as a more efficient conspiratorial network. In , Stalin's Popular Front doctrine was not fully passed into the local party's politics, mainly due to the Soviet territorial policies culminating in the Molotov—Ribbentrop Pact and the widespread suspicion other left-wing forces maintained toward the Comintern.
In the years following the elections, the PCdR entered a phase of rapid decline, coinciding with the increasingly authoritarian tone of King Carol's regime but in fact inaugurated by the Craiova Trial of Ana Pauker and other high-ranking Communists.
Consequently, the Executive Committee of the Comintern called on Romanian Communists to infiltrate the National Renaissance Front FRN , the newly created sole legal party of Carol's dictatorship, and attempt to attract members of its structures to the revolutionary cause. As Romania came under the rule of Ion Antonescu and, as an Axis country, joined in the German offensive against the Soviets , the Communist Party began approaching traditional parties that were engaged in semi-clandestine opposition to Antonescu: alongside the Social Democrats , it began talks with the National Peasants ' and the National Liberal parties.
In early , as the Red Army reached and crossed the Prut River during the Second Jassy—Kishinev Offensive , the self-confidence and status gained by the PCdR made possible the creation of the Bloc, which was designed as the basis of a future anti-Axis government. The Red Army entered Bucharest on 31 August, and thereafter played a crucial role in supporting the Communist Party's rise to power as the Soviet military command virtually ruled the city and the country see Soviet occupation of Romania.
Soon after 23 August, the Communists also engaged in a campaign against Romania's main political group of the time, the National Peasants' Party, and its leaders Iuliu Maniu and Ion Mihalache.
The Communist Party, engaged in a massive recruitment campaign,  was able to attract ethnic Romanians in large numbers—workers and intellectuals alike, including some former members of the fascist Iron Guard.
The Soviet deputy foreign minister Andrey Vyshinsky went to Bucharest to request the monarch that he appoint Communist sympathizer Petru Groza as Prime Minister, with the Soviet government suggesting it would reinstate Romanian sovereignty over Northern Transylvania only in such a scenario. As a result of the Potsdam Conference , where Western Allied governments refused to recognize Groza's administration, King Michael called on Groza to resign.
In the meantime, the first measure taken by the cabinet was a new land reform that advertised, among others, an interest into peasant issues and a respect for property in front of common fears that a Leninist program was about to be adopted. The post constant growth in membership, by far the highest of all Eastern Bloc countries,  was to provide a base of support for Gheorghiu-Dej.
The conference also saw the first mention of the PCdR as the Romanian Communist Party PCR , the new name being used as a propaganda tool suggesting a closer connection with the national interest.
Party control over the security forces was successfully used on 8 November , when the opposition parties organised a demonstration in front of the Royal Palace to express solidarity with King Michael, who was still refusing to sign his name to new legislation, on the occasion of his name day.
The PCR and its allies, grouped in the Bloc of Democratic Parties, won the Romanian elections of 19 November , although there is evidence of widespread electoral fraud. He concluded that had the election been conducted fairly, the opposition parties could have won enough votes between them to form a coalition government, albeit with far less than the 80 percent support opposition supporters long claimed.
The Communist-dominated legislature then abolished the monarchy and proclaimed Romania a " People's Republic ", firmly aligned with the Soviet Union.
The member parties became completely subservient to the PMR, and had to accept its" leading role "as a condition of their continued existence. Groza, however, remained Prime Minister. A new series of economic changes followed: the National Bank of Romania was passed into full public ownership December ,  and, in order to combat the Romanian leu 's devaluation , a surprise monetary reform was imposed as a stabilization measure in August severely limiting the amount convertible by people without an actual job, primarily members of the aristocracy.
The specific target for the "verification campaign", as it was officially called, were former Iron Guard affiliates.
The move against Pauker's group echoed Stalinist purges of Jews in particular from other Communist Parties in the Eastern bloc —notably, the anti-"Cosmopolitan" campaign in which Joseph Stalin targeted Jews in the Soviet Union, and the Prague Trials in Czechoslovakia which removed Jews from leading positions in that country's Communist government. Executive and PMR leaderships remained in Gheorghiu-Dej's hands until his death in with the exception of —, when his office of PMR leader was taken over by Gheorghe Apostol.
Aligning the country with the Cominform , it officially condemned Josip Broz Tito 's independent actions in Yugoslavia ; Tito was routinely attacked by the official press, and the Romanian-Yugoslav Danube border became the scene of massive agitprop displays see Tito-Stalin split and Informbiro.
Uncomfortable and possibly threatened by the reformist measures adopted by Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev , Gheorghiu-Dej began to steer Romania towards a more "independent"path while remaining within the Soviet orbit during the late s.
Following the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , in which Khurshchev initiated De-Stalinization , Gheorghiu-Dej issued propaganda accusing Pauker, Luca and Georgescu of having been an arch-Stalinists responsible for the party's excesses in the late s and early s notably, in regard to collectivization —despite the fact that they had occasionally opposed a number of radical measures advocated by the General Secretary.
In this context, the PMR soon dismissed all the relevant consequences of the Twentieth Soviet Congress, and Gheorghiu-Dej even argued that De-Stalinization had been imposed by his team right after On the outside too, the PMR, leading a country that had joined the Warsaw Pact , remained an agent of political repression: it fully supported Khurshchev's invasion of Hungary in response to the Revolution of , after which Imre Nagy and other dissident Hungarian leaders were imprisoned on Romanian soil.
Despite Stalin's death, the massive police apparatus headed by the Securitate created in and rapidly growing in numbers  maintained a steady pace in its suppression of" class enemies ", until as late as — In —, the party leadership approved a mass amnesty , extended to, among other prisoners, ca. Nationalism and national communism penetrated official discourse, largely owing to Gheorghiu-Dej's call for economic independence and distancing from the Comecon.
An drastic divergence in ideological outlooks manifested itself only after autumn , when the PMR's leadership felt threatened by the Soviet Union's will to impose the condemnation of Stalinism as the standard in communist states. The change in policies was to become obvious in , when the Communist regime offered a stiff response to the Valev Plan , a Soviet project of creating trans-national economic units and of assigning Romanian areas the task of supplying agricultural products.
These actions gave Romania greater freedom in pursuing the program which Gheorghiu-Dej had been committed to since , one allowing Romania to defy reforms in the Eastern Bloc and to maintain a largely Stalinist course. By , he was in complete control of the Central Committee. He continued Romanianization and de-Sovietization efforts by stressing notions such as sovereignty and self-determination.
At the time, a new organization was instituted under the name of Front of Socialist Unity eventually renamed the Front of Socialist Unity and Democracy. Ostensibly a popular front affiliating virtually all non-party members, it was actually tightly controlled by party activists.
The renewed industrialization, which based itself on both a dogmatic understanding of Marxian economics and a series of autarkic goals,  brought major economic problems to Romania, beginning with the effects of the oil crisis , and worsened by the energy crisis. By , membership of the PCR had risen to 3. At the same time, the ideological viewpoint was changed, with the party no longer seen as the vanguard of the working class ,  but as the main social factor and the embodiment of the national interest.
As a result, the PCR remained an obstinate bastion of hardline Communism. In the face of the changes that unfolded in the rest of Eastern Europe in and , the PCR retained its image as one of the most unreconstructed parties in the Soviet bloc.
It even went as far as to call for a Warsaw Pact invasion of Poland after that country's Communists announced a power-sharing agreement with the Solidarity trade union—a sharp reversal of its previous opposition to the Brezhnev Doctrine and its vehement opposition to the invasion of Czechoslovakia 21 years earlier.
No formal dissolution of the PCR took place. Rather, the party simply disappeared. The speed with which the PCR, one of the largest parties of its kind, dissolved, as well as its spontaneity, were held by commentators as additional proof that its sizable membership presented a largely false image of its true beliefs. Many former members of the PCR have been major players in the post political scene.
For example, until every post-revolution president had formerly been a member of the PCR. Among other small parties an unregistered party of the same name and the small Romanian Socialist Party claim to be the successors of the PCR,   with the latter entering Parliament in the — legislature under its former name of Socialist Party of Labour.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Romanian Communist Party present-day. The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Romanian Communist Party. Politics of Romania Political parties Elections. Main article: Socialist Party of Romania. See also: Repression of communists in the Kingdom of Romania.
Aggravation of class struggle under socialism Anti-revisionism Collectivization Cult of personality Great Break Marxism—Leninism Popular front Self-criticism Socialism in one country Soviet socialist patriotism. Theoretical works. Related topics. Main article: King Michael's Coup. Main article: Romanian general election. Main article: De-Stalinization in Romania.
Main article: National Communism in Romania. Main article: Romanian Revolution. And throughout the land our party had less than 1, party members, including our comrades in prisons and concentration camps. In the late s, Ana Pauker gave the same estimate Cioroianu, Pe umerii Supplement of Brukenthal, Acta Musei , No. Crowther
VIAF ID: 25757390 (Personal)
Romanian Communist Party