comrade corbu

Nicolai Ceausescu was the leader of the Communist Party in Romania for over twenty years. In 1978 he caused a civil engineer to doubt his own sanity when he turned up for work one morning…..

image found here

A new underground station was being constructed in Bucharest and a vast hole — at least 12,000 cubic metres in extent — had been excavated as an entrance to the station. When the civil engineer in charge of the project arrived at work he found that his hole had disappeared. It had been there the night before, but now in its place were trees and park benches on open park land. The perplexed engineer asked one of the dictator’s aides what had happened. Apparently, Ceausescu had been planning to make a welcoming speech to new students at Bucharest’s polytechnic and wanted to use the park. So he ordered the hole to be removed until after his speech. All night hundreds of laborers worked at fever pitch. Trees were uprooted from other parts of the city and grass taken from the rest of the park to cover the hole. The job was finished by 6am, thirty minutes before the engineer arrived.

image found here

In 1966, the Ceaușescu regime, in an attempt to boost the country’s population, made abortion illegal, and introduced other policies to reverse the very low birth and fertility rates. Abortion was permitted only in cases where the woman in question was over forty-two, or already the mother of four (later five) children. Mothers of at least five children would be entitled to significant benefits, while mothers of at least ten children were declared heroines by the Romanian state. However, few women ever sought this status.

66 year old Romanian mother found here

Nicolai was also extremely paranoid that foreigners would poison his clothes or that he would catch a fatal disease from shaking hands. He started wearing only clothes that had been under surveillance in a specially constructed warehouse and even washed his hands with alcohol after shaking Queen Elizabeth’s hand. He took his own bed sheets to Buckingham palace.

Elizabeth’s hand found here

Ceausescu was popular in the West for being staunchly anti-Soviet, and was given many gifts by visiting dignitaries. Perhaps most embarrassing was an honorary knighthood bestowed by the Queen of England, revoked only hours before his execution when the appalling nature of his regime became apparent. Ceaușescu also received the Danish Order of the Elephant, but this award too was later revoked.

Order of the Elephant found here

Among other gifts was a black Labrador puppy from British Liberal Party leader David Steel. Ceausescu named him Corbu and became so enamored with the dog that Romanian citizens called it ‘Comrade Corbu’.

Corbu became part of the dictator’s fantasy world and soon the dog was seen being driven through Bucharest in a limousine, with its own motorcade. Corbu always slept with Ceausescu at night. During the day he slept in Villa 12A, complete with bed, luxury furnishings, television and telephone. The Romanian ambassador in London was under official orders to go to Sainsbury’s every week to buy British dog biscuits which were then sent back in the diplomatic bag. Corbu was also given the rank of colonel in the Romanian Army.

image found here

Ceaușescu created a pervasive personality cult, giving himself the titles of “Conducător” (“Leader”) and “Geniul din Carpați” (“The Genius of the Carpathians“), and even had a king-like sceptre made for himself. Such excesses prompted the painter Salvador Dalí to send a telegram to the “Conducător,” in which he sarcastically congratulated Ceaușescu on his “introducing the presidential scepter.” The Communist Party Daily published the message, unaware that it was a work of satire.

Dali and Harpo found here

One unresolved mystery that followed the deaths of Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu pertains to Romania’s Apollo 17 Goodwill Moon rock which was in Nicolae Ceaușescu’s possession at the time of his death, but has since disappeared. The rock was presented by the Nixon Administration to Romania and is said to be worth 5 million dollars on the black market.

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45 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Must be a terrible thing to find your hole gone.

  2. I’ve visited Romania quite a lot in the last few years. NOTHING would surprise me about Ceaucescu. One of his other excesses was the parliament building he had constructed for which about one sixth of Bucharest was flattened.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_the_Parliament

    It’s still not finished.

    • And every year during its construction, it consumed a third of Romania’s GDP. The entire country worked a full year for nothing except that building.

  3. Busy busy busy, glad to have you back on the case NM, life is full of soooo many distractions isn’t it?

    People and their dogs, I think the Queen is toying with the idea of “3rd Breakfast” for the pets at the moment. It seems we teeter on anarchy here at The Castle.

    Romanians, I’ve only ever known one, a famous artist who had a portrait of himself (done by another artist) win the Archibald prize a few years back. According to him anything you could care to imagine was invented in Romania first, including the aeroplane, atomic energy, the bicycle and no doubt the fucking wheel as well.

    The King

    • A fucking wheel? What an interesting concept.

      • That’s what I thought. 🙂

      • We keep ours in the dungeon.

        The King

  4. How, in God’s name, do these lunatics get into power over and over again? And stay there for years!? Do they sneak up on us? It’s as if there were no history books.

    • I think the system is demonstrably ‘broken’, I fear that it may never work as we see the same things again and again…

      The King

  5. I don’t know what I like best: the dog, the disappearing hole, the presidential sceptre or the missing moon rock which is no doubt holding down papers on someone’s desk or propping the door open so the cat can come and go at will.

    It’s all gold. Thank you Nurse Myra.

    • It’s almost like a game of Cluedo – “the dog did it in the disappearing hole. but did he use the presidential sceptre or the missing moon rock?”

  6. I can just imagine the engineer exclaiming, “By all that is holey…”

    • He probably thought he was in the wrong place.

  7. or that he would catch a fatal disease from shaking hands.

    I carry three different types of sanitizer in my handbag.

    • What else is in that capacious carry-all MJ?

  8. I think the maximum 4 year presidential term introduced in recent Egyptian parliamentary reform should be applied universally. Plus a sanity test prior to taking office.

    Further research on the Romanian revealed: “When Romanians waited in bread lines three blocks long, he fed his bears the finest meat and corn.”

    • The problem with the sanity test is that sane people don’t apply for those jobs!

  9. That near-last grainy vid of Ceaușescu with his appalling wif eon some imperial-looking balcony in Bucharest, about to address a huge, stage-managed crowd of “his” people, remains vivid in my memory. Somebody booed, he made an impatient imperial silencing gesture.

    Then the booing rose deafeningly.

    The way his face crumpled as he realized the tyrant jig was finally, totally up has occurred to me often in recent weeks, vis-a-vis middle eastern events.

    Maybe we should start calling that split-second dawn of dictatorial enlightenment “The Ceaușescu Moment®”?

    • I googled that video. You’re right, his face does crumple.

      • Yes, but when the shots are fired.

  10. I am convinced that it takes a certain insanity to become and to remain a dictator. A touch of the megalomanias and possibly the divinities. And the ability to dig a hole and fill it in again!

  11. Archie, it also takes a lot of people to do EXACTLY as you say! That’s the bit that I find hard!!!!!

  12. I have the goodwill moon rock.
    I used it to fill this hole I had in the back yard…
    🙂

  13. The temporarily restored park is only an extreme example of the beautifying and sanitising that always goes on in advance of visiting VIPs. New toilets, new furniture, everything hosed down and repainted. I wonder if our Queen has ever seen anything remotely grubby?

    • I would think so. she’s been to Australia 🙂

  14. He was an evil bastard, full stop. He was a nationalist and a socialist (hahaha) But that is a bit of a mouthful. Shorten it to Nazi and you get the measure of the man

  15. It is very disturbing to see countries like this and its people are ruled by dangerous buffoons and everyone suffers. I wish my USA could intervene everywhere like getting rid of Saddam H in Iraq. But look at the mess there and then are condemned as interventionist, imperialistic, and neocolonial. If we do not intervene we are monsters who turned our back on suffering people. I sure don’t know the answer.

    • Neither did George W Bush.

      The King

      • Ain’t that the truth!

  16. I didn’t know you could Indian give royal knighthoods. I’m imagining the ceremony. The sword goes “shoulder up” instead of “shoulder down”.

  17. And now he is dead

  18. The moon rock is very, very nice. And in a safe place.

    • I know. It’s buried in Spilled Ink Guy’s back yard.

  19. great. now my dog wants his own damn motorcycle. i should never let him read this blog…

    • Oh come on daisyfae, what else is he supposed to do all day while you’re at work?

  20. If Corbu was my colonel, I’d follow him into battle!

    • I’d only follow if he was a Captain, my Captain

  21. FWIW, the Thames-side MI6 building in known to insiders (sic!) as Ceausescu House 🙂

  22. Ceaușescu was indeed a monster. I thought it was hilarious when he was dragged outside and shot by his own guards. Another moment where the AK-47 rifle figured prominently in world history.

  23. I’d rather have a rock that mysteriously disappeared from Charlie Sheen’s residence.

    Still, I have to respect a man who loves his dog that much.

  24. leave it to that douchbag nixon to give that
    rock away when we could really use it now.

  25. Oh my…. what an insane man. And pretty recent too!

  26. i think somebody is trying to poison my socks.
    how do i know?
    my socks have begun to taste funny.

  27. I just realized that I still have a long way to go in becoming a crazy pet owner. You’ve given me lots of ideas. “Lt. Gov. Teva” has a nice ring to it.


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