The Scotsman | Jane Bradley: My Christmas wish for Romania

„Here in Britain, people woke on Boxing Day and picked up their newspaper to discover that the Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu had been shot by a firing squad on Christmas Day after two weeks of bloody revolution.


The occasion has, for most people here, passed into history. When eastern European history is mentioned, it is quickly swept aside: “Ceausescu was killed. Communism ended. And they all lived happily ever after.” In reality, it didn’t quite work like that.

For my friend Monica’s family, Ceausescu’s demise came two days into their mourning of the death of her cousin’s daughter – nine-year-old Laura Negrutiu – who was killed by a stray revolution bullet which whizzed into her Timisoara home as she lay on the living room sofa with her grandmother, watching the dramatic events unfold on TV. If Laura had lived, she would have been exactly the same age as me now. She too, could be enjoying a peaceful Christmas – perhaps with her own daughter or son. Monica’s family has never got over what happened to Laura. A tragic, million-to-one death. While Laura’s family’s lives were changed forever on that day, so, in other ways, were the lives of all Romanians. ”


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