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Nov. 8, 1945 – first massive anticommunist protest in Europe

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The first large scale anticommunist demonstrations in Eastern and Central Europe occupied by the Soviet Red Army erupted on November 8, 1945, in Bucharest, at the Royal Palace Square.

8th of November is the feast day of the archangels Michael and Gabriel for Orthodox churches and Eastern rite Catholics.

On this day in 1945, in Bucharest, more than 100.000 people showed their support for King Michael of Romania (it was the name day of their king) - and strongly protested against the Petru Groza's Communist government which had been imposed by the Soviets eight months earlier, on March 6 1945.

The huge protest, mainly organised by the university students' organisation of National Peasant party, turned violent when the Communists sent into the crowd few trucks loaded with aggressive activists wielding sticks. After this attempt to intimidate the young protesters failed, the soldiers from the pro-Soviet army division Tudor Vladimirescu fired on people. At least 13 were killed.

70 years later, on 8th of November 2015, reflecting on these events, King Michael said:
”When I turned the country to the Allied side, in order to save the existence of the Romanian State, I was twenty-two years old. Exactly seventy years ago, on 8 November 1945, those who gathered in Royal Palace Square to defend their freedom were the same age. (...) Democracy and freedoms once won are not forever. No victory is eternal. Every day human kind earns the right to have a tomorrow. With each generation the country regains the privilege to continue to exist.”

King Michael of Romania

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