Nicolae Ceauşescu (1918-1989): Background information when reading I Must Betray You

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I Must Betray You

by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys X
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
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    Feb 2022, 336 pages


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About this Book

Nicolae Ceauşescu (1918-1989)

This article relates to I Must Betray You

Postage stamp commemorating Nicolae Ceausecu's 70th birthdayRuta Sepetys's young adult novel I Must Betray You tells the story of Cristian Florescu, a Romanian teenager living at the pinnacle of the country's communist era in 1989. Cristian is blackmailed into being an informant for the Securitate, the government's secret police, forcing him to grapple with his guilt at betraying those he cares for and his fear of punishment if he fails to provide information. Such was the reality for many Romanians during the final years of communism who worked, willingly or not, to maintain the rule of the country's leader, Nicolae Ceauşescu.

Ceauşescu (pronounced chow-SHESK-oo) was born in southern Romania in 1918. After escaping an abusive household at the age of 11, he ventured to Bucharest, the country's capital, where he found work and ultimately joined the Union of Communist Youth. In the 1930s, it was illegal to be a communist in Romania due to the party's support for the Soviet occupation that had begun near the end of World War II. ...

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