Primary Sources

Grafitti from the Romanian Streets, December 1989-January 1990


In February 1990, the ethnographer Irina Nicolau and a few friends, printed 250 copies of Ne-a luat valul [On the Crest of the Wave], the first book published in Romania about the 1989 Revolution. Included were 141 pieces of graffiti from December 1989-January 1990. This brochure was produced by Nicolau in 1999, when she served as director of the Museum of the Romanian Peasant established in Bucharest after the revolution and housed in the former Museum of Communist Party History. This document is a selection from that work.

The graffti are reproduced as they appeared on various public surfaces in Bucharest sometimes accompanied by drawings. The locations where the graffiti were found appear in the brochure as well. A selection are translated into English below


Primary Source—Full Text

1. There is no democracy without political pluralism
6. Let us not forget Timişoara
9. Down with dictatorship
10. Down with communism
14. Down with Ceauşescu
21. Down with children’s assassin
24. Down with the dynasty, down with the criminal
28 Perestroika
34. Down with the tyrant
40. Political pluralism
41. If Ceauşescu was worse than Hitler then the R.C.P. was worse then the Nazis
43. We are not afraid
46. Down with the tyrant and with Hitler
47. Down with the illiterate woman [Elena Ceauşescu]
48. Free elections
49. Freedom
53. Down with the Ceauşescu clan
60. Victory
61. Free Romania
68. Down with censorship
70. Throw away your [party membership] cards
74. Christmas without the pig/pork
77. We are not fascists
78. Freedom won
79. We will not retreat
80. Without violence
81. The Romanians are not cowards
84. Glory to the students and the people
85. The cobbler is no more
86. We are Romanians
93. Once upon a time there was a cobbler 95. Export Ceauşescu
103. The cobbler and the illiterate doctor of philosophy have fallen
106. Merry Christmas
111. Long live Romanian spirituality
120. Down with the Romanian Communist Party
122. Democracy and pluralism without violence
126. Down with the demagogues and the opportunists
127. The army is with us
129. The last judgment for them is from us
131. Communism is a monstrosity by definition
135. Peace to you our dead
138. Ceauşescu, don’t forget, we want pants made from your hide
140. Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in 1989
141. At Christmas we took our ration of freedom

How to Cite this Source

Irina Nicolau, "Grafitti from the Romanian Streets, December 1989-January 1990," Making the History of 1989, Item #697, (accessed May 28 2021, 3:24 pm).