Funeral ceremonies for Communist leaders during the Cold War signaled the end of a particular era and the beginning of a new one. In the case of Romania, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej's unexpected demise in March 1965 resulted in Nicolae Ceaușescu's spectacular rise to power and the beginning of a short lived de-Stalinization. Weeks after the former dictator's death, dramatic changes occurred within the top elite and in the interpretation of the Romanian Communist Party's history. Gheorghiu-Dej's name swiftly vanished from the official propaganda, and the new leader's cult of personality was born.

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