Elena Ceausescu (nee Petrescu)

(1919, Petresti, Romania - executed, Targoviste, Romania, 25 December 1989)

Dictator’ s spouse, member of the Romanian Communist Party Political Bureau, first deputy prime minister, putative scientist

Selected Quotations:

On Execution:
You shoot them and throw them in the basement. Not a single one should come out alive.

Biography (Excerpt):

Regarded as the power behind the throne, Elena Ceausescu inspired both fear and derision. She was purportedly a scientist and as such collected fake degrees in Romania and honorary degrees abroad. She was praised for her ‘scientific achievements’ by American presidents and other heads of state and was elected a Doctor Honoris Causa of the Central London Polytechnic, now the University of Westminster. Earlier Oxford University rejected the request to award Elena an honorary degree but it was certainly worthwhile trying.