In April 1989 a series of citizen uprisings began throwing off the yoke of communism in Eastern Europe. In Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany and Bulgaria, dictators were forced to abdicate all bloodlessly. Then came Romania. During the week leading up to Christmas, students and factory workers took to the streets. So did dictator Nicolae Ceasusescus tanks, armored personnel carriers, soldiers and secret police. Blood soon was staining the streets of cities across the nation. Determined protesters would be shot, bayoneted, crushed with thousands killed or wounded. Terror and torture gave way to courage and an abiding yearning for freedom in a season forgotten elsewhere around the world.