Romania's Tourism Ministry is publicizing the country’s new “Red Circuit,” a tourist trail featuring the spots party leader and avid bear hunter Nicolae Ceausescu used to give speeches as he rose to power and the spot where he was summarily shot after being ousted.
"Western tourists are very interested in Ceausescu's history, provided we can sell it properly," Elena Udrea, Romania’s controversial Tourism Minister, told the Agence France Press.
The tour will include Ceausescu’s childhood home, the jail where he was imprisoned for political activities in the 1930s, the Communist party headquarters where he wielded near-absolute power and the military base where he was shot with his wife after they were found guilty by a kangaroo court of genocide.
The “Red Circuit” is merely the latest announced stop on a longer international trail of tourist spots devoted to the excesses of militant Communist regimes. Russia has its “purely commercial” monument to Josef Stalin and Cambodia has the Khmer Rouge stronghold Anlong Veng.
After going on their Communist circuit trips, visitors to ever-cheerful Romania can head to Poenari Castle, where Vlad the Impaler – the man widely believed to be the inspiration for Dracula – spent the 15th century shish-kebabing serfs. The castle is said to be haunted.