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Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej’s Personality Cult, in the Light of Psychobiography: A Methodological Approach

Alexandra Toader

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Psychological studies of any kind on Romanian communist leaders have been relatively scarce: scholars of communism usually analyze facts, rather than the leaders’ personality. Therefore, our study is centered on the idea that in the making of the personality cult, political and psychological insights coexists. A research of this phenomenon is initiated in the hope of understanding the mechanisms causing the perverting of power and the stages of its degeneration/distortion in the Romanian communist regime. The study is two-fold: first, the aim is to understand the psychological causes of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej’s political behavior. Second, we will try to establish the connection between the leader’s behavior and personality and the cult which gravitated around the first leader of the Romanian Communist Party. Our methodological approach offers perspectives on understanding and disseminating the dynamics inside the Romanian democratic regime soon after 1989.

Keywords: cult of personality – patrimonialism – official biography – propaganda – psychobiography – communism – paternalism