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Hall of Blame

European values charging outwards in a ceaseless campaign: these 8 were left in their wake.
The European Union has spent the half century since the Second World War securing basic freedoms, a bumpy road for sure. Some of the more jarring potholes have come in the form of despots, those powerful men who had to make way for European expansion. Little is left of them once Europe has blown past. Not many would know that Nikolae Ceausescu started his career wanting to be a cobbler. How much is left of fallen leaders, once their faces fade from the television screens? Some leave destabilised countries, others harebrained politics: When Francisco Franco passed away, women could not work, own property, open a bank account or travel without their husband‘s consent. Others are left in the dark during their stay in office: Antonio Salazar had to remove the picture of his idol, Benito Mussolini, from his desk once World War II was over. Yet others notice where the power is: Georgios Papadopoulos reportedly was on the CIA’s payroll for 15 years before the coup that lifted him to power. Under the wheels of time, most dictators are remembered not for their ascension but for gruesome acts of inhumanity. Their ends are also documented feverishly. While Wojciech Jaruzeslki was signing a book in 1994, four years after his abdication, a disgruntled farmer threw a stone at him, breaking his jaw. They may stick in memory, but history has never been kind to the fallen.

On photo: Honecker, Ceausescu, Kadar, Salazar, Jaruzelski, Franco, Papadopoulos, Zhiukou.

Photos: Luis Carlos Torres, Viorika Prikhodko

Realisation: Joeri Oudshoorn, Maria Messing, Maik Wiechmann

Author: Adam Chrambach

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