Ana Pauker

Ana Pauker (born Hannah Rabinsohn; December 13, 1893 – June 3, 1960) was called “the most powerful woman in the world” by Time magazine in 1948. She was Romania’s Foreign Minister and the de facto head of the Romanian Communist Party. She was a breast cancer survivor. Her husband, Marcel, was killed for accused of being a Trotskyite in a party purge. They had lived in exile for being communists. She was imprisoned, then exchanged to the Soviet Union, where she trained and became part of the Comintern. When the Red Army entered Romania at the end of World War II, she was there and ready to take leadership as part of the Muscovite faction. She was second in command on the four person Romanian Communist Party Secretariat, but was regarded as the true leader. She was appointed as Foreign Minister, the first woman anywhere in the world to hold such a high level post.

What I find noteworthy about her tenure in these positions is that unlike so many women in positions of power, she did not feel the need to “out piss” the men like so many of the women since her (i.e., Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meier, Indira Gandhi, Hillary Clinton). She maintained friendly relations with Stalin and insisted that she was a Stalinist, yet she maintained that Socialist Doctrine allowed for more democracy, so did not force all of the peasant farmers into collectivization. She allowed more time for the five-year plans, and allowed amnesty for Spanish Civil War and French Resistance veterans. She worked toward healing and reconciliation as a path forward for more Romanians, rather than Stalin’s and later Ceaucescu’s hyper-masculinity. Her way was working. Stalin respected her and let her have her way in Romania.

When Krushchev succeeded Stalin in 1953, purges began throughout the Soviet Union and its satellites. Ana Pauker got scapegoated for the harsh policies that the secretariat had enforced  which she had actually opposed. She lost her party membership, but her life was spared and she was given a translation job. She protested her innocence and sued unsuccessfully for her membership back.  She was an easy target, since she was a woman and of Jewish ancestry. This was a fatal mistake for Romanian communism. The man they installed, Ceaușescu, to take over leadership in Romania was a megalomaniac and a misogynist, who ruined the country for generations. He outlawed abortions and all forms of birth control. He seized the forests as his own, personal hunting grounds to slaughter bears and other game at his whim.

Ana had another cancer in 1959 which culminated in her death on June 3, 1960.

Marcel and Ana Pauker had three children: Tanio (1921–1922); Vlad (1926-2016); Tatiana (1928–2011). Ana had a fourth child, Masha (born 1932 ), fathered by the Czech Communist Eugen Fried. Masha now lives in France. She adopted a fifth child, Alexandru, in the late 1940s.

The painting is acrylic on 12″ x 12″ stretched canvas.

Price: $150 including postage to US address.

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