(b. 8 January 1873, d. 5 February 1953, Sighetul Marmației)

Image description

He is a smiling 50-years old man, with short hair, big eyes and a bulbous nose, stuffy eyebrows and a thick moustache, wearing a suit.

His broad forehead is outlined by a pattern of softly curved lines, representing the hair combed back and his moustache.

The shirt is illustrated through a full, crowded pattern.

The classic jacket is represented by a curved pattern.

He is wearing a tie, made out of dispersed dots.


Historical information

Iuliu Maniu was born on 8 January 1873 in Șimleul Silvaniei, “in an old Transylvanian family in Sălaj” [Bibliography 1]. After he graduated Law School in 1896, in Cluj, Vienna and Budapest, he was a lawyer for the Greek Catholic Church in Blaj, up until 1915 [Bibliography 2]. Starting from 1893, he was a member of the Romanian National Party Committee, and starting with 1906, after renouncing boycotting the Hungarian elections, he became a deputy in the Parliament of Budapest [Bibliography 3]. At the beginning of the First World War, he was recruited and sent to the Italian front. According to Ioan Scurtu, this action was proposed after he refused to sign a statement of adherence to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and to plead Romania to enter the war as part of the central powers [Bibliography 4].

In the summer of 1918, while he was still in Italy, working as a Tank Regiment commander for the 14th Artillery Regiment, he deserted. He initially arrived in Arad, soon after he went to Vienna. Here, he went to the Ministry of Defence, where he demanded to be put in charge with all Romanian units of the Austro-Hungarian army [Bibliography 5]. He sets up the Romanian Central Military Senate of Officers and Soldiers from Vienna, gaining command over all Romanian regiments. He gets involved in securing the order in Vienna [Bibliography 6] and Prague [Bibliography 7]. During the winter of 1918, he is part of the formation of the Central Romanian National Council (October 1918), during the Alba Iulia National Assembly, and on the 2nd of December he becomes president of the Governing Council. On 9 August 1919, he becomes president of the Romanian National Party, following the death of Gheorghe Pop Băsești [Bibliography 8]. During the 20s’ he stands out by both opposing the National Liberal Party, and refusing to take part in the coronation in Alba Iulia (15 October 1922); also, he acknowledges the Constitution of March 1923 [Bibliography 9].

In 1926, the Romanian National Party becomes part of the Peasant’s Party, which was presided by Ion Mihalache. He becomes chairman of the National Peasant’s Party. He was then appointed prime-minister on the 10th of November 1928. Although he was one of the Romanian politicians who pressured Carol into coming back to Romania, when the latter finally returns, Iuliu Maniu resigns. He explains his decision by invoking a vow he had made to King Michael I [Bibliography 10]. Nonetheless, he regains power to form a government, and on the 12th of June he becomes once more a prime-minister. The following years of his political career have been marked by his fight against the royal camarilla. According to Ioan Scurtu, he was “the first politician who understood that Carol II was going to impose an authoritarian regime”. The historian also said that he “courageously fought to defend democracy” [Bibliography 11]. On the 27th of November 1937, his political party signed the Non-violence Pact with the Iron Guard and the National Liberal Party, represented by Gheorghe Brătianu. After losing Transylvania, following the Vienna Dictate, he was one of Romanian politicians that demanded Carol II to renounce the throne. [Bibliography 12]. Towards the end of the Second World War, he is involved in political movements in order to isolate Marshal Ion Antonescu, getting Romania out of the war, and signing the armistice with the United Nations. On the 20th of June 1944 he helps set up the National Democratic Bloc, made up of the National Peasant’s Party, the National Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Romanian Communist Party [Bibliography 13].

After the 6th of March 1945, following the forming of the Petru Groza government, he is involved in another fight for reinstalling democracy in Romania, opposing the dictatorial actions of the Communist Party [Bibliography 14]. He used all legal means to protest against communist crimes, sending out several memoirs and letters of protest to the Allied Control Council and the free press. In one of these protests, issued on the 29th of June 1947, he incriminates the illegal arrests of members of the National Peasant’s Party, the criminal diets in prisons, and the abuse of political convicts. At the same time, he asked for the release of members of the opposition Party, who were arrested without a warrant starting with the 6th of March 1945 [Bibliography 15].

As a result of the Tămădău set-up, on the 14th of July 1947, Iuliu Maniu and other National Peasant’s Party leaders are arrested. On the 29th of July, the National Peasant’s Party was dissolved by an Ordonnance of the Council of Ministers [Bibliography 16]. Victim of a simulated with no right to a fair trial, Iuliu Maniu was charged with life imprisonment, in Galati. After an attempted escape, organized by a group of military, he is transferred at the Sighet prison [Bibliography 17]. Between 1950 and 1955, the Sighetu Marmației prison was the place where most of the Romanian inter-war elite were imprisoned. Ion Mihalache, Bebe Brătianu, Gheorghe Brătianu, Constantin Giurescu and some Greek-catholic priests were imprisoned alongside Iuliu Maniu. Iuliu Maniu dies in prison on the 5th of February 1953, 6 years after his conviction. He was buried, next to other dead political convicts, inside the poor people’s graveyard of Sighet. During nighttime, he was exhumed by the prison guards and thrown in a mass grave, with no distinct markings.  



  1. Dan Falcan, Iuliu Maniu: morala și politica, availabe online at https://www.historia.ro/sectiune/portret/articol/iuliu-maniu-morala-si-politica
  2. Ioan Scurtu, Portrete politice, Chișinău, Editura Prut Internațional, 2006, p. 193.
  3. Dan Falcan, art. cit.
  4. Ioan Scurtu, op. cit., p. 194.
  5. Apostol Stan, Iuliu Maniu. Naționalism și democrație. Biografia unui mare român, București, Editura Saeculum I. O., 1997, p. 69-70.
  6. Ioan Scurtu, op. cit., p. 194.
  7. Dan Falcan, art. cit..
  8. Ioan Scurtu, op. cit.¸p. 194-195.
  9. Ibidem, p. 190, Dan Falcan, art. cit.

10-13. Ioan Scurtu, op, cit., 204-208.

  1. Apostol Stan, op. cit., pp. 455-502
  2. ANIC, Fond Direcţia Generală a Poliţiei, dosar nr. 70/1947, ff. 168-169.
  3. Apostol Stan, op. cit., pp. 497-498,
  4. Andrea Dobeș, Ilie Lazăr. consecvența unui ideal politic, Cluj-Napoca, Editura Argonaut, 2006, p. 177.
  5. For more information, see Dumitru Lăcătușu, Istoricul penitenciarului Sighet în Andrei Muraru (coord.), Dicționarul penitenciarelor în România comunistă (1945-1967), București, Editura, Polirom, 2008, pp. 457-472.


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