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(b. 6 June 1917, Turda, d. 17 January 2000, London)

Image description

He is man over 75, with a receding hairline, a bulbous nose, narrow eyes, prominent jaw, wearing a suit.

His forehead is shown through a pattern of small, dense x-es, representing his hair combed back.

The shirt is outlined through a pattern of full, accentuated and crammed squares.

The classic jacket is shown through a curved pattern.

He is wearing a tie, shown in a protruding, coloured pattern.

 

Historical information

Ion Rațiu was born on the 6th of July 1917, in Turda. After he graduated from „Gh. Barițiu” high school in Cluj, in 1934, he went to the Faculty of Law in Cluj (1934 – 1938). During his studies, he became a member of the youth organization of the National Peasant’s Party. He continued his education at the School for Replacement Officers in Craiova, from which he graduated in 1939 [Bibliography 1]. According to Stejărel Olaru, after a serious skiing accident, while he was camping at the 31 Artillery Regiment, he went back to his hometown [Bibliography 2]. His decision was providential. His staying in Turda coincided with the presence of his uncle, Viorel V. Tilea, plenipotentiary minister of Romania in London. At his suggestion, Ion Rațiu applied for a job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and asked to be sent to the capital of Great Britain. On the 1st of April 1940, he became chancellor for the Legation of Romania in London paid with a daily allowance [Bibliography 3]. He held this job until September 1940. Between 1940 and 1943, he was a student of St. John College, Cambridge University [Bibliography 4].

During the Second World War, he was a contributor of the BBC radio station, demanding, in Romanian broadcasts, “ending the war against the USSR”. After the war, he became a correspondent for the American press agency International News Service, in Paris, from where he communicated press reports about the Peace Conference (1947) [Bibliography 5]. He was also one of the defenders of Romanian refugees that attacked the Romanian Legation in Bern (1955). Since 1956, he began a career in the world of business. He was one of the “owners of the expeditions and sea shipment J.R. Shipping Co. Ltd. Founder and appointed administrator of the Regent Line firm, which specialized in monthly sea shipments between Northern Europe and the Atlantic docks in the South of the U.S.A. (1963 – 1975)”.  In the next period of life, he got involved in the activity of the Romanian exile, occupying many positions in these organizations of Romanian exile. He was chairman of the Cultural Association of the Romanian People in England (1968 – 1985), a delegate for the Central Committee of the National Peasant’s Party in exile (1971), and chairman of the Free Romanians’ Union (1984) [Bibliography 6].

There is information indicating that Ion Rațiu was offered, in 1963, the position of ambassador of the Romanian people in Great Britain, but also that he advocated, during a conference held in London in 1971, for “opportunities for commercial networks with the Socialist Republic of Romania”. Also, according to Florin Manolescu, he had secretly met with the communist leader Ion Gheorghe Maurer in 1968, the same year the latter was visiting France [Bibliography 7].

In January 1990, he returned to Romania as one of the former members of the National Peasant’s Party that were involved with reorganizing this party after the fall of the communist regime. He was vice-president of the Party and a candidate of the Romanian Democratic Convention in the May 1990’s elections, and also a deputy in the Romanian Parliament. He also sponsored the establishing of the “Ion Rațiu” Department of Romanian Studies at Georgetown University in the United States (1990). In 1991, he co-founded the Cotidianul newspaper [Bibliography 8]. Ion Rațiu passed away on the 17th of January 2000, and was buried in the family burial chamber in Turda [Bibliography 9].  

 

Bibliography

  1. Florin Manolescu, „Ion Rațiu”, in Florin Manolescu, Enciclopedia exilului literar românesc 1945-1989, București, Editura Compania, 2010, available online at https://www.cotidianul.ro/ion-ratiu/[august 2018].

2-4. Stejărel Olaru, Ion Rațiu, o poveste încă nespusă, p. 8, available online at  http://www.revistatimpul.ro/documents/suplimente/Supliment-TIMPUL-iulie-2017.pdf [august 2018].

  1. Florin Manolescu, „Ion Rațiu”, in Florin Manolescu, Enciclopedia exilului literar românesc 1945-1989, București, Editura Compania, 2010, available online at  https://www.cotidianul.ro/ion-ratiu/[august 2018].

6-9. Stejărel Olaru, Ion Rațiu, o poveste încă nespusă, p. 8, available online at  http://www.revistatimpul.ro/documents/suplimente/Supliment-TIMPUL-iulie-2017.pdf [august 2018].

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