Ion Antonescu (1882-1946)

Ion Antonescu

1882 Between the 2nd and the 14th of June Ion Antonescu was born at Pitesti within a military family. He was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician, and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and leader during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships. A Romanian Army career officer who made his name during the 1907 peasants' revolt and the World War I Romanian Campaign, the antisemitic Antonescu sympathized with the far right and fascist National Christian and Iron Guard groups for much of the interwar period.[1]

1902 This year he joined cavalry school and until 1941 he attended the entire military hierarchy.

1913 Antonescu graduated Superior School of War as a captain.

1940 He became general army corps and in 1941 marshal.

1940 On the 12th of July he resigned from the army and on the 5th of September he was invested to create Romanian Government and field and allegiance oath in front of King Carol II. On the 5th of September, between 9.20 pm – 11pm, Ion Antonescu was received in audience by the king, whom he asked to abdicate in favour of his son, Mihai. The King abdicated next day. As Romanian State Governor, Ion Antonescu gave the Proclamation to the country, one which highlighted that “we must save the State and the Nation”.

1941 Between the 11th and 12th of June Ion Antonescu paid a visit to Munchen (the third meeting with Hitler) where Romanian State’s leader accepted the request to engage Romanian army to the Eastern campaign for Basarabia and Northern Bucovina’s release.

1941 On the 21st of June he went to the battle field in Moldavia as commander of Romanian army. Here he gave the Proclamation to the army: “Soldiers, I order you: cross the Prut. Smash the enemy from the East and North. Crush your invaded brothers from the Bolshevism’s red. Accomplish again in the country’s body the ancestral land of Basarabs and Bucovina’s princely woods, your fields and lands… “.

1941 On the 30th of July, I. Antonescu allowed, because of Hitler’s request, Romanian troops to go over Dniester.

1941 On the 9th of August Mihai Antonescu met Manfred von Killinger, Romanian secretary of state declared to German representative at Bucharest that “Romania does not give up to its rights over Transylvania”.

1943 I. Antonescu tried to negotiate with United Nations (at Ankara, Istanbul, Stockholm, Madrid) Romania’s exit from the war (the attempts lasted until the 26th of August 1944).

1944 During the 22nd and 23rd of August, I. Antonescu decided to continue his fight together with Germany no later than the 26th of August 1944.

1944 On the 23rd of August, from 4:10 pm to 16:58 pm, the last meeting between King Mihai and Ion Antonescu took place and after that Antonescu was arrested.

1946 On the 17th of May, “The People’s Court” sent him to death; he did not use his right to appeal. A request of the sanction’s commutation addressed to Mihai I by Antonescu’s mother was rejected because of the Government’s advice.

1946 On the 1st of June he was executed by shooting in the fort inside Jilava prison. His last words were: “Live Romania. Fire!”.[2]






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