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Sighet Museum: Rooms 84-87 – Iuliu Maniu, a father of democracy

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Sălile 84-87

On the passage to the left of the access corridor, above the Brătianu rooms, a number of rooms, subdivided by archways are dedicated to Iuliu Maniu, one of the fathers of Romanian democracy, who like Gheorghe Brătianu, also died in Sighet penitentiary, in 1953.

Thanks to his exemplary attitude in public life, Iuliu Maniu became between 23 August 1944 and July 1947 a symbol of democratic resistance to the country’s communisation. However, a show trial was set up, in which he was accused of „high treason”. On November 11, 1947 he was convicted to hard labour for life at the trial of the National Peasant Party leadership, which followed the Tămădău incident, in which the leaders of the party had been tricked into attempting to flee the country.

The photos and documents present familiar moments as well as aspects of Maniu’s political activity before 1918. A panel highlights the important role he played in the events, which brought to the great Union. Further on, the images show how in the inter-war period and the Second World War, Iuliu Maniu opposed any form of authoritarian regime. The exhibition is closed with the presentation of several snapshots from his post-war political activity, from the time of the 1946 elections, as well as with images and declarations from the NPP trial, which ended with sentences totalling hundreds of years.

The value of the exhibition, set up by the International Center for Studies about Communism is raised by the presence of some objects that belonged to or were used by Iuliu Maniu, donated to the Sighet Memorial by Msses Clara Boilă from Cluj, Aurelia Ghinea, Flavia Bălescu and Rodica Coposu from Bucharest.