Following the SDP congress of March 1946, when the betrayal of those who desired a merger with the Communist Party occurred, the social democrats who wanted to preserve the independence of the party formed the Independent Social Democratic Party around Constantin Titel Petrescu, with Dimitriu being elected secretary general.
In February 1948, he was excluded from the College of lawyers on the grounds that he was “undemocratic”. Three months later, on the night of 5/6 May 1948, he was arrested, and on 22 January 1952 sentenced to hard labour for life, convicted of “treason”. The motive: he had been a political opponent of the Communist Party. The charge: the crime of high treason. He was released in 1956, following the intervention of the British Labour Party.
“In the circle of the close acquaintances of Adrian Dimitriu, a prominent member of the Social Democratic Party and a good friend of Mr Titel Petrescu, the fact is remarked that the leadership of the party have drafted a letter disavowing the procedures used by the communist party, which – lately – assumes the right, in the name of the entire National Democratic Front, to engage the other parties that make up the Front, without, however, consulting them in advance as to the measures it takes. This letter is interpreted as the first act to torpedo the National Democratic Front… Reliable source.”
(Report by the communist Securitate, dated 22 February 1945, ASRI, fund D, file no. 2115, f. 91)
“I was put into a room, comprising two adjacent cells, with a communicating door, after which I received a series of punches in the back together with a torrent of curses, which almost felled me. After this introduction, I was ordered to run around the black border along the wall of the first cell. Thus began my race, which I later learned was called riding school, and which was to last 52 hours. (…) Leaving aside the blows I received, to which I had become accustomed, what was the most tormenting was the tiredness that overpowered my legs, of which I no longer had control. It seemed as if I had thousands of needles in my soles, on which I was treading, and running blurred with a continual tendency to fall forwards. I was dizzy and I shielded myself, as much as I could, with elbows and shoulder, from hitting my head against the walls. I felt as though there was a weight hanging from my middle, which was seemingly tearing me in two and forcing me to bend double. I had the impression that I was nothing but an automaton, which would function for I did not know how much longer.”
(Adrian Dimitriu, “Travelling Notes”, manuscript)
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