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Penal Registration File: Victor Rădulescu Pogoneanu

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Victor Rădulescu - Pogoneanu(1910-1962)

Degrees in Law, Philosophy and Sociology. In 1934, he enters the Foreign Ministry. Director of the Cabinet and of the Cipher in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, delegate with the leadership of the Press and Information Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the duties of under-secretary of state. Within the framework of the action led by the democratic parties, he ensures, alongside his colleagues Camil Demetrescu and Grigore Niculescu-Buzesti, the technical organisation of the secret negotiations between the Allies and the Soviet Union.

Arrested in August 1947, implicated in the Iuliu Maniu trial, he was sentenced to twenty-five years harsh imprisonment, for “instigation to the crime of treason in bad faith” (11 November 1947). After prison in Galati, he was taken to Sighet, then moved to Rimnicu Sarat in 1955. The motive: he had plotted against the People’s Republic of Romania and wanted to escape over the border. The legal specification: plotting and treason. Transferred to the Vacaresti hospital penitentiary, in the last stages of the illness from which he was suffering even before his arrest, he died on 10 March 1962.

“If I were called upon to speak about the most extraordinary man I have known, I would mention ‘master Pichi Pogoneanu’ (as we youngsters in the Foreign Ministry used to call Victor Radulescu-Pogoneanu). We know that he died in prison, on 10 March 1962 (…). I dedicate these lines to him, in order to try to express, belatedly, the great affection I bore for him and my boundless admiration.

(…) Middling in stature, slim, almost slender, a face of great fineness, a gentle but lively gaze, which immediately inspired affection (…). He had been stricken by a serious illness, which proved untreatable and had left him almost paralysed in the legs. He walked using two crutches, with great difficulty, dragging his legs, but he would not allow anyone to help him, so that his will to confront that merciless adversity would not weaken for even a moment. He was thirty-three years old at the time.

(…) When Mihai Ralea went to visit Pogoneanu in his cell, in order to tempt him into being “more malleable”, letting it be understood that he might be allowed to go for treatment abroad, he received the reply: ‘Neither my health nor my life are for sale.’ What fifteen years of prison, until his death, must have meant for that invalid I cannot attempt to imagine. Fifteen years!”

(Neagu Djuvara, “Dialog” magazine no. 86, April 1988)

Penal registration file:

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