Ștefan Voitec

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Nicolae Ceauşescu receiving a sceptre to mark his election by the Romanian Communist Party as President of Romania (29 April 1974). The person handing the item is outgoing Chairman of the Grand National Assembly, Ştefan Voitec.

Ştefan Voitec (1900 – December 5, 1984) was a Romanian socialist and communist journalist, politician, and statesman of Communist Romania.

Biography[edit]

Born in Corabia, Voitec and was active in the Socialist Party of Romania, the Social Democratic Party (PSDR), and, after 1928, in Constantin Popovici's Unitary Socialist Party.[1] Trained as a schoolteacher, he also worked on PSDR newspapers, before retiring from political life during World War II and Ion Antonescu's dictatorship (see Romania during World War II).

An advocate of the union between the PSDR and the Romanian Communist Party (PCR), he was Minister of Education - appointed with communist backing in Constantin Sănătescu's post-war government, and remaining in office through subsequent cabinets until the official disestablishment of the Kingdom of Romania. His mandates were marked by an officially-endorsed Stalinist campaign in education, as well as by measures taken to remove and replace non-communist teachers and professors. In 1946-1947, he was a member of the Gheorghe Tătărescu-led Romanian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, and, in fact, one of the signatories of the Peace Treaty with Romania.

Together with Lothar Rădăceanu, he led the wing of the PSDR that called for an alignment with PCR policies, causing the split with Constantin Titel Petrescu's Independent Socialist Party in March 1946; the main PSDR was absorbed by the PCR in November 1947.[2]

Together with Constantin Ion Parhon, Mihail Sadoveanu, Gheorghe Stere, and Ion Niculi, Voitec was a member of the People's Republic Presidium - created by Law No. 363 after the forced abdication of King Michael I on December 30, 1947. He served as Deputy Prime Minister in Petru Groza's second cabinet, but was sidelined after falling out of favor with the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Returning to prominence after 1953, he occupied important positions under Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej and Nicolae Ceauşescu: again Deputy Prime Minister between 1956 and 1961 (in the cabinets of Chivu Stoica and Ion Gheorghe Maurer). Voitec was then Chairman of the Great National Assembly from March 20, 1961 to March, 1974, and one of the acting Chairmen of the State Council from March 19 to March 24, 1965. In the latter capacity, he signed the decree that declared Romania to be a Socialist Republic.

In 1980, Voitec was elected a full member of the Romanian Academy. He died in Bucharest while in office as one of the twelve Vice-Presidents of Romania.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tismăneanu, p.59-60
  2. ^ Frank; Tismăneanu, p.93-94

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • (Romanian) Stenograph of a Groza government meeting on September 23, 1946, calling for repressive measures against anti-communists