General Artur Văitoianu
|Prime Minister of Romania|
1 October 1919 – 9 December 1919
|Preceded by||Ion I.C. Brătianu|
|Succeeded by||Alexandru Vaida-Voievod|
|Minister of National Defense|
29 November 1918 – 26 September 1919
14 April 1864|
Izmail, United Principalities
17 June 1956 (aged 92)|
Bucharest, Romanian People's Republic
|Political party||National Liberal Party|
|Alma mater||University of Bucharest|
|Allegiance||Kingdom of Romania|
|Service/branch||Romanian Land Forces|
|Years of service||1884–1920|
|Rank||General de corp de armată|
|Commands||10th Infantry Regiment, 11th Infantry Brigade, 10th Infantry Division, 2nd Army Corps|
World War I: Battle of Prahova Valley, Battle of Mărăşti|
Artur or Arthur Văitoianu (14 April 1864 in Izmail – 17 June 1956) was a Romanian general who served as a Prime Minister of Romania for about two months in 1919 (27 September – 30 November). During his mandate, the first elections of Greater Romania were held.
Earlier in the War, he commanded the 10th Infantry Division in defense of the Prahova Valley. He managed to block the Central Powers from reaching Bucharest via the shortest way, thus preventing them from cutting off and surrounding the Romanian Army and by implication knock the country out of the war. It was a decisive victory that enabled Romania to wage war until 1918, when it had to surrender after Russia did the same, leaving Romania alone on the Eastern Front and surrounded by the Central Powers, a situation that far surpassed its military capacities.
A War and Interior Minister in Ion I. C. Brătianu's cabinet, he came to lead the executive upon the latter's resignation over the Allied Powers' refusal to recognize the territorial awards promised to Romania upon its 1916 entry into the conflict (on the basis of Romania having signed a separate peace with the Central Powers, the Treaty of Bucharest, in the previous year); in the short hiatus, no Romanian authority was present at the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Germain with Austria.
Văitoianu took office as Romanian troops were engaged in an expedition to Hungary, where they were fighting against the newly proclaimed Hungarian Soviet Republic. The Supreme War Council of Allied Powers gave Romania an 8-day ultimatum to retreat its troops from Budapest to the provisional border settled by the Paris Peace Conference and to cease confiscation of Hungarian property, as well as to sign the peace with Austria and agree to guarantee minority rights throughout Greater Romania. Văitoianu's government refused to comply, and handed in its resignation on 30 November, leaving room for the bloc formed in Parliament by the Romanian National Party of Transylvania and the Peasants' Party of the Regat to form the Alexandru Vaida-Voevod cabinet, one which soon agreed to the Allies' demands.
He was a high-ranking member of the National Liberal Party-Brătianu for much of his political career.
Artur Văitoianu was buried in the World War I heroes' crypt in Mărăști. In 2007, the local authorities claimed that Văitoianu's and Averescu's remains were stolen from their crypts, asking for the Prosecution Office to investigate.
Sfatul Ţării Palace, December 10, 1918
- Hitchins, p.289
- "Mausoleul eroilor de la Mărăşti" (in Romanian). Romanian Office for Heroes' Memory. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
- "De la Mausoleul Marasti au disparut si osemintele generalului Vaitoianu". Gândul (in Romanian). 20 February 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
- Keith Hitchins, România, 1866-1947, Humanitas, Bucharest, 1998 (translation of the English-language edition Rumania, 1866-1947, Oxford University Press, USA, 1994)