Alexandru Vaida Voevod’s political career had a promising start: from a young Transylvanian unionist he became the first head of government of Greater Romania. But, over time, the way of doing politics in Bucharest perverted his methods and in the latter part of his life he made some questionable choices, such as associating with King Carol II of Romania. His luck was that he made no capital sins- not even in the eyes of the Communists.

During the arrest, because Alexandru Vaida Voevod was ill and at 73 years old, he asked to be admitted to a clinic in Sibiu. In addition, he filed a very long statement to combat all the accusations brought before him: he explains all the choices in his political career, shows who was responsible for Lupeni and Grivița, what position he had towards the Legionary movement and how close were his ties with King Carol II and Elena Lupescu, how he worked to normalize relations with the USSR. He also points to his relations with the Olpret peasants who did not consider him a “castellan”, but the doctor they used to call when any of them had an illness. Since the Communist authorities did not have a legal basis for his arrest and because the relatives had intervened to move him to a clinic, he was released in 1946 and placed under house arrest in Sibiu. He was supervised daily, and the archives of the former Securitate kept records of his noon walks and meetings with his few remaining friends.

“The paper story”

“After the establishment of the communist dictatorship, he naturally could no longer continue his political activity. Released from arrest, where, due to Iuliu Haţieganu’s intervention, he had received a civilized treatment, he was still under house arrest and was under surveillance. As a result, all his past acquaintances and interlocutors preferred to avoid him, and Moșu, who had lived such a tumultuous life, found himself completely isolated” wrote his nephew Ioan German. “Moșu was 75 years old and his old age began to take its toll. When he went on walks, he was helped by a knotless walking stick […]. He was so lively in spirit as he was in his youth, he only sometimes forgot that he had told you a certain story and, as a result, he would tell it again. In the morning, when he finished breakfast, he sat at his big desk and began writing. On ordinary schoolbooks, without a specific plan, only on memories that spontaneously appeared, the story of the paper. At about twelve he would finish writing and he would leave, if the weather was not too bad, for a walk in Sub Arini Park. In the park he usually met his friend Caius Brediceanu, one of the few people who did not avoid him. In the afternoon he sat in the chair and read mostly historical books. And whilst reading in the armchair he would fall asleep for half an hour. And so, the days passed” his nephew continued.

On a gloomy February day, in 1950, Vaida Voevod had awakened and, as usual, had eaten and smoked. He was about to start writing again. When he stood up from the chair and headed for the office, he shuddered gently and collapsed. The family, scared, summoned doctor Marius Sturza, who in turn brought other specialists to consult him. The diagnosis was advanced stage cancer with metastasis. On 19 March 1950, after a month of pain and morphine, one of his sons left Alexandru Vaida Voevod’s room and told his children: “Children, Moșu had died”.

Alexandru Vaida Voevod was buried in the basement of the Roman Catholic Chapel in Sibiu, in secret. His earthly remnants were re-buried at the cemetery of the Brazi Church in 1990 at the request of his descendants.

Translated by Laurențiu Dumitru Dologa