The act of August 23, 1944 as reflected in the memorialistic writings and public evocations of General Emilian Ionescu: a diachronic and comparative analysis

It is largely clarified the role of Royal Adjutant Colonel Emilian Ionescu in the carrying out of the act of August 23, 1944, a contribution that the Romanian officer subsequently tried to oversize, as historian Gheorghe Buzatu pointed out[1]. The contexts in which a series of works signed by Emilian Ionescu[2] appeared seeking to reinterpret the history of August 1944 in a light favorable to the Romanian Communist Party and to redimension its role accordingly were also evoked historiographically. In view of the state of knowledge of this subject, the present research proposes that from the perspective of a critical interpretation of the existing scientific literature and especially of the archival documents held by the Romanian archival institutions, especially of the personal collections from the National Historical Archives, to re-evaluate and recalibrate Colonel Ionescu’s contribution during the preliminary stage and the unfolding of the act of August 23, 1944, as well as to follow in the footsteps of this officer’s life during the periods of real coalition, fictional coalition (to use the terminology imposed in historiography by the great British historian Hugh Seton-Watson) and of communist totalitarianism to better understand the contexts in which his writings on the act of August 23, 1944 evolved and acquired new interpretative valences. I appreciate that a mixed approach that combines classical methods (diachronic and comparative approaches) with conceptual study and discourse analysis will allow an optimal understanding of the balance between the constraints of external factors and the internal motivation that led to the aforementioned interpretative transformations. More broadly, the present research will contribute to a better understanding of the memorialistic component of the research of the act of August 23 and to the deconstruction of some facile interpretations of this important event of the late stage of World War II.

[1] Gheorghe Buzatu, Antonescu, Hitler, Stalin. Un raport nefinal, Vol. 3, Iaşi, Editura Demiurg, 2008, p. 76.

[2] Emilian Ionescu, În uniformă pentru totdeauna (Amintiri), Bucureşti, Editura Militară, 1979; Idem, Contemporan cu veacul douăzeci, Bucureşti, Editura Militară, 1983, precum și alte articole publicate în reviste de popularizare de largă circulație.

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