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Register of the Comitetul National Roman Records, 1945-1975
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Comitetul National Roman Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1945-1975
    Collection number: 76104
    Creator: Comitetul National Roman
    Collection Size: 27 manuscript boxes (11.2 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Correspondence, memoranda, minutes of meetings, reports, financial records, printed matter, press releases, speeches, and writings, relating to communism in Romania, anti-communist emigre activities, the Assembly of Captive European Nations, the National Committee for a Free Europe, and the Free Europe Committee.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language: Romanian and English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Comitetul National Roman Records, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Access Points

    Free Europe Committee
    National Committee for a Free Europe
    Anti-communist movements --United States
    Civil rights --Europe, Eastern
    Civil rights --Romania
    Romanians in foreign countries
    Europe, Eastern
    Romania --Foreign relations --United States
    Romania --Social conditions
    United States
    United States --Foreign relations --Romania
    ACEN (Organization)

    Historical Note

    Comitetul National Roman (Romanian National Committee) was the name given to the post-World War II Romanian democratic government-in-exile.
    It was organized in Washington by General Nicolae Radescu, the last constitutional premier of Romania, under the patronage of Michael, King of Romania. The CNR was also one of the nine organizations that comprised the Assembly of Captive European Nations.
    It initially consisted of ten members, representing the three main Romanian democratic parties of the inter-war period: the National Peasant Party, the Liberal Party, and the Independent Socialist Party. Besides General Radescu, the other founding members were: Cornel Bianu (Extraordinary Envoy of Iuliu Maniu to London during World War II), Nicolae Caranfil (former Minister of Aviation), Alexandre Cretzianu (former Romanian Minister in Ankara and initiator of secret negotiations with the Allies in Cairo in 1944), Mihail Farcasanu (President of the Romanian Liberal Youth Organization), Grigore Gafencu (former Foreign Minister), Grigore Niculescu Buzesti (former Foreign Minister), Augustin Popa (former member of the Romanian Parliament), Constantin Visoianu (former Foreign Minister, appointed at Titulescu's recommendation as a member of the General Secretariat of the League of Nations in Geneva, ex-Minister to the Hague and Warsaw, ex-foreign policy Counselor of Iuliu Maniu, participant in the secret negotiations with the Allies in Cairo in 1944), Iancu Zissu (member of the Independent Socialist Party).
    According to its by-laws, "the purpose of the National Romanian Committee is: a) to represent the Romanian nation and defend its interests until the national liberation; b) to lead through every possible means an action to liberate Romania and to reestablish there a democratic form of government; c) to coordinate and support the welfare of all Romanian refugees; d) to direct the cooperation of Romanians abroad to arrive at the fulfillment of their purposes."
    Mainly because of inner conflicts over the administration of the controversial fund whose custodian Cretzianu was, and because of the alleged subsidizing of Radescu by the former Romanian industrialist Malaxa, four of the members (Radescu, Gafencu, Farcasanu, and Caranfil) resigned in the summer of 1950. Constantin Visoianu became the new president of the Committee. Among the new members who occupied the places vacated were: George Assan, Alexandre Bunescu, Dumitru Ciotori, Anton Crihan, Sabin Manuila, Mihai Rautu.
    Within the committee, each member had specific political functions. Thus, C. Visoianu and G. Gafencu were responsible for relations with the US Department of State, the UN, foreign ambassadors, and the other Eastern European National Committees. A. Popa was responsible for the propaganda and the editing of the CNR publications. M. Farcasanu was responsible for the collaboration with all radio stations broadcasting in Romanian and with the National Committee for Free Europe, as well as for all the questions pertaining to the Romanian Orthodox Church. A. Cretzianu's activity focused on the bi-monthly bulletin for King Michael and the coordination of CNR representatives abroad, while N. Caranfil was responsible for the legal and material assistance to refugees.
    The representatives of the CNR abroad were Virgil Veniamin (Paris), Vladimir Ionescu, former general consul in Florence (Rome), Aurel Decei, former Press Attaché in Turkey (Istanbul), Radu Cutzarida, former Chargé d'Affaires in Argentina and former Director of the Treaties Department in the Foreign Office (Buenos Aires), Grigore Constantinescu, former Minister Counselor in the UK (London), Traian Galin, former General Consul of Romania in Lwow, Hamburg, and Bern (Bonn), Radu Arion, former Chargé d'Affaires in Greece (Athens), Gr. Cugler (Lima), M. Giuroiu (Stockholm), Ed. Ressel (Rio de Janeiro), G. Anastasiu (Geneva), Al. Totescu (Lisbon). All members and representatives were appointed by King Michael.
    In time, the CNR gathered data and wrote reports for both US and international officials about the political, economic, and social conditions in the Popular Republic of Romania, and published its findings in two newsletters (Romania and La Nation Roumaine). The Committee's members also lobbied for sanctions against the Communist authorities' infringements of human rights, participated in the meetings of the Council of Europe and the United Nations within the Assembly of Captive European Nations, organized conferences, gave speeches and interviews, and wrote newspaper articles on Romania.
    Little by little the Committee started to decrease in importance. Its main sponsor, the National Committee for a Free Europe (also the sponsoring organization of the Assembly of Captive European Nations and Radio Free Europe) reduced its funding starting in the middle 1960s, because of the new American "building bridges" policy towards Eastern Europe (see also Brutus Coste's papers in the Hoover Archives). At the beginning of the 1970s, a major scandal, which revealed that the National Committee for a Free Europe was in fact a C.I.A.-sponsored organization (see Box 9/folder 1), led to further cuts in the C.N.R. budget. By 1972, the Committee lacked any external financial support. Besides funding concerns, serious communication problems with the Royal House (see Box 9/folders 4-5) led to the dissolution of the National Committee.

    Scope and Content Note

    The records of the Comitetul National Roman cover mainly the years 1949-1975, from its inception until its dissolution.
    Of main importance is the correspondence with Michael, King of Romania, through the King's private secretary, General Petre-Lazar (for a more indepth view on Lazar's role in this affair, see Jacques Vergotti's papers in the Hoover Archives, Box 1/folders 8-9).
    Of special interest are the materials related to the Romanian University Institute ("Royal Foundation Carol I"). The institute was founded in 1949 by the CNR, at the initiative of Michael, King of Romania, and included Monica Lovinescu, Virgil Ierunca and Virgil Veniamin among its members. It started operating on January 1, 1951, aiming to promote Romanian culture through magazines, conferences, lectures, and scholarships. The sponsors were mainly the King, Alexandre Cretzianu, and the CNR. The funds of the last two were nevertheless very disputable. Cretzianu was in fact a custodian named by the last democratic Romanian government for a six million Swiss francs account designated for émigrés affairs, who stopped financing the Foundation around 1975. On the other hand, the CNR's funds were provided by the Free Europe Committee, which also ceased its financial help at the beginning of 1970s. Thus, in 1974, the Foundation concluded its works and its archives were moved to the basement of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Paris.