Dumitru Petrescu

Dumitru Petrescu, believed to have been born Gheorghe M. Dumitru,[1][2] also known as Gheorghe Petrescu and Petrescu-Grivița (10 May 1906 – 13 September 1969), was a Romanian general, trade union leader, and Communist Party (PCR) activist. After training as a metalworker in Grivița, he took to left-wing politics, joining the underground communist groups at some point before the railwaymen's strike of February 1933, which he helped organise together with Constantin Doncea and Gheorghe Vasilichi. Arrested by the Romanian Kingdom authorities in its wake, he received a 15-year prison sentence. He broke out of Craiova penitentiary a few months later, together with Vasilichi and Doncea, after overpowering a guard. With support from the International Red Aid, Petrescu made his way into Czechoslovakia, and then headed for the Soviet Union, where he lived until 1944. He worked in publishing and trained as a propagandist at the International Lenin School in Moscow.

Dumitru Petrescu
Petrescu in military uniform
Deputy Prime Minister of Romania
In office
4 October 1955  11 May 1956
Romanian Minister of Finance
In office
9 March 1952  4 October 1955
Preceded byVasile Luca
Succeeded byManea Mănescu
Chairman of the Great National Assembly
In office
5 July  28 December 1949
Preceded byConstantin Pîrvulescu
Succeeded byAlexandru Drăghici
In office
26 January  29 May 1950
Preceded byAlexandru Drăghici
Succeeded byConstantin Doncea
Member of the Great National Assembly
In office
March 1948  November 1952
ConstituencyGorj County
In office
30 November 1952  July 1956
ConstituencyTîrgu Jiu
In office
2 March 1969  13 September 1969
ConstituencyLibertății Park
Personal details
Born
Gheorghe M. Dumitru

10 May 1906
Bucharest, Kingdom of Romania
Died13 September 1969(1969-09-13) (aged 63)
Karlovy Vary, Czech Socialist Republic, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
Resting placeLibertății Park Mausoleum, Bucharest
Political partyRomanian Communist (c.1932–1956; 1965–1969)
Other political
affiliations
SpouseEcaterina Petrescu
Alma materInternational Lenin School
Occupation
  • Metalworker
  • soldier
  • propagandist
  • civil servant
  • sports executive
Awards
Nicknames
  • Petrescu-Grivița
  • Petrusin
Military service
Allegiance
Branch/service
Years of service1943–1949
RankMajor general
Battles/wars

During World War II, Petrescu was acknowledged as a member of the PCR's exile, or "Muscovite", faction, which gravitated around Ana Pauker. He helped rallying up Romanian prisoners of war for the Red Army's Tudor Vladimirescu and Horea, Cloșca și Crișan Divisions, emerging as a political commissar and lieutenant colonel. He had a mainly political role in the Soviet conquest of Romania, upon which he was integrated into the Romanian Land Forces, serving as a coordinator of cultural and propaganda efforts, leading toward their transformation into the Romanian people's army. He followed the Romanian army and the Vladimirescu units as they crossed into Northern Transylvania and Hungary, recording his troops' initial bravery and subsequent breakdown during the Battle of Debrecen. Alhough promoted to major general in 1948, and assigned seats in the Great National Assembly and the Central Committee, Petrescu was pushed aside by the Romanian People's Republic; he had only a brief involvement in the collectivisation of agriculture, as part of a commission that also included Pauker. His marginalisation occurred largely because the communist leader, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, had a more modest pedigree in the railways movement than either Petrescu or Doncea, and as such resented their visibility.

Petrescu displayed his loyalty in 1952, when he assisted Gheorghiu-Dej in toppling Pauker and her "Muscovites"; he himself was Minister of Finance in 1952–1955, replacing the disgraced "Muscovite" Vasile Luca. His administrative career peaked in 1955–1956, when he served as Deputy Prime Minister. Outspoken in his criticism of Gheorghiu-Dej, Petrescu was identified as belonging to a "Doncea group" of factionalists, and expelled from the party in July 1956. He returned to favour in 1965, when Gheorghiu-Dej had died and Nicolae Ceaușescu, as the new General Secretary, had introduced a more liberal political line. Reinstated and allowed back on the Central Committee, Petrescu served in various administrative positions, before emerging as vice-president Front of Socialist Unity (in 1968) and of the State Council (in 1969). Already terminally ill with cirrhosis, he died while vacationing in Karlovy Vary; his final assignment had been one of national importance, as a member of the Permanent Presidium of the PCR Politburo. He is remembered as a founding figure of CSA Steaua București and of its football club.


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