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Jurnalul unui prizonier de război (1916-1917) / A prisoner of war's diary (1916 -1917)

Limba de redactare română
Excerpt There are few memoirs or diaries of World War I Romanian prisoners of war published. Captain Constantin Ionescu (1878 - 1963), the author's maternal grandfather, left such an unpublished diary. An attorney-at-law in civil life, Constantin Ionescu was a reservist with the rank of capitain. When Romania entered the Great War on August 14, 1916, Constantin Ionescu was called to arms and given the command of a battery of the s t 21 Artillery. His 87 mm guns entered into action on August 26, firing over the Danube River on the Bulgarian garrison of Rahova. On Octomber 22 he was ordered to report to Târgu-Jiu. He took position in the village of Frăţeşti and opened fire but, without infantry support, he was obliged to withdraw. Two guns were left on the field because all their horses were killed. Captain Ionescu was afterwards sent from Filiaşi, through Craiova, his home town, to the other side of the Oit River. He witnessed the rout of the Romanian army. The infantrymen fled in panick. Most of the high ranking officers left their troops at doom and cowardly fled. Captain Ionescu was astonished by that fact and deplored the fate of his comrades. With forced marches, he and his men went through Olt, Argeş, Ilfov, Teleorman, Dâmboviţa and Prahova counties. It was a retreat without fight. In the morning of November 27, Captain Ionescu opened fire on a German column from the village of Ciorani. But, in the same evening he was surrounded and taken prisoner by a squadron of Bavarian lancers. Being officer, Captain Ionescu spent the night along with the German officers who invited him to share their dinner. It was the last time when he was well treated by his captors. From that moment began his ordeal. Captain Ionescu was firstly incarcerated, along with other Romanian officers, in various towns already occupied by enemies. On February 20, 1917, he was sent to Germany, to the prisoners' camp on Dănholm Island. Besides many other Romanians there were prisoners from the allied forces: French, Belgians, Russians, British, Scottish. Being on an isolated island on the Baltic Sea they benefited of some liberty. They were allowed to walk freely in the woods or fish on the shores. They spent their time as they wished: reading, painting, learning foreign languages, playing tennis and football, acting, etc. One of the prisoners' favourite pastime was to pose for the local photographer. An invaluable document of life was preserved in those photos. Food was insufficient and of poor quality. The prisoners lost weight. Some even suffered of anemia and fainted during the roll call. To improve their diet most of the prisoners fished in the Baltic Sea. For supplementing their nutrition those who had money bought food at high prices from sutler's store. The prisoners were forbidden either to send or to receive letters. Having no news from home they supported with great difficulty the imprisonment. Captain Ionescu chose to write his memoirs. In this way he freely dreamt of his beloved family at home. On May 1917, two hundred Romanian officers, Captain Ionescu between them, were moved to Krefeld. There they waited to be sent home. But six long months still passed until they were allowed to go. Captain Constantin Ionescu left the prisoners' camp on November 1. Along with his comrades he boarded a train which took them to Romania. He arrived in Piteşti on November 11, 1917. After almost a year his ordeal was over.
Paginaţia 260-278
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Titlul volumului de apariție
  • Muzeul Naţional; XIII; anul 2001