Artur Văitoianu

Artur Văitoianu
General Artur Văitoianu
Prime Minister of Romania
In office
1 October 1919 – 9 December 1919
Preceded by Ion I.C. Brătianu
Succeeded by Alexandru Vaida-Voievod
Minister of National Defense
In office
29 November 1918 – 26 September 1919
Personal details
Born (1864-04-14)14 April 1864
Izmail, United Principalities
Died 17 June 1956(1956-06-17) (aged 92)
Bucharest, Romanian People's Republic
Nationality Romanian
Political party National Liberal Party
Alma mater University of Bucharest
Profession Soldier, politician
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Romania
Branch/service Romanian Land Forces
Years of service 1884–1920
Rank General de corp de armată
Commands 10th Infantry Regiment, 11th Infantry Brigade, 10th Infantry Division, 2nd Army Corps
Battles/wars World War I Hungarian–Romanian War

Artur or Arthur Văitoianu (14 April 1864 in Izmail – 17 June 1956) was a Romanian general who served as a Prime Minister of Romania for about two months in 1919 (27 September – 30 November). During his mandate, the first elections of Greater Romania were held.


Born in Izmail (in Bessarabia, now part of Ukraine), he rose through the ranks of the Romanian Army and, during the World War I Battle of Mărăști, he commanded the Second Corps.

Earlier in the War, during the Romanian Campaign of 1916, he commanded the 10th Infantry Division at the Battle of Predeal Pass, in defense of Prahova Valley. He managed to block the Central Powers from reaching Bucharest via the shortest way, thus preventing them from cutting off and surrounding the Romanian Army and by implication knock the country out of the war. It was a decisive victory that enabled Romania to wage war until 1918, when it had to surrender after Russia did the same, leaving Romania alone on the Eastern Front and surrounded by the Central Powers, a situation that far surpassed its military capacities.

A War and Interior Minister in Ion I. C. Brătianu's cabinet, he came to lead the executive upon the latter's resignation over the Allied Powers' refusal to recognize the territorial awards promised to Romania upon its 1916 entry into the conflict (on the basis of Romania having signed a separate peace with the Central Powers, the Treaty of Bucharest, in the previous year); in the short hiatus, no Romanian authority was present at the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Germain with Austria.[1]

Văitoianu took office as Romanian troops were engaged in an expedition to Hungary, where they were fighting against the newly proclaimed Hungarian Soviet Republic. The Supreme War Council of Allied Powers gave Romania an 8-day ultimatum to retreat its troops from Budapest to the provisional border settled by the Paris Peace Conference and to cease confiscation of Hungarian property, as well as to sign the peace with Austria and agree to guarantee minority rights throughout Greater Romania.[1] Văitoianu's government refused to comply, and handed in its resignation on 30 November, leaving room for the bloc formed in Parliament by the Romanian National Party of Transylvania and the Peasants' Party of the Regat to form the Alexandru Vaida-Voevod cabinet, one which soon agreed to the Allies' demands.[1]

He was a high-ranking member of the National Liberal Party-Brătianu for much of his political career.

Artur Văitoianu was buried in the World War I heroes' crypt in Mărăști.[2] In 2007, the local authorities claimed that Văitoianu's and Averescu's remains were stolen from their crypts, asking for the Prosecution Office to investigate.[3]