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Political aspects of collecting and keeping of the Royal memorabilia in postwar Romania


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Being an avid collector of Romanian photographs from the royal period I'm curious to know about political or even ethical aspects of royal memorabilia that was kept practically in every Romanian family during the socialist period as a part of ancestral or family archives.

I know that everything related to the royal period was banned but what about photographs? I'm sure every family had (and still have) such material - portraits, snapshots, documents, etc. What was an attitude towards keeping those paper items? Was it prohibited or no one cared? How an average citizen felt about this issue?

Due to fact that I'm lucky obtaining interesting material from the royal period it seems photos were not destroyed out of fear but were well preserved by grandchildren. Am I right?

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The photos and other items survived because they were hidden, if the communist authorities knew somebody had photos or other items they would confiscate everything. Many people, but mainly the former officers, specially the ones that fought on the eastern front against USSR, would destroy all their photos and other items. I have an grandpa who fought on the eastern front and his wife (my grandma) destroyed his photo album with photos taken on the eastern front and western front, this photo album, his journal and officer sword were thrown into an river and lost forever. This was of no help because they were split apart for 5 years and deported to a forced labour camp. :negative:

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I see... And as for the transitional period, i.e. after the king Mihai was forced to abdicate and before socialists gripped power, what was an attitude towards royal memorabilia? There's a question that I want to ask as well - have you ever seen a photo of an officer or other rank wearing at the same time any WW2 combat award and post-1944 award simultaneously? I mean something like wearing simultaneously pre-1944 Ordinul Coroana Romaniei and a Soviet medal for victory over Germany? The very existence of such a medal bar seems to be a bit strange but at the same time the situation was quite vague. Military personnel who were decorated for bravery in the field should have been proud of their awards, so did they just throw them away?

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Also in the transitional period, everything that had to do with eastern front and fighting against USSR was hidden or destroyed, the so called ”King Mihai I” emitted the Royal Decree no.1850 from 10 October 1944, based on this royal decree all soldiers and officers that fought against USSR could be arrested and convicted. The other Royal memorabilia were hidden or destroyed after 1947 when the communists took power entirely, for example the officers were ordered to surrender their swords and uniforms and many preferred to destroy them.

 

Communists took power, de facto, directly after August 23, 1944 being backed by the Red Army, the so called King and the other fools who arrested marshal Antonescu were only puppets with no power at all. After August 23rd '44 fiasco, almost all soldiers and officers removed all previous medals and orders won on the eastern front. Of course, in some individual cases this awards could be worn, but I think this cases are rare.

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Andrew, it depends what combination you mean, but I don't think you will see the Romanian Crusade Against Communism medal and the German Iron Cross won on the eastern front in combination with a Soviet medal won on the western front, this is not to say it is impossible, maybe some crazy officer or soldier did wear them all together.

If you have concerns about a photo, just post it and I will do my best to determine if its authentic or not.

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Unfortunately I don't have photos with such weird combinations but I'd love to have one! I'm asking just to know whether it was possible at least theoretically. Maybe veterans in post-socialist era did it? Have you ever seen such photos made in late 1990s?

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Theoretically this combinations are possible also in the 1945-47 period, but in my opinion if this photos exist, they are photos made in private, not studio of front photos.

After 1990, this combinations are perfectly possible, here is a photo of Junkers Ju 88 pilot, general Dan Stoian (along wit historian Daniel Focșa) who is wearing what I believe is a communist order ”Steaua Republicii Populare Române” md.1948 along with some Royal medals, but here he doesn't wear his Eiserne Kreuz 1st class.

 

Photo source: http://daniel-focsa-...tela-hutan.html

 

post-15-0-02791200-1352298654_thumb.jpg

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Yes, you are right! Crusade medal would be interesting in combination with Soviet medal but Crown order would be OK because it could be won on the western front, against Germany.

 

Here is a wedding photo from March 4th, 1945 of Junkers Ju 87 pilot Mircea T. Bădulescu from the book ”DESTINUL UNUI ZBURĂTOR. Căpitanul aviator MIRCEA T. BĂDULESCU (1917-1967) EDITURA MODELISM București, 2002” where you can see he wears some royal orders and medals but he doesn't wear his German Iron Cross 1st class, maybe its a studio photo or a private photo, I don't know. Second photo is from February 16th, 1945, third photo is from February 8th, 1945.

 

post-15-0-34723100-1352315104_thumb.jpg post-15-0-58557600-1352315143_thumb.jpg

 

post-15-0-89463300-1352315739.jpg

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I've got such a portrait! Not EK-II or Crusade but stillan array of royal awards together with a Soviet medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945" :blum:

Please have a look here: http://www.forum.antique-photos.com/topic/538-portrait-of-a-locotenent-colonel-with-numerous-royal-awards-and-soviet-medal/page__gopid__4602#entry4602

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