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Miltiade Ionescu (1924 - 2008) - Biography

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I've always held on to this firm belief that what I entered into was not by chance, and that the path I'm walking on is perhaps the right one...

He was born on November 24, 1924, in Galaţi, in the family of a tradesman by the name of Constantin Ionescu.

He attended the elementary school in Galaţi, followed by the Military High School in Târgu Mureş until 1940 when, against the background of the outbreak of the Second World War, he transferred to Timişoara, where he graduated in 1943. He was then admitted to the Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest, from which he graduated in 1949. After graduating university, he undertook a position as a physician at the prestigious Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, which was established in the inter-war period under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation.

On November 17, 1951, after being accused, along with several other doctors, of having been involved in an anti-communist organization (an organisation that was in its early stages, with only a few meetings having been organized, one of the topics of discussions having been the idea of taking a stand against the regime), Miltiade Ionescu was arrested at his home and taken to the Ministry of the Interior, then to Rahova, where he was investigated. In December 1951, he was transferred to the Jilava Penitentiary.

Following the trial from April 1952, Miltiade Ionescu was sentenced to 15 years of forced labour for „machination against the socialist order".  His colleagues received similar sentences, ranging from 10 to 25 years.

After the trial, Miltiade Ionescu was transferred to the Baia Sprie labour camp, where detainees were forced to work in a lead mine. Miltiade Ionescu worked as a physician in the underground mine.

In December 1952, 200 political detainees from Baia Sprie were transferred to the Cavnic mine. Among them was also Miltiade Ionescu, who had been designated by the camp administration as 'general practitioner'.

On June 6, 1953,  a group of 14 detainees, including Miltiade Ionescu, managed to escape from the Cavnic mine. Three days after their escape, Miltiade Ionescu was captured along with another fellow detainee, a doctor by the name of Paul Iovănescu. The last fugitives to have escaped from Cavnic were apprehended by the Securitate troops in September 1953.

After several months of investigation, in the spring of 1954, Miltiade Ionescu received a new sentence of 11 years for his escape. Following the trial, Miltiade Ionescu served his sentence in the Aiud and Gherla prisons, but also in the labour camps on the Great Brăila Island (Luciu Giurgeni, Strâmba, Salcia). He was released from jail on July 29, 1964, based on a pardon decree, after 13 years of imprisonment.

After his release, Miltiade Ionescu managed to get a position in a dispensary on the periphery of Bucharest.

After 1990, Miltiade Ionescu became a member of the Association of Former Political Detainees in Romania. He died on December 24, 2008.

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