Ion Dumitru Collection at IICCMER
The Ion Dumitru Collection is the richest and most diverse of all the private archives of the Romanian exile community, which makes it indispensable for the study of the history of postwar Romanian exile. The collection is also a fundamental source for documenting and understanding Romania's (domestic and foreign) political, cultural, economic, and social evolution during both the communist and post-communist periods. At the same time, this private archive is a historical source both for understanding how the Bucharest authorities acted to divide the Romanians abroad and to counteract their actions aimed at unmasking the wrondoings of the communist regime between 1948 and 1989 in the West and for how Romanians within the country perceived the emigrant community.
București Strada Alecu Russo 13, Romania 030167
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Name of collection
- Ion Dumitru Collection at IICCMER
Provenance and cultural activities
The Ion Dumitru Collection was initiated and subsequently developed by the collector after he settled in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in 1961. This private archive was continuously enriched between 1961 and 2003, when Ion Dumitru collected materials on the ways the Romanian exile community organised itself and acted, as well as documents relating to the activities of the collector and other personalities of the exile community between 1946 and 1989. At the same time, the collection is made up of a series of documents relating to the repressive and aberrant policies of the communist dictatorship, the political, cultural, social, and economic situation of communist Romania, its foreign policy, and the image of the country abroad. The Ion Dumitru collection is a useful source of information on the actions carried out by the communist authorities in Bucharest in order to counteract some of the initiatives of the exile community and of the way in which the same authorities perceived the Romanians in exile. Last but not least, the Ion Dumitru private archive is a valuable source for the post-1989 involvement of some personalities from the Romanian exile community in consolidating democracy in their native country.
A precious corpus of documents in the Ion Dumitru collection date from the time when he was still living in Romania, that is, from the period 1946–1961. All these documents were collected by Ion Dumitru after he emigrated to the FRG and settled in Munich in 1961. Their presence in the Ion Dumitru collection bears witness to the collector’s special interest in researching the activity and preserving the memory of the Romanian exile community in the postwar period. Most of the materials from the 1946–1961 period consist of exile publications, disparate and incomplete numbers, but extremely important because they help one to understand better the activity of the Romanian postwar exile community and to draw a profile of these newspapers and magazines and of the Romanians from abroad who published in their pages. Also, the importance of these publications resides in the analyses of the internal and international situation of communist, as well as postcommunist, Romania. These analyses are useful when one engages in a multifaceted historical reconstruction of that epoch. Over time, Ion Dumitru added new materials to his collection, especially publications on the situation of communist or post-communist Romania, which he collected before and after 1989. From this point of view, the Ion Dumitru Collection is the only one in the IICCMER archive which displays such a diversity of newspapers and journals of Romanians in exile, making it indispensable to any researcher concerned with Romania's recent history and, in particular, with the history of anticommunist exile. Of special importance are the publications of the Romanian Diaspora that emerged after 1990, reflecting the Romanians' preoccupation with their native country after the collapse of communism and containing a series of analyses and comments about Romania in the post-1989 period.
In addition to the publications already mentioned, the Ion Dumitru Collection also comprises documents that illustrate the continuous and diversified activity of the exile community, both politically and culturally, religiously, philanthropically, and journalistically. These are letters sent and received by the collector, and manuscripts of papers by Romanian emigrants that they sent to Ion Dumitru for publication by his publishing house. The Ion Dumitru Publishing House was one of the most important publishing houses of the Romanian emigration; over eighty books appeared under its imprint, volumes extremely important and valuable for Romanian history and culture. A significant number of these books focused on the communist regime in Romania. Among the most important topics addressed may be mentioned: the communist takeover in Romania, the repressive and aberrant policies undertaken by the communist authorities in Bucharest, and the foreign policy of the country. In addition, volumes of poetry and prose were also published. The Ion Dumitru Collection also includes a series of statutes, protocols, brochures, photographs, calls, and invitations that offer examples of actions taken both by the collector and by other Romanian personalities abroad, but also after the collapse of the communist regime in his native country.
Description of content
The Ion Dumitru Collection consists of 286 archival units, in total amount of 5.85 linear metres, containing documents from his private archive. The materials in this collection cover the period 1946–2006. Materials dating from the period 1946–1961 were collected by Ion Dumitru after he settled in the FRG in 1961. These documents illustrate the way the Romanian exile community organised itself and acted, and bear witness to the collector's interest in preserving the memory of the postwar exile community, as well as to his active involvement in its activities. Because of this interest and involvement, he wanted to know and keep a record of the anti-communist struggle of Romanians in exile from the time they started to leave the country. Most of the materials from those years are publications of the exile community, among which the most important are: Patria, La Nation Roumaine, La Roumanie Independente, Vocea Libertății, and Românul. Besides, most of the documents in the collection are exile publications. In addition to those from 1946 to 1961, which he gathered after settling in Munich, a significant number of publications cover the period 1962–1989. In total, this collection totals 2,515 publications, which means 3.75 linear metres. It also comprises several Western newspapers and magazines: French, German, and American. Distinct categories of documents that can be found in the Ion Dumitru Collection are: correspondence, addresses, congratulations, invitations, programmes, calls, and photographs; brochures of organisations, associations, and institutions of the exile community; pages of literary criticism; liturgical announcements on the problems of the United Romanian Mission in Munich; pages from the works of Romanians in exile; manuscripts of books by Romanian exiles; works projects; reports; reports in the foreign media about Romania; articles and excerpts from the exile and foreign press; reports of the Romanian Library in Freiburg; statutes and protocols of some cultural and political organisations of the exile community; poetry, theatre plays, literary criticism, and interviews; manuals; lists of telephone numbers of various sections of Radio Free Europe.
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 500-999
- photos: 10-99
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 500-999
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
München, Munich, Germany
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Author(s) of this page
- Opriș, Andreea Iustina
- Petrescu, Cristina
Behring, Eva. 2001. Scriitori români din exil 1945–1989: O perspectivă istorico-literară (Romanian writers in exile 1945–1989: A historical-literary perspective). Bucharest: Fundația Culturală Română.
Dobre, Dumitru. 2013. O istorie în date a exilului şi emigraţiei româneşti 1949–1989 (A history in data of the Romanian exile community and emigration 1949–1989). Bucharest: Editura Militară.
Manolescu, Florin. 2003. Enciclopedia exilului literar românesc 1945–1989: Scriitori, reviste, instituții, organizații (Encyclopaedia of the Romanian literary exile community 1945–1989: Writers, magazines, institutions, organisations). Bucharest: Compania.
Pelin, Mihai, 2002. Opisul emigrației politice: Destine în 1222 de fișe alcătuite pe baza dosarelor din arhivele Securității (The list of political emigration: Destinies in 1,222 entries based on files in the Securitate archives). Bucharest: Compania.
Zamfirescu, Dinu. 2013. Cârtițele Securității: Agenți de influență din exilul românesc (Moles of the Securitate: Agents of influence in the Romanian exile community). Iași: Polirom.
Dumitru, Ion, interview by Opriș, Andreea Iustina, June 11, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection