- a biographical and historical timeline
"Faut-il prendre l’histoire au sérieux ou y assister en spectateur? Y voir un effort vers un but ou la fête d’une lumière qui s’avive et pâlit sans nécessité ni raison? La réponse dépend de notre degré d’illusion sur l’homme, de notre curiosité à deviner la manière dont se résoudra ce mélange de valse et d’abattoir qui compose et stimule son devenir"
"Should we take history seriously or watch it as an audience? See it as an effort toward a goal or the spectacle of a light that fades and revives without reason or necessity? The answer depends on our degree of illusion concerning man, on our curiosity to figure out how this mixture of dance and slaughter, that constitutes and stimulates his becoming, shall finally resolve itself."
- Emil Cioran, Précis de décomposition, Visages de la décadence (quoted by Ţuţea)
Petre Ţuţea is born on October 6 in Boteni, Muscel county. Ţuţea's father is Petre Bădescu, the local parish priest, who lived with Ana Ţuţea after his wife passed away.
Primary school and gymnasium.
First World War. Romania is occupied by Germany.
Romanian unification is complete, after Transylvania is united with the Romanian kingdom.
School is interrupted due to local post-war conditions.
The Romanian Communist Party is founded. It will be outlawed soon, in 1924. Its memberhip was less than a thousand, until 1945.
Ţuţea obtains a scholarship at the "Gh. Bariţiu" high school in Cluj; he tutors Cpt. Sevastian M. Ciupagea in exchange for room and board at a military unit
Studies law at the King Ferdinand University in Cluj. Lives at the "Avram Iancu" student residence. Writes for the National Peasant Party publication, Patria ("Homeland"). The NPP was a center-left party, the fusion of the National and Peasant parties in Transylvania. The other major party in Romania, the National Liberal Party, was very influential in all major cities.
The Legion of the Archangel Michael, a right-wing nationalist christian movement is founded by Corneliu Codreanu in Iaşi, a.k.a the militant anti-communist organization "Iron Guard" and its political wing, the "Totul Pentru Ţară" party ("Everything for the Fatherland"), as it is repeatedly outlawed and reconstituted.
Ţuţea registers for the Ph.D. exams. Obtains a Ph.D. in Administrative Law, M a g n a c u m L a u d e from the University of Cluj.
Works at the civil court in Pui. Writes for The Call, the official newspaper of the National Peasant Youth organisation.
Edits the marxist newspaper Stânga ("Left") where Ţuţea signs with the pseudonym Petre Boteanu (that he will use later under different circumstances). His collaborators are Sorin Pavel, Petre Pandrea (who signed the Pure As a White Lily manifesto in Gândirea, an influential paper) and Traian Herseni, Petru Comarnescu, Mihai D. Ralea. Stânga is soon outlawed along with all left-wing organizations and publications.
A referent in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, which is going to change its name in 1936.
Hitler becomes the Chancellor of the German Third Reich. In Romania, The Iron Guard is brutally dissolved by order of the Prime Minister, I.G. Duca, who is subsequently assasinated by three legionnaires.
Ţuţea is an official attaché at the Romanian Economic Office in Berlin, where he meets Nae Ionescu, a very influential opinion leader and philosopher. His close friend Emil Cioran studied in Berlin in 1934.
Co-writer of the Manifestul revoluţiei naţionale ("National Revolution Manifesto") with Sorin Pavel, Ioan Crăciunel, Gheorghe Tite, Nicolae Tatu and Petre Ercuţă. The Manifesto proposes a conservative, nationalist, right-wing position on national and economic issues, which is surprising to everyone who knew Ţuţea as a progressive intellectual.
Ţuţea becomes Head of Department in The National Ministry of Economic Affairs, Bureau of Economic Publications and Propaganda. In 1938 he is a columnist for Cuvântul, ("The Word"), a right-wing newspaper led by Nae Ionescu, who at that time was closely associated with the Legionary Movement. Among other columninsts at Cuvântul we find many leading intellectuals: Octav Onicescu, Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran, Perpessicius.
King Carol II establishes a Royal Dictatorship. All political parties are outlawed. Corneliu Codreanu, Leader of the Iron Guard is imprisoned then assasinated in a setup, under the pretext of a prison transfer. Many prominent members of the Legionary Movement are imprisoned or murdered. Some sympathizers are also detained; among them, Nae Ionescu and Mircea Eliade. An organized group of legionnaires assasinate prime-minister Armand Calinescu in revenge. The government orders the killing of many legionnaires accross the country, and hundreds are summarily executed by the authorities.
Ţuţea is Head of Department in the Ministry of International Commerce. Nae Ionescu dies suddenly.
As a consequence of the Vienna Diktat and the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, both sponsored by Germany, Transylvania is annexed by Hungary and Bessarabia is annexed by the Soviet Union. Many Romanian citizens are deported or killed. King Carol II is forced to abdicate, and his young successor Mihai becomes king. In September, Romania is declared a National Legionary State. General Ion Antonescu is Head of the State and Horia Sima, Commander of the Iron Guard forms a Legionary Government.
Ţuţea writes pro-legionary articles in "Cuvântul". Later that year, he is part of the delegation sent to Moscow for economic negotiations.
Groups of legionnaires take revenge on all those considered responsible for the massacres of 1938-39, among them one of the most famous romanian scholars and respected member of the Academy, Nicolae Iorga. In January the National Legionary State is abolished, while Sima and Antonescu are in disagreement. The army clashes with armed legionnaires. Many are arrested; Sima with other leaders flee to Germany, where some are placed in internment camps. Marshall Ion Antonescu establishes a dictatorship and joins Hitler in his attack on the Soviet Union.
Ţuţea is Head of Department in The Ministry of War Economy.
Romanian public opinion disagrees with the course of the war. As much as the Soviet Union was a major threat, Romanians never forgot Hitler's bad faith as reflected in the Vienna Diktat (at that time the Ribbentrop-Molotov clause on Bessarabia and the Baltic republics remained a secret). Contrary to Romanian historical tradition, Antonescu followed Hitler beyond the Dniester border, into Odessa and to the outskirts of Stalingrad.
In August, Ion Antonescu is dismissed by King Mihai then arrested. Romania joins the allies in the war against Germany.
Ţuţea is Director in the National Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Antonescu is tried and executed.
King Mihai is forced to abdicate. Romania is proclaimed a People's Republic, under d e f a c t o occupation by Soviet troops.
Ţuţea is arrested for questioning and held without a trial at the Ocnele Mari prison camp.
Freed on parole. Lives with relatives, no known stable occupation.
The Soviet Union supresses the Hungarian uprising
Ţuţea is arrested again on December 22 and accused of "conspiracy against the established order", a standard, generic formula of accusation used for many intellectuals and dignitaries associated with the former government, or anyone the communist rulers wanted to persecute for various reasons - even former communist sympathizers. He is sentenced to ten years in 1957. While he is in jail, anothe trial is opened in 1959 and he is sentenced to 18 years of forced labor.
Goes through the infamous "reeducation" process, supervised by the director of the Aiud prison, Colonel Crăciun.
General amnesty of all political prisoners.
Nicolae Ceauşescu becomes First Secretary of the Romanian Workers' Party. He renames it the Romanian Communist Party and the country is proclaimed The Socialist Republic of Romania. This amounts to a declaration of independence from Soviet influence.
Ţuţea writes a analysis of the prospects of economic development in Romania. The main copy is confiscated.
Receives a minimum of 434 lei as Social Security. Meets Aurel-Dragoş Munteanu.
Starts a major project, Theatre as Seminar and writes a play called Common Events (the first part was written in collaboration with Gh. Lăpuşneanu), and two dialogues, Bios and Eros. A few fragments are published in the literary magazine Familia ("The Family") in Oradea. Two of his closest friends, Petre Pandrea şi Oscar Lemnaru pass away. Ţuţea applies for a pension from The Writer's Union, approved by Zaharia Stancu, with Al. Andriţoiu's help.
Nicolae Ceauşescu publicly opposes the invasion of Czechoslovakia by troops of the Warsaw Pact, led by the Soviet Union. Many young intellectuals join the Romanian Communist Party, showing their support for Ceauşescu's opposition to Soviet international policies. Aurel-Dragoş Munteanu, Paul Goma and Adrian Păunescu join together the same day in August.
Ţuţea writes Filozofia nuanţelor, ("The Philosophy of Nuances").
Nicolae Ceauşescu becomes the first President of Romania, consolidating his power. The relatively open period that started in 1964 is over.
Ţuţea writes a few portraits - in 1972 of the playwright Aurel Baranga, and in 1973 of Dr. Petre Vancea, a famous ophtalmology surgeon and research scientist, correspondent of the Romanian Academy. These are published in Tribuna, a literary magazine in Cluj. Continues to write various papers, essays, books and dialogues some of which remain unpublished or just partially published.
Among his various writings, during the '70s: the essay-dialogue Aurel-Dragoş Munteanu (1972), a book titled Prometeu (Prometheus) and its sequel Câteva culturi istorice prezentate în schiţă, ("Some historical cultures presented schematically") then Reflecţii religiose asupra cunoaşterii ("Religious Reflections Upon Human Knowledge" 1977-80), the portrait-essay Mircea Eliade, a paper titled Alchimia Evului Mediu, ("Alchemy in the Middle Ages") an essay, Philosophia Perennis, then Bătrâneţea ("Old Age"), O întâlnire cu Brâncuşi ("A Meeting with Brâncuşi ", published surreptiously as Petre Boteanu in the Viaţa Românească almanac of 1985, thanks to the poet Gheorghe Pituţ) and others.
Paul Goma starts an opposition movement against Ceauşescu and the communist regime. He is forced into exile.
Along with other perceived opponents, Ţuţea is interrogated by the Securitate. Some of his manuscripts are confiscated, known friends and associates are also visited by agents.
Ţuţea starts his major project, Omul: Tratat de antropologie creştină ("Man: A Treatise of Christian Anthropology"), of which he completes two volumes in their entirety, Problemele ("Problems") and Sistemele ("Systems"; a short fragment is published in the yearly Viaţa Românească almanac as Petre Boteanu). Starts writings Styles and Dogmas, but these volumes are never completed.
His good friend, writer Aurel-Dragoş Munteanu resigns from The Romanian Communist Party in protest over Ceauşescu's obvious persecution of religion. He is fired from his job at "Luceafărul" and lives under virtual house arrest.
During a national uprising in December, Nicolae Ceauşescu is overthrown and executed.
Ion Iliescu is elected President of Romania.
Ţuţea is discovered by the reporters of Romanian Radio and Television, and many other newspapers that assault him with interviews and requests. He shares his studio with theology student Radu Preda, who keeps a journal, published in 1992.
Petre Ţuţea dies on December 3, 1991 at the "Christiana" care center, where he resided since the beginning of the year.
Ţuţea's books and essays appear in various editions.
Mircea Coloşenco, Preface to Lumea ca teatru: Teatru seminar ("World as Theatre: Theatre as Seminar")
Alexandru Popescu, Petre Ţuţea Between Sacrifice and Suicide