Who's Who

NICOLAE TITULESCU (1882-1941)

Among the host of international statesmen and prominent diplomats this century, Nicolae Titulescu stands out. Born in Craiova in 1882, Titulescu earned a degree in law from Paris before beginning a career as a professor at the universities of Iasi and Bucharest. He was elected to the Romanian parliament in 1912 and was one of the makers of peace after the First World War, helping to negotiate the Treaty of Trianon under which Transylvania re-became part of Romania. He also served as Romanian minister of finance, ushering in the country's new income tax and agricultural reform.

In the late 1920s and 1930s Titulescu went from being a promising local political figure to begin an internationally respected statesman. He was minister of foreign affairs on two occasions and twice ambassador to the Court of St. James. He served as president of the League of Nations for two terms.

It was under his tenure that the League experienced a series of that would eventually plunge Europe into its second great conflagration this century. Titulescu also worked throughout his diplomatic career to repair relations between Romania and Soviet Union while protecting Romania's new boundaries.

In the end, however, Titulescu was a man whose desire for peace, stability and good neighborly relations was out of step with the authoritarian and fascist movements sweeping the continent. As Romania moved closer toward Germany, Titulescu's strong links with France became a political liability, and in 1936, he resigned from diplomatic service, effectively ending his diplomatic career. He died in 1941 in Paris, a political refugee from Romania's war-time authoritarian regime but a lasting symbol of Romania's place in the wider Europe.