Wednesday, 20 March 2013

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Tamil Nadu Actress Biography
 also known as Maria Mareşal Antonescu or Rica Antonescu; November 3, 1892 – October 18, 1964) was a Romanian socialite and philanthropist, the wife of World War II authoritarian Prime Minister and Conducător Ion Antonescu. A long-time resident of France, she was twice married before her wedding to Antonescu, and became especially known for her leadership of charitable organization grouped in the Social Works Patronage Council organization, having Veturia Goga for her main collaborator. The Council profited significantly from antisemitic policies targeting Romanian Jews, and especially from the deportation of Bessarabian Jews into Transnistria, taking over several hundred million lei resulting from arbitrary confiscations and extortion.
Arrested soon after the August 1944 Coup which overthrew her husband, Maria Antonescu was briefly a prisoner of war in the Soviet Union, and, after a period of uncertainty, tried and sentenced by the new communist regime on charges of economic crimes (embezzlement). Imprisoned for five years and afterward included in the Bărăgan deportations, she spent the final years of her life under internal exile at Borduşani.
Born in Calafat, Maria was the daughter of Romanian Army captain Teodor Niculescu and his wife Angela (or Anghelina).[1] According to researcher and journalist Lavinia Betea, her father may have squandered the family fortune, which, she argues, may explain why Maria did not have a dowry.[2] She married Gheorghe Cimbru, a Police officer, with whom she had a son, also known as Gheorghe.[3][4] The child was physically disabled by poliomyelitis.[2][4] Cimbru died before 1919, after which date Maria Niculescu is known to have moved to Paris.[1] In July 1919, she married a second time, to businessman Guillaume Auguste Joseph Pierre Fueller,[1] a French Jew.[2][3]
Having divorced from Fueller in 1926 and married Antonescu, Romania's former military attaché in France, she soon after moved to Bucharest, where her new husband served as Secretary General of the Defense Ministry. The two reportedly met and fell in love before her divorce was final.[2] Sources diverge on the marriage date, which is either indicated as August 29, 1927,[1] or an unspecified day in 1928.[5] Reputedly, their life as a couple was marked by Antonescu's rigidity and distaste for the public life.[4] However, as Antonescu reached prominence and earned important political assignments, Maria too became the focus of public attention,[1][2][4] which is said to have included negative reactions from the ranks of the upper class, who reportedly viewed her as a parvenue.[4] In 1938, when the relationship between Ion Antonescu and King Carol II degenerated into open conflict, the monarch engineered Ion Antonescu's trial for bigamy, based on charges that she and Fueller had never actually divorced. Assisted by his lawyer Mihai Antonescu, the future Conducător disproved the claim, and the perception that he was being persecuted by an authoritarian ruler reportedly earned him the public's respect.[2][4][6] By then, although the officer spoke out against Carol II's extramarital affair with the commoner Elena Lupescu, his own marriage to a divorcée was being treated with contempt by some commentators of the time.[2][4]
[edit]Wartime
 Antonescu herself achieved political importance in late 1940, during the National Legionary State, the short-lived government established in tandem by Antonescu and the fascist Iron Guard as a result of the 1940 crises. In this context, she took over the new state-run charity, which reputedly made her a contender in the conflict opposing her husband to the Guard, before the Legionary Rebellion of early 1941 brought the Guard's downfall: according to Spanish historian Francisco Veiga, her humanitarian effort was endorsed by the more conservative pro-Antonescu factions in reaction to Guardist projects such as Ajutorul Legionar.[7] Named Sprijinul ("The Support"), this body notably ensured participation from Veturia Goga, widow of antisemitic Premier Octavian Goga.[7] They were also joined by the wife of World War I hero, General Constantin Prezan,[4] and Sanda, the spouse of sociologist Sabin Manuilă.[1][8]
Her promotion to head of the Social Works Patronage Council, merging the recognized charities, coincided with Romania's participation in Operation Barbarossa, the recovery of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, and the occupation of Transnistria. These events brought the generalization of antisemitic measures and the massive deportations of the Jews to areas east of the Dniester, a process initiated by her husband, and marked by events in which she herself was implicated (see Holocaust in Romania). In October 1941, Wilhelm Filderman, head of the Jewish Communities' Federation, sent her and her husband letters of protest, stressing that the deportations were tantamount to death—messages which went unanswered.[9] In November, after the ghetto in Chişinău was sacked and its population deported to Transnistria, the authorities set aside confiscated property for the Patronage Council, for the Romanian Red Cross, for Romanian hospitals and the Romanian Army.[10]

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