Petru Groza

(b. 1884)

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(b. Becia, Transylvania, 1884; d. Bucharest, 7 Jan. 1958)

Romanian; premier 1945–52 Groza was a well-off Transylvanian landowner and industrialist who was regarded as one of Romania's finest classical scholars. In 1933 he founded the Ploughman's Front, a radical agrarian organization which drew its support from the Transylvanian peasantry. In 1944 the Ploughman's Front joined the Communist-dominated coalition party, the National Democratic Front (NDF). Groza stood for three policies: land reform; reconciliation with Hungary and Romania's Hungarian minority; and accommodation with the Soviet Union, on grounds of realpolitik. Arguably, his primary motivation was a lust for power and publicity. He was a ready puppet for the Soviet leaders and the RCP. On 27 February 1945, the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyshinsky arrived in Bucharest to insist that Groza head the government and on 6 March 1945 Groza became Prime Minister. His Cabinet was a coalition, but the non-Communists in it were Communist puppets. Groza's period in office saw land reform, the RCP's takeover of the administration, army, and police as well as the purge of their political opponents. At the same time, there was large-scale Soviet exploitation of the economy. In 1952 Groza ceased to be premier and was given the honorific post of President of the Presidium of the RCP.

Subjects: Politics.

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