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The Monument of Heroes, OltenițaCod 1271


Inaugurated on the 29th of June 1930, the monument is situated in the center of the town and it is the work of the sculptor Ion Iordănescu. Under the shape of an elongated pyramid frustum, the pedestal is executed from parallelepiped blocks of limestone; it is surmounted by a statuary group ronde – bosse, molded in bronze, with a height of 2, 50 m and personifies two characters: a soldier dressed in a company outfit, who holds in his right hand a gun at the trail, with the left indicating the direction forward, and a woman representing the Victory, having in her left hand a trombone from which it is announced the starting of the attack, and in the right hand a crown of laurels. The following text is engraved on the bronzed plates on the façade of the pedestal: “To the heroes from Oltenița, the deepest appreciations.” On the monument there are inscribed the names of 166 militaries, sons of the locality, fallen at the duty at the fights from the First World War.

The county of Călărași has been present in the events of great historical resonance from the centuries XIX – XX: The Revolution of 1848, The Union of the Principalities of the 24th of January 1859, the war for winning the state independence of the years 1877 – 1878, where there were present numerous military men from Călărași, the peasant riots of 1888, started at Urziceni and with echo in Armășești, Broșteni, Alexeni, Condeelti, Miloșești, Misleau, Grivița and Slobozia, the First World War (1916 – 1918) and the Second World War (1941 – 1945), in which the sacrifice of thousand of military men from Călărași  has been put at the stepping stone of the defense and of the freeing of the country.

In regards to the moment which is marked by the Statue of Heroes, the First World War, from the point of view of the belligerent statute, Romania was in turn: a neutral country between the 28th of July 1914 and the 27th of August 1916, a belligerent country from the part of Antanta between the 27th of August 1916 and the 27th of November 1917, in an armistice state in the period 27th of November 1917 – 7th of May 1918, non-combating country in the period the 7th of May 1918 – the 9th of November 1918, a belligerent country from the part of Antanta in the period of the 9th of November 1918 – the 11th of November 1918.

In August 1916, Romania receives an ultimatum in order to decide if it wants to join Antanta “now or never”. Under the pressure of the ultimatum request, the Romanian government accepts to enter in war on the side of Antanta, although the situation on the battle fronts wasn’t a favorable one.

After a series of quick tactical victories in Transylvania under some Austrian – Hungarian forces overwhelmed from the numerical point of view, the Romanian army will suffer in the autumn of the year 1916 a series of devastating defeats, which will force the state’s authorities to take refuge in Moldavia, allowing the enemy to occupy two thirds of the national territory, including the capital Bucharest. The campaign from the summer of the year 1917 was a successful one, succeeding, in an initial phase, the defeat of the troops of the Central Powers in the battles of Mărăști, Oituz and Mărășești. The situation on the eastern front has evolved in a negative way, so as that after Russia signed the peace of Brest – Litovsk with the Central Powers, Romania was found in the situation of having to ask the armistice and then it necessitated to get out of the war and to sign a separate peace in humiliating conditions, in the spring of the year 1918. Fortunately, the refuse of the king Ferdinand, who postponed indefinitely the formal gesture of signing this treaty, made possible the restarting of the hostilities in the last days of the war, preserving in this way the Romanian statute of belligerent state at the Peace Conference from Paris.



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