Vintilă Horia

Vintila (also rendered as Vintilǎ) Horia (December 18, 1915 April 4, 1992) was a Romanian writer, winner of the Goncourt Prize, and convicted war criminal.

Life and career

Born in Segarcea, he graduated from the Saint Sava National College, then studied Law, and then Letters, including terms at universities in Italy and Austria. An associate of the far right thinker Nichifor Crainic, Horia sat on the editorial board of his Sfarmă Piatră journal.[1] He contributed to Gândirea and Porunca Vremii articles praising the Italian fascism of Benito Mussolini (Miracolul fascist "The Fascist Miracle"),[2] as well as pieces attacking authors whom the traditionalist group viewed as decadent (notably, Tudor Arghezi and Eugen Lovinescu).[3]

After Crainic took over as Minister of Propaganda in King Carol II's authoritarian government, he appointed Horia as member of the diplomatic mission to Rome.[4] According to his own account, Horia shared Crainic's rejection of the Iron Guard, and, after Carol was ousted by the latter's National Legionary State government, he was recalled from office.[4] He later left for Vienna.

With Romania's siding with the Allies in 1944 (see Romania during World War II), Horia was taken prisoner by the Nazi authorities, and interned in the concentration camps at Karpacz and Maria Pfarr (he was to be liberated a year later by the British Army).

Deciding not to return to an increasingly Soviet Union-dominated Romania, Vintilă Horia lived in Italy (where he became good friends with Giovanni Papini).

In 1946, in the Romanian counterpart to the Nuremberg trials, Horia was sentenced to life in prison for facilitating the penetration of fascist ideas in Romania, and for making the case for those ideas to be implemented under the leadership of the German embassy in Bucharest. The sentence against him has never been rescinded.[5] In 1948, Horia moved to Argentina, where he taught at the Universidad de Buenos Aires; after March 1953, he lived in Spain, employed as a researcher in the Italic Studies field.

He won the Prix Goncourt for his novel Dieu est né en exil (God was born in exile) in 1960; however, following the allegations that he had been a member of the Iron Guard, Vintila Horia refused to receive the Prize, but the Goncourt remains attributed to him. According to some, the allegations constituted slander aimed at Horia by the communist regime,[6] with the purpose of blackmailing him into issuing positive remarks about the regime.[5] His book notably attracted Jean-Paul Sartre's criticism.[7]

Other prizes received by Vintila Horia: Medalla de Oro de „Il Conciliatore”, Milano (1961); “Bravo para loshombres que unem en la verdad”, Madrid (1972); “Dante Aligheri" Prize, Firenze (1981).

He died in Collado Villalba, a municipality of Madrid.

The centenary of Vintila Horia was celebrated at the University Alcala de Henares and in several towns in Romania.

literary works


Short stories




Books and PhD Thesis Consecrated to Vintila Horia


PhD Thesis


  1. Ornea, p.116, 245
  2. Ornea, p.433
  3. Ornea, p.447-448, 457-458
  4. 1 2 Rotaru
  5. 1 2 Wagner
  6. Paskievici; Wagner
  7. Pârvan-Jenaru, Dana (January 2009). "Vintilă Horia între 'dacomanie' şi Goncourt" (in Romanian). Observator Cultural. Retrieved August 29, 2014.


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