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Elite of month – Moșoiu, Traian (1868–1932), officer, deputy and senator

Traian Moșoiu (1868–1932), officer, deputy and senator

 Traian Moșoiu was a Romanian career officer and politician, one of the best-known personalities of interwar Romania. Traian Moșoiu was born on 2 July 1868 in Tohanul Nou, a village in Brașov County, Transylvania, which at that time was part of Hungary. His father, Moise Moșoiu (1830–1905), was a wealthy and ambitious peasant. He gained prosperity primarily from sheep farming but also became involved in local politics, serving as the mayor of Tohanul Nou and as a county councillor in Brașov. Traian Moșoiu’s mother, Ana née Răduțoiu (1845–1896), also hailed from a prosperous peasant family in Tohanul Nou.

Traian Moșoiu had six siblings: Ioan (1862–1945)Aron (1866–1889)Aurelian (1872–1946)Maria (1878–??)Aneta (1881–1900), and Paulina (1886–??). All the Moșoiu children received a quality education and entered into advantageous marriages. The sons that survived to adulthood, Ioan, Traian, and Aurelian, pursued notable careers, including serving as members of Parliament. In 1897 Traian Moșoiu married teacher Maria Fortunescu, who came from a wealthy family in southern Romania. Her brother, lawyer Constantin Fortunescu, served multiple terms in the Romanian Parliament and held the position of prefect before the Great Union of 1918. Traian and Maria Moșoiu had two children: Tiberiu (1898–1953) and Mariana (1903–??).

Traian Moșoiu began his education in his native village and continued at the Romanian Gymnasium in Brasov. Subsequently, he attended military studies in Budapest at the Royal Hungarian Ludovica Defense Academy and in Vienna at the Theresian Military Academy, graduating in 1890. After graduation, he was assigned to a military unit in Sibiu. However, due to his nationalist views advocating for the rights of Romanians in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, he faced conflicts with his superiors and was even sentenced to prison. Realising that he had no future in the imperial army, he secured his release from prison on bail with his father’s help and clandestinely crossed the border into Romania. In 1893, he enlisted in the Romanian army as a second lieutenant, marking the start of a military career that would see him rise to the rank of major general.

Traian Moșoiu gained widespread fame and admiration during the First World War for his leadership and victories on the battlefield, commanding infantry divisions. Consequently, he was elevated to the rank of general and was decorated with numerous awards, the most distinguished being the French Legion of Honor, conferred upon him by general Henri Berthelot (1861–1931). In 1919, General Moșoiu spearheaded the Romanian army offensive in Transylvania, driving out the Hungarian Red Army from the north-west of the territory. His triumphant entry into Oradea (Bihor County), a pivotal city in the region, strengthened his status as a national hero. Under his leadership, the army advanced to Budapest, where General Moșoiu was appointed Commander of the Budapest Military Garrison and Military Governor of the Hungarian territories west of the Tisa River.

02_Mosoiu WW I

Traian Moșoiu during the First World War

At the end of 1919, Traian Moșoiu gave up his military career, entering the reserves, to embark on a prolific political career with the National Liberal Party. Several factors influenced this shift. On the one hand, general Moșoiu’s reputation was intrinsically linked to his wartime triumphs; the subsequent peace post-1919 curtailed avenues for similar military distinctions. On the other hand, in the evolving landscape of Romania, shaped by the seminal Great Union of 1918, the political arena presented a dynamic and promising domain for an individual of Moșoiu’s aspirations and prominence. The general had the advantage of a solid image capital, being popular not only among the elite but also among the masses, because in the public consciousness he was considered the hero who liberated Transylvania from Hungarian domination. Moșoiu was regarded as a man of simple origins who had risen in his career through his own efforts, who had not forgotten the social class to which he belonged by birth; apparently humble and approachable, he was revered as a leader who endured the tribulations of military campaigns alongside his troops.  There were even several poems in circulation at the time praising the general’s heroism.

03_Mosoiu Queen Mary (1)Traian Moșoiu and Queen Mary of Romania, wife of Ferdinand I of Romania

In his political tenure, Traian Moșoiu served as a member of parliament, both as a deputy and later as a senator, between 1922 and 1927. He held ministerial roles in Liberal governments led by Ion I. C. Brătianu (1864–1927), specifically as Minister of Communications (1922–1923) and Minister of Public Works (1923–1926). For almost a decade, he led the Bihor County organization of the National Liberal Party. However, his political journey was not without controversies. Accusations of nepotism frequently arose as his brothers and brothers-in-law ascended to prominent roles – deputies, senators, and prefects – and collaborated closely with Moșoiu on various legislative and economic initiatives. His son succeeded him as the leader of the Bihor Liberal county organization and also became a deputy in Parliament.

Traian Moșoiu passed away on 30 July 1932 in Bucharest. To this day, he remains one of the most revered figures instrumental in the formation of Greater Romania.





Cristina Liana Pușcaș, General Traian Moșoiu, Muzeul Orașului Oradea, Oradea, 2019.

Marius Boromiz (ed.), Versuri uitate din Marele Război. Cântece și doine cătănești, Ed. Armanis, Sibiu, 2020.

Gheorghe Calcan, Generalul Traian Moșoiu în epocă și în posteritate, Editura Universității “Petrol–Gaze”, Ploiești, 2006.

Sandu Popii, “Cântecul lui Moșoiu”, Unirea poporului, no. 29, 1919, p. 1.